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Steve's BIG BETSY Project (Read 40496 times)
Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #450 - 08/11/19 at 20:48:23
 



Now to get them breaking-in and do some casual listening! If they don't make me smile in the first 5 minutes the design will have been a failure and my fears about thin sound will be realized. Thankfully I choose to dwell on the likelihood that just the opposite will happen proving the Audio Gods know a lot more about it than I do.

After all, coming from the Big Betsy -- some of you already know how high that sets the bar -- these are going to have to be really good just to survive.

Steve


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Palomino
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #451 - 08/11/19 at 20:51:57
 
Incredible baffles Steve. Just beautiful.  Can’t wait for your review of the Crystals.

Well the big Betsy’s just kicked my ass for the last couple of hours. Talk about they are here.  Eric Clapton was just in the room.  At some point I will put the OBs I have been working on for the last couple of years back in.  It will likely be quite humbling.

I predict Steve’s big Betsy’s will hold court at the fest the way the 25th did last year.  You have to figure out a way to offer these commercially.  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #452 - 08/11/19 at 21:01:54
 

Agreed. I knew that the first time I heard them. And this is the process. I already know if these Crystal 10 baffles sound good they will be a popular alternate for people. I was able to lift them without issues, they fit through even smaller doorways and would not dominate a room as much. These came out a lot smaller than I was originally hoping for, but as mentioned in earlier posts the difference in size probably wouldn't have been enough to make it worth having two baffles so similarly sized.

Steve
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Archie
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #453 - 08/11/19 at 21:03:15
 
I gotta say, that figured oak is stunning!

Pal, it sounds like you're getting the BB experience.  I've never had amazing sound staging at my place but these sure do "blow up" the music.  It's almost like looking at an exploded parts diagram.  A new experience for me.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #454 - 08/11/19 at 21:04:21
 
Steve, you can always make a fixture and try them in the big baffles.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #455 - 08/11/19 at 21:13:24
 
Well if the crystals even get or exceed, that’s the ticket. This is what open baffle is supposed to be.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #456 - 08/11/19 at 21:42:02
 

Well, Good News! The Audio Gods were right and I was wrong. After about an hour of warming up with stringed instruments only, I went into the room to listen.

A song called Nexus by Daniel Voth was playing. It started out warm and big as the result of a loud chorus recorded perhaps inside a church and done at a level that easily saturated the recording space, a sound that you would normally blame on speaker cone breakup or box resonance. The sound was almost thick and dull as a result but then transitions into some solo guitar work with graduating layers of dynamics each slightly louder than the previous one and the contrasting clarity was a nice trick to really get your attention. At around the 3 minute mark my head exploded! I had to pause it and walk around in circles for awhile which is what happens to me when I hear something happen that I've never heard before.

I've never heard anything this good so soon in the game and there is a very obvious difference between the sound of these and virtually every other driver I've heard to date, which would account for these pre-burned-in results. This on drivers only an hour or two out of the box.  I'll talk about this more as we get into it.

Hehe, no worries about the bass with these speakers, everything is well balanced already.  

So far I have sat in the sweet spot and listened for exactly 3 minutes.  I'll pop in there several more times throughout the evening, perhaps better armed with some Depends.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #457 - 08/11/19 at 21:53:12
 
Steve, you originally thought you'd be using the ZROCK2 with these.  What is your initial setup?  I think I read that these take a long time to break in.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #458 - 08/11/19 at 21:59:50
 
I looked up that piece of music and hell, it sounds good on my crappy computer speakers.  I can see why it stunned you.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #459 - 08/11/19 at 22:09:51
 
My kids gave me depends as a gag gift for my birthday.  I may just bring them to the fest with all this new stuff happening.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #460 - 08/11/19 at 23:59:20
 
I’ve been following this thread with interest and I had a good gut feeling about the Crystal 10.  The large baffle is too big for my space and I felt that a smaller version with the Crystal 10 might do the trick.

This may be way out there but I have to ask...

What about two Crystal 10’s in each baffle, one rolled off with an inductor similar to the design of the S3HOXRS?  Even if the baffle is slightly taller but no wider than the Walnut/Oak baffle.

Yes the cost would increase but would the results justify the added costs?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #461 - 08/12/19 at 00:31:25
 

With regards to the ZROCK2, I have installed one permanently on my digital source.  It's between by DAC and the ZTPRE so I can run it or bypass it at any time. What I've noticed with the Big Betsy and virtually all of the Decware and related speakers is that none of them need a ZROCK2 to sound good in our room.  All have the correct amount of bass which is to say that none of them sound thin.

For this reason the bypass switch is invaluable, because with the unit bypassed if I can't get good sound from the system, there is something up with the system, a red flag.  That said, I find the ZROCK2 just makes the midrange sound so much more pleasing that I wouldn't really care if it didn't do anything for the bass, but it does and music just sounds more real with it in unless it was recorded with a similar curve already.

The new Crystal 10 baffles will not require a ZROCK2 as originally anticipated. That said, I will be using one anyway most of the time with my DAC.  On my vinyl rig, or tape machines I never use it, so doubtful I'll start.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #462 - 08/12/19 at 00:46:28
 
Ah yes, the ZR2 and the mid range.  For me, one of the two curves really sweetens that up.  Switch down.  I think the opposite curve than I would have thought.  I've always wondered if it was wired reversed.

I'm really looking forward to the F15/CR-10 shootout.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #463 - 08/12/19 at 01:18:55
 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Before eating dinner tonight I got to spend another hour with the speakers and am pleased to report the following:

A) They seem to get exactly as loud as the Big Betsy F15 combo.

B) They sound full and rich, with enough bass to be enjoyed without augmentation.

C) They have the same energy that you feel when you listen to the Big Betsy, similar slam and scale.  I would say less slam but same scale.

D) They give enough of the Big Betsy / Capitan Crunch sensation that you know you still had a Big Betsy experience... I wasn't expecting that.

E) The sound is refined beyond description. The top end and midrange, well, let's just say that it's in a league all its own. I would say that the sound of this driver is so good that it would be sacrilegious to speak of the music it makes in segregated terms like 'bass' or 'midrange' etc.

F) It was designed by a true genius with a deep understanding. It possesses a cone that you can not hear.  

Sound always takes on the signature of the last surface it touches, so the sound of a speaker cone is always superimposed over the top of the music.  Not here. I've listened to so many drivers and cones when I had a speaker re-cone business pre-dating DECWARE, and then all the stuff that came along after DECWARE, like the Fostex, Lowther, and similar drivers that use thin smooth paper cones. You can hear those cones, and now that my reference has been calibrated by less than a couple hours with this driver, well lets just say I'm wrecked about as bad as I was when I came out with the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier.  Anyway, to finish the thought, this is the first and only driver that I can not hear the cone. It's simply brilliant.

As a result the sound comes out of an empty space full of all possibilities. For example in the first 3 minutes of the Daniel Voth track I spoke of earlier this afternoon, I was thinking OK, this cone material is refusing to break up, and it's so soft and smooth sounding, if not a little dull. This was because I could not hear the cone which would have otherwise added an artificial edge that would actually be interpreted as an increase in focus.  Then all of a sudden some dynamic attacking high notes exploded into space right in front of me that I had a hard time registering as having just come from the same speakers!! The absence of cone sound makes the music smooth until something dynamic happens and then you wonder how such attack and high frequency is possible without compression or distortion.

Sorry I had to explain F).

They do not have the giant bass hit of the Big Betsy, but what they do have probably is Truer to the actual sound with less hype in the mid-bass region. We will see what happens over time as these season and my brain continues to wrap itself around what I'm hearing... right now I would say that if you listen to both the Big Betsy and this smaller model with the Crystal 10 you will literally HAVE to have both. Consider yourself sufficiently warned, because if you think you don't have room the Big Betsys... imagine how upset you'll be when you find yourself with both.  This years fest is going to be a disaster for everyone who attends ; )

-Steve  
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #464 - 08/12/19 at 01:31:21
 
Great news! Another exciting moment in Decware history.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #465 - 08/12/19 at 01:34:59
 
IDK, this is starting to sound like polygamy.  But what if we HAVE to choose?   Cry
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #466 - 08/12/19 at 01:52:27
 

Quote:
Steve, you can always make a fixture and try them in the big baffles.


We are making the assumption the sound will improve with the added bass, but despite that it might not. I thought "IF, I could only have one pair", I would probably do just that, but now I realize it could be a trick. I would need to hear the two side by side or in back to back sessions and see what jumps out as the trade-offs in both configurations because it's possible that for whatever reason I might like the sound better from the smaller baffles do to the proportioning accuracy with the main driver.  

And the reality is that the F15 loaded Big Betsy has the hit that nothing else, not even other 15 inch drivers can match. It's that hit and even keeled midrange that I love about it. It makes classic rock sound like we all remember it, so again, I would loose that even if the Crystal 10 was in a bigger baffle.  That's what I mean, you will have to have both.  Personally, I would take all the other speakers out of the room before I choose between one or the other of these insane baffles!

One thing I did actually do as an experiment with the Caintuck Audio Betsy Alnico baffles was to use the F15 in the Big Betsy as bass augmentation crossed over at 90Hz driven in parallel by the same amplifier. It worked really well (really well). So a similar thing could be done with these if you were so motivated.


Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #467 - 08/12/19 at 02:17:17
 

Right now I am listening to Sweet Pain by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook and the bass could be mistaken for the Big Betsy bass.  Amazing!  Fun to see the speakers slowly release their secret sound as they loosen up and develop more bass.  At this level I am MORE than impressed and pleased.  I'll be damn, it's just hard to believe.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #468 - 08/12/19 at 02:47:54
 

OK, someone's messing with me.  Listening to Luca Stricagnoli - Snow (Hey Oh) and the bass is ... crap it sounds like the Big Betsy's are hooked up.  I am catching myself looking in there as if somehow one of these glances the Big Betsys will be hooked up explaining what I hear and then somehow rationalizing the memory loss of having switched the speakers, but no, they just set there like in the picture.  Holy hell, these things really do hit.  Now I feel embarrassed for doubting the baffle size.  It sounds just like the Big Betsys in the bass but with a words can't describe it sounding everything else.  

I don't know how it's doing it, but this is just over the top.  Rainfall - Adrian Bellue. Where is all this weight coming from?  Ahh ha, it was the ZROCK2.  A nice performance without it, but much drier sounding.  Man, the resolution of these speakers is magnifying the effect of the ZROCK2 midrange healing powers a lot!  But also the bass is just insanely good and serious.

Imaging is fantastic.  A beautiful large sound stage being painted by Luna - Sergio Altamura as the sound finds the boundaries of the recording space.  The room sounds as beautiful as the guitar.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #469 - 08/12/19 at 14:01:17
 
Well, day 2 of listening to Steve/Randy’s triple Bs.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I am hearing/feeling.  I listened to that guitar music playlist I posted above (added Steve’s track – thank you).  I only had 35 minutes but it took all of about 5 for me to get in the zone.

My kid played in a battle of the bands last night.  Bad room/bad sound, but what I came away with was how the sound resonated in my chest.  I measured the sound levels and they were consistently over 94db.  I am getting a less intense version of that feeling with these baffles and I am in the 80db range.

What’s also weird is that the music is clearly within the sound stage, but I can feel the resonance from all over the room.  That leads me back to the comment Steve made about the panel being a transducer.  So I guess my conclusion is that you want a stiff baffle, but definitely not deadened.  Maybe if there is an offensive frequency or something, but overall, I think you want to ride the wave.

Which then lead me to thinking about baffle thickness.  Maybe there is an optimal thickness for this transducer?  Randy uses ¾”.  Is that due to practicality of shipping, wood availability?

All I have is my experience with the PAP OB project.  ¾” Baltic seemed too thin to me and possibly too high pitched, 1.5” MDF seemed too thick and sluggish.  I don’t recall getting this sensation with 1.5” Baltic.  So I am thinking its hardwood, but the right thickness is yet to be determined.

Random thoughts but this speaker challenges you to think differently about sound reproduction.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #470 - 08/12/19 at 15:19:47
 


Quote:
Which then lead me to thinking about baffle thickness.  Maybe there is an optimal thickness for this transducer?  Randy uses ¾”.  Is that due to practicality of shipping, wood availability?


Hi Pal,

Yes to all of the above .....

While I am a big fan of my low profile baffles for a variety of reasons, the availability of 3/4" stock is a primary reason.
It also holds down shipping and build costs for speakers that are intended to be affordable for most music lovers.

I know for a fact that "everything" makes a difference in speaker construction ..... and thicker baffles certainly have an effect on the sound, but my guess is that it makes a much larger difference in baffles that are larger than the ones I am building.

It will be very, very interesting to compare the sound of the various baffles that will be available at Decware Fest 2019 .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #471 - 08/12/19 at 15:33:52
 
It sure is looking like there will be some great “Takeaways” from DECFEST this year, particularly if a few builders show up with baffles they have made. Can’t wait to see what results from all this,  very exciting stuff I think.
Scott
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #472 - 08/12/19 at 15:36:23
 
That could be very cool.  

I'll take my direction from Steve.  I have brought speakers/equipment in the past and its lead to a bit of a cluster.  

I will definitely be able to say that BBBs or MBB provide the effect I am describing.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #473 - 08/12/19 at 15:39:30
 
@ZDubzNC

Could you please email me? StephenLKearney at gmail.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #474 - 08/12/19 at 16:31:47
 
Pal,  I'm leaning in the same direction as you... I think it's hardwood that makes it happen the most, and I believe the thickness should be determined by the height and width of the baffle. The Big Betsy Baffles are 1-3/4 while the Crystal 10 baffle is 1-1/2. My gut feeling is that had I made the smaller Crystal 10 baffle 1-3/4 it would not work as well.

I suspect that you will know after you listen to my Big Betsy if there is a difference worth chasing. Problem is you won't know if it's the difference in thickness, or the high mass bass the baffle is secured to, (or both).  But the main thing is you will know if they sound a lot different or not and that is the first step. If they sound basically the same then we'll know it must be pretty forgiving.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #475 - 08/12/19 at 17:11:20
 
When I first brought the wood home I thought this stuff is going to ring like a bell.  Then I felt the baffles when I was first listening and thought, well, maybe not.  I have a stethoscope and a sweep pattern, but I don't think I have control over how fast or slow that sweep plays.  I'll have to look into it.

Another thing I meant to mention as far a a build tip is concerned...start with new, good quality, router bits if you can.  This hardwood completely dulled two separate bits.  Granted they were off the shelf Ryobi, but the oak destroyed them.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #476 - 08/12/19 at 17:13:53
 
I'm almost on pins and needles over the F15 vs CR10 comparison.  If one is the clear "winner" than I might be looking at another baffle build to fine tune or change over.  Some of my early questions are regarding the use of the ZROCK2.  How they both compare with and without.  And how the CR10 does with a different amp.  I'm assuming, Steve, that you are using the Zen-25 right now for the CR10.  I wonder how they will do with more power and whether other amps can control the bass.

My brass weights are due today so I'll see what an additional 14 lbs per baffle, strategically place on the back, does to the sound.  I already know what the weight will do to my ability to lift these beasts!
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #477 - 08/12/19 at 17:17:57
 
Archie, do you feel this wave of energy that we are talking about?  

I swear I have never felt this before with any other speaker.  Maybe its like an electrostatic speaker, but I don't remember those speakers well.  Its been a few years.  Those should theoretically provide a wave of energy.

Maybe its because I am in such close proximity to the baffles?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #478 - 08/12/19 at 17:49:11
 
I can't say yes or no.  These are a very different sensation than my other speakers, including the radial HR1s.  My experience isn't so much physical as mental/aural.  I "see" the music laid out in front of me almost like each piece has a vertical and horizontal position.  I can go more into the music like the tesseract in the movie Interstellar.  This might be your normal given your treated room but for me, the last time I heard it like this was in the early 80s and I had some help form an "outside influence."   Wink
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #479 - 08/13/19 at 01:32:44
 
I installed the brass weights using the 3/5, 2/5 rule.  They are a bit less than 3 1/4 lb each, so a total of 13 lbs per baffle.  I've spent the last couple of hours listening to music I've listened to already with the "stock" baffles and while subtle, I think I'm getting more focussed sound and better "hit."  I don't know the real definition of "hit" but I'm calling the relative decay of sound a measure of "hit."  The impacts of a drum that should decay almost immediately now seem to hit me like a sharp blow.  In fact, I can feel the impact.  I haven't done much with a stethoscope but there seems to be much less vibration in the baffle.  I think this would be consistent with what I've already written.  Keep in mind, I spent about $155 and my time on these weights so I could also be in placebo land.  Certainly, the sound has not degraded in anyway and I did not identify any real weakness before.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #480 - 08/13/19 at 01:34:00
 
Closeup of a typical weight.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #481 - 08/13/19 at 01:36:04
 
Blanks of brass before drilling and countersinking.  I prepped them by taking the hard edges off and lightly sanding on emery cloth and a little buffing with coarse steel wool.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #482 - 08/13/19 at 01:49:20
 
Folks, anybody installed Big Betsy's these on speaker spikes? The reason I am asking is because the large front face presented by these OB speakers would be prone to cause the speaker structure as a whole to vibrate and move (micro movements) and spikes might help in anchoring the speaker preventing lateral and transvers micro movements. My feeling is better anchoring will help in making bass tight and improve punch.

Additionally I think that adding brass weights to the back of the these thick rigid baffles is not going to help damp resonances as in the case of the flexible diaphragm test in the video in a post before (the one with sugar sprinkled on a vibrating surface at different frequencies). In that case the diaphragms were chosen because they gave the right amount of flexibility which was needed at the large diaphragm was the main source of sound production. the down side of this flexibility was there were multiple resonant frequency introduced that needed to be damped by strategic weight placement. In the rigid Betsy baffles the sound's origin is mainly the driver directly and less from direct reflections from the baffles surface and the primary purpose of the baffle is in isolating the front sound waves from those emanating from the back (due to the lack of an enclosure). In fact mental modeling suggest that in a rigid baffle the brass weights might if place high up might cause a upside down pendulum effect exacerbating the vibrations .
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #483 - 08/13/19 at 02:19:12
 
Good questions and hard to answer.  In my case, I'm not about to spike my 75 lb+ speakers to my finished wood floor for aesthetic reasons.  Also, my observation, in my place, is that when speakers couple to the floor, I get bloated, muddled bass since my floor is "untuned," if tuning is even possible.  I took exactly the opposite approach and isolated them.  I'm not 100% sure this improved things but it didn't seem to hurt either.  I'm going with the theory that the high inertia will hinder micro-movement -- short of some resonance overcoming the inertia.

As far as the weights' effect, my idea isn't that they damp resonance (they are strongly coupled to the baffles) but rather they breakup resonance by scrambling the apparent stiffness of the baffle (hence the 2/5, 3/5 and 20% to 25% of baffle mass).  With my investigation using test tones and a stethoscope, while far from comprehensive, I did find spots of higher frequency response.  My hope is that the "semi random" variations in stiffness caused by the weights will break these up.

These baffles are too complex and cumbersome for me to do much detailed experimentation but I'm pretty sure that if I haven't made things better, I also haven't made things worse.  More time might tell.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #484 - 08/13/19 at 02:44:44
 
I get it, also important folks in one's household might not appreciate dibs in the hardwood flooring.

I was only pointing out the sonic benefits leaving everything else because even enclosed speakers with much less of a front surface area and weighing more with 5 to 6 drivers and thick all round enclosure have spikes for this reason.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #485 - 08/13/19 at 03:02:04
 
Mine are just sitting on carpet over cement floor (basement).  At
this point I’ll add the handles and listen for a while before I decide if I’ll do anything else to them.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #486 - 08/13/19 at 03:11:19
 

I have some beautiful spikes for the Big Betsy Baffles I built, but will wait until after this years DECFEST2019 to try them out. They have balls on the tips instead of sharp points that I am certain will do a better job on my floor. I am on a concrete floor with padded carpet and personally I like as much energy in the floor as possible so long as it is congruent with the source.

I don't know what to expect from spiking it because the mass of these things is so great and the focus seems quite good. There will absolutely be a significant change in sound I predict because instead of energy being stored in the bass and becoming scalar against incoming energy, the spikes will drain the energy into the concrete and earth under that. I will be stunned if I don't hear a difference, but I have no idea at this point which will actually sound better. Don't worry I'll let you know this fall when it happens.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #487 - 08/13/19 at 03:22:49
 

Archie, I love the brass weights and the placement even randomly would help to de-tune (widen the Q) of the baffle giving it a more relaxed sound with improved clarity.  At least that's the logical conclusion.  Should have stopped with one and then A/B the two speakers against each other to hear if there is an effect on music, but having a frequency generator app on a smart phone or tablet could also easily reveal any differences.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #488 - 08/13/19 at 03:35:28
 
Sorry folks....slow typer...and found several responses as I posted...anyway...

Archie,

I guess it all depends on a lot of things, and it sounds like the wild card of the baffles being an aspect of the transducer presents interesting challenges... shape, mass, thickness, weight...all being players makes sense.

Here, with my brick on sand floors and HR-1s, I tried heavy spikes, and smaller spikes, direct on the floor, and on those little spike protectors, and these were my least favorite feet. They were better than none, but relatively speaking sort of crude and rigid sounding. Then I tired Herbie's gliders and found them to be too damping for my tastes, but better at nuance and fine detail. With a few modifications those got pretty good though...more complete, more nuanced.

Finally I got tired of the "sound" from over-damping (to me), and got some ingress audio threaded, spun aluminum feet with highly polished seats and bearings. I added some relatively rigid sound damping material under them (sound coat) and the sound is quite neutral to me, more articulate, improved bass articulation, more refined and complex timbre, and quite nuanced while not sensing veils. Pretty "right" to me. Limited experience and conditions, but I don't think about changing feet anymore.

I believed you when you said this: "I spent part of the day building isolation platforms for my Big Betsys.  I had do do a "template" base first to fine tune the position of the springs so the things would sit without a tilt.  I'm going to say that isolation was a big success.  Bass is tighter and much less distorted at high volume."

This fits my experience with your springed platform under my CSP3...with a little extra damping feet added, it seems quite balanced and effective to me...I suppose as much as any component foot I have tried. I seem to recall it was close to my favorite of that time, Madscientists best feet (then) under my Torii.

All in all, I seem to be in agreement with you, that I like isolation better than direct coupling, and like a little damping with it, but not much.

I look forward to hearing more on these great baffle experiments and solutions. I seem to be closing in on what may be a good design for a 10" driver, using ideas from this thread and playing with adjustments to better fit my space and room aesthetic.

Thanks to all for this cool thread.

Will
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #489 - 08/13/19 at 03:38:27
 
Just feel those 15 inch drivers and long throw drivers on the BB's would move a bit of air and that perhaps spikes would help the cause. A wee bit air pressure translates into quite a large force when that pressure acts on a large surface area.

Picture of spike pokes on my hardwood. Originally the spikes were on special tips that came with the speakers that protect the hardwood, until one fine day I decided to try the speakers without them. Bad idea, could not go back to the protection tips since I found bass was more impactful and clean. See not suggesting anything I would not do and have experienced myself.  
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #490 - 08/13/19 at 04:22:54
 

With regard to the differences between the two and how the ZROCK2 plays into it...

The Crystal 10 in the smaller baffle with a ZROCK2 sounds similar to the Big Betsy without a ZROCK2, as predicted by the difference in baffle size and QTS differences in the drivers.

Also the Big Betsy has more weight and hit at lower volumes than the smaller baffle with the Crystal 10 which is to say that low volume listening is better served by the Big Betsy / F15 combo. Naturally if we were running the Crystal 10 in a cabinet instead of an open baffle this would not be the case, it is just the side effect of using a driver with a lower QTS than would be ideal for open baffle use.

Interestingly the tape machines and vinyl rig which are not ZROCKED have a similar density and weight as though they were.

So we're into night two with these speakers and I have my guard up this time and feeling extra critical and picky... what I'm finding is that the gap between good and mediocre recordings is doubled. The good recordings are simply fantastic if not euphoric. They take you where no-one has gone before and like your favorite amusement park ride when you were a kid, you don't want it to stop.

The biggest thrill is that like I had hoped, they have the ability to accelerate and extend high frequency presence like the 8 inch Betsy Alnico drivers used in Randy of Caintuck Audios baffles, but have the efficiency of the Big Betsy and about 72% of the slam which is enough to make someone equally impressed with a 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier on either speaker.  What the Crystal 10 doesn't have in low end slam in these baffles it makes up for in uncanny 8G acceleration into each dynamic that can make close miked acoustic guitar music literally levitate you above your chair.

It has the same Big Betsy energy once you turn it up that has been described here in recent weeks, if not more of it which really lends a tactful experience usually reserved for live music. This kind of energy is easily dulled by unnecessary complexity of which there is none in this set up so everything lights up pretty good including your own body.  

It's just such a game changer to have a crossover-less speaker that's 100dB with body and weight to let our 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifiers actually outperform our larger push pull somewhat legendary amplifiers.  I mean with these speakers the need for a larger amplifier to give you the ability to turn it up louder is eliminated. These speakers paired with our 2 watt Zen Triodes outperform our 94dB DNA2 speakers paired with a TORII MK4 / 25 watt amplifier. It's just such a thrill to get to this level with the 2 watt amps because as we have always known, they actually hit harder than the push pull.

Welcome to the upside-down world of Decware where everything seems backwards when you come from the main stream audio market. And the best part is that it doesn't seem backwards and then in the end prove to have been a bunch of bullshit, instead it seems backwards because it's actually forwards and everything else is backwards. Yes, it's a narrow tunnel leading away from the masses but once you get infected with our passion and insights you'll be empowered to achieve the sound you've always dreamed of in a way that you can financially justify and still afford to feed a friend.

Steve









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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #491 - 08/13/19 at 05:19:28
 

Presently listening to 'Skylark' by Jacintha - Autumn Leaves(The Songs of Johnny Mercer) on the Crystal 10 Big Baffles and really think this is a new reference. I've never heard it sound better than this on any of our other speakers and I always forget it's only a two watt amp. It sounds like 200 watts.

... the naturalness of this combination is just so believable that in a decent listening room it will sound completely real on these speakers.  Interestingly it will sound completely real on a number of lesser speakers also. The trick is your perspective or reference. I thought the same thing about my favorite DNA2 speakers which I love, but these sound twice as real, so there you go. I always considered the DNA2's an industry slayer.  Something that would embarrass most hi-fi speakers in the 2500-7500.00 retail range without challenge, and higher in most cases for a number of reasons yet 6dB of honest gain across the range is 4 times the power, there is just no contest when you can hold it together at that level of efficiency.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #492 - 08/13/19 at 05:46:00
 

Quote:
While I am a big fan of my low profile baffles for a variety of reasons, the availability of 3/4" stock is a primary reason.
It also holds down shipping and build costs for speakers that are intended to be affordable for most music lovers.

I know for a fact that "everything" makes a difference in speaker construction ..... and thicker baffles certainly have an effect on the sound, but my guess is that it makes a much larger difference in baffles that are larger than the ones I am building.

It will be very, very interesting to compare the sound of the various baffles that will be available at Decware Fest 2019 .....  

Best wishes,
Randy


Randy, when I scaled your design up to create the Big Betsy, I though the super thick giant mass of hardwood would be like a concrete wall, nearly inert. What I found is that when I wrapped my knuckles on it in the same places as yours, it sounded exactly the same, as though the pitch was nearly matched.  Not higher, not lower.  That suggests to me that if you made your present size baffle double thick it may well not sound as good.  You had to know that the Audio Gods would at some point get bored with me and eventually find similar soles with the same vibration to whisper things to!  It's kind of a trip that they whispered through me to you, and then through you back to me again and here were are enjoying some amazing results.  While I'm sure that everyone at the fest will be impressed with the Big Betsy, I wouldn't get off of one for anything less than 7 grand plus frieght, and that's just a low estimate.  Similar with the Crystal 10 baffles.  Everyone will be stunned, especially those new to good OB designs.  But for probably most attendees it will be the trill of putting in your small 8 inch baffles that as far as I know range around $500~$1000 and after hearing the Big Betsy and thinking nothing has an open sound that images like that and then finding out the sound quality is equally good, equally big, the main difference being how loud they play.  It would be mean to let everyone hear the Big Betsy speakers without being able to take a piece of it home for less than the price of most cables!

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #493 - 08/13/19 at 14:07:13
 
I always have big plans for Decfest but usually I end up spending a lot of time just sitting on the couch like a blob swilling beer or off talking to someone. But this year I really want to learn about a few things.

Given that I will not always have a dedicated listening room, I’m interested in seeing what alternatives to the big Betsy’s there are.  Can you capture a significant portion of what I am getting now in a smaller package?

Sidebar: My wife comes down to the listening room on Sunday, sees the BBBs and starts snapping pictures.  I say “what the hell are you doing?”  She starts laughing and says, “my brothers and sisters have GOT to see this!”  Nice.

So, in no particular order:

1.      Betsy Alnico in Randy’s baffles
2.      F15 in Randy’s baffles
3.      ZR2 impact on the BBB/F15 sound
4.      Crystal 10…more detail?  Better sound?  Is there enough bass?
5.      Steve’s BBBs – is more wood/weight the ticket?

There will probably be a few others that I will think of.

My room is smaller, but yesterday I decided to crank the BBBs up.  I got it to peaks of 96db and thought maybe, I was seeing the VR tubes flicker al little.  I couldn't really hear any breakup so I got up and looked at the meters.  Barely dancing.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #494 - 08/13/19 at 15:18:52
 


Steve wrote .....

Quote:
While I'm sure that everyone at the fest will be impressed with the Big Betsy, I wouldn't get off of one for anything less than 7 grand plus frieght, and that's just a low estimate.  Similar with the Crystal 10 baffles.


Hi Steve,

I'm still hoping that you offer these as part of your lineup .....

While I am very comfortable with the segment of the market that has worked for me since 2015, I know that there is a market out there that has deep pockets and is willing to dig into those pockets to satisfy their "audio sweet tooth".

On a pretty regular basis, I get emails requests to make larger open baffle speakers and I would much prefer recommending the BIG BETSY baffles rather than sending them the link to the Pure Audio Project website .....

I also find it interesting that the Betsy baffles are listed in the 2016 Stereo Times "Most Wanted Components" list ..... and there is a pair of speakers in that list that retails for $ 225,000.00 - 250,000.00 ..... so the BIG BETSY baffles would actually be a bargain.

The link can be seen here.

I'm on the same page with Palomino and am very much looking forward to checking out all of my speaker versions with a ZR2 at the Decware Fest in October.

Best wishes,
Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #495 - 08/13/19 at 15:20:44
 
Randy, will you be bringing a Betsy F15 set of speakers?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #496 - 08/13/19 at 15:27:36
 


Hi Pal,

Yes I will ..... Steve already has a pair of original Betsy baffles and a pair of alnico baffles on site, so the Lii 15 baffles are the only thing I will need to bring.

Looking forward to seeing you,
Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #497 - 08/13/19 at 15:58:18
 

Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #494 - Today at 10:18am  

Steve wrote .....

Quote:
While I'm sure that everyone at the fest will be impressed with the Big Betsy, I wouldn't get off of one for anything less than 7 grand plus frieght, and that's just a low estimate.  Similar with the Crystal 10 baffles.

Hi Steve,
I'm still hoping that you offer these as part of your lineup .....  


Yep👍🏼, I don’t have those deep pockets, but I agree.
Scott
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #498 - 08/13/19 at 16:55:13
 
Quote:
Archie, I love the brass weights and the placement even randomly would help to de-tune (widen the Q) of the baffle giving it a more relaxed sound with improved clarity.  At least that's the logical conclusion.  Should have stopped with one and then A/B the two speakers against each other to hear if there is an effect on music, but having a frequency generator app on a smartphone or tablet could also easily reveal any differences.

Steve



When I said in an earlier post that my test facility was primitive, I wasn't exaggerating, I don't even own a smart phone!

The weights come off with a single screw and I did pull them briefly to double check something and for me, their effect is subtle.  I highly doubt I'd hear a difference with just a single weight.  I tried weights on just one baffle and I couldn't hear a difference between them but a "stereo" test really wasn't a good test.  I'm too impatient for systematic testing anyway.  I'll just go along listening to music and sort of notice changes.  The weights do look cool though and like I knew what I was doing.   Grin

I know we've discussed the question of speaker isolation in other parts of this Forum and the question always gets mixed answers depending on individual experience with our rooms, speakers, floor construction, etc.  As is apparent from some of the pictures I posted, I have a LIVING room for a listening room.  That giant wood stove between my speakers is kind of important in the winter but I'm sure it isn't great for my sound (although I don't "hear" it).

Steve mentioned how the CR-10s widen the gap between well recorded music and so so music and the F15s show this as well.  Every once in a while I wonder what's happened to the magic and think that I've imagined how good the BBs sound.  I think it's also that we get used to the new higher level very quickly.  I've never spent so much time just sitting listening.  It's so enjoyable compared to what I had before -- which arguably, was very good.

Even if $7K + freight is really what these would sell for, the price is justified by the music that they make.


Will, I'm glad that you like that platform.  With a bit of refining, they do what they are designed to do.  But the "sound" result isn't guaranteed.   Smiley
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #499 - 08/13/19 at 17:07:14
 
Oh, regarding my experience with the ZR2 and BBs, when I do bypass (and give myself a minute to adjust) the resulting sound is very pleasant and one I could easily live with if I had nothing else to compare to -- Steve's "ignorance is bliss" thing.  But the ZR2 fills in all of the "empty places" and puts more meat on the bones, so to speak.  For me an analogy of the bypassed sound would be a gorgeous woman but one who's too skinny.   Wink
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