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4" or smaller FR driver for 2-way
4" or smaller FR driver for 2-way
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Old 21st June 2006, 04:39 PM   #1
Kensai is offline Kensai  United States
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Question 4" or smaller FR driver for 2-way

I'm going to modify some existing sealed, 3-way cabinets. The originals run an 8" driver full range. The 4" mid and tweeters were crossed very high (and are absolute garbage). The original 8"er is actually very good (and very close to be an FR driver), and I have left it running full range and crossed a B&G Neo3PRD (fits right into the 4" cutout) in very high to get the top end back.

This is a fine sounding speaker, but I've got 3 things I'd like to improve on:

1) more bass
2) smoother midrange
3) better off axis response

So, I'm going to drop in a more capable bass driver (cabinets are too narrow to increase the driver size or I would), and put in another terminal so I can bi-amp these things (using the surround channels from my receiver, this will let me actively crossover the FR driver at 100Hz, 150Hz or 200hz, not to mention save me some money and give me more control).

I'm assuming that going with anything smaller than the orignal 8"er will give me better off axis response, so I guess what I'm looking for is the best compromise of midrange clarity, high end extension and off axis response (sorry, this is important because these speakers are mounted very low; can't change this part of the deal). I've been looking at the HiVi B3S that Zaph recommends, but is there anything better to be had at 4" or less? Perhaps something from Fostex or Tang Band? The Fostex FE87E and FF85K 3"ers look to have stellar top end (going by the manufacture's specs), and I'm very interested in the Tang Band 4" bamboo driver. I might even be able to squeeze in on of the Fostex 4.5" drivers, if they are actually superior, but really, the bottom end for this driver shouldnt' be much of a concern . . . only need it to be flat to 200Hz or less.

So, which drivers have you guys played with? What do you think would be good for my purposes?

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Old 21st June 2006, 05:10 PM   #2
Godzilla is offline Godzilla  United States
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Have a look here. 200hz is represented by the tenth green line from the left. They all easily make it.

What are the inner dims of your box? The fostex 127e will need to be ported while the TB Bambo can be ported or sealed to sound full. The Pioneer B20 seems it can also be used if you already have a hole for an 8" driver there... then add a tweeter of your choice. All sound different... all sound good. It's a matter of personal taste. I have had all three of these systems in my office at the same time and everyone preferred a different one. If I were to rank them it would be Fostex, Pioneer, TB… someone else here (a sax player and music lover) always loves the Pioneer B20 sound and wouldn’t spend a penny on the other drivers. And a lovely girl you’d love to meet flutters her eyes and always asks me to build her a pair of TB’s in small boxes. She thinks they sound the clearest and best. I could live with any of them because they are all very good.

There are other TB’s out there now that look interesting too… a neat titanium jobber… and fostex also has the 103 and 107. All great choices that could work for you.

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Old 21st June 2006, 05:26 PM   #3
Kensai is offline Kensai  United States
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Well, 'zilla, that certainly doesn't narrow my choice down any

These cabs are about .88 cubic feet in volume and are currently unstuffed. I'm planning to use my receiver's crossover to run the FR unit, so that's a 4th order LR type. This will let me use the receiver to level match and time align the drivers to taste.

I've been interested in the Pio B20s for quite awhile now, but given that they're 8"ers, they'd have to be running full range all the way down, and my sims show that they might have trouble matching the performance I'm getting from my current drivers. If I were to work with those, I would likely just run them with my Neo3 tweeters exactly like I am now (maybe step up to a higher grade 1uF cap; they're on cheapie .47uF caps right now, and given that they're 4Ohm drivers, they're crossed about twice as far out as you suggested crossing piezos with the B20). Do you think these Pios might have nicer midrange and better off axis than my current 8"ers? They're just heavy treated paper cones with heavy, inverted dustcaps. This would be the simpliest and most attractive upgrade, if its actually an upgrade

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Old 21st June 2006, 09:46 PM   #4
planet10 is online now planet10  Canada
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4" or smaller FR driver for 2-way
My favorite small drivers in descending order (performance & cost) FE108eS, FE127e, Aura NS3 (the non-phase plug one -- the phase plug one might be even better for your ap)

community sites t-linespeakers.org, frugal-horn.com, frugal-phile.com ........ commercial site planet10-HiFi
p10-hifi forum here at diyA
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Old 22nd June 2006, 12:40 AM   #5
lovdoc is offline lovdoc  United States
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I have a pair of modified vintage speakers. I am using a TangBand W3-315D highpassed at 200 Hz along with the 15 inch Jenson woofers that came with the speakers.
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