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Commited 25th March 2011 11:42 AM

Need some direction/advice for upcoming build
Hi guys,

I'd really appreciate some advice regarding my upcoming full range speaker build. I've always been fascinated by the idea of a full range speaker system and as I've recently moved country and have absolutely no kit, this seems like the perfect opportunity.

Amplification will be via a hifimediy T2. Source is still to be decided, but will probably be a TDA1543 NOS Dac with a Sony DVD player as source (as it's free - I want to build a Shigaclone soon).

From everything I've read, I'm really keen on the BIB design. It looks like the perfect example for my first speaker project and seems to get absolutely fantastic results. A credit to it's designer!

I am a little bit limited with local driver availability so I've narrowed it down to the following choice:

Visatron BG-20 $88
Fostex FE166En $205
Fostex FE206En $270

Now I'm interested in the BG-20 as it seems to be quite well regarded in Europe, but from everything I've seen doesn't really make for a reasonably sized BIB. How much flexability is there for the box dimensions? Am I silly to dismiss this? Any other easy enclosures that suit it?

Now, onto the main question -166 or 206? From everything I've read it looks like the 206En is the best choice, but in what regards does the 166 beat the 206?

Many thanks

Saturnus 25th March 2011 12:23 PM


Originally Posted by Commited (
Now, onto the main question -166 or 206? From everything I've read it looks like the 206En is the best choice, but in what regards does the 166 beat the 206?

In my opinion, none. It does have more "brilliance" to the sound and some like that.

chrisb 25th March 2011 10:03 PM

Before you nominate a short list of drivers as large as the 206, give some consideration to your room and the floor space / placement vis a vis boundaries and primary listening positions pertinent to their use in BIB or any of larger horn family.

Regarding the drivers themselves, there'd probably be a consensus that the 166 / 168 series could probably suit most folks without the need for tweeters, but that the 206/208 et al would benefit or absolutely require them. With any of the better quality tweeters usually incorporated in such systems (such as the FT90A or above in the Fostex line) this can substantially increase driver costs.

zman01 25th March 2011 11:17 PM

I also wanted to go with the 206En but opted for the FE166En considering room size and cost of drivers. Though it's early days, I must say, I am not disappointed.

barackuda 26th March 2011 12:11 PM

I've been in same situation. Moved country and was looking for some easy to build, good sounding speaker project. I got hold of 168E Sigma drivers from Japan for very good price (€120 a piece). I've build the BIB from very cheap wood (chipboard, rubbish). I have to say, never heard better speaker and that's with this mediocre wood. I can't imagine with proper BB. I recommend this driver to anyone who wants good single source performance, with time they get better and better. Once I move home, I will build them the proper housing.
Highly recommend the 168 Sigma....looks good, sounds great, BIB works....


Commited 28th March 2011 05:14 AM

Saturnus, thanks for your opinion. My only worry is that some larger drivers (non-full range) I've heard have sounded lazy but from everything I've read the FE206En's don't fall into this category.

Chrisb - normally I'd agree with you on the room front 100% but at the moment I have a lot of free time on my hands and we haven't found the place where we're going to live for the next few years. I would prefer to go without tweeters however and from what I'd read, the 208 seems to need a tweeter but the 206 can get away with it.

zman01 - what were the deciding factors for you to go with the FE166En? How is the bass?

Barackuda - thanks for your input. I don't want to go with more expensive materials as this is an experiment for me for now so I'll be building from chipboard too. I can't stretch to the expense of the 168 sigma as the 206En's are pushing it for me anyway!!

planet10 28th March 2011 05:52 AM

What country did you transplant from?

If you are going to be moving about a bit, and budget is being stretched, why not consider the FE126En. I'd choose it over FE166 or FE206 any day because the music's heart is in the midrange. Also being best in an inverted BIB it is easier to get to work in different rooms, and, at least if built in plywood, dramatically easier to hump around (your back will thank you)

Now that hifimediy T2 amplifer. That is a lot of power for the Fostex. And off their website. "For 8 ohm speakers, we recommend the T1 amp" It is seriously cheap. With preferred 4 ohm loads, and that much power, you might consider EL70, CHP70 or CHR70 (3 colour schemes available). Love to see one of those in a BIB. (All local to Oz)


Commited 28th March 2011 09:34 AM

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the informative post! I came from Ireland to Australia and left a lot of gear at home as it wasn't meant to be permanent. The budget isn't "stretched" exactly but I fell uncomfortable spending more than $300 on a pair of drivers that I don't get a chance to listen to! Building material first off will be chipboard as I can get it for next to nothing! You're obviously much more experienced in these things than I am. Will such a small driver deliver decent bass? The music I listen to is incredibly varied and when I have a decent system to listen to it becomes even more varied than normal! Most of it would be rock/indie/vocal/dance so I need a pretty versatile speaker.

Now, I hadn't considered anything smaller than 6.5" and I also hadn't found that site, so your post has opened more doors. Is an inverted BIB what it sounds like? I'd quite like that as I could have a cover over the top of the speaker. I assume an inverted BIB can be used with a 6.5" or 8" driver?

As I've said, the big problem here is that I can't just demo them and see what I like. Some background on what speakers I've liked in the past: B&W 602, B&W DM7Mk2, B&W 802 Matrix 3, System Audio SA1530, some of the KEF range and BBC Monitors.

As for the amp, I have had tripath amps in the past and really like them, that's why I wanted a TK2050 based amp as I've never had that chip. I see the T1 is powered by a different chip which I know nothing about! Why is the hifimediy amp recommended for 4ohms when the Sure and Dayton TK2050 based amps don't specify this?

zman01 28th March 2011 06:46 PM


Fe166EN in the BIB is giving good bass after pushing them back to the wall and corner in my room. The bass is different from 3 way speaker bass I have previosuly expereinced. FE166EN in BIB bass quite tight and you can hear it clearly, and in my case it's there till 36 Hz (used a tone generator to check). But the bass does no have the typical slam or thud of a big 12" woofer... but I guess that's how the FR drivers behave. The sound from the midrange is very engaging and I fully agree with Dave, that's where the magic lies.

Dave, would the micro towers be a project worth considering for Commited??


zman01 28th March 2011 07:19 PM


Originally Posted by planet10 (

Also being best in an inverted BIB it is easier to get to work in different rooms, and, at least if built in plywood, dramatically easier to hump around (your back will thank you)

Weight training comes free with BIBs... :D

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