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Old 12th March 2014, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default Fe-103En - FE-126En

Gents, help me out here. I've build in the past the FF125WK and later the FF105WK metronome.

Now son-in-law wants to build some desktop speakers and I'm attracted to recommending either the FE-103En or the FE-126En.

Apparently the FE-103 is a "cult" driver in Japan and the FE-126En has been mentioned as "the hardest driver to get to sing". I've seen the full range reference thread and the folded Voigt and the FH3. The latter is just too big for a desk but down the line might be an alternative housing for a FE-126En.

The BK101 horn can go on a desk and is one option I've considered too.

I never liked a pure BR but someone may convince me otherwise.

What are your ideas I give as a suggestion to him - I'm trying to keep it simple but do not want mid range (vocal) performance to suffer. The metronome is not the easiest build to get perfect, I like something that can be done easily on a table saw and all panels having more or less the same width.

Amplifier will be 6BQ5 SE in triode mode.
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Old 12th March 2014, 07:20 AM   #2
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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I'm not sure if an 85dB efficient driver is enough for you but as a desktop speaker maybe you can go with something lower since it is very near field? I can say that the TC9FD sounds very good for vocals (and just about everything else) due to its great smooth flat response and uniform directivity. It may be inexpensive but certainly does not sound cheap. I had good luck with a dual chamber reflex alignment for a desktop speaker - see this thread: Viva la Vifa! Curvy Cabinet DCR with TC9FD
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Old 12th March 2014, 07:30 AM   #3
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About the smallist box you can get bass out of the FE126En is the BK12m or FH3.

FE103eN will go into an ~ 3.3 litre reflex box.

FF125wk or FF105wk are better suited to small (reflex) boxes.

I am not a fan of the typical reflex box, but the alignment used in the miniOnken with their high ratio vents work quite well.

I'd do FF105 in about 5 litre.

dave
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Old 12th March 2014, 08:16 AM   #4
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Thanks - I'm not a fan of using foam board.

As mentioned before not a fan of the typical bass reflex, especially in small boxes. Voice coil heats up and the specs can change considerably throwing tuning out of whack. This is what I liked about the metronome - hardly any impact of changing the tuning, not critical at all.

I like the FH3 design, reminds me of a Voigt pipe with some horn loading of the mouth. Would it take the FE103En, do you know of anyone that has done that?

This time I prefer my son-in-law uses either the Fe103En or the FE126En since I have not that much faith in a foam surround. I have some old National Panasonic drivers that have an impregnated linen surround that are over 40 years old and still in good going order. Doubt that foam will last that long regardless of its quality. It does not matter too much for me since I doubt I'll see the foam deteriorated. (I'll be gone before then). But son-in-law is half my age so want him to enjoy them for as long as possible.

(I had a moment I was considering the FE108 Sigma but from the pictures I see that it is some foam too)

PS The FF105WK is presently my favoured driver - have several times tried the Monitor Audio Studio 12's in its place and they always got removed after a short time.

Last edited by AmadeusMozart; 12th March 2014 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 12th March 2014, 10:02 AM   #5
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Foam core not withstanding, the driver and alignment would still be good as desktop speakers. Planet10 said he bought 4 of the Vifa's to compare against the usual drivers. Maybe we will know how they fared against the Fostex one of these days.
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Old 12th March 2014, 02:24 PM   #6
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Reflex boxes aren't necessarily all that bad. They're a vented alignment, like any other, & effectiveness depends on the quality of the design.

There's foam & there's foam. Most of the newer types have far less in the way of UV issues than the old ones. However, I can understand why people would avoid it, given the option (frankly, I would too).

The 103 is a rather more balanced unit than the 126, which behaves rather like a baby Lowther. It is something of a cult in Japan, & Fostex fool with its basic character at their peril (as they discovered about 15 years back). It will go in FH3 (which is not a Voigt pipe with a horn added to it by the way, though it is a Voigt style horn inasmuch as that is simply another name for a tapped horn, aka a horn where a driver is tapped into the expansion path at x distance from the throat depending on the design. For the sake of interest, the Danley style boxes are actually double-tapped, since the driver excites the horn at two different locations in the expansion path) but is not ideal -dynamic range will suffer a bit. Should be a pleasant enough combination though providing you're able to boundary load them & are primarily thinking of acoustic material.

From the above, of the two En units mentioned, I personally prefer the 103, as you can probably guess, but YMMV on that front. It's a bit easier to work with & is better behaved in the upper midband / HF.

FWIW -I would forget the BK101. It's not great. 'Desktop horn' is a bit of an oxymoron. Not entirely (partly depends what you mean by it also) -I've done one (Sea Slug) for the FF85wk that should be a reasonable performer within its milieu. But it's not going to rival a full-size or larger design in terms of LF extension, dynamic range etc.
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Old 12th March 2014, 05:06 PM   #7
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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"baby Lowther" - first time I've heard that analogy - as in, "when I grow up, I promise to be even more annoying to work with - love me or not, I won't give a rip"

as a Fostex fan from way back, I'd have to agree with Scott's assessment of the 103 - many of us DIY hacks cut our teeth on numerous versions of the model - it does so many things well that for me its shortcomings are easier to overlook than the 126

that said the 126 certainly has its place - particularly so in a "fuller" sized BLH -several excellent designs of which have been penned by Dr Moose.
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Old 12th March 2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmoose View Post
I would forget the BK101
I can second that. I have a pair in my box room. For a lot less wood and a lot less effort a smaller BR can be made to work better.

dave
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Old 12th March 2014, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmoose View Post
... the 126, which behaves rather like a baby Lowther...
It can be tamed.

Tou might well consider one of the small Mark Audio as well. A6.2p works nicely in 5 litre, with a range of larger enclosures (including an unreleased Woden Missle series TL (still small)).

dave
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Old 12th March 2014, 06:29 PM   #10
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These little buggers sure impress me.

Vocal Reproduction by back loaded horn speaker Torvi-C08 - YouTube

Here's a link to the plans.

ƒXƒs[ƒJ[H–[ blue*drop -home

Drop in some 103's and I bet you wouldn't be sorry.
I'm a 103 owner too, love them.

Last edited by cradeldorf; 12th March 2014 at 06:36 PM.
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