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Old 2nd January 2017, 08:56 PM   #1
itskeith is offline itskeith  United Kingdom
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Default Suggested first speaker build please; AN-Es or similar ?

Suggested first speaker build please; AN-Es or similar

I have recently heard a pair of Audio Note AN-E clones which I really enjoyed and am thinking of building a pair. They are however even in kit form, still on the expensive side!

I wondered if anyone has any suggestions for a first build of good quality, but less expensive? My speaker theory knowledge is non existant, so something simple and in kit form would be a bonus!

I would really like to use a low powered valve amp with them, so high sensitivity would be good. As would being able to use them close to the walls.

Hope that is enough info to get the ball rolling.

Many thanks.
Keith
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Old 3rd January 2017, 01:05 AM   #2
mikejennens is offline mikejennens  United States
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Fostex speakers are valve amp friendly. I'm not sure what's available in your part of the world, but Madisound.com has some kits for Fostex drivers.
Mike
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Old 3rd January 2017, 01:27 AM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb
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If my last reading on the subject of the AN-E kits, a couple of pairs of which I built a few years ago is correct, the drivers in even the entry level kits are OEM by " a famous Norwegian maker", so a clone might be not quite comparable, which is probably no surprise.

What might be more significant is that I think you'll find the official versions generally demoed diagonally, with the rear port loaded into the corners, with close proximity to a rear wall being less than ideal.

Exactly how low is the power of the amps you're referring to? 3/4 Watt from a 45 SE is much less than 6 - 8 from something like a EL34, KT88 or 300B, or even a Dyna ST35 P/P 17.5 wpc.

You could be a candidate for something like mike hints at - a 4 -6" fullrange driver in a back loaded horn.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 06:59 AM   #4
itskeith is offline itskeith  United Kingdom
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Many thanks Mike and Chris.

Good to know and will do some further reading.

Thinking I'd like to try EL84's or 2A3's. Haven't got the amp yet and want to get speakers sorted first and then will choose to match.

Any more info guys would be much appreciated.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 03:16 PM   #5
Godzilla is offline Godzilla  United States
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I also like the idea of using a single full range driver in a box. Here's one of my favorite projects, still to this day. It's one of the few speakers I've left as is and enjoy.

https://speakerprojects.wordpress.co...168z-projects/

The driver is no longer available but you can visit Madisound to see what Fostex has to offer. I also liked the idea of the AN-E but the crossover might possibly make you nuts. Full range drivers are the best answer for many - easy and sound great!
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Old 3rd January 2017, 03:40 PM   #6
itskeith is offline itskeith  United Kingdom
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Hi Godzilla,

Many thanks and look forward to having a read later.

Will let you know how i get on.

Cheers.
Keith
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Old 3rd January 2017, 06:54 PM   #7
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Well, FWIW, I've heard the AN-E in several versions - up to the SOGON LX96 with outboard crossover models, and was frankly less than gob-smacked by any of them - certainly at the cost the top of the line should be life changing - but then individual taste is eventually a factor, and they just weren't my cup of tea.

That said, the stock unit is not a particularly complicated crossover, and even a lower powered P/P tube amp such as the dozens of variants on EL84 pentode or U/L should easily muscle through the load.

But as mike and Godzilla note, a simple single driver system might be a good start for a first time builder, and since this is the full-range forum, there will more likely be a longer list of suggestions with drivers such as various Fostex, TangBand or Mark Audio / Alpairs.

I happen to very much like a couple of current models of Fostex - FF85 and 165WK, but my current favorite drivers are Alpair 7.3 and 10.3.

With regards to tube amps, your mentioning 2A3 and EL84 in the same sentence suggests it might be time for some further reading on the subject - but take a flashlight, picnic lunch, and maybe a sleeping bag - because it can be a long and winding journey down that rabbit hole. Unless there are specific examples of any class of tube amp & speaker combination you've heard and liked, relying on reading can get very confusing, very quickly, and there's simply no substitute for listening.

Don't discount what the latest generation of class D amps can bring to the table at costs far lower than a single set of valves for something like a 2A3 or 300B.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 07:17 PM   #8
Godzilla is offline Godzilla  United States
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chrisb, class D is for me! I do love tubes and have a great sounding Cary amp/preamp but inexpensive class D sounds great to me especially with efficient full range drivers AND 95db+ per watt pro drivers in my apartment. Here's a pic of my amp. Without high efficiency drivers this amp would not work. I have a Topping, SMSL and Dayton and they are all varying degrees of excellent. Topping (most neutral, least offensive), SMSL (slightly brighter and more lively), Dayton (maybe a touch of warmth). The differences are small. I prefer all of these class D amps to the solid state I've owned (Aragon, Rega, Onkyo, Nak).
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Old 3rd January 2017, 09:09 PM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Been sold for a while now on class D's bang for the buck - ever since the Kingrex T20 - which has been surpassed to my ears for rather less money (Moore's Law yet again? )

I have a couple of Topping's TP30 myself - the USB input is not at all hurtful, and the power level is just nice for a small desktop system - both FF85WK in my case. The Topping D20 DAC is also a helluva value - does it equal the Rotel RC1570's Wolfson 24/192s? - uh, no.

Then there's the recent generations of TPA and TDA chipsets - 3116 and 7294, respectively, and for 4-channel /bi-amp experimentation something like the Sure TK2050 and a Meanwell 36V regulated SMPS for just under $100 USD - kinda hard to argue against.

All that said, a well executed "old school" chip amp with linear power supply ( Neurochrome Modulus86) is not something to sniff at. Actually, that's completely unfair - it's a wonderful amp - one of those things you wished you didn't have to let the builder take back from demo.

I hardly ever fire up any of my tube amps anymore - old Bottlehead 2A3 Paramours, Jolida 302B (partially rebuilt for the past 5 -6 years), custom EL34 SEP, Tubelab SimplePP EL84 pentode, and a couple of others I can't even remember, or have sold.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 09:13 PM   #10
youknowyou is offline youknowyou  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
Been sold for a while now on class D's bang for the buck - ever since the Kingrex T20 - which has been surpassed to my ears for rather less money (Moore's Law yet again? )

I have a couple of Topping's TP30 myself - the USB input is not at all hurtful, and the power level is just nice for a small desktop system - both FF85WK in my case. The Topping D20 DAC is also a helluva value - does it equal the Rotel RC1570's Wolfson 24/192s? - uh, no.

Then there's the recent generations of TPA and TDA chipsets - 3116 and 7294, respectively, and for 4-channel /bi-amp experimentation something like the Sure TK2050 and a Meanwell 36V regulated SMPS for just under $100 USD - kinda hard to argue against.

All that said, a well executed "old school" chip amp with linear power supply ( Neurochrome Modulus86) is not something to sniff at. Actually, that's completely unfair - it's a wonderful amp - one of those things you wished you didn't have to let the builder take back from demo.

I hardly ever fire up any of my tube amps anymore - old Bottlehead 2A3 Paramours, Jolida 302B (partially rebuilt for the past 5 -6 years), custom EL34 SEP, Tubelab SimplePP EL84 pentode, and a couple of others I can't even remember, or have sold.
having had and still have my lm3875 gainclone, toppin tp 20 and a arto class d amp, both gainclone and class d are excellent on the cheap!

i think im gonna try, yet again!, a full range driver.
the Fostex - 165WK is the most interesting or the supravox bicone! needs a tweeter though

chris, do you prefer for mid/high FF85wk, FF 105 WK or FF 165WK or FF 125WK?
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Last edited by youknowyou; 3rd January 2017 at 09:21 PM.
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