Driver preference for Frugal horns

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roymail

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Driver preference for Frugal horns
« on: 27 Apr 2015, 03:13 pm »
What are the best overall sounding drivers that work well in the Frugal horn enclosure?  Thanks:)

Wind Chaser

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #1 on: 27 Apr 2015, 04:34 pm »
Have you tried contacting Dave at Planet 10? I don't imagine anyone has tried more drivers in the FH than him.

bladesmith

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #2 on: 27 Apr 2015, 05:02 pm »
I wish someone would try one of those Mark Audio speakers and give a review.. :thumb:

JLM

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #3 on: 27 Apr 2015, 06:10 pm »
Mark Fenlon was at Axpona this past weekend with two different 2-way designs.  Each driver (smaller and larger) were "full range" (sorry don't recall the models) but the speakers both used a crossover (some of best extended midrange drivers in the world are full rangers).  Not sure these were an improvement over a simple single driver design.

Mark was a really classy down to earth act.

Not going to try to give impressions under show conditions, but they were pleasant enough (my traveling bud was interested in them and impressed).

Scottmoose

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #4 on: 16 May 2015, 07:13 pm »
Somewhat belated, but I designed FH3 using the 4in MA units as the 'default', with flexibility for others. Because FH3 is supposed to be a forgiving / flexible load, what works best is essentially a matter of preference and individual circumstance, e.g. room positioning, amplification etc. 1.5w SET amp with the ability to corner load = Fostex FE126En or one of Dave's modified P10 versions. A bit more power & not necessarily corner loading, the MA units come into their own (although you can corner-load cheerfully with these too -you'll need a bit more damping to prevent excessive LF gain). And so on. You can use similar units from other brands as desired, e.g. Tang Band. Name your poison.

roymail

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #5 on: 17 May 2015, 12:41 am »
Scott, I've never tried a MA driver, but the lower sensitivity is somewhat concerning (85.5 or 86db).  Yet lots of guys use them with tubes with no complaint.  What has been your experience?  Thanks for your input.

Scottmoose

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #6 on: 17 May 2015, 07:56 am »
I don't use valve amps on a regular basis myself, but few people seem to have had problems within the reasonable limits of what you can expect from the available power. The MA units seem to do better than the bald sensitivity figures suggest, probably because the cone substrate has a very high conversion efficiency (not the same as overall sensitivity), i.e. has a high resonant sensitivity, so low-level details through the range are not swamped, which can happen if you have a higher degree of self-damping. Providing you're not expecting to fill a large space on a couple of watts with 20dB of dynamic headroom above a high average level on a very low power type of SET, they do fine. If you've got an amplifier of this type and you want something higher (fair enough) the recent Alpair 7P has the highest sensitivity of the 4in MA models; nominally around 87.5dB, but in practice somewhat more for much of the range, or there's the Fostex units of course.

seikosha

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #7 on: 17 May 2015, 08:28 pm »
Scott, I've never tried a MA driver, but the lower sensitivity is somewhat concerning (85.5 or 86db).  Yet lots of guys use them with tubes with no complaint.  What has been your experience?  Thanks for your input.

I've got speakers using both the alpair 10p and EL70.  Although neither is as efficient as my Omega RS5 drivers, they definitely are easier to drive than their efficiency #'s indicate.

roymail

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #8 on: 17 May 2015, 10:53 pm »
Guys, thanks for that input about MA driver sensitivity.  Good to know:)

Wind Chaser

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #9 on: 18 May 2015, 05:20 am »
I've got speakers using both the alpair 10p and EL70.  Although neither is as efficient as my Omega RS5 drivers, they definitely are easier to drive than their efficiency #'s indicate.

Which do you prefer and why?

seikosha

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #10 on: 18 May 2015, 01:48 pm »
Which do you prefer and why?

I like the Omegas the best.  That said, I could see others preferring one of the Mark Audio variants.  Here's a quick summary with a description of my room.

The room is small at about 10x12 and it's well treated with traps, absorbers and diffusers.  I listen semi nearfield.  My source is an Oppo 95 fed to a Schiit Uber Bifrost.  My main amp is a Decware SE84 with the new upgraded UFO transformers but I also listen to a Decware Mini Torii, a Rega Brio and some TPA 3116 variants.

The Omegas strength is their speed, microdynamics and detail.  They really sound like panel speakers and if that's a sound you like, you'd probably gravitate towards these.  They give you the ability to hear deep into the mix and will quickly tell you differences when you switch components in and out of your system.  Imaging and soundstaging are really good and you don't don't have to play these speakers loud to really enjoy and appreciate them.  The detail, the dynamics and life to the music are there at all levels, you never feel like you need to turn the music up to "open" them up like you seem to with so many other speakers.

I've got the Alpair 10P's in a Pensil cabinet and these are fun speakers.  They sound much larger than the Omegas, go deeper and are smoother sounding.  If I only had a solid state amp and my room were larger, I might actually prefer these as the Omegas really shine with tubes and lose some of their magic in my rooms when paired with solid state.  The Pensils will throw out a soundstage where everything "looks" bigger than the Omegas yet when you listen closely, you'll realize that you are missing little things here and there, the decay of notes, micro dynamic changes, the transient attack of a plucked string.  Don't get me wrong, the Alpair's are really good at this, it's just that the Omegas give you a little more of it.  The 10P driver is a little larger than the RS5 and the Pensil cabinet is significantly larger than that of my Super 3 XRS speakers so naturally this is why they sound bigger and go lower.

The little EL70 Mark Audio drivers are in some little Fonken cabinets.  This is a really nice driver that was produced in limited quantities for a short time.  I think David from Planet 10 at one time said it was his second favorite Mark Audio driver.  Like the Alpair 10P, this driver also is a little smoother than the RS5 Omega, but probably more detailed than the 10P.  What this driver does remarkably well is produce the most beautiful upper bass/lower midrange texture that I've ever heard from a single driver speaker.  It really is seductive.  Being a smaller driver in a smaller cabinet, it does seem to sound a bit more congested than the RS5 as the volume goes up and doesn't handle the bigger dynamic swings as well.  I've been told that this driver sounds better in a larger cabinet and using one could very well eliminate these traits.

Overall, all 3 are excellent designs and if I had to, I would happily live with any of them.  I think if you did a quick A/B on all three, most would prefer the Pensils but if one lived with them long term, the subtleties and the nuances of the Omegas would start to be noticed.

Below are a couple of Pics of the Omegas and Pensils (you can see how big they are).  Unfortunately, I don't have any pics handy of the Fonkens.  Hope that helps.




Poultrygeist

Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #11 on: 18 May 2015, 08:42 pm »
I prefer the Fostex Fe-126En as it's efficient enough for my 2a3 SET amps. The MA's need more than 3 watts.



roymail

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #12 on: 19 May 2015, 12:10 am »
I wonder if anyone has tried a Frugal horn build with a straight front and back?  :scratch:  I bet those Omegas are perfect for smaller rooms and tube amps.

Poultrygeist

Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #13 on: 19 May 2015, 12:37 am »
If they did it wouldn't be a Frugal Horn.

Scottmoose

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #14 on: 19 May 2015, 03:31 pm »
The dimensions & form factors in the Frugel Horn are functional parts of the design. Removing parts, changing the shape, profile or any of the dimensions will result in a significant departure in behaviour.

Ultralight

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #15 on: 28 May 2015, 01:58 pm »
Seikosha, have you also played around with any of the Mark Audio Alpair 7.3s?

I read some comments that the Omega RS5 have an upward tilt in the trebles that gives them an impression of being more detailed, and also can be thinner sounding as a result.  Hence perhaps better match with 'fatter' sounding valves.  Do you find that?

Thanks,
UL

FullRangeMan

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #16 on: 28 May 2015, 02:04 pm »
The dimensions & form factors in the Frugel Horn are functional parts of the design. Removing parts, changing the shape, profile or any of the dimensions will result in a significant departure in behaviour.
Scott,
I have a Omega 7A 6.5''alnico pair.
The usual Frugal Horn would perform good sound w/this driver?
OMEGA 7A SPECS
Re - 7.2 ohm
Fs - 43.585 Hz
Sd - 134.782cm2
Md - 2 grams
BL - 4.971T-M
Qms - 2.030
Qes - 0.430
Qts - 0.355
No - 1.186%
SPL - 93dB
VAS - 63.770Liters
Cms - 2.47 2m M/N
Krm - 242.164 ohm
Erm - 0.979
Mms - 5.394 grams
Mmd - 4.494 grams
Kxm - 20.332 mH
Ekm - 0.585

seikosha

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #17 on: 28 May 2015, 03:00 pm »
Seikosha, have you also played around with any of the Mark Audio Alpair 7.3s?

I read some comments that the Omega RS5 have an upward tilt in the trebles that gives them an impression of being more detailed, and also can be thinner sounding as a result.  Hence perhaps better match with 'fatter' sounding valves.  Do you find that?

Thanks,
UL

Hi Ultralight,

I don't necessarily think that the RS5's are tilted in the treble.  I've measured them in my listening room using an SPL meter and test disc and have confirmed that compared to many other speakers also measured in the same room, there is no tilt.  Perhaps in an anechoic chamber, things could be different?

However, the RS5's do have a dip in the 90-125 region which is an area where most speakers...especially conventional designs... have a bump.  My guess is that this is why an RS5 will sound thin to some people.  If you are used to hearing that bump which can certainly create a sense of warmth, you'll notice that it's missing for sure when you listen to the RS5 and it could cause one to then hear more detail than they normally hear.  What's better; 3db up at 120hz or 3db down?  There is no correct answer, but how one reacts to this will probably determine if they like the Omegas.

That said, I definitely prefer my Omegas with tubes.  I know others like them with conventional amps, but I've heard them sound thin with some class D designs that I've had in my systems.

I haven't owned the MA7.3's yet.  They are high on my list of speakers I'd like to hear.

Hope that helps.

Scottmoose

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #18 on: 28 May 2015, 09:52 pm »
Re the Omega unit mentioned, other than the fact that it won't physically fit FH3, its EM spec indicates a larger enclosure -I can't speak for the response trend (also important) as I haven't seen an FR plot. It may do OK in FHXL (FH3s larger cousin) though; might be a touch constrained in gain at the bottom end of its BW relative to the design drivers, but probably acceptable. Once I've got the PC back up & running properly I'll try to check as far as possible.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Driver preference for Frugal horns
« Reply #19 on: 29 May 2015, 11:14 am »
Thanks for your guidance Scott. The Freq chart is this(top)image.
Factory rec are 40 or 60L BR box w/3" flared port x 3.875" long.
I prefer the bigger 60L;
Thanks
« Last Edit: 29 May 2015, 12:42 pm by FullRangeMan »