This is the first time I’m listening to the Fountek FW100B. I have her in a compact 1.7 liters sealed box to emulate a back chamber when used as a midrange in a 3-way. The idea is to hear how the FW100B sounds like without any crossover.
Fig 1 – Fountek FW100B Frequency Response • Baffle Width=6-1/2″
I was stunned by how good the FW100B sounded. Her midrange is fabulous. Even though she extends to 8kHz, there’s no hint of harshness from the cone breakup. Obviously with the depression in the lower treble (2.5kHz~7kHz), the highs are muted but they are still there. What you get with a response of this nature is absolutely no excessive sibilance. Female singers won’t spit at you. And because the midrange is not rolled-off hard, it still sounds natural because the harmonics in the voices and instruments are retained. Kenny G’s sax sounded fine. Lacks a bit of sparkle but perfectly listenable.
Fig 2 – Fountek FW100B Step Response
The step response in Fig 2 shows how “fast” the Fountek FW100B is without any crossover. She actually hits the apex at an amazing 30 microsec. Most 2-ways won’t have a transient like this unless one resort to time & phase coherence design like in the Thiel.
Fig 3 – Fountek FW100B Waterfall
The Waterfall (Fig 3) shows a bunch of frequencies from 7kHz to 10kHz. They are from the cone breakup seen in Fig 1.
Fig 4 – Fountek FW100B Toneburst Energy Storage
The Toneburst plots recorded excess energy at 1.5kHz and 6kHz to 15kHz. It is similar to the Waterfall just that the z-axis is now in frequency cycles instead of time.
Fig 5 – Fountek FW100B Spectrogram
The Spectrogram (Fig 5) shows an exceptionally clean response. The cone breakup is hardly visible. They are fully dissipated by 1 msec. Interestingly, there’s no streaking at 1kHz.
Fig 6 – Fountek FW100B Harmonic Distortion
The FW100B 2nd harmonics (Red plot) is -50dB below the fundamental. However, the 3rd harmonics (Violet plot) is slightly higher. During playback, the odd harmonics didn’t irritate me, so nothing to worry about.
Fig 7 – Fountek FW100B Sealed Box modeling
Fig 7 is the sealed box simulation of the FW100B. The F3 is 129Hz. This is about right for the midrange to cross to the subwoofer.
the FW100B in use
During auditioning, I mated her with the Palila triple-chamber bandpass sub. I relied only on the acoustic roll-off of the sub and the FW100B and they worked out perfectly.
This minimalist approach is ideal for casual listening and for those that want simplicity. The FW100B can be small satellites with bass provided by subwoofers hidden somewhere. The entire system is very discreet. Great for businesses like restaurants and boutiques where quality music is required.
The Fountek FW100B cost only $15 at Parts-Express. Believe me, she’s worth every penny.
Unless otherwise stated, all measurements were made in Full Space (4 pi) with the mic at 36 ins, tweeter axis. Impulse Window=5ms. No smoothing applied.
March 23, 2021Drivers Evaluation