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Old 1st August 2006, 04:15 PM   #1
fazman is offline fazman  Canada
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Location: Windsor Ontario
Default My first potential full range project (reccomendations?)

I have three one cubic ft. enclosures that were used for an MTM project that I did. I have since gutted them and I am now considering using one full range driver for all three for the fronts and center of my home theater. I will create another baffle for the front to house a suitable driver.
Because the baffle is not that wide (only 8.5 inches) I'm limited to probably a 6.5 inch driver. The enclosures are well braced and made out of MDF one inch thick.
Within a reasonable budget are there any suitable drivers out there that will play well in an enclosure of this size ported?
I was considering maybe some offerings by Fostex but I'm very open. Or should I not consider this cause the size of the boxes and the fact that they are MDF?
I also read some stuff on bipole... maybe this would be a better way to go?
some advice would be appreciated.

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Old 1st August 2006, 04:34 PM   #2
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I'd begin again to be honest. You design an enclosure to go with a specific driver to create a speaker system, so starting from scratch will reduce the number of compromises that you have to make (remember all speakers are ultimately a compromise, so you want to minimise the number of these).

Bipole: a good way forward if you have the space. No baffle-step issues, lovely propogation, and in some ways its probably gives a more accurate presentation of, say, a recording of a live event than a monopole does. Fostex drivers will give you amongst the best sound quality per £ / $ of any FR driver. Jordan's are wonderful, but cost a fortune. Bandors are nominally earlier Jordan drivers, and cost a little less -a small fortune. I've heard an Audio Nirvana, and was deeply unimpressed. Mediocre sound, and the build wasn't great either. Creative Sound Solutions WR125 and FR125 are supposed to be very good, though I gather the Fostex units still have an edge. Neo-phone's new metal FR drivers I haven't heard yet -look like a poor man's Jordan to me, which is likely a good thing, but I haven't seen any comments on them yet. Monacor make some great drivers for the price -not as good as Fostex, but superb for the money. So there's plenty to go at!

BTW -there's nothing wrong with MDF, providing you work with it to exploit it's advantages and minimise it's few issues. Compared to most other materials, it's pretty dead acoustically, which I prefer.
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Old 1st August 2006, 05:06 PM   #3
fazman is offline fazman  Canada
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Scottmoose, thanks for this, it is exactly what I was looking for.
In terms of the cabs- the reason for wanting to stay with them are a few. One I've spent countless hours on them and they look pretty good along with custom made stands. Two I just simply don't have the time to start from scratch
So the only real constant in this situation is the fact that they are one cubic ft. The ports can be adjusted if I need them and if I go bipole I can cut out the space for the driver on the back side.

I notice lots of people using small powered tube amps with there full range drivers. I currently am using a five channel brute (Acurus at 200 watts per channel) Because I've read that full range drivers are so efficient and revealing do you think I will have to change amplification or can I get by using what I currently own?
Sorry for the basic questions but I've just started on my full range research. In fact it is the Anthony Gallos (Micros) that I have that got me interested in pursuing something a little more grand.
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Old 1st August 2006, 05:32 PM   #4
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I see what you mean -no point in wasting all that effort.

OK, personally, with 1 cubic foot to play with, which is, if memory serves, ~28.3 litres, then I'd probably go one of these two routes.

Firstly, you could use a single FE167E per box. It's a little large, I believe Bob Brines (who's work I greatly admire) uses 24L, but that can be sorted easily enough, either with an internal partition or a couple of bags of sand or similar.

The other option I'd think about would be to use 2 FE127E drivers in bipole configuration. Again, volume is a little too high (you'd wat ~25l for that I suspect), but that's fairly easily sorted in the same way. In both cases, you'll need to juggle with the port dimensions. Without the exact dimensions of your box[es], I won't try speculating though. The monopole FE167E will need a BSC circuit -more of which in a minute.

I forgot to mention Tang Band in my post above. Some of their drivers are great, some not so hot. Their Bamboo coned jobbies are worth exploring -like the 127s, best in bipole.

Re the amp, it's not as cut & dried as you'd think. Tubes are a nice match to horns etc, but with their limited output (and most have rotten bass too; very few valve amps have decent output transformers) they do restrict you to certain cabinet types, like horns. You can run SS no worries, though you'll probably need to add a resistor in series with the driver to lower the damping factor of the amp (most SS amps have a high DF. There are exceptions, but yours is not one of them) and prevent it from over-damping things. About 5 ohms is usually a good place to start. The monopole will also need a baffle step circuit to compensate for the 3-4 db loss caused by baffle step diffraction. Bipoles of course do not have this problem, and won't need the circuit.

Bottom line -before thinking about changing the amp, see how you get one with FR drivers (with some series resistance!) and your existing system. After that, if you like what you hear, you can think about changing the amp. Me, I nowadays actually prefer sticking with solid-state for simple convenience. If you want to build one yourself, I'd go with one of Nelson Pass's Zen amps ( the new Zen V9 with its power JFETs looks like being a stunner. Alternatively, if you fancy something ready-built, have some stuff that's perfect for FR drivers. There's plenty of others of course, but these guys are my own favourites. If you want tubes, and their valve amps have the best output transformers in the world, bar none. Not even Audio Research can match them. have some nice simple kits too, that are very well loved, though their technical performance won't be in anything like the same league.
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Old 1st August 2006, 11:12 PM   #5
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You can use the 167e but as the box gets bigger the response gets a bit humpy.

You can even seal up a PioneerB20 + tweeter of choice in that box for cheap!

You can use them as bass modules and sit smaller speakers on top of two of them...

Someone around here also seems to like the Fostex 207e in a cab about that size.


PS... if you have to have SS amp the Acurus is a good one.
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