DIY

Frugel-Horn Mk3 - DIY Flat-pack Speaker Kit

ARTICLE INDEX

The Frugel-Horn Mk3 Speaker In Use

Listening

I placed the Frugel-Horn Mk3 in the same location as my current reference speakers, Martin Logan Vista Electrostatics. This puts the front baffle 40” from the wall, with the left speaker 12' from a side wall, the right speaker 8' from a side wall, and both roughly 11' from my listening position. I toed in each speaker which tightened up the center image. Power came from the recently reviewed Parasound NewClassic 5250v.2 solid state power amplifier, my Denon 4308 handled the processing and source was my media-server and Sony PS3.

I played all forms of music, from easy acoustic material, heavy progressive rock and electronic music with deep bass. The first thing I noticed was the low to mid bass. Plenty of it, and detailed too. Not boomy bloated over done bass, but clear and defined. Mid-range with everything but the ugliest recordings was clean and perfect, this is where these speakers excel. Not too far forward and with plenty of lower mid-range impact and no colorization. The high end was slightly rolled off at my normal seating position, which was due to the angled baffle of the Frugel-Horn Mk3 in relation to my chair distance and ear height. Small ½” thick tiles placed under the back of each speaker improved clarity. The one area these speakers felt short was in very high spl's (100dB+). They did not enjoy being pushed hard and loud with noticeable break up in the high frequencies. And these delicate cones should not take much abuse nor are they suited for high excursion. All things considered (as they can handle a wide range of musical styles) I could be happy with these as my only speakers.

Finishing

But wait, they are still unfinished plywood boxes (or MDF if you choose that...which is not recommended by the box designers). Finishing will require you stop listening to them (which explains why many DIY speakers are never finished), removing the terminal cups and drivers in order to either paint, stain or veneer. It is important to 'pre-stain' Baltic birch to avoid blotchy grain patterns.