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Old 30th August 2014, 10:37 PM   #1
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Question Fostex P1000E Speaker Kit?

I am considering picking up this DIY kit offered on Madisound here: http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...aker-kit-pair/
I am considering buying the kit with the Fostex Special 50th Anniversary FE103-SOL Limited Edition drivers. Can I get some feedback about what to expect from these, how they sound, if it's worth the money ($188 to my door), etc. This will be my first full rangers and it will be replacing a pair of Energy CB5s in my office at work and will be powered by a DIY 50wpc TPA3116 amp/6N3 tube preamp combo. If they are to my liking, I will probably replace my B&W DM-601 S3s I'm currently using in my home office. I'd eventually want to find a low powered, small tube amp to run them. As for listening habits at work, I usually listen to blues rock, metal, classical, country, and jazz at lower to mid listening levels. Many thanks for any info!

Cheers,
Jared

Last edited by audiophile03; 30th August 2014 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 31st August 2014, 02:41 AM   #2
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Any one of these drivers in this kit would be a great entry-level experience into this fine hobby! I say go for it!

Larry
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Old 31st August 2014, 10:18 AM   #3
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The 103 is an excellent driver of its type and has something of a cult following, especially in Japan (hence this SE version). It's not however ideal for heavier pieces when used in a small BR, although lower SPLs will ameliorate some of that. You'll probably find the balance skewed toward the upper end of the spectrum -if you like that of course, no problem, and it's not likely to be significantly worse off at the bottom end than the Energy CB5. They're also a little piece of history. I would however suggest you consider a larger cabinet, a different driver with a bit more bottom-end potential in modest box sizes, or even both, assuming you have sufficient space.

Either way, welcome to the hobby. You'll find it's not without interest.
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Old 31st August 2014, 01:39 PM   #4
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It's good on small acoustic, female vocals, early music. It's terrible (to my ears) on metal, trumpet sections (e.g., Frank Sinatra), big jazz horn sections, orchestral, unless it's at background "listening to the radio" levels. It just doesn't rock out without doing something or other unpleasant.

And it needs a sub. But other than those caveats, to me it's one of only three truly magical, ear-pleasing widebanders (of dozens) overall (in part because it nails the tone of sounds -- if you listen to TV, you might find yourself thinking that a cellphone, doorbell, knock at the door etc. is real rather than recorded). Wide dispersion, very pretty top end, many virtues, some vices.

But not versatile. Still, if it's magic you want, if you don't find it with that widebander (on the right material), chances are you don't like widebanders. I have two of those kits and for what they are, they are good. But a sub will be essential (especially because a sub makes low listening levels much more tolerable).

If you don't want a sub, an unfolded BiB would be the thing to try (in my limited experience). It's important that it be unfolded (or at the very least, inverted but unfolded sounds waaay better to me).
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Old 31st August 2014, 04:56 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your insight! Scottmoose, where might I find a kit with a bigger full range kit? I am a bit on a budget and this is for my office at work so I am not wanting something too fancy. As far as needing a subwoofer, I already have a nice little Polk 10" woofer sitting under my desk so I am not too worried about a lack of low end, especially since my Energy CB5's only reached down to about 70-75Hz. I am looking for something to cover what is left...say 70-80Hz and above with a more lush mid and high end reproduction. I do want to eventually replace my AV123 Onix Strata Mini's that are running my main 2 channel system with some larger full range speakers. I am running all tubes and think it would be a heavenly match!

Cheers,
Jared
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Old 31st August 2014, 06:14 PM   #6
Greg B is offline Greg B  United States
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I think you'll be happy with those for office use. I once had a pair of FE103 based speakers in my office, and they were just fine for any realistic spl levels. Yeah, it's true the FE103 is not great for metal, but that is true of clean and dynamic speakers in general. If you're using a computer as a source, you can always EQ in a BBC dip type response, which will help.

Oddly enough, I found the smaller 3" FE83 was a bit better for rock, probably because of its higher Qts and lower efficiency.
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Old 31st August 2014, 06:23 PM   #7
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I agree the FE83En seems to behave better in certain respects, and my theory was that whatever "sore spot" was getting shifted a lot higher in the treble, where it didn't matter as much. (I switch between those drivers but keep going back to the 103's for other reasons.)
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Old 31st August 2014, 06:39 PM   #8
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So, that being said, would you think it might be a better fit and/or bargain to buy their 3" kit instead? Here is their 3" kit: The Madisound Speaker Store
I would be looking at saving almost $60 going with a 3" instead of a 4" but I am willing to pay the extra money for the bigger speaker. Also, the 3" kit only comes with either the FE83En or the FF85WK drivers. Sorry for all the questions, I just rely on your expert opinions and listening experience to guide me toward the best option for my situation. Thanks again!

Cheers,
Jared
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Old 31st August 2014, 07:02 PM   #9
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Opinions will vary but personally, if I was using a sub at a desktop -- in that specific situation -- I'd get the FF85WK's in the smaller kit and save money and space (and it will sound lovely on the right material). It saves a bit of space (and the kit-boxes for the 103's could stand to be bigger for those drivers, in my opinion, i.e., are a bit too space-saving).

If you were building "freestanding" boxes for a hifi (vs. boxes on a shelf), personally, I like the 103's for that. Of course it's all funny because all the drivers mentioned are miniature compared to others, so we're splitting hairs somewhat.

If you were buidling a two-way with a big woofer, the choice might be harder (I think it would come down to the tone of each driver with the particular amp, so it's personal preference, but any of those would make good sounds).
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Old 31st August 2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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The child in me says to buy the 4" special edition but the conservative side says go with the 3" to save money. I am no good at building wooden objects but I can soldier up circuit boards like crazy. I am wanting to eventually learn how to make speaker enclosures but as of now, I don't have the time or tools to build my own. I guess further down the road, I can find someone on here or locally to build some suitable boxes for either speaker. Aaarg, I hate decisions like this .
Thanks for your input on these options rjbond3rd. It will help me with the final decision...

Cheers,
Jared

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Originally Posted by rjbond3rd View Post
Opinions will vary but personally, if I was using a sub at a desktop -- in that specific situation -- I'd get the FF85WK's in the smaller kit and save money and space (and it will sound lovely on the right material). It saves a bit of space (and the kit-boxes for the 103's could stand to be bigger for those drivers, in my opinion, i.e., are a bit too space-saving).

If you were building "freestanding" boxes for a hifi (vs. boxes on a shelf), personally, I like the 103's for that. Of course it's all funny because all the drivers mentioned are miniature compared to others, so we're splitting hairs somewhat.

If you were buidling a two-way with a big woofer, the choice might be harder (I think it would come down to the tone of each driver with the particular amp, so it's personal preference, but any of those would make good sounds).
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