So, finally I am getting around to telling you of my experience with these - and about time I know. As you no doubt know the F200A are Fostex's top of the line, Reference Laboratory Series and represent their superb craftsmanship, and almost neurotic attention to detail. These are a joy to behold indeed.
Initially, I have used these in the factory recommended enclosures of 45 litres with reflex loading. The drawings for these are available from the Fostex site. Whilst this was not their intended final resting place, it would be good enough to enable me to get a flavour of them and to appreciate their qualities and then take it from there.
It should be noted that these are not the usual high-efficiency drivers that you know and respect from Fostex, being as they are just 90db. I used them with a variety of amps, both solid state and tube - from 2 watts to 100w. First thing to note is that they do require control of a reasonably powered amp and just do not hack it with the likes of any of my 300B S.E.T. amps... sorry, but it just dosnt work at all with them. They need the drive and control of 30-40 watts.
That said, they are incredible in the bass region and have a superb tonal quality and possibly one of the best that I have heard reproducing bass in my room. The mids are perhaps just a little laid back ....but never-the-less they are sublime ... it is when we get to the upper frequencies that we begin to run into trouble. There is an edge to the upper frequencies that eminate from the metal dome dust cover. This is apparently, not your usual pressed alloy dome, but actually machined from a solid billet of alloy, like I said - superb engineering. But that however does not reslut in a very pleasant sounding high end and no amount of tweaking or months of running inn made any real change to this.
This driver is just SO good otherwise, it is a real shame ....it is so good, that had it not been for that irritating top end, I would have gone to the lenghts of building an alternative amplifier, since they require more than the low powered 300b can provide, yes, I would have changed my beloved amps for these - but for that top end. Had they been what I had hoped, they would have beeen destined for much better cabinets, but that is not where the apparent problem is.
If they were used as part of a two-way system, then perhaps if using a suitable crossover point then we could get over the top end splashiness. Some people absolutely rave about these.. but ... I just dont get it... how can they possibly miss this very negative aspect of them? I'm sorry Mr Fostex, but I just cannot live with them, no matter how much I try and tell myself that I can!
In the end, I gave up on them as being a non-runner for me at least..... so the article that I was hoping to detail here is cancelled.