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Old 17th May 2005, 04:57 AM   #1
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Default Somebody give me a shove, please!

I've analyzed myself into a catatonic state. I want to build some single-driver speakers. I just can't seem to figure out the differences in all the driver specs and designs. I'm really confused right now. I need to do something before my head explodes.

Budget: Up to $200'ish for two drivers.

Room: 14' x 26' x 8' (4.3 x 8 x 2.5m, for you sensible people ), carpet, one door opening, plaster walls. IMO, this is the perfect room. Nothing sounds bad in it. Speakers on the short wall. Placement out to 3' (1m).

Speakers: Currently Spectrum 208's (c 1985), two-way BR design, but I have no idea what's in them (the grill is glued on). Rather mellow sound. Beautiful real Claro walnut cabinets. I know I can get better sound than these.

Amp: Onkyo Integra 8087A 100 wpc (c 1985), but I'm moving to chip amps as soon as possible.

Source: Currently a Panasonic DVD/CD, but when I get the wiring in place, all music will be from a computer via Stereo-Link USB DAC and Belden coax to the amp(s).

Tastes: Realistic listening levels. My wife IS psychotic and hates bass (only slightly kidding). Vocals, instrumentals, small groups, blues, R&B and folk-based rock, jazz etc. I will crank it, occasionally, when she is not home.

Needs: The system will be on all day, every day with soft FM classical. In the evenings and weekends, I will listen to my music, and we will watch movies. Music is most important. Home theater is secondary. With a movie, as long as I can hear what is going on, I'm happy. With music, I want it all (just can't afford it). I'm going to stick with two-channel for now and maybe add surrounds later.

Subs: Not immediately, but definitely in the future. Probably my next DIY project.

Last thoughts: My wife has given me the go-ahead to build something. Last weekend, (bless her heart) she printed out an article she got off the web on the Cain & Cain Abbys. I think she likes how they look.

I feel confident that I can build any cabinet out there. This first pair must be most impressive; beautiful to look at and sound even better. My wife has given me a short leash on this, so I have to do it right the first time, and I really want to be able to keep building speakers. Think ethereal sound.

Right now I need focus. I need a driver and cabinet design(s) to get me started.

Doug
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Old 17th May 2005, 05:58 AM   #2
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Sounds like your first speaker. You didn't listen loud, and don't need a lot of bass. Your wife is somewhat like mine.

What about the Creative Sound CSS W..125. (can't recall exactly) a 4.5 inch full ranger thats I think around $140 US + freight from Canada.
Lots of positive feedback on this forum. No XO needed of course, and works well in a 1/4 cubic feet box.
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Old 17th May 2005, 06:03 AM   #3
Variac is offline Variac  United States
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It looks like you have lucked out.
You want full range drivers and your most excellant wife likes the look of the quarter wave cabinets that are most often used for them. There are various of these type cabinets on this forum- the ones that look like wedges- and you can easily make them look just like the C&C Abbys.

Unfortunately I don't know where they all are, but I would suggest searching the Loudspeaker forum- The guy named Planet 10 is worth searching on because he posts regarding these type of speaks. also "quarter wave" from the posts you find, you will find others....
Most of these use drivers made by Fostex, so that's another thing to search on. The Fostex models 206 and 207 are generally liked, and fit your budget. Also Terry Cain posts as TC, and he makes the Abbys. Your room is pretty big, thats the one concern I have, but if it generally sound good, that's really more important.

OK I admit I'm not helping much, but maybe someone else will take up the slack!
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Old 17th May 2005, 06:08 AM   #4
PSz. is offline PSz.  United States
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try:

1 http://www.thehornshoppe.com/

2 search for buschorn on google

3 have some fun here... http://www.fostexinternational.com/d...ec_enc_1.shtml

4 check out the attached pic for some cool fe103 horns

good luck and remember to have fun!



PSz.
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Old 17th May 2005, 06:18 AM   #5
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Thanks Rick, I'll look into it.

In a way my first speaker but not really. I built many when I was a teenager, 30 years ago. I just finished two pairs for our computers. In between, nothing. So much has changed in the past 30 years that I am totally lost with the technology. I want something "real." Something great. Something transcendent. Unfortunately, I can't throw money at the drivers. $200'ish U.S. is the limit.

I'm an accomplished woodworker, so don't hold back on cabinet designs for my sake, but please, I need specific. When I say I am catatonic about this, I really mean it. It's frustrating.

Doug
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Old 17th May 2005, 06:36 AM   #6
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PSz,

Those horns look radical. Laminated ply or MDF? Can't tell from the photo. They must have been a bear to finish. Don't know what the wife will think. How did you arrive at that design? Do they sound "ethereal"

Doug
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Old 17th May 2005, 07:19 AM   #7
PSz. is offline PSz.  United States
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Sorry to say those horns are not mine. I first saw them many years ago on Thomas Dunker's horn pages. They were made by Peter van Vegchel out of mdf. He can still be found online, but has apparently moved on to larger speakers.

I think that you would do quite well with one of the fostex designs that I linked to earlier. Choose your driver and build their suggested enclosure.

I really like the smaller fe108, I can only guess that you might too. Especially so if you think you may build a sub.

PSz.
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Old 17th May 2005, 08:09 AM   #8
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FE167s & either a set of Bob Brine's FT1600, or search the forum for the Cabby...

running FM 24/7 it should only take a couple or 3 weeks to break them in.

dave
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Old 17th May 2005, 08:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by PSz.
I really like the smaller fe108
Me too... less bass, less efficient than FE167, but everything else....

dave
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Old 17th May 2005, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by planet10
FE167s & either a set of Bob Brine's FT1600, or search the forum for the Cabby...

running FM 24/7 it should only take a couple or 3 weeks to break them in.

dave

Bob's designs are invariably an excellent choice. But don't forget Martin's excellent ML-TQWT either. The old Fe164 drivers he used are are a straight swap with the FE167E. Those would be my top choice in a room of that size if your wife likes the tall TQWT appearance; they certainly look good; quite elegant in fact.
Dynamics and bass depth are both excellent, as is stereo imaging. Very clean sound generally. I've built two pairs, the first of which are now with an opera-singer friend who heard them soon after their completion, and begged me nicely if she could 'borrow' them. She's since informed me that they are not moving from her living room; hence my building a second pair. And believe me, she's a music fanatic, as you'd expect (hope?) from her job. Says it all really. If you're happy with the woodworking, try building them out of a decent hardwood. Never a complaint again...

You could also try Terry Cain's Bigger is Better box, but using the FE166E -I just have; the simulated results in MathCad aren't pretty, but Terry assured me they measure much better so I roughed up a pair in MDF using some spare 166 drivers: lo and behold: they did measure better. I was startled at how good they were: in fact, they produced one of the best sounds I've heard recently. I reckon they'd be at their best in large rooms which give them room to breath, but they still work well in smaller rooms like mine. They hurl up a massive soundstage, and again, are tall, clean and elegant looking. Bass is great too.

Best
Scott
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