Hemptone FR 5"

Hemptone 5"

The first link is for the 4.5" full range driver from Hemp Acoustics in Canada. I have a pair mounted in a BLH. They have been EnABL'd and sound very nice. They are listed at 92.5 dbh sensitivity. There is some question on their future availability. Solen in Canada is out of stock and they do not know when they will be available again.

The second link is for the 5" full range driver from A Brown Soun in California. Sensitivity is listed at 88 dbh. There are many other differences as well. They are not the same drivers at all...I have not heard them, so I cannot comment further.

Others may be able to comment on comparisons with the Tang Band...



2007-10-24 2:12 pm
I have the Tangband 4" Titanium drivers and a pair of the Hemptone 4.5", not the Hemp Acoustic's. I made the modification to the hemps recommended by Omega which consists of removing the clear silicon "gasket" from the cone(see Omega at Audio Circle for pictures and explanation) The hemps are pleasant to listen to but my modified ones have a woody tone to them, sort of a fuzzy edge to music. I imagine the unmodified one do also. In contrast the TB are exceptionally clear. Everyone in my family who has listened to both prefer the TB's. I think the midrange in the TB titaniums is comparable to that of the planar drivers in my VMPS RM40's.
Titanium cones


FWIW, I also have a pair of Jordan JX92S full range drivers in a TL made by Carolina Audio. The difference between metal cone drivers and paper, bamboo, hemp, etc. is not subtle. The metal cones are very detailed, fast and dynamic. They truly sing with high power amps and volume. Your choice depends on what you like...YMMV...a bit laid back and mellow vs dynamic and detailed...I am fortunate to have both...

Thanks for the responses. Sounds like I will be staying with Tang-Band for now. I have been using the W3-871s and tried most all the 3 & 4" T-B except the polycone W4-656SC. That will be next.

I find the W3-871s to be more laid back, fuller sounding than the Jordans. I can not do this but thought maybe the Jordans with a full sounding amp like the Sugden would be a good match. But I use a chip amp so I need the fuller sound of the W3-871s even though it does have a definite "boombox" sound quality to it vs. hi-end. Sometimes this is good sometimes it leaves me wanting for more.
So far, on any of the larger 4&5" T-B's, the sound gets very harsh over 85dB. I assume due to cone breakups over 5kHz since I run them full-range. I do not hear this with the 871s so they remain my 'umble reference speaker.
Also soundstaging on the larger cones, especially 60's remastered CD's with ALL of one instrument on the left channel, sound particularly bad from the soundstaging perspective on 4 & 5" cones.

T-head what does:
EnABL'd and sound very nice.


EnABL is a pattern that is applied (painted) on the driver cone and then covered with a light (diluted) coating of a clear acrylic. Check out the thread called 'EnABL and Mamboni Processes' in the Full Range forum. Caution...it is a looong thread.

Basically it eliminates the inherent resonances/distortions of a cone driver and takes care of standing wave issues...much more could be said, but read the thread for details.

I think this could help you if you have a fiber-cone driver...PM me if you have trouble finding the thread...I don't have the link at my disposal right now. I will get it and post it later.

What type of chipamp are you using...some I have heard are very nice.

All drivers will benefit from EnABL, and except for one driver in my 35 years of experience with EnABL, all will benefit to a similar degree.

Ultra fast drivers, that "break up" with higher drive levels will be ultra fast, ultra detailed, and ultra clean for a good 9 to 15 dB above their untreated level. The performance above this point will be totaly dependent upon the motor. If the voice coil does not suffer thermal compression, neither will the sound, right out to the point that the voice coil catches fire.

Less responsive drivers will be exactly what the ultrafast drivers are, just a bit more relaxed about it, and still able to play clearly to burn out.

Really awful, boom box drivers will show a greater percentage of improvement than the ultrafast drivers, will not get to the level of the slightly more relaxed drivers, but, will still provide compelling and completely satisfying musical experiences.

If you want to have some really wonderful sound, in a very attractive package, with a cabinet you build from flats, or just final finish, with completely satisfying sound and all of the EnABL benefits, look into Planet 10 and their Fonken's with Fostex Fe 126 or 127 drivers. I guarantee you will be astounded, and will still have these speakers to hand down to grandchildren. You may build or buy others, but these will always be playing somewhere near to you. http://www.planet10-hifi.com/

The EnABL thread is a monster.

Comments from people who actually have EnABLed drivers can be found here,

Hassebaink on a Hemp 6.5

Curvy Chang and Fostex

Lowther DX4

Lowther America on a Lowther PM6A

And T Heads report on the Hemp Accoustics FR 4.5 c

There are more buried in the thread, along with a considerable amount of quantitative information.

planet10 said:

That seems a short-sighted statement... i haven't seen a driver yet that couldn't benefit from some TLC.

With either of the hemps (and all the TBs) serious improvements can be wrought.



with all the noise being generated and the wealth of empirical data being produced is it not a mystery why the above is still true. What I'm trying to say is : why havn't the manufacturers taken this on board and produced any drivers that don't need after sales tinkering? ... or is it just a matter of time...I'm a bit bemused.

vitalstates said:
with all the noise being generated and the wealth of empirical data being produced is it not a mystery why the above is still true. What I'm trying to say is : why havn't the manufacturers taken this on board and produced any drivers that don't need after sales tinkering? ... or is it just a matter of time...I'm a bit bemused.

A conservative lot on the whole, most will go running screaming from the room, when you say that those little spots can make a difference. Once a wedge has been inserted thou i expect a deluge. Getting the 1st stage of EnABL done at the factory would dramatically lower the implementation cost (anyone got a 1000 drivers worth of spare change?)

Ed, you should try to get up to Marc's with Scott when he goes.


Mister Twister,

No problem. I think all drivers are overpriced ;) BudP will have to chime in on whether the 'corrugated' drivers are able to be EnABL'd. Dave and Bud are collaborating on a set of 'corrugated' (folded?) 15" Eminence Silver Iris OB drivers from Hawthorne Audio as we speak as far as I know...to be continued...

Any driver can be EnABL'd...

Re: Heavy Mod?

t-head said:
The EnABL process as done by BudP is not a heavy mod.

Not heavy in terms of mass, but certainly "heavy" in what it does.

I agree on the hemp drivers pricing... but they are made in the USA in small batches (as opposed to 1000s at a time in China (there are some VERY good driver's made in China althou most of those still have direction from Japanese, European, or North American designers -- but the Chinese people are on the whole smart, and they are learning very fast)

A stock set of HA4.5c costs almost twice what a stock FE126/127 costs for some improvements, and almost as much as a set of FE126eN/127eN which it is not even close too (a fully done up set of HA4.5c (if i could source regular stock) would be ~$100 premium over a set of FE126eN/127eN -- that is probably a much fairer comparison, but alas i sit here 5 months later without replacement 4.5c so i cannot even try).