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Old 27th May 2011, 03:08 PM   #1
rossi is offline rossi  Belgium
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Default Beginner questions, acquiring full system

Hello!

I've gotten interested in HiFi and have browsed several forums and sites for the last couple of weeks. I have noticed that there are many good reviews for the affordable Tripath chips and have been thinking of buying a Dayton DTA100a or a Sure 4x100 tk2050, if the latter can be used with a subwoofer.

I would want to make a setup for movies and music. Music is about 40% classic, 30% jazz and vocal, and 30% rock. Our room is only 4mx5m, but with a high ceiling of 5m.

The question of the speakers remain. After my basic fact finding, I'm confident that I want a full range speaker setup.
I have done some woodwork and am confident that I can make the basic box pattern with a couple of holes. I don't think I am able to build curved horns and complicated compartments.
I'm not trying to experiment, I'm perfectly fine with building exactly what has been made before if it sounds right.
My driver budget is about 200euro for both.
I have taken info from this site: Hi-Fi Audio Drivers / Transducers (Speakers and Tweeters) for DIY Projects
It seems that the best driver within my price range would be the Fostex FX120, with these kinds of recommended designs:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Now, I have also read that many people do not like the Fostex sound at all.
Is there a kind of middle ground, something that most people would agree on is a nice sound?

I want to start with 2 speakers, but include the option to add a passive subwoofer later on. That's why I thought about the Sure 4x100 instead of the DTA100a. Can it be done (especially combine the remaining two channels into a mono for the sub?)
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Old 27th May 2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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I have a Fostex F206-E in a metronome and Audio Nirvana 10" Cast-frame in a 2.8 bass reflex and AN 12" cast-frame open baffle. All are very nice and affordable. Fostex is a little bit shouty and may need some taming with baffle step compensation or corner loading. AN are a little less shouty and a little warmer sounding.

Others to consider would be Lowther (Rolls Royce? for full rangers), Mark-Audio, Markel... but I have no experience with these. Maybe those with more experience could offer their thoughts.
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Old 27th May 2011, 05:17 PM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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I'm a big fan of both Fostex (and have heard many listed on your posted table) as well as Mark Audio drivers. The combination of Fostex FE series drivers (particularly the higher sensitivity models BLH designs) and any class T amp I've heard to date might not be a comfortable fit for a lot of folks.

And even if a Lowther was affordable (think more like Lamborghini in terms of both price and idiosyncracies? ), I think powered with a T-amp would make the "Fostex shout" feel like the warm seductive whisper of ... (your favorite fantasy name)

The FX120 is a great little driver, but there are better enclosure designs for many of the Fostex drivers than those from their "cook-book"


For "middle" ground, quickie22 has already nominated the Mark Audio Alpairs - they are definitely worth looking at. There's a lot of co-operation between Mr Fenlon and the DIY community, with many new exciting enclosures have recently been developed. Some (Pensil) are as simple in construction as the Fostex DBR, others capable of extracting more "juice", but rather more complicated fabrications ( Woden or Planet10 MarKen series)

Woden Design | Mark Audio

p10 hifi | Box Library / Mark Audio
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Last edited by chrisb; 27th May 2011 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 27th May 2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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If you want a full range driver, do what Dave at Planet10 says. Kindest regards Dr. John Dozier
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Old 28th May 2011, 11:07 AM   #5
rossi is offline rossi  Belgium
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Have looked at the plans from Planet10. It doesn't make a choice easier: Floorstanding, Fonken, mFonken, or the Fonken-Steen with FX120?
I suppose the former designs still work with the new FE126En now the 127 is sold out?

Perhaps I try to hone my skills first with a mFonken for the bedroom, before trying a Fonken-Steen.
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Old 29th May 2011, 06:01 PM   #6
rossi is offline rossi  Belgium
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With your suggestions and a day worth of googling, I have narrowed it down to either the EL70 or the CHP-70. As the latter is less than half the price, the decision is not that hard. Now rests the question of what enclosure.

BTW, As shipping is 20€ if total is <60€, I might as well buy some extra stuff. What is advisable: another set of CHP, this kit (MarkStart Weiß Bausatz - Lautsprecher Selbstbau by blue planet acoustic) with a tweeter and a woofer no 6, a subwoofer (Klang + Ton CT222 Sub Bausatz - Lautsprecher Selbstbau by blue planet acoustic) or parts I would need for the build?
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Old 29th May 2011, 06:38 PM   #7
zman01 is online now zman01  Bangladesh
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Rossi,

Any cabinet have you decided on? If you are planning to build this one MarkStart Weiß Bausatz - Lautsprecher Selbstbau by blue planet acoustic what will you with CHP-70? Or you are planning to do separate projects?
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Old 29th May 2011, 06:51 PM   #8
rossi is offline rossi  Belgium
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I was thinking about Pensil, FH3 or Kal-el70.
The other one was just I hunch I had, to try a dual speaker setup. I actually wanted a subwoofer, but there isn't very much affordable choice. It's just a question of getting my order to 60€ with things I will actually use.
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Old 29th May 2011, 10:28 PM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossi View Post
Have looked at the plans from Planet10. It doesn't make a choice easier: Floorstanding, Fonken, mFonken, or the Fonken-Steen with FX120?
I suppose the former designs still work with the new FE126En now the 127 is sold out?
FE126En is not the best candidate for any of the mini-onken derived designs - it's generally used in some kind of BLH for most effective performance.

Jeff ( vinylkid) had success with FX120 in variation of Fonken Prime

Quote:

Perhaps I try to hone my skills first with a mFonken for the bedroom, before trying a Fonken-Steen.
Sounds like you've decided on Mark Audio drivers - hard to fault the choice. EL70 and presumably CHP70 will work quite nicely in the little "m" (for milli) enclosures - you'd definitely want to start with a simple design for a first build. Even after well over 5 yrs and many dozens of pairs, I can attest that the full sized "prime" enclosures are not an easy build.


BTW, Dave would correct you that it's Mar-Kel70, but I kinda like the Kal-el7 mis-speak myself - always a fan of that mythology.
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Last edited by chrisb; 29th May 2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 30th May 2011, 03:47 AM   #10
zman01 is online now zman01  Bangladesh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
BTW, Dave would correct you that it's Mar-Kel70, but I kinda like the Kal-el7 mis-speak myself - always a fan of that mythology.
Does sound kinda cool!

Pensil is one of the easier cabinets to build, nice size also. FH MK3 might be a just a little ahead of Pensil in terms of build complexity.

On getting your bill up to 60 euros (with stuff you can probably use) following ideas come to mind:

1. Buy another pair of CHP-70 - that way you get 2 more extra speakers for 30 euro more as you save the 20 euro shipping cost. You can use those drivers for another build at your leisure.

2. Buy a pair of Woofer #6 which you can use for FAST -Full range ASsiTed design later - basically having Woofers help out FR units in lower frequencies, giving your system more bass and power handling. A FAST will probably be a bi-amped system though.

-Zia
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