Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Speakers, a recap (not MC related)
During the course of this last year, after many years having mediocre speakers at best because I was always too stingy to buy really good speakers and after a trip to the local Fry's at which I again decided for what I wanted speakers I would not compromise I decided if I wanted REALLY good speakers I would have to build them myself.
LOTS of research followed and in February I started building a set of speakers. There are plenty of good plans on the market and each and every single plan has its advantages, and of course its disadvantages. My criteria were actually quite simple:
Since in many cases in todays speakers the problem is not actually the speakers themselves, but much more the electronics inside to divide the various frequencies to the appropriate set of speakers, I decided what I wanted was to start out with a set of speakers which are very wide banded and highly regarded in the industry. In my case this was a set of left over Fostex FE207ESR. I say left over, because they are no longer produced. Fostex still produces FE207 series speakers, but the ESR series was with a stiffer cone and most importantly the coils were made of silver wire. Silver wire has a number of advantages over copper, most importantly here is that the resistance is lower. what this means for a speaker is that it reproduces fast transients better, which even though very few instruments are even able to produce fast transients, it still means better reproduction from a speaker. If one now would look at the data sheet of the FE207ESR it becomes immediately clear that this speaker wants to be in a folded horn enclosure. And so I set out to find the the optimal, best enclosure I could possibly find (and build) and ended up with the plans "Sachiko", a double mouthed folded horn with a cut off frequency of approx 80Hz. Building folded horns with lower cut off's is not really practical, because they get VERY big after that VERY quickly. Now one might argue that 80Hz cut off is not really good, menu enclosures claim to go much lower. ... Yes, they *claim* to go lower, but in all reality for frequencies below 80Hz you need an enclosed specialized sub woofer anyway, so I was not too concerned about that. The FE205ESR have a very wide band reproduction from about 70Hz to approx 10kHz. What I was able to active with that was my goal to have no transition from one pair of speakers to the other in the critical band of 200Hz to about 7kHz because each and every audio buff will tell you, if you have transitions in that band and your transitions are not 100% phase correct you *WILL* hear it and your enclosures WILL not sound as good as they could.
If you look at the enclosures I ended up with the you will see at the right of the enclosure is a 15" sub woofer (taking over at about 80Hz). Again, that small black square is a 15" sub! the Sachikos are 72" tall and all in all they have a sound like I have never experienced before. I have had many of my audio buff friends over and each and every single one was astonished about the reproduction clarity and the gigantic soundstage these little monsters produce.
My wife just reminded me that I also had to mention that while building these monsters and I proceeded to shorten one of my fingers by 3/8" due to not being careful enough around the saw I purchased for this project (nice radial arm saw), so I can honestly saw there is something of me in those speaker enclosures.
I can only encourage everyone to build their own speaker enclosures for YOUR purpose and for YOUR room. Not every enclosure is the same, some need bigger rooms, some are purpose built to be book ends, some can be hung like a picture, .... in the end it most certainly is worth the effort.
'14 GSAW soon:
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Still in search of Occam's razor to cut a Gordian knot.