Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by gladiator335, Mar 23, 2015.
But you have to admit: I love this Schiit sounds catchy
^ Not sure about the name, but they (Schiit) are very clever in their product design and manufacturing. Looking at their progression I'd say a mid-line tube phono stage may be the next good Schiit. I'm ready and waiting.
So, here we are 3 or 4 months later: Anybody 'try' a set of these yet? I'm looking at them. However, I'm looking for something to compare with the Cain & Cain 'Abby' speakers....which I just heard with my little 3-watt per DG-SE1 amp! I was absolutely blown away by the Cain & Cain speakers....and the way my little 24 hour old DG-SE1 performed as well. I fear the Cain & Cains are beyond my reach.....but $199 for a set of 'Fibhorns'...... do-able! But, I don't want to waste the money if the claims are just that: Fibs!
Any updates would be appreciated. Tom D.
AS you said: 3 or 4 months later....and I haven't heard anything about those either....nowhere....
Interesting!! In looking at them on 'the bay'....the $199 versions look tempting. $350 to $500.....not so much....... $2K..... RUKiddinme!! That said...... I'm still wondering if ANYONE has actually bought a pair of these and likes 'em or not! And, as was so aptly pointed out back in March..... Just who was in the Jury that voted these as being 'superior' to all those other 'known brands'?
I think I'll write to the guy and 'solicit' some further information. Tom D.
OK....here's a bit of a break-through on these speakers: I DID contact the maker, and I now posses a set of the 'entry' level 'Model 2s'...with the 3" Tang Band drivers. I'm in the early process of evaluation right now.....but overall, these little guys are pretty nice! Without going overboard here initially, let me just say that the imaging is REALLY GOOD! I'm using my DG-SE1 'Flea' amp to power them.... SE EL84 at all of 3.5 watts. As I think Mike opined.... 85db efficiency is NOT the greatest spec to be matching up with a low-powered amplifier. That said.....I've got about 7 hours of listening so far.....and while the SPF doesn't rival more efficient speakers, I think they MORE than make up for what is lacking there by providing a VERY real sound stage, with GREAT detail, and a very balanced performance. Yea...they're not 'loud'...but let's be realistic...what 3" speaker IS loud ? None that I know of!! The better question might be: What 3" speaker sounds this good....or 'as good' or just plain sounds good 'period' ? Not so sure that I could point a finger to anything...until now!! So, while I'm only addressing the 'entry level' offering here..... I think they've got a pretty good product! FWIW WC
Are they better than any speaker in the world?
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No by definition -- they may be "better than any other speaker in the world", but they cannot be "better than any speaker in the world "-- as they are themselves an element of the set (so to speak) of any speaker in the world, thus creating a metaphysical conundrum.
One could also question the definition of 'world'? As the planet earth exist as part of the solar system around the sun..... where does the planet end and the world continue?
OK....back to reality! I can't possibly address that question as I've not heard 'every speaker in the world'! I think the bottom line here is: How do they shape up against other speakers in their size and price range? $200 will get you a lot of different speakers, and certainly some that are going to be more efficient. In that price range you might be able to find both better efficiency and even dynamic range. Most anything with a 6", 8" or 12" driver will likely produce more bass, move more air, and produce an initial impression that they're probably 'better'. BUT, that's NOT where it ends.
I had a long conversation with a friend of mine in NY last night, and he is a speaker builder and quite familiar with the 3" Tang Band driver used in these Fibhorns. As we discussed, there is often some 'magic in the box' which can be a function of design....as well as some very technical advantages in the design and use of the driver speaker itself. In this case, I think there's a little of both!! The simple fact is that the 'sound stage' (for lack of a better term) was VERY realistic. At NO point did you ever get the feeling of listening to two speakers separated by 5 to 6 feet of space. On the contrary, the immediate and continued sensation of having the sound 'emanate' from a point outside and in front of the speakers....a very '3 dimensional' effect...THAT'S what these little speakers did amazingly well. They were warm, inviting, transparent, and delivered VERY detailed response. AND....they DID reach down pretty well!! In short, I don't think the manufacturer is misrepresenting that part of them. As to claims of putting all other speakers to shame..... that's perhaps a bit of over-aggressive marketing that they might be well advised to eliminate.
For 'near field' listening....and I was about 8 feet back from them..(which isn't really 'near field' by some people's definition)....they're delightful. If you want to just sit in front of them and 'listen' to music....again...they are more that respectable for that kind of usage. Will they fill a room such that you can go outside, tend your barbeque and kibitz with your friends and still hear 'loud' music...? Probably not to most people's level of satisfaction. But again, consider that they ONLY have a single 3" driver per side! Give a guy a break!!! Would you ask a 4 year old to carry cinder blocks from the bed of your pick-up down to your back yard? I hope not! My point being that 'selection' is as much about 'application' as it is 'capability'. If you're looking for a pleasure boat, would you buy a 'used' Cruise ship? Why do people buy 'small' cars? Cuz there's 'reason' to have one.....and 'economy' is a valid consideration.
I think most people would be pretty happy with these for 'listening' purposes. Probably the issue of 'comparison' to all these other 'brands' should be left out of their advertising, and they should just stick to glowing descriptions of their own products. Let the 'market' make the comparisons...... that would add credibility to their marketing campaign. FWIW WC
Congratulations, Wharfcreek, on finding some good sound in the face of idle negative speculation. Thanks for 100% of the informed replies in this thread.
Ok, the question I gotta' ask WC, have you heard any other full range speakers yet? I built my own and I have to say my experience with them is remarkably similar to yours and yet they are completely different in construction compared to the Fibs. IOW I'm wondering if the main source of their "magic" is being a single point source.
It seems like when your in the sweet spot, it's sounds like you've heard a band playing from outside, then you step in the doorway and are enveloped in sound. Darn things are almost like wearing headphones.
I do agree they should tone down the hyperbole, however.
SOV, Yes, I've heard other 'full-range' speakers. Just last week I was over doing an A\B comparison between the little 'flea' amp I used here, and a very fine 300B amp. Speakers used were Cain & Cain 'Abby' speakers..... a modified 'Voight Pipe' design, about 6 feet tall, and using a single Fostex driver. If you're unfamiliar with these, I suggest you 'Google' them. I've also had a love-affair with the transmission line speakers by Madisound. Those are 'great' little numbers as well. And, I've heard others.....including some 'vintage' point-source speakers of the 12" size and used in some early EV offerings. Overall, I think there is truth to the concept of 'point source' sound origin..... but I can't say that it's the 'only' way to produce that kind of 3-D sound-stage. Honestly, I think that's kind of what the 'hobby' is all about.... just seeking out some of these alternatives, and making one's own judgement about other people's claims. In the case of these Fibhorns.....I was really impressed. But, it's now a day later and I've swapped things around a few times again.....and in reality, I've actually come to appreciate the little 'Fibbys' even more. They actually kind of grow on you! And, to address the lack of efficiency issue, I've gone ahead and contacted Dave at Common Sense Audio to see if he's willing to share a set of his 3" full-range drivers so I can try them in the Fibhorn cabinet. The Audio Nirvana sold by Common Sense are specified as being 90+ db efficient.....so....that could make a nice improvement. But, going back to your original question, I think the phenomena of sound-stage loss may just be a simple act of physics: These little speakers simply don't move that much air. And, like any other moving object, the less mass, the less the momentum. With only a 3" driver pushing the air mass.....it's simply NOT going to 'radiate' as far and still maintain it's proper wave configuration. Simple physics to me! Am I right? Hell, I don't know!......lol. But, that's what I believe ....... WC
Wow, WC, i guess you do have some experience with FR! Unfortunately I do not, as I live in an audio free zone. Discussions of FR's have been somewhat lacking lately, I guess it's just the fact that folks expect too much from them. Their lack of earth shattering bass or crisp highs turns some folks off.
But there's just something about having nothing but wire between the amp and driver that appeals to me. I'm hopin' to try one of those flea power Maggies as well, there are times when I just love simplicity.
Just not all the time.
I have one of those little maggie amps on ebay right now. It's a 'virgin' though, and would need to be fully 'updated' to Dave Gillespie's current circuit in order to reach it's full potential. However, a lot of the newer FR speakers DO come in 4 ohm varieties, so the little Maggie, even in 'stock' form, would probably do well with those. The one I'm selling is not 'stock'....and does have a significant amount of work done to it.....so it would be an easy conversion to Dave's circuit. BTW, I share your love of 'simplicity' in it's place...which is NOT always!! WC
These are pretty darn interesting and I'm kinda tempted to buy a pair of their cabinets to fit my Alpair 7's.... but the cost seems a bit high to me, especially considering she only uses 1/2" MDF which I know is pretty darn cheap. Sure sure, there's the cost of assembly, tools, lights, etc. but it's a bit hard for me to choke down the cost at the moment so I'll just live vicariously through you guys.
Wharfcreek, thanks for taking a leap and trying these. Reading your opinion of them is very nice.
StevenZ, I'm now about 10 days into listening to these on and off, cycling through some other speakers as well. I've tried about everything I own in the way of 'small' stuff, from little JBL to the Realistic Mimimus 7s. To be honest, I'm not even really sure I'm making a 'fair' comparison...as everything else has at least a 5" woofer, they're all 2-way.... and I think they kind of miss the point of the Fibhorns. At only 3" of 'point-source' driver, the little Fibbies are almost in a class of their own. I continue to miss 'bass' from them, but at 3", I curtail my reaction. Beyond that, I remain quite impressed. And, with just a tad more efficiency, I think they'd be killer! I had hoped to try a set of the Audio Nirvana drivers in the Fibhorn cabinets....but suffice it to say that didn't work out. So, I 'may' yet try something a bit more efficient.....and I think the jump from the Tang Band unit they come with (at about 85db) to something 'like' the ANs....and a bit over 90db....that might make a notable difference. But, so can a simple twist of the VC. That's where this also clouds up a bit, as I continue to use the 'Flea' amp that was designed by Dave Gillespie here on AK, and built by yours truly. I think we're talking all of about 3.5 watts here...and that may be generous. The little Fibbies are perhaps a bit more vivacious with something like 10 to 15 watts.....and I did try that early in the game. But, I've stuck with the Flea amp of late as that's what I'm really trying to find the best match for. Right now, I've got to hand it to the Fibhorns when combined with a sub. That's the combination that seems to produce the best 'music' for my tastes. To each his (her) own. WC
I've heard the AN3's before, they're quite nice but don't do bass very well either, falling sharply right after 120hz or so. In the midrange and treble they are quite remarkable... but anything below that and they lose their footing a bit. I think they could easily be crossed over with a simple cap to relive them of the bass duties and like you're already doing, cross in a sub to help out.... or even better, 2 subs
I believe you're right, too about the 3.5watts not being enough to really awaken the Tangs, I had some before and at 85db they do need a little oomph if you want to get serious. There are a lot of low cost options for trying higher power on eBay.. perhaps stroll over to the ridiculously long tpa3116 thread here and have a quick read, you can get into the game for way less than $100 including all parts and power supply.
I understand you wanting to stick with the tube amp though. Finding a higher efficiency small format driver might be a task. https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.c...niversary-limited-edition-4-full-range-8-ohm/
That would be my suggestion ^^^^ but it might have a slightly larger cutout than your cabs can accept.
Stephen, Thanks for the info. All this really does prove the point that you just can't put anything with everything......or vice versa! My 'objective' was....and still is... to find a suitable 'small' full-range speaker for the flea amp. The Fibhorns were part of that quest. I think I mentioned a set of the Cain & Cain 'Abby' speakers that I also listened to......and those were amazing! However....again, one has to kind of put this stuff into an 'apples to apples' category before drawing too many conclusions. Like the 'amp' thing: I've got over a hundred amps around here...... ranging from the 3 watt Flea amp to something of the SS type that's about 250 per side. However, MOST of what I have is about 15 to 30 watts....and virtually all 'tube' stuff. My speakers range from these little Fibbies to Fortes and Cornwalls. But.... I don't have one 'really good' set of full-range point source speakers like the Cain & Cains. I should have bought 'em when I had the chance....but $600 was\is just more than my unemployed ass can handle. Now...... if I part with a few amps........lol But, I like the Madisound stuff too....and may yet build one of their transmission line kits with the 4" or 5" drivers. Dave at AN believes you have to get to 8" if you really want to get some 'depth' to your music. So..... maybe I'll try something from him once I get a table saw up an running.......... For now, the little Fibbies are a good bet....and keeping true to the original OP's post...... I give them a 'thumbs up' for being a great speaker in that 3" class!! WC
I contacted Fibhorn and requested full specs for their Model 2 speakers, and I got a response from one of their "representatives" and they just referred me to a post on AK!!!(???) Not only that, but there wasn't even a post to be found about any of their product! I have to say, that is not customer service of any kind, and that is NOT confidence inspiring, even in the slightest. If a speaker company can't supply you with the most basic specs for their own product that they tout as "world class", then how can they be taken seriously? In my mind, if a company has any design and engineering philosophy for their own designs, as well as a deeper knowledge and understanding of the parts that go into their product, then they should be able to readily supply the very specifications that should have been tested as a precursor to those numbers. I don't think I'll be buying any Fibhorn speakers anytime soon. That's not to say that they may not be any good, but the "help" I received was not confidence inspiring, and it left me with a less than favorable first opinion of their company. Not that I was in the market for new speakers anyway, but I'll be taking a wait and see approach with Fibhorn.
I purchased a bedside system consisting of the Fibhorn 2a's, Monoprice Hybrid Tube Amp with Bluetooth, and a Fiio X1player. So what's the verdict? Love the Fibhorns and the X1. The Monoprice amp is getting returned. The transformer induced hum is unbearable.
The Fibhorns are slightly upgraded Model 2's. It's taller with a third chamber and has Tang Band W3-881SJF as the drivers. So how do they sound? Pretty darn smooth and pleasant if you ask me. I had a shootout vs my Realistic Minimus 7's and the Fibhorns were the clear winner (by my ear anyways). Pleasant to listen to, a unique look, and a cool backstory that will make me sound smart if I relay it to a non-audiophile.
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