Here are some end-user comments.
Charles Tidwell FE126eN
FE127eN in his Fonkens (good stuff starts 5 posts down)
Clark Blumenstein FE126eN
Peter C FE126eN in Hornshoppe Horns
Jeff Carder on FE206eN in Madison V2
(FE126eN in Hornshoppe) Not always positive
(FE127eN) Robert Bond comments
Phil Townsend from
the same thread
If you have not tried
The EnAbl'ed Drivers from Dave...
All I can say is...
Stop wondering about the results or if it works...
For goodness sakes...
Take action... Do something good for your ears and brain...
It won't hurt one bit.
Enid Lumley would have been on this like stink on
You all remember Enid don't you?
(FE126eN) Drivers arrived fast, safe, and well
protected (Thanks!!!!!!) Damn Dave........what are these things going to sound like
when they get broken in??????!!!!!!!!!!!! At some point when my pants dry, my jaw
heals, and I get some sleep I will do up a review and post on DIYAudio. WOW
WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These drivers and the Saburo cabinets must be the Perfect
Thanks for everything,
(FE126eN) At long last, I am posting
the results of hearing what the EnABL modification does for the sound of my loudspeakers.
In addition to the EnABL modification, Planet 10 HI-FI, from where I purchased the
modified drivers, adds some of their own modifications to further improve upon the
raw drivers. Take a look at the Planet 10 website to get a gander at the end result:
In the past, tweaks have been somewhat of a mystery where you either had to believe
in a higher authority to hear the results, or strain your ears and try to convince
yourself that you were indeed hearing something. AC power cables fit into that category
for me. The EnABLed/Planet 10-modified, Fostex, FE126 drivers that I installed in
my Atelier First Horn speaker enclosures left no doubts in my mind of the improvements
that have been touted. Sadly, the last First Horn speakers were produced with no
firm commitment on a replacement.
Recently, I bought a used Luxman L-590AII integrated amplifier on Audiogon at a fantastic
price. Check it out here: http://www.onahighernote.com/luxman/?c=8&id=30 This is Luxman's
top-of-the-line integrated so anything less in the system that doesn't measure up
won't reveal the potential of this amp. Listening to this wonderful piece of eye
candy through the First Horns with the stock drivers was good, but it left doubts
in my mind as to value of the Luxman in my system, even at nearly half list price.
I waited it out because I had placed an order from Planet 10 Hi Fi before I bought
this amp. It would be any day that the order would arrive. And boy, am I ever glad
The changes brought about with the new drivers was immediately apparent. Piano is
probably the most difficult instrument to record correctly and reproduce accurately.
It is the benchmark by which I judge because instinctively I just know when it's
right. I love Mapleshade recordings and was listening to Chris Anderson's "Love
Locked Out". Anderson was the teacher for Herbie Hancock but this recording
was nothing like I was expecting. Because of my disappointment it didn't get much
play. It was for that reason I chose it as the last music to hear before I installed
the modified drivers. Afterward when I played this CD again, the modified drivers
drastically transformed the musical message. Notes from Anderson's piano were now
more fully developed from hammer strike, to sustain, to decay. Harmonics and overtones
could be heard more easily as they rose up from the soundboard and expanded on their
way out to wash over me. All the notes up and down the keyboard were now so distinctive
that I could more easily hear the separate left hand and right hand play. I also
didn't encounter the peakiness that the stock drivers were apt to display. Before,
certain notes played resulted in the ice pick-in-the-ear effect. The apprehension
from that of bracing myself and wincing at higher volumes faded as I got to know
these new drivers. The stock drivers were uneven and lumpy in retrospect. It was
also more evident the emotional and dynamic inflection the artist gave to the notes
and chords in his halting style as he would start, then stop just as the flow would
start to carry me. However, his vocals on some songs is annoying, and meaning no
disrespect, it sounds like he was toothless and aged with his singing dissonant from
the beauty of his playing. It just sounds wrong. What I heard after the upgrade was
more richness and intelligibility to his singing, but nothing could have made it
into a silken performance. All in all what I heard was more tonal density and richness
with a vibrancy that kept me captivated and enthralled as the music carried me. I
was more emotionally involved as I heard the purity of the Luxman being revealed.
An aspect that was a shortcoming in the stock drivers was a small shifting of vocals
or instruments located in the center of the soundstage, as if the image was wobbling
slightly from side to side. The driver upgrade locked the image more solidly in the
center where I didn't have the tendency to shift my head to lock back in.
As I played more Mapleshade recordings I could more easily hear brush and stick work
on cymbals, almost as if being able count the number of wires in the brushes. The
sound now developed from the undersides of the cymbals as would be seen from the
audience, while at the same time they had a more realistic ring and chime quality.
Before, they were more diffuse and dull. It was at this point that I wondered if
I really needed to install the super tweeters that I once used with the First Horns.
The improvement in clarity with the new drivers was significant. Ambience recovery
was also improved being better able to hear the studio or club in which the recordings
There did seem to be some minor trade off for the improvements. Upper bass and lower
midrange seemed slightly less emphasized with the resonant decay of drum cavities
not as noticable as with the stock drivers. The higher notes played on stand up bass
were slightly less loud than previously heard. Saxophones notes were also slightly
less in the bowl but had more note pad and mouthpiece detail. Again, while noticeable,
this didn't detract in my enjoying the improvements and overall performance gains.
And yes, I had to play some Diana Krall because she is a yardstick by which so many
in audio judge and evaluate equipment. The new drivers revealed more focus to her
voice and removed some of the slowness that makes these recordings so tiresome. She
was also more a part of the entire musical ensemble instead of being being spot lit
with the accompanying musicians being mere background performers. Again, I heard
more ambience recovery than I previously thought was on these recordings.
Since moving to single driver loudspeakers, it has been my belief that all audiophiles
should be required to start their quest with this type of speaker. In appreciating
the coherence and dynamics that can be realized from a single-driver loudspeaker
in the first place, they could then move on to more fully hear and understand what
multi-driver loudspeakers can and can't do as they seek improvements to their systems.
A lot of frustration and needless expense could be spared if that were the case.
Judging by what I hear, the improvements brought about to single-driver loudspeakers
with the EnABL treatment and Planet 10 modifications is an order of magnitude. The
single-driver, high-efficiency loudspeaker can now step out of the shadows of being
a niche-type, hobbyist's speaker, to that of a mainstream design where audiophiles
are able to enjoy and appreciate these loudspeaker's strengths without having to
tolerate their weaknesses.
If there were a category in the Grammy Awards for Advancements in Audio Playback,
these would get my nomination. Thanks, Bud, and thank you Dave!
Wow David is all I can say right now. I installed them about 3 hrs ago. Very simple
procedure. I have been amazed at what i am hearing or is it what I am not hearing?
If they sound this good with only
say 100 hrs I can only imagine what they will sound like when these drivers really
Man so far this is a no brainer for Ed's HORNS... A must have replacement IMHO...
You and Bud need to commended on seeing the light and modifying drivers with the
I wanted to report back on the
progress of the new drivers I had burned in approx 800 hrs on these new drivers (compliments
of the ISOTEK burn in CD) before I wanted to do any serious listening. I can safely
say that what I am hearing is just music to my ears.
I was worried about what other
owners had been noticing with their new EnABLed drivers, that is they are so much
more revealing and the drivers may point out the lesser components or cables in your
audio system. Happy to report that no one component or cabling I have has been singled
out. My whole audio system is in complete harmony it was prior to these new arrivals
now what i immediately notice is how much more instruments are easily identified
and vocals are so much more lifelike. On some of my CDs the music starts and when
the vocals come in they seem to just appear effortlessly. Had not experienced this
prior with the old fostex 126's or for that matter even my Sonus Faber Cremonas couldn't
portray the musical presentation so beautifully as your EnABled drivers. What also
strikes me odd and definitely tickles my fancy is these new drivers play so much
more of the ever important lower mid bass (if that is what it is called) Another
words I now am hearing clearly all of the drumming of the tom toms when before it
would be muffled as the old driver couldn't play it correctly it sounded all bunched
together used to drive me nuts, thought I had a bass node problem or something. Not
anymore everything sounds like it supposed to be. I am also happy that there is no
more annoying honking that would sometimes occur on certain recorded CDs. It doesn't
matter what CD I am playing especially recordings from CHICAGO... and BLOOD SWEAT
& TEARS, now the horn section finally sound like real trumpets, saxes, and trombones.
I really thought it was the recording but I now know better. Please don't get me
wrong I was very happy with Ed's HORNS loudspeakers. What you have done with these
new speakers is transform them from a best domestic beer (the old Fostex 126) to
the best premium beer ( your EnABLed Fostex 126 drivers). I just did not realize
how much better sounding these drivers are to the original Fostex 126 versions. The
ears do not lie, it is so much more cleaner, clear sounding with these drivers than
ever before... You are right I can now see the stars clearly without the need of
Thank god I am a member on Audiocircle because I probably would of never been exposed
to the EnABLed driver experience. I know that you and Ed don't see eye to eye it
is clearly felt on the threads on AC it is a true shame because his HORNS will sound
so much more better with these new drivers installed. I know he will say something
like you are missing something with these EnABLed drivers for instance less dBs I
say who cares because I can still crank these new drivers and register over 90dBs.
It doesn't matter much to me how much higher dBs they will perform at I do not intend
to listen at that level in my dedicated treated 17 x13 x 8 ft room. I am very satisfied
with the dBs no more than 75 dBs tops, with those dBs I now get the goosebumps that
were slightly present before but now are there in spades! After all isn't that what
its all about to have that musical experience it is so sad when audiophiles keep
chasing and changing out cables, components only still not to be satisfied. The search
may come to end by just installing some of these EnABled drivers who knows it just
may be the cure you are searching for.
Dave, make no mistake.
This 206En is killer. You can take my opinion for what it's worth, but your
driver doesn't just compare to the ESR, it smokes it!