Feedback in Open Baffle speakers from non OB users

jenson

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Singe driver and open baffle speakers have always piqued my interest, however I have no direct experience with OBS, based on video reviews and demo, feels it's closest one can get to single driver dynamics without the usual drawbacks. However, I get a feeling whether OB would sound thin..

Apart from creations here on forum, came across spatial audio, seemed good price for buck speakers...

So, to the esteemed members here who have experienced OB, but didn't go for it or liked it but have kept it for a latter date. Impressions on whether to go for branded or the DIY route

Feedback from owners of OBS users most welcome, would love to have a contrarian view on same
 

vea

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I’m also in the same boat. Very interested in OB. But mixed reactions from users across forums. I don’t have an opportunity to listen to a good OB setup here. Someone who have heard OB and box speakers in the same room please post thier impressions.
 

yogibear

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Mate a nice FR on OB with tube amps....

To begin with just try any FR. You may try an SS Class A too.

An OB sounded thin for those who did not have an optimal source to play with, like using headphone out of a laptop feeding the amplifier.

OB setups are brutally honest with quality of source AND recording. And unfortunately its like 10X garbage out with bad or average recording / source quality.

If you have a decent DAC and you play lossless or use premium streaming services, OB can pack many pleasant surprises. Its a learning experience and it may pique you to take the next step: 2 or 3 way dipole setup.

Even Single driver never sounds thin. How fulsome it will sound, will depend on your FR specifications.

If playing from analogue sources, OB is amazing as well, depending on the quality of recording... (I have no experience on this though. This is an uncharted territory for me, at least for now)

OB DIY costs nearly nothing and is fun and versatile.
 

Subbu68

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Mate a nice FR on OB with tube amps....

To begin with just try any FR. You may try an SS Class A too.

An OB sounded thin for those who did not have an optimal source to play with, like using headphone out of a laptop feeding the amplifier.

OB setups are brutally honest with quality of source AND recording. And unfortunately its like 10X garbage out with bad or average recording / source quality.

If you have a decent DAC and you play lossless or use premium streaming services, OB can pack many pleasant surprises. Its a learning experience and it may pique you to take the next step: 2 or 3 way dipole setup.

Even Single driver never sounds thin. How fulsome it will sound, will depend on your FR specifications.

If playing from analogue sources, OB is amazing as well, depending on the quality of recording... (I have no experience on this though. This is an uncharted territory for me, at least for now)

OB DIY costs nearly nothing and is fun and versatile.
+ 1

My quest is still on. Still a pair of Ahuja 12FRX costing only 3.6% of my box speaker is equally capable. They are currently mounted on a waste cardboard baffle 90cm x 90 cm folded to reduce their expanse in the room.

Yes, bass is seemingly less than my Heresy. The FR is so good that I had almost retired my Heresys. Low end could be easily covered by my sub. But my amp wiring does not permit connecting the sub. Even without that it is so enjoyable. Shell out a couple of thousands (INR) for a pair of 8 inchers or a couple more for 12 inchers from Ahuja or Sweeton or others that may be there in India and try out.

Get a 3 layer cardboard of required size and Basta software, have fun before getting into a serious build.

Explore the above blog


Once you get the hang there are many other articles on OB

I am hitched

Yesudas is belting out a Malayalam hit in front of me now

Soundstage is so huge and it seems he is standing in front of me.

My hair is standing up listening to Vaseegara now.

Precise positions I think is not their forte or is it because of my whizzer cone speaker I don't know. @yogibear should be able to clarify
 

Subbu68

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I’m also in the same boat. Very interested in OB. But mixed reactions from users across forums. I don’t have an opportunity to listen to a good OB setup here. Someone who have heard OB and box speakers in the same room please post thier impressions.
Hi

See my post above. Heresy IIIs that are sealed boxes are now seemingly redundant. I regret not doing enough research before spending on Heresy IIIs.
 

vea

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Hi

See my post above. Heresy IIIs that are sealed boxes are now seemingly redundant. I regret not doing enough research before spending on Heresy IIIs.
I read your thread on your OB and it inspired me to dig deeper. The Ahuja drivers you are using doesn’t seem to be full range. Does it have enough top end performance? I am thinking of a full range driver augmented by couple of woofers, similar to PAP design.
 

yogibear

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+ 1

My quest is still on. Still a pair of Ahuja 12FRX costing only 3.6% of my box speaker is equally capable. They are currently mounted on a waste cardboard baffle 90cm x 90 cm folded to reduce their expanse in the room.

Yes, bass is seemingly less than my Heresy. The FR is so good that I had almost retired my Heresys. Low end could be easily covered by my sub. But my amp wiring does not permit connecting the sub. Even without that it is so enjoyable. Shell out a couple of thousands (INR) for a pair of 8 inchers or a couple more for 12 inchers from Ahuja or Sweeton or others that may be there in India and try out.

Get a 3 layer cardboard of required size and Basta software, have fun before getting into a serious build.

Explore the above blog


Once you get the hang there are many other articles on OB

I am hitched

Yesudas is belting out a Malayalam hit in front of me now

Soundstage is so huge and it seems he is standing in front of me.

My hair is standing up listening to Vaseegara now.

Precise positions I think is not their forte or is it because of my whizzer cone speaker I don't know. @yogibear should be able to clarify
In my own experience so far after quite some years of listening to DIY and some branded speakers including Altec Bookshelf speakers (hardly bookshelf in todays terms), imaging, soundstage and 3D rendering that OBs project is unimaginable.

Two days back I was testing a pair of new FRs on my L shaped baffles, my 12 year old nephew was sitting besides me. His innocent and immediate reaction was, “where is the sound coming from ??? “. There was a ghost centre image of vocals and everything else was playing hanging up in air at different locations. I too was kind of amused and surprised at his reaction because it was nothing new for me.

As far as sweet spot is concerned (particularly top HF dispersion), it’s usually narrower with FRs bigger than 8” sizes and is also dependent on FR design itself and has nothing to do with OB acoustics itself.

An interesting way to supplement your FR with low end is to add a woofer through a subwoofer plate amp with options to take high level input. Use your FR amp speaker output to connect to the sub amp. You should have a fair idea of your FR roll off (which is pretty steep on OB) and just dial in your sub there.

Yes, dipole woofers mate much better than sealed or ported but you can try this with any. It becomes a kind of 2.2 setup and is quite enjoyable. Not the end of the road arrangement but you will be surprised as how easy it gets done vs what dynamics and musicality it brings forward !

Next steps are many towards choices, planning, simulation and execution towards Nirvana….
 

Subbu68

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I read your thread on your OB and it inspired me to dig deeper. The Ahuja drivers you are using doesn’t seem to be full range. Does it have enough top end performance? I am thinking of a full range driver augmented by couple of woofers, similar to PAP design.
You are from Kochi so you know Chitra's voice - she is just in front of me singing Chempakapoo from Ennu Swantham Janakikutty - I can hear her breathing. I won't want any more top end. Minding that my ears are old it is pleasant for me. For my daughter with very young ears she cringes at this level. I have to reduce the volume nearly half if she is sitting with me.

Ahujas are specd for 16kHz. I doubt majority can hear above that.

Positioning is vital its seems. I was just playing with positions now. They are now placed about 3m and toed in to my char, I am sitting nearly the same distance. Anything more than 3.5m between them, the sound seems to go weak and also the top end.

Unfortunately no recording can emulate your hearing.

It won't break your bank trying it out.
 

Subbu68

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In my own experience so far after quite some years of listening to DIY and some branded speakers including Altec Bookshelf speakers (hardly bookshelf in todays terms), imaging, soundstage and 3D rendering that OBs project is unimaginable.

Two days back I was testing a pair of new FRs on my L shaped baffles, my 12 year old nephew was sitting besides me. His innocent and immediate reaction was, “where is the sound coming from ??? “. There was a ghost centre image of vocals and everything else was playing hanging up in air at different locations. I too was kind of amused and surprised at his reaction because it was nothing new for me.

As far as sweet spot is concerned (particularly top HF dispersion), it’s usually narrower with FRs bigger than 8” sizes and is also dependent on FR design itself and has nothing to do with OB acoustics itself.

An interesting way to supplement your FR with low end is to add a woofer through a subwoofer plate amp with options to take high level input. Use your FR amp speaker output to connect to the sub amp. You should have a fair idea of your FR roll off (which is pretty steep on OB) and just dial in your sub there.

Yes, dipole woofers mate much better than sealed or ported but you can try this with any. It becomes a kind of 2.2 setup and is quite enjoyable. Not the end of the road arrangement but you will be surprised as how easy it gets done vs what dynamics and musicality it brings forward !

Next steps are many towards choices, planning, simulation and execution towards Nirvana….
Wow, another one. Great to know.

I was playing around with those speaker positioning videos posted in mbhangui's thread yesterday. It was a backbreaking BALANCE control to summarize.

I just pulled in my OBs, connected them to my ACAs and placed them casually in front of the Heresys. Wow!!!, that Jennifer Warnes (Ballad of Runaway Horse as recommended in those videos) was right in front of me standing up without any racking of speakers or wrecking my muscles. And later playing our desi tunes, Yesudas, Rahman, Chitra etc. are all performing for me.

As far as the sub, I have KEF Kube 12b. It has high level input but is very sensitive that it gets cuts off if volume is low. So I made an attenuator for feeding the RCAs. https://www.hifivision.com/threads/speaker-level-to-line-level-attenuator.89145/

With bridged mono of ACA it does not seem to work as the attenuator for speaker level input seems to introduce crosstalk between the monoblocks. Have to analyze it.
 

Hari Iyer

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Singe driver and open baffle speakers have always piqued my interest, however I have no direct experience with OBS, based on video reviews and demo, feels it's closest one can get to single driver dynamics without the usual drawbacks. However, I get a feeling whether OB would sound thin..

Apart from creations here on forum, came across spatial audio, seemed good price for buck speakers...

So, to the esteemed members here who have experienced OB, but didn't go for it or liked it but have kept it for a latter date. Impressions on whether to go for branded or the DIY route

Feedback from owners of OBS users most welcome, would love to have a contrarian view on same
If you happen to be at your Thane home, you can drop in for a listen at my home. Others have already mentioned in about their pros/ cons. I will like to add that previously I was hooked to TL loading. But after going the OB route, there is no looking back.

Proof of the pudding is in the eating.
 

jenson

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I really liked spatial audios concept of a three way.. Their top range has 15inch handling bass, 12incher for mid range and the ribbon tweet for highs.. Their starting range too sounds great... How difficult it would be to tune the cross overs..


 

vea

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You are from Kochi so you know Chitra's voice - she is just in front of me singing Chempakapoo from Ennu Swantham Janakikutty - I can hear her breathing. I won't want any more top end. Minding that my ears are old it is pleasant for me. For my daughter with very young ears she cringes at this level. I have to reduce the volume nearly half if she is sitting with me.

Ahujas are specd for 16kHz. I doubt majority can hear above that.

Positioning is vital its seems. I was just playing with positions now. They are now placed about 3m and toed in to my char, I am sitting nearly the same distance. Anything more than 3.5m between them, the sound seems to go weak and also the top end.

Unfortunately no recording can emulate your hearing.

It won't break your bank trying it out.
The Ahuja drivers are cheap and worth a try. What amplification are you using?
 

vea

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I really liked spatial audios concept of a three way.. Their top range has 15inch handling bass, 12incher for mid range and the ribbon tweet for highs.. Their starting range too sounds great... How difficult it would be to tune the cross overs..


Three way OB has its appeal. Most FR drivers have limitations. If building a passive XO is beyond your skill level try active with a minidsp. I have done it with a box speaker before and it’s quite easy to do.
 

Kannan

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So, to the esteemed members here who have experienced OB, but didn't go for it or liked it but have kept it for a latter date. Impressions on whether to go for branded or the DIY route
Taking the DIY route with OB is much easier as build complexity is lesser in terms of enclosure.
I have listened to both branded and DIY OB setups, and have had a couple too, but unless you can leave lots of space around the back and the sides, the purpose of OB setup is defeated.

Bass will be lacking if you go with smaller drivers, a better design with OB will be a full range driver or multiple full range drivers in open baffle with a big woofer for lows in a sealed enclosure.

If you go with a larger full range driver, highs and mids can suffer and you will have to compensate with some amount of correction.

There are multiple speaker designs each having their pros and cons. There is no design superior over the other as long as you retain a rational outlook and set your goal to enjoy the music.
 

Subbu68

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The Ahuja drivers are cheap and worth a try. What amplification are you using?
I have two amps both DIY

One is Elekit TU8200 SE in Ultralinear mode 8Wpc
The other that I use now is Amp Camp Amp - a pair of them working in bridged mono block mode 16W at 8Ohm
 

sdk

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+ 1

My quest is still on. Still a pair of Ahuja 12FRX costing only 3.6% of my box speaker is equally capable. They are currently mounted on a waste cardboard baffle 90cm x 90 cm folded to reduce their expanse in the room.

Yes, bass is seemingly less than my Heresy. The FR is so good that I had almost retired my Heresys. Low end could be easily covered by my sub. But my amp wiring does not permit connecting the sub. Even without that it is so enjoyable. Shell out a couple of thousands (INR) for a pair of 8 inchers or a couple more for 12 inchers from Ahuja or Sweeton or others that may be there in India and try out.

Get a 3 layer cardboard of required size and Basta software, have fun before getting into a serious build.

Explore the above blog


Once you get the hang there are many other articles on OB

I am hitched

Yesudas is belting out a Malayalam hit in front of me now

Soundstage is so huge and it seems he is standing in front of me.

My hair is standing up listening to Vaseegara now.

Precise positions I think is not their forte or is it because of my whizzer cone speaker I don't know. @yogibear should be able to clarify
Ahuja has 8",12"and 15" full range in their lineup

Of which only the 12 and 15 are available for retail sale.

Most FMs here have used the 12", would there be better performance if the 15" are used? Has anyone here used the 15" ones?
 

yogibear

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Ahuja has 8",12"and 15" full range in their lineup

Of which only the 12 and 15 are available for retail sale.

Most FMs here have used the 12", would there be better performance if the 15" are used? Has anyone here used the 15" ones?
Yes, both Fanes 12” and 15” TC models.

If you are looking for single driver with great low end, go for 15” else 12”. Both can be housed in Telefunken open baffle, which looks like Tannoy Westminster if done properly.
 

Subbu68

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Ahuja has 8",12"and 15" full range in their lineup

Of which only the 12 and 15 are available for retail sale.

Most FMs here have used the 12", would there be better performance if the 15" are used? Has anyone here used the 15" ones?
I was thinking of adding a 15" from Ahuja. Then the Fs is higher at 75Hz 😮. So theoretically it would not go lower than 12".

Now my Heresy IIIs bottom at 50-60Hz as per spec. But you still "feel" much lower frequencies than that. So the 15" may work that way?
 
Last edited:

vea

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Yes, both Fanes 12” and 15” TC models.

If you are looking for single driver with great low end, go for 15” else 12”. Both can be housed in Telefunken open baffle, which looks like Tannoy Westminster if done properly.
How much of a compromise is the 15” in terms of high frequencies?
 
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