CSS FR125S Initial impressions

The new driver from Creative Sound Solutions, the FR125S, is a remarkable achievment in low cost single driver design. Fostex and Jordan can rest comfortably on their laurels for a while as they are better known and have earned respect over the years, however, when compared side and side and dollar for dollar the FR125S is the clear winner.
I installed the FR125S into 7 liter vented cabinets, the very same cabinets I use for my Ling Single speakers. No filters were used, just straight from the amp to the driver. They sounded very similar to the WR125S but with a noticable difference in the top end. They actually play everything! My wife was nearby not paying attention to which speakers were playing (there were 5 different speakers in the room at the time) and when I pointed out that they were the new single drivers from CSS she was astounded. "There's no tweeter?" she asked.
They are everything a single driver lover would ask for (save 100db sensitivity). Lows, highs, imaging, neutrality...well almost everything.
I have to admit, after hearing them I was worried. Very worried. I've sunk real money into developing a good two-way bookshelf based on the WR125S. If these are as good as them I'll have to have a fire sale! Fortunately for me, when I did A/B testing between the FR125S and my Ling bookshelf speakers there was a noticeable difference. I wasn't drawn into the music quite the way I am when listening to the Ling's. They are better balanced and lend an "air" to the music that's missing with the single driver speaker due to the Fostex super tweeter.
Now before you cry FOUL! let me tell you that if the FR125S was as good as my Ling's I wouldn't be posting this. The point I'm trying to make is that they were good enough to have me seriously worried. That's very good news for single driver fans and new DIYers looking for something easy to build, inexpensive and still sounds great.
Thank you Dan for designing a wonderful product.
Contratulations to Bob for taking a risk and succeeding.
 
kids, can you say bipoles?

Tim, once Dave is finished with the glamor photos and some TS measurementts on his first set of 4, we should have a couple of pairs of bi-pole MLTLs, based on your 2-way design, ready for auditioning. We'll probably use 8ohm WR125 for the rear drivers.

Care to drop by for a listen in a week or two?

BTW, fill density about the same as with the FE127E?
 
Re: kids, can you say bipoles?

Bipole FR125s eh? I had been thinking jx92s until a couple days ago when I read about this new FR version of the lauded 125s. Well, at half the price, why not go bipole?

I played around with the MJK mathcad sheets yesterday and figured a MLTL (using the preliminary T/s parameters):

L=39"
Z driver=3"
Z port=30"
So=Sd=70sq"
Density=0.3lb/cu ft
Rp=1"
Lp=1.5"

-3dB at 40 Hz with a fairly quick plummet below that.

Anyone want to check my math on that? For 2 drivers parallel: 1/2 the Lvc and Re and double the Sd and Vad. Correct?

So, mixing a FR125 with a WR125 on the back is no problem? The specs are almost the same, and I guess you'd save a few bucks. Any drawbacks to the combo? Well, I guess you wouldn't have the ability to quickly switch between rear and front firing port simply by turning the speaker around.

Chrisb, I too am in Victoria. Any chance for an invite to the unveiling?

Max
 
Re: kids, can you say bipoles?

chrisb said:
Tim, once Dave is finished with the glamor photos and some TS measurementts on his first set of 4, we should have a couple of pairs of bi-pole MLTLs, based on your 2-way design, ready for auditioning. We'll probably use 8ohm WR125 for the rear drivers.

Care to drop by for a listen in a week or two?

BTW, fill density about the same as with the FE127E?

I went fairly light on the stuffing using R13 fiberglass rather than polyester. It doesn't need very much.
I'm waiting for Dave to publish a date for the mountain retreat.


soongsc said:



Is that a listening comparison or just impression from past memories?

Yep, past memories. I don't have the Jordan's here for A/B testing. I did live with a pair for a couple of weeks and enjoyed them. I can't get past the pricing though.
 
Been having some fun with them today as PC speakers. I'm sitting about 2 feet away from them powered with a Sonic Impact T-amp (5w/ch 8 ohms). Kinda like wearing giant weightless headphones.

Welcome to my world :D (except I use a 60wpc carver amp) Try filtering out everything under the tuning frequency if you can, and you'l get near limitless dynamic range sitting that close. One neat thing about running these little WR/FR drivers in ported boxes, is that they tend to mate really well with some of the great 70's vintage receivers, especially the ones that had a 50/60hz subsonic filter. I tried them with my old Yamaha and they sounded just great.
 
Re: Re: kids, can you say bipoles?

maxro said:
Bipole FR125s eh? I had been thinking jx92s until a couple days ago when I read about this new FR version of the lauded 125s. Well, at half the price, why not go bipole?

I played around with the MJK mathcad sheets yesterday and figured a MLTL (using the preliminary T/s parameters):

L=39"
Z driver=3"
Z port=30"
So=Sd=70sq"
Density=0.3lb/cu ft
Rp=1"
Lp=1.5"

-3dB at 40 Hz with a fairly quick plummet below that.

Anyone want to check my math on that? For 2 drivers parallel: 1/2 the Lvc and Re and double the Sd and Vad. Correct?

So, mixing a FR125 with a WR125 on the back is no problem? The specs are almost the same, and I guess you'd save a few bucks. Any drawbacks to the combo? Well, I guess you wouldn't have the ability to quickly switch between rear and front firing port simply by turning the speaker around.

Chrisb, I too am in Victoria. Any chance for an invite to the unveiling?

Max


I'll let others ponder the math - but I will say that in my particular room situation, the subjective performance frequently belies the anticipated "moderate bass" response, particularly if you listen at SPL's below room loading thresholds. And I've yet to hear a bipole FR in this system that I didn't like - can you imagine bipole FE108ESigmas?

We've scored 4 pieces of the first batch of FR125 for testing purposes, and Bob has more WR's in immediate stock. These are just quickie proto-mules, and yes the T/S are close enough for an old married guy, and finally our intention is to test our hypothosis re the plywood / MDF question, so we hope to have 2 otherwise identical pairs for A/B listening.


With the port downfiring to the floor in my implementaton , there's no port tuning issue.

Sure, in a week or so when all the drivers are installed, a listening & lie swapping session would seem in order.

BYOA! (bring your own amp/s)
 
vintage gear

morbo said:


Welcome to my world :D (except I use a 60wpc carver amp) Try filtering out everything under the tuning frequency if you can, and you'l get near limitless dynamic range sitting that close. One neat thing about running these little WR/FR drivers in ported boxes, is that they tend to mate really well with some of the great 70's vintage receivers, especially the ones that had a 50/60hz subsonic filter. I tried them with my old Yamaha and they sounded just great.


For SS, try an NAD 3020 or 7020 receiver, or even better an old Fisher tubed receiver. Sure a GC or Zen mini will have tighter bass an "spankier" transients, but not necessarily more musicality, and you could probably find a used NAD somewhere for less than the power supply components and heat-sinks chassis for the chip / FET amps.
 
hair is for neanderthals

Timn8ter said:


I was wondering about that. With my horribly "inefficient" designs I'm going to need an amp with some hair. :mischiev:

us metro-SET-uals prefer the silky smooth transparency you can probably only get with small firebottles, and to reiterate my plea for moderate SPL, just how much power do you need for under 90 dB

But seriously, the FE127 bipoles definitely could play louder, and sounded very authoritative in their lowest octave with a Jason's little Gain Clone (don't ask me which device), but were much more finely textured and spacious with the EL84RH monoblocks - and they weren't even fully broken in yet.