Choosing the right weapons


2009-11-24 1:32 am
Pardon me if this is posted in the wrong forum, but I'm looking for a holistic solution to my sonic woes. Oh... and I'm (arbitrarily) starting with a pair of stock FE167E's. <- negotiable, I'm not wed to them.

I've read everything I can find on wringing out every last drop of sonic goodness from these little workhorses. And results seem encouraging.

But... I believe in playing to the strengths inherent in our equipment.
And... I don't mind delaying gratification to get what I want.
And... I've got some latitude regarding system configuration and spatial constraints.

So... I could build a pair of 1/2 Chili's to try and get the little drivers to tow the load solo.
Or... I could build a cabinet that plays up the 100 - 5K strengths of this driver, build a high quality pair of subs, and couple the FE's with super tweeters (or whatever you kids are calling them these days).
Or... some combination that trades off crossover "tone robbery" for lack of physical coverage.

And, finally, this brings me to the corollary question which I will frame as a statement (hint: it's really a question): I've heard reports from more than one source, often accompanied by claims of being supported by math and physics, that speakers in sealed enclosures are "tighter" and "more musical" than their ported cousins, assuming the drivers in question are suitable to both.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am *not* trying to incite a flame war. I'm simply trying to get a handle on the complexities of this acoustical engineering that some of you seem to digest with such great aplomb.

Now on the the ancillary information...

MUSIC: Musical tastes range from Baroque to Beastie Boys. I have a soft spot for strings and female vocals. Sound stage is high on my list of priorities. I will confess to liking the bottom 2 octaves quite a bit, but if they lack clarity (tightness) then I'd prefer they just didn't exist. I want my mid-range to have punch and presence. And I don't want my highs to be too shrill. I'm demanding of my system. I expect AC/DC and Segovia to both sound "present" and "alive." I'm not being morbid; I'm trying to describe the music.

AMPS: I've built Pete Millett's "Engineer's Amplifier," a push-pull 18W pentode amp and it sounds wonderful to me. I'm in the process of building a pair of Bruce's 20 watt push-pull KT88 monoboock amps. Lastly, I've got my sights set on Ti Kan's very fine Beta24 (170W @ 8 ohms). After all, a guy's got to have a reference amp against which to judge his tube equipment... right???

PRE: I'm close to finishing Bruce's ForeWatt and am in the middle of Ti Kan's Beta22 (fully balanced) for use with the Beta24.

SOURCE: I'm building Ti Kan's Gamma1 and Gamma2 in the hopes of turning it into a DIY high end CD audio source. In the meantime, I'm playing from a (pedestrian) Denon DVD-1600 or (god forbid) my iPod with compressed mp3 source. Lastly, I've got an old Pioneer with a fair-to-midland Shure M97xE cartridge which runs through the so-so Oatley RIAA tube phono stage.

*** Any help at all is greatly appreciated. ***
Build all three and see which sounds best to you. There are lots of designs to choose from for the 167e. It's a good choice for a full range driver of it's size. I would build a BIB personally and leave it on its own using one of the tube amps you are building. There are several good back horns for it too. Or you can try the OB route tho i am not sure who here has. You can also seal them up and add a sub and probably get very good results.
This enclosure works quite well with FE167E, and the topology has proven to be compliant with a range of driver brands and sizes.

It's the same enclosure you inquired about in another thread, and the photo posted there is interior of one of the pair below. The required volume is such that they could be built without the lower void cavity, but then stands would be required , and this way you could include a small woofer per side for a killer active system.


Sealed / ported / horns / TL, etc? I'd say it's more a matter of implementation and system synergy than of simple theory that "I read somewhere (on the internet)"
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This enclosure works quite well with FE167E, and the topology has proven to be compliant with a range of driver brands and sizes.

I'm going with the "classic" Fonken style cab for my drivers. Unless I change my mind of course.;)



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