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Old 2nd April 2013, 02:52 AM   #1
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Default First OB project, overwhelming just thinking about drivers

Ok so I am gathering info on my first OB project.

What I know for sure is I will be using an active crossover (I have a MiniDSP and BBE DS48 on hand to try)

What I am hung up on is what drivers to use. I have search and when I think I have found some, I read comments making me think twice.

I initially was going to go with Alpha 15's but then people commented on how the Beta's sound better, so than I got into looking at Beta 15's.

I think I will be swinging more towards the Betas with some good EQ'ing, but as far as top end, should I be going 2 way or 3 way? And does adding a waveguide and CD count or does that go against everything OB?

I have seen a couple designs on Youtube where it looks like a 3 way using a dayton 10" Waveguide for the top, but from what I have read it seems a normal full range 2 way is preferred for OB setup.

My budget is low, as I really want to give this a try, but also don't want to spend crazy amounts in case I am not really into this design.

Is there any lists posted of tried tested and true drivers for all budgets that could get me started with my first design? I don't mind starting with smaller drivers, maybe 10" or 12" woofers, but I keep hearing about the Alpha 15 being one of the best starter woofers to get into this project so I feel I should at least go that route.

Any insight or advice/links appreciated. I think once I have my driver choice narrowed I should be fine.

PS. Living in Canada I am kinda limited to and for drivers. Shipping is a rip off from parts express so I try to avoid.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 03:42 AM   #2
mortron is offline mortron  Canada
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I was in a similar position... I found a pair of Visaton B200 locally, and scooped them up for a good price, and used some off cuts from a cabinet shop to make the Darkstar Open Baffles. They were great and then I began to obsess over active crossovers, and Alphas Vs Betas... But you're lucky, you already have a crossover, so its a no brainer haha.

I would be inclined to try the Betas only because they haven't been tried much, so it'd be interesting to see/hear what your thoughts are. I personally went with four Goldwood 1858 18" woofers, but haven't built baffles yet. Week of school left, then I will get at it.

As for the Wave and CD, I don't see why you couldn't. The Emerald open baffle uses them with Alphas and DSP xo IIRC. just have fun... I obsessed too much, and had to take a time out, and just go with it.

Check out MJKs projects... Good project write ups on OB.

Have fun, don't be scared of trying new things.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 04:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I am really itching to start and may just go with the betas and a cheap midbass and use some CD up top.

Are the 15" woofers needed for good bass reproduction or can smaller drivers suffice? There isn't any lists that show what drivers seem to work well is there? I kept hearing about the alpha as a good starter woofer but no mentions for full rangers etc
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Old 2nd April 2013, 07:18 PM   #4
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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U & H Frame Woofer Worksheet

Considering the use of minidsp - and the ability to eq.. As long as you have the power necessary for the equalization (plus whatever headroom you require), then it's down to surface area and excursion vs. lower freq. limit (..and the effects of the baffle).

Because of the eq. you don't need high Qts drivers - pretty much any driver will suffice as long as it meets that surface area + excursion requirement.

Note however that higher eff. drivers tend have a bit more detail and are often described as "fast" when compared to lower eff. drivers. Usually though they don't have much linear excursion.

Here is a cheap China-based example:

MCM Audio Select 15'' Die Cast Woofer with Paper Cone and Cloth Surround - 200W RMS 8ohm | 55-2963 (552963) | MCM Audio Select

2 of theses wired in parallel for 4 ohms average (per loudspeaker) should do the trick for a rather low cost solution (..assuming shipping costs aren't too high).

Note that a large LCR (to "flatten-out" driver impedance) made from low cost components can cost more than the drivers, BUT can provide good subjective gains in lower freq. clarity. (..something to consider at a later point in the build.)
perspective is everything

Last edited by ScottG; 2nd April 2013 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 07:33 PM   #5
evanc is offline evanc  United States
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check out this thread
Fast, fun, Inexpensive OB project

My own set didn't satisfy me until I had 2 beta 15s per side. I use a mini dsp to eq the bass, and a passive crossover for a beyma 12MI100 and a css planer 2 tweeter.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 10:51 PM   #6
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Thats what I'm concerned about, not be able to satisfy the low end with $150 worth of Beta's and having to spend $300 for double 15's per side to get to that point.

Anyone made hybrids using sealed, ported or horn subs covering 100hz and down and getting cheaper drivers for mid range and top end?

Would doing this defeat the whole purpose of Open Baffle or would it still be a god candidate
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Old 2nd April 2013, 11:14 PM   #7
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Originally Posted by loudsubz View Post
Thats what I'm concerned about.. and having to spend $300 for double 15's per side to get to that point.
A 4-pack of the drivers I linked to would be just under $144 US (..though not including shipping costs or other taxes).
perspective is everything
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Old 3rd April 2013, 12:32 AM   #8
holdent is offline holdent  Canada
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ScottG - I think the U & H Frame Woofer Worksheet link has been hacked. When I click on it it redirects me to an online drug company. Viagara anyone?!!!
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Old 3rd April 2013, 12:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
A 4-pack of the drivers I linked to would be just under $144 US (..though not including shipping costs or other taxes).
I checked the link, but shipping and duty is always a killer. I have looked at ordering from there before but turned out to be more in the end.

I was thinking about trying some Aura NS6 drivers along with CD with waveguide for top end and trying to blend with a tapped horn or folded horn for low end sort of hybrid.

Can't find much info on that setup on here and how it sounds. Not sure if the low end coming from a boxed woofer really distorts the whole "open sound" idea or if its more in the mid/top area.
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Old 3rd April 2013, 01:19 AM   #10
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I've never had much luck mating the sound of OB top with boxed bottom end.
Two cheap Goldwood 18" woofers per side on OB will rock your world.

Are shipping a duties to Canada really that bad? I mean considering the great choice and low prices found south of the border.
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