Fostex, Sigma or not ?

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
can you tell which is better buy?
sigma costs twice (8" 210€), in description is info that is designed with BLH in mind. I will no afford lowther or similar, out of budget +500€
i would like to feed with small tubeamp, if required i will make another
question is, will 8" be good in reasonable sized OB? or it will disappoint ? /smallroom
supertweeter needed?
then what easy DIY box would you recommend?

or visaton noboxbb diy ?
many thanks for answers


Paid Member
2011-02-04 11:35 am
+1 talaerts.

The Markaudio Alpair 12P is a very good FR unit. There are designs for this driver that are much easier to build than a BLH cabinet, and will take considerably less space also. Currently have my pair in a MLTL design by Bob Brines. It is 92dB efficient, making it a candidate for low watt tube amps also.
Last edited:
Largely because they're cheaper, and therefore more people are likely to build something with them.

The ESigma range is getting a bit long in the tooth now. IMO, the 208 is and remains the pick of the bunch, but it was designed to be used with, and requires, a tweeter. Like the E / En series, the ESigma drivers were specifically designed to be used with high output impedance amplification and with an eye to (back) horn loading if used without dedicated bass drivers. So if dipoles are your thing, you'll be better off with a Visaton B200, unless you're planning to use the aforementioned dedicated bass drivers. They couldn't be much more different to horn loading, so essentially the products are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.


2004-10-20 11:32 pm
my question is; sigma is double price, and i see many diy with cheaper fostex
why? because of price; or sigma is sound/technically worse than standard version?
which one is soundwise better in ob/blh ?

Sigma drivers have heavy cast frame/chassis- more expensive to manufacture- while the FE/FF have stamped steel chassis. Based on the Fostex recommended enclosure designs, the Sigma is for use in rear loaded horn enclosures. The FE/FF are more varied, and have some models better suited for simpler to construct and smaller bass reflex boxes (ie, FF-WK drivers).
Though, any driver can be made to work in any type of enclosure, some drivers are better suited for one type than others. IME, I would go with the FE/FF in the under 4-4.5" size and go with Sigma in the larger sizes.
Last edited:


2005-10-15 8:09 am
here i am limited to fostex or visaton only
(we belong to eu, but sometimes i am not sure :D)
buying overseas or on fleabay is no option for me

Surely when living in Slovakia you can order from Germany? There are well known webshops for Tang Band and Markaudio there.

For example:

Breitbandlautsprecher 20 cm - Lautsprechershop von blue planet acoustic


Coming back to your question: the ESigma series is better made (heavier cast chassis, complex cone) than the FE-E series. They do sound more refined, yet in my opinion still not on the level of the better Markaudio drivers - I admit that this is a matter of taste.

Now in your original post you mention that it will be a small room. I think you should investigate the Fostex FFxx5WK series, they can be put in relatively compact bass reflex boxes and I find their sound superior to the FE and FESigma series. The 2 rare Fostex limited editions that I heard are better still, but unfortunately rare and limited indeed (I think they should replace the Sigma series with normal production of these limited editions).
The biggest FF225WK needs a supertweeter (but offers good bass in a reasonable enclosure!), the FF165WK may or may not need one depending on your taste.
The FF series should still be sensitive enough for use with a small tube amp.

I have not heard the famous Visaton B200. There are many good designs for it, often from the factory. From what I read, you will need to use the correction filter that comes with the designs as it will be tiring otherwise. since you are in a small room I am not sure if the Nobox open baffle design is your best option - OBs need some space behind them to work best.
Last edited:


2006-10-11 5:12 pm
Hi Peter. I have the 168 EZ Sigma. Sure a pretty driver, voices and highs sound wonderful, in my enclosure even the bass is good for a small room (12m2) although a little EQ is required.
I didn't heard any other Fostex driver, but I am pretty taken with my Sigmas. I did hear Lowthers, and didn't liked them that much, probably due to bad enclosure design.
As others said, for OB, you would need a helper woofer to get reasonable bass with any Fostex I think, even the 208, otherwise I think you will end up applying EQ that could hurt the performance.

In slovakian:
Pekne vidiet krajana ako sa pusta do Fostexov, som zvedavy na vysledky :) Apropo, mal som aj OB, najlepsie zneli tak 1,5m od steny.
8" wide range comparison.

I have compared multiple wide-range drivers in an open baffle with bass support using Eminence 15 alpha in Martin style H-frames. For extented midrange use (200 to 4KHz) application with low wattage tubeamps (like miniwatt), the Fostex 208 EZ sounded the warmest and best balanced compared to TB-1808, Fostex 225WK, Eminence 12LTA, AN-10 and some other less expensive ones. However, the 208EZ will need a tweeter whereas the TB1808 can cover the upper range after some taming of the highs.

However the higher efficiency of the 208EZ makes it the most suitable to get live SPL levels even with a 3.5W tube amp. But more the efficiency, bigger the cabinet size to get the same bass extension, or biamplify with bass support. If you are using a "high" powered tube amp, FF225WK with tweeter or TB1808 with a few notch filters (at the cost of narrower dispersion) will allow a floor standing MLTL as a cabinet option.
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.