The VISATON + Fostex NoBox Alternative
©Dick Olsher 2006
If you have even the slightest of interest in the Visaton NoBox kit (see Tip of the Month #55), then you should definitely read this. Ever since Fostex had discontinued the twin-cone FE208Σ, they have been sitting idle in my listening room collecting dust. And to be honest, as a full-range driver, I still prefer the old twin-cone design to the newer single-cone version. It might have been be a case of bias against whizzer cones, but the truth is that the new Sigma 8-inch does not have the treble extension and smoothness of its predecessor to be taken seriously as a full range. I hope Fostex is listening…
One day it occurred to me that there’s probably a large number of these drivers still in circulation and I wondered just how they might perform in the context of the VISATON NoBox. So I simply substituted the FE208Σ for the B200 driver. There’s almost no work involved, as they fit nicely into the existing cutouts. How did this experiment pan out? Spectacularly so! Amazingly, the EQ network designed for the B200 works perfectly for the Fostex as well.
The in-room frequency response speaks volume for the neutrality of this new version. What the frequency response fails to point out is that the midrange and treble quality of the NoBox improved significantly, with better detail resolution, enhanced clarity and lower distortion. Bottom line: the old twin-cone FE208Σ blows away the B200 in this application. This then represents a worth alternative to the stock design.