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Old 8th February 2009, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default Best drivers for Open Baffle

I've been reading everything I can find about OB's on many sites.
for the full range driver I see people using antique 50 cent drivers exclaiming how wonderfull they sound, and I've seen plenty of people using very expensive drivers. On one site it was stated that for a good OB speaker you just need three things, high X max, low fs, and high Q.
I have found these in modern day speakers from parts express, in the $20 - $50 range. Would have to be better than some speaker pulled from a 75 year old western electric tube radio?
Also I see people using Fostex drivers for full range. But when I look at the response curves for these drivers they are down 10 dB at 20 KHz.
Some people are making OB with a tweeter, why wouldn't everyone?
Thanks in advance for your help
Paul
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Old 8th February 2009, 03:19 PM   #2
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Probably because not everyone is bothered about the extreme top end. Including myself. It's almost entirely harmonics, and too much energy in the HF just gives me a pounding headache. In addition, given that most people (especially men) are extremely lucky if they can hear up to 20KHz much past the age of 30, it renders the extension somewhat moot.
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Old 8th February 2009, 06:07 PM   #3
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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Another consideration is that a flat FR all the way to, or past, 20kHz may not be pleasing to the listener. Some years back, on the old Bass List, John Koval conducted a number of tests on groups of people and found, IIRC, that most actually seemed to prefer a rolled off treble response compared to a flat response.

Little did these unsuspecting people (various ages and gender) know that they had answered incorrectly

However, YMMV.

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TerryO
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Old 8th February 2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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Yes, but any answers from people using moderately priced drivers?
Will an OB design sound good using $50 - $100 dollar drivers instead of the much more expensive drivers Fostex, Jordan, Lowther.
Or will a OB design more easily show the flaws of the driver than say a comparably priced ported speaker (If I was to make one!)
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Old 9th February 2009, 12:05 AM   #5
MJK is offline MJK  United States
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I do not believe you can do an OB with just one driver running full range. I recommend at least a two way for OB.

One OB design that people seem to like is the Eminence Alpha 15A mated with a Fostex FE-87E. The crososver should be at about 200 Hz and the baffle size should be 20" wide and 38" tall. Total cost is below $400.
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Old 9th February 2009, 01:30 AM   #6
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by pforeman
Yes, but any answers from people using moderately priced drivers?
Will an OB design sound good using $50 - $100 dollar drivers instead of the much more expensive drivers Fostex, Jordan, Lowther.
Or will a OB design more easily show the flaws of the driver than say a comparably priced ported speaker (If I was to make one!)
Three questions, three answers:

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes/ No (It depends on what the "flaw" is)

BTW: Please do not equate cost with sound quality, it's the mark of the uninformed newbie. We've seen 49 cent drivers that measured better than $49.00 drivers and sounded every bit as good, or better.

Best Regards,
TerryO
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Old 9th February 2009, 02:24 AM   #7
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>>> Will an OB design sound good using $50 - $100 dollar drivers instead of the much more expensive drivers Fostex, Jordan, Lowther.

Someone in my office brought in a pair of old speakers. They sounded terrible and were very cheaply made. I broke out the back of the speaker to remove and replace with better components and to brace the cabinet. Decided to listen to the speaker without the back and thought they were so musical and pleasant to listen too all we did was break out the back of the other one and cover it up with a screen. He's been listening to them since in his new media room, connected to a Sonic Impact amp. He loves his system now but hated it before.

We learned cheap can sound good. Probably an old hi Qts driver in that sealed box. Just needed to break out the back. Bass was fine as was everything else. Looked like a $5 driver to me.

If you want to try OB i don't think it's a bad idea to try one of the Goldwoods with proper OB specs. You can add a tweeter if you feel they don't extend into the treble enough and you can add a subwoofer too. DIY speaker building is a never ending process. Enjoy it!
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Old 9th February 2009, 02:44 AM   #8
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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Hi Zilla,

I did the same thing with a cheap pair I got at St. Vinnie's. It sounded so much better as an OB that I attached a molded plastic speaker terminal cup to the inside corner of the box and haven't done a thing to it since. It has real nice alnico magnets on the midwoofers and the cone tweeters although the measured response of the tweeter is a few dBs higher than the woofer. I suppose I should really spend a bit of time and get this worked up.

I think I spent about a dollar for the pair. Wait! I also spent $.25 each for the terminal cups at a local close-out, so make it a total of approximately $1.50 for a really decent sounding pair.

Best Regards,
TerryO
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Old 9th February 2009, 03:06 AM   #9
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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I picked up neo P-Audio 15" coax for $70 each on closeout and they can play "car bass" tracks ok - but they're not "fullrange". - someone who listens primarily to old vocals might get by with larger fullrange speakers - theres a lot of compromise and possibly fun for those with active imaginations -- I'm not really hip on open baffle speakers but have tried Ciare's CH250 with double magnet - no bass dynamics, ragged HF - not near as good as coax in Karlson with harpsichord, cello, drums, machine gun (soundcheck cd) but not bad on Dean Martin :^) -- what are really good new open baffle speakers in a reasonable price range? Fostex rules the affordable roost for blh
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Old 9th February 2009, 03:29 AM   #10
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I own a lot of different full range drivers.

I also own a lot of different woofers.

Over the past couple of years I have been putting them together in
various combinations in a variety of OB's of different sizes and shapes.

Many of the drivers are sub $100. The most expensive get into the
$2,000 to $5,000 range.

They all sound very good, but it's true that the expensive ones tend
to sound better.

The caveat: I use active crossovers and some mild equalization to
get what I want - saves me a lot of time and trouble.

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