Madisound Bk-16 Kit review - diyAudio
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Old 3rd July 2004, 02:45 AM   #1
JeffG is offline JeffG  United States
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Talking Madisound Bk-16 Kit review

This is my very first attempt at a review. However i will give it the old college try.

I recently git the DIY bug, and was searching for a project. I did the Dayton III from PE, and they were ok. Made the best out of a little money, and my son loves them for whatever it is he is listening to these days. However, my tastes are a little more demanding as can be witnessed by the shear volume of high-end commercial equipment I have bought, and have cluttering our home.

My musical tastes are pretty vaired everything from Mozart to the Violent Femmes to Lynard Skynard. However, my real love is Jazz - Female Vocal type - just like it - dont know why. Sade, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Cimone, etc, etc.

Well back to the review. I have always been pleased with several sets of speakers that I own - Polk Audio 12B's, Quad 57's, DCM Time Windows. Sonus Faber Parvas, etc. etc.

My favorites have always been the old tried and true Quad 57,s due to their richness and great tonality in the types of music I love. However, I must say that the Fostex FF165K used in the BK-16's is one awesome little driver. I am sitting here now listening to Sade's "Jezebel", and it is like I am hearing it for the first time, I swear she will walk over and touch me any moment. The vocals seem to wash over you like a nice warm bath - not a hot shower - where your intention is to become clean and exit. The music the speakers produces makes you want to sink into the tub, and relax.

I have driven these units with several amps - Decware Zen Tube, Old ESS Vintage 250 WPC deal, Couple of Different NAD and Adcom units. Have to say that my favorite combination is the BK-16's with the Zen. Just sounds right. The fact that the Madisoun Kit is 95DB efficient helps alot too. By the way these things even sound awesome with an old cheap Kenwood Receiver that I have - kind of scary they sound better with the kenwood receiver that with a coulpe lot higher end amps.

Source was Kavent CD-831 CDP - another fantastic value!

Anyway back to the music - which in the end is all we want anyway. Well the music is all you will get. Detail is staggering, Sound Stage is better than the SF parvas for which I paid many, many, many times more. Dynamics put everything other speakers I've listened to in the proper place - which is NOT in my listening room. I know there are many Lowther and Manger fans in these forums - and with good reason. The Lowthers are definitely louder - more efficient - past that I can see no reason to spend the money for them when drivers such as the Fostex FF165K exist.

The reason I was prompted to write this review is simple, My wife and I are huge Sade fans, and have listened to her music for countless hours in my listening room. While she has been warmed by this music on other speaker systems, hearing 'Jezebel' on the BK-16's brought her to tears. I asked her if it was that bad, and she simply replied " I have never heard the level of her sadness in such detail."

Well i think that sums it up. Sound that will have the wife in tears (in a good way). The sound is very easing - though efficient- and tends to prompt you to become a musical sponge. Does that make sense? Anyway - I had planned to give these as a gift to my younger brother in a couple of weeks for his birthday. However, my wife and I agree that a Gift Certificate will be just fine!

Tom at Madisound is great!! Very helpful, and knows a ton. The BK-16's are a GREAT, GREAT value at just $650.00 for the entire kit including cabinets pre-cut.

You can view the kit by going to www.madisound.com and clicking on the left side of the page. Go to the "Kits" section. They do not accept web orders - only by phone. Anyway, it is best to call as Tom can answer any and all questions you might have.

If you are looking for a very satisfying project - this is it!! Go ahead make your significant other cry = you'll be glad you did!!

Good luck on all of your projects, and I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.

Happy DIYing!

JeffG
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Old 3rd July 2004, 03:15 AM   #2
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Thanks for the review. Can I ask a couple of questions?

1) How's the low end?
2) How do they sound without the supertweeters?
3) How loud can they play?
4) Almost forgot -- how directional are they?

-Henry
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Old 3rd July 2004, 04:14 AM   #3
JeffG is offline JeffG  United States
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If there is a weakness with these speakers it is definitely in the low end. They are more than ample for most types of music. However, they would not be sufficet for HT. With a sub, they are as good as anything out there.

As fare as playing loud.. My little Decware Zen created amazing sound levels with these. I have not measured them yet, but the 95DB rating may be somewhat conservative.

They seem to have a nice dispersion pattern, as the sound os nice and full almost every part of my 32X20 listening room. The more I listen, themorer I like.

JeffG
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Old 3rd July 2004, 04:16 AM   #4
JeffG is offline JeffG  United States
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I think they sound very good without the tweeters. They Fostex naturally rolls off around 15k, and the super tweeters simply use hp filter from there. Very Simple, and very effective. For most types of music no tweeters should be fine.

JeffG
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Old 3rd July 2004, 06:16 AM   #5
navin is offline navin  India
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if you need a bit more LF the 225K or even teh 206/207 might be required (in a suitably bigger box).
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Old 7th July 2004, 02:52 AM   #6
Gaucho is offline Gaucho  Canada
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In respect to using the BK-16 cabinets (which you can purchase seperately for $98 each) without the tweeters perhaps one could substitute the FF165K's for the FE166E's to improve the high frequency response. TS parameters don't mean to much to me yet as I am new to DIYing speakers but perhaps the parameters of the two drivers are close enough that a swap would work?

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Gaucho
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Old 7th July 2004, 08:14 AM   #7
Gaucho is offline Gaucho  Canada
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FF165K: fs=40Hz Qts=0.20 Vas=48.2 litres
FE166E: fs=50Hz Qts=0.21 Vas=54.53

Full specs:

http://www.fostex.co.jp/int/pages/sets/prodset.htm
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Old 7th July 2004, 08:00 PM   #8
dalza is offline dalza  United States
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JeffG, thanks for the review. I just started building a pair of BK-16s myself and was glad to read your report. I too will be pairing them with a Decware Zen amp. One quick question, did you make any modifications, like using Defelex panels or stuffing to acheive the good results? I have been contemplating giving the deflex panels a try but would like to hear from someone who has already used them with this cabinet. Also, did you use caulk to fill joint gaps? Thanks for any and all info.

dalza
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Old 8th July 2004, 02:47 AM   #9
JeffG is offline JeffG  United States
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As I an still fairly new to the DIY arena.. I built them just the way they come.. They do ship with the Madisound reccomended amount of stuffing.. Even separated into two equal amounts. I did not use caulk or deflex panels. This is an interesting thought though. If you do it, please let me know how it goes. I am sure you will be happy with the Bk-16's though.

Jeff
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Old 8th July 2004, 04:09 AM   #10
ble0t is offline ble0t  United States
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Well, I wasn't sure about getting this kit...I've been looking at doing it for some time now. They sound quite nice...I just need to scrape up the cash...perhaps by the end of the summer
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