Bedroom floorstanding Fullrangers - help me pick a design please! - diyAudio
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Old 8th March 2011, 07:48 PM   #1
keillor is offline keillor  Canada
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Default Bedroom floorstanding Fullrangers - help me pick a design please!

Hi all,

This is going to be my second build, my first build was a pair of b0fu BIBs, seen here.

While they don't look like much, and I still haven't felt a compelling reason to attach the baffle to the front OR augment the B0fu's with a tweeter, they have been making me extremely happy. I guess you could say I'm into the fullrange sound, and the DIY speaker bug has bitten.

Paired with a B&W 8" sub (can't remember model name), my BIBs absolutely light up my small apartment living room. The bass extension of the BIBs has allowed me to crossover my sub quite low (40 Hz I believe); it's integration and overall impact has been extremely pleasing, especially compared to how it sounded crossed over at 80 Hz-ish with my old Polk R15 bookshelves. Much more invisible and natural sounding now, with the end of the sub and the start of the speakers indistinguishable.

Ok enough rambling though. I want MOAR.

I'm looking to build some floor standing full-rangers for my bedroom. I have a friend who can do the cuts for me, so complexity of cutting is not a huge deal. I will, however, be assembling them with glue and clamps on the deck of my apartment so please keep that in mind.

I want these speakers to be much smaller and lighter than my massive b0fu BIBs. I will power them initially with a Dayton (/Sonic Impact) T-Amp, and may build a small SS or tube amp down the road. They will be by themselves initially, but similarly, I may build a small powered sub to pair them with in the future.

I listen to (yes, truly) everything. Primarily electronic genres and hip hop on a minutes/day basis but I enjoy it all equally.

Goal is baltic birch but I may have to concede to OSB based on cost/availability.

I've been looking at:
-Frugel-Horn Mk3
-Zigmahornets
-Mileva (similar threads have suggested these for similar purposes, though am I correct that the fostex overhaul may have rendered this design obsolete?)
-Pensil 70
-Floorstander Fonken
-Chang family
-Saburo
-Metronome

To be honest I'm pretty excited to try the Frugel-Horns - the idea of a horn-variant enclosure is stimulating to me and I find their size, shape, and the initial builders reports to fit my goals quite well. Not to mention the potential to switch multiple speakers in and out is exciting and will no doubt pave the way for more projects down the road.

The Zigmahornets/Metronomes/Pensils are also appetizing based on their relative simplicity and thin/tall (appealing to me) form factor. I'm less amped (no pun intended?) about the Changs/Saburo/Fonken type speakers as I'm not sure I'd get back extra sound quality in exchange for my assembly-time sweat and swearwords - if anyone begs to differ PLEASE speak up.

So help me make my decision, or just make it for me. Which would you build and why?

Also, if you have any clever ideas for acoustic treatments which are a) easy to find/buy b) affordable c) don't look awful, and d) make neighbours happier
I would be super appreciative. If I can justify playing my music louder, having it sound nicer, and not **** off my neighbours, I'll be a happy boy.

Thanks a ton in advance, this forum is a an absolute wealth of knowledge,
Cam
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Old 8th March 2011, 08:03 PM   #2
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Cam- to keep it short for now, if you think the room and your listening levels could survive on sensitivity in the mid 80s, you might want look at the Mark Audio drivers - ranging from CHR / EL70 to Alpair 7 in Pensil enclosure.

Unless you get fancy with interlocking internal bracing, or lock mitre joinery, these are a darned simple build, need a lot less room to "breathe" than the Frugel-Horns, and don't let the modest sensitivity ratings of the Mark Audio drivers scare you - they sound much bigger than they look in the flesh or the numbers on paper would suggest. The Alpair 7 for instance might well have you second guessing the need for woofer(s) in a small room.

That said, with adequate space the FH3 and any of the MA named or currently available Fostex FE126E can be very satisfying.


As to the question of value of extra complexity of build of the "fonken" style enclosure, having built I think more pairs of these than anyone, and more than a few of others named, I'm not going to be able to objectively answer that.
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Last edited by chrisb; 8th March 2011 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 8th March 2011, 08:17 PM   #3
keillor is offline keillor  Canada
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Chrisb,
Thanks for the super speedy response. Am I correct you are suggesting I lean in the direction of the Pensil enclosure? I am already sold on trying the MA/CSS drivers for any applications which support them.

Thanks again,
Cam
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Old 8th March 2011, 09:02 PM   #4
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keillor View Post
Chrisb,
Thanks for the super speedy response. Am I correct you are suggesting I lean in the direction of the Pensil enclosure? I am already sold on trying the MA/CSS drivers for any applications which support them.

Thanks again,
Cam
In a word - yes

but try to limit me to just "a word" when time for a 300 word obfuscatory essay is available

Available floor space in a small bedroom / den would be near the top of my decision tree

Similar to the old Fonken floor stander, the Pensil occupies both a very small amount of square inches, and with the front exiting terminus, placement is far more flexible than the FH3, or any rear terminus design.

I'm surprised I didn't also mention the Castle microtower - if your budget could be stretched to afford 4 drivers, and you have adjacent wall space, these are also a great option. Much wider soundstage, and perhaps not as laser focused in imaging as the Pensils, but can certainly fill a big space.
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Old 8th March 2011, 10:38 PM   #5
keillor is offline keillor  Canada
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Those castles (well, all the microtowers really) look pretty neat. Now, I've never spent time with bipoles nor do I know much about them and their advantages. If I were to stretch my budget to build them, what would be the payoff?

I'll measure my room at some point tonight so you all know what kind of space I'm working with here.

Thanks again,
Cam
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Old 9th March 2011, 02:23 AM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keillor View Post
Those castles (well, all the microtowers really) look pretty neat. Now, I've never spent time with bipoles nor do I know much about them and their advantages. If I were to stretch my budget to build them, what would be the payoff?

I'll measure my room at some point tonight so you all know what kind of space I'm working with here.

Thanks again,
Cam

I guess technically the Castle version with one top firing driver might not be classified as a "true" bipole, but it certainly has most of the advantages of that class, plus it lacks the issue with placement in relation to rear room boundaries.

The payoff would be improved bass response ( the MA CHR/CHP and EL70 are already quite silly good for drivers of this size), increased SPL output and dynamics over a single of the same driver in appropriately size enclosure, and spacious soundstage.

Downsides other than driver cost? To be honest I haven't tried my pair is a room any smaller than 320 sq ft, so there could be some issues with excessive side wall reflections in a cramped space, and of course you can't use them as a plant stand.
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Old 9th March 2011, 03:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keillor View Post
-Mileva
-Floorstander Fonken
-Metronome
I am looking into reworking the Mileva for one of the MA 4".

The MArk Audio equivalent of th Floorstander is a halfTower with an (optional) false base, and move the port to the front or back at the bottom.

Don't rule out the EL70 Met. A bit hardr to build but you end up with something special -- th 2 drivr vrsion mor so.

dave
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Old 10th March 2011, 07:16 PM   #8
keillor is offline keillor  Canada
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Ok so you guys have me interested in bipoles. I finally got around to measuring my room and it's about 12x11 feet or 132 sq. ft. Will I be able to enjoy bipoles such as the double driver metronome without putting my speakers in the middle of the room? Does the castle configuration for the microtower fare better? Should I just build some pensils instead ?

I do really like the look of the CSS EL70s - and if I can drive out to abbotsford to pick up a pair (or 4?) that's even better.

So in summary - any definitive push towards building the pensils/metronome versus castle microtower/metronome bipole?

Thank-you guys again,
Cam
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Old 10th March 2011, 08:38 PM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keillor View Post
Ok so you guys have me interested in bipoles. I finally got around to measuring my room and it's about 12x11 feet or 132 sq. ft. Will I be able to enjoy bipoles such as the double driver metronome without putting my speakers in the middle of the room? Does the castle configuration for the microtower fare better? Should I just build some pensils instead ?

I do really like the look of the CSS EL70s - and if I can drive out to abbotsford to pick up a pair (or 4?) that's even better.

So in summary - any definitive push towards building the pensils/metronome versus castle microtower/metronome bipole?

Thank-you guys again,
Cam


not a particularly large floor space - and assuming it's a "working" bedroom , there's probably very little real room available for "conventional" bipole metronome or micro-tower to "breathe" well

Of the enclosure designs yet named I'd be inclined to suggest the Pensil or Castle MT over the bipole Mets. As mentioned previously (and ad naseum), I have a pair of the Castles with EL70s in a moderately large (450+ sq ft) open plan space upstairs and they are more than adequate for listening levels mostly kept to under 90 dB ( steady state at that level is much louder than you might think).

The Pensil is probably the slightly easier build of the two, if for no other reason than it's a monopole. Just remember to build with the rear panel removable to access for adjusting damping fill. Oh, did I mention plywood?
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Old 13th March 2011, 01:41 AM   #10
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Having built a pair of Changs and Sachikos and having them as my main speakers, *MY* personal opinion is that if the room is big enough for a pair of Sachikos, thats the way to go. No doubt in my mind.

I have built a couple simpler enclosures, but none of them so far can hold a candle to Sachikos, ESPECIALLY if you are low amped. And quite frankly its not that much work building them because they are symmetric. You just need a few more clamps, but you are always glueing two boards instead of one.

Last edited by apleschu; 13th March 2011 at 01:45 AM.
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