Can I do anything with these cabinets? - diyAudio
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Old 6th November 2008, 08:39 PM   #1
N1ESE is offline N1ESE  United States
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Default Can I do anything with these cabinets?

I will preface this right off by stating I'm a newbie.

I'm nearing completion of my first tube amplifier. It's the "Simple SE" design using a pair of KT-88's so figure about 6W per channel when I run this in triode mode (preferred). I went way over budget on putting quality components into this amp so I can't afford the really nice speaker cabinets I want until the Spring. Therefore, I need something decent to get me by until then.

In my closet (pic linked below), I have a pair of small bookshelf 2-ways. I have no clue who made them, I don't even know where they came from, but they appear to be built solidly and I love the size of them. I'm wondering if I could somehow either throw a better woofer/tweeter/crossover in here OR somehow convert this to a small bass reflex box and go with a small Fostex (or other brand) full-range driver.

Specs I know of on the speakers:

10-7/16" tall, 7-1/4" wide, 5-1/2" deep
5/16" MDF
Opening for woofer is about 5-13/16"
Opening for tweeter is about 1-3/4"
No crossover to speak of, just a 1 uF cap on tweeter

My use:

Mostly near-field within 2 feet of sitting position in a small 10x10 room.
~6W per channel SE amp

My music tastes:

Very wide range but these days mostly Techno (Tangerine Dream, Franco Bianco), "Smooth Jazz" (Spyro Gyra), Folk Pop (James Taylor/Neil Diamond), and Celtic Rock (Great Big Sea).


Any ideas on how to improve upon these cabinets based on the info given? I'm not expecting stellar performance, I know anything I do will be a serious compromise. I will be buying better cabinets when I can. However, in the meantime, I don't have a problem spending a couple hundred to make these work.

Please, do not tell me to make my own cabinets. I lack the tools, don't want to buy the tools, and seriously lack the skills to be doing any woodworking at all. Trust me on this. I stick with what I am good at, soldering.

Thanks

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Old 6th November 2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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If you plan on using a powered subwoofer in the future i think a Fostex 167e will fit into that hole. I would keep the existing tweeter and change the capacitor to a 1uf. Stuff it with some Acoustastuff or other and enjoy them. The 167e will have great midrange and treble but not the best bass in that box. The subwoofer would round out the sound. But even without a subwoofer, it will play music... but it would be light on bass. Can you put them into corners?
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Old 6th November 2008, 10:28 PM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Well, here's a stupid question - what amp have you heard them with so far?
Why not wait 'til you finish the Simple SE - they could end up sounding fine, and hardly worth the effort.


As Jeff says, the FE167 would be a logical recommendation - the tolerance on the mounting flange should allow for the driver to drop in the existing opening, but of course the mounting holes might not line up.

The performance would certainly be sub-optimal - the cabinet is certainly undersized for best performance with the FE167, and construction is flimsy enough that it will have some severe resonances.

However, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine that they could be bettered, with something like a pair of the Parts Express cabinets ( e.g. .75 cu ft for the FE167E)

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=302-743

and get a buddy to cut the 2 holes required for driver and ports .

These are incredibly well made and finished boxes for the price.
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Old 6th November 2008, 10:55 PM   #4
N1ESE is offline N1ESE  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by chrisb
Well, here's a stupid question - what amp have you heard them with so far? Why not wait 'til you finish the Simple SE - they could end up sounding fine, and hardly worth the effort.
Good question actually. These are brand new if my memory serves me right. I think these are some clearance speakers I picked up new for $15 from Radio Shack about 2.5 years ago. I think I used them for about two hours to listen to some AM amateur transmissions with a 1950's National receiver I was fixing up for sale.

My amp will be done early next week and I will definitely be trying them before making an mods. I was just thinking worse case here and planning ahead. I'm very skeptical if they are the speakers I think they are though. Who knows though, you are right.

I should probably just save my pennies for what I really want and use these, as is, for now.

Edit: and chrisb, it's funny you are the one who responded as it's a pair of Fonkens that I really want.
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Old 6th November 2008, 11:27 PM   #5
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Before you do that follow the previous advice on putting some stuffing in the box, it will make them much better for very little cost and effort, glueing some small blocks into the junction of each side to couple the panels together would be easy and worthwhile.
I personally favour fibreglass with polyester microfiber over the top but if you have an old pillow in the house use that.
Regards
Ted
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Old 7th November 2008, 01:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Can I do anything with these cabinets?

Quote:
Originally posted by N1ESE
10-7/16" tall, 7-1/4" wide, 5-1/2" deep
5/16" MDF
A touch over 5 litres by my calculation

Quote:
as it's a pair of Fonkens that I really want
If you could engineer a new baffle we could repurpose the box into a quasi-mFonken

dave
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Old 7th November 2008, 01:53 AM   #7
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by N1ESE


Good question actually. These are brand new if my memory serves me right. I think these are some clearance speakers I picked up new for $15 from Radio Shack about 2.5 years ago. I think I used them for about two hours to listen to some AM amateur transmissions with a 1950's National receiver I was fixing up for sale.

My amp will be done early next week and I will definitely be trying them before making an mods. I was just thinking worse case here and planning ahead. I'm very skeptical if they are the speakers I think they are though. Who knows though, you are right.

I should probably just save my pennies for what I really want and use these, as is, for now.

Edit: and chrisb, it's funny you are the one who responded as it's a pair of Fonkens that I really want.
I just re-read your earlier post more carefully, and your room is a very unfortunate size and shape. The amount of acoustical treatment required to fully tame it would leave little room to actually sit and listen. I'd suggest that something like any of of several good FE127 designs would be more than enough for the room, in a diagonal arrangement if you can manage it - and I'd forget about targeting for deep bass.

Obviously any suggestions that I might make would be highly filtered by experience with my own awkward room. A floorstanding slim tower, rear vented near the floor is first that comes to mind - easily allows flexibility of placement in the diagonal configuration, and provides some boundary loading. As might be no surprise, there is such a design in the "family" . If you're serious about something like this, it's not at all a tough build for even an apprentice cabinetmaker - and surely you should be able to find someone to help with that.


http://homepage.mac.com/tlinespeaker...127-FS-Mk2.pdf

6W of SE tube power is a very comfortable zone for this driver.

best of luck
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Old 7th November 2008, 02:21 AM   #8
N1ESE is offline N1ESE  United States
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Quote:
I just re-read your earlier post more carefully, and your room is a very unfortunate size and shape.
Let me see if I can more accurately describe how I use this room.

On a ~10' wall, I have an 8' desk with a 4' extension on the right end. The 8' section is my computer desk and the 4' is my workbench, I just swivel my chair to change focus. I'm a disabled computer geek and spend upwards of 14 hours a day at this desk working from home. The rest of the room is empty and unused.

I was originally thinking of a bookshelf shaped monitor on each corner of the 8' desk or sitting on stands. I'm more aesthetically attracted to the "Fonken" and was planning on ordering a pair of these but have to put it off a couple months due to a surprise operation that has come up that I have to pay for out of pocket.

The towers are definitely intriguing but I definitely prefer the "Funken" look.

Does this help at all?
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Old 7th November 2008, 09:04 PM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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The room is still 10 ft square, which would cause some problems with lower frequencies, as well as sidewall reflections at higher frequencies. This is where the diagonal placement of smaller speakers can mitigate some room issues.

Where are door(s) / windows (if any) located in relation to what I take as a 96"x48" L-shaped workstation?

The full sized Fonken with vertical port slots on each side of the cabinet works best at least 2 ft out from rear and side walls - that would make stand mounted placement problematic in a room this size, particularly if you require open floor space for access to a wheelchair. Having said that, there is at least one case ( rear surrounds in a small multi-channel mastering room for a local film producer) where a pair have been installed on wall mounted brackets.
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Old 7th November 2008, 09:21 PM   #10
N1ESE is offline N1ESE  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by chrisb
Where are door(s) / windows (if any) located in relation to what I take as a 96"x48" L-shaped workstation?
I'll take a picture of the room sometime this weekend and email it to you. There are two windows, in the corners, on the wall where the 96" portion of the desk are. There in the left corner perpendicular close to the left window but it isn't used very much.

I have a feeling that anything in this room is going to be a big compromise.
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