FE103E, 103En, TBW4-1320 choice and Xmax

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I guess I killed my third Fostex 103e pair (sounds distorted at high levels).

But I normally love their fast and subtile sound (only have also a 167e pair I also found slower, also now bad sounding)
Now, are they globally too fragile (or am I too curious without enough knowledge) ? I used them mostly on TQWT but also tried BR, sealed, OB, BLH...the 4 last being unsatisfaying.

I use a 2w 45 SET amp with the Fostexes with satisfying results but sound got easily harsh on modulation peaks (classical music voices mainly) even without pushing the amp.

I thought it could have been Xmax ?

That's why I hesitate between buying a forth pair (in Europe I guess I could still find some until they totally disappear)
or buying a 103En if not
or buying something different with a better Xmax, perhaps more flexible and less fragile, with better bass.
For example the TB W4-1320 or 654 (physical drop-in for 103e) or 655, or french Davis 13MPR (6 mm p-p).
Many other options are too pricey (supravox), have too low sensitivity (css), are 4 ohm (markaudio) or have just a ragged / rising freq. resp.

Any opinions would be welcome.

Info : I have just bought a 500 $ subwoofer second hand for 80 $ (waiting for it) to have a try helping the low end.
I like the TB sound as much as i like the Fostex sound. I am not 100% sure but i would guess the TBs can handle a bit more power. Having said that, these are all small drivers. Even the 167e has limitations and would benefit from your sub. Maybe having the sub will help you enjoy louder music without pushing the full range drivers past their limits... TB sounds more mellow than Fostex but will be a couple db down per watt. Here's link to one of my TB projects. I prefer them with tweeters but that's a matter of taste.

TangBand W4-1320 4" Bamboo full range driver

You would have to be really really pushing a 45SE into clipping to fry the coils on either of those Fostex... are you sure you have killed all 4 speakers and don't have a problem elsewhere?

They are not really killed : they just don't sound as smooth as before.
First did not like children's fingers (especially central cap), ...several times
Second and 167e went different, less dynamic, after a Class T amp I used at that time made strange and strong noises
The third one did not like when I tried it in a Frugal type BLH with a super-filled and very small CC (curiousity may be a bad habit :confused:).
And are you playing Mahler? :)

You're right, I have a few hundreds recordings of Mahler alone :D ...and of others (1,500 + classical music CDs and a few hundreds LPs)
building 2w SET and 4" driver speakers is perhaps not the best bet concerning huge orchestral climaxes but I think it is for discovering many jewels of orchestration and artistry (I have been trying a lot of gear at hifi stores for the last years, many gear being made of sales margin : quality/€ ratio being not always good...)

Speakers with more xmax wil probably not be as fast as Fostexes with their short voicecoils and soft suspensions.

I imagine that still low mass, higher Xmax could give a good compromise between fast sound (of course less than 103e, BL/Mms equaling those of Lowthers) but reduced distortion, and better bass than 103e (did try BLH, was not satisfied with it).
I was thinking of TB 1320 or 655 as they are just the same size than the 103e. At that moment, I am fed up with building enclosures.
655 could the a cheap way (52 €/68$ pair in Europe) to have a try.
I've seen that a lot of drivers are sometimes twice the price in Europe compared to the US (but the shipping cost)
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