Fostex FE206E socket phase plug

I finally got up the nerve to take the razor knife to my 206's and I'm glad I did. I only did one so I can compare. The result is a signifcant increase in detail in the higher frequencies and a reduction in the "shout".

Before going further I have a couple of questions since this is my first experiment with DIY phase plugs. I used a 22mm socket which is slightly smaller than used in the Decware mod and it doesn't extend out quite as much as the whizzer. Could I expect much difference from a taller socket or a more traditionally shaped wooden phase plug? Are there really some benefits to the hollow shape of the socket as a phase plug? I don't mind experimenting, but with the strength of the magnet it would be easy to have a tragic accident. Plus I already have the hole just the right size. Would painting this ugly thing have sonic consequences?

I recommend this tweak to anyone contemplating it. Try to get the hole you cut the correct size before getting the socket anywhere near it. Maybe find something non-magnetic for testing the size of the hole. The magnetic is so strong that it really grabs the socket when you get it close, so I'm sure you could do some cone damage if the hole is too small and the magnet grabs the socket away from you.
 
johninCR said:

Before going further I have a couple of questions since this is my first experiment with DIY phase plugs. I used a 22mm socket which is slightly smaller than used in the Decware mod and it doesn't extend out quite as much as the whizzer. Could I expect much difference from a taller socket or a more traditionally shaped wooden phase plug?


i tried a couple of different socket lengths (and even lined them up end to end... the magnet kept them stuck togehter)

the longer the socket, the more diffuse the sound seemed (to me) and beyond a certain point, .. seemed to attenuate the higher frequencies.

i'd think it would also be interesting to (temporarily) stick a golf ball on the end of the plug just to see what happens to the dispersion / freq. response. .. some posts on AA about this recently, IIRC .
 
I tried a socket in my rat shack 40-1197's and it sucked the life out of them. I used a wooden phase plug and it was like magic. I think it may have had something to do with changing the magnetic field. I wonder if this is what the 206 is experiencing, and overall sonics are benefitting? I'm sure they have a MUCH more liberal supply of magnetic energy in their motor. Dunno myself but a thought anywho.:)
 
I think it may have had something to do with changing the magnetic field.

per Steve Deckert

The second most obvious distinction is that the device is steel not plastic. It couples directly to the magnetic pole piece, modifying the poles magnetic field. This in turn makes subtle modifications to the Thiel and Small parameters that were present before the device was added.
 
Steve put a lot of fluff in there about his mod to justify the extra $. I'm glad I just did it myself. I think jsaults is correct and it works because the magnet is so strong the T/S parameters don't change enough to hurt performance. I don't believe they change them for the better though, just not enough to make a difference.
 
Socket mod

Isn´t the original socket mod my Decware a socket mounted on a iron rod? Not just a socket stuck in the hole.

This i would think would further modify the magnetik field and has the extra purpos of projecting the socket further out of the cone.

any one know the weight of the rod?
 
Re: Socket mod

Hrappur said:
Isn´t the original socket mod my Decware a socket mounted on a iron rod? Not just a socket stuck in the hole.

This i would think would further modify the magnetik field and has the extra purpos of projecting the socket further out of the cone.

any one know the weight of the rod?

No, just a socket but a slightly larger one than I used. I heard that he uses a 15/16" craftsman. Steve also dopes the cone and adds damping for the basket and magnet structure.
 
steal rod

Well it says on his page that it´s a steal rod under the phase plug
These are the exact words on decwares page about the modified fe206

In the illustration above, you can see a cross sectional view of the main components involved with the application of this device. They are as follows:

A) Stock steel pole piece that it attaches to.

B) The voice coil bobbin that it sets inside.

C) Shown in red - the phase guide itself.

G) The speaker cone.
 
Re: steal rod

Hrappur said:
Well it says on his page that it´s a steal rod under the phase plug
These are the exact words on decwares page about the modified fe206

In the illustration above, you can see a cross sectional view of the main components involved with the application of this device. They are as follows:

A) Stock steel pole piece that it attaches to.

B) The voice coil bobbin that it sets inside.

C) Shown in red - the phase guide itself.

G) The speaker cone.

The "stock pole piece" is just part of your driver. All you do is cut a hole the right size in the dust cap and stick the socket on, which is held very firmly by the magnetic pole piece. It's really that simple.

I see from the actual picture of one that mine is upside down compared to the one pictured, but his drawing shows a tapered type of socket with a different orientation. I have a feeling that exact shape, size, and orientation of the socket doesn't make a big difference. With and without makes an audible difference in the higher range. I'll try mine the other way too and report back only if I hear a difference between the two orientations.
 
Did it

Awww cripes!!

I just typed out a HUGE review of this FE206E upgrade, and lost it.

Oh well...

Bottom line is, this upgrade is VERY BIG.

Sound relaxes greatly - but you get much more detail

Midrange shout all but disappears.

Cymbals shimmer and have life - and a life cycle with a clear leading edge, sounding and decay, not just a generic shhh and that's it. The difference could be described as "hey I am listening live on a studio monitor" versus "hey that's a really good sounding cymbal sample on my digital keyboard!" Not quite that drastic, but that does paint the picture pretty well.

You don't realize it so much if you've only heard the "stock" driver, but it has a telephone-y quality and a honkiness, as described by prior reviewer. I thought this was BS or not applicable to me, but I made sure to only do one dustcapectomy at first so I could compare modded versus stock. Clearly a telephony quality on the stock driver.

Bass ripples and is alive.

You hear fingers plucking strings on guitars, etc.

Backs-of-tongues click on throats, such as the Chesky Sampler Disc (1992) announcer. Good stuff.

Other reviewers have been more reserved. For me, though it is SHOCKING how much of a change this made

I build these using David Dicks' "1.3" design.

The pre-mod speakers did really well with hi-fi, well-recorded stuff and sounded like crap on pop and the like. Now they sound far better, and with both styles of music.

EXTREMELY pleased with the upgrade, THANK YOU for reporting on it.

My procedure was:

Dustcapectomy
Shave off any leftover bits
Sand with 400 grit nice and smooth

Bought the new Craftsman "easy read" sockets 15/16, 1/2", 12 point. Turned the "easy read" engraving facing down upon installation.

They are "pure" cylinder shaped outside, no ridges or grooves. They sound FANTASTIC. The upgrade is NOT subtle.

Sigh...wish I had my full review, but oh well.

For references sake, I am 26 years old and my system is:

T-amp pasted to "roof" of Dantimax Remote-3 passive remote controlled preamp. Directly wired inside. :)

HD-14 speaker cable, directly soldered to solder pads of Fostex FE206E drivers. Only one solder joint between amp and drivers, no speaker wire connection posts on back of speakers.

Great synergy on this system.
 

kaan

Member
2007-08-03 7:46 pm
Well today I read this thread and decided that I had waited long enough. I crafted a pair of plugs in wood and sat down and cut a hole in my 206's. Just the sound of the knife going through the paper was enought to make me jump. Well ... I did complete the dustcap removal without any problems other than my beating heart.

The above description of the resulting soundimprovements is my experience as well.

Next I'll be ordering proper plugs from Planet10 :)
 
Honestly dude...

Really man, I have not heard the plugs, but unless you are super-prissy, this sound upgrade was so huge that I doubt the other plugs will improve it much.

Seriously, I have no real desire to be on the boards anymore, no upgraditis or anything. Just stunned silence. :) I am finally happy after years of agonized acquisition and eager divestment to fund the next acquisition!

However I do want to write up my "exit strategy" rig as I do believe it is a fantastic bargain and has confirmed synergy with room-filling soundstaging and realism in a big way, at a very low price.