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Personal impressions of fe206esr
Personal impressions of fe206esr
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Old 14th January 2007, 02:06 PM   #1
Pendergast is offline Pendergast  Canada
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Default Personal impressions of fe206esr


Here are some of my impressions regarding the FE 206esr in the recommended enclosure. Please note that this is part of my enterprise of using a completely DIY HIFI system.

This is a new thread, complementing this one about the 206esr.

Here are pictures of my setup: Right here

The room measures 11 feet by 18 feet and about 8 feet high. There is a large opening at the back, so it is not a rectangular room.

Nevertheless, I started to listen to this setup (SEX amp from Bottlehead, DAC from Peter Daniel, coupled to a hagusb, and using a powerbook G4 as a source. All files are encrypted at 320 in AAC format.) and I am really rediscovering the music I own!

These speakers are very dynamic and precise. I listened to a transcription for organ of "Pictures at an exhibition" from Mussorgsky and I was in awe by the soundstage and the realism of the reproduction. I really could feel myself inside a cathedral, with the organ's pipes spread away, left to right. The bass frequencies are very well reproduced. I listened to another recording of that same piece (specifically, "promenade" and "gnomus") for symphonic orchestra (Mercury "Living Presence") and the dynamic as well as the precision of the reproduction was fanstastic!

I also listened to a small band (little drum set with snare drum, cymbals and a bass drum, accompanied by a guitar and a beautiful female voice). The presence of the interprets was astounding; It was as if they were all present in the room.

Yesterday I listened to The Beatles "I want to hold your hand" and the recording's reproduction is clear and crisp. Sometimes soon I will give Jimmy Hendrix a try.

In general, solo guitars and voices are very natural, and seem to be at ease. Music with a lot of beats are also very comfortable. There is no confusion that I can detect between sounds even though the speakers can sometimes be very sollicited.

But not once, considering all that precision, have I felt tired or fatigued from the audition.

I used no stuffing of any kind, and the speakers are not finished yet: no oil or varnish, nor have I put the second layer of plywood required on the sides of the cabinets. I am still thinking about whether or not I should add that other layer.

I feel this is a winner set-up as it is already; the whole seem very well matched to my ears and... my heart!
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Old 14th January 2007, 04:29 PM   #2
Rick J. B. is offline Rick J. B.  United States
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Wow, pretty impressive Pendergast.

It's cool the way your approaching things. I'm sure it sounds good plus you have the satisfaction and fun of doing most of it yourself.

With the factory designed enclosures how is the bass response? I always ask because that seems to be the achillies heel of full range drivers.

What do you think of the SEX amp? Was it difficult to build?

It's fun to see other peoples work and experiences in this quest.

As for me I've switched back to my BIB based DX-3's recently. I've had to mess with them some to get them into a listenable state.

First I discarded the homemade, ala John Risch, bass traps.
This allowed me to push them completely back into the corners and this has helped the bass response. I'm also using the gizmo's inline with them again.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

They help tame the infamous Lowther SHOUT! which in a reflective room can be unbearable! As you can see there's not much to the Gizmo's but they work. In fact, Jon at Lowther America has a pair, and speaks well of them. Here's a link to Jon's site and his write up on the Gizmo's. Scroll down a bit you can't miss it.


Next I'm thinking of pulling the drivers and playing with differing amounts of dampening material. It's been long enough since I built them, going on 5 years, that I don't remember how much I used.

Anyway your system looks great Pendergast, really. I hope I've not hijacked your thread. I'm just trying to continue the conversation.

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Old 16th January 2007, 03:00 AM   #3
BHD is offline BHD  United States
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Thanks for sharing your impressions and posting the pictures!

I bought a pair of these drivers and have been vacillating between a pair of the factory horns and a pair of BIB's. I'll probably end up building the BIB's simply because they're a lot simpler and thus easier to build. Even though the BIB's are larger visually, the factory horns take up more floor space due to their larger footprint.

Please keep us informed as to how the sound changes as they break in (if it does change) over time.

My religion is the golden rule. The only time it's forsaken me is when I've forsaken it first.
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Old 17th January 2007, 09:35 PM   #4
Pendergast is offline Pendergast  Canada
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Location: Montreal

I agree; it is a quest! I am just a DIYer with not many bases to create, but with some guidance and imagination, I figure I can go as far as I can. So, there I go!

I greatly enjoyed building the S.E.X.. I actually built a second one for my brother and gave it as a Christmas present. I also had a fellow bottlehead send me his for repairs, which I did pretty easily. That amp is not difficult to build and the manual is extremely clear. I actually have the Iron upgraded version of the S.E.X., an improvement I felt significant, especially in the dynamic.

Going back to the fe206esr, I did another session of careful listening yesterday. I used some Jimmy Hendrix (BBC sessions), and the sound was clear and crisp. I bet the guitar was frying!

I also did some extensive listening with some old jazz recordings ("It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" and "Lullaby in birdland" and it was interesting how natural the sound seem to be. The best experience however must have been with Mingus' "Wednesday night prayer meeting" was totally involving. I have some more of those recordings waiting...

I tested the speakers with modern recordings as well. "Rushing over" from Marcus Miller has some pretty lively bass lines. Here, the recordings were challenging and it seemed like a specific frequency was favored over the others. I may have to do some positioning changes as I suspect these were some standing waves.

And thank you for the gizmo reference. I will have to study that!


In terms of breaking in, the drivers have been used for about 9 months in an open baffle format prior to their insertion in the actual cabinets. So I figure the driver are breaking in the enclosure...

Nevertheless, I have a great deal of pleasure listening to this setup. At this point, I feel it is difficult to figure how one component does this or that compared to another. I prefer to listen to the whole set up, and so far, I feel like a winner!

My next project will be a CD player. No idea exactly which one yet, but I might experiment with a portable one as a transport.

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