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  1. #1
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Frugal horns w/ Fostex FE126

    Finally!! I have these for audition for an indefinite amount of time. Basically, until I love em or hate em. I am hoping that this will be the final frontier for me. I want something that can convey my system's exceptional midrange, and these puppies should do the trick.

    They were made by Dave Dulgos himself (Planet10hifi) and are superb in appearance and feel. They contain the Fostex FE126 (seller made an error Poultry!). I will be using a sub to compensate the lower range, right now it's set to 40hz.

    I was provided with false corners since this design is a rear facing, corner loaded horn.

    Special thanks to Poultrygeist for his guidance and encouragement. Told ya I would get there Paul!

    OK, tubes are almost ready...






  2. #2
    Ajani
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    Well, they certainly look funky... Let us know how they sound, once you've played a few tracks....

  3. #3
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    PC can you get a photo of the rear of those?
    This is a test to edit sig.

  4. #4
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    You have arrived my friend and what a gorgeous set of horns they are. Get ready to hear detail you haven't heard before and listen for Mile's trumpet spit. Try them with and without the sub and get back with us soon.

    Paul Klipsch would love the Fostex FE126 as it was he who said, "the midrange is where we live". Damn if those Fostex's don't get it right!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Poppa those look awesome. I like the square baffle with the driver in the center. Looks rather like a cyclops. How do they sound? My first thought is a KEF UniQ driver would look great in the enclosures.
    JohnMichael

    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Ringmat Anniversary mat, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, GSP Fanfare 3 w/PSU1

    Digital Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001

    Int. Amp Krell S-300i

    Speakers Focal 806V/Focal 800 stands

    Cables AQ Rocket 33's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  6. #6
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Hey guys, thanks for the interest. I am still toying around with placement as these are extremely sensitive. I am not convinced I have found the sweet spot yet. How do they sound? Fantastic, but i would be lying if I said that at this point, they are considerably better than my 3A's. Through this exchange, the 3A's are showing just how great they are.

    I am using my sub thus far and the detail is indeed exceptional. I still need more time.

    Yes John, that's part of the appeal of these enclosures. I could replace the FE126 with a few other full rangers if I choose to.

    Poultry I have been trying to incorporate the false corners, but I think I will try without and see what I get. I initaially had them about 8 feet apart, and then moved them about 12-15 feet apart. The stage increased exponentially, very impressive. The Harrison/Blanchard LP I had on responded well to the change and all of a sudden I could localise the percussionist.

    OK back to work...


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    Since you don't have corners I would try them pulled out into the room as far as you can. Are you sure those drivers are FE126's? Mine are white faced. If they don't slay your 3A's something's not right.

  8. #8
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Since you don't have corners I would try them pulled out into the room as far as you can. Are you sure those drivers are FE126's? Mine are white faced. If they don't slay your 3A's something's not right.
    Frankly, the seller isn't 100% confident regarding the drivers Paul. What do they look like to you? I thought the enABLEd process included the black appearance.

    OK I have tapped into these things...BIG TIME. First of all, the bass is exceptional, although I am assisting at 60hz. Right now I have them stetched quite wide and toed in, with the false corners against the wall. I put on Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions and wow!! This is the best I have heard my system vocally. Her voice is huge, yet totally realistic. You fully gain the sense of their environment. Tonally these things are perfect. The 3A's lack in the low mid to bass region, whereas these do NOT!

    The integration from left to right is impressive, I could never strecth the Apogees this far, they would time out and reveal themselves mechanically. These seem to have no limit to their width, I am basically as wide as the room will comfortably allow.

    The rear of the mouth is approx 2 feet from the wall. Should I extend that?

  9. #9
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Holy chit!! OK ok I bow down now...

    put on Joni's Mingus and oh my god man. These things really are crazy. I am buying them for sure. The immediacy is unmatched. I can;t believe how forward everything is. Forward without being unrealistic or obnoxious. And yes, detail is insane.

    Paul I owe you one man, I think this is it for me. I will come back later I want to listen, here is a pic...


  10. #10
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    Chad,

    All the FE126e I've seen are white. If they seem painted then they very well could be 126e's. Planet10 will custom color the 126 but it should look painted. The 126 is the best driver for your Frugal Horns bar none. Enabling is not just a cone treatment but the dot patterns on the cone that is supposed to affect dispersion. Some folks believe it makes a signifant difference while others won't touch it with a 10 ft pole. If enabling makes a difference I've always wondered why Fostex doesn't do it? If you want to know for sure what drivers you've got pull one out and look at it. The legs and motor are probably well dampened as they should be. The motor on the 126 is huge compared to the shielded 127 motor. I like my 126's two to three feet out from the wall and small group jazz is to die for in nearfield. BTW, the Frugal Horns can be built for $300 DIY per the Planet10 website.

  11. #11
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Yes $300 DIY, but Paul the craftsmanship on mine is second to none. He did a wonderful job and used some gorgeous wood. The baffles are also high quality although I am not sure what the material is. These can sit in the finest of rooms and hold their own. Even though I have a handy side to me, I think perhaps paying a craftsman to at least cut and fit the pieces would be a good idea. Also, if you are certain that this is the way to go, design wise, I think stepping up the wood is a good idea too.

    Anyhow, I have sent an email to Dave Dulgos so hopefully his memory is jogged upon seeing the speakers.

    I've been having alot of fun today. That's right...F-U-N. I trhought that these would maybe be too detailed for poorer LPs but in reality I have found that it does the opposite. Even my average LPs are sounding good, but perhaps this is my eagerness talking.

    As far as why Fostex wouldn't enABLE theuir own drivers if it's relevant...I don't agree with you fully. There are alot of proven tweaks out there which OEM's just leave alone. Rega's relationship with Michell and Incognito come to mind. I think some companies would rather just stick with what they are good at, and leave some things to others.

    Man I am on cloud nine today...

  12. #12
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Yes $300 DIY, but Paul the craftsmanship on mine is second to none. He did a wonderful job and used some gorgeous wood. The baffles are also high quality although I am not sure what the material is. These can sit in the finest of rooms and hold their own. Even though I have a handy side to me, I think perhaps paying a craftsman to at least cut and fit the pieces would be a good idea. Also, if you are certain that this is the way to go, design wise, I think stepping up the wood is a good idea too.

    Anyhow, I have sent an email to Dave Dulgos so hopefully his memory is jogged upon seeing the speakers.

    I've been having alot of fun today. That's right...F-U-N. I trhought that these would maybe be too detailed for poorer LPs but in reality I have found that it does the opposite. Even my average LPs are sounding good, but perhaps this is my eagerness talking.

    As far as why Fostex wouldn't enABLE theuir own drivers if it's relevant...I don't agree with you fully. There are alot of proven tweaks out there which OEM's just leave alone. Rega's relationship with Michell and Incognito come to mind. I think some companies would rather just stick with what they are good at, and leave some things to others.

    Man I am on cloud nine today...
    Enjoy the new speakers... but don't be in too much of a rush to commit to buying them (since you have that extensive in-home-trial: I doubt it will happen in this case, but remember that some gear sounds really impressive at first but starts to irritate you later on)...

    Also, I 100% agree with the idea of paying an expert to assemble for you (unless you really have good woodworking skills) since just because it is DIY doesn't mean it should look like DIY!!!

    Sadly for me, my plan to get a full-range speaker is on hold - I just don't want to pay the shipping... By the time I add shipping and duties it would cost me almost as much to buy a $400 Tekton as to buy a $1500 Revel floorstander locally... Eventually I'll probably just buy the Fostex drivers and find someone local (or myself if I develop some skills) to build the cabinets...

  13. #13
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Sadly for me, my plan to get a full-range speaker is on hold - I just don't want to pay the shipping... By the time I add shipping and duties it would cost me almost as much to buy a $400 Tekton as to buy a $1500 Revel floorstander locally... Eventually I'll probably just buy the Fostex drivers and find someone local (or myself if I develop some skills) to build the cabinets...
    That sucks man! Take heart, the drivers are affordable and the designs are free/accessible. You should begin researching some horn designs. This site has my plans plus tons of others. I have a feeling that with your tastes the Metronomes would be appealing. The good news about that is they are very simple in design.


    I hear what you're saying about waiting, and you're right. Enthusiasm aside, we agreed on 2 weeks before any business would take place.

    Do you have a subwoofer? Oh ya, it may interest you to know that a company in the former Yugoslavia was close to releasing a proprietary version of the Frugal horn, to be sold with a subwoofer. It fell through before they got to production, but they were going to price the package at just under 10K Euro!

    I think you should not let go of the single driver concept just yet.

  14. #14
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    That sucks man! Take heart, the drivers are affordable and the designs are free/accessible. You should begin researching some horn designs. This site has my plans plus tons of others. I have a feeling that with your tastes the Metronomes would be appealing. The good news about that is they are very simple in design.


    I hear what you're saying about waiting, and you're right. Enthusiasm aside, we agreed on 2 weeks before any business would take place.

    Do you have a subwoofer? Oh ya, it may interest you to know that a company in the former Yugoslavia was close to releasing a proprietary version of the Frugal horn, to be sold with a subwoofer. It fell through before they got to production, but they were going to price the package at just under 10K Euro!

    I think you should not let go of the single driver concept just yet.
    I'm definitely not abandoning the single driver yet... But it will form my 2nd system... So i'll work on it after the main rig is complete... The main rig is all Emotiva Electronics with Revel F12s - so serious dynamic range and should be loads of fun... Eventually I hope to get the Fostex FE206ENs (I'll have to build or pay a local to build an enclosure) and a MiniWatt amp to match with my Benchmark DAC1 in my Cans system... So it should leave me with 2 sweet systems with totally different priorities...

    Best of all I'll be able to compare: Cans VS 3way tower with 300 watt SS amp VS single driver with 3.5 watt Set amp...
    Last edited by Ajani; 10-29-2010 at 04:03 PM.

  15. #15
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    Chad,

    The build quality of those Frugal Horns looks exceptional and they are well worth the asking price. The complexity of this design scares commercial speaker companies away as they are too labor intensive to build which translates into too little profit. I know of only one guy ( happens to be my friend ) in the US who builds BL horns and sells them in his small cottage industry. He sells his horns all over the world and several Arab Shieks who could afford anything have purchased them. Your Frugals stem from his small horn design. You should post a picture of the labyrinth of internal folds that make up the BLH so folks can see what we are talking about. The BLH design reminds me of a small speaker playing through a tuba. That's of course where the term "horn" comes from and the folds and large mouth at the rear reproduce the bass better than a small full range driver can do in any other design. With the BLH it's more about mechanics than electronics and the cabinet workmanship is everything!

    So many people today are caught up in the hype of commercial speaker offerings they easily dismiss DIY designs that are equal to or superior to the best of high end. Read the DIY forums and you will find members who have gone through all the top commercial gear, cast them aside, and graduated to a higher level. It's amazing to me how many of those now worship at the alter of the full range driver. What does Nelson Pass own and listen to? You guessed it.

    I would guess that many people who dis full range speakers have never heard them or have not heard them in their best application or have not spent quality time with them. They were an epiphany for me and it sounds like they will be for you.

  16. #16
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Indeed. Turns out I wasn't using the deflectors correctly. I have repositioned them and of course things stepped up a HUGE notch. The deflector is integral to the design. Thanks for the compliment Paul, but you know what? You're right!! Hahaha. They are gorgeous.

    The history on my pair is that they are one of only 3 made. Dave Dlugos has one pair and the other went to a gentleman in California. I LOVE the fact that they are unique.

    Like many other things in audio, you must seek them out to find the "truth". While we must still acknowledge preference, DIY speakers, cabling, racking, etc, etc would seem to be the way to go. Some of these companies, in combination with dealers, are gouging the consumer. Even paying to have someone build or create something can put a person way ahead of the game.

    I already posted to your PVC thread, but are you aware of the whole Ring Audio ruckus that went down? They were going to commercially produce Frugal horns (without permission!!) and sell them for $10K EU!!!!! The price would include a subwoofer also, but I think that it speaks volumes as to just how good they sound. 10K EU is exhorbinant, but certainly many would pay it.

  17. #17
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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  18. #18
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    Hey dude congrats!! Now you can work on the cables just kidding. You need some time to enjoy your new toys
    Thanks for the pics, setup is looking good! Enjoy it

  19. #19
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Hey dude congrats!! Now you can work on the cables just kidding. You need some time to enjoy your new toys
    Thanks for the pics, setup is looking good! Enjoy it
    Tony!! Thanks man. I have been going through a ton of vinyl this morning. I have never had speakers which convey every genre so well. They do justice to rock as well as they do vocal. Anyhow, I could go on and on.

    Yes Tony, I am at a crossroads and will be taking a self imposed hiatus from the hobby. From here, I only wish to buy another Golden Tube for dual mono, an ARC pre and some quality electrostats. These things are for down the road, so for now I will just enjoy my music collection.

    The point of this rambling is that I will have time to consider our cabling project. I have a pair of AQ king Cobras in right now, and they're great. I would like to imitate something like that. The Risch recipe for silver cables might be the way to go, but the silver will be costly.

  20. #20
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Indeed. Turns out I wasn't using the deflectors correctly. I have repositioned them and of course things stepped up a HUGE notch. The deflector is integral to the design. Thanks for the compliment Paul, but you know what? You're right!! Hahaha. They are gorgeous.

    The history on my pair is that they are one of only 3 made. Dave Dlugos has one pair and the other went to a gentleman in California. I LOVE the fact that they are unique.

    Like many other things in audio, you must seek them out to find the "truth". While we must still acknowledge preference, DIY speakers, cabling, racking, etc, etc would seem to be the way to go. Some of these companies, in combination with dealers, are gouging the consumer. Even paying to have someone build or create something can put a person way ahead of the game.

    I already posted to your PVC thread, but are you aware of the whole Ring Audio ruckus that went down? They were going to commercially produce Frugal horns (without permission!!) and sell them for $10K EU!!!!! The price would include a subwoofer also, but I think that it speaks volumes as to just how good they sound. 10K EU is exhorbinant, but certainly many would pay it.
    Maybe they were going to at least upgrade the materials... I know it's pretty standard to find companies (whether in HiFI or otherwise) using the same basic design as cheaper products and then charging a wicked premium for upgraded materials... (Whether those materials justify the cost or even make a major sonic improvement is often debatable)...

  21. #21
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    The problem was that they did NOT acknowledge the free source plans of Frugal horns....at all. Here's a link to the infamous review.

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/ringaudio/horn.html

  22. #22
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    Could those baffles be made of Coran ( as used in solid surface counter tops )? Coran is so dense it should work well for baffles.

  23. #23
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I'll email Dlugos and ask him, but it's a super heavy and dense material.

  24. #24
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    The problem was that they did NOT acknowledge the free source plans of Frugal horns....at all. Here's a link to the infamous review.

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/ringaudio/horn.html
    Yep... though if you are try to sell an expensive & exotic horn design, the last thing you want is to let potential customers know that your 'inspiration' is some free DIY plan....

  25. #25
    Ajani
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    I just checked out the designs and the DIY pre-packed version of those horns... It really looks tempting.... That might end up being my first DIY project early next year...

    http://www.planet10-hifi.com/FH-flatpak.html

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