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Old 21st January 2014, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default FR design, some questions and help needed.

So I was asked by a friend to build her a pair of speakers for the living room, which is L shaped, about 30 sqm.
The budget is around 200-250€ for the completed pair.
After some looking around the forum and the web, I believe that the CHR70 might be a nice choice. So here are some questions:

1- enclosure, I've seen the pensil and the minionken as popular choices. Friend prefers bookshelves but will go with floormount if significant advantage is to be had.
What sort of freq response can I get from the onken? Will it benefic from "wall coupling" to increase low end response?
Is there substancial advantage of going with the floormount pensil?

2 - Amplification, what sort of power would I need. Will something like this be good enough? Alternative would be a class AB chipamp. Budget for amp is also around 200-250€

3 - Any other drivers, enclosures, ideas I should consider?

thanks in advance
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Old 21st January 2014, 03:57 PM   #2
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1 - generally people say onken series have the edge re finesse and imaging, pensils have the edge with LF. But I'm only reporting what I've read else where. I have pensils and reccomend them highly.
2 - the Topping TP-20mk 2. It's absolutely stellar for the price and many FR owners use topping amps. I adore mine.
3 - if you save a few bucks by buying a topping amp, spend the extra and get a pair of 7.3'S. I have some in stand mounts and could wax lyrical for some considerable time about how superb they are. If budget permits you might consider the frugal horn mk3, a design considered by many as a "timeless classic"
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Old 21st January 2014, 07:12 PM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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What he said - but wait, there's more

I've built / heard a fair number of different MA drivers in a range of enclosures, and as a generalization, the full sized floorstanding 1/4" wave action types ( MLTLs such as Pensils, BLH such as FH3, et al) will develop deeper extension and more output in their lowest octave or so than the smaller slot vented mini-onken types.

On the other hand the "kens" can have smoother and more gradual bass rolloff with what I've subjectively described as "more articulation" in the lower mid-bass on down. The sacrifice is bass extension, particularly in larger spaces, which a certain degree of wall coupling can mitigate, but is more thoroughly cured by the injection of more funds - i.e. adding a powered woofer (not HT atmosphere generator as Mark so eloquently describes what many are using) .

The room described is very close to the size of my den / HT room, and unless floorspace is at a huge premium, I'd suggest that the advantages of the MLTLs would trump the mini-onkens "finesse", unless separate woofer(s) can be added.


Have you located the closest stocking dealer for MA products and confirmed their pricing structure?

If the budget quoted above is for raw drivers, I'd suggest you consider the Alpair7.3. I'm sure that even Mark would agree it's much more refined and detailed than the CHR70. My own "daily drivers" for the past 2 years have been A7.2 in Pensils, and even without the support of woofers in HT rig, they are quite satisfying on music. I doubt there's any FR driver in this price range capable of achieving the threshold of full immersion HT 5.1 or beyond performance without assistance of (several) woofers.



As to the question of recommended power / amp type - you'd probably want to look at min of 25-30 wpc for either of the above drivers for this application. I'm personally far more comfortable building speaker enclosures, and would generally look at a small digital amp such as the Topping brand that lorien mentioned. In fact I'm running TP30s in two different desk top systems, as well as one of their DACs (D20) in one of my home systems. They also make a much more powerful unit (TP60) about which one forum member (Bob Brines) has said good things. The US "street price" of $209 before shipping, etc is a bargain - indeed their entire product y are definitely extremely well valued AFAIC. .
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Old 21st January 2014, 11:18 PM   #4
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The Alpair 7.3 seems like a nice driver. The on kens won't fit her bookshelf so showed some pics of the pensils and she liked them. She might be able to bring the drivers from the us so they'll be around 130-140€ the pair, quite nice! Mdf will be used for the enclosure as birch ply is over budget unfortunately.

Regarding the amplifier, I might go with something more traditional like an integrated from and, CA or onkyo, since all these have multiple inputs, a phono stage inclusive and remote, all nice things for a non geek woman! and I can't build something with all those Features at that price range.
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Old 22nd January 2014, 12:54 AM   #5
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I've justo read a post from Mark saying that the chr70 might be more forgiving on source and amplification. Since this will be a budget system, with an entry level turntable and dac as sources, and a entry level amp as well, won't the Alpair 7.3 be over the top, and even reveal the flaws of the remaining parts?
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Old 22nd January 2014, 06:48 AM   #6
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If your friend was generally playing highly compressed MP3 files, then perhaps yes. But in a realm where the law of diminishing returns can often mean silly money for minute gains, I would say the extra bucks spent on the 7.3's would be the best money you spend.

But that's just moi
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Old 22nd January 2014, 07:40 AM   #7
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorienblack View Post
If your friend was generally playing highly compressed MP3 files, then perhaps yes. But in a realm where the law of diminishing returns can often mean silly money for minute gains, I would say the extra bucks spent on the 7.3's would be the best money you spend.

But that's just moi

not !

- the 7s are definitely worth the extra up front

as for amps - yes, the Alpairs won't hide issues with the upstream system / signal or recordings themselves
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Old 22nd January 2014, 08:03 AM   #8
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Apologies if I was unclear, we are singing off the same hymn sheet.

Alpair 7.3's worth every extra cent and much more besides.
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Old 22nd January 2014, 10:04 AM   #9
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Cool! I'll go with the 7's!

She'll probably play some internet rádio/ spotify as well as some mp3, but the main objective is a good budget system for vinyl!
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Old 22nd January 2014, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorienblack View Post
Apologies if I was unclear, we are singing off the same hymn sheet.

Alpair 7.3's worth every extra cent and much more besides.
I think Chrisb was saying 'not!' to your earlier sentence "But that's just moi," indicating that it isn't just you who thinks the 7.3 is the better value for the money, but that Chrisb agrees with you.
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