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Steve's BIG BETSY Project (Read 58009 times)
deucekazoo
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #50 - 07/11/19 at 14:13:38
 
Steve, those look awesome!!! Can't wait to hear them at Decfest.
I wonder if you could add one of Randy's planar tweeters to those to extend the highs a little.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #51 - 07/11/19 at 17:15:07
 
Steve,
Do you believe that more mass in a open baffle is a good thing?
The ones that I made are HEAVY, but I have heard others say that it didn't matter.
What's your take?
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #52 - 07/11/19 at 18:08:46
 
Ahh... the age old debate Mr. Donnie.  

Does size matter?  Or is it how it's used?  ;)
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #53 - 07/11/19 at 18:14:52
 
Like Jeff said:
Damn Steve...

There is no truth to the old saying, “let sleeping dogs lie”!
All I have to do is move a few plants and there is room for those absolutely stunning speakers, I have no doubt they are all you say and then some. Very cool.

It truly never will end will it?

Best Scott
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #54 - 07/11/19 at 23:01:41
 

Quote:
Steve,
Do you believe that more mass in a open baffle is a good thing?
The ones that I made are HEAVY, but I have heard others say that it didn't matter.
What's your take?


In a word yes.  

Mass and stiffness seem to be the key interrelated ingredients.  Remember, in a baffle like this, the speaker and baffle are one.  Sound projects off the baffle in the shape of the baffle both front and rear.  It is not projecting like a flashlight beam from the speaker cone, the energy is already in the wood before the wave is launched, it therefor launches from the wood and the cone.

Those who say it doesn't matter are correct because everything is relative.  When you don't have the money or time to go with high mass, then you don't hear high mass and conveniently high mass doesn't matter.  Once they hear a high mass copy of a low mass speaker, then suddenly it will matter... ignorance is bliss in this hobby as we all know.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #55 - 07/12/19 at 01:44:05
 
Ignorance is one of my specialties!
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #56 - 07/12/19 at 05:25:51
 
Ignorance is the realization of all possibilities.  It is unbound by knowing.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #57 - 07/12/19 at 06:26:02
 

Quote:
Like Jeff said:
Damn Steve...

There is no truth to the old saying, “let sleeping dogs lie”!
All I have to do is move a few plants and there is room for those absolutely stunning speakers, I have no doubt they are all you say and then some. Very cool.

It truly never will end will it?

Best Scott


Hehe... no Scott it never ends, thankfully.  The key to getting through the journey without financial ruin is  A) have gear that sounds so good you don't really care if you do or not.  That way there is no real pain in going without.

Tonight I watched the High End Munich Video on Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58Dt0CM-6Uk&feature=youtu.be&t=79 and played the recordings I heard on this system and I realize that the Audio Gods have taken a real favor to Randy with this design because what I am hearing from these large Betsy's are making the video sound rather stupid, and we're still on 2 watts.  I have not heard the speakers on anything more than the 2 watt Zen Triode amplifiers so far.  

As Bob Ziegler, the other ear in the Decware trifecta of straight shooters will recall, the loudest we ever got anything in this room without distortion was with the legendary corner horns driven with the secret Decware OTL amplifier which was basically 20 watts of 6C33C SRPP amplification that I decided was too esoteric and expensive to add to the Decware line.  It was an ass kicker, remember Bob?

Believe it or not these damn baffles with a 2 watt Zen Triode are actually just outperforming that, by about 30% I would say.  I'm afraid to put more power on them because I might get to a nirvana that makes anything less taste like McDonnalds.

In fact, Bob, imagine 4 DNA2 speakers side by side on each channel with the Zen Mystery Amp driving them at full tilt... this probably doesn't go as low, but so far I have not heard anything that would suggest it didn't.  I listened to the famous Halucianenic hippo track from Randy's demo disc and I actually nearly mirrored the performance from the Imperial horns which were using 90dB woofers driven by 60 watt Zen Torii Monoblocks.  

I'm sorry to be so chatty about these speakers, but I'm just trying to capture my mind getting blown in real time and we're at the full burn-in point with these on a well seasoned amplifier, so it is possible to start getting really serious about what they can do well and what if anything they lack, which I already know is nothing.  As I mentioned before, they bring the performance to your listening room with such a live dense presence that you have no idea what the actual recording venue sounded like.  The original small Betsy's in contrast do the opposite which is to transport you to the the venue and accurately reproduce large spaces.  

I'm really starting to wonder what a triple laminated plywood copy of these would sound like.  My guess is so similar most would say the same.  The extra perceptive would give the speed advantage to the solid hardwood, but the extra damping of the plywood or MDF could create a more relaxed sound.  I just know that if you own a low power tube or solid state amplifier, this is going to be the holy grail of bang for the buck, and isn't that ironic because that's what this baffle design has always been.  I thought Decware was the leader in that category, but Randy now sits at the top of that pile.  

All I can say is that if you watch the original Betsy Baffle video I did you can hear for yourself how seemingly impossibly good they are.  Scaled up by 800% it is literally scary.  It completely re-inforces my recommendation for the Caintuck Audio Betsy Baffles.  I think everyone should have a pair regardless of what you have now, because they will constantly challenge your indoctrinations.

Steve

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #58 - 07/12/19 at 15:11:08
 


Quote:
I realize that the Audio Gods have taken a real favor to Randy with this design because what I am hearing from these large Betsy's are making the video sound rather stupid, and we're still on 2 watts.


Steve ..... many thanks for the kind words concerning the Betsy baffles.
However, I usually chalk up any modest success I have had in my speaker building projects to the proverbial "blind squirrel finding an occasional acorn" .....

It is certainly true that since 2015 I have built literally dozens of open baffle speakers in various shapes and sizes using a variety of drivers.



The Betsy baffles that I have been offering to the public reached their current configuration based on a few things.
I found that baffles with "rounded" sides sounded consistently better to me than rectangular baffles.
Flying in the face of the "received wisdom" that a speaker driver should be at "ear level" of a seated listener, I found that a good full range driver would throw a full height stereo image with the driver much closer to the floor. An added bonus was that the proximity to the floor enhanced the lower midrange and upper bass frequencies.
A third consideration was that the speakers should be affordable, small enough to ship a pair in a single carton and reasonably attractive to fall within acceptable boundaries of the WAF.

Of course, having a pretty revealing front end and a Decware SE84UFO amplifier that images like crazy made it a lot easier to actually hear differences in the various baffle configurations .....

A couple of years ago, one of the Decware forum members (Mike - maddog07) brought a pair of Betsy baffles to the Decware Fest fitted with larger Audio Nirvana alnico drivers. I was able to hear them and was very impressed. However, these drivers alone cost about 1K a pair which is a bit above the price most of my intended customer base wants to pay ..... so I never offered them as an option.

The Lii Audio F-15 drivers are certainly cool looking and the price is attractive. I have ordered a pair and will check them out in a pair of my standard sized baffles to see how they work.

Of course, they will not make the low end and scale that the BIG BETSY baffles are creating ..... but my gut feeling is that they might be pretty "interesting" .....

So many options ..... so little time .....

Happy listening,
Randy

 
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #59 - 07/12/19 at 15:23:06
 
Randy and Steve,
Random thought just popped into my head! Is there any possibility that the "rounded" baffles behave sonicly(sp?) somewhat like the "wings" on Infinity IRS series speakers?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #60 - 07/12/19 at 17:12:47
 


Hi lazb,

Good question ..... but not being a "numbers guy", I would only be guessing at the reason they work like they do.
I'm sure that Steve is in a better position to explain the "whys and wherefores" .....

When I first started experimenting with open baffles, the only thing I knew for sure was that there was something different about the sound that I wasn't hearing from the box speakers that were in my listening room at the time. It was a "natural" sound and made me want to spend time listening to music ..... and that was enough to make me spend some time "butchering wood".

You know how this hobby is ... no matter how good something sounds, you just know that it can be improved on ...

I went through quite a few different sizes and shapes and drivers .....







The one thing that seemed to be consistent was that the baffles with the rounded (or asymmetrical) sides disappeared better both visually and sonically. They also sounded "smoother".
I remembered reading somewhere that straight edges had some disadvantages when it came to sound ..... but couldn't remember the reasoning behind it .....

Now, it could be that my conclusions were simply what I wanted to believe ..... but I don't think so. When I made the first pair of the "low boy" barrel shaped baffles, all of the other baffles I had made went in the scrap heap, and I never looked back.

Truthfully, some of the speakers in the photos above sounded pretty good ..... but some of the drivers used and the way they were built would have been a nightmare to make and ship.

Simplicity can be a very good thing .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #61 - 07/12/19 at 18:07:49
 
I do wonder about the asymmetrical loading of the drivers?
My OB's have the full range driver offset 1/3 over and are also not in the center of the radius of the baffle, it is not centered on purpose.
I did it because I read that it would help the driver from "beaming"
They seem to sound pretty OK in my room.


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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #62 - 07/12/19 at 21:29:59
 
At about 28 minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEh01PX-q9I

He talks about wood vibrations and density and does some tests and then provides a solution with a vibration absorbing compound Decidamp.

Would this be effective as an adhesive for a multilayor baffle sandwitch?

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #63 - 07/12/19 at 23:54:07
 
I gotta hear these things Steve - they look fantastic!

there is research out there that lends credence to the shape of Randy's baffles.  On first thought, one might think "round" would be good - research shows that "round" is actually one of the worst shapes for OB.  "Irregular" baffle shapes are theoretically the best acoustically.  The same research tends to support mounting the driver "not in the center" of the baffle either.

For my regular Betsy Baffle "kit" that I got from Randy, I modified the baffle base so that it tilts the main baffle back about 15 degrees.  And I added a brace that runs vertically from the top of the base to the top of the baffle, right in the middle, with a half-circle cutout for the back of the Betsy frame and magnet.  This brace is rigidly attached to the middle of the back of the baffle, except for where the Betsy protrudes out the back.  I tend to be a little anal about "mass" and rigidity and thought they needed something...  The wood back brace is 1" think material. Did this make an audible difference?  Who knows, I didn't try them without it.  I just sleep better at night knowing it's there.  And they sound wonderful.  I also had a pair of 945's.  I compared the 945's to the Betsy's a few times.  What I heard, was not what I expected.  To my aging ears, which I'm certain wouldn't reach 15khz in a test, the Betsy's and 945's sounded more alike than different.

With my custom Hawthorne Audio Trio's, which use "mounting plates" to decouple and attach the actual drivers to the main baffle... I have made numerous mounting plates that allow me to use a multitude of full-range mid/hi drivers with the main Hawthorne Trio baffle which has two 15" Augie bass drivers per baffle - four total for the pair. (one 15" at the top, one at the bottom and the full-ranger in the middle).  I have never heard more real, more natural sounding bass.  And there is absolutely no issue with "quantity".  This setup pressurizes the room like nothing I've ever owned or heard.  I think I could lift the house off the foundation with enough volume.  They are more than capable of giving you a "gut massage" in terms of quantity.  They have "bass you can feel" even at low volumes.. just like sitting in the first few rows of a jazz or blues club.
To date, I have ran an Audio Nirvana 15" cast frame ferrite full-ranger in these, an Audio Nirvana 12" cast frame Alnico driver, and been quite pleased.  I just completed mounting plates to run a pair of Betsy W.O.W. drivers paired with Dayton AMT's like Randy demo'd at Decfest in 2017 to run in the center position of the Trio OB's.  I haven't actually put them in the Trio's yet, but I'm expecting "good things" from this configuration.

This thread is putting ideas in my head - not always a good thing.  I have never tried running one of the Augie bass drivers off the same amp as the full-ranger(I use a Torii).  The Audio Nirvana drivers are really efficient... way more than standard Betsy's.  I've never measured them, but I have had the Betsy's and AN's side-by-side and switched back and forth and you have to adjust the volume control significantly.  More volume for Betsy's, less for AN's.
The Augie's have a stated sensitivity of 89db 1w/1m if memory serves.  I don't think one could run an Augie and any of the full-rangers I have tried off the same amp - that's just speculation.  I should probably try it and see.

so many ideas, things to try, experiments - so little time.  Thankfully retirement is approaching - I'm going to be busy for at least a couple of years....  Steve I envy you so much - you have no idea - making a living doing something you love and truly enjoy - that is a blessing my friend - a true blessing.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #64 - 07/13/19 at 00:35:18
 

With regards to the baffle sandwich:  On the Betsy Baffle design, the driver is screwed directly to the wood baffle.  The baffle is energized and becomes a sound transducer.  When I scaled it up for the Big Betsy, I expected with all the additional mass that I wouldn't feel much energy in the baffle.  I was wrong, the amount of energy was exactly the same as the smaller Betsy, and interestingly the pitch was about the same, not lower on the larger baffle as I expected.  This made me realize that probably the last thing that I would want to do is create a co-mass-layer-damped lamination that was inert.  Nevertheless it would be fun to do it anyway and put the two approaches side by side and see what the effect on the sound  actually is.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #65 - 07/13/19 at 01:26:57
 
Giving demos all day today, still at it.  The Big Betsy is just wrecking everything...  Make sure not to play these if someone is interested in any other speakers.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #66 - 07/13/19 at 04:03:05
 
Watching the two gentlemen here tonight listening to the Baffles is like watching a video of myself going through the mind melt... it's a nice conformation.  My advise is do not attend DECFEST 2019 because it will upset your apple cart.

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #67 - 07/13/19 at 04:30:49
 
Yea, ...they'll never be the same again.

After awhile we put the ZKIT60 in and cranked things up a notch. I gained a new appreciation for this amplifier. Guaranteed there is no better sounding 60 watt amplifier made for 800.00 on the planet. You can put my name on that.

It wrecked them really bad and impressed the crap out me as well... great job Dan!

Then as the final lesson for the night, being solid state guys, I told them that some tube gear actually hits a lot harder than solid state, and after hearing the ZKIT60 they simply couldn't believe it.

Up came the Zen Mystery Amp.  Only 40 watts, but it simply hammered it. They were literally stunned. I know they're talking about it right now on the long drive home.

It was the first time I heard the Big Betsy on anything more than 2 watts and I was extremely pleased at how well they deal with power. Never does the room become compressed, and OMG the hit is just insane.

That said, and as I pointed out, the difference in performance between the two amps was about 20%.  However the difference in price was 7.5 times as much!   $800 vs. $6000 so the clear winner in that equation is the ZKIT60.  Perhaps the all time king of diminishing returns, which btw, is why we carry it.  If you want power that sound like Decware tube gear, but don't have the bread for it, this IS your answer, trust me.

And these damn speakers -- are another UFO25... When the two are paired together it is to put it mildly, memorable. This is the kamasutra of audio, no question about it!

And here's the best part!!! Speakers are too heavy to beam up so those UFO's in the videos are going to have to come up with a new strategy!


In all honesty, after 30 years of doing this, and walking through many hi-end shows with X-RAY vision, I never dreamed a stereo could sound like this, or much less that it would be mine.  God I love my job!

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #68 - 07/13/19 at 06:03:50
 

I have to say this, because it's true.  We listened to the bookshelf speakers, the DNA2's and the Big Betsy's.

Before any of that -- these two walked in on Randy's Hallucinogenic Hungry Hippo demo track with the worlds lowest textured bass. It was playing on the Zen TORII Mono's driving the ZOB's and Imperial SO horns... you know, the epic demo of the 2018 DECFEST. If that's not setting the bar rather high... before a listening session even begins...

Anyway, we started with the UFO25 driving the DM945's which sounded great, even after the Hippo demo, and they were both pleased. Problem was, the song selection was grade B recordings streamed on demand as they asked for them.  Despite that the speakers and amp still sounded good.  After about 10 minutes (all telling secret numbers) they requested the 100dB speakers I spoke of.  That was at 5:00 P.M. Four hours later they wanted to hear the DNA2's. Now get this...  1 minute 45 seconds and the request was made to put back on the Big Betsy. And I have to agree, while the DNA2 was silky and exquisite sounding, the Big Betsy spanked its ass so hard it was like a toy.  Almost embarrassing.  

Also of noteworthiness is the fact that these two are seasoned veterans who take audio so seriously they have 6 different pressings of the better LP's in their collection. And they of course brought them. And we of course played them.

Probably the highlight of the evening was during the ZKIT60 demo. I had my digital feed, complete with ZROCK2 going into the ZKIT60 and we started listening to some BORRIS BLANK aka YELLO tracks that really flex a soundstage with deep dynamics and it was SOOO good.  Then I got a rare pressing of the same thing out and put it on the turntable, and literally the difference was a 353% improvement. Holy hell did it have some slam... so dense and liquid. This fried everyones mind pretty hard. The source is what you hear.

So another fun evening.  Also the AC broke down on Monday, the repair crew was here all day today during the demo installing a new unit and everyone had sweat dripping off them for over four hours but we were all so distracted by the euphoric sound that we forgot we were hot.

Now that it's hooked up, I am spending the evening listening to these speakers on the ZMA with anniversary mods. I have it turned up as loud as I can really handle it and I can say that the Zen Triode Anniversary amp at 2 watts hits harder and gets just as loud with these magical 100+ dB speakers. Power wise you can not tell any difference between the two amplifiers except for the hit, which against all reason the single-ended amp with 2 watts is hitting harder making it sound like it has more power. I'm not kidding folks.

I'm setting here right now listening to the speakers on 40 watts and it brings absolutely nothing to the table over the 2 watts. It's a completely different story however on 94dB speakers. With those I was always on the fence, 50/50. And that's not completely true... I would gravitate towards the 40 watt because of the majestic headroom it had and the ability to turn the music up really loud without tanking the sound. But now, with these 100dB+ speakers that have BONE CRUSHING CLEAN BASS it just completely illustrates that low-power high-efficiency is the holy grail in audio reproduction. Especially and perhaps exclusively only when it is a true full-range, single-driver, crossover-less point-source. This is something that almost no main-stream hi-fi speakers qualify for.  

I'm now thinking perhaps an appropriate name for these baffles would be the Big Fun Baffles!

Steve






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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #69 - 07/13/19 at 15:17:45
 
Mr Steve,
Did you do any trials with the Seeburg drivers and the Betsy, or just scrapped the idea ?

Just wondering, I have a set of the same 15" Utah drivers, That have never found a home.


Tom in Lafayette
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #70 - 07/15/19 at 03:07:21
 
I can't add anything useful to all of this! But this speaker has me so excited I have to make some sort of comment. The "Big Bastards" with the F15 full range, sound like your best speaker yet!

I like your trammel points - classy.

Not being qtr sawn, you got a more glowing color. I like it.

Brian
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #71 - 07/15/19 at 15:28:40
 
Now the trouble is for me, not being a woodworker, what am I to do? Well I will await Randy’s report on the F-15’s in his baffles. Maybe they’ll be close enough. We’ll see.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #72 - 07/15/19 at 16:02:30
 
BAOB. Big Ass Open Baffle.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #73 - 07/15/19 at 18:20:37
 
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #74 - 07/15/19 at 22:53:57
 
has anybody besides Steve actually "attained" a pair of these?  If I read lii Audio's website correctly, these are now on sale for $399 for A PAIR...!!!
Or has anybody ordered anything from them?  Just wondering what they are like to deal with - being that they are located in China.
4055 Nong Gang Rd.
Jianggan District
310020 Hangzhou, China
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #75 - 07/15/19 at 23:53:45
 


Hi Mike,

I ordered a pair via their website on 7/11/2019.
An email was received on 7/15 telling me that they had shipped with a UPS online tracking number.
When I checked the tracking number, it showed that the speakers actually shipped on 7/12/2019 and they will be delivered on 7/18/2019.

The shipping point of origin is Baldwin Park, CA, United States.
Shipping charge - $49.00

They accept PayPal and seem to be "on the ball" .....

If the drivers are as good as the service, I have high hopes for them.
If they sound anywhere near as good as your AN alnico drivers did in my standard baffles ..... it looks like I might have to make an addition to my product line .....

I recently sent an email to Steve and Bob suggesting that they start building the BIG baffles and offering them in the online store ..... no reply yet. Steve is probably still recovering from building the first pair .....

The BIG baffles are definitely beyond my woodworking tools and skill set ..... but Steve and Bob can probably stay as busy as they want to be offering these beauties (in some configuration).

It's not like Steve has anything else to do ..... other than build 25th anniversary equipment. doing mods, etc. .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #76 - 07/16/19 at 04:14:58
 

Indeed, I know I wouldn't be in a position to build another pair from hardwood like this because of time, so it would be up to Bob Ziegler and I wouldn't feel right about asking him until October when he is here to hear them first hand.

This speaker is as far as I can tell probably going to have to be shipped freight. Because of that alone, if we offered it, I wouldn't have a 30 day trial. Doubtful that would ever really be a sticking point since the way they work in a room and the way they sound will ensure success in every case, just as Randy's smaller ones do.

Perhaps Randy will be temped after he receives his drivers and brakes them in to hear them in the big baffles and make a pair out of plywood... you never know.

I have gotten a good vibe from Lii Audio, and find them eggar to please.  Their other products look enticing as well.  You know me, always for the little guy, and clearly that is the case here.  These drivers aren't made in giant Eupa factory in China but by small business like Decware. I have communicated with the owner and designer of the driver Mr. Lii and we look forward to see what things can happen next. ; )

As far as the Big Betsys with the F15 drivers go, it's my opinion they are too good not to build and sell. On more than one level they spank all of our speakers... the ZOB, the DNA2, the HR-1, the Corner Horns, to a degree that they simply have to be built. My concern isn't about so much offering this exact pair or other hardwoods for 6 or 7 grand, but finding out if the sound can be duplicated in MDF or plywood.  Because if it can, that's going to be a speaker everyone who is serious can easily afford to buy or build once they hear it.

I'm a little scared what I will hear in a side-by-side comparison, because there is a energy and speed associated with this hardwood pair I built that I honestly wonder if it can be duplicated in other woods, and how sensitive that's going to be.

However, doing the math, since the speaker is basically twice as good as everything else we've offered on it's own without augmentation, that means that if a mdf or plywood baffle sounds only 70% as good, it would still be 30% better than everything we've offered... the thing is, it is possible that either material could for some Godforsaken reason sound better than this hardwood. It could be 30% better yielding a final result of 130% improvement. Also with laminated MDF or plywood is the opportunity to make co-mass-layer-damped panels by sandwiching asphalt paper, dynamat, linoleum, etc., between the layers. Of course if it did sound better I would prefer to not know about it since I love my pair and ignorance is bliss in this hobby.

So you may be shocked to hear me say that on more than one level they spank all of our other speakers. (not every level, but 2 out of 3 sort of thing) Two reasons for this. 1) They have more bass than highs, not the other way around, so they always sound good. 2) In these baffles they are at least 100dB or higher and everything else we make is 96/94dB or less. You wouldn't think 4, 5, or 6 dB or maybe 7dB would make that much difference but it is a complete game changer. You no longer have a 2 watt amp, you now have a 40 watt amp with incredible slam. This excites me because we all know the ZMA 40 watt is 6 grand and you can get a 2 watt Zen Triode for 1 grand. Just to be crystal clear about this, these speakers on a 2 watt zen triode amp hit as hard as a Zen Mystery Amp on our fabulous 94dB DNA2 loudspeakers! It seems impossible but it's true.



Steve


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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #77 - 07/16/19 at 05:13:51
 
Being as happy as I am with the DNA2’s, I’d venture a 10%? of (I bet you gotta pretty good guess)...let’s move this along🤓
Best on this this one, no doubt...
Scott
My offer stands as long as they take a while to build😆
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #78 - 07/16/19 at 10:51:33
 
Hmmm, I have 4 sheets if .750" MDF just sitting in my shop without any real plans......
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #79 - 07/16/19 at 12:53:07
 
Quote:
Hmmm, I have 4 sheets if .750" MDF just sitting in my shop without any real plans......


4 sheets seems excessive, I'm going with double thick which required 2 sheets, 1 1/2 actually if you can find 3/4 sheets (4' x 6') somewhere.  My radius turned out to be 43" and the measurements seem very close:  42" high, 36" wide at the widest point, and 24" wide at the top and bottom.  They are fairly large, standing almost as tall as the corner horns.

Once the feet go on, do they stand vertical or are they tilted back a few degrees?  I guess I'm just planning on tilting them enough so they seem to best point to the main listening chair.  Also, I see the speaker is mounted from the front with a router round over bit used on the back, is there a reason for this?  Would I get worse results if I used the round over bit on the front and mounted the speaker from the rear (probably with speaker cloth between the speaker and the board)?  







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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #80 - 07/16/19 at 15:35:59
 
That MDF freaks me out with all that toxic dust.  If I were to make a pair I might cheat and start with a maple blank like this one:  https://www.foodservicedirect.com/john-boos-oil-finish-hard-rock-maple-industria...
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #81 - 07/16/19 at 16:13:01
 
HD and some of the big box stores sell butcher block countertops in sizes that would accommodate 42" x 36" slabs. They are from 1.5" to 1.75" thick. They stain beautifully. I just built an audio rack using it for shelves and all thread rods with stainless steel nuts and washers for the uprights.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #82 - 07/16/19 at 23:19:07
 
Hi Randy...

now you got me thinking I need some of these lii drivers!  Does anybody know what the magnet material is?  And how much power they can absorb before going up in smoke?  Just what I need - another set of mounting plates for the Trio's, and I'll have no less than 5 different variations/flavors of mid/hi drivers to go with the Trio's four Augie's.  Does this ever end?  Us old fogies already know the answer to that!  I have some younger audio pals who still think there is an "end all" system!   Grin

I use Baltic birch... and am more than happy.  I also use a co-layer-damped approach with all my OB's.  This, after experiencing the baffle transmitting at least as much vibrational energy into the room as the drivers!  And not "good energy" either, but a buzzing akin to a swarm of Africanized bees.  And the side rails of my Trio baffles are sand filled!  After this experience, I added mass to the baffles, added rear braces and started decoupling the drivers and the mounting plates from the main baffle.  To my ears, this cured the problem completely and the overall sound became much more natural and organic.  

Also... another "conventional wisdom" practice I tossed aside when I started experimenting with OB's - toss any kind of floor spike out.  I went to great lengths(and expense) to add 1/4" plate steel outriggers thru-bolted to the 2" thick, almost 2 ft. square basses, with 2lb brass footers.  These coupled through thin carpet to a concrete floor in my room.  This seemed to "amplify" energy in the baffle instead of draining/dispersing it.  I removed the steel outriggers and brass footers. I now place a sheet of some of the same material I use between drivers, mounting plates and the baffles for decoupling/dampening, under the bass of the baffle. (closed cell neoprene foam - this works great under components too)

I think Randy, has perhaps, really landed on the "magic formula" with his K-I-S-S approach to the Betsy Baffles.

When I first installed the 12" Audio Nirvana cast frame Alnico's in a recommended 5.6 cu.ft. reflex box... I had an "Oh No" moment - there was too much bass.  And I mean way too much.  However, and thankfully, the drivers pretty quickly loosened up and produced mids and highs.

The 15" Cast frame ceramic Audio Nirvana drivers are more sensitive/efficient than the Alnico's.  The Alnico's are "smoother".  I have A/B'd the ceramic and Alnico's side-by-side in my custom Trio baffles.  You have to adjust for volume differences, but even getting the volume matched within a fraction of a db, the sonic differences between the two are not subtle.

I have also A/B'd them in reflex boxes.  The ceramic's are too hot for my taste in a box - probably too hot for most people.  The Alnico's need no bass augmentation in a reflex box... with a current source output "type" amp like my Torii III or a Papa Pass FirstWatt J2 they sound superb.
Placing the Alnico's in a larger OB makes them sound "laid back" and soft compared to the ceramics.
 
The 15" ceramics in an OB are more resolute, more micro and macro dynamic than the Alnico's and way more so than my current generation Martin Logan stats - no joke!  An audio bud of mine sums it up best and characterizes the crossover-less, full-range, OB's as "snappier" than the stats.  It causes a bit of cognitive dissonance the first time you hear the two side-by-side.  Your brain just doesn't want to believe what your ears are telling it.  
My point... I can completely relate to what Steve is talking about "slam", hit, etc. from these lii Audio drivers in that massive baffle.  Every time I demo my Trio OB's with the 15" crossover-less full-rangers, and 25ish watts of Decware Torii tube power - I always get a "you're "F'ing" with me look...
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #83 - 07/17/19 at 02:55:11
 

For those building the large betsy baffles,

Part of the Betsy Baffle sound is the high mass energy drain for the baffle.  That would be the 4 inch thick bass that it bolts to.  That pretty much sets the angle to 90 degrees, and I have found that optimal on both this large baffle and the original Betsy Baffles.   The bass is better at 90 degrees and the rear wave hits the ceiling and the wall at the same time.  As you tilt them back you drop the rear wave to hitting the wall first.

Also the handle at the top is in my experience critical as it braces the weakest part of the panel.  For the big betsy, large cast iron handles are ideal.

Regarding co mass layer damping on the cheap, I have had good success by using a V-Notch Trowel with flooring adhesive which never really hardens.  Just spread it out on the panel and then place 5 O-Rings on the panel in the glue.  That will set the gap so you can lay the second panel down.  Having air gaps between the trowel marks is a bonus so ideally you want the ridge of the glue notch to rise about 1/16 inch above the thickness of the o-rings.

Also, for those who don't know, the mass of each panel should ideally be different.  3/4" - glue - 3/8" - glue - 5/8"  makes a wicked panel that with the thickness of the adhesive /o-rings ends up at a thickness close to 2 inches.

Having said all that for those who want to try it, there is still no guarantee it will sound better than the solid Wenge and Paduke.  The mass is so different that what works for MDF or plywood is likely not going to work the same with ultra stiff and dense hardwoods.  If it turns out when I measure the baffle for vibration that there is a peak or two, It can always be drained away with some solid brass tuned-weights screwed the back.  They would actually be barrel shaped (ironically) just like the baffle. (hint)


So in summary, 90 degrees, don't skimp on the mass of the rear base it bolts to, and the handle.  Got to have one that is stiffer than the wood it is screwed into.

-Steve

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #84 - 07/17/19 at 03:18:06
 



All I can say is your shop is way too clean so cutting the arcs must have been real messy! ; )

Also, I just love looking at your shop!  I have no doubt that it sounds damn good in there with all that natural diffusion.  It would be nearly impossible to get a listening room in your house that complex as far as wall surfaces go.  I reminds me of my shop in Peoria that at one point had stuff everywhere and it never sounded better.  In fact I was so amazed at the sound it motivated me to clean the shop which I did and that ruined the sound.  Lesson learned there.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #85 - 07/17/19 at 05:02:59
 
Randy,

Do you recall the cutout diameter for the Augie 15" bass drivers you've built?

Cheers,
Jeff
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #86 - 07/17/19 at 06:37:35
 


Hi Jeff,

The Augie driver fits in the same opening as the Eminence Alpha 15" driver.
According to the specs on the Parts Express website, the recommended size is 13.77".

I just went out to my workshop and checked the template that I used for the Augies and currently use for the Alpha 15 and it is 14".

So ..... I'm thinking that anything between 13.77" and 14" works well.
The baffles I made for you would have been based on my template and the opening should be 14".

The recommended opening for the F15 driver is 355 mm or 13.9764".

Best wishes,
Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #87 - 07/17/19 at 06:40:55
 
Thanks for the speedy reply Randy!  That is exactly what I was looking for. Much appreciated my friend!! 👍😁
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #88 - 07/17/19 at 06:43:33
 


Hi Jeff,

I just added some information to my reply .....
Check it again .....

Happy listening,
Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #89 - 07/17/19 at 06:47:25
 
Lol!  Besides being a super duper OB speaker designer/maker, you are a mind reader! I have a strong suspicion those F15 Lii Audi drivers will sound mighty tasty in those Bubinga baffles you made me. They are heavy and dense as steel!  I was thinking of picking up a pair of F15’s to swap in and give a listen.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #90 - 07/17/19 at 16:48:29
 
These new speakers are a good reason to attend the Fest this year.

And I have to agree that more weight on the baffles is better.  I still have my big thick MDF baffles I used in iteration #2 of the Palomino Audio project.  Those could be modified to be used with these drivers.

But I hear the call of the dense wood saying, build me, build me.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #91 - 07/18/19 at 04:54:12
 

Yes, it's going to be a game changer, especially for those with our low power (BIG BALLS) Zen Triode amplifiers... because you finally experience the true performance the amp is capable of.  It's a combination that exceeds sanity on multiple levels.  So, yes, it will be a real treat this year!  It's a good thing I'm not in charge of topping last years fest each and every year, because obviously I couldn't do it, nor could any of us.  This is what the Audio Gods wanted you and me to hear, so come and hear it.


The density thing... African Paduke Janka hardness: 1970,  Wenge is : 1930, however the wedge is twice as hard to cut and feels twice as heavy???

Some interesting specs on Wenge
Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (870 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .72, .87
Janka Hardness: 1,930 lbf (8,600 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 21,990 lbf/in2 (151.7 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,550,000 lbf/in2 (17.59 GPa)


Same specs of African Paduke

Average Dried Weight: 47 lbs/ft3 (745 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .61, .75
Janka Hardness: 1,970 lbf (8,760 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 16,830 lbf/in2 (116.0 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,700,000 lbf/in2 (11.72 GPa)


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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #92 - 07/18/19 at 12:14:27
 
I priced out the wood.  That isn't going to happen.  Especially with my meager wood skills.  It would likely end up an expensive pile of kindling.

I will seek out substitutes such as the butcher block suggested above.  I asked for a quote from a local counter top manufacturer.  42X36X1.75 I think is what I asked for.

Are there any less exotic woods with decent density and weight?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #93 - 07/18/19 at 15:32:59
 
An interesting material, if density is a major consideration, is the man-made "quartz" slab that's used for countertops.  This is a combination of stone and resin.  3 cm is readily available but beware, it's heavy as granite.  It seems to be fairly "dead" to vibration -- more like dense wood than stone.  Of course, you'd have to get with a fabricator since cutting and polishing takes special tools.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #94 - 07/18/19 at 15:49:36
 
When I was at T.H.E. SHOW high-end audio event in Long Beach a couple months ago, there was a speaker manufacturer that builds their entire speaker cabinets out of granite.  They were tanks!  They sounded really good and when I placed my hand on the granite cabinets, they were dead to vibration at a fairly high listening levels.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #95 - 07/18/19 at 15:53:56
 
Pal,
Here is a Janka hardness list for reference:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

The Bubinga Randy used in my Caintuck bass baffles is 1980 on the scale!
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #96 - 07/18/19 at 16:00:00
 


Steve's most recent posts reminded me that when I first started making the Betsy baffles a few years ago that there was an abundance of hardwood slabs from one of my suppliers that were 18" wide and 3/4" thick ..... almost any species I wanted.
They shipped them to me finished on all four edges and only needed fine sanding before applying a finish.

Sadly, that supply has dried up and I can rarely find anything decent in an 18" width .....

It seems that the majority of the big trees are being milled in very thick pieces for custom work and are priced accordingly.

That is why I started offering the two-tone baffles.

Here is a photo of a solid 18" wide Wenge baffle.



Larger photo here.

The grain on these baffles was amazing and I was totally shocked when I applied the linseed oil / beeswax finish.
They became as black as a bowling ball .....

I don't even remember who purchased them ..... but whoever it was has a very special and unique pair of Betsy baffles .....

Were the baffles heavy ? Yep .....

Randy

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #97 - 07/18/19 at 17:31:34
 
Randy,

Wenge is an excellent tone wood that some luthiers use despite the difficulty to work with. It imparts a rich and precise tone. I have a wenge neck and fingerboard on one of my favorite guitars, and one of my favorite basses (they both have black limbs bodies, I find the combination of these woods excellent).

The guitar:
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #98 - 07/18/19 at 20:16:01
 


Hi Lon,

Very cool .....

Nice looking guitar .... and I'm betting that it sounds wonderful.

Best wishes,
Randy

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tube be ... it's a
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Posts: 754
Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #99 - 07/18/19 at 20:24:41
 

Update .....

Jeff,
The F15 drivers came in today and Lii Audio's tape measure must be slightly different than mine. The opening in my template is a full 14" as well as the opening in the baffles I mounted them in.
Very tight fit ..... actually a little small ..... at least for the pair they shipped to me.
I'm thinking that 14 1/8" might be better .....

If you decide to buy a pair and mount them in your Bubinga baffles, you will probably have to slightly enlarge the cutout.

Just a heads up .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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