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Old 9th April 2015, 04:40 AM   #1
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Default BLH for Fostex FE166eN

Hi Audio freaks
Want to dip my wick in the water with true Full range drivers. My first attempt was with a 4 speaker line array of Fountek FE 85's but soon realized they make a great upper bass/mid range in the right enclosure but not full range. They were redeemed with a Peerless HDS tweeter I had spare on top with matching efficiency.
From my research the Austin A166 Mk II looks like the best bet. Has anyone used this enclosure design with the Fostex FE 166eN as opposed to the now deleted FE166e this enclosure was originally designed for? and if so what are your experiences, advice, and any measurements that anyone might have taken. Subjective opinion is that this design is highly regarded as the most refined BLH or horn loaded reflex for this series of driver which seems to me a more accurate description. What I am seeking is any A/B measurements anyone has taken of the Fostex 166 series drivers and how it suits the "new"[since 2010] FE166eN compared to the older FE166e.
Many thanks in advance. thepath
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Old 9th April 2015, 05:04 AM   #2
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Hi,

Do you already have the Fostex FE166En?

If not, a relatively easier BLH to build is the Frugel-Horn, with 2 current models: The FH Mk3 for 4-4.5"drivers and the FH-XL for 5+ inch drivers.

You can take a looks at the Frugal Horn XL thread on diyAudio.
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Old 9th April 2015, 05:07 AM   #3
frugal-phile(tm)
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The FE166En should work fine in the A166 (note: FE166eN is what i called my modified FE166e). The size and damping in the air cavity might benefit from some adjustment.

I haven't heard the Austin with either the old or new driver, only having heard the FE166En, the FE166eSR, and FE166eN2 (a modified FE166En) in the Woden Victor where they are outstanding.

FE166En should also work OK in Frugel-Horn XL (reports of good performance with FE168eS are about), but A166 may be more optimum as the original target for the FHXL is drivers with higher Q..

The FE83 struggles with upper bass, it even has problems with much of the lower midrange, it is really a mid tweeter

dave
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the prompt replies. I have built speakers as a part time hobby for 35 years so I am not really after easy. and I want to try something to match the valve amps I am thinking of building around 5 w/rms 6AS7G triode based. I kind of thrive on a challenge Does Ron Clarke have any contact details I can E mail? I scored a Nad 310 for free that sounded pretty good[had a fading channel,cleaned with contact spray cleaner and now works PERFECTLY. Soon to be on its way to Richard McDonald for mods. I was thinking of building some LM1875 chip amps but for less money I think I can make the NAD sound better. Correction Richard Can. Sorry getting side tracked. True triodes and full rangers are an avenue of audio I have not fully explored. The FE 166eN seems to be the cheapest Good sounding [in the correct enclosure] high efficiency full range available. I like Ron's design purely because I think it looks nicer than the Terry Cain & BIB based designs that might suit this driver. Like some 50s SciFi eyeball staring at you from each corner of the room. Scottmoose from what I have read seems to like the Austin as well. The driver selection is set in concrete and the only consideration now is how to modify the Austin to suit the only real driver choice I have at the moment that suits my requirements. IE a low cost high performance Full Range Driver with[relatively] high efficiency. Available Here for $225 a pair + postage which compares very well with the Madisound price [loose 30% of this to compare in US Dollars] Again if Ron Clarke has any contact details I think that would be the best solution to my questions.
Cheers and many thanks Mark
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Old 9th April 2015, 07:07 AM   #5
frugal-phile(tm)
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Ron has been MIA for nigh a 1/2 decade now.

We built Austin A126.It us very good.

dave
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Old 9th April 2015, 11:37 PM   #6
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I had good results with this design using a Fostex Fe166 but I think that my line length was off. The goal is for a line length 1/4 of the driver free air resonance minus about five hertz. You can play with damping I think that the drawing will give you the general idea. I like Karlson's even though this is a departure from the traditional design. Best regards Moray James.
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File Type: jpg Moray James Karlson desigm.jpg (41.9 KB, 158 views)
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Old 10th April 2015, 02:14 AM   #7
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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if cramped for space, a Karlsonator 6 would work for FE166EN - -
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...49816297868412
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Old 10th April 2015, 03:41 AM   #8
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Hi and thanks for all the replies
I have trolled the web far and wide and studied as much as I can to show myself approved. I initially considered The Tang Band W 8 1772 but there seemed to be some design issues at X max namely the suspension rubbing causing excessive distortion. Many do not report this problem at all. The problem seems to show itself more with the TB W8 1808 with 2mm more x max than the 1772. Anyway decided that being a newbie to FR speakers I would start with a cheaper option would be the Fostex FE 166eN as there is a wider knowledge base and this series has been universally regarded highly as the best value for money price vs performance out there for nigh on 2 decades. Also and more importantly a large selection of proven Cabinet designs which I narrowed down to the Fostex factory design, the Madisound BK 16 Horn Kit and the Austin A166 Mk II
Moray James by"off" are you saying you made it [the rear firing reflex chamber] too long which would be difficult to correct. and by "good" do you mean that it did not meet your perceived expectations? Is this why you then tried the Karlson and found what you were looking for? Planet 10, this may be asking a dangerous question but very good compared to what? Hi Freddi My lounge room is the size of a small flat where Tannoy Canterbury SE's had room to breathe but thanks anyway.
It seems it is in this case a leap of faith as no one yet on line seems to have the information I am actually looking for. Many thanks to all.
Kindest regards Mark
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Old 10th April 2015, 05:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theaudiopath View Post
Planet 10, this may be asking a dangerous question but very good compared to what?
There have been many speakers thru here. They werm't my absolute favourite, but they were good enuff to live with. They worked well in my room -- they won't work well in many rooms. My wife wasn't a fab as they were tall enuff to block the TB fromthe dining table.

dave
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Old 10th April 2015, 09:52 PM   #10
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Mark - before making specific recommendations for either drivers or enclosure designs to someone whose experience / expectations is uncertain, I always like to start with a few questions:
1) venue - room size?
2) application - 2 channel audio only or to also accommodate surround / HT?
3) listening habits - music type (s) / listening levels?
4) amplifier type / power?
5) placement / WAF constraints re size / shape of enclosures


As Dave noted above, the Ron Clarke designed A126 was an excellent performer, and while we've not heard the Austin, by accounts of several builders, it is also.

I've heard the FE166E and ESR in a couple of designs not by Ron ( one of the monstrous Fostex fridges) and the Woden Victor. From reading of the drawings, although taller, I'd imagine the Victor to be a simpler build than the Austin - the trickiest cut being the curve to side panels.

Woden Design | Victor

Click the image to open in full size.

I can't specifically remember the 1808, but have heard the 1772 a couple of times. While neither the 166 or 1772 would be my first choice sonically, frankly of those two I probably preferred the TB.

If you already have the drivers in hand, or on order, you now have a couple of suggestions - if not, there are lots of other drivers worth considering.
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