Sachiko impressions so far... - diyAudio
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Old 4th May 2009, 05:45 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default Sachiko impressions so far...

Hi all. Props again to the people who designed this loudspeaker.

A few months ago I asked the community what the best box for the fostex 206e was. Based on that input, I decided to build the sachiko.

I have completed one of the speakers so far. I was listening to it outside (I have a patio surrounded by trees and long grasses), and it sounds pretty incredible. The bass depth and impact is really staggering considering the driver that is creating it. There are some colorations from the cone, of course, and the upper-vocal range has a bit of harshness that I hope a phase plug will even out.

I played some Baden Powell bossa nova/classical music and it really projected well. The speaker sounds best at least 10 feet away or more. I played some of the instrumentals from David Bowie's "Heroes" album. These tracks have some weird sound effects, like pitch-shifted aircraft taking off, and it is really amazing to hear these reproduced outside, loud, with great texture and depth. More atmospheric music (I played "all things must pass" by George Harrison) came through exceptionally well. It was really magical hearing this music reproduced so dramatically on a sunny day with all the birds out...and this is with only one speaker! I also enjoyed some Bill Evans and Leo Kottke, both on vinyl. Kottke's 12 string guitar really shined on this speaker, the Bill Evans was not quite as good.

This speaker has some weaknesses of course, namely transparency, boxiness, and directionality. The transparency is not up to the level of your scan speak drivers, as you would expect. However, there is a lot of detail, and the coloration that detracts from the transparency is pretty benevolent. The boxiness is the same way - certain instruments do sound a bit boxy, but it isn't wholly unpleasant. The directionality is not really in issue either - it just sounds clearer and more 'hifi' when you are sitting in just the right spot. This doesn't matter to me as I never do 'critical' listening, I just put some records on and go outside. Really, the only thing I would like to fix is the harshness in the upper vocal range that all 206e owners know about...maybe a tweeter would help.

I have to say that this design delivers on the full-range promise, big time. For under 300 dollars or so, these speakers create a hell of a lot of big sounding music with great dynamics, detail and texture. I would imagine you would need a pretty big room to enjoy them though; my living room is about 10'x30' with 10' ceilings or so I think I will keep these on the patio..

For the record:
digital = uncompressed flac -> squeezebox -> gigalab NOS DAC
analog = sl1200 -> shure m97 -> bellari vp130
all into an NAD c325bee

I am considering building a decware zen kit for these speakers, I think it would be a match made in heaven..
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Old 4th May 2009, 05:52 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default building tips

I also learned that this speaker is not exactly a cakewalk when it comes to construction. I didn't have any major problems but it is worth mentioning that you will need a big space, a lot of clamps, a lot of silicone caulk and so forth.

I constructed the horn folds by pre-gluing certain connected assemblies, then fitting them into the 'shell' created by the top, bottom, sides and back. This turned out to be a bad idea; it eventually made caulking a bit difficult, and any innaccuracy in gluing the assemblies made for a very tight fit when I went to put it in the 'shell'.

Another issue is the stability of the speaker. Yes they are 12 inches wide, but they are as heavy on top as on the bottom, and if they did tip over it could destroy a lot of china/kill a small dog with no problem. I am going to make a base of some sort to stabilize these speakers, especially since wind is a factor for me.

Anyone with questions about construction, don't hesitate to contact me.
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Old 4th May 2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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Location: UK
Glad you're mostly happy with them. Boxiness shouldn't be a trait though (unless MDF is present) -how are they currently damped? You'll need to adjust it to suit your own system.

Generally, trying to build the internal horn path as a separate box section isn't a great idea IMO. Better to lay it out slowly on one side-panel; probably a bit slower, but more accurate.
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Old 4th May 2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2009
The boxiness is not incredibly prominent. I forgot to mention that I don't have the diffuser pieces at the top and bottom of the horns in yet, that might help everything as well.

I think I will add a couple of braces in the main cavities as they are quite large. I will also experiment with some more sound absorbing material behind the driver. Right now I have some of that 3/4" black hole stuff right behind the driver, maybe this helps, maybe it hurts.

The method I used for construction only worked because I was very careful to make sure all the pieces were cut to the same width all at once with the tablesaw set once...I didn't lay it out on one side because I thought it would be harder to keep everything square. I used a nice arbor saw to cut all the pieces off strips cut on the tablesaw.

I should mention that I am very happy with the sound as it is, any improvements are gravy.
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Old 4th May 2009, 10:09 PM   #5
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: victoria BC
with the diffusers not yet in place, the enclosures aren't finished, and could certainly be expected to under-perform

don't overdo the damping of the driver chamber - provided that you can re-re the driver a few times without stripping out the mounting hardware (that's where threaded inserts really shine) play with moderate amounts to the top and bottom and one side wall to start
on hiatus
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Old 10th May 2009, 11:58 AM   #6
HCB is offline HCB  Australia
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Join Date: May 2007
My only issue with these speakers was the harshness in upper ranges at times. Certainly no boxiness. Two days ago I installed phase plugs, some 16 months after completing my speakers. Gone the harshness, and I have to say that I can only repeat what I have previously stated about this speaker, except it is substantially improved! I would urge everyone with these drivers to install phase plugs. There has been a major positive benefit, much better than I anticipated. I am an ecstatic Sachiko owner.
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Old 11th May 2009, 06:02 AM   #7
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Originally posted by HCB
Two days ago I installed phase plugs, some 16 months after completing my speakers. Gone the harshness, and I have to say that I can only repeat what I have previously stated about this speaker, except it is substantially improved! I would urge everyone with these drivers to install phase plugs. There has been a major positive benefit, much better than I anticipated. I am an ecstatic Sachiko owner.

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p10-hifi forum here at diyA
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