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  1. #1

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    Default Yeah! Single driver speakers

    In the spring, while most animals are busy looking for a mate, Organ goes out looking for new audio adventures.

    Well, not really. I've always wanted them ever since I heard the sound back in Feb. I just couldn't get the sound out of my head.

    I called my dealer yesterday and found out he got a pair of Omega 8R in mint condition. I just had to have them.

    This is my first experience with single drivers in my rig. I'm in love with the sound. Steady impedance, no x-over, 96db sensitive, single point source. They're just begging for some SET juice.

    The speakers use a pair of 8" Fostex paper drivers (forgot model #). They're bigger than the LSi9.

    They're not made for head bangers. Where they really shine is the mids, speed, resolution and imaging. They sound best reproducing acoustic instruments and vocals. This is the best mids I've heard so far. There's a nice flow and ease to the sound that gets me hooked everytime. Everything is so natural. They're capable of doing the fast and subtle dynamic and tonal swings in vocals. The high freq is very sweet and never harsh. You feel the music and emotions with these guys.

    Anybody else using single drivers?
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    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  2. #2

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    I had ones using the Fostex 167e, kinda like the Grande 6s. I enjoyed them, great imaging and mids with rolled of highs and some decent bass. Reminded me of my Gallos w/ their imaging, but they didn't fit my musical tastes.

  3. #3

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    Yeah, I understand. They're lacking punch. Mine has excellent high freq but no hf extension. It has the whizzer cone. But like you, I like them for the mids and imaging. With a super delicate amp, the mids is the best I've heard so far in my rig. The subwoofer really helped as well.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

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    They don't fit my musical tastes either, that's why I stick with the dual concentrics. IMO, it's the best of both worlds. The biggest downfall is the complex crossovers in the vintage models. The newer Tannoy's I've tried have very simple networks, but don't sound as good. For that you have to spend $$$! Sorry for the tangent, I'm glad you enjoy them.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Heard the Gemme Tanto and think that it is outstanding. However, it wasn't totally single driver. It ran a fullrange driver augmented with a Vifa ring radiator similiar to the Lsi's. They did everything to suit my tastes except for having a short soundstage. I have heard other speakers that I have really liked but they had the same problem as this. The short soundstage is something that just annoys me and is a deal breaker. Although, the newer ones are coming with stands now that are supposed to alleviate this....I have not heard them yet however.
    Modwright SWL 9.0 SE (6Sons Audio Thunderbird PC with Oyaide 004 terminations)
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  6. #6

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    I have a pair of drivers and plans for a box, does that count? :)

    I've been looking really hard at the ZU line of speakers. I bet these are awesome but I've not heard a pair.
    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ull&1213498233
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  7. #7

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    My FE207E drivers in 1 ft^3 bass reflex cabinets. These were built by Dave J. here in MA. A little shy on low bass, but very nice overall.

    all the best,
    mrh

  8. #8

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    You need to update your system showcase with some new pics! I wanna see those La Scala's.
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  9. #9

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    I have a pair of Jordan JX-92s. Goes all the way down to about 50hz, and none of the top end issues.



    Also have some BLH Fostex Sigma's.

    Last edited by unc2701; 05-18-2008 at 05:23 PM.
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
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  10. #10
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    I've always wanted to check out those Jordans! I've heard they're sweeeet...

  11. #11

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    Face,
    The Fostex drivers with whizzer cones work in a similar way as dual concentrics. The highs are routed to the smaller cone to prevent beaming. Funny you mentioned Tannoy. The Westminster Royal are my dream speakers. Their vintage models are extremely popular overseas.

    Midnite Mick,
    Haven't heard those speakers but sounds interesting. I love the Vifa on my LSi9. That's the problem with some single driver floorstanders. I saw a few before getting mine that were just too short. I've seen quite a few now that come with custom stands to overcome the same problem.

    Madmax,
    lol The cabs are beautiful on the Omega. Louis O does a killer job on his cabs. My model is from the R series which uses Cardas wiring/connectors with some crazy insulation inside. There's no boxy sound at all.
    The Zu speakers look amazing. I bet they sound great. Did you get the horns you wre looking for?

    mhardy,
    That's nice. I like the pic. Very cool kitty:). I think our speakers use the same drivers. I'm guessing the freq drops like a brick on my speakers after 50Hz. Finally got the PSW650 to blend in perfectly with mine. Can't believe my Polk sub blends in better with the Omegas than any other speakers I own. But of course, overall dynamics is still compromised.

    Jdogg,
    Yeah, I want to update the system showcase but I've been too lazy lately. My speakers are constantly on rotation, so next time I get the Scalas back up I'll definitely take a pic and post it here.
    Just saw your sig. Congrats on the RF-7. They're awesome. Many people on the Klipsch forum say they're better than the newer model that replaced them (RF-83). How do you like the 7's? I only have the RF-35 from the Reference line.

    Unc,
    Thanks for sharing the pics. Those are great looking speakers. Have you tried placing the Jordans on stands? I was just using the stool as reference. Those BLH are huge.



    I'm glad to see there are some single driver fans in here. For anyone who own a SET amp or is planning to buy one, you should check out some single drivers. The way they handle delicate passages with a low powered SET is unreal. Most single drivers are made for SET amps because the drivers need very little to no damping, they sound best with tubes. I hear they're to stiff and lifeless on SS. Gonna have to try and see what happens.
    I can't believe I like these speakers as much as my giant La Scalas. I find the Omegas to be the most pleasing speakers to listen to. They really stand out with vocals, strings and guitars. I love the way they reproduce Flamenco music.
    Five years ago, I never would have thought I'd own this kind of minimalist system. I'm totally enjoying this audio hobby:).
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  12. #12

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    Organ,

    Welcome to the dark side!

    Now that you know how sweet a speaker can be w/o cross-over, you should try your hand at BUILDING some single driver speakers. Plans for specific driver/cabinet combinations are readily available (start by going to DIYaudio.com.)

    I've built a pair of Metronomes w/ Fostex FE108eSigma's and a pair of Half Changs w/ Fostex FE206e drivers. Your speakers look like either FE206 or FE207; if they are shielded, then they're 207's; if they aren't shielded, then they're most likely 206's.

    Many believe that the sweet spot for single drivers is the 4" to 5" range. This naturally limits deep bass, but that's what subs were created for!

    Cheers, Jim
    A day without music is like a day without food.

  13. #13

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    Didn't think I'd stumble across a thread on single driver speakers around here. I've been reading threads on the DIYaudio single driver forum since I found my way to Planet10 hifi's site a couple of months ago. I'm really hoping I can start building a pair of Saburo's, which are horns designed around the 4.5" Fostex FE126e.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  14. #14

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    Thanks for the help Jim. I believe mine are the 207. I remember hearing that all Omega speakers are shielded, so its gotta be the 207.

    I'd love to build a pair but I have absolutely no woodworking skills and no access to any tools. My next pair will probably be another pair of Omega that use the Alnico magnet/Hemp cone. Thanks for the help and and link. I know some good woodworkers. So if I see some interesting design, I could have them build me one.

    Have you tried comparing 300B/2A4/45 tubes on Fostex drivers? Is there a particular one that you find sounds best with them? I have them connected to a 2A3 amp right now. I like the 2A3 as much as 300B. I find that the 300B give a more colorful presentation but 2A3 to be more linear.

    Thanx again for the link.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  15. #15

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    Fostex: Yep. They're huge. Line length is 138" and the height is 72"

    Jordans: I've gotten them off the floor since then, but their off axis response is actually a little better than on axis, so you can do crazy things like toe them OUT or have them pointed up to 30 degrees off where you're sitting.
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
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  16. #16

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    Strider,
    Is that a front or back loaded horn? I've seen a few fostex loaded horns and they look very nice. I doubt you'll be lacking dynamics once they're horn loaded. I'm a big fan of horns. I currently have 3 models from Klipsch and love them all.
    Don't forget Lowther drivers as well. They have quite the following and a lot of people build speakers around them.
    You can check out www.audioasylum.com for more info on single drivers. There are many threads on the "high efficiency speakers" forum.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by organ View Post
    Strider,
    Is that a front or back loaded horn? I've seen a few fostex loaded horns and they look very nice. I doubt you'll be lacking dynamics once they're horn loaded. I'm a big fan of horns. I currently have 3 models from Klipsch and love them all.
    Don't forget Lowther drivers as well. They have quite the following and a lot of people build speakers around them.
    You can check out www.audioasylum.com for more info on single drivers. There are many threads on the "high efficiency speakers" forum.
    (I think) they're back loaded, double mouthed horns. I'm still in the reading phase of research, so please correct me if I'm wrong. I got intrigued beacause they look fairly simple to build, no complex angles, etc. Since this is will be my first experience with single driver speakers, the low cost of the FE126e ($45 each) is attractive as well.

    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  18. #18

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    Unc,
    That's interesting. I spent the whole day on Sat playing around with toe-in. I think I've got it right now. For some reason, mine are very picky with the toe in. Too much and the soundstage shrinks, too little and the soundstage completely collapse and too many peaks and dips in the freq response. Good to hear your Jordans aren't so picky.
    Wow, not that you've given me the measurement, the Fostex are much bigger than I thought. I bet they sound amazing.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  19. #19

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    Strider,
    Yeah, they're back loaded. Looks very big too. I bet you can get some serious bass and dynamics from that design.
    Good luck and keep us posted on your project.
    What are you planning to power them with?
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  20. #20

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    The only problem with the Jordan drivers (which are very nice drivers; don't get me wrong!) is that they're not terribly efficient -- not the best match for truly flea-powered amps. Ever since I switched to the 14 wpc HF-81 in the living room, though, I've been a lot less limited in speaker choices :-)
    all the best,
    mrh

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by organ View Post
    Have you tried comparing 300B/2A4/45 tubes on Fostex drivers? Is there a particular one that you find sounds best with them? I have them connected to a 2A3 amp right now. I like the 2A3 as much as 300B. I find that the 300B give a more colorful presentation but 2A3 to be more linear.
    I'm not into tubes at this point, so I can't help you there. (Although I may try building a tube amp soon just for the experience of it.) For now, I'm still using my classic SS receivers: Sansui 4000, Sansui 350A, and Yamaha CR-1000. Note that these are totally different beasts from what now passes for a receiver. My position is that modern receivers w/ switching power supplies have no head room; therefore they can't handle the transients that make music come alive. Tubes, although they have relatively low power ratings, can do well because they do have head room, and when they go into clipping, it's a soft form of clipping that's very different from what happens w/ SS. If you think I'm kidding, just look at the amps used w/ electric guitars: when those tube amps are driven to clipping (distortion) people like the sound; do that w/ a SS amp and see what the reaction is!

    Cheers, Jim
    A day without music is like a day without food.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by organ View Post
    Madmax,
    Did you get the horns you wre looking for?

    Yep, ended up with a pair of Avantgarde Duos. They are everything I would have hoped for. No horn sound, SUPER efficient, runs with 3 or 4 watts but makes use of a hundred if you supply it. Looks cooler in person than in the pics I've seen. Best of all, they reproduce a drum kit with some recordings that could fool you into thinking you were in the same room. Very fast dynamics. That is what makes horns awesome!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  23. #23
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    unc2701, did you build the boxes for your Jordans? And how do you feel about their aluminum cone vs a paper cone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by organ View Post
    Strider,
    Yeah, they're back loaded. Looks very big too. I bet you can get some serious bass and dynamics from that design.
    Good luck and keep us posted on your project.
    What are you planning to power them with?
    I'm going to use my Rotel 980bx at first. I've heard the sound may be a bit harsh, especially in the treble, but I think after a bit I'm going to try my hand at a tube amp kit. I've been eyeing a kit by Decware that is a single ended design that can use EL84 tubes.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

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    Very cool thread. I spent quite a bit of time over at diyaudio.com as well when I was looking into building my mini voigt pipes. I too have found that single driver speakers are very demanding on placement and toe-in. Their imaging is so much more dependent on it and can go from sounding mediocre to jaw dropping with only a couple inches of movement. Just as everyone else has noted, single driver designs have shown me a new level of midrange and smoothness that I have yet to hear from any other design but it all does come at a sacrifice of other things.

    Dave (planet10) has made some fantastic full range speakers. He has gone far more into detail than I can ever imagine and even done little tests like painting dots onto his fostex woofers that do make a difference. We all laughed and then he did an a/b comparison between one with his treatment and one without and it was intriguing how much of a difference something so small made.

    I found it very hard to keep up with the threads on diyaudio just because they move so quickly and are usually pretty technical, but there is such a wealth of information mixed with a great member base over there.

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    So you've heard some ENabled drivers? Cool. I've heard varying things from different people, I guess the most vocal has been Ed Schilling of The Horn Shoppe. For me, at least, the extra $135 per pair isn't worth it right now. I'd like to build a set cheaply to have a baseline I can compare to. Maybe try a pair of the Fonkens on the Frugal Horn site, move the stock fe126e to them and get ENabled ones for the Saburos.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  27. #27

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    Yes I have. He brought over two pairs of Fonkens to my house - one enabled and one normal. I'm not certain which drivers he had in them but I'm guessing they were either the 126's or the 127's. Running off my amps, a pair of Monarchy Audio SM-70 pros (class A monoblocks), they sounded fantastic. The difference between the two was discrete but noticeable. It is a very hard difference to describe but the best way I could say is probably that it sounds less like a speaker and brings a more lively presence. If it's a $135 / pr difference to get the EnABL mod done, then I would say you're better off without it.

    Here's what it looks like for those who don't know. It is just that wavy pattern of dots on the cone. Obviously doesn't look like they'd do much but they actually work.


  28. #28

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    Allow me to just put in another good word for Dave "planetsofta" Dlugos. He is a fine and clever fellow, and a pleasure to do business with!

    My much-beloved Bob Brines-designed DIY folded ML TQWTs now sport Dave's phase plugs on their 40-1354s.


    all the best,
    mrh

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