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Old 29th April 2004, 01:59 AM   #1
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Default A book(s) review:

About a month ago I purchased from www.madisound.com the five-book Japanese speakerbuilding book set entitled, "Nagaoka Tetsuo's _Special Techique to Design the Original Speakers."

The set comprises five books, each about 8"x10" and 230 pages long. Each of the five books contains about 80-100 designs for all types of speaker enclosures - bass reflexes, horns, swans, TL's, open-baffles, surround-sound sets, etc.

Having spent a lot of time with the books since, I wanted to post a review, of sorts. The books, alas, are written in Japanese. I do not speak, nor do I read, Japanese. That said, I can sum up my review in exactly three words.

Buy these books.

I have gotten more satisfaction (and design ideas) from these books than all of the other english-language audio-related books I have read put together.

Nagaoka Tetsuo is, apparently (or was, actually) a famous speaker design guru in Japan. The books contain photos of him building various speakers, measuring the output or just sitting there, looking cool like a guru. Think "Speakerbuilding meets Iron Chef," and you won't be too far off. I'm not kidding.

The fact that the books are written in Japanese would not at all prevent one from building any of the designs. The numbers, which are what really matter, are written in Arabic form. From this, you can glean low-freq roll-offs, driver models, values on schematics for the speakers that contain caps or crossovers.

From all of the knowledge I have gained from the books, I am now finding myself wishing I COULD read Japanese, as there is about a page of text per design.

The designs use mostly Fostex drivers, but other brands are used from time-to-time. The designs are about 60/40 single-driver to multi-driver enclosures.

One of the most helpful features to the book is that nearly every design has a real-world frequency response graph (from 1-meter and from 3-meters) included. In the aggregate, looking at hundreds of designs with their freq responses posted next to them really starts to give one an intuitive ability toward predicting the results of a given enclosure design/driver combo.

One of my very few gripes with the books is that the graphs are VERY small. But from one of the sharper graphs, I could see that the first vertical line is 50hz, etc., and can figure out the values. Still, they could have done that differently.

One other caveat: Bassheads need not apply.

While he does do some Sub/Satellite setups, most of his designs roll off in the 40's. Fine by me, but I know some of you guys like to speak whale, as it were. Just an FYI. He even has a coupla sets of horns designed around the dinky little 3" FE83E that roll off in the 50's-60's. But I'll bet they would image like hell.

He is obviously a fan of Fostex drivers, especially the Sigma (or should I say, $igma) series. But there is a ton of stuff from the normal 83/87's, 103/107's, 165's, 206's, etc., for the speakerbuilder on a budget.

Having absorbed the books, my plans will likely include getting a set of FE87's to complement the 103's I already have, along with some 167's and 206's and playing around in MDF until I find the enclosures I like best with each of them, and then encasing those in a nice veneer for each.

I have so many ideas now, both from the books and tangentially inspired by the books, that I hardly know where to start. If you spend way too much time on DIY-Audio-type sites like this, buy books and let your S-O feel relieved that you aren't spending so much time web surfing.

I can honestly say that these are far-and-away the best Japanese books I have ever read. And if anyone else has read the books, I would love to know what you think of them.



GnD

More info in this .pdf:

www.madisound.com/fostex.pdf

The book set is at the bottom of page 3 (out of 14.)
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Old 2nd May 2004, 12:15 AM   #2
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Just curious here, but has anyone else purchased this book set from Madisound? I would think someone here would have...


TIA,

GnD
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