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Old 13th July 2005, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Tunnel Reflex drivers

Ever since I came across Planet10's posts on vintage drivers I have been checking the thrift stores for a 'gem'.

Today was my day!

I picked up a beat-up pair of tunnel reflex speakers (the tall narrow cabinet ones) for 7$ for the pair. Hey - if they were trashed I wasn't out much.

The drivers are in perfect working order. (that's the good news).
Cosmetically, one is perfect. However the other appears as if the surround had been oiled and a bit of that has bled into the cone (only about 1/4").
Still for 7$....

Anyway, can I just drop these into any FE-103 design, or are the parameters different?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 14th July 2005, 01:09 AM   #2
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Default Oops

My bad. Somehow I missed (in the extensive post with Planet10's explanation of these drivers and its many variations) that the Qts is about .42.
I would delete this post, but apparently, I do not have edit rights.

Moderator, would you please delete this post?

Thanks.
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Old 14th July 2005, 01:14 AM   #3
chrisb is online now chrisb  Canada
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Default Fe103a

Dave & I have tried them in several enclosures, by far our favorites were the Buschorn MkII, followed by BD "bipole" pipe.
Use RS 40-1197 for the rear driver if you only have 2 of the vintage drivers.

FWIW, of all the DIY and "factory recommended" enclosures I've built or heard FE103 variants play in, the Fostex BLH was my least favorite for the vintage driver.

I don't see any reason to delete the post - if the mini-A threads can go on forever, why not revisit this question as well. It'd be interesting to poll the DIYers who've experimented with a few different designs than those I've mentioned.

If I'm not mistaken, there have been many different variants of this driver format identified by Dave and others, and used in a pretty wide range of "enclosure" applications - from the Tunnel Reflex enclosures to open reel tape recorders and many more. I'd bet my morning BJ that if you actually measured a dozen or so specimens of these drivers, you'd find a fairly wide range of T/S parameters.

If the OEMs found them suitable for such a range of applications, why not the DIYer?

but trust me on the Buschorns - in this enclosure, my pair from Dave (now serving in his Fostex "horns") gave the current FE108E Sigma a decent run for the money.
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Old 14th July 2005, 02:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. The buschorns are a definite possible, although (and I'm not really sure why) I find the zigmahornets (cosmetically) very appealing.

As for drivers ... yes, these are my very first pair, though hopefully, not the last. (I've got the bug now).

I need to repair one of them. Though it plays fine, the surround of one of them is detaching. I found Planet10's tip about using white glue and a brush, so I'll be doing that.

With these older drivers, is there any point in using damar, or am I messing with a classic if I do?

Tom
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Old 14th July 2005, 05:33 AM   #5
chrisb is online now chrisb  Canada
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Default tweaking old drivers

Tom:

Dave would be the best one to ask, as his memory's (just barely) a bit better than mine in this regard.

We've used various treatments on 1197's but I'm not sure if we ever damar or puzzle coat treated a pair of the alnico drivers.

However, a huge improvement was achieved with the wooden phase plugs, as well as some basket and magnet damping - he's got pictures somewhere.

You might prefer the cosmetics of the Zigmahornet, but I'd wager that the dynamics, bass response and soundstage / depth possible with the Buschhorns will be hard to beat with any mono-pole quarter wave pipe design.

However, as I suggested above, bipole (particularly something along the line of the Alpha TL or Tim Foreman's MLTL) is a whole 'nother story.
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Old 15th July 2005, 01:44 AM   #6
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I really appreciate the tips. While I love music and working with my hands, DIY speaker creation is still rather new to me.

As for the cabinet design, low end response is one criteria that isn't really high priority, since I have an active Dbox sub I would be mating them with regardless. (I have a passive sub from design acoustics I can use as well - but its not as articulate or 'fast'.) I've actually never really considered low end bass from smaller drivers much of a requirement.

Conceptually, I actually prefer to hand off the low end to something designed for it (and nothing else). Even with commercial designs I find that removing anything from 100hz down (120hz currently) improves the sound.

(I lived with dhalquist DQ-10's for 10 years... huge speakers, beautiful, tonally great, lousy imaging and no bass whatsoever
It's then that I got the subwoofer bug and I've never considered a system now without one - especially if home theater is in the mix.)

What I am looking for is clean point-source midrange/top end that is fast, musical and uncluttered by crossover distortions... (The dhalquist was 5-way(!), and even with time and phase alignments was a real mess).

Tom
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Old 15th July 2005, 02:12 AM   #7
chrisb is online now chrisb  Canada
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Default DQ10 blast from the past

That takes me back a decade or 3 - had a pair of those with the DQ passive sub woofer and XO in (around) 75/76. Wonderful soundstage and I'll beg to differ about the imaging - for me they were a benchmark unequalled in that department for over 20 years, but gobbled up power like crazy, and not very spousal friendly.

After over ten years in "Linn induced" audio catatonia, I undertook few pairs of multi way DIY speakers, including sytems with LEAP/LMS designed XO's. Some modelled at least as well as the published specs for certain Scottish name brands, but in the end all proved to be no more emotionally satisfying.

Enter Dave Dlugos, Steve Deckert and Dan Schmalle, single driver speaker systems, and (while not for all) low powered SE tube amps.

You'll spend a lot of time and money trying to find any multi-driver system with the point-source midrange to top end performance to equal a good (almost) full range driver.

Unfortunately, regardless of how much low end extension you're willing to sacrifice in the name of musicality, you'll have even more fun trying to find a bottom end that blends seamlessly. Your best bet might be something in the order of a push-push/bipole using an extended range woofer such as some of the vintage Foster woofers. These are smooth enough well past their intended passband, that only the simplest 1st order filters are necessary.

The best of the recent full range drivers that is easy to live with and can deliver amazing extension (almost eliminating the need for assistance), soundstage and image weight is the CSS FR125, and most specifically in bipole configuration. but I digress
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Old 15th July 2005, 04:50 PM   #8
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Digression is good.

I'm happy enough with the Dbox sub that I'm not going to actively look for anything much below 100hz in my speakers. I've actually found that with extended bass in the main speakers the dbox can sound rather bad because of overlapping. Right now my main power is an Onkyo HT receiver and I can set the cutoff per speaker, so I don' even let the main speakers see anything below 100hz while I have set the sub's cutoff to 120hz. The sub has its own electronic crossover, but I've never used it.

I hear what you're saying about creating a fostex low end, but I'm hoping the disparity in speed between the FE103A's and the Dbox won't be significant in that limited range enough to warrant it. (I find the Dbox actually quite articulate for a powered sub). Once I've built them, of course, I just might change my mind.

As for the DQ10s I have to qualify imaging. They could present a very wide soundstage, but I was never able to acheive much depth from them, and I found they had a disconcerting way of moving the image around as instruments transitioned from one driver to another- no wonder with the drivers dispersed the way they were. Agree totally about the power though. I used a hafler front end; preamp (pooge mod'd) with their 250W beheamoth (with noisy cooling fan).
I must have borrowed everything available at the time from Bryston gear to B&K, Carver magnetic field amp w/sonic holography preamp (uggh) and finally Conrad Johnston. Sounded great w/CJ tubes ... only I couldn't afford it.

I gave up, sold the DQ10's and hafler gear and started over.

Tom
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Old 15th July 2005, 06:38 PM   #9
chrisb is online now chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cryo_jumper
Digression is good.

I'm happy enough with the Dbox sub that I'm not going to actively look for anything much below 100hz in my speakers. I've actually found that with extended bass in the main speakers the dbox can sound rather bad because of overlapping. Right now my main power is an Onkyo HT receiver and I can set the cutoff per speaker, so I don' even let the main speakers see anything below 100hz while I have set the sub's cutoff to 120hz. The sub has its own electronic crossover, but I've never used it.
Certainly a reasonable solution to the XO situation - too bad there's no current reasonably price product (or DIY project plans) for the crossover function, without the accompanying digital BS required for the HT "experience"

Aside from the Marchand units,( a stand-alone unit can easily cost more than my last 3 DIY tube amps) what else is there?

Quote:


As for the DQ10s I have to qualify imaging. They could present a very wide soundstage, but I was never able to acheive much depth from them, and I found they had a disconcerting way of moving the image around as instruments transitioned from one driver to another- no wonder with the drivers dispersed the way they were.
No question they were a bee-itch for placement sensitivity - I must have been incredibly fortunate in that my very first room placement worked quite well - approx 1/3 the way down a relatively narrow/long LR/DR open space ( 10x 30), so the back wall was at least 10ft behind the cabinets. With a few degrees of toe-in there was certainly a very narrow listening window, and since it was almost 30 yrs ago, my memory of their deficiencies could have faded somewhat!

[/Quote]

Quote:
Agree totally about the power though. I used a hafler front end; preamp (pooge mod'd) with their 250W beheamoth (with noisy cooling fan).
I must have borrowed everything available at the time from Bryston gear to B&K, Carver magnetic field amp w/sonic holography preamp (uggh) and finally Conrad Johnston. Sounded great w/CJ tubes ... only I couldn't afford it.


Tom [/B]
FWIW, I was working in the hifi business the time, and had opportunity to borrow several of the stock demo units, as well as several from another local shop with liberal loaner policy.

Believe it or not, some of the best sonics, although obviously very low power was with one of the early Yamaha integrated amplifiers (CA1000), and later with tons of (unaffordable) power the B1 V-FET amp. Very nice sounding unit.

I briefly settled on a pair of Bryston 2B's in mono, which were a relatively affordable solution to the power issue, but found them (and for that matter all Brystons in any system) just a bit too dry-etched and brittle - must have been that piezo.

A buddy of mine also had a pair of DQ10's, and between the 2 systems, the best sound ever was GAS Ampzilla - made the big Haflers, Marantz 500, Crown DC300A, BGW500 etc sound like transistor radios.


And I couldn't agree more about the Carver units.

But back to the future, and good luck with this current project.
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