Fostex-orama - Small Fostex driver / speaker comparisons PH1000, Blumenstein Orca, etc.

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by purr1n, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    IMG_20180410_213427.jpg

    Not including the 6" Fostex for comparison, but focusing on the FE103En 4" drivers in the P1000 BH folded horn enclosures from Madisound (dark brown) and the Blumenstein Orca using the 3" Fe83En.

    I'll take measurements a bit later. I might throw in the 4.5" Fostex drivers in some larger cabinets this weekend if I get a chance. The Flugelhorn flatpacks for the 4.5" drivers I ordered last year don't seem to be going anywhere - some story about the CNC software crashing. I guess I'll write that off on my taxes.

    Quick impressions:

    The P1000 likes to be placed further back to the wall to get low end reinforcement compared than the Orcas. This is not to say that the PH1000 are less bassy. The P1000 actually has better bass extension, albeit at a lower volume in relation to the mids. The P1000 mids have that typical full range midrange shout. The Orcas have less of that shout, but are also more rolled in the bass and highs. Neither have perfect tonality. With an EQ circuit or DEQ, the PH1000 would definitely have more potential because of better extension ....

    The Orcas sound more congested and closed in. The difference is significant. Not really surprising since the Orca uses a much smaller 3" driver in a box (the box is ported). The P1000 4" driver just has an easier time pushing air, and the back loaded horn allows the driver to breath more - more lively, more open, soundstage is deeper past the window.

    None of these drivers can be considered high efficiency. Moderate efficiency yes. High efficiency no. They do demand the highest quality amplification. Don't bother unless you have epic amps and sources. You will not understand their "magic" by using say a pedestrian Parasound P5 and A23 combo. That being said, most people are better off with an KEF LS50 or Q series speaker at around the same price or less. Although it should be mentioned that the complete P1000 kit is currently $235 at Madisound.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Does that Millennium Falcon provide any sort of acoustic treatment?
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yes, it's a huge diffusor on an otherwise flat glass table.
     
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  4. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I would play with the placement of these. When I had the Orcas, I had them about 7 1/2 feet apart about a 18" out from the back wall and sat about 11 feet away. This produced a huge soundstage.
     
  5. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    I've been looking at 4" fullrange for my desktop. I have a small sub that I'll also use, so really would like a tall, narrow cabinet with the driver at the top like the P1000-BH, except sealed. I found a flat pack that looks close somewhere.

    Have you tried any other similar 4" full range? Thinking in particular of the MarkAudio Alpair 7, but there are ScanSpeak and SEAS ones as well.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I don't like them that far from back wall. Too lean. Soundstage is not bad. Just PH1000 is much better, more open, more lively, less strained. BLH + larger driver > smaller driver in box. BLH is closer to an open baffle kind of sound.
     
  7. Hooncake

    Hooncake Sarcastic Liker

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    Thanks for the post, my speakers getting a good use :3
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Alpair have better frequency response, flatter, better bass extension, but need much more power. They love power IMO. The Fostex are more resolving and faster.

    I haven't tried Seas and SS wide banders.
     
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  9. dirt

    dirt Rando

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    I built the BK16 kits some years back. The old ones with the 165 and the supertweeter. They were mighty honky for about 100 hours but finally smoothed out. Do the little ones take as long to "settle"? I like mine. I drive them with a Norh SE9, fitted with some old Mullards. And I have them sitting on a couple of PartsExpress Titanic 10 subs for the low end, so 9 watts per side does a pretty good job. Roger Waters "Amused to Death" is quite entertaining.
     
  10. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I'd like to hear the PH1000s eventually. Are the highs any better than on the Orcas?
     
  11. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    What about small driver in a large cabinet? I've seen plans for a BIB using 4" fostex drivers and I wonder if it's worth it. Madisound has a bk-12 kit that looks pretty interesting.

    I should build a frugalhorn from foamcore to experiment.
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The 4" drivers as passable. 4.5" drivers are better. Larger the cabinet, longer horns, that is properly sized, the better. The 3" drivers are nonsense without a woofer.

    I plan on experimenting with the 4" Fostex sigmas. Maybe some cardboard first to get the horn size right.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  13. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    If you're playing with cabinets, you might try the "1.5" driver design that Omega has been using: two full-range drivers stacked with a 500Hz low-pass filter on the lower one and nothing on the upper. I made a bunch of sealed cube speakers with this for a project that didn't work out, and for fun stacked up two with an 800Hz low-pass in the lower box. As you'd expect, lower mids filled out, bass became present and not just implied, and they became speakers I would be OK listening to for longer periods of time.

    This is on a $12 per pair becoming $24 judgement scale, versus a $100 becoming $200 scale, and it is also a weird implementation, as I'm using two sealed boxes stacked, which I doubt is what's going in inside the Omegas. Haven't looked around to see other DIY versions if they're out there.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    You mean like this? Although I'd probably do a two way to prevent the full ranger from having to strain. This project is on the backburner because I decided I didn't want the Fostex drivers in box. Will jigger a BLH for the Fostex and maybe put the woofer in a separate box.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. willsw

    willsw Friend

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  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yes, because there are two drivers in that design, both drivers are reproducing the lows (one reproducing the lows and the other running full range).

    As with all things, there are advantages and disadvantages with any approach. What the site neglected to say are the disadvantages of such a design: the mids and highs of a driver (small driver at that) running full range are still going to be polluted by distortion (harmonics) in the bass of that same driver, especially at higher SPL.

    Also bass on small drivers means a lot of excursion, which means the voice coil will be farther away from rest position. This introduces massive non-linearities in the magnet strength curves, surround stiffness and damping, etc, which equates to more distortion.

    Nothing wrong with this approach as I do the same thing with the 6.5" Fostex BLHs and a sub. But I've also incorporated a high-pass switch on the mains for music with more bass content. The high-pass makes the wide banders sound cleaner, but at a cost of slightly more grain (using large electrolytics) and small resolution loss.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018

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