Your opinion: FF85K vs Alpair5 ? - diyAudio
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Old 4th September 2009, 12:14 AM   #1
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Default Your opinion: FF85K vs Alpair5 ?

Both of these drivers interest me for small table-top speaker. They have different strengths, they are not the same drivers by any means. I understand some of the key differences such as Xmax, impedance. But that's as far as it goes.

I'm not expecting to play Rock Music. I value clean fresh and non-harsh top end with as much bass as might be reasonable to expect from a small driver (EQ is an option).

My priorities may be different than yours so don't be limited by my values... I'd like to hear your opinion on the relative merits of these two ?

In case it is of help, here are the relevant manufacturers data sheets.

http://www.markaudio.com/alpair/5/grey

http://www.fostexinternational.com/d.../pdf/ff85k.pdf
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Old 4th September 2009, 01:24 AM   #2
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Hi Bigun,
Yasushi Matsumoto San has done much work on small applications using the Alpair 5 and other drivers. You may find this site very useful:

http://lean-audio.blogspot.com/2009/...plication.html

Cheers,

Mark.
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Old 4th September 2009, 01:43 AM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Yikes,


Having used both, I think this is one of those situations were application and personal taste become very significant.

Both can sound great, but if by small table top speaker, you mean with iPod/ computer etc. as source, and using digital eq and small chip or class T amp, I'd suggest the Alpair
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Old 4th September 2009, 02:07 AM   #4
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I agree with chrisb, this will be a matter of taste.

I've heard both, plain and En and they are two distinctly different breeds in the same animal family really.

IMO, both are best as a midtweet in a 2-way.

Cheers!
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Old 4th September 2009, 02:50 AM   #5
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Let me add some further thoughts.


The first use may be to partner with a build of Nelson's Zen4 amplifier. A very simple SE ClassA SS amp which would benefit from not having a difficult load.

If it is a matter of personal taste, can you describe your feelings on the differences ?
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Old 4th September 2009, 06:17 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigun View Post
Let me add some further thoughts.


The first use may be to partner with a build of Nelson's Zen4 amplifier. A very simple SE ClassA SS amp which would benefit from not having a difficult load.

If it is a matter of personal taste, can you describe your feelings on the differences ?

Provided that you're considering a single driver per enclosure, I'd venture a guess that any amplifier design of Nelson's would have no trouble with the load provided by either of these.

My impressions to date on the sonic differences between the Fostex (FF & FE series) and Mark Audio drivers would be that the former have very distinctive personalities in terms of FR and dynamics (vivid is the first buzzword that comes to mind), which can cause some interesting or even fatiguing results with certain combinations of gear, while the latter, even including the new EL70 paper cone, are much more neutral.

I'll be honest and state that after several very uncomfortable experiences to metal cone and domed drivers* over a period of years, I approached my first listen to Mark Audio drivers with trepidation.

*The two most "unlistenable" for me (in the sense of fatigue) of these were the Bottlehead Straight 8 (even when driven by one of my favorite class of amps - 2A3 SE), and a pair of possibly damaged Jordan JX92 driven by very grainy and "gnashy" sounding chip amp and computer source.

The little A5s came as a very pleasant surprise indeed, but my taste is what it is, and for a small near field, full-range monitor, I'd be inclined more towards the FF85K, EL70, and CHR70 in that order.

I certainly agree with Gregg's observation, where the Alpair5 can really shine is as a wide-band mid/tweeter. I've heard a very nice sounding 2-way of his, using Silver Flute woofer, and an XO with details best for him to elaborate.
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Old 4th September 2009, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
I certainly agree with Gregg's observation, where the Alpair5 can really shine is as a wide-band mid/tweeter. I've heard a very nice sounding 2-way of his, using Silver Flute woofer, and an XO with details best for him to elaborate.

If anyone is interested in the thread, he latest incarnation of them here, crossed at ~1KHz:

http://geek.scorpiorising.ca/GeeK_Zo...46920#msg46920

The XO here:
http://geek.scorpiorising.ca/GeeK_Zo...42907#msg42907

(those original oiled pine boxes are stupidly great with a 600Hz XO (schematic values not shown for 600))

Cheers!
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Old 4th September 2009, 11:35 PM   #8
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Hi ChrisB, guys,

I had similar ideas and run with ChrisB's comments. My original thinking on the Alpair 5 was to make it operate to within most sub-woofer upper frequencies. This combination worked well. I also paired the Alp5 with the Alp10 base unit, Bob's SDX7 and a few other woofers with excellent results.

It was something of a surprise when so many people started to use it full range. The driver is much favoured in Japan for this purpose. I'm currently trying out one of Iijima San's designs (see pic). I like it very much but had to tame the top end since my taste is Jass and female vocal. I'm feeding most of my general listening through I Tunes on my Mac-Mini. It's equaliser makes easy work of any adjustments.

Very interesting how things turn out.

Cheers

Mark.
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Old 4th September 2009, 11:52 PM   #9
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Here's a pic of Niwa San's Alp5/Alp10-base combo. I'm playing these in my studio using a Sansui 907-Dr, Denon DCD-3000 and one of Derek Shek's D/A converters. First order cross at 1500Hz. Very nice listening, tonnes of detail.

Cheer,

Mark
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Old 5th September 2009, 12:24 AM   #10
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beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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