The process of choosing nearfield monitors should be easy. - After all, they only have one job to do.
The job of monitoring. Not enhancing, not diminishing, not in any way altering the source material.
Enter the Fostex NF-Series. A range of nearfield monitors which deliver a sound completely lacking in those ‘enhancements’ and ‘characteristics’ often found in other studio speakers.
A natural sound, uncoloured and accurately defined, even at high sound pressure levels, allowing you to accurately pinpoint and analyse all aspects of your creative output whilst minimise listening fatigue.
So what makes the NF-1 series so different? For a start, Fostex started with a blank sheet of paper when designing the three crucial components of the NF-1/NF-1A and new NF-01A; the LF woofer unit, the HF tweeter unit and the enclosure.
Nothing was taken for granted. Nothing was assumed.
The NF-Series employ a low frequency unit featuring an HP (Hyperbolic paraboloid) diaphragm. The 3rd-order curved surface structure of this technology results in the ability to reproduce faster-rising sounds more responsively, the minimisation of self-resonating frequencies and the total lack of sound colourisation characteristics.
In addition, Fostex turned their attention to the UDR (Up/Down Roll) tangential edge structure of the low frequency unit. This edge is created by joining up-roll and down-roll at their tangential surfaces while utilising FEM model analysis to determined the optimum bonding points. It’s this edge which plays a key part in the overall performance of the units.
SOFT DOME HF UNIT
Fostex also felt the need to develop a new type of soft dome unit, one which features UFLC in its construction. Conventional soft dome units exhibit minute ‘pinholes’ in the damping materials resulting in dips in the frequency response.
In using UFLC materials, Fostex have eliminated these, made a 30% weight reduction and widened the frequency response across the range.
Unlike other manufacturers, Fostex decided against the use of plastic or pressed metal driver frame assemblies. This is because these types of construction do not, unlike the die-cast aluminium frame used for the woofer and tweeter units in the NF-Series, offer optimum vibration suppression.
A monitor enclosure is much more than just the box in which to house the driver units. It too must be acoustically designed to minimise the vibrations which can colour and degrade the sound.
The NF Series utilise bass-reflex enclosures featuring a number of construction and acoustic treatment techniques which combine to offer an ideal chamber for suppressing vibration and unwanted reflections.
Now the choice can be made. monitors which may make you sound good, or monitors which tell you how good you sound. Hooking up a pair of Fostex’s NF-Series for the first time is somewhat of a revelation. - You may be surprised at what you hear. But at least it will be a true representation, free from any sonic colouration and distortion.
Which is where we came in.
DEDICATED & ACOUSTICALLY ISOLATED BI-AMPLIFIERS
The active NF-1A and NF-01A both feature a fully independent bi-amplifier power (60W NF-1A, 50W NF-01A), available for both the Low and High frequencies. This ensures that each unit is driven in perfect electrical isolation. The amplifiers are also cleverly installed ensuring that unwanted vibrations are kept to an absolute minimum.
The large sized R-core transformer supplies more than enough power to ensure that the Low frequencies maintain their integrity - even at high sound pressure levels.
Adjusting filters include LO FREQ (+3, 0, -3dB @ 60Hz), HI-MID ATT (0, -3dB) and HI FREQ (+3, 0, -3dB). An independent tweeter control (-3dB to +3dB variable) is also present. Crossover point is set at 5kHz).
LO FREQ filter (+2, 0, -2dB @ 55Hz) plus an independent tweeter control are present (-3dB to +3dB variable. Crossover points are 5kHz / -6dB / Oct & 3.5kHz / -12dB / Oct.
HP SOUND REFLECTORS
The inclusion of HP sound reflectors prevents the generation of standing waves in the enclosure.
Like the HP drivers, the constantly varying 3rd-order curved surface of the HP reflectors, along with their carbon fibre/PBO construction minimises self resonance.
NF-1 CROSSOVER DESIGN
The extremely natural and ultra-smooth transition between woofer and tweeter units is due to another breakthrough in monitor design.
While the high frequency UFLC tweeter unit uses a low loss 6dB crossover, the smooth roll off of the low frequency woofer, (afforded by the unique HP diaphragm technology), renders the use of a crossover for this unit obsolete.
UNIQUELY DESIGNED BASS REFLEX SYSTEM
Although the NF-Series use a bass reflex enclosure, Fostex have, again, re-worked the technology to provide real gains in terms of bass response characteristics. This has involved the active utilisation of the reverberent sound caused by the internal HP reflectors which exits the enclosure through the two bass-reflex ports. (Something which is just not possible with enclosures which only use conventional glass fibre for internal damping). The placement of the exit ports was also critical in allowing a smooth and natural blending of the sound coming from the woofer and tweeter units.
ACTIVE NF-1A, NF-01A FEATURES