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VFR800A 22nd March 2011 10:12 PM

Alpair 7eN Cabinet Selection (Pensil, BIB or Maeshowe)

First-time post here.

I purchased Dave's Alpair 7eN drivers and it's time to select a cabinet. I have a couple of recommendations but would also like to throw out to the group.

I bought the drivers for a small room where I'll do most of my listening. Room is 10' x 14' x 8'. It's above the garage so the long walls are basically 5' knee-walls, which then slope up towrd the ceiling. So rather than a full 8' height all the way across the ceiling, the flat part of the ceiling is 4', which then slopes down to the knee-walls.

Speakers will be on the short-wall. I have access to the corners but also like to pull out into the room a bit for soundstage depth.

Floor is carpet but I'll likely rip it up and go with wood flooring.

Amp is a modified Altmann BYOB and Attraction DAC, Krell DT-10 transport, VIP Scout with Dynavector DV20X-L and Art Audio Alana Preamp. Have a nice passive unity gain preamp as well, which excels in transparency.

Prefer a floor-standing speaker. Would like a nice, well-balanced presentation with best bass possible without being bloated. Hyper-detail is not essential.

Any thoughts welcome.



chrisb 22nd March 2011 10:32 PM

Jim - I think the room's a bit small for Maeshowe to fully integrate, the Pensil would be my suggestion for a very easy project - just make sure to use cleats and make the back panel removable to play with damping fill levels.

There are 2 other enclosures to consider - the FH3, and my personal favorite with several drivers, but not a floor stander, the "prime" dMar-Ken7. It would give up a bit of extension to the Pensil & FH3, and dynamics and scale to the Maeshowe, but for me imaging and mid-bass articulation, at which this enclosure design excels, trumps the others.

It's also the most persnickety build of the cited short list.

VFR800A 23rd March 2011 12:24 AM

I know Dave really likes the dMar-Ken7 quite a bit. Scott likes the Maeshowe. I love the looks of the Maeshowe as well.

I do have the bedroom which is 17' wide by 25' deep with 9' ceilings. Would the Maeshowes get lost in that size room? I'd be listening nearfield within the first 1/2 of the room.

I might just build both...

I'm afraid of the dMar-Ken7 because I'm not a fan of subwoofers, etc., or trying to integrate multiple drivers. I have modified Altecs with wood horns and tweeters for full-range, classic rock, etc. to satisfy that need.

Just looking for a single driver/cabinet design that gets down low enough for blues, jazz, etc. where I'm not wanting for more bottom-end. If possible, I'd like a bit more bottom-end than what the Hornshoppe's put out with the FE126E drivers.



chrisb 23rd March 2011 01:15 AM

The larger room certainly sounds to me to be more suited to the Maeshowe (or Valiant with the FE126) , which I dare say will extend deeper and more completely fill the room than the Hornshoppe, or for that matter the FH3 with FE126E, both of which I'm quite familiar with.

Keep in mind the sensitivity difference between the Fostex and Alpair drivers - with the A7, you'd want at least 10 watts or more. In my case I've played them with amps ranging from EL84 P/P pentode (12ish watts) to Denon surround receiver at 5x70W.

As for the dMar-Ken7 needing support of woofers in small room and with your described music choices - perhaps.

If it's how I imagine an over the garage /attic space, the steeply angled ceiling to the side walls would probably place full height enclosures such as the Maeshowe or BIB too close together for best imaging and soundstage width.

There are no doubt other MLTL or Voigt Pipe designs such as the Beltane that could serve well - if the 60" height would fit. With the driver mounted on the angled panel any of the Woden Festival series would approach the aesthetic of Terry Cain's Abby.

So there ya go - is that 4 to consider? Since you've got more than one room, you may even need to buy more drivers. :)

oops, it sound's like that's the last thing you need - but when has that ever stopped an DIY addict?

VFR800A 24th March 2011 12:54 AM

Paid for the Maeshowe plans :p. I'll go all out first time around and report back. No point in holding back. If the'yre purty enough, maybe my wife let them roam around the house a bit.

Tips on construction and treating of compression chamber are welcome. Friend has a CNC router so it shouldn't be too difficult. I used to build quite a bit but no shop these days. Hoping that 5' x 5' sheets of Baltic Birch plywood are cut well enough so I can use the full 5' length, which looks necessary.

Thanks for the help.


BudP 24th March 2011 01:54 AM


Hyper-detail is not essential.
Unavoidable, regardless of what you choose. I have noticed that the lack of real bass pressure is more than made up for by the amount of textural information down to the mid 40's and mine were in the Fonken derivation. They are currently languishing, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control and so I am reviving my affair with F127eN's. Going to have to add a couple of rows of dot's to them, just to get close to the level of detail from the Alpair 7's, but the colorful presentation is still quite charming.


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