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Old 16th February 2014, 06:45 PM   #1
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Default Help Picking a driver

Hi All,

I'm having trouble deciding between Fostex 206en or 166en for a. My current reference is a pair of Altec Lansing 605b I inherited from my grandfather who built them. Upon first hearing those I realized what I had been missing. The mid range! All commercial speakers I've heard seem to have lots of bass and decent treble but no depth in the mid range.

I'm a professional classical musician and as such hear music with a critical ear and as an expression of life. When I put on a recording of a great violinist or violist (i'm a violist btw) I want it to sound like he's in the room. I've experienced that with the Altecs and am looking for something similar at an affordable price ~$100-150/driver.

Ultimately I plan to build 2 pair. 1 for the living room--currently a large open room ~15'x40' with oak floors, and 1 for my private teaching studio--carpeted and size of a large bedroom but an off L shape though this will change w/in 5 years so the studio speakers need to be good no matter what studio sized room they're in.

I haven't decided if I will add a sub or not. I know that it's better to, but am trying to keep cost down. I'm more likely to add a sub at home than the studio since it will get more use.

Aesthetically my favorite design so far is the abby. I'm also toying with the the idea of something from the spawn family. I would prefer to keep the project simple and do not want to design it from scratch nor have to fuss with a bunch of calculations. Am looking to use someone's pre-existing plans.

So, am I headed in the right direction or should I consider something else?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 16th February 2014, 07:55 PM   #2
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Tall order trying to approach performance of 605s with any FR driver, much less in the $100-150 range, but you might to add Alpair 10 or 12P , or SEAS F22 to your short list.
Of the current Fostex that I've heard and /or are within your budget, I'd suggest the FF165 or 225WK - mind you with the latter, a tweeter might very be considered mandatory

In the larger room (600ft^2), you'll almost certainly need bass support, and from my experience a couple of smaller "sub's" provide more even distribution
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Last edited by chrisb; 16th February 2014 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 16th February 2014, 11:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions. Did you mean the 225wk? I couldn't find a 205wk online. Also had a hard time finding the SEAS F22. Could you provide a link? I could maybe stretch the budget a bit.... but remember there's a wife to convince too :-p helps a little that she's also a musician.

Something I might consider is moving the 605s to the living room where I'd rather do more of the music listening anyway. Right now they're in the basement in my dedicated theater room. That might take some of the "pressure" off the performance requirement since music is really where it matters. Also, the altec's are in octaginal cabinets that have 1" thick solid slate tops and were built to double as end tables.
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Old 17th February 2014, 01:28 AM   #4
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Sudoku View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. Did you mean the 225wk? I couldn't find a 205wk online. Also had a hard time finding the SEAS F22. Could you provide a link? I could maybe stretch the budget a bit.... but remember there's a wife to convince too :-p helps a little that she's also a musician.
Yes, typo on the model number
Quote:

Something I might consider is moving the 605s to the living room where I'd rather do more of the music listening anyway. Right now they're in the basement in my dedicated theater room. That might take some of the "pressure" off the performance requirement since music is really where it matters. Also, the altec's are in octaginal cabinets that have 1" thick solid slate tops and were built to double as end tables.
Sounds like a plan.... of course that might require a new rig for the "theatre"

There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza

SEAS F22:

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...8-8-fullrange/

Dave, what sized box did we put these in?
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Last edited by chrisb; 17th February 2014 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 17th February 2014, 02:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
what sized box did we put these in?
About 50 litres sealed. Recycled KEF Calinda boxes.

dave
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Old 18th February 2014, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
Yes, typo on the model number
Sounds like a plan.... of course that might require a new rig for the "theatre"

There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza

SEAS F22:
My current theater setup uses the altec's for the front and 4 jamo classic 4 bookshelfs for the satellites, jamo center, and 1 jamo sub. Pioneer 1523k receiver. If I move the altec's to the LR I'd likely stick with one of the short list speakers and just use them in the theater.

For the 225 what do you recommend for a tweeter? I'm leaning against that route though cause the decent ones I've heard of, t90, for example would effectively double or triple the cost of each speaker.

What kind of enclosures are best for the wks, seas, and alpair? plans for those seem to be a bit harder to find. Any recommendations? Or are they pretty much interchangeable with the designs I'm already considering (abby inspired/spawn family double horn)?

One day I may also try my hand at building a low wattage class A or tube amp for the listening room... but not anytime soon. So, I'm a fan of highly efficient speakers.

In my shoes, which from that short list would you build a pair of for a main music stereo set (figure adding a sub) and which would you build if it were going to be for the front L/R speakers in a dedicated theater (14'x20')?

Last edited by Count Sudoku; 18th February 2014 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 18th February 2014, 05:54 PM   #7
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Only if you limit yourself to Fostex horn tweeters. Which are very good, but there are alternatives out there; some of the magnetostatic / isodynamic tweeters (they look & in many ways behave like ribbons in terms of the results you get, though technically are different) are very good performers.

605b? You're going to have a difficult time matching that with widebanders. Altec knew what they were doing (audio understatement of the year there?) Not that widebanders are bad (the good ones can be very good) but you're not comparing like with like. That said, midrange is what they generally do well. The 225 as Dave & Chris suggest, + supporting tweeter (try a HiVi or Monacor) would be a good choice. Ditto for the Alpair 12P, although it's not quite as large. Some rate the larger Audio Nirvana drivers, although I'd be a trifle wary -the necessary enclosure sizes get very big for optimal performance (generally a lot larger than the boxes nominally recommended). I keep meaning to do a big vented box for that one using one of my preferred quasi-pro audio alignments.
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Old 18th February 2014, 08:05 PM   #8
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If I add a tweeter, won't I also need a passive crossover?
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Old 18th February 2014, 08:11 PM   #9
Decker is offline Decker  United States
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I am using the 166en drivers, and I like them a lot. But you will need a woofer/subwoofer with them. On an 24" wide by 36" tall open baffle, they seem to roll off somewhere south of 200 hz. I use Eminence Alpha 15 woofers with a 12 db/octave active crossover set at about 125 hz, and no supplemental crossover on the Fostex's, and this seems about right.
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Old 18th February 2014, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Sudoku View Post
If I add a tweeter, won't I also need a passive crossover?
Yup. This is not a problem. There are crossovers, and then there are crossovers. Bad ones cause problems. Good ones should not. And generally do not. Alas, not all of them are good. It depends what it is you are doing. Although as a personal thing, I would avoid one around the 2Khz - 3KHz region, where human hearing is at its peak efficiency, like the plague.
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