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Old 3rd April 2005, 08:12 AM   #1
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Default Fostex 166ES-R sucess/failures

Thought I'd restart the Fostex 166ES-R Thread for the completed projects- lets see what your done.
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“I’m a great artist – I can paint an apartment in a weekend” – opps – that’s the joke about Hitler.

But that’s the extent of my painting skills – slosh a bit of emulsion on walls. So painting a bit of furniture i.e. my BLH cabinets was a bit daunting. All this was still only an experiment into BLH’s so I wasn’t going to go out and buy a decent (and expensive) spray gun and compressor. Hell I might only spray a few cabinets a year – if that.

So I went out and bought a Wagner 640 electric spray gun (no laughs please), procedure: -

1. All MDF edges firstly primed with two coat 50/50 glue/water to seal edges
2. One coat MDF primer all over with a brush, stuff I bought was too thick to spray.
3. Sand down primer
4. Two spray coats acrylic primer/sealer undercoat, each coat sanded to form base coat for finish
5. Three (just) coats sprayed Dulux Glimmer “Night Stone” first coat sanded, second wire wooled

Lessons

1. Serious spaying needs serious equipment!
2. I probably should have sanded the MDF primer coat down a lot more but the two build coats finally hid the imperfections here!
3. The Wagner just doesn’t produce a fine enough spray for this sork of work.

For this one off test it was just about acceptable but I wouldn’t use it if these were to become my main room cabinets. I would also guess it’d be useless for auto/2 pak paints.

I tried the “Glimmer” effect to see if it’d hide slight edge flaws which I knew were there – it didn’t. As everyone says – sand – sand – sand, oh and sand.

I’m being critical of myself here but overall for a beginner the final finish is quite acceptable and if I’d have worked the edges a bit more would be pretty good but only because of the “special effect” paint.

More pics - http://www.greenie512.net/greenie512/html/finished.html
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Old 3rd April 2005, 08:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fostex 166ES-R sucess/failures

Quote:
Originally posted by greenie512
As everyone says – sand – sand – sand, oh and sand.

You forgot sanding and sanding. Oh, and a bit of sanding down doesn't hurt either!


Nice looking boxes BTW.
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Old 4th April 2005, 06:55 AM   #3
rray786 is offline rray786  United States
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Default Re: Fostex 166ES-R sucess/failures

Quote:
Originally posted by greenie512
I’m being critical of myself here but overall for a beginner the final finish is quite acceptable and if I’d have worked the edges a bit more would be pretty good but only because of the “special effect” paint.

Hi Phil,

Your cabinets look great! But, you didn't mention how they sound. Are you happy with the sound? I built the Swan D-168 for my 166esr drivers. I've only built one so far. And it's the first major woodworking project I've done since high school. (I'm now 50.) My swan is made out of ¾ inch oak plywood because I didn't want to fool around with veneer or paint. Here's a picture (hopefuly) of the internal panels. I've labeled the panels in case anyone wants to compare them to the drawing. Note that I made a slight change in the layout. I made the bottom panel the same width as the internal panels. I figured that this would make it easier to align the panels. And it gave a smoother look to the outside of the box.
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Old 4th April 2005, 06:55 AM   #4
rray786 is offline rray786  United States
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I lined the entire length of my D-168 with small "rainbow" river rock on two adjacent sides and the bottom. I only compensated for the volume of the rock on the back of panel 9 and the CC because I wasn't planning on lining the rest of the horn. However, when I yelled through the top of the bare box, it boomed and echoed like crazy. Since I have a dead room, I didn't want to use sound absorbing material. So I decided to line the rest of the horn with river rock even though I didn't account for the extra volume of the rock. The lining mellowed out the horn but it still echoes slightly when I yell through it. A little sound absorbing material (fiberglass is all that I had on hand) on the back panel of the mouth kills most of the echo. By the way, the rock added about 65 pounds to the weight of the cabinet! The rock also deadened the plywood panels. For the Swan, I think this is a good thing because the panels vibrate quite a bit and some of them are dissonant to each other. As you can see in this photo, I filled in the "vent" with urethane foam because it rang like crazy at the resonant frequency of the vent. I didn't think that this was a good thing. But, I'm a novice so what do I know
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Old 4th April 2005, 06:55 AM   #5
rray786 is offline rray786  United States
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I didn't like the looks of the D-168 so I made some slight design changes. As previously mentioned, I filled in the vent with urethane foam. So, I didn't cut a vent opening on the outside of the cabinet. I also pushed the CC all the way forward and created a false front and sides. The CC is expanded and lined with river rock. The throat is lined with river rock on two adjacent sides. I only partially compensated for the volume of the rock in the throat because I didn't compensate for the rock in the rest of the horn. Here's a photo of my nearly completed cabinet. All I need to do is to add a final finish. But, I probably won't do that until I build the other one.

So, how does it sound? Well, I've only built one so far. So I'll defer final judgment until I finish the other one. It sounds very promising, though. It is much more open than the small BR in the other channel. Plus the shrillness appears to be gone. It still might be a bit bright but I can work with that. And there's plenty of clean, tight bass. I can hardly wait to build the other one!

Sincerely,
Rich Raymond
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Old 4th April 2005, 08:16 AM   #6
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Ray – love the look of your first cabinet. Before I finished your posting and saw the picture I’m wondering what this “river rock” sound deadening product was – I hadn’t see that on the market………. Hell, you mean RIVER ROCK.

And I though my cab were heavy at about 70 Kg each – all external panels doubled to 36mm. I had to go and buy a trolley to get them 30m from shed to lounge. You must need a hoist???

Sound – I’d read on the other threads that the 166es-r sounded shrill/no bass but I think this was in open baffles and temporary boxes. Straight into the recommended BLH’s I’m very impressed. Mine are not shrill, have good body and are wonderful on voice. For the first few days they seemed a bit boxy/chesty but that has gone.

Great on jazz, acoustic music, folk and “real” instruments can cope quite well with “light” rock (Dire Straits etc) but struggle with elctro/synth (but who care about that crap).

If I hadn’t built a pair of Seas Thor transmission line speakers 5 months ago I’d be quite happy to leave these as my main speakers. In fact they’ll hang around in the system for some time but ultimately the can not compete with the Thor’s sheer clarity and ultimate presentation.

I can see why valve freaks love these kinda speakers I have my (trannie) pre amp on half it’s normal volume with ample SPL’s.

The BHL helps with sound reinforcement and bass but I have a sub playing as well with just give it that extra edge.

Ray, could you give me a link to the Swan design so I can see a construction drawing.
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Old 4th April 2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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Ray, forgot to ask - where did the idea of lining cabinet in rock come from?

I know you've go lots of non-uniform curved edges now but doesn't this make for a hard/reflective and non-sound absorbant enviroment???

Interesting though - I suppose you used construction glue to fix them all - you must be a very patient man - one at a time.
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Old 5th April 2005, 03:05 AM   #8
rray786 is offline rray786  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by greenie512
And I though my cab were heavy at about 70 Kg each – all external panels doubled to 36mm. I had to go and buy a trolley to get them 30m from shed to lounge. You must need a hoist???
Hi Phil,
Well, My cabinet weighs about 125 pounds (57 kg). So the rock doubled the weight of my plywood cabinet. Maybe your MDF is actually made out of rock!

Quote:
Ray, could you give me a link to the Swan design so I can see a construction drawing.
Andrew (Andrewbee) posted it in the "Fostex 166ES-R; reviews, cabinets, & notch filters" thread. He deserves the kudos for posting the link. Scroll down to find the Swan D-168. Here is the link again:

http://homepage3.nifty.com/spida/eng-page9-1-4.htm

Quote:
Originally posted by greenie512
Ray, forgot to ask - where did the idea of lining cabinet in rock come from?
From one of Blackie's (noisenyc) threads. (The "fostex bk-16" thread.) Thanks Blackie!

Quote:
I know you've go lots of non-uniform curved edges now but doesn't this make for a hard/reflective and non-sound absorbant enviroment????
Yep. That's the whole idea. It doesn't make a whole bunch of sense to me to put sound dampening material into a horn -- the idea of a horn is to amplify the sound. But, something needs to be done to tame the frequency spikes caused by the 90 degree bends. Most Swan builders use a sound absorbing material. Maybe that's the best approach. I'm a beginner so I just don't know. But, I don't think that the frequency spikes need to be absorbed -- just redirected. The Fostex design uses the stepped mouth to tame the spikes. But, according to my experience with river rock, it's not enough to just address the mouth. However, I also found that the river rock doesn't kill the main resonant frequency resulting from the total length of the horn. So, I also had to use a little sound absorbing material on the mouth too. And I may still have some spikes to tame. I'll find out more when I build the other cabinet.

Quote:
Interesting though - I suppose you used construction glue to fix them all - you must be a very patient man - one at a time. ?
Nope. I used epoxy -- almost ¾ gallon. (3 liters.) But it was still time consuming putting all those wretched little rocks in epoxy.

-Rich
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Old 5th April 2005, 09:41 AM   #9
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G'day Ray

Yes, I'd been following Andrew's posts and was going to mention he was on the same line. I must have have missed that link, I usually follow all links, it's amazing what people have found out there?

Cheers - Phil
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Old 5th April 2005, 05:03 PM   #10
Tyimo is offline Tyimo  Hungary
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Hi Greenie512!

I am also planing to build the recommended BLH enclosure for the Fostex FE166 ES-R.

I know that audio reviews are subjective, but yours make me uncertain, because I wouldn't have thought that the Thor outperforming the Fostex FE166 ES-R with/in the factory enclosure.
Could it be that your drivers are not brake in yet?
What about to use this driver in the Jericho horn?

Greets:

Tyimo
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