EnABL How-To for Fostex FE127e and other speakers - diyAudio
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Old 21st June 2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default EnABL How-To for Fostex FE127e and other speakers

Welcome the EnABL How-To thread.

Specific attention will be given to the Fostex FE127e but the technique and principles are the same for virtually all multi way and single driver speakers.

EnABL is covered by a patent from Ed LaFontaine. The How-To thread will give information on how the specific tools for doing EnABL are available from Ed and completely treated speakers are available from Planet 10 Hi-Fi.

Everyone participating in or doing EnABL is encouraged to submit pictures and tips. This thread is for inquiry and will be built on the knowledge of everyone.

Definition:

EnABL stands for Enhanced Acoustic Boundary Layer (in electronic transducers)

The pdf white paper on the subject is here:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/pdf/EnA...te%20Paper.pdf

Much has been written about the theory over the last couple of years. The discussion located here:

EnABL Processes

.... has a wealth of shared information and experimentation on the principle.

The EnABL How-to is started to focus on what is needed and how to do it and less so on how it works.

Even in this introduction I don't want to get too long-winded and strain the concentration of the reader.

Enjoy what follows. You too may want to try the EnABL technique.
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Old 21st June 2009, 05:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
EnABL is covered by a patent from Ed LaFontaine
Uh, NO! I have patents on nothing.

You would be referring to our own BudP, to whom we owe that distinction. I just provide the kits so people can experience and decide for themselves.
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Old 21st June 2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ed LaFontaine


Uh, NO! I have patents on nothing.

You would be referring to our own BudP, to whom we owe that distinction. I just provide the kits so people can experience and decide for themselves.

Ok. Well you see my difficulty. There is no rigor in my research and I'll likely drop the ball again. My goal is to narrow the focus as much as possible on getting the procedure done. This link you (Ed) gave me with a previous tutorial I pretty much found "on the fly."

That is included in the materials intro which follows.
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Old 21st June 2009, 06:05 PM   #4
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Default Materials

Materials for EnABL application.

The application of the EnABL pattern is accomplished by using a caligraphy pen and nib with paint on the surface of a speaker cone and optionally on phase plugs. Other applications to enclosures and other surfaces have gotten experimentation but the materials in the How-To will focus on pen and paint.

There are many hobby stores with paint and pens beyond imagining for many crafts.

The specific products used for EnABL by those such as Dave at Planet 10 who does EnABLE on a production basis are specific and more difficult to locate. For simplicity's sake I'm going to
ask Ed LaFontaine who supplies the kit of materials needed to the DIY readers for a description of the specific products in the kit. The EnABL kit is reasonably priced and you can use PayPal
or the usual means to obtain it from Ed at:

gelafontaine@yahoo.com

Ed has graciously supplied the list of components of the full EnABL kit:

This kit will include the following:

1) type B nib holder
1) set, A-1 through A-5 Speedball pen nibs (5 nibs)
1) #56 Speedball pen nib
1 oz. Microscale MI-4 Gloss coat
1/2 oz. Floquil Poly Scale #404106 flat finish (stealth finish)

EnABL kit

That's the kit.

In the course of the discussion of treatment for the Fostex FE127e, Damar Varnish (sold in hobby stores) and Modpodge or Puzzlecoat will also be referenced.

I am not experienced with doing EnABL at this point at all. Therefore I will depend on the forum regulars who have done the procedure for advice.

The thread should follow a scheme of Material purchase and description, Preparation, work area Setup and finally Application followed by cleanup. I'm bot assuming any craft experience of the reader or myself either.

A bit more on materials is here in an apparent separate tutorial. See postings #14 and #15

EnABL - Listening impressions & techniques

I hope to get all this material gathered together so that a work flow can be repeated by the reader without any gotcha's half way through.

The specific material addition noted is the Rapidograph drawing instrument for making the smaller dots. Quoting:

"A useful addition to the arsenal are Rapidiograph technical pens. They make placing tiny dots on domes and whizzers much easier, for some and more difficult for others, like Dave from Planet 10, who uses them only under duress. Sizes from .02 through .085 are useful, but spendy."

-- from BudP


That's all I have for the introduction on Materials today.

Aids for use with the materials such as template guides gauged for specific speakers have been discussed as well. The guides provide a way of applying the paint without too much wander on the speaker cone. But this too is something I'm trying to pull together for my own use.
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Old 22nd June 2009, 01:47 AM   #5
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I think the idea is a good one. There are a large number of treatment pages for specific drivers, but they are buried in a wealth of other information and can be quite difficult to find.

I have attached a text file with all of the currently known threads for EnABL and a list for all of the driver specific pages. Each page has an attached pattern application set. These are in PDF format, but originate with the Corel Draw vector program and these can be made available.

There is also a picture exhibit for each treated driver that can be an important resource in determining whether you want to put the effort into a particular driver or not. The url for this exhibit is also noted in the attached text file

I will say that I have never found an unworthy driver. Even the most awful PM 2 inch, alleged, full range driver, with corrugated paper surround and an X-Max of .001mm, can be made to sound startlingly good.

So, proceed, please. I will lurk around to help where needed.

Bud
Attached Files
File Type: txt enabl posts for treatment text file.txt (4.6 KB, 493 views)
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Old 22nd June 2009, 02:48 AM   #6
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I'm here. Will add content as i can. And yips that are good to know when treating drivers -- things like, different colours work differently in terms of application.

dave
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Old 22nd June 2009, 03:15 AM   #7
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BudP,

I apologize for my initial error regards attribution for the development of this process.
I will look at your document pack and thanks for bringing it in here.

And Dave,

Thanks for joining in early on.
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Old 22nd June 2009, 07:28 AM   #8
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Link to the thread that talks about treating FE167. (applicable to any Fostex whizzer cone driver)

Coating+phase plugs to FE167

dave
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Old 22nd June 2009, 05:27 PM   #9
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And for Dave this is a pre EnABL question related to the previous answer above and the posting reference.

I have been staring at my FE127 for days trying to figure out how to get a proportional trifoil pattern to come out the first time. Your shop pictures show a very uniform application. And with what applicator? A brush or a foam pad?


Elsewhere there was some mention of template and application.

Can you describe this?
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Old 22nd June 2009, 06:34 PM   #10
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Default FE126/127 pretreatment

I was just thinking that this would be a good place to consolidate pretreatment techniques.

Why pre-treat? The FE127 (and FE126) have a nasty resonance at about 7k which can cause listener fatigue. The Trifoil pattern + the puzzlecoak (aka modpodge, etc) works to exacerbate this -- as well as the puzzlecoat's common roll of reducing cone self noise.

We have Mark McKenzie to thank for leaving a few breadcrumbs to point out where the pattern should be. My application is not necessarily the best or most effective, but it goes a long ways (going further would require some serious lab work and the sacrifice of more FE127 than i can afford).

Here are the measurements that Mark did.

Click the image to open in full size.

and Mark's breadcrumbs "The critical regions where the mechanical modifications are made are 9 and 17 mm in from the outside edge of the cone".

This info and a bit of experimenting led to the current trifoil pattern.

On the 1st drivers i used a compass template, a pencil and a ruler to create a guide for pattern placement.

My 1st template consisted of 2 appropriate size disks used in conjunction with the centre cylinder from an empty solder spool (which conveiniently fit over the dustcap to centre it, now i have a 2nd generation template made from a dead FE127 cone.

The trifoil pattern is painted on using damar. First i place the template and using a very small pointy brush create 3 points to define each of the 6 arcs. Then using an appropriately wide brush, i stroke over these to form the 6 arcs, then join the ends. When painting the arcs i use my the opposite side of the driver as a pivot point for my hand and sweep the arcs on.

The damar will run fairly easily, so one has to be careful with the original spots (and then getting under the template & wicking) and with the brush load of the damar when doing the arcs.

The cone where the trifoli pattern is should be semi-translucent and visible from the back where the damar soaked thru.

After the damar has had 24 hrs to dry, thinned modpodge is used to completely coat the cone & dustcap. After at least 6 hours to dry a 2nd coat can be applied. You want to use as little as possible to adequately cover the cone. The 1st coat seals and ties the paper fibres on the surface togther, the 2nd sits on top of the 1st.

How thin is thin? It is hard to give a formula as the consistency of each bottle starts out different and changes as it gets exposed to the air and as it ages after exposure. It is still a matter of feel to me. It should be runny enuff to smoothly coat the cone, but not so much that it soaks in. Someone felt it and said about the consistency of transmission fluid.

You want to add each layer as quickly as possible, as at the right level of thinning it starts setting up quite quickly (this can be a real issue with big cones, as the start can start setting up before you finish getting all the way round). A emptied brush that has been dampened in water & tamped can be used to finish smoothing things out in this case.

With the FE126/127, a quick application to get the cone covered (as uniformly as possible) and then a couple rounds on the lazy susan with radial strokes from the dustcap out to the edge to smooth things out.

Gotchas:
1/ a wet/damp q-tip(s) are useful for cleaning up any puzzlecoat that gets on the surrounds, a damp paper towel for stuff that gets on the bezel.

2/ that black gooey glue used to hold the dustcap seems to be a great source of small bits that get dragged out onto the cone, Dust & hairs can also get into the mix or onto the cone, A damp q-tip helps pick up the ones that can't get swept over the edge.

A good brushing with a clean brush, and maybe even a squirt of air can really help minimize the problem.

3/ while the dustcap is damp from the puzzlecoat it is really fragile and can easily be dimpled/creased. Same applies to the cone to a lessor extent.

Pictures to follow (i'm not at my main puter at the moment)

References:
Mark McKenzie thread:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...855#post547855
My original FRForum thread with really early info:
http://fullrangedriver.com/forum/vie...php?id=535&p=1
A couple more diyA threads with tidbits:
Modifying fe127e in the UK
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...28#post1236028

Here is a FR measure done by Mark Fenlon in the anechoic chamber he uses to test his Mark Audio drivers. Althou not directly comparable to Mark's measures above (different kit & room) it does tend to indicate that the FR peaks have been considerably flattened.

Click the image to open in full size.

The resonances are not completely gone, a ghost of them can still be heard when compared to a very smooth driver like the FX120

dave
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