Frugel-horn Shootout FH1+ vs FH3 - diyAudio
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Old 16th April 2011, 01:58 AM   #1
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Default Frugel-horn Shootout FH1+ vs FH3

Executive summary: FH3 over FH1 and Oval speaker over Coral, and speakers mounted on the back of the speaker panel vs the front. Either FH1 or FH3 is good with FH3 being much easier to construct.

Going to build my first horn but not sure of which one so I build a couple of test mules i.e. FH1 and FH3 to see which one I liked better. Made them with removable speaker panels so I could test a few speakers. Used cedar fence boards milled to 1/2 inch thickness (not a good wood as to active, need something more dead; will likely use engineered wood flooring for the 'real' horns). Horns were glued and stapled except for the removable test panels. Speakers:
  • Holey Corals 2.5 dia cone; Sony 082-13 8 ohm
  • Oval 3x6.5 23333617 8 ohm from Conn tube organ
  • 3.75 Round 4G 6A 3W 8 ohm
  • 2.75 Tweeter Webcore Japan.
First 3 are with alnico magnets; all have paper cones.

Tested by running sine wave frequency sweep with various upper and lower limits. Then tested with music. No hard measurement (ears only) but did have it set up so that I could A-B back and forth to easily compare.

Soon eliminated the tweeter (no low range) and the 3.75 round (had peaks and valleys).
Comparison of the horns using identical speakers. Both quite good and both significantly better than some older 2 way speakers. Both a bit better than a Boss system (except for the sub). Below 100 hz the volume of the sweep tone dropped severely which leads me to think a sub is required. Tested side by side in the middle of a carpeted room. Details between the 2 horns using identical speakers and identical speaker mounting.
  • FH1 - more blended sound, rich,
  • FH3 - sharp, crisp, sweep tone was smoother (chose)
Comparison of speakers (coral vs oval):
  • Coral - a bit less bass, good clear mid and highs
  • Oval - bit better bass and good mids and highs (chose)
Comparison of speaker mounting (front of panel vs back). Obviously was not able to do the A-B test as had only one of each configuration horn. Nevertheless, I chose the back mounted speaker vs the front mount as it sounded better to me.

No fine tuning done with stuffing, and obviously the removable panel was not a tight seal.

Didn't measure the T/S speaker parameters as I didn't have accurate signal generator.

The quest for audio nirvana continues. An enjoyable journey.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Horn 1 Side.jpg (273.5 KB, 542 views)
File Type: jpg Horn 2 Side.jpg (325.9 KB, 527 views)
File Type: jpg Spkrs.jpg (305.0 KB, 516 views)
File Type: jpg Horn 2 Front.jpg (241.0 KB, 503 views)
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Old 16th April 2011, 02:41 AM   #2
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Thanx for that.

Your bass will be limited by the middle of the room test and by drivers that are unlikely to have Fs <100 Hz. Try them in the corners.

The cedar makes a very pretty speaker. I have speculated that VERY dry cedar could be infused/finished with a "plastic" or expoxy (something that seeps into the places where the water was) and create a very stiff/light soft core material.

dave
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Old 19th April 2011, 01:43 PM   #3
jemraid is offline jemraid  United Kingdom
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Dear Bill,

Very interesting test I didn't realise that you could still get decent oval drive units.

I made a pair of FH Mk3's with MA CHP-70's a few weeks ago and am still adjusting the stuffing, you might like to try the Blue Tack caper like this;
Click the image to open in full size.

I tread on the sides and it is quite difficult to part them to make an alteration. Doing this you will get 99% of the true sound. I've used it on all my speakers ever since BT was first sold as typewriter cleaner.

Warmest wishes - Jim
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Old 19th April 2011, 03:41 PM   #4
kec is offline kec  United States
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Hey Jim, have you ever had any problems with gluing the sides after removing the blue tack? Does it leave any residue? That's what I was worried about.
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Old 19th April 2011, 03:46 PM   #5
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Hi, of the central photo, the speakers at the top right have no holes in the basket to let the rearwave of the driver escape.
Did you test the horns with them? At a guess, they look like dedicated mid/high units to me, so you'd certainly need a woofer.

Chris
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Old 19th April 2011, 03:49 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kec View Post
Hey Jim, have you ever had any problems with gluing the sides after removing the blue tack? Does it leave any residue? That's what I was worried about.

If it's sticky enough to be quite difficult to separate, I'd be more worried about pulling some of the core of MDF or particle board after more than a couple of removals. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a thick bead of moisture cured polyurethane glue once the final fill level has been confirmed. Just be wary of penetrating stains on the squeeze out.
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Old 19th April 2011, 07:16 PM   #7
jemraid is offline jemraid  United Kingdom
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Dear Chris,

The thingy on the right is the screw connections for the cable the speaker is on the left, unseen in the pic.

Dear Chris and KEC,

The BT doesn't leave any marks, residue or pull out MDF bits, and the sides will glue up fine with that white woodworking glue. The reason it's hard to part is because you have to remove practically the whole side at once, the side being too thick to bend.

With respect the best thing is to give it a try and see for yourself, I didn't expect it to work as well as it does, this is what you find, as they say in Coleshill :-)

Warmest wishes - Jim
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