Please nudge a n00b in the right direction for cabinet/amp build.
I am brand new to DIY HiFi (or true HiFi for that matter), but poses the necessary skills to do the work and make it look good:D
My system at this time is nothing I would list here. Currently all my HiFi listening is done through headphones (SONY MDR-7509HD) from a PC (Creative SB X-Fi sound card), or rockboxed Sansa fuze using .flac/CD source or better. No mp3 here (well maybe some at 320kbps EAC'ed).
I have been reading anything I can get my hands on for the last 2 weeks, and ended up with a headache. Hoping that someone can shine a light here and nudge me along.
Here are the criteria in no particular order at this point:
- fullrange obviously hoping for no crossover.
- cabinet size hopefully on the order of Dallas II.
- flexibility as I will move few times in next couple of years and placement will most likely be not the best.
- I listen to a very varied music. classical, jazz, electronic, rock, indie, hip hop etc. better the system the more variations.
Here is what I think I want:
- Fostex 206en (EnABLE them) seems to me that no replacement for displacement (car reference) 8 inch easier to do bass. No?
- BB ply or something close for construction
- powered by lm1875 (built by me soon)
- TL-BLH hybrid enclosure of some kind - lost here the most
Here is what I think I know:
- Dallas II - not a true BLH, (mouth size) not accounted for TL?
- MDF, chipboard, etc bad for medium-large cabs
- I don't know enough and suck at math (I have BFA :o)
Well thanks for reading...
If you are not decided on going Fostex only, I would suggest you also take a look at the Mark Audio Alpair 12P (6.5") and the Alpair 10.2 (5.5") in Pensil boxes.
I have experience with the Alp 12 metal (previous gen) in Pensil 12 cabinets and they handle jazz, new age instrumentals, pop, electronica, and classical well. Metal is ok but lot of the recordings are on the thin side which will probably sound fuller on a less revealing system. The Pensil 12 do a great job with HT too, specially with a powerful amp.
I have a pair of Alp 12P breaking in and it will be a while before I get them in boxes - so cannot comment first hand on the overall performance of the drivers - however folks who have heard them, like them. You can look up diyAudio memeber Craigtone's build of a Pensil 12P and his listening imporessions.
Folks who have built the Pensil 10.2 floorstander, Bob Brines MLTL or other bookshelf designs with the Alpair 10.2 are mostly a happy lot too. Though a 5.5" driver, the Alp 10.2 has a reputation of having very good bass response.
The Mark Audio Alpair drivers though having smaller cones size vs something like a Fostex FE206E do have more excursion and can reproduce impressive bass in much smaller cabs vs the Fostex, which is primarily designed to be used in BLH type cabinets like the Dallas. The Pensil cabinets are much smaller and definitely will have higher WAF, plus movement, placement, and construction is easier, much easier. :)
For amps, take a look at the Class D amps too.
p.s. Look up a few reviews of the Asus Xonar cards when you have time. Even the budget ones are reputed to be pretty good for audio.
I endorse zman01's recommendation of A12P. The detail level, even at low volume and rich sound is miles ahead of the FE206En.
The A12P in the Superpensil should suit many tastes and is in fact capable of true high end reproduction.
The 206 series is very popular, but then until a few years ago it didn't have that much competition in its price class. Personally I find that you can easily find better these days.
For a good bass (and good overall tonality as well) which is important for your wide musical choices, also investigate the FF225WK, but you'll need to add a tweeter on top. Still I also prefer it over the FE206En.
There are other interesting choices like the Tangband 8" models but I haven't heard them.
A few thoughts:
second Zia's notes on both the larger Fostex drivers, as well as the A10.2 - the "bass monster" ;) of the Mark Audio line, particularly in a full size MLTL such as Brines' enclosure or Pensil, or the more ambitious Silbury . I've built / heard at least one of several sizes of the above design styles with a range of drivers, and if domestic acceptance factor is at all significant an MLTL type is probably the safest bet.
From my listening to date, the 12P likes a larger enclosure than the 10.2 to deliver its full measure of magic.
yes to BB or other high quality multi-ply plywood, or even decent particle board over MDF for sonics
a well executed analog chip or digital amp (power supply is king) can be very satisfying
nobody sucks at higher math more than I, but thanks to the design acumen of folks like Dave, Scott and Bob, anyone who can cut wood and keep their fingers intact can create a great sound speaker system for very low cost
Man what a great community!!!
Thanks guys. I will read all I can about the 12P. I am a product designer by education, and an apprentice at a furniture woodshop collective by trait. I am quite capable of very ambitious designs.
Silbury, interesting, I have not come across that one yet. Hmmm lets read about that too.
SuperPensil, I read that it has less bass than Pensil, is that subjective? (can of worms open) I guess I mean doesn't go as low.
I will be here daily so get used to lots of questions (promise i will search first ;) )
Domestic front I am working on as we speak. You give some, and you take some. Negotiations are a key ;). Plus, I think I can make most of them look real nice. BIB is out of the question ha ha.
Silbury is part of the this design family:
Woden Design | Mark Audio
There are also variants of these enclosures for similarly sized Fostex drivers ( V-bomber series)
I've heard the Maeshowe / Valiant with MA A7.3 / Fostex FE126En, and Victor with Fostex FE166En, and FE166ESR - all are great performers, with slightly different flavors - none are tiny (shortest comes in at 60") - but they can be made pretty.
FWIW convincing yourself you want an FR is not a good idea IMHO.
I've nothing against them, as an aquired taste, but they wouldn't be
my first foray into genuine hifi, your only going to confuse yourself.
Read the FAQ's here :
A very good first speaker to build for a gain clone is :
IMO a great attempt at real high quality on a budget.
Make a good job of them, and they will stand as a great reference
for future speaker builds, of any sort. A high quality 6.5"/1" two
way making a decent attempt at real bass extension really is
where proper hi fi for music starts without a subwoofer.
YMMV, but IMO don't be seduced by nebulous theory of FR's.
Also FWIW my favourite budget hifi amplifier is a used Pioneer
A300X, which can go for silly money, as you can see here :
Pioneer A300X Integrated Amplifier with phono inputs | eBay
You couldn't hope to build anything remotely as good for $100.
Again for hifi, a very good reference point for future builds.
Top the lot off with a with a nice used Marantz SE CD player for
about $50, or a nice vinyl source which will run to $300 plus.
A10.2 is understandable, but A12P in Pensil has less bass extension than A7.3? Despite have much lower Fs, higher xmax, bigger cone?
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