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Old 18th September 2011, 12:26 AM   #1
cberger is offline cberger  United States
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Default n00b alert: no clue and wanting to build a chang

Hi all,
Since having a full-time job, 2 kids, various pets and a wife is not as exciting as it used to be, I started looking into doing something useful: building my own speakers, just for fun, and because I could.
I stumbled onto this site through the frugal-horn.com site and figured that you guys probably forgot more about building speakers than I will ever know
Anyway, I looked at the various designs presented on that page and came across three designs that looked sorta easy to build:
The Chili Chang, the Gabriel, and the Calhoun. The problem with all three designs is: all the drivers they're using are no longer available.

I'd really like to build the Gabriel, because it's the smallest of the three, however, the FE127e used to have a fairly low power rating (30W I believe).
What I'd like to hook them up to is my A/V receiver, as a replacement/alternative/upgrade to my KEF KHT2005 speaker set, and I'm afraid that I'll blow up a driver like that with a 80+W amplifier.
So, the questions are (finally):
* has anybody built one of those designs with a driver that's actually available?
* is anybody thinking of updating the plans on frugal-horn.com with the changes for newer drivers (I've seen this thread here which is somewhat related: Frugel-Horn Mk3 Builds & Build Questions)
* which driver do you recommend that can handle loads as delivered by the amps in my receiver?

Thanks,
Christian

ps: I'm also in the market for a new a/v receiver so if anybody has any suggestions (5.1 is enough, should support hdmi 1.4a, cost zilch, and let me run up my self-made speakers)
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Old 18th September 2011, 02:45 AM   #2
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cberger View Post
Hi all,
Since having a full-time job, 2 kids, various pets and a wife is not as exciting as it used to be, I started looking into doing something useful: building my own speakers, just for fun, and because I could.
I stumbled onto this site through the frugal-horn.com site and figured that you guys probably forgot more about building speakers than I will ever know
Anyway, I looked at the various designs presented on that page and came across three designs that looked sorta easy to build:
The Chili Chang, the Gabriel, and the Calhoun. The problem with all three designs is: all the drivers they're using are no longer available.

I'd really like to build the Gabriel, because it's the smallest of the three, however, the FE127e used to have a fairly low power rating (30W I believe).
What I'd like to hook them up to is my A/V receiver, as a replacement/alternative/upgrade to my KEF KHT2005 speaker set, and I'm afraid that I'll blow up a driver like that with a 80+W amplifier.
So, the questions are (finally):
* has anybody built one of those designs with a driver that's actually available?
* is anybody thinking of updating the plans on frugal-horn.com with the changes for newer drivers (I've seen this thread here which is somewhat related: Frugel-Horn Mk3 Builds & Build Questions)
* which driver do you recommend that can handle loads as delivered by the amps in my receiver?

Thanks,
Christian

ps: I'm also in the market for a new a/v receiver so if anybody has any suggestions (5.1 is enough, should support hdmi 1.4a, cost zilch, and let me run up my self-made speakers)

Last question first: cost of zilch might be tough, but I'm reasonably happy with my Denon AVR1610 - any competent surround receiver should have adequate bass management functions built into the processing to avoid mangling any DIY speaker design you're likely to build

Secondly, yes, in his spare time, Dave will eventually get around to a thorough renovation of his websites (but like owning a home, the renos will never be "completed")

Thirdly, keep in mind that speaker power-handling ratings are one of many less than meaningful specifications - or at least not one that should dissuade you from trying out a particular driver.


The few full range drivers that we've manage to "blow up" were from misbehaving SS amplifiers - in one case by repeatedly hot swapping inputs on a unmuted, DC coupled amp, and the other by a shorted output drawing full DC rail through the output - nice warm orangey glow visible through the FE127E's paper dust cap.


Fourth, the worries over "obsolete" models of Fostex drivers that were used in several of the enclosures cited above have pretty much been assuaged by experience of several builders that have had opportunity to play with the new FF---WK series (ourselves included)

I'm sure other posters will have comments as well

the game's afoot!
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Old 18th September 2011, 03:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
Fourth, the worries over "obsolete" models of Fostex drivers that were used in several of the enclosures cited above have pretty much been assuaged by experience of several builders that have had opportunity to play with the new FF---WK series (ourselves included)
We are working thru revs of the BVRs (Changs) on FH.com, but pressure is on Scott to finsh his PhD thesis so don't hold your breath, hat eto see you turn purple

The new WKs will need all new Changs, althou they are OK in some of the old mass-loaded lines, they in general need smaller boxes than the FEs (for instance the FonkenWK is going to 9 litre base volume vrs 13 for the original.

Also given your HT receiver i would suggest looking at a driver that won't show the electronics at their worst. Have a look at the Lake District series.

dave
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Old 19th September 2011, 08:40 PM   #4
cberger is offline cberger  United States
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Thanks guys,

I appreciate the help. Another question and I admit that this has probably been answered (more than just) a couple of times: how do you optimize and enclosure for a driver? I know that there's sw out there to help with that, but I have no idea how much and at what stage that helps. I'd assume that it would require some sort of 3d cad component along with some simulation part that tests the enclosure's behaviour at various frequencies.
Would it make sense for me to take one of the chang designs, put it into one of those sw packages and run it with some up-to-date driver (like the ones used in the Lake District series that Dave proposed)?

Thanks,
Christian
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Old 19th September 2011, 09:48 PM   #5
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Christian:

One of my first pieces of advice is always to consider the application and venue into which a proposed new system will be put to use. In other words, how big is the room, single listener 2 channel music only or HT (and for how many), physical constraints, existing electronics ?.... etc.



Hopefully your wife won't read or misunderstand the sentiments expressed in the opening sentence of your first post this thread. It took me the best part of 30yrs to appreciate that while she might appreciate the potentially huge cost savings of building wonderful sounding speakers, it's probably still a good idea to consult first as to whether a pair of 5-6ft tall x 2ft or wider enclosures would be a good idea in the family room - particularly if there are small kids and or pets curious to play with / in any vent / slot big enough to stick some toys, their hands or head - or in the case of cats, on which to mark their territory . ( ask Dave about that)

The full sized members of the Chang family are double mouthed BVRs, and even for the smaller Fostex drivers aren't tiny (short) enclosures. Certainly they're not difficult builds, but neither are various more conventional looking (OK, maybe even boring) types like MLTLs or the Pensil resonant couplers, to name but a few.


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Last edited by chrisb; 19th September 2011 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 21st September 2011, 12:51 AM   #6
cberger is offline cberger  United States
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Hi Chris,

No worries, even though we're not close to the 30year mark, I understand the importance of the wife-acceptance factor when it comes to toys (it took me two years to convince her that I needed that new TI-frame for my bicycle after crashing with the Al one).
FWIW, the speakers would be mainly a learning exercise for myself and then used for HT + music, the room is small enough that a small-ish driver would be enough (4-5" should be fine). I also still have my sub, that should take care of the low frequencies if necessary.
We do have cats, but they've been pretty good so far with our furniture, but if there's anything that I can learn from Dave's experiences let me know. In that respect I'm more concerned about the earthquakes here, a box like a Chang with the narrow base could be a problem.

CB
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