Small Full Range driver selection
Looking for a driver selection, Full Range with this specifications:
- Max budget 300 U$S for a pair of drivers (US market)
- Avoid the use of BSC or other passive components between the amplifier and the driver.
-Max exterior diameter of 140 mm
Here my first selection:
- Mark Audio Alpair 7.3
Markaudio Alpair-7-Gen3 Grey Cone 4" Full Range: Madisound Speaker Store
- Fostex FX120
- Fostex FE108ESigma
- Tang Band W4-1879
- Tang Band W41320 SJ
- Tang Band W4-1337 SD
I will appreciate some feedback from other audiophiles which one could be the one. My tastes are for a sound dynamic, detail, and natural with good bass extension (I know, everyone is looking for that:D)
The Alapair 7.3 with the Fostex FX120 seems the best for me, but, never heard them.
Thank you in advance
I'll qualify this by first stating that it rather depends on what you'll be doing with them, & what the amplification will be. There are merits to all of the drivers you mention, so I'm sure you'll get a raft of different views.
The Tang Bands are good units; the 1337 has some HF breakup / peaking above ~10KHz, which you might need to filter. The other two are solid for what they are; I'm not fond of the looks of the 1879, but the spec. is solid. The Alpair 7 is very popular, & also a good unit, but unforgiving of source and amplification, and it's got a bit too much on the top end for my own taste (I prefer a gentler HF). The FE108ESigma is a bit of a wild-card amongst the other units you mention, since it's more of a mid-tweet. It does those duties well, but it has little linear displacement, & struggles to produce much in the way of LF, so I suspect it's unlikely to match your requirements.
Personally, I'd go with the FX120. Although it's often forgotten, it's a very nice little unit & my favourite wideband driver in the 4in - 5in size region. Reasonably low distortion, modest Xmax (for a Fostex), it's got a nicely linear response, decent efficiency, & it can be easily used in a wide variety of boxes. Nice looking unit too.
I have the 4" bamboo's (sd). They are clear, their resonances are not where shout nor silibance is. They add some clang to cymbals, but that's about all they do wrong, especially with the neo, shorting ring, and underhung. But don't expect too much bass (qts low, fs = 75hz).
I can't speak for any of the others.
Hi Scott, thanks for your feedback.
To add more lines to my specifications, the amplifier will be a Tripath based and later I would like to try a mosfet ClassA.
The room for this project is not big, 5 x 5 meters (16 x 16 feet), so not need for high sensitivity.
The FX120 is a 5", so, it should have some advantage in the bass response ?
The TB 1879 has a Fs of 55 Hz and Xmax of 5 mm..If the specs are right, this could give a very good potential for bass performance? But, how on mids and highs.
The Alpair7, upon your comments, mean that they are very detailed? Or forwarding sound ? This one seems also with good bass potential because its 4 mm Xmax?
Hi Norman. The TB are nice drivers I think too. But your point with that high Fs could be a minus for my choice between others drivers. The TB 1879 version has very good specs and graph....if all that data is accurate indeed :)
I will do a project with a enclosure, the size of this box is not a problem (No WAF vote) but to put in that room.
Then it is possible that it will go for smaller enclosure for whatch TV HT system, that is why the 140 mm diameter max.
Do you think that the FX120 has good highs over the 10K? Means not feeling to add a tweeter for them
Here two nice projects with the FX120
Fostex FX120 DIY Bass Reflex Bookshelf Speakers
Fostex FX120 DIY ML-TQWT (Transmission Line) Speaker Project
In the first there is a freq response measurement that shows a very good sensitivity over 10K.
The big advantage over the others is that is a 5" for my 140 mm max diam specifications.
All of the projects I've seen with the FX120 seem to reinforce its reputation as a solid driver, and probably one of the smoothest fostex drivers made. One of the reasons I purchased the tangband W5-1611 for my speakers was that it looked like an FX120 on the cheap: 5", usable xmax, (reasonably) smooth and extended FR.
Perhaps we can get Jeff to comment, He has both FX120 and Alpair7 in similar enclosures.
Note that the FX120 is a 4.5" (120mm) driver, same size as FE126/7 and not a 5". It is a very good driver, very smooth, i found it a bit dynamically constrained vrs the FE127. It has been a long time since i have heard it, so can't compare to anything i've heard more recently.
Dave, maybe we'll have to get together for a "shoot out" when the rains start.
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