single driver loudspeakers

I was wondering about your opinions or experiences regarding single driver speakers? I am considering purchasing a pair of Bob Brines' FT-1600 to replace my present speakers. I read wonderful comments about these and other single driver speaker but was hoping for a broader sampling.
Here's what I had to say from my experience:

Hope that this helps.
I took the single driver loudspeaker plunge about 4 months ago and purchased a pair of the Omega Super 3's in the narrow cabinet. I have about 200 hours on them. I am in the middle of preparing a review of Omegas, but here are my impressions so far:

1. The Omegas are very sensitive to the amplification that you provide them with. The amplifier will need to be very musical and on the warm side, the more elegant sounding the better. Keep dry and analytical sounding amps or amps that are proudly solid state like the NADs and Rotels away from them. This is particularly interesting, as I was talking with Omega's owner (Louis Cochos) and he had said that some of his speakers are being designed with solid state amplifiers in mind. If you go with a solid state amp, think smooth, elegant, and musical ... like Creek or Musical Fidelity or Arcam, et al.

2. I have been pairing the Omegas with a vintage Marantz 2240 receiver and quite frankly, I am very pleased with both male and female vocals and small ensemble music. The sound has a 3D, in the room presence to it. There is a test that Robert Reina (Stereophile) does where he "listens in" on the speakers from an adjoining room. The Omegas are some of the most captivating speakers that I have ever heard in this manner ... the music just invites you in.

3. Where I have not been pleased is with swing music like Frank Sinatra's "Night & Day." The brass fanfare is ridiculously annoying and cartoonish sounding. Also, some rock oriented Americana like Big n Rich just sounds dull and lifeless. I think that the culprit may be the Marantz and I have been busy switching equipment back n forth with my systems and the sound improves somewhat.

4. Because I am using the Omegas in my bedroom system, it is an absolute requirement that a receiver serve as the power source. For a while now, I have been looking to retire the Marantz to "tuner only" duty in another system and I have an Arcam receiver on order. More listening to follow.

Hope this helps. The other associated equipment is a Music Hall MMF CD25 cd player and Signal Cable interconnects and speaker cable. I think that the Omegas are going to be winners, but it will be another month or so, before I know for sure.

As I wrote this response, I have been listening to ... Di Stefano "Operatic Recitals," a recent Decca re-release of a 1959 recording on my NAD C320BEE/SONY SCD 555 ES SACD/AR 302 system. The music and system rocks.

Regards, Rich
Rar1 from what I gather you do need to upgrade your amplifier and especially the source. Those speakers are so pure. The majority of the faults your hearing is upstream.
I think we make the mistake when buying fair price high quality speakers like the Omegas. By assuming components in that bracket will work.
The better the equipment the better your speakers will sound.
I look forward to your review!

Good luck!

Hey Bombaywalla I never did make it to Earthshaking but a good friend did. His report and yours is all it took for me to take the plunge.
Oh yeah for the ones that haven't listened to the new Fostex lately. The whizzer cones do not make a buzzing sound and are certainly not rolled off! This driver's highs spank my ribbons in the Maggies all day long!

Happy listening!
I have a pair of Fostex 208 Sigmas in Zhorn backloaded cabinets. They are unbelievably quick and exciting, but as it is well said, they are also very demanding in the type of watts you feed them. I have tried my set up with Op amp powered solid state, 47 Labs Shigaraki integrated...the sound, it was outstanding and lighting fast. Also, I currently have it powered with a Final Music 6 battery powered op chip amplifier, but in this case, with a tube regulated power supply...The sound is also intense and wonderfully uncluttered. Finally, I have paired the same drivers in a self constructed Voigt Pipe (cost be a grand total of about $80 for the plywood and other hardware, about $450 with the pairs of drivers included) with a Assemblage 300B Platinum edition tubed amplifier along with matched WE tubes and these were also amazing in the vocals and the quickness.

For the price being, a single fullrange driver experience have been eye opening. Nevertheless, there is a catch, you will find that the low end is not as heavy or as noticable as in other dynamic speaker set up and this lack can easily be remedied with a powered subwoofer picking up the low end duties.

What you need to be aware of is the quality of the amplification....If it is SS, it needs to be extremely good, not necessarily powerful, the design needs to be well executed and the lower the power, the better, therefore of the use of the OP amp based amplifiers.


with tubes, ahhhhhh. A match made in heaven.

Single fullrange speakers do not waste money or frills in capacitors and other crossover thingies, just in sound.

BTW, I am planning to get myself a pair of FT2000A cabinets made for my F200A with Alnico drivers. Have you considered this design? The F200A is not longer being made and Madisound has some in stock.

Good luck.

I have the exact speaker that you are inquiring.

Stock, it performs very well. But the magic is how to find the correct ratio of damping material so the speaker/room coupling is flawless. Not to mention that the BSC(Baffle Step Correction) circuit needs some patience to find the correct value of resistor to use in order to make the correction seamless.

In the end, it is worth all the effort.


BTW, I am planning to get myself a pair of FT2000A cabinets made for my F200A with Alnico drivers. Have you considered this design? The F200A is not longer being made and Madisound has some in stock

Is that similar to this?
I've been looking at the same speakers.Bob is very insightful.It sounds like he knows what he's doing as well!
The FTA 2000a will be my next speaker purchase.I called Madisound about a week ago and they still have some F200A drivers in stock.
AmandaRae, the first photo looks like one of King's designs. Bob Brines used much of King's theory in order to build his speakers.

The second post, the ones with the supertweeter, those are the Ft2000A. The scarcity of the F200As make them limited and sooner or later, precious in the used market. Although I think just a discening few who lucked out buying those drivers will be able to enjoy them. Foreing sites, like DB Design, from the Netherlands sold their last pair, used for a high price. Maybe they will be available only from some Japanese DIY stores.
Hey Gmood1! Good to hear from you & note that you did take the single-driver plunge!
What did you end up getting? The Omegas?
Bet that you are spending less time on A'gon & more listening to your music!
You are so right my friend.I did end up with the Omega Grande 8s in slightly larger cabinets than the standard versions. I am planning to hit Earthshakers today and demo some of their tube equipment. I'm taking my RAM modded SC3 Toshiba 3960 along for the ride. I will also have a shoot out between it and a stock Arcam FMJ DV27 today.Tomorrow it will be a stock Denon 3910 in the crosshairs.It should be an interesting two days.

All the Best!
AmandaRae, noticed you got a speaker set up from Bob Brines, can you comment on the sound, the lows please?
I have read that this larger driver has a tendency to become "beamy" in the treble. Have I been misinformed?
I have a smallish room and while not nearfield, I need decent dispersion.

The lows are fine and can extend to what Bob Brines specified as the measured response of the design. Care should be taken to re-inforced the cabinets very well though. As you might noticed, mine have a lot of cross braces. Also, as I might commented earlier, the stuffing and the BSC response is the key. Once you tuned this two to how your room reacts, from my experienced, SS, PP, or SET amps works very well on them. SET sounds better without the BSC in line. But for SS and medium power PP amp (20-60 wpc), the BSC a very good option to have. In my system at least of course and YMMV.


The link of the picture I posted is my brothers speaker which I have an access to. It was not "beamy" at all. I belive he have at least 90 hours on them. It took him several nights to dial the BSC. But when he finally arrived there, it is worth all the effort. They sound great IMHO.