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Optimal Single Driver FR Speakers for Smallish Narrow Room
Optimal Single Driver FR Speakers for Smallish Narrow Room
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Old 20th March 2018, 06:43 PM   #1
jdrouin is offline jdrouin  United States
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Default Optimal Single Driver FR Speakers for Smallish Narrow Room

What kinds of single full-range drivers and enclosures should one consider for a room that is 8' W x 18.5' L x 9.25' H, where the speakers are placed at one of the 8' ends and amplification is with SET tube amps?

Can use corners, not use corners, standmounted or floorstanding, speakers can be close to front wall or pulled in substantially from it, listening position can be anywhere from very close to very far.

Music is mainly jazz/vocal and small ensemble classical, with some rock and electronic (like Atlas Sound, with detailed bass textures).

What would extract the best performance from a given driver, and provide excellent tonal development, frequency range, and soundstage?

I've got a pair of Fostex FE103Sol and FF105WK but am open to larger drivers, open source designs, commercial designs, whatever.

Some thoughts:

* Frugal Horn Mk3 with removable suprabaffles to try various drivers (Sol, 105WK, FE126En, Alpair 7.3, etc.). Since the ceiling is tallish, I imagine these would fill in a nice soundstage with their angled-back drivers and upward-oriented horn flare.

* I was thinking about iBIB(k) for the Sols, in the corners, but killmister on this site had negative results with it.

* Alpair 12P in Pensils (for greater bass extension and perhaps better tonal development?) (too large for the space?)

* Alpair 10P in Pensils (efficiency not ideal for SETs, but my 89db 4" drivers do more than fine with them, possibly because room is small and listening distance is close) (too large for the space?)

* Perhaps a standmounted or floormounted Onken-style enclosure

Thoughts on these? What else might work?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Last edited by jdrouin; 20th March 2018 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 20th March 2018, 06:53 PM   #2
chrisb is offline chrisb
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The room looks a little small for FH to me, and based on my previously posted predilection for floor standers, I'd suggest Pensils or similar format of MLTL for 3 to 4" models such as A6.2, 7.3, Pluvia7, Fostex FF85 or 105WK - each of which I've heard in at least a couple of different designs.

Let the games begin ....
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Old 21st March 2018, 12:22 AM   #3
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Optimal Single Driver FR Speakers for Smallish Narrow Room
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrouin View Post
I've got a pair of Fostex FE103Sol and FF105WK
Both those fit into the same Fonken enclosures with only minor tuning differences. I would give the edge to the FE103 SOL on sonics.

So id guess the SOL would drop into the Baby Lab for the FF105 i know you are a fan of the Baby Labs.

Quote:
Frugal Horn Mk3
Id opine that those would work fine in your room, but due to the small size they might need more than the average damping. Both the FE103 SOL & FF105wk would work,

Quote:
Alpair 12P vrs Alpair 10P in Pensils (efficiency not ideal for SET
Real world efficiency is pretty much the same how small is your SET. As long as you arent playing really loud even a small SET will likely suffice, Of greater importance is how well behaved it is when it clips and SETs are usually very good.

dave
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Old 21st March 2018, 12:48 AM   #4
chrisb is offline chrisb
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FF85WK in FH lites might be another option?
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Old 21st March 2018, 12:57 AM   #5
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Optimal Single Driver FR Speakers for Smallish Narrow Room
Or Alpair 5.2. Good call.

dave
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Old 21st March 2018, 01:05 AM   #6
jdrouin is offline jdrouin  United States
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Thanks guys. Yes I’ve made a pair of Woden Shrike (pictured above) and am midway through a Falcon build, as you know. I’m eager to hear the differences in the drivers when compared in the same type of enclosure. It’s just so much fun that it’s got me wondering about what else is possible. Strange that the satisfying sound of the Shrikes, especially when played with a 300B set, made me restless.

So far the Sol has been more pleasing to me than the 105, so I’m also wondering what enclosure would extract the best performance — I guess most finesse — from the Sol.

Re efficiency: I have a breadboard and a stash of about 60 tubes, so I try a different SET circuit every couple of months or so. They are usually in the neighborhood of 6-8 watts, though some tubes are good for 2-3 watts and I’d really like to try them.

My main concern with a driver like A7.3 is the 85db efficiency, but in this small room it’s probably doable. I did find a post on the Bottlehead forum where someone was using a 2A3 SET to good effect with Pensil 7.3, so people do it.

Alpair 5.2/FF85WK — I also would like more bass extension (with finesse, not “slam” or “punch” or whatever), so I’m wary of going even smaller than 4”, but those are intriguing nonetheless.
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Old 21st March 2018, 01:32 AM   #7
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Optimal Single Driver FR Speakers for Smallish Narrow Room
Quote:
A7.3 is the 85db efficiency
Measures closer to 87+ dB.

It all depends how loud you listen. I’ve had many a very nice listening session in my big room with 84 dB EL70 driver by 2A3 SET.

dave
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Old 21st March 2018, 03:20 AM   #8
jdrouin is offline jdrouin  United States
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My listening levels are usually pretty low in this small room, so I feel comfortable with the A7.3, then.

Not to get off-topic, but in your experience, which enclosure extracts the best performance (finesse, as you tend to say) from FE103Sol?
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Old 21st March 2018, 05:50 AM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Jeff -while I'm no longer using my small (8'6" wid x20' long) basement man-cave - it's now a home office / storage room - I can attest that the A7.3 in Pensils and Bottlehead Paramours, SE EL34/6CA7, or EL84 "El Cheapo" work very well. Of course I never listened much past mid 80dB levels.
I've repeatedly remarked that "given appropriate floor space", I'd recommend any of the FH family for the appropriate driver size - but judging from your photo and dimensions give for the room, I think that's something lacking here.

As to which enclosure would deliver the "best" performance from the 103SOLs, I'd opine probably the Woden Vampyr - they certainly very well with the FF105WK - although the optimal listening distance might also be an issue in your room
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Old 21st March 2018, 03:29 PM   #10
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Optimal Single Driver FR Speakers for Smallish Narrow Room
We only ever used the SOL in FH3. I hadn’t thot of Vampyr-V, but Chris is probably right, it would extract maximum bass. Most finese is likely from the trapezoid mFonken105 (adjusted for SOL) as the tear-drop approximation in the horizontal plane give the lowest diffraction. One trades off bass extension and the need for stands. vrs the other 2 choices.

I have to test our SOLs, they came back from a loan-out with 1 reportably damaged, but in most of the cases we have had of that it turned out to be something else. An outstanding driver… they should take what they learned from this driver an dapply it to the regular FE103.

dave
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