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Betsys in Tigerwood (Read 36406 times)
ProggRob
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Betsys in Tigerwood
02/14/17 at 15:50:45
 
All, I installed a new pair of Caintuck Betsys into the system last night.  I don't have time to share a lot right now, but I wanted to put in this placeholder for future impressions.

I am very excited to have these, not only because these are excellent speakers, but because I am getting an introduction to reference qualities that only full-rangers can deliver.  In terms of my audio education, this is a very big step.

More later,
Rob
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Matchstikman
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #1 - 02/14/17 at 16:31:42
 
I've heard good things about the Betsy OB but can they be considered full range?  As it is, what is the definition of full range?
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #2 - 02/14/17 at 16:39:47
 
Howdy Rob,

Looking forward to your impressions as the drivers break in over the next 100 hours or so .....

The speakers that Rob purchased are "one of a kind" since my supplier only had one piece of Tigerwood (Gonco Alves) stock in an 18" width and doesn't expect to have any more in the future .....

A photo of one of the speakers can be seen here.

Happy listening,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Cambridge Audio Azur 851N DAC / Streamer
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles
Caintuck Audio Lii Silver-10 Open Baffles
Caintuck Audio Lii 15 Open Bass Baffle
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #3 - 02/14/17 at 16:43:59
 
Hi Match,

Good question .....

The Betsy drivers in my baffles go out to 20K (@ 90 db) and I have always claimed 80 HZ on the bottom.
Frank at Stereo Times stated that they go down to 50 HZ in the review he did.

Whatever the correct figure is, the bass is very quick and musical .....

Best wishes,
Randy
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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Cambridge Audio Azur 851N DAC / Streamer
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles
Caintuck Audio Lii Silver-10 Open Baffles
Caintuck Audio Lii 15 Open Bass Baffle
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #4 - 02/14/17 at 18:27:31
 

Man, that's some lovely wood.

I look forward to your impressions Rob!!

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beowulf
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #5 - 02/15/17 at 00:44:16
 
Whoa Randy saves the day with a picture!  

Come'n Rob, how can you title your post "Betsys in Tigerwood" and not post a pic? Wink Grin
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ProggRob
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #6 - 02/15/17 at 01:02:07
 
Sorry Beowulf, thought I could get away with it since I was at work.  Probably shouldn't have been posting in the first place!  I would've gotten to it, promise  ;)
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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ProggRob
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #7 - 02/15/17 at 05:16:59
 
Boring Update #1: experiencing hours 7-12 of driver burn-in and they sound really, really.... unpleasant.  I'm told 100-200 hrs before normalcy.  Tonight I'll be throwing in some older tubes and running them overnight.
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #8 - 02/15/17 at 17:40:06
 

Interesting - makes me wonder if my drivers were already "run in" a bit when i got them, because from about hour one they sounded fantastic.

Beat them up a bit and report back!

P.S. You can redeem yourself by posting pics in situ.
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Palomino
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #9 - 02/15/17 at 22:29:29
 
Raven,

Your drivers have improved since I got them.  They will be nice and seasoned when you get them back.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #10 - 02/16/17 at 16:01:24
 
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ProggRob
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #11 - 02/18/17 at 16:53:13
 
I reported on the second night of ownership that the drivers were experiencing some growing pains, around 7-12 hours.  This was surprising to me in a way, considering I rather enjoyed their sound "out of the box" on the first day, but know that new components can change sound from day to day.  However, I seem to be one of the only ones who experienced "bad" with the Betsys early on.  Well, that's gone.  

I ran them in overnight and all the next day after that update, and sat down for a listen during hours 32-36.  I had made some other adjustments to speaker positioning as well, putting exactly 7' edge-to-edge distance between the speakers and toeing them in to cross about 2' in front of the listening position.  That is when I experienced a very exciting moment.  I ran upstairs and told my wife "I have the best sound in Washington!"

A quick word on my extreme toe-in approach, my room is wider than long, about 21' by 11.5', with no room behind the listening position.  Up against the wall, if you will.  I find that pointing them across the room improves imaging, reduces smear, and opens the sound up by also allowing the rear wave more room to "bloom", as I'm only able to pull them out about 3'.  Anyway...

More listening occurred during hours 47-50, and again around the 62-69 hour mark, which is where we are now.  Each session improved, I feel, with less glare and greater "ease", I guess for lack of better word. They just seem to be doing what they do in a way that is increasingly easier to listen to.  Nothing jumps at me and makes me think, "is it supposed to sound like that?"

I read the Stereo Times review several times, and in it Frank Alles mentions an anomaly that can emphasize sibilance around 3k, I'm pretty sure I heard exactly what he's saying.  But lately it's been harder to detect, if at all.  One track is still particularly vexing to me, however, and if you owns Betsys, please, I'd like to hear your impressions of your sound.  The song is called Aqua Marine, a Bass track performed by Isao Suzuki on the Producer' Choice! II album by First Impression Music.  There is distortion and breakup all over this track, still, and I'm sitting here scratching my head if it was actually recorded that way?  You can hear the crackle/static/breakup, whatever you call in, whenever Isao really gets going on the Bass.  There are examples of this towards the end of the first minute of track and throughout.  

Aside from this, however, I am very very pleased.  I hear nearly no trace of these tendencies in any recording at all.  I finally added 4 Augies into the mix yesterday, after 60 hours of burn-in or so, and any reservations I had about not being able to "rock" with these speakers went away.  They were able to accomplish most of what the Hawthornes were able to do on some metal tracks, with the caveat of being more ruthless on bad recordings.  But we expect that, don't we?

The additional bass from the Augies isn't just "more bass", it actually improves the sound in that tracks that were harder to listen to with the Betsys alone.  I can't explain this, exactly, but they complete the signal in a way that makes everything more pleasing, more natural.  When I read the Stereo Times review or hear about others enjoying the Betsys unaugmented, I think, "you don't know what you're missing!"  Having heard the alternative, I would never choose to do this.  They really are a much better speaker with OB bass support, or any bass support I imagine.

A few more things I feel I must mention: yes, vocals are awesome, trumpets are unlike anything I've heard (and trounce Hawthornes in this regard, I mean wow), and have a very pleasing vibrancy without being too vibrant or bright.  Around 50 hours I decided to play with a couple input tubes, pitting my 1974 Reflektor 6N23P vs. Steve's stock 6N1P.  The 6N1P hoods the top end too much, at least during this stage of driver burn-in.  I just love the extension the Reflektor 6N23PS bring.  They were flat-out mandatory with the Hawthornes, and so far I agree with the Betsys as well.  If you feel you aren't getting the top end you feel from your Betsys, try this tube!  They will probably put hot recordings over the edge, but if you want to make an omelette, you've gotta break a few eggs.  I will roll more tubes after 100 hours, including a new 5Y3 rectifier tube I'm trying from Steve.

These are still new, and I'm still trying wrap my head around what I'm hearing in some cases, but day-by-day I'm getting what they do a bit more, and expanding my musical taste to boot.  Roon has been a blessing helping me discover music and find recordings that best suit these speakers.  What a great service.

I'll probably provide another update next weekend, as I'll be traveling for work Mon-Weds.  Cheers.

Rob
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #12 - 02/19/17 at 01:49:37
 
That sounds amazing!  I'm looking forward to getting mine back from Tom, once I get my room work done in the house.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #13 - 02/19/17 at 06:06:12
 
Whew ...... I must admit that I was biting my fingernails until I read the most recent post from Rob .....

It appears that some burn in time on the Betsy drivers is even more crucial than I was aware of.

The extreme toe in that Rob is using is no surprise to me ..... I have experimented with this amount of toe in in my home system and the results can be very rewarding.

I certainly wanted to check out the distortion and breakup Rob reported hearing on the Isao Suzuki song "Aqua Marine".
So, I went searching for it and found that there are a myriad of versions available in several formats. To save time, I decided to download a .flac version from Allflac.com to see if maybe the problem existed in the original recording and was passed on to the versions in all formats.
I heard no distortion or breakup in the .flac version I downloaded ..... but what I did hear was some of the most amazing bowed bass and percussion instruments that I have ever experienced.

I really appreciate the heads up on this amazing music ..... now I just need to purchase the Producer's Choice II version that Rob is using so that I can hear what he is hearing.

A couple of thoughts on Rob's other observations .....
1 - Awesome vocals ..... yep
2 - Trumpets ..... surprisingly true which I must admit shocked me quite a bit. I always presumed that good reproduction of brass instruments was best accomplished with "horn type" loudspeakers and that open baffle speakers would not be able to produce the "bite" needed for a realistic presentation of trumpets, etc.
I now know better ..... and saxophone is a treat as well.
3 - I am currently running a pair of Eminence Alpha 12" drivers in separate baffles in parallel with the Betsy baffles in my home system. If Rob is running two 15" Augie drivers per side in his system, I can guarantee that the low end is superb without even hearing it. On the Isao Suzuki track that Rob made reference to, when the bowed bass played the lowest notes it made my knee caps buzz even at a modest volume. I can only imagine the effect Rob is getting with four Augie drivers.
4 - Breaking a few eggs ..... yep, garbage in - garbage out. If a recording has a tendency to be "unpleasant" (hot), the Betsy baffles will not sugar coat the sound ..... but on well done recordings there is magic, especially if the front end is up to the task and a high quality amplifier (like my Decware SE84UFO) is driving the music.
Fortunately, many recording engineers have figured out how to make digital recordings sound musical and the abominations that were many of the early digital offerings are now few and far between.

My thanks to Rob for the positive thoughts ..... I receive quite a few emails from customers with similar reports, but having a good report on the Decware forum is a special treat for me .....

Happy listening,
Randy
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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Cambridge Audio Azur 851N DAC / Streamer
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles
Caintuck Audio Lii Silver-10 Open Baffles
Caintuck Audio Lii 15 Open Bass Baffle
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Palomino
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #14 - 02/19/17 at 12:28:55
 
I can definitely support the statement that Betsys plus Augies is a solid marriage.  I have been rolling the Betsys and Tang Bands and will have a mini review of the comparison.  I like both drivers for different reasons but suffice it to say I ordered some Betsys.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3.5, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Ven Haus DIY Silver ICs, 25th Ann. Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, GR Research Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speakers
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Tripwr1964
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #15 - 02/19/17 at 16:37:30
 
i am waxing mine today and getting them back together.
i added some mapleshade brass feet to the front of mine, with a smaller footer in the rear.  this will give me a slight tip back and 3 pts to floor.  see what that does...

need to get on with my breakin it sounds!  :)
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ProggRob
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #16 - 03/05/17 at 06:55:34
 
I tasted something tonight I’ve never tasted.  True audiophile, engaging, lifelike, moving sound like I’ve never heard in anyone’s home or at any audio show, ever.  I'm talking about emotional involvement.

We are well into the 100+ hour mark on the Betsys.  They are coming into their own, but I feel I need to unpack the experience for our dear Decware forum residents.

First, some details on the existing setup.  The Betsys are just over 7’ apart edge-to-edge and 2.5’ from the front wall, and toed in to cross about 1.5’ in front of my ears.  They are elevated about 2” in the front to fire upward.  The Augie towers are set just inside and behind the speakers.  I’ve settled on the tube compliment for the Decware SE84UFO2 with a cryo’d Valve Art 274B, stock 6N15P driver tubes and a Miniwatt Dario 7308 / E188CC input tube.

The speakers are leashed up with 5’ runs of Western Electric 16 ga tinned copper speaker cables, no connectors, and directly to the tabs on the back of the drivers.  

Source is a Baetis Revolution II music server, High Fidelity Cable CT-1 Enhanced RCA digital cable into a Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC and balanced Triode Wire Labs Spirit Interconnects to the amp.  Power cables are Triode Wire Labs 7+ into the amp, and Digital American Power Cable into the DAC.  Power conditioning is a PI Audio UberBUSS.  6 GIK Bass Traps are present in the front and rear corners and in front of windows behind the speakers.  

The system has been running most of the afternoon, getting warm and adding some hours to the speakers.  The kids went down to bed around 7:30PM, so I came down for a listen.

The first hour and a half I settled in with a Roon playlist based off the Massive Attack ‘Mezzanine’ album.  Artists included Massive Attack, Air, Saint Etienne, Bjork, Morcheeba, Zero 7, Portishead... these bands are primarily or exclusively electronic and bass heavy.  All female vocals.  Let me tell you, I feel like Randy is being over-cautious about selling the strengths of his speakers and their ability to handle this stuff.  To my ears, with the Augies, there are ZERO shortcomings of this setup.  It is not thin or light or lacking the necessary scale or weight, that I can detect.  The system hits and fills the room with all of the emotion, groove and weight I imagine the music was produced with the intention of delivering.  Female vocals soared and were engaging beyond my expectation for electronic artists.  I could have listened to this playlist all night, but then I started thinking of checking out some old CDApS reference tracks and seeing how the Betsys were really coming along.  So I queued up Helplessly Hoping by Crosby, Stills & Nash.    
 
Now, here we have real instruments playing.  Hopelessly Helping sounded more real than ever.  I’ll get into soundstage dimensions, image placement and specificity, separation etc. in a minute.  I’m talking about the meat and potatoes of the sound… timbre, tone, detail, transients, the layers of sound, the speed, the ability to hear the recording environment… I’m telling you, it was REAL.  No kidding.  Maybe I started low on the totem pole with Hawthornes, Tekton, etc. in terms of delivering realism and I’m just getting indoctrinated, but I’m completely blown away.  Completely.

More tracks come from The Hollies, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Van Morrison, The Eagles.  Totally loving it.  Then Doctor My Eyes comes on by Jackson Browne.  Doctor My Ears… Jesus Christ… pardon my French, but it was so emotionally engaging and perfect in that moment, there just aren’t that many moments in my audiophile career when I was completely overwhelmed.  The pace and rhythm, the layers of instruments and their distinct roles so easily detected and enjoyed, the speed and attack of the music, the essence of the performance was in the room with me.  I had stopped trying to evaluate everything and I connected.  I knew I had to post something immediately.

I felt very proud of what I have assembled here, but then a strong sense of gratitude to Randy, Steve, Jason Stoddard, Mike Moffet, Pete Gryzbowski, Darrell Hawthorne, Dave Elledge, the guys in CDApS, those who contributed to every decision I’ve made, to everyone who designed or built or had anything to do with every piece of this emotional transportation device here in front of me, to my wife who tolerates it, everyone who dedicates their lives and spare time to bringing people experiences like this.  Really, how lucky are we, to be able to spend our precious spare time in pursuit of this.

I’m sorry, but this is really what it is all about.  You can spend your time trying to evaluate the frequency response chart on the Betsy drivers and picking holes in response or this and that, or judging their looks, but let me tell you, these things are the real deal.  God Himself could come down and design the perfect speaker and you'd still find people that would argue with him, I mean seriously.  For the money, forget about it.  I could spend another $10k on improving my system and these speakers could handle all of it.  Believe me, I could to it.

So backing up now on what can be improved.  Well, there is quite a bit actually.  And that is the scary part of it.  When I think of the performance ceiling this rig has it just shocking to think about.  I used to spend my days wondering how I can improve the sound, and I would genuinely worry about how I could pull it off without pissing off my wife or second mortgage.  Now, I am genuinely excited about improving it.  Why?  Because it is so stupid good and enjoyable the way it is.  And I’ve got nothing but time.

So as for what’s in the pipeline, besides spending hundreds of more hours of listening, are several fold.  First, I need to get my Furutech GTX-D Rhodium outlet in the wall.  There is a detectable grain in the sound which I know will dissipate with this.  When I installed that thing back in Illinois, it replaced a really, really good outlet in the CRUZE First Audio Maestro outlet, and I thought the improvement was so good that I gushed about it over on Audio Circle in an almost embarrassing fashion.  I mean, c’mon, an outlet.  But here I’m coming from an el cheaperino outlet, and to be honest I can’t wait to hear the reduction in grain, smoother highs, even more detail (really??), and for the huge step-change in bass articulation.  Already, I get goosebumps.

Then I have a whole slew of plans for room treatment.  I sit along the back wall, and because the room is fairly shallow (11’ 4”) the speakers aren’t pulled out as far as I’d like, so I desperately need some diffusion behind and in front of me.  I’ve sat in the room with Palomino and Lonely Raven too many times to know that I can’t ignore this.  I’ve got lots of room side-to-side so side walls aren’t much of an issue (except that window…) I can’t build my own treatments so I’ll probably order some kit from PI Audio and GIK over the next year.  The treatments should improve the image height (this is kind of an issue) as well as the separation and imagine placement/centering, which can stand to improve by several notches.  Sometime the lines between instruments in complex passages can get blurry, midrange details are obscured, the outlet and treatments can help here, but also installing a dedicated circuit and earth ground and improved speaker resonance control.  I plan to get some maple blocks underneath these at some point with some massive brass spikes, the whole nine yards.  To be honest, I’ll probably spend more on spikes and platforms than the speakers cost in the first place.  Yes, they are worth it.  Maybe I'll start calling them the Besties instead of Betsys.

I'll get some pictures up in the next couple weeks.  I'm having the room painted a nice hemlock green next week so I'll get moving when things be looking fly up in this piece.

There’s the update for the week.  I want to emphasize that I don't take this level of praise lightly.  My personality emphasizes more restraint than not.  Praise is far too prevalent on the internet... but these speakers have changed my paradigm of what good sound is.  Also, this is a true system effort; nothing acts in isolation, but still.  Hopefully, I continue to gush more in the future despite that, ultimately, what's "new and exciting" can become "normal", as so many things do.  Thanks to Randy and Steve for your products.  Bravo!
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Bottlehead
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #17 - 03/05/17 at 09:53:01
 
WOW, PR! You are making me want to replace the mid/tweeter in my Hawthorne Audio Duets with the Betsy drivers. I have the 10" Sterling Silver Iris with the coaxial tweeter, 15" Augies below. I'd need to make a new panel w/an 8" cutout for the Betsys, but that's not a problem. I had been worried about the Augies overpowering the Betsys, but it doesn't sound like that's a concern. (I use tubes up top, and a separate sub amp on the Augies). Do you see any reason that it wouldn't work?

P.S. I'm the guy who lives down the road from you (Mill Creek, WA) with the HA Rainiers.
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Palomino
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #18 - 03/05/17 at 12:22:33
 
Good to hear PR.  Sounds like you are in a really great place!

I received my Betsy drivers and have been playing them all weekend. I did hear improvement with some pretty significant toe in but I haven't tried the kind of toe in you are talking about.  

I may get over to Raven's today to hear his souped up Zen and pick up some wood to make some baffles for the Betsys. Still need to decide on the bass speakers.  

I also verified that the will have some Voxativ 1.6 based Pure Audio Project speakers at Axpona.   Room conditions won't be optimal but it will be interesting to see how $2200 drivers compare.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3.5, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Ven Haus DIY Silver ICs, 25th Ann. Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, GR Research Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speakers
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #19 - 03/05/17 at 15:09:21
 
I must say that I am more than pleased with the success ProggRob is having with the Betsy baffles in his system .....

The information I provide on my website about the Betsy baffles is presented in a way that lets prospective buyers know that the speakers can sound very good if used with a high quality front end and amplifier ..... but, I try not to go "over the top" and create unrealistic expectations.

Having said that, I have sold dozens of pairs of the speakers over the past couple of years and many of the emails I receive from customers are of the same nature as ProggRob's latest post to this thread.
Quite a few have told me that the Betsy baffles have replaced much more expensive loudspeakers in their systems.

Those who have followed my posts on this and other forums over the years know that I do not profess to be any sort of "audio genius".
I'm not a numbers guy and only know what I hear and what I like .....

I only know about the Betsy drivers because my buddy Derek at Flea Watt Audio introduced me to them a few years ago.
The only thing I have contributed to this scenario is taking the time and materials to build literally dozens of open baffle speakers in various sizes and shapes using the Betsy drivers.

Everything is a compromise and I finally settled on what sounded best to me in a configuration that was reasonably sized, somewhat attractive, easy to ship and easy to place in a listening room.

It's interesting that the owner of Wild Burro Audio told me that there are several other speaker builders using the Betsy drivers in their products ..... but their speakers are a lot more expensive than mine and they do not reveal which driver they are using.

I guess I could have done the same thing, but that's just not in my nature and now "the burro is already out of the barn" .....

So, there are a lot of DIY music lovers using the Betsy drivers in their own creations and I offer products to music lovers who don't have the tools or desire to build speakers and I make them available in a variety of attractive finishes at a reasonable price.

As to one comment ProggRob made :
"Let me tell you, I feel like Randy is being over-cautious about selling the strengths of his speakers and their ability to handle this stuff."
The statement he is referring to on my website is in the context of a pair of Betsy baffles without any "bass reinforcement".
The setup ProggRob is using with multiple Hawthorne Augie drivers is a totally different animal and I know that he can play just about any type of music he wants to with a system like that ..... which is why I offer baffles with bass drivers and plate amps to go with the Betsy baffles.

At the most recent Decware Fest, another forum member and I sat up until 4:30 AM on Saturday night listening to a pair of Betsy baffles powered by his Torii amplifier. We also had a single Augie driver and plate amp in the mix.  The next morning, I was seriously thinking about going to the doctor to see if I had any cracked ribs ..... so, yes, the Betsy baffles will play at an impressive SPL with some help on the bottom to balance things out .....

However ..... to me, the real beauty of the situation is that the Betsy baffles work perfectly well with the Decware SE84UFO and play at volumes satisfying to most folks with plenty of headroom and no clipping.

And best of all ..... they make music .....

Happy listening,
Randy
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Tripwr1964
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #20 - 03/05/17 at 15:54:09
 
great update PR!

i second everything you and randy have said.  i too have been going down this ob path and have enjoyed it since day one.  
currently running with single augie powered by anthony gallo sa.  i havent listened to another speaker or sub for over a month now... not sure i will.

i even ordered a second augie driver off amazon (hope thats the real deal) so i can run 2x.  thatll be fun Smiley

my only regret is not discovering these years ago!
i am having fun and enjoying the music with these and thats what it all about.  and to do it for $350 is crazy!  can't wait for my super zen to enter the equation!!

pr keep us posted as you go thru this journey so we can all learn together.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #21 - 03/05/17 at 15:57:54
 
PR we need a pic of those augies too!
are they in one OB?
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ProggRob
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #22 - 03/05/17 at 17:08:15
 
Quote:
WOW, PR! You are making me want to replace the mid/tweeter in my Hawthorne Audio Duets with the Betsy drivers. I have the 10" Sterling Silver Iris with the coaxial tweeter, 15" Augies below. I'd need to make a new panel w/an 8" cutout for the Betsys, but that's not a problem. I had been worried about the Augies overpowering the Betsys, but it doesn't sound like that's a concern. (I use tubes up top, and a separate sub amp on the Augies). Do you see any reason that it wouldn't work?


Hey Bottlehead, I think that would work.  I can say that, independent of configuration comments to follow, the Betsy is vastly superior to the 15" SSI coax I had in many respects, even with all the Mundorf xover parts and Radian compression tweeters, and if you have the SI, well, just do it.  $110 per pair right?  Nothing to lose really.  But I'd like to add some caveats.  As Randy in Caintuck just noted, he built dozens of prototypes trying to strike the right balance of attributes the Betsy driver can deliver.  I'm sure you can put them in any baffle and get sound, but in the end it will be different than what I have here.  The main differences I see are: (1) your drivers will be much higher off the floor.  Palomino has told me he thinks he gets better sound in his room with the Betsys closer to the floor, and Randy chose this configuration for a reason, so... (2) the Betsys will be in the same baffle as the bass drivers, which could have all sorts of effects in being able to find the best location for bass response, vibration control for the Betsy driver, etc. This is something again Randy says he prefers to be able to control and I can't say it's a bad thing.  (3) your baffle will be a different shape than the Caintuck offering, again, affecting the sound.

But, go forth I say!

Quote:
I received my Betsy drivers and have been playing them all weekend. I did hear improvement with some pretty significant toe in but I haven't tried the kind of toe in you are talking about.


I only do that because I feel like I have to.  The drivers sound the most "alive and present" when they point directly at my ears, but, as I am up against the wall, I feel pointing them more across the room reduces some of the back wall effect (it also improves center image).  It's a balance, really.  If I had your room Palomino, I probably wouldn't bother, but you never know!

Quote:
It's interesting that the owner of Wild Burro Audio told me that there are several other speaker builders using the Betsy drivers in their products ..... but their speakers are a lot more expensive than mine and they do not reveal which driver they are using.

I guess I could have done the same thing, but that's just not in my nature and now "the burro is already out of the barn" .....  


And we appreciate that.  These sound better than the price would suggest (have I made that clear?).  The challenge of charging more would be trying to convince people that this simple driver-in-a-baffle is worth more than $450.  Those who have heard know!  It's probably easier to charge more if no one knows what they are and you can tout this high tech driver impregnated with space age carbon fiber and kevlar!  Wow, those must be, like, worth a million bucks!

Quote:
PR we need a pic of those augies too!
are they in one OB?


I'll get pics up soon, as I stated.  I have "a vision" for my room and pics will not see the light of day until I'm completely satisfied.  However, the Augies are in two separate baffles.  There are 2 Augies per baffle, each driven by its own separate Rythmik A370PEQ plate amplifier.  The bass plays to 80hz with a 24db/octave roll-off.  The baffles are 63" tall, 25" wide, and have hollow columns on each side filled with sand.  With the Hawthorne SSI coax drivers still occupying space in them, they weigh 100 lbs each.
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #23 - 03/05/17 at 23:43:50
 
OK, thanks PR. I'll give it some thought. It wouldn't be a big deal to have a pair of Betsys independent of the Augies in the Duets. I could use the same amps, leaving the coaxial mid/tweeter inactive. That would give me more configuration possibilities, anyway, as I have in my bedroom system with Steve's FRX2 drivers in baffles independent of my OB subs. Probably the best way to go. I could always experiment later with putting the Betsys in the Duets. (And I'm thinking that instead of "Besties" for a nickname, the way these things seem to punch above their weight and put WAY more expensive drivers to shame, we should be calling them "BEASTIES").
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #24 - 03/20/17 at 05:59:43
 
Ok everyone, sharing some photos finally.  Haven't posted photos before so here it goes.  

First, from the listening position.  You'll notice I have the bottom drivers pulled out of the Trio baffles.  This was to allow the rear wave of the Betsys to radiate more freely since the Trios were placed so closely to them.  It doesn't look optimal, but it pays slight dividends in soundstage improvements.  



Next is the side profile of the room.  Here you can easily see my layout and challenges that I need to work around.  Just had painting done and got some new furniture.  I'm quite happy with it!

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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #25 - 03/20/17 at 06:04:08
 
Did that work?  I can't see them in my post but was able to get them to open if I clicked on them.  Sorry all.
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #26 - 03/20/17 at 06:17:22
 
A few more words...

I replaced the generic wall outlet with the Furutech GTX-D Rhodium.  Easily a 20-30% improvement across the board.  My PI Audio UberBUSS is plugged into it and all components into the UberBUSS.  More articulate bass, cleaner presentation, reduced grain and fatigue and cleaner highs.  Just so sweet.  Listened to Joni Mitchell's Blue last night and was bowled over by it.  The Betsys communicated this album to me almost perfectly.

This outlet also had me re-evaluate my tube compliment.  So, I'm back with Steve's "stock" compliment.  Stock, shmock.  The amp was voiced perfectly for these speakers.  Amen!
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Core32
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #27 - 03/20/17 at 12:05:44
 
Rob,
I can't see them. How are you posting those?
I think the only way to post a picture from your local drives is via the
"Attach:           Browse"
button that you see when creating or editing a post.
I've only been able to do one picture per post when doing that way. Or if they are on the net somewhere you can use the "Insert Image" control button and use a link to them.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #28 - 03/20/17 at 13:31:18
 
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #29 - 03/20/17 at 13:35:24
 
I used Flickr with the insert image command.  Oh well links above should work.
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #30 - 03/20/17 at 14:27:21
 
Looking good Rob.  Dual Augies up high!
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #31 - 03/20/17 at 16:41:54
 
Quote:
I replaced the generic wall outlet with the Furutech GTX-D Rhodium.  Easily a 20-30% improvement across the board.


Rob, could you explain this a bit?  What is the 20-30% relative to?  It seems a huge improvement for the change you made but maybe I don't understand your reference.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #32 - 03/21/17 at 02:27:46
 
Quote:
Rob, could you explain this a bit?  What is the 20-30% relative to?  It seems a huge improvement for the change you made but maybe I don't understand your reference


Archie, I did cover areas of improvement in audiophile terms, so I'll need to explore this in a different way as I'm not sure what exactly you are looking for.  But my reference for improvements was the sound I was getting just minutes before I replaced the outlet, along with my prior experience in Illinois when I replaced my outlet the first time with the Furutech.  So I've now heard the same improvements in two different locations, with two different sets of speakers.  One very revealing set of speakers, and the other much more forgiving.  Both benefited equally and in surprising magnitude.

Of course this is impossible to quantify, and 20-30% does sound high (though anecdotally accurate to yours truly because that's how much my enjoyment increased), but let me say that the improvement is "a lot" and immediately noticeable.  There is no downside or trade-off.  The improvement affects every component in the system because it is upstream of everything.  

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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #33 - 03/21/17 at 07:55:25
 
Cool-looking room, PR!

I was thinking about changing the outlet in my listening room with one a bit lower down the Furutech line, but I'm rethinking that. Another $100 on top of what I was intending to spend is really not that much in the grand scheme of things.

I heard from Randy today - my rectangular-baffle Betsys should ship by the end of the week. So sometime toward the end of next week for delivery, I guess. Trying to be patient. Not my strong suit.

The Other Randy
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #34 - 03/21/17 at 16:36:19
 

Great looking room! And it makes sense to have the bass drivers more in the middle of the room (vertically). Those windows behind the speakers make me cringe though - we need to get you some of those foam diffusers up there - I bet that would help with the short distance thing as well!

I love that you've gotten such a big improvement with a power outlet. I've never seen that much, even with my filtered PS Audio outlet - but I did see some. I'm tempted to drop one of those fancy ones in my PS Audio filtered outlet or without it and see what happens. I just can't bring myself to drop $175 on just an outlet right now - too much else to do.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #35 - 03/21/17 at 17:27:47
 
Rob, thanks.  I didn't notice anything from installing Hospital Grade outlets but I'm sure they don't compare in build quality to the Furutech.

I'm also guessing that your room treatments make such changes easier to hear.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #36 - 03/22/17 at 05:49:34
 
Quote:
Looking good Rob.  Dual Augies up high!


Palomino, yes I like them high!  It required a bit of an adjustment, because at first things seemed upside down, but I think I like the height and size it brings to the presentation.  With the Augies crossed over around 85hz, they bring a lot of energy!

As I stated earlier, I wanted to open up the bottom of the Trio baffles to allow the rear wave of the Betsys to move about more freely, but also for another reason.  Originally, the bass I was getting with the drivers in the top and bottom positions sounded different, and became distracting, because the bottom drivers were encountering dry wall underneath the window, and the top driver was encountering the GIK 244 Bass Trap I have placed on the window sill behind them.  So the top sounded more damped, and the bottom sounded more reverberant.  So I moved the bottom one up a slot so that both bass drivers fire backward into the bass trap, providing a consistent presentation.  Overall win.

Quote:
Great looking room! And it makes sense to have the bass drivers more in the middle of the room (vertically). Those windows behind the speakers make me cringe though - we need to get you some of those foam diffusers up there - I bet that would help with the short distance thing as well!


LR, we are on the same page.  Not sure you can see, but there is a red GIK 244 Bass Trap behind the Augies, so they don't fire directly into the window (but the other side is uncovered).  I tried covering the window completely with bass traps, but that was far too much absorption and honestly the system sounds much better with half the window on each side uncovered.  BUT, again we have shared the same thought in using the PI Audio foam diffusers there.  That might be the ticket!  Because I'd have two pairs, I could use the others to cover walls behind the Betsys under the windows, or behind the listening position (kinda like that painting there though, so maybe flanking the picture on each side?  Worth some experimenting...)
 
Quote:
Rob, thanks.  I didn't notice anything from installing Hospital Grade outlets but I'm sure they don't compare in build quality to the Furutech.

I'm also guessing that your room treatments make such changes easier to hear.


You might be right on the treatments, but my room isn't treated that extensively.  I have the bass traps I need for the most part (6 GIK units in all), but diffusion is another story.  What detail a well placed diffuser can bring!

I'd be willing to bet money the Furutech surpasses the hospital grade outlets on most parameters.  But maybe it is more effective feeding my power conditioner and allows me to hear more.  However, vs. the hospital grade, I have no doubt they were designed with two different goals, though a fair bit of overlap in what they are supposed to address.  Furutech brings an "all out assault" with these things, suitable for only the most insane audiophiles.   Grin

Furutech has a new version in their NCF line of outlets.  They sell a package with a special mounting bracket and wall plate, but together goes for almost $500.  If I could afford it right now I would buy that and not even blink.  I'm a believer.
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #37 - 03/22/17 at 15:47:03
 
Interesting that you ended up crossing at 85Hz Rob.  I ended up at 88hz.  The crown has set crossover intervals.

I have actually been using that for the Tang Bands too (up from 74Hz) and like it.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #38 - 03/22/17 at 21:58:35
 

Rob, since you have such a wide width room, the sidewall reflections are less of an issue since they already have "time delay" compared to your direct sound. Your ears/brain have a chance to (automatically) filter out the side reflections due to that time delay allowing you to hear the source better. It's the front to back slap that's going to muck up your listening pleasure.  But it sounds like you've figured out the Front to Back thing already since you have your current gear deployed so well.

It's really looking great down there - I love that dark ceiling as well.  ;)
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #39 - 03/31/17 at 16:01:46
 
well... I'm the guy Randy talked about listening to Betsy's till 4:30 in the morning at the Zenfest last fall driven by my own personal Torii... and how the Betsy's can rock-out some if you want them to.  Of course they have their limits, but to be honest, I was more than a little shocked to experience just how loud and dynamic they could be when driven by 24 watts of push-pull Torii power.  I'm telling you Randy was too - the look on his face was priceless and one of pure amazement.  He said this was the first time he'd ever heard the Betsy's driven by a "big boy" amp!!

And of course with the flea watt Zen amps, on well produced, minimally mic'd, small jazz ensemble type music, vocals, piano, etc. the Betsy's are world class IMO regardless of their small costs.  And can float an image as good as I've ever experienced from any pair of speakers at any cost.

After this Betsy experience at Zenfest, I ordered an unfinished flat-pack pair from Randy, and made a back brace for mine and tilted the baffle back so that the drivers are aimed right at my head when seated in the sweet spot... this ended up being about a 10 degree tilt back (I used a laser to determine the angle - Grin).  I made a couple of other tweaks too - you know how anal us "philes" can be about minute details.  Whether they make a sonic difference or not is irrelevant... they just make us "feel better"!  ;D

I'm listening to my Betsy's with my Torii now, but plan to get a SET Zen amp sometime this year (can't decide which one).  I have a Cary SLI-80 also that is a superb piece, but the Torii is better on crossover-less full-rangers.  The Cary is preferable on most other more conventional speakers with multiple drivers and a passive crossover, but the Torii has magic with full-rangers.  It's all about "the synergy"...!!!

I'll try to get some pics of my Betsy's posted here within the next week or so, in case anybody's interested.  I've been wanting to put a couple more coats of finish on them, to make them all pretty, but haven't gotten to it yet - they sound just fine the way they are, so this hasn't been high on my priorities recently.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #40 - 03/31/17 at 16:22:41
 
Good story.  Those late night sessions at the fest can be magical.

I haven't run my Betsy's with the Torii yet.  The 6 mega watts from Rachael have been plenty in my room.

How do you run the treble on the Torii with the Betsys?
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #41 - 03/31/17 at 16:33:30
 
My Betsy are still in the box - I've been so busy with the HT setup, that I've not rebuilt my baffles. It's on the To-Do list, so I'm living vicariously though you all till I find time.
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #42 - 03/31/17 at 17:43:12
 
the treble control on my Torii 3, as you can imagine, is dependent on not only which speakers are attached, but what tubes I'm using.
On my AN/Augie custom Trio's, with GL KT-66's in the Torii, I tend to run the treble control at about 60-70% of max. as the AN drivers do have the "hot" upper mid/lower treble spot typical of most full-rangers.  The GL KT-66's do not highlight this as much as EL-34's or 6CA7's do in my Torii 3.  With EL-34's, 6CA7's, I may run the control at roughly 50-60%.

The Betsy's seem to have less of the tilted up, upper mid/lower treble, of the typical full-ranger.  And what I have experienced with the Betsy's, is that you can turn the treble control all the way up, and it makes very little difference, simply because the Betsy's are not even capable of reproducing the higher levels of these frequencies being handed to them.  This is with the GL KT-66's in my Torii. I have yet to try EL-34's or 6CA7's with the Betsy's.  Lately, I've just been "content".... which is a good sign - and the ultimate goal after all......  :)
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #43 - 04/03/17 at 01:56:26
 
Greetings everybody. You old timers here will remember me, but those newer members, let me introduce myself. I' Dave Leonard and have been using OB's since long before it was fashion able. I believe it was around 2002 or so, around the same time I discovered the Decware. I've been away from here for a few years and lost all the 4,000+ posts I had here. Oh well, they probably weren't worth reading today, anyway. Back then I went through a series of old console stereo speakers on a 30" x 36" baffle. Ended up with Electro-Voice LS12 drivers, a 1958 design and still very nice drivers.  It was my baffles with the EV speakers that inspired Darrel Hawthorne to start his speaker company building OB's. I designed a couple of his crossovers for the 15 inch drivers. After my affiliation officially ended, I started using a separate horn (10 x 16 QSC) with the Radian 475 compression drivers. I thought that was a huge improvement, especially in the voice range. Anyway, introduction over.

A few months back, while doing some experiments, I dropped one of the Radian's. Damaged beyond repair, so I dug out my old EV's and put them in my OB (20" wide x 50" high with removeable baffle panels). Wow! I remembered what it was about single drivers I loved back then. After listening to these a couple of days, I decided I might never bother to fix the Radian's unless I decide to put together an outdoor party speaker system or a PA system. The EV's only cover about 70-10,000 Hz. They worked well with my 15 Augies in the bottom of the baffles, but needed some help on the highs. I checked all over for tweeters efficient enough to work with these, but they cost more than I wanted to spend. While reading the various forums about fullrange drivers, I kept stumbling onto posts about thew Betsy drivers, and I remembered Randy had a bunch of posts on the Hawthorne Forum about his Caintuck Audio doings using the Betsy's. After reading the reviews, I emailed Randy and arranged to have a pair of the drivers sent up (BTW, I've known Randy almost as long as I've been on the audio forums). To make a long story shorter, I mounted them above my Augies but below my EV's. Wow! These beat the old EV's in every way except sensitivity (the EV's sound 3 or 4 dB louder). Betsy goes deeper in the bass and all the way to 20 kHz in the treble. They mate perfectly wityh the Augies. I'll attach a pic of this setup and a simple response graph taken from my listening seat (I consider this more useful to me than a 1 meter measurement). No EQ used on the Betsy driver.

Oh, to answer Bottlehead below, the Betsy works fine in a baffle made for the Hawthorns Silver Iris speakers.

Dave

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The only thing that sounds prettier than a banjo is the sound of a cat getting a shampoo in a flushing toilet.
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hurdy_gurdyman
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #44 - 04/03/17 at 01:58:02
 
Sheesh, it's tough starting over on the forum. I have to post at least 2 posts to post a link to my pictures. Well, here's one...

Dave
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The only thing that sounds prettier than a banjo is the sound of a cat getting a shampoo in a flushing toilet.
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hurdy_gurdyman
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #45 - 04/03/17 at 02:00:00
 
Now, to see if I can post the two pics... Oh, did I mention I have lots of clutter, err, sound diffusers scattered around the room? Divorced for 5 years now, so itr tends to get a bit messy...





Dave
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Lin
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #46 - 04/03/17 at 02:37:57
 
2002 Dave? Shocked

I feel like a youngster now, 2006 for me.
Visaton B200 - Gravity Well of a Darkstar.

Lin aka opnly bafld
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hurdy_gurdyman
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #47 - 04/03/17 at 04:47:09
 
I remember you from there.  

I took my baffle with the EV's in them to a small get together at JLM's home in 2003. Darrel Hawthorne was there as well. It was a good time and friendships were born and an audio company was started. The good old days. Smiley

Dave
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hurdy_gurdyman
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #48 - 04/03/17 at 07:18:15
 
And here are the original OB's with the EV drivers back around 2003. Notice the non-cluttered look. I was still married then, Cheesy

Dave
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hurdy_gurdyman
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Re: Betsys in Tigerwood
Reply #49 - 04/03/17 at 14:53:45
 
I am hi-jacking this thread. Sorry, I
apologize. Originally just meant to answer the question about using Betsy in a baffle made for Hawthorne Audio speakers.

Me bad.

Dave Smiley

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