fostex comparisons

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hey all, in addition to my prior thread, im considering using the fostex sigma series. i have no experience with either of these, but between the two (206e vs. sigma 8) which would be better? now i know this is a broad question, but is the price difference worth it? also how do they compare in tonality, power handling, and freq. range? please, anybody who can help me with this comparison would be much appreciated.

also, what are some comparable full range driver companies? thanks again
Which is 'better' will depend on your situation (eg cash, woodworking ability and so on), and what you are hoping to achieve.

The latest Sigma is more a wide than a full-range driver: it rolls off around 14KHz, so you'll need a tweeter. Therefore, you'll have to factor these into the price on top of the already hefty premium you pay for the Sigma drivers. I like Fostex' own [super]tweeters myself, though most people advise to avoid these and get a ribbon of some form. Horses for courses. The FE208ESigma has a very limited excursion, so it really needs to be horn loaded; the latest Sigma's tend not to work well in other cabinet types (though it's not impossible or unknown to use them).

The FE206E is far cheaper of course, and is a true full-range driver; it's unlikely you'll need a tweeter unless you're particularly bat-eared. It's more versitile in that it can be loaded in other cabinet types as well as a horn, such as a MLTL, TQWT or even BR, though it needs some hefty BSC to tame the rising response. It will also handle more power than its more expensive Sigma brother, but neither requires much grunt to go loud -10 watts will be ample, unless you're using some hefty BSC with the 206.

In terms of tonallity, the Sigma is streets ahead, assuming it's paired with the decent tweeters it needs, unless you don't like any HF at all. It's basically a far more specialised, higher quality driver, but for the price, you'd expect it to be.

Is the Sigma worth the extra? Assuming you can a) afford the drivers + tweeters and b) want a pair of horns, then I'd say go for it without hesitation: you'll need Lowthers to better it, and there are extras like brass-rings you can add to the Fostex at a later date with good results when you fancy an upgrade. I believe Terry Cain has also had some good results with cryogenically freezing these things, so that's something else to think on for future reference.

If you can't afford the Sigmas + required tweeters, or don't want horns, then panic ye not: the FE206E is a great driver for the money, and is very versatile, as is the FE207E for that matter, and by no means a poor choice: It's all the driver a lot of people will ever want. There aren't really many rivals to Fostex in this regard. Supravox perhaps, I've never heard them, so I can't pass comment, but they're not cheap or as easily available I believe (though I could be wrong on this).

Hope some of this helps
One more thought...

You may want to consider the 168E Sigma. This driver provides plenty of bass and does not "need" a tweeter. I own and have heard this driver is some simple folded pipe designs, and it's pretty amazing what it can do. If $$ prevents you from going with the larger 208 plus tweeter, I think you'd find the 168 more than satisfying.

Best of luck!! ;)
thanks alot guys, that really helped me out. i think that i will probably lean towards the 206e given my budget and see if that works for me. the only question i have left is, will one driver per speaker be plenty loud? i ask this because i require extreme levels of volume; i want to be able to sing along to the music at the top of my lungs and not be able to hear my own voice! im so used to being in a band and anything less would be just teasing me. thanks so much
I'm not convinced this is the right kind of system for you. A larger Altec or JBL with big woofers and compression drivers can play crazy loud, sounds more up your alley. At super loud volumes, you start to overload a full range driver, though I'm not sure at what point that will happen. What kind of amplification are you using?

If you really want to use full rangers, you should consider using a woofer on the bottom end and the full ranger further up. This will clean up the sound of the full ranger and allow it to play louder.
I agree with onespeed here. Fullrangers can do wonderfull things for music, but they are not exactly the best speaker for bringing down the house. A little more expensive, but I would go for a 166e crossed around 200-300 Hz to a large pro sound driver. Something around an Eminence Delta15 would do the trick, and is not supper expensive. I moved my fostex 4" driver from a back loaded horn to a two way with a pro sound woofer. It now sounds quite effortless and clean at higher SPL's, where as before it would start to lose it and get a little shouty at higher volumes. More complex and slightly more expensive than a single 206, but if you really want to crank it up this might be a better route.
Yeah, beware of extreme loudness with FR... Extreme loudness require extreme drivers and extreme ears!

If money no object, get a pro 15 incher for the bottom (either BR or BLH - à la Scoop) with a very nice Fostex compression driver + wooden horn for 400 to 8000Hz and top it off with a Fostex ST.

Very simple, very effective. Of course you may have to sell the car, but you won't want to leave the room anyway.
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