A Simple Single Driver Open Baffle Build

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yogibear

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Its was a long standing wish of mine to try a Single Driver, Open Baffle. The wish came fulfilled on an unfortunate event of my toys being assigned to play in a smaller room than the previous one I had. The 2 Way Open Baffle was too much for this new room size of 13X15 feet and it was still not big enough for a single driver Telefunken Open Baffle which look no less grand than the Tannoys Westminster Royal. Hence I settled for a pair of L shape floor standing single driver Open Baffle design. As many FM here already know now, I am always experimenting and my builds are aimed at simplicity and sonics and NOT the looks, so this one too is a no frills build. The day I settle with my dream machine, it will have beautiful looks as well.

The front baffles measure 24" wide and 42" high. The L baffle in the rear extends 18" deep. Since the room width is still at 13 feet and I did not want to use much side clearance as all dipole builds demand, so I decided to go against the mirror image build design and aligned both side rear baffles along the side walls so that I do not have any cavity resonance arising between the wall and rear baffles and can place them near the side walls. The baffles were built in 18mm Ply and raised 1.5" off the floor.

Further detail:

Source: High resolution or YouTube routed through JRiver as a virtual sound card on Windows 7 laptop.
DAC: R2R 16bit / 24bit with USB input
Amplifier: 6BM8 SE Pure Class A, 2 watts per channel
Drivers: 12" Alnico Vintage, 97dB, 8 ohms, R&A by Wolverhampton England.

The setup is very transparent and responsive to the quality of recording.



IMG_6326.jpg


Some sonic impressions:



 

hydrovac

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Great build! @yogibear, excuse me if this is OT...
Looking at all these projects, have lately developed a curiosity about open baffle speakers. Mostly due to the fact that one does not have to build an elaborate box, and also i do not posses the skills like our gentle FM Sadik... ;)

With your experience with these speakers, can you provide some finer insight?

As I have really only listened to cone and dome drivers in boxes... But, for those of you who have spent time with this type speaker, what would I be listening for as far as any downsides?

would also be interested in knowing if anyone got tired of open baffle speakers and reverted back to fully enclosed speakers.

And then there is also the cost issue. How would a DIY open baffle speaker tend to compare to a similarly priced box speaker?

...
 

yogibear

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@hydrovac Great Questions:

I fiddled with boxed speakers for about 15 years off and on and there are some designs but the not the regular ones which I still love and hope to replicate some day soon. Compared to present Open Baffle speakers, I may settle with some kind of horn / dipole combo for life some day soon. But dipole will stay in life for ever, there is no going back.

Regarding executing a very rewarding Open Baffle design there are few vital aspects:

1. Room size. If you do not have big room, like 15X20 at least, you may settle with single driver OB which will not have great low end.

2. Aim 2 way OB and may be if your iterations are successful, top it with a super tweeter if at all the need arises.

3. Very wise selection of drivers. This is vital for winning the battle.

If you are lucky and make smart moves in all above aspects, you will have an incredible sounding setup easily great from 17-18K to under 40Hz easy. And the best part, it will be damn easy to execute and 10X VFM.

4. Some aspects to mull in: Tubes drive FR like no other amps. May be SS Class A will do the job. I will find out soon. Driving bass active makes life easier and very rewarding.

5. OB is the only design on the planet, which jettisons you from a music lover / audiophile to a DIYer with rewarding rich experience of music reproduction and learning with no outside help required, irrespective of your experience and talents. And the costs are very reasonable. You need to make smart moves. There are ample options.

I hope above helps.

P.S.: Many years back when a gentleman on this very forum suggested me Open baffle speakers for true musical enjoyment, it was very very hard for me to come to terms to this design. I considered it crazy, ugly, meaninglessly huge and completely opposite to what a speaker should look like and no way I was ready to accept that this will sound good at all. But then, what all I was missing in true midrange magic and imaging, came alive through these very silly looking speakers.
 
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hydrovac

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@hydrovac Great Questions:

I fiddled with boxed speakers for about 15 years off and on and there are some designs but the not the regular ones which I still love and hope to replicate some day soon. Compared to present Open Baffle speakers, I may settle with some kind of horn / dipole combo for life some day soon. But dipole will stay in life for ever, there is no going back.

Regarding executing a very rewarding Open Baffle design there are few vital aspects:

1. Room size. If you do not have big room, like 15X20 at least, you may settle with single driver OB which will not have great low end.

2. Aim 2 way OB and may be if your iterations are successful, top it with a super tweeter if at all the need arises.

3. Very wise selection of drivers. This is vital for winning the battle.

If you are lucky and make smart moves in all above aspects, you will have an incredible sounding setup easily great from 17-18K to under 40Hz easy. And the best part, it will be damn easy to execute and 10X VFM.

4. Some aspects to mull in: Tubes drive FR like no other amps. May be SS Class A will do the job. I will find out soon. Driving bass active makes life easier and very rewarding.

5. OB is the only design on the planet, which jettisons you from a music lover / audiophile to a DIYer with rewarding rich experience of music reproduction and learning with no outside help required, irrespective of your experience and talents. And the costs are very reasonable. You need to make smart moves. There are ample options.

I hope above helps.

P.S.: Many years back when a gentleman on this very forum suggested me Open baffle speakers for true musical enjoyment, it was very very hard for me to come to terms to this design. I considered it crazy, ugly, meaninglessly huge and completely opposite to what a speaker should look like and no way I was ready to accept that this will sound good at all. But then, what all I was missing in true midrange magic and imaging, came alive through these very silly looking speakers.

Thank you @yogibear, for the insight and in depth reply and for keeping it all at a level I can keep up with.

You've made clear the benefit of open baffle speakers. How do you do the math for a open baffle speaker? I didn't see any programs to use for the OB formula? I thought I read somewhere that a higher qts is better for a open baffle speaker.
I can measure my drivers before I even start on my builds. So is there a program or something that will tell me how tall and wide my front baffle needs to be for my driver's?
I would be interested in a project like this and also opinions on options or alternatives to this, to begin with..

TIA for any advice and suggestions.

...
 

keith_correa

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I would be interested in a project like this and also opinions on options or alternatives to this, to begin with..

TIA for any advice and suggestions.

...
I suggest that you build the "Manzanita" OB speakers. It's a DIY version of a respected designer's designs [John Busch - Manzanita - Open Baffle Speakers, High Fidelity (manzanita-audio.com)], uses relatively inexpensive drivers, is a very easy build and is tried and tested by many. Details are here.
Of course, building a tried and tested design is no fun for many - the tinkering, the simulation, the journey, etc is virtually non-existent. The plus side is that there is no [much] tinkering, no simulation, saves you the journey and the etcetera. :p
He's left a little tinkering on the table for that final customization at the end for fine tuning to taste - a couple of resistors and alligator clips is all it takes.
BUT, for any OB, you WILL need at least a meter of space behind the baffle for them to really shine unless you use DSP. If you have the luxury of that space then go for it.
 
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yogibear

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Dear Yogibear, how would that Horn/Dipole combo look like?
Sunder, FRs are mostly very high sensitivity and very easy to drive with a fraction of watts from tube amps.

However, it’s my hunch that a front horn loaded FR will amplify these benefits further and keeping the rear still open. I am yet to find that out soon.

Second biggest benefit, the response will be dipole but front will be a few times louder than the rear hence back reflections will be less. Small room will be just fine.

The setup will require even lesser fraction of watts and may further lower the distortion.

It’s an idea to be executed soon. The bass will remain U frame OB only. The most glorious of all.

Thank you @yogibear, for the insight and in depth reply and for keeping it all at a level I can keep up with.

You've made clear the benefit of open baffle speakers. How do you do the math for a open baffle speaker? I didn't see any programs to use for the OB formula? I thought I read somewhere that a higher qts is better for a open baffle speaker.
I can measure my drivers before I even start on my builds. So is there a program or something that will tell me how tall and wide my front baffle needs to be for my driver's?
I would be interested in a project like this and also opinions on options or alternatives to this, to begin with..

TIA for any advice and suggestions
Check Basta software:


However I mostly use it to compare different driver choice based on my open baffle design goals (active bass or crossoverless FR) AND to study low end response of a driver in a particular baffle size.

Don’t get misguided by rosy frequency response it predicts as in real life, the actual sonic impression depends a lot on space and room reflections in a dipole setup.
 
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arunkvivek

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@keith_correa,​

A tried and tested design... I think that this project is for me.

I'm intrigued by your description of the Manzanita's. The low cost easy build aspect surely is attractive to me... this is very interesting topic, my only concern is the availability of drivers.
thank you.

...
The GRS speakers of Manzanita go down to 25 dollars per piece during labour day sale!! I picked them up and am using them in my H-Frames after seeking guidance from @yogibear. Ultracheap way to reach good bass without equalization. One thing that I have experienced is that bass quality drops when H frames a laid flat in stead of making them stand tall. Boy, they move air like anything. I have never experienced sealed SW. But I would any day prefer H-Frames over ported ones in less than 50K category!!
 

yogibear

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The GRS speakers of Manzanita go down to 25 dollars per piece during labour day sale!! I picked them up and am using them in my H-Frames after seeking guidance from @yogibear. Ultracheap way to reach good bass without equalization. One thing that I have experienced is that bass quality drops when H frames a laid flat in stead of making them stand tall. Boy, they move air like anything. I have never experienced sealed SW. But I would any day prefer H-Frames over ported ones in less than 50K category!!
Put those H frames flat on floor, they sound shit. Raise them 2” off the ground, you are in “bass heaven”.

GRS are the incredible VFM drivers for OB lovers. You would literally laugh at the “sonic return on investment” they provide.
 

jls001

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@keith_correa, my only concern is the availability of drivers.​

thank you.

...
There is a very long and old thread on the Manzanita over at diyaudio. I was very keen to build this simple OB and looked for alternative woofers but couldn't find anything suitable locally. I was afraid of receiving busted drivers destroyed in shipping.
 

arunkvivek

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There is a very long and old thread on the Manzanita over at diyaudio. I was very keen to build this simple OB and looked for alternative woofers but couldn't find anything suitable locally. I was afraid of receiving busted drivers destroyed in shipping.
I was tempted to look at Ahuja 15 drivers as a compromise but I was lucky to have parents visit USA last year.
My conclusion as a layman after browsing the drivers 2-3 months is that best drivers for open baffle are cheap, light because of small magnets and can be replaced without guilt!! FRS 15PF, Goldwood 1858, Dayton 18 inch etc. Superior ones always seem to have qts less than 0.50.
 

srinisundar

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@yogibear

Can the lii audio 6" can be integrated with 18" fane woofer with the same OB mentioned here ( i meant the size)... I like the simple design.


Or it will be better to go with this design.. https://www.hifivision.com/threads/diy-ob-project-using-the-lii-audio-f6-full-range.75271/
 

yogibear

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@yogibear

Can the lii audio 6" can be integrated with 18" fane woofer with the same OB mentioned here ( i meant the size)... I like the simple design.


Or it will be better to go with this design.. https://www.hifivision.com/threads/diy-ob-project-using-the-lii-audio-f6-full-range.75271/

The latter is desirable if you have space but in case of 12” high Qts woofers, two each side is must.

And in every case, any of my friends who started with even one 15” each side, later decided to modify the design with two woofers each side.

If you are lucky to find high Qts 12” drivers, go dual driver each side, overall less height and width and amazing low end. No sub would be needed. The Fs must be under 40hz as well. Please tell me too if your hunt is successful.

Regarding, passive or active, it’s your choice. U frames have always been more musical for me compared to H frames, at a little expense of low end extension.
 

srinisundar

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Can you send me the measurement of the above U frame box.. Will try both with 18" driver and also two 15" driver later..

Regards
 

yogibear

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Can you send me the measurement of the above U frame box.. Will try both with 18" driver and also two 15" driver later..

Regards
22”x34” with 8” depth at bottom slanting to 4” at the top. Depths will vary with drivers Qts.
 

Rajiv

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Hi,

These Telefunken open baffles look interesting.


Links to discussions on these baffles.


Regards
Rajiv


 
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