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Old 15th August 2006, 02:16 PM   #1
bluegti is offline bluegti  United States
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Default Full Range Home Theater

I read in a thread once that full range drivers were not well suited to home theater. But below there is a thread that says people are having good luck using a FE127E for a center channel.

I want to build 3 matching speakers for my left, right and center channels. The processor would identify the speakers as "small" so they would most likely not have to do anything below 80 Hz - a subwoofer would be used to fill in the bottom octaves.

How would a Jim Griffin Jordan JX92 bookshelf speaker do? Could I modify that design into a MTM for the center? Any suggestions for a Fostex driver? If using full range drivers is just a bad idea, can you point me in a direction to look for good alternatives?
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Old 15th August 2006, 06:05 PM   #2
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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It's hard to argue with the idea of using FR drivers for the front row, nor would sticking to all Fostex drivers hurt either.

Unless you're looking for subterranean LFE, you might well eliminate the need for a separate powered sub by running either 167 or 207s in MLTL for the L&R mains, and the 127 for center. With phase plugs, the 167 is quite adequately extended, but the 8" drivers might need a little help up top (say above 10k)

It probably depends how your viewing is split between regular broadcast or cable network programming, and "movies", but I've found every time I can reduce the number of speaker enclosures in my audio and HT systems the better. Indeed, I'm now running my TV's variable line out to a small tube amp into a single pair of 2-ways, and gave the Denon HT receiver, bipole towers and powered sub to my son.

Another great choice for HT drivers, provided you have sufficient power to compensate for the lower efficiency, and would like the extra weight and kick in the bottom, would be the CSS FR125 and Extremis sub combination. In fact a simplified DIY version of the RAW HT3 (minus the ribbon tweeter) could be achieved with a single FR125 and Extremis/plate amp per tower ( I particularly like this Cerwin Vega amp from Steve at Apex Jr)

http://www.apexjr.com/CVT200S.htm

I think it's fair to say that with a pair of Extremis in the room, a separate sub would be overkill for most folks.
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Old 15th August 2006, 06:43 PM   #3
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I'll second Fostex drivers for HT. I've got FE207E's in MLTL's as fronts and FE167E's in up-firing BR's as rears. I'm using a phantom center and am happy with the results, but YMMV. I think I would use a FE167E in a 15 liter BR for the center, assigned as "small" if I were to use one. The FE127E seems a little small to me, particularly if you like it LOUD. I've used FE167E's for fronts successfully, but it is best to assign them as "small". In any case, you will want a sub for the LFE channel. You want to keep the LFE out of your fronts, particularly if you use FE167E's.

Bob
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Old 16th August 2006, 01:44 PM   #4
bluegti is offline bluegti  United States
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Default Opinions of the FE168EZ Sigma for this?

I'm liking the idea of using the Fostexes because I have a few low-watt tube amps that I could swap in for music. Here's what I'm thinking now... 2 MLTL's for the Left and Right channels and a BR for the center. All 3 would be run as small and subwoofers would fill in the low end when watching movies.

I noticed the xmax of the FE168EZ is 1.6mm compared to the FE167E's xmax of 0.6mm. Would this make it more suited to Home Theater?

BTW, I know nothing about speaker design, I can just follow directions. So, I have no idea if the 168's would be good in a MLTL - I've heard 167's and really enjoyed them.

One final question, and I know this is subjective, is the 168 worth the extra cost? Cost is not an issue (at this price point), but I don't want to spend extra money if its not worth it.
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Old 16th August 2006, 03:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Opinions of the FE168EZ Sigma for this?

Quote:
Originally posted by bluegti
I'm liking the idea of using the Fostexes because I have a few low-watt tube amps that I could swap in for music. Here's what I'm thinking now... 2 MLTL's for the Left and Right channels and a BR for the center. All 3 would be run as small and subwoofers would fill in the low end when watching movies.
You've got it!

Quote:
I noticed the xmax of the FE168EZ is 1.6mm compared to the FE167E's xmax of 0.6mm. Would this make it more suited to Home Theater?
Once you high-pass the FE-167E's at 80-100Hz, excursion is no longer a problem

Quote:
BTW, I know nothing about speaker design, I can just follow directions. So, I have no idea if the 168's would be good in a MLTL - I've heard 167's and really enjoyed them.

One final question, and I know this is subjective, is the 168 worth the extra cost? Cost is not an issue (at this price point), but I don't want to spend extra money if its not worth it.
The 168EZ will work in a MLTL with a little series resistance. Whether they are worth the price is in the ears of the beholder.

Bob
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Old 16th August 2006, 04:51 PM   #6
navin is offline navin  India
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HT usually requires some low bass. most DVDs have significnant LF information.

I would consider using a sub even is a 167 is used for the L&R.

another option would be settle on a good wide range driver (that can be used fullrange) for all 5 channels. add a tweeter for smoother and more extended HF in the L&R channels and a sub or 2 or 3 to manage LF. this way for most of the audio range (say 100Hz - 6Khz) the same driver is active.
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Old 16th August 2006, 05:25 PM   #7
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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If I understand Bob's comment regarding phantom center channel correctly (i.e. set the processor to "center= none" and run just L&R mains) I'd concur completely.

The enclosure volume for even the small 167 BR can be a PITA to accomodate aesthetically. (one reason to consider the 127 if your SPLs aren't extreme).


Although I don't think you mention the enclosure design, you've apparently been satisfied with what you've heard from 167's. If you're still worried about excursion at higher volume levels, high pass as he suggests (between 80-100 if variable at the processor) and add sub(s).

For maximum single driver performance with the 168EZ, a BLH is generally recommended, particularly with low powered tube amps. Properly executed, the dynamics, imaging, soundstage and overall coherency is easily on par or surpasses the 167 - although the bass extension/punch may suffer slightly, particularly if the former are used in conjunction with low powered, low DF tube amps and the latter with SS HT receiver, gain clone, class A type SS or any of the newer digital amps. Unfortunately enclosure volumes for BLH can be unwieldy, particularly in a video system with subs, etc.

Are the Sigma series drivers worth the extra cost? For dedicated music only hi-fi audio that's a very personal choice, similar to the discussions re flavoring a tube system by rolling different vintages and designs of bottles. For HT/video, where the audio production values are to say the very least, not entirely natural in perspective, I'd suggest probably not.
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Old 16th August 2006, 06:42 PM   #8
no xo is offline no xo  United States
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Fostex full range drivers work great in my Ht system. I use FE206E`s in recommended BLH for main L&R, an FE127E in recommended BR box for center, and FE166E`s in recommended BR boxes for rears. Also I use a Parts Express 12" sub & 250watt plate amp in 3 cubic ft box, downfiring, with a NAD receiver`s xover set to 80HZ. The different drivers blend well together and will play very loud (AC/DC live.ect) without overload. The system is in a large room with the rears back farther than ideal, and has 3 main functions. #1 2 channel for CD & LP`s, #2 HT for movies and music video`s, and a party system when I have friends over to shoot pool, play darts and rock out with rolled ones and cold ones. I would not worry about the FE127E being able to play loud if your bass management system cuts the bass at 80 or 100HZ. When we are partying and I play a good DVD of live music, everyone drops their cue stick and stares at the screen with their jaw dropping. Some friends use their cue sticks for an air guitar when I play Joe Bonamassa, Hendrix and Zappa. I consider that a compliment since most of my friends have no idea of the speakers design.
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Old 16th August 2006, 07:59 PM   #9
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I typically have any of a number of full-ranges in the LR of my home theatre (Fonken, RonHorn A126, FE167 in modified Fostex BR, miniOnkens). I prefer a virtual centre to a real centre, and haven't bothered with surrounds in a long time (have the amps and any number of speakers, just can't be bothered). I have a push-push ApexJr Super 8 sub, which sitting in the corner seems to match the room gain nicely.

I'm also working on a client system that has FE167e in sealed boxes (modeled F3 of 106 Hz) driven by Red Light District. LR are actively XOed to a pair of Extremis each side (driven by Bryston 4B) and LR & rear surrounds are FE127e in a variation of the diyAudio ref ML-TL built into the walls & cieling and also driven with Red Light District. No separate sub.

dave
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Old 16th August 2006, 08:15 PM   #10
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Default Its always about the quality of the amp

A fullrange speaker should work as well as any type of speaker. The real problem is that cross-overless FR drivers are very revealing and that is a problem when you're running them with a poor quality HT reciever (and there are a bunch of those).

Case in point, when I run any of my FR projects on an old Kenwood receiver I have, the speakers pump like pistons with tremendous breakup in the bass; this improves a little when I switch to my main rig's Pyramid ( a seperate amp), but when I hook up my little class D amp, there is much less cone movement and way better (cleaner) bass. Hell, if I had enough D amps, I'd definately use five or more FR single drivers in an HT set-up. But I've heard a couple of my single driver projects on conventional mass-market HT receivers and they sucked (Pioneer, Sony, HK, etc).

And everyone here is right, most HT receivers have a bass management system that cuts 80hz to 120hz from the rest of the system so you can let a powered sub do the grunt work. I can tell you from experience that most FR drivers will sound better in this configuration (than they do 'normally'), even the cheap ones, because they're not pushing the deep bass.
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