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Full Range Single Driver Speakers, I'm Impressed and Want Know More


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Over the course of many years I moved from small speakers to ones with larger and larger bass units. I found that I loved the effortlessness and impact of a big bass driver and ended up with Yamaha NS1000m, a nice 12" woofer. This worked fantastically in the old space, open lounge with vaulted ceilings and a good few metres between the speakers. With the arrival of child however the small spare bedroom became the listening space and I mean small once all the bookshelves and other bric a brac is in there. The room itself was only 3.5m x 2.2m to start with. The result has been a tight layout, speakers ~1.2m apart and a seat virtually touching distance at a stretch. The result has been quite unsatisfying and meant constant change in pursuit of something which works better. The issue? There is a lack of coherency with the mids, trebles and bass all over the place. The image is non-existent and treble seems really pronounced and harsh. Likely the large boxes lack breathing space, there are odd reflections and the cluster arrangement of the drivers means I'm sitting too close and the three way can't come together in time. This is just my theory though as trying small bookshelf speakers is less of an issue.     

 

Out of curiosity I picked up a pair of fostex full range speakers in a back loaded horn cabinet, appear to be a 126en or similar. Even just plonking them in the first available space, completely amazed. Imaging was incredible, stereo image locked dead centre. I could stare at the speaker and still not hear the sound from it direct. Frequencies came together and the treble prominence was gone. I have sub reinforcement so the overall bass balance is still good. Completely amazed by what is available for relatively little money. Such a beautiful mid range and still providing a high level of detail.

 

So now that I've bought into the concept the question is how much better can I do? This driver uses a dust cap, are whizzers the way to go? Does going to a larger single driver have certain compromises and benefits? Would a single driver in a large cabinet start having room interaction issues like I was experiencing? Would love to hear all opinions from anyone who has experiences with single drivers. Thanks. 

 

 

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I'm happy to demo mine.  I've had many sets of speakers (some much more expensive), CH2s from @cheekyboy are the best I've had.   Happy to demo them to anyone who would like to see/hear what

I agree with this after playing around with larger fullrange/wideband drivers recently. Although they can sound quite excellent. Having the dispersion drop off a bit sooner in a larger driver can help

The best stand alone "full range" driver I have heard in the Goodmans Axiom 80s.

The room doesn’t sound ideal, but it might be worth double checking the relative phase of your original speakers to make sure they are both hooked up correctly? I have done it multiple times... it can have the audible effects you describe.

 

Re wide range drivers + subs, I am a sucker for them too, and yes, the imaging tends to be locked in and steady as a rock.

 

Cheers,

 

SS

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I'm a recent convert (not fully, but admiring and enjoying) to single driver speakers. My limited experience mirrors yours insofar as the imaging goes- using 8 inch and 5 inch from the same manufacturer does show the relative strengths of each. The 8s in very large ported cabinets have a fullness and definite "presence" about them where the 5s in far smaller ported cabs seem to throw more realistic spatial info and are just damn fun to listen to!

 

No subs were harmed in the forming of this opinion

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I've heard a few single driver speakers based on drivers from Fostex (4 inch, 6 inch and 8 inch versions) in both transmission line and back loaded horn cabinets, Lowther (in an isobaric cabinet) and Mark Audio Alpair (ported cabinet)

 

Common across all were a sense of cohesiveness, strong imaging and realness (especially on vocals). Bass has always been a bit weak in all the implementations that I've heard. Most tended to have high efficiency and paired well with tube amplifiers. I liked them on vocals and smaller ensembles like jazz, but they didn't work for me when I listened to rock and more complex music. I am a bit ambivalent about single drivers - didn't fall in love with them, but don't dislike them either

 

I can understand them working well in a small room in a nearfield setup

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These are bass shy but would love to see them in a bigger cabinet and find out what they are capable of.

 

A876C985-A600-4AF9-82C0-DB0AFD153C40.thumb.jpeg.9938f3249b7540bcac4448fdf734e74e.jpeg

 

 

 

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On 29/04/2021 at 3:19 PM, thejt said:

So now that I've bought into the concept the question is how much better can I do? This driver uses a dust cap, are whizzers the way to go? Does going to a larger single driver have certain compromises and benefits? Would a single driver in a large cabinet start having room interaction issues like I was experiencing? Would love to hear all opinions from anyone who has experiences with single drivers. Thanks.

 

I find that fullrange drivers vary enormously. In general they tend to come in two varieties. Those that are neutral but limited and those with quirks and a personality. Alpairs are a good example of "neutral but limited." In a back loaded horn you can get a tiny speaker that can do a decent job at bass in a small room without the quirks you often get with fullrangers. In many ways they can sound like a much bigger speaker but then you hit their Achilles heel - they fall apart quite quickly at "moderately loud" levels. This is where the limited part comes in.

 

If you move across to the quirky side of the fence, we move into drivers that often measure quite badly. In many cases they have a certain charm that tempts you to overlook these flaws and if you listen to only certain types of music, you may not even notice. Fullrangers with whizzer cones are more likely to be this type. In the measurements you often see exaggerated treble (on axis) with rapid shifts in dispersion as you go up in frequency.

 

Quote

Does going to a larger single driver have certain compromises and benefits?

 

Larger drivers have higher sensitivity and/or more low end capability but this comes at the cost of treble challenges. 3" drivers have generally better treble performance but bass is out of the question. As they get larger it becomes more difficult to achieve treble extension and issues with beaming will tend to increase. Beyond a certain point, whizzer cones become necessary. This is a bit of an over simplification for the sake of brevity as there are many approaches.

 

Quote

Would a single driver in a large cabinet start having room interaction issues like I was experiencing?

 

The bigger issue here is that a larger driver will probably have a different mix of characteristics and may be entirely different to what you are enjoying now. It might not be a step forward.

 

In your situation, another option to consider would be nearfield monitors. These are designed for close range use and many of them have treble and bass/mid controls. In some cases they also have built in amps, which can simplify the setup in a small room. Generally, these are very good value.

 

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26 minutes ago, 5L15 said:

These are bass shy but would love to see them in a bigger cabinet and find out what they are capable of.

 

A876C985-A600-4AF9-82C0-DB0AFD153C40.thumb.jpeg.9938f3249b7540bcac4448fdf734e74e.jpeg

 

 

 

 

These are the sake soaked JVC speakers? very handsome. 

4 hours ago, Sub Sonic said:

The room doesn’t sound ideal, but it might be worth double checking the relative phase of your original speakers to make sure they are both hooked up correctly? I have done it multiple times... it can have the audible effects you describe.

 

Re wide range drivers + subs, I am a sucker for them too, and yes, the imaging tends to be locked in and steady as a rock.

 

Cheers,

 

SS

 

I'll double check! thanks.

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@Eggmeister

 

For thoughts on single driver speakers, then @cheekyboy has oodles of XP and @scuzzii is one recipient of that expertise.

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r/BudgetAudiophile - Hello! Make my first speaker set that’s really is on a budget ! Speaker: Noema 150 35-8, case TQWP all about 200$ with speakers!! And they can )))

 

These aren't mine but have just built something with the same drivers. Large Wideband drivers. Can be used from 25Hz - 12Khz but best used with a tweeter crossed between 4-6KHz. Russian Noema drivers. https://youtu.be/MafQQX062Sg

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5 minutes ago, niss_man said:

 

These aren't mine but have just built something with the same drivers. Large Wideband drivers. Can be used from 25Hz - 12Khz but best used with a tweeter crossed between 4-6KHz.

 

 

So they're not "full-range drivers"??

 

Andy

 

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What is a fullrange driver? What frequencies must it produce to be classified as full range? more often than not they should be classified as "Wideband" drivers as the Russian Noema's are.

 

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3 minutes ago, niss_man said:

What is a fullrange driver? What frequencies must it produce to be classified as full range? more often than not they should be classified as "Wideband" drivers as the Russian Noema's are.

 

I agree with you, Simon!  :thumb:  I posted because the thread title is "Full Range Single Driver Speakers".  Which don't exist, in my world.  :)  (However, "wideband drivers" certainly do.)

 

Andy

 

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One project on the “to do” list is an Alpair 5.3 or 10P above a Peerless 8” 830869 in a floor standing cabinet, with Rythmik subwoofers taking over the very low notes. Wide range to woofer XO probably somewhere around the 250Hz mark.

 

I’m hoping for the delicacy of the wide range driver (see what I did there @andyr?) with decent mid bass and low sub bass. I have all the drivers and a CNC router in the shed... just gotta find that elusive “round tuit”... 😄

 

SS

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37 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

I agree with you, Simon!  :thumb:  I posted because the thread title is "Full Range Single Driver Speakers".  Which don't exist, in my world.  :)  (However, "wideband drivers" certainly do.)

 

Andy

 

Are these close enough for you, Andy?

 

https://www.lii-audio.com/product/one-pair-flagship-10-fullrange-drivers-new-development-for-better-detail-balance-silver-10/

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1 hour ago, muon* said:

 

Not quite sure, Ian.

 

Specs say FR is "Fu to 20kHz".  Not quite sure what "Fu" signifies ... but I like my tweeters to extend - flat - beyond 20kHz.  And unless "Fu" means "flat to 20Hz" - ie. not -6dB @ 20Hz - the low end is lacking too.  :)

 

Andy

 

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2 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

Not quite sure, Ian.

 

Specs say FR is "Fu to 20kHz".  Not quite sure what "Fu" signifies ... but I like my tweeters to extend - flat - beyond 20kHz.  And unless "Fu" means "flat to 20Hz" - ie. not -6dB @ 20Hz - the low end is lacking too.  :)

 

Andy

 

Just look at the fs, and the frequency response.

 

Yeah it might need some bottom end reinforcement for 'some folk' :)

 

FU = ?

I have no idea either, so I look at specs I do understand ;)

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Andy, just add a couple of these for the bottom end :D

 

d-160.jpg.6b3cb5c4b4109a437b5d789dfe9dfd2c.jpg

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The best stand alone "full range" driver I have heard in the Goodmans Axiom 80s.

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51 minutes ago, dcathro said:

The best stand alone "full range" driver I have heard in the Goodmans Axiom 80s.

 

Me too 😊

 

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1 hour ago, dcathro said:

The best stand alone "full range" driver I have heard in the Goodmans Axiom 80s.


Out of curiosity, what were your impressions, how would you describe the sound?

 

The Axiom 80 are a driver I’d absolutely love to have a listen to but doubt that I’ll ever have the opportunity...

 

Cheers,

 

SS

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26 minutes ago, Sub Sonic said:


Out of curiosity, what were your impressions, how would you describe the sound?

 

The Axiom 80 are a driver I’d absolutely love to have a listen to but doubt that I’ll ever have the opportunity...

 

Cheers,

 

SS

 

Great frequency balance for a full range driver, but the standout qualities are the micro-dynamics and timing. 

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I have built many many single driver speakers for over 30 years and you can probably tell by my forum name that it was chosen because of that long association with them 

 

I mostly built speakers using Lowther drivers but have also built using Fostex, Audio Nirvana drivers and a couple of makes 

 

They are not for everyone 

Attributes are - Very sensitive, accurate to the source, excellent in the midrange and upper registers 

 

But if you don’t build a large enough cabinet they will be light on in the bass area 

They do however reproduce accurate bass - just not good at thump thump bass 


 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Full Range said:

I have built many many single driver speakers for over 30 years and you can probably tell by my forum name that it was chosen because of that long association with them 

 

I mostly built speakers using Lowther drivers but have also built using Fostex, Audio Nirvana drivers and a couple of makes 

 

They are not for everyone 

Attributes are - Very sensitive, accurate to the source, excellent in the midrange and upper registers 

 

But if you don’t build a large enough cabinet they will be light on in the bass area 

They do however reproduce accurate bass - just not good at thump thump bass 


 

 

 

 

Is the bass issue relieved with use of a sub or is it more a case of the higher bass frequencies such as > 80hz?

 

I'm currently investigating the fruegal horn MK3 design have you ever tried it?

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I'm no expert on the topic but I built a pair using Audio Nirvana 12" AlNico drivers and in my view they are incredible. 

 

Build the cabinets large enough and the bass is great.

 

Mine are a smidge smaller than Klipsch Cornwalls.

 

IMG_2235.jpg

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Well, technically every driver is a full range driver - however, most do not really perform well at certain frequencies  🙃

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2 hours ago, thejt said:

 

Is the bass issue relieved with use of a sub or is it more a case of the higher bass frequencies such as > 80hz?

 

I'm currently investigating the fruegal horn MK3 design have you ever tried it?


Active sub is beneficial if using small cabinets 

 

As for the Frugal Horn speakers - I have built one pair for a friend some years ago from when the first plans appeared, and depending on the driver you choose they should go down to mid 35hz possibly lower?  but the bass won’t be forceful it will be clean and accurate 

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1 hour ago, Decky said:

Well, technically every driver is a full range driver - however, most do not really perform well at certain frequencies  🙃

 

Mmmm, don't agree, D.

 

Technically, you should define a driver's range with '-dB' points.  If you are an 'honest' mfr you would choose the -3dB points ... a mfr who is slightly on the 'dishonest' side , I suggest, would specify the -6dB points.

 

But I've never seen anyone ever specify the -100dB points - which is what you would need to do, to be able to classify every driver as 'full range'.

 

So put on the Dunce's cap and go sit in the corner (facing the wall).  Every driver is not a full range driver!

 

Andy

 

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8 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Technically, you should define a driver's range with '-dB' points.  If you are an 'honest' mfr you would choose the -3dB points 

 

 

 

I agree Andy - there was a healthy dose of sarcasm in my words (as always). A single driver speakers have several problems - only one of them is an incomplete frequency response (FR)  (if we adopt the -3dB bandwidth definition). Two bigger problems are variability of FR in the bandwidth range and high level of unfiltered distortion close to frequency extremes. Yes, you save on the crossover but you pay a hefty price (in my opinion). On the other hand, they can have some useful applications - small factor computer desktop speakers is one of them. 

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21 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Mmmm, don't agree, D.

 

Technically, you should define a driver's range with '-dB' points.  If you are an 'honest' mfr you would choose the -3dB points ... a mfr who is slightly on the 'dishonest' side , I suggest, would specify the -6dB points.

 

But I've never seen anyone ever specify the -100dB points - which is what you would need to do, to be able to classify every driver as 'full range'.

 

So put on the Dunce's cap and go sit in the corner (facing the wall).  Every driver is not a full range driver!

 

Andy

 

A full range driver is a generic name, such as bass driver, midrange, tweeter, midbass. Just because specific drivers cannot reproduce all frequencies across the audible range doesn't stop the name being correct. Just as bass drivers do not reproduce all bass frequencies (ditto the others) doesn't stop them being put into a category.

 

But I would certainly agree regarding specifications. I believe that proper specifications should include a -6dB point (high and low), plus a 0dB from and to specification, with a +/- dB specification for that range. As many drivers vary +/-3dB in their indicated range, have a -3dB point for the bottom or top of the frequency range is problematic - whether or not the manufacturer is honest or not.

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6 minutes ago, Ian McP said:

for those with a steady hand (with a scalpel)

https://www.planet10-hifi.com/pp-info.html

And you might need to be quick. I think David had major surgery a few years back and I'm not sure how much longer he'd be running Planet 10. I'm not sure I'd necessarily agree with some of his ideas - but they certainly look good after the dot treatment, even if they don't sound better!

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2 hours ago, Cloth Ears said:

A full range driver is a generic name, such as bass driver, midrange, tweeter, midbass. Just because specific drivers cannot reproduce all frequencies across the audible range doesn't stop the name being correct. Just as bass drivers do not reproduce all bass frequencies (ditto the others) doesn't stop them being put into a category.

 

But I would certainly agree regarding specifications. I believe that proper specifications should include a -6dB point (high and low), plus a 0dB from and to specification, with a +/- dB specification for that range. As many drivers vary +/-3dB in their indicated range, have a -3dB point for the bottom or top of the frequency range is problematic - whether or not the manufacturer is honest or not.

 

Very sensible, CE.  I agree with you.  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

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On 30/04/2021 at 4:59 PM, Paul Spencer said:

 

I find that fullrange drivers vary enormously. In general they tend to come in two varieties. Those that are neutral but limited and those with quirks and a personality. Alpairs are a good example of "neutral but limited." In a back loaded horn you can get a tiny speaker that can do a decent job at bass in a small room without the quirks you often get with fullrangers. In many ways they can sound like a much bigger speaker but then you hit their Achilles heel - they fall apart quite quickly at "moderately loud" levels. This is where the limited part comes in.

 

If you move across to the quirky side of the fence, we move into drivers that often measure quite badly. In many cases they have a certain charm that tempts you to overlook these flaws and if you listen to only certain types of music, you may not even notice. Fullrangers with whizzer cones are more likely to be this type. In the measurements you often see exaggerated treble (on axis) with rapid shifts in dispersion as you go up in frequency.

 

 

Larger drivers have higher sensitivity and/or more low end capability but this comes at the cost of treble challenges. 3" drivers have generally better treble performance but bass is out of the question. As they get larger it becomes more difficult to achieve treble extension and issues with beaming will tend to increase. Beyond a certain point, whizzer cones become necessary. This is a bit of an over simplification for the sake of brevity as there are many approaches.

 

 

The bigger issue here is that a larger driver will probably have a different mix of characteristics and may be entirely different to what you are enjoying now. It might not be a step forward.

 

In your situation, another option to consider would be nearfield monitors. These are designed for close range use and many of them have treble and bass/mid controls. In some cases they also have built in amps, which can simplify the setup in a small room. Generally, these are very good value.

 

I agree with this after playing around with larger fullrange/wideband drivers recently. Although they can sound quite excellent. Having the dispersion drop off a bit sooner in a larger driver can help throw less high frequency energy into the room which can help with bright rooms or sensitive ears. But  as you said they are not without there own issues as well.

 

IMG_5361.thumb.jpg.5409c544b1f018f7bf841cad6d0eea4c.jpg

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Friend likes the L Cao drivers, quite a lot of experimentation threads out there.

wide range, pairing them with tweeters helps

https://www.lencoheaven.net/forum/index.php?topic=9272.30

pairing them with tweeters helps

 

https://jimsaudio.com/l-cao-***-alnico-matched-full-range-speaker-6-inches-pair/

 

https://jimsaudio.com/l-cao-fa-8-alnico-matched-full-range-speaker-8-inches-pair/

 

< On list is a pair of L Cao full range speaker. The motor is composed of expensive and good sounding alnico magnets.

The paper cone profile is designed with reference to the legendary Diatone PM610. This cone profile was designed under an extensive research by NHK of Japan way back in 1950's as an effort to make a single cone full range speaker without the normal cone breakup problem of conventional wide range drivers. The result is a no-whizzer design with exceptional frequency response, wide dispersion and low-distortion performance, in par with the cone profile of Western Electric's WE755a.

L Cao extends the design from original 5 inches to 8 inches, making the speaker driver more versatile with better bass response without sacrifice of high frequency performance.

In this alnico version of the L Cao 8 inch speaker( the ceramic magnet version was launched in 2009 and we sold several pairs on ebay ), the design is further optimized with phenolic spider for better transient response. The manufacturing quality is further improved too. Each pair of speakers are carefully selected and tightly matched( please see below t-s parameters picture of a pair of L.Cao drivers from our stock). One cannot find near quality and performance of alnico full range speakers in the market.

As there is manufacturing tolerance, the values of the t-s parameters in the picture are for reference only. But this piece of information is to demonstrate how tight L.Cao drivers are matched during manufacturing. We do not provide exact t-s parameters for each pair of L.Cao we sold though.

The frequency response below is based on the equalized response with the recommended equalization network as shown in the schematic. Each pair of L.Cao driver includes two inductors. Users can pick and tune the capacitor/resistor values of their own to get the tonal quality they prefer.

General Specification:
Maximum Power : 20Wrms
Frequency : 40Hz to 20KHZ ( in box)
Impedance : 8 Ohm

Xmax : 1.8mm
Sensitivity : 94dB
Fs : 55HZ
Qts : 0.7
Vas : 65L

Cabinet recommendation : 100 litre TQWT box >
 

 

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I'm happy to demo mine.  I've had many sets of speakers (some much more expensive), CH2s from @cheekyboy are the best I've had.

 

Happy to demo them to anyone who would like to see/hear what a well designed full range (by name) single driver set of speakers can do.

 

My sound lacks for nothing range wise as far as I can tell, and they completely immerse you in the sound.

 

Lots of bass, lots of sparkle. - for my music taste. Other speakers probably play Death Metal better, but it's not a genre I play. 

 

However, they certainly play bands like Nothing But Thieves, Stone Temple Pilots and lose nothing though. Sweet spot imo is Jazz but they aren't limited to just Jazz to be exceptional. 

 

Pls don't read my comments as being defensive/protective of FR single driver setups.  Just an offer to help others hear some first hand.

 

 

20210218_204155.jpg

20210409_192834.jpg

20210320_112439.jpg

Edited by scuzzii
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On 04/05/2021 at 5:39 PM, scuzzii said:

I'm happy to demo mine.  I've had many sets of speakers (some much more expensive), CH2s from @cheekyboy are the best I've had.

 

Happy to demo them to anyone who would like to see/hear what a well designed full range (by name) single driver set of speakers can do.

 

My sound lacks for nothing range wise as far as I can tell, and they completely immerse you in the sound.

 

Lots of bass, lots of sparkle. - for my music taste. Other speakers probably play Death Metal better, but it's not a genre I play. 

 

However, they certainly play bands like Nothing But Thieves, Stone Temple Pilots and lose nothing though. Sweet spot imo is Jazz but they aren't limited to just Jazz to be exceptional. 

 

Pls don't read my comments as being defensive/protective of FR single driver setups.  Just an offer to help others hear some first hand.

 

 

20210218_204155.jpg

20210409_192834.jpg

20210320_112439.jpg

Great looking speakers. Is the cabinet a rear horn?

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