Fostex FE163en-s Plans Build Thread - diyAudio
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Old 16th February 2014, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Fostex FE163en-s Plans Build Thread

I will be starting the build process for the FE163en-s Recommended Fostex back loaded horn plans found PDF HERE (pages 2) at the Madisound site. I'm pretty sure I got the last pair in North America from Solen, Quebec, of these limited production run Fostex's. From translating the Japanese Sites, only 100 were hand made in Japan, of which only 20 pair imported to the west.

After exploring the many options for a back a loaded horn(thank you to those who contributed on THIS thread), and discussing it with some people who have experience with this driver, I'm sticking with the tried and true plans.

Please consider this thread an on-going progress blog as I post pictures of the build, and address any challenges for those looking to build a similar Fostex enclosure.

But first, I have attached my cutting plans. I managed to squeeze all the panels into 2x 5'x5' (5/8" thick) Baltic Birch for both enclosures! The Japanese cutout plans are for a weird size we don't have her in North America, so I figure 5x5 is the most common, and more importantly, the only size available locally for Baltic Birch. Also, on the cutout plans, I have show the table saw ripping sequence, which is pretty straight forward, but helps take the guess work out when in my friends commercial wood shop.

I have also attached a colour coded assembly sequence drawing, which is a visual way to see what Fostex had in mind according to the plans.

The only pieces I couldn't fit on the 5x5 sheets is the stacked 'waveguide' at the mouth. (20,21,22,23,24). I have some extra BB scraps I can use, so hopefully others will improvise or have an extra small piece around. This could also be a angled piece instead of stacked, but I'm sticking with the plans. **edit** there is enough scrap pieces left over to stack together for this.

Download link to:
PDF of Sheet #1 5x5 (panel numbers correspond to Fostex Plan below)
PDF of Sheet #2 5x5
Color Coded Assembly Sequence
Fostex FE163en-s Horn Plans

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by croweproductions; 19th February 2014 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 18th February 2014, 11:07 PM   #2
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The build starts with 2 sheets of 5x5 Batlic Birch.

Click the image to open in full size.

I'm lucky enough to have access to a friends commercial wood shop. On a side note, he is only a few weeks away from getting his CNC router up and running, and open the door for doing some amazing speaker enclosures!

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Old 18th February 2014, 11:14 PM   #3
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Even though the Fostex plans are quite straight forward, its crucial to have the right equipment to get straight and square cuts, otherwise when the last side panel goes on, there will be gaps/leaks effecting bass output.

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Some of the pieces layer out, each one numbered according to the plans.

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Old 18th February 2014, 11:24 PM   #4
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The first sections for glueing are pretty straight forward. The Fostex plans show the assembly sequence, and its obvious they start out easy!

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

4 Hours later and a lot of glueing, things are taking shape. I used plenty of glue, with very light clamping. I used no brad nails or screws.

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Old 18th February 2014, 11:37 PM   #5
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I have seen many designs where builders have attempted to smooth the folded sections of the horn in an effort to improve efficiency. However, the Fostex plans are designed to act somewhat as a low pass filter. Lower frequencies tend to not be bothered by the folds, where higher ones get absorbed. So, expanding on that concept, I figured it would be ideal add absorbing material in the folds.
The tricky thing with these enclosures is that I only have one chance to add any sound absorbing material beyond the compression chamber. From what I have read, adding material to the throat (smallest part of the horn) can hinder efficiency, so it's best to leave it alone and add material at the 2nd and/or third bends where things start to open up more, and the material thickness has less of an effect on constricting things. I'm glad I did, as I still needed to add more later on.
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Old 18th February 2014, 11:46 PM   #6
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For the compression chamber, I wanted to avoid early reflections, so I added material on walls close to the driver. I can daily remove this later on, if I find that its too much. Also, when I cut out the speaker hole, I set the jig saw on 45deg and cut it out again to open it up more for the sound.

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Old 18th February 2014, 11:52 PM   #7
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Clamping the last panel is the most critical step in the assembly. I only had about 5 minutes before the glue set. Prior to this, I had to figure out a way to get the clamp pressure down the middle of the cabinet, as my clamps can only go around the outside. So I made braces that put pressure down the centre to ensure no air gaps between the baffles.

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So at a minimum, there are 12 clamps total. Remember to wipe the glue off with a wet cloth at every stage!!

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Old 18th February 2014, 11:56 PM   #8
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After assembly, I added poly fill (pillow stuffing) to the bottom of the mouth. I also added fill to the compression chamber (light amount).

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Old 19th February 2014, 12:16 AM   #9
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The finished product! I'm very happy with how the project turned out. It took about 10 hours from start to finish. The sound was a bit 'boomy' until I added the polyfill. The fill didn't reduce efficiency, it just deepened the bass.
Click the image to open in full size.
Compared to the bass reflex enclosures I had the Fostex's in before, the bass is so much better. Not just in output quantity, but quality as well. The texture, and speed (bass notes start and stop instantly, that is what I mean by speed) is amazing. Listening to music late last night, a song with piano stood out. I have never heard a piano sound so real. The lower register keys moved air in the room with authority.

It's also beyond physics to watch the little 6.5" cone barely move, yet produce bass output that feels like a 12" woofer. Very cool.

It's also interesting how the midrange and highs have improved as well. I'm not sure if this is because the load has shifted the impedance effecting other frequencies, but overall it sounds flatter, and more refined.

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Old 19th February 2014, 12:19 AM   #10
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Nicely done - 10hrs all in, impressive
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