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DavidLewis2 18th December 2006 02:51 PM

FE206ES-R in short enclosure
Hi. Im very much a novice at speaker building. I completed my first pair last week (Fostex FE206Es in a 45ltr bass reflex cabinet) and was delighted with the performance. My amplifier is an Audio Note Kit 1 Signature (300B SET) and I listen mainly to classical and jazz.

Ive decided to make a pair of BLHs loaded with FE206ES-Rs. My problem is that I cannot have speakers taller than 940mm due to the beams in my listening loft. The recommended BLH enclosure for FE206E is 900mm tall, the FE208E Sigma one (recommended strongly by some forum members) is 1118mm, and the FE206ES-R one is 1051mm.

My questions are

Apart from deeper bass what other benefits are realized from using the FE208E Sigma recommended BLH enclosures over the FE206E one ?

Can the FE208E Sigma and/or FE206ES-R recommended BLH enclosures be chopped down to 940mm without compromising the design ? If so, how would I go about it ?

While Im at it Ill sneak another question in ! CAT5 has been recommended to me for the internal wiring but if I was prepared to pay extra to make the best possible speaker is there anything else I could go for ? I was looking at silver wiring and silver plated binding posts but am slightly worried that Ill get detail at the expense of warmth. Is there any good copper or copper/silver wiring available ? Can you get copper binding posts ? ........ if so would I want to ?

Many thanks for reading this. I appreciate any advice offered. Ive already learned a lot from this forum.

Scottmoose 18th December 2006 11:05 PM

A pair of 24AWG conductors extracted from a run of Cat5 is a very good choice for FR drivers, as the slight additional series resistance lifts Qe and boosts the LF performance a touch. The enamelled copper magnet wire you'll also find down the local Maplin is also a good choice for similar reasons. Don't believe the waffle put out by the cable compaines, most of which is complete drivel, interspaced by half-truths and the misapplication of science for marketing purposes.

Yes, I believe you can get copper binding posts. I'm uneasy about them as they'll oxidise unless plated, which rather takes a lot of the point away IMO. Connections are a pain, frankly, and can cause a lot of problems, but they're also a necessary evil. Best way is simply to hard wire your chosen cable to the driver and have no connection from it to the amp at all, but this is a little drastic. Van Den Hul sell some fairly good, if pricy accessories I seem to remember, so they might have some options.

In re the horn, no, chopping down an existing cabinet would just have the unfortunate effect of messing up the flare-rate. It's awkward for you with that sloping wall I know, and none of the usual best options will work. And it really deserves to be in a better cabinet than the standard FE206E horn. It's not as bad as all that -in some ways it's pretty good to be honest. But it seems a pity because there are substantially better boxes out there, both in terms of extension, and LF gain. There is potentially one other off the shelf cabinet though aside from the regular horn. The original, non 'E' model FE208Sigma enclosure. At 921mm tall, it fits your space. Whether or not the ES-R will go in is another matter. I have a suspicion that it will. If you want me to run a MathCad sim, give me a shout and I'll see what I can do.


DavidLewis2 19th December 2006 04:10 PM

Scottmoose, Thanks for the reply. I'll use CAT5 in the new speakers. I was going to use it in my current bass reflexes but the only CAT5 I had was braided rather than solid core. I ended up using 1mm solid core house lighting circuit wire !!! Maybe I should rip it out and re-wire with CAT5 asap ? I've had a quick look for the FE208Sigma recommended enclosure plans and can't find them but I'll keep looking. Thanks for the MathCad sim offer. Will FE206ES-R work OK in FE206E recommended enclosure ? I do really like the FE206Es and it seemed a natural thought progression to go for FE206ES-R, but as I listen mainly to Classical and Jazz (and bass isn't a big issue to me) would small (e.g. FE108EZ/FE126Es) in small horns be a viable alternative ? Many thanks.

Scottmoose 19th December 2006 06:27 PM

They'd work passably in the standard 206 cabinet. But you'd wouldn't be gaining much. Nothing wrong with your wire BTW. Wire is for fine tweaking the electrical load, that's all. What you have should not be causing any problems, so I'd leave well alone. Chances are it's better than anything you could buy from a dealer. My friend Steve Shiels uses the same stuff with his frightening SE valve amp (seriously rare & linear 1930s vintage British valves) with Lowther DX4s in a 140in Tractrix corner horn. Works perfectly well.

The FE208Sigma cabinet? Scroll down to the bottom for diagram and cutting plan. Quite a nice box.

With smaller drivers, normally I'd suggest the FE168ESigma, but all the existing enclosures that I know of are still too tall for your requirements. The 4in & 4 1/2in drivers are lovely, but need either a tall double horn or corner loading to fit into your height requirements to produce anything much below about 80Hz. Let me know if you want a sim run on the 208 cabinet.

DavidLewis2 19th December 2006 07:42 PM

Thanks again for the advice. I'll leave the house wiring in place !

I agree with you about the FE208Sigma cabinet ...........looks very nice. I'd appreciate a sim run, thanks.

You mentioned FE168ESigma, what about these in frugel horns with deflectors ? The loft sides dip away sharply from the beams but as the frugel horn is so short, I could have them quite widely spaced. It's quite a difficult choice FE168Sigma v. FE206ES-R ......... I bet they're both very good. In the end the choice may come down to my wife's decision on room aesthetics ! Thanks.

Scottmoose 19th December 2006 09:10 PM

I'll try to run a sim in the morning.

FE168ESigma is too big for the Frugelhorn, which was designed for the FE108ESigma and FE126E. It's a blinding design, especially the top builds with deflectors. Depends on how big your space is really. The Frugels sound far bigger than they are, and you'll be surprised just how loud these little things can go (very is the quick answer) but there are inevitably limits as to how much air a 4in FR driver can shift, even when horn loaded.

DavidLewis2 20th December 2006 03:38 PM

Thanks again Scottmoose. I think I'll go with FE206ES-R/FE208sigma for now and look at flugel horns for another room later. Do you have a favourite FE168ESigma enclosure ?

Scottmoose 20th December 2006 03:53 PM

Indeed I do, but unfortunately none of them will fit your room as they're all too tall. e the 206ES-R oin original 208Sigma box, it should, with room-gain, give good output to about 35Hz or so, albeit with a dip at around 100Hz. In-room it shouldn't be a problem -it looks similar actually in terms of response to the regular 206 cabinet, but with more extension from a physically smaller (and arguably more attractive) box.

VadimB 20th December 2006 06:14 PM

Hi DavidLewis2,

If you can live with 957mm height, you may try the horn I've done for Hemp 8" full ranger. It's a modification of an older Fostex BK-22 horn for FE-206, so has a good chance to work right. To get 957mm, you would have to ommit the plinth, but this should not impact the bass too much, especially if you fill the lower cavity with sand.
The link to info package is here:
I have not modeled FE206ES-R in this cabinet. If you'd like I can try to do this, but not today. Please, let me know if you are interested.


DavidLewis2 22nd December 2006 10:46 AM

VadimB, Thanks for the reply. It's a nice cabinet but 940mm is unfortunately my maximum possible height. Thanks again.

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