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Old 29th November 2012, 07:58 PM   #1
Doug R is offline Doug R  United States
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Default What to do with "Vintage" Radio Shack Speakers

Hi All,
I have pairs of RadioShack 40-1197 and 51-075 speakers.
I have just been reading much (but certainly not all!) of the Enabl treatment threads, and it sounds fun to try.

Are the drivers worth messing with? How do they compare to the current good stuff, like Mark Audio, Creative Sound, etc.?

I like to build things, and have a lot of woodworking experience.

Associated equipment:
300b amps
12B4 tube line stage
Hagerman Octal Cornet, plus Salas JFET RIAA (just finishing)
Modded AR The TT; Grado Gold, Linn Basik arm (finishing up a Nanook arm)

Currently listening to Lynn's Ariels.

Thanks!

Doug

Last edited by Doug R; 29th November 2012 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:18 AM   #2
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Default please clarify

You will surely receive a few opinions. Are they blue box or purple box or ...?
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:17 AM   #3
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With what you have spend in electronics, I wouldn't screw with bottom of the barrel drivers. While the Foster/Fostex FE103 line has a following, you can do much better.

Bob
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:48 PM   #4
Doug R is offline Doug R  United States
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Grindstone: Not sure if its blue or purple. I'm kind of colod blind. I'd say blue for the 1197's.

Bob:
You are quite right. I would not imagine them replacing my Ariels, although some of Planet10's probably could.

After posting, I stumbled across the Corfu spiral thread (Construction Tips forum - Using foamboard for speaker boxes. Looks like a fun thing to try.

Still open to suggestions.

Thanks,
Doug
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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Doug, I have recently moved the Foam thread to the Full Range forum. I may get a chance to finish the Cornu tonight and this weekend and will have some impressions for you. I have a couple versions of the Fostex FE103, the precursor made by Foster [10F3] and the other is the holey basket from Coral. They both have merits.
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Old 30th November 2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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Personally, I'd see if you can put them in a simple vented box. That's what I've done with the successor / current model, the FE103En. It has an Fs of 83Hz, smooth treble, excellent dispersion, fantastic imaging and great bang for the buck.

I have them running off a 2-watt SET, on a wall-mounted shelf. The best thing about them is tone. An instrument sounds convincing. When we listen to movies, it's unnerving how realistic doorbells, knocking, cellphones, etc. sound -- we are often looking around to see if someone is really knocking at the door.

Drawbacks:

* they sound better when high-passed above ~80Hz (to avoid over-excursion)
* they could use a sub (unless you listen to just small-scale acoustic music)
* despite the smooth response, they can't do the horns in an old Frank Sinatra record
* orchestral will obviously sound "radio-like" compared to larger speakers
* they aren't the final word in anything, but they have a good combination of positive qualities at a bargain price (in your case, free)

So as long as you have them already, you might as well put them in a properly sized and tuned vented box, placed near a wall boundary, and see what you think (assuming you are so inclined).
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Old 30th November 2012, 10:38 PM   #7
djn is offline djn  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Brines View Post
With what you have spend in electronics, I wouldn't screw with bottom of the barrel drivers. While the Foster/Fostex FE103 line has a following, you can do much better.

Bob
I'm with Bob. I have or have had all the gear you mentioned and I think it is wasted on those drivers. Those would be great for a computer or garage speaker. If you really really want to go full range single driver and can afford them, you might want to look at the Feastrex D5e Type I field coils. Those and the gear you have would make a world class system. Good luck.

http://www.feastrex.com/products.html#4

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Old 30th November 2012, 10:48 PM   #8
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug R View Post
Grindstone: Not sure if its blue or purple. I'm kind of colod blind. I'd say blue for the 1197's.

Bob:
You are quite right. I would not imagine them replacing my Ariels, although some of Planet10's probably could.

After posting, I stumbled across the Corfu spiral thread (Construction Tips forum - Using foamboard for speaker boxes. Looks like a fun thing to try.

Still open to suggestions.

Thanks,
Doug
I would try these with the Cornu spirals if you make them all out of foam core board as the cost is negligible. I think you will be surprised how good cheap speakers can sound. I am quite sure that the Vifa tc9fd's I used are not as good as what you have here and they sound wonderful in the Cornu.
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Old 30th November 2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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I can only speak regarding the current-model FE103En, and please don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Feastrex but despite their -many- fine qualities and -exceptional- build quality, they won't really outperform the FE103En's by the common measures, e.g., they won't go deeper in the bass, and the dispersion will be not quite as good.

Strange but true. Anyway, I totally agree with the general principle that one should buy really good drivers, and by all means, get the Feastrex but don't automatically expect, for example, a lower Fs just because the price is so much higher.
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Old 1st December 2012, 09:42 AM   #10
Doug R is offline Doug R  United States
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Thanks Everyone.
DJN: I hadn't checked out the Feastrex drivers before, but can't see any indication of prices. They sure lok expensive though.

I may give the Cornu's a shot out of curiosity. If I do decide to go for some first-rate speakers, I will definitely look at some first-rate drivers.

Thanks
Doug
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