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fostex fe126en

Discussion in 'audio' started by wpm, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. wpm

    wpm pfm Member


    recently i listened to a friends systems - comprising of an Onkyo ( all in 1 ) stereo amp ( 30 W ) + Fostex Fe166en ( back loaded horn speakers - 7 ft tall !! ).

    It sounded quite nice to me and i wanted to ask if any of you have a previous experience of naim nait 5i-2 with a Fostex Fe126en or similar fostex driver based speakers.

    I am looking to build a fostex speaker and want to avoid potential pitfalls.

    The very last resort is to change the Naim Nait 5i-2 itself.

    PS : i tried to upload a photo of it but was not successful


    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Speakers like the Fostex/horn loaded design you describe are typically high efficiency designs. In addition, their strengths are usually centered around the mid-range and low to mid volume levels. As such, they are often partnered with low powered valve amps (even OTL and single ended designs). The Naim will certainly work with such a speaker (at least as well as your friends Onkyo) but it may not prove the ideal match in the long term.

    Edit: I've heard quite a number of designs similar to the one you describe and speakers using Fosrex drivers. I can certainly see/hear the appeal but they are not a universal tool by any means. You don't mention the volume levels you wish to achieve or the kind of music you want to listen to - but it's no coincidence that such speakers are usually found playing small ensemble/jazz type music.
  3. wpm

    wpm pfm Member

    Hi YNWOAN,

    I guess i should have elaborated.

    My current rig comprises

    Naim CD5XS - gives trouble sometimes ( standby Philips Cd750 ). The Cd setup is in hibernation currently.
    Meridian Explorer USB Dac working out of a Toshiba laptop and running Hysolid
    Merlin TSM MMM standmounted sppeakers
    DiY sealed subwoofer ( sometimes used - running from hi level signals from naim nait 5i )

    Music :

    Explosions in the sky
    Hindi Pop
    Nina Simone
    A nice collection of Jazz music
    Billy Joel
    Indian Instrumental / Classical

    Volume levels - medium to high in the day time and low to medium in the night time

    room size : 18 ft by 18 ft by 10 ft height. The speaker positioning is such that there are no side walls to speak of.

    I think my room needs a floorstander but i am reluctant to invest in one. The Fostex Fe126En drivers are relatively cheap and i can have the cabinets made here or maybe buy the plans from wodendesign.com

    I do have a Technics SL1210 as well and about 500 records.. hindi and english...mixed up... good pressings..


    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Hi :).

    I'm afraid I've never heard (I don't think I have anyway) your Merlin TSM MMMs but having read a couple of reviews I think you may be in danger of a sideways move rather than a definite upgrade. What exactly about the performance of the Merlins do you hope to improve on?
  5. wpm

    wpm pfm Member

    Hi there YNWOAN and folks,

    The Merlins are wonderful speakers and there are no ifs and butts about it. The tonality and the music that flows out is simply too good.

    I was wondering if a floor stander would be better for my room size of 18 ft by 18 ft which is why i did a nice DiY sealed subwoofer in the first place.

    Or maybe a more powerful amp than the 50W i have now - but with equally clean or cleaner power / current delivery. People tell me about the Exposure 3101s2 or the Rega Elicit R or something from the naim range itself..but i prefer integrateds..

    I think the Merlins can do with a bit more kick on the rear side.. :D

    If i opt for a floorstander - i will likely have to change the amp ie change everything !!

    Therefore i was looking at a high efficiency driver so that atleast i can retain the amp


    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Your friends speakers are inherently large because of the horn loading technique they employ - but they probably don't actually go any lower in the bass than your current sealed box stand mounts. I'm still not really sure what it is that you want that the Merlins aren't giving - you want them to energise the room more, or go louder, or go lower in the bass? You do have a large room and they are quite small speakers.
  7. wpm

    wpm pfm Member


    Firstly - thanks for your interaction and questions. Appreciate !!

    a. To go lower in bass - i have the DiY sealed subwoofer.

    But i am not too sure if a 2.1 is better than a 2.0

    b. My intergrated amp does 50W at 8 ohm and the Merlin TSM is a relatively easy load to drive but i understand Merlins can take SS amps 100W@8 ohms.. ( quality power )

    will this lead to more music / more details or more juice to be squeezed out of the merlins ??

    c. I am loathe to sell the Merlins. I love them too much. I just want to use them to their maximum potential.

    PM me your email id and i can send you some pics of my rig... if you would like to see.

    best regards
  8. per flemming

    per flemming Registered User

    A larger Integrated may provide a faster more tight bas, maybe a larger soundstage if this is neccesary, along with the ability to play the few watts louder - not sure more watt are neccesary with most single speaker design?, but you risk loosing the fun and engagement which is strong in Nait 5i when volume is up, low level playback is not their greatest, bit muffled but indeed a superb amp for outlay, don't stir up on the paperwatts, I've heard 200Watts sound like a mess compared to just 35 Naim watts - but most people prefer the 200W because "it must be better due to more power on paper" .

    I'd put a Flatcap/Hicap on your cd-source (the 5XS) and expect much better result than the laptop setup
    no idea what "hibernation" is

    The "single speaker" speakers and or horns I have heard provided good fresh mids, rolled off highs in some cases(not a problem imo) and a light fast bas
    If you have the skills DIY should be a nice cheap road to good sound.
    Never heard Merlin's
  9. wpm

    wpm pfm Member


    I see what you are saying.

    a. The problem with my CD5XS is that - it has been sent to the dealers place twice to repair an ERR msg that crops up for no conceivable reason. The reliability is in question and hence i bought a used meridian Explorer USB DAC ( i do happen to have lots of music on flac as well ).

    The CD5XS is an excellent player but ....ERR !!! :D

    b. Hibernation - answered in point a... above

    c. The cost of making a fostex based speaker is quite reasonable and thats a tempting factor - i agree.

    Thats why i was asking about the naim nait 5i with Fe126en. I agree the Nait 5i does weill in the 9 o clock to 11 o clock volume position and that may be too much for the fostex drivers..

    what say ??

    d. I have been looking at the Sonneteer Alabaster for many months now...but i guess each amp has its own quirks..


  10. Cesare

    Cesare pfm Member

    You've mentioned all sorts of things you are thinking about changing, but basically, my advice is to go *very*slowly with changes, otherwise you'll just get yourself in a tangle.

    It sounds to me like you love the bits of kit you have at the moment, but would like your CD player to work reliably. If it's an intermittent problem it's likely to be some dodgy component, and might be heat related (maybe a joint which just isn't quite right).

    As for speakers, i've a feeling the problem you have is that your room is square, which is just about the worst possible combination, the only worst case being living in a cube, but thankfully your room is not as high as it is wide! ;-)

    So, if I were you, i'd do two things:

    1) Try and get your CD player working. It might be that you need to get it dismantled, checked, and re-assembled, which may actually fix the issue if it's related to a solder joint or something like that.

    2) Take speaker/room interaction seriously, and try moving components about to see how these affect the sound. From your description, I think what you are 'lacking' is most likely to be what the room is 'adding', as you sound like you are basically delighted with what you have when it works. Maybe some absorption, maybe just tweaking layout, it's hard to know really, but i'd certainly look in this direction with a square room if I were you.
  11. wpm

    wpm pfm Member

    Thank you Cesare for your kind words.

    I like what Naim brings to the table but this is the 2nd time my CD5XS has acted up and now its in UK ( back to Naim for a thorough check up ) and i live in India.

    Naim has been very kind to help out but i must admit it is painful for me to :-

    a. not be without a source

    b. get used to another source combination ( in the meantime )

    c. not be sure if my CD5XS will work for 5 years trouble free - once its back from Naim UK. ( Transporting sensitive equipment across oceans needs some luck- despite the best of packing )

    I will try an post a pic of how things were - once upan a time - not too long ago..

  12. wpm

    wpm pfm Member

    here is my friends Fostex Fe166En setup..

  13. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

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