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Steve's BIG BETSY Project (Read 91221 times)
Geno
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #900 - 10/17/19 at 22:09:22
 
Steve, how much difference do you think the handle material makes?  I ended up with 7" long handles that I got at Home Depot. They are not solid metal, but made out of some type of composite material that can be broken if hit very hard. There were a few in the stack for sale that were already broken in half.
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Archie
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #901 - 10/17/19 at 23:57:11
 
Geno,

Pal and I bought from this ebay seller.  I paid $13.50 and I think Pal got his for $12 something.  They are the same as what Steve uses.  They come in the white so you can paint or something.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-of-9-Large-Rustic-Handles-for-Barn-Door-or-Gate-Pu...
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #902 - 10/18/19 at 00:02:21
 

Geno, we will wait for your report to see if you notice the difference.

Steve
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Geno
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #903 - 10/18/19 at 00:34:55
 
Thanks very much! I’ll get em ordered.
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Brian
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #904 - 10/18/19 at 02:32:46
 
I thank you, Steve for the answer on the shape of the base. The nuances of this speaker fascinate me. Little things I would not have suspected make such an important difference to the sound.  As you said: signatures of the Gods.

Brian
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #905 - 10/18/19 at 04:42:15
 




They ended up being 35-1/2 tall.  That's one inch taller than the Crystal 10 baffles.

The width is 29-1/2 vs. the Crystal 10 baffle at 26-1/4.

Radius of the arc ends up being 29.92 inches.  Top and Bottom flats are 17-1/2 inches.  Center of woofer is 18-3/4 from the bottom.

The sound is really coming into its own today with the addition of the handles and the additional 24 hours of play time...  probably getting close to the 75 hour mark.  

From a casual standpoint I can already sense the sound is like the big baffles. So much so that I have forgotten what the big baffles sound like if not like this. The differences must be fairly subtle.  We'll see what happens when we get in the sweet spot and do some real listening probably sometime next week if they continue to break-in at the present rate.

Steve

Actual plans will be available on the site once the final set is drawn.

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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #906 - 10/18/19 at 05:08:50
 

I agree, the nuances are fascinating.  The shape, the density of the wood, the types of wood, all behaving like a musical instrument not a speaker box.  The baffle is extending the wavefront of the speaker cone to match the exact size and shape of the baffle, just the way a musical instrument does, like a Piano, or violin.
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dank
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #907 - 10/18/19 at 12:49:32
 
Quote:
I agree, the nuances are fascinating.  The shape, the density of the wood, the types of wood, all behaving like a musical instrument not a speaker box.  The baffle is extending the wavefront of the speaker cone to match the exact size and shape of the baffle, just the way a musical instrument does, like a Piano, or violin.


So do you think this might still apply if you put sides and a back on the baffle (and maybe a port?)

Bought my first Grizzly tool thanks to workshop envy inspired by Decfest 2019.  Instead of upgrading my drill press, which I use all the time, I bought a mill.  Its being delivered in 3 days.
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-7-x-27-1-HP-Mill-Drill-with-Stand/G0704...


Dan
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Lon
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #908 - 10/18/19 at 15:08:39
 
I find similar nuances when woods are used as tone woods for stringed instruments, both acoustic and electric, . It can take time to differentiate, but there.
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ArtMan
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #909 - 10/18/19 at 21:06:52
 
Palimino,

the ability to feel the bass is one of the aspects that I love about the 15 inch Lii Audio driver. It gives the feeling of aliveness, a you are there aspect that I haven't been able to get with a smaller driver. Listening to an acoustic bass, it has a tactile feel that I only get in a live environment. I've gotten very sensitive to vibrations and the Big Bestys let me indulge in it.  I still find myself switching between different driver tubes for different aspects of sounds. I'm still finding myself coming back to the Matsushita 7dj8 although I also like a mid 60's Reflector 6H23P-EB for a brighter sound.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #910 - 10/19/19 at 02:02:40
 
I was running the more aggressive bias setting and a more aggressive input tube with the big Betsy’s.  Both amplified the pop of the F15 driver.  For the last 5 days I have been listening the the crystal 10s and went to the lower bias setting and a less aggressive input tube.

With some hours on the crystal 10s and the less aggressive setup I am starting to hear the magic of the crystal 10s.  I will likely keep both speakers because of what they each do.   But the simplicity and the musicality engagement of the F15 driver plus the cost make it the easy favorite...for now.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #911 - 10/19/19 at 02:19:29
 

Testing the low bass tonight...through the treble - pretty incredible actually.  Here is the test material:  

https://youtu.be/rLYRfHjZIy8

https://youtu.be/bIOQ2Fwto8k

https://youtu.be/O4HEWyEh0BQ

If you can get a concert grand piano to sound real, you've got it.  As I listen to it on this system it again seems impossible that both a 2 watt amp and a smaller open baffle could do so well.  

Steve


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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #912 - 10/19/19 at 03:18:03
 
And of course you know where this leads...

https://youtu.be/mrB8IthgoRQ

Here is a comparison of three of the worlds best grand pianos, A Steinway, A Fazioli and a Bosendorfer.  I know the speakers are at a point where they are more than worthy of rendering the comparison being driven by the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode... so let's just see which one sounds best shall we?

What I am hearing is the Steinway is beautifully disciplined and soft, almost boaring.  Its midrange and top end sound too much like the pianos I played when I was young. I now realize had I got to play a Bosendorfer I would still be playing it 50 years later, today.

The Fazioli has a wonderful lower mid bass that I really like, but otherwise the entire mid band and top end shorts me out.  

The Bosendorfer is the best sounding piano I've ever heard. It has glorious texture, tone, timber with the most spiritual top end I've ever heard, and if I could have one I would probably trade my stereo for it, and start making music instead of listening to it. So it would be in all of your best interest to keep such a compelling distraction away from me, because I would literarily just set at it and compose music until I die.

These three pianos have completed different sounds, so what would be your favorite?  I can tell you that these medium and large baffles make a grand piano feel completely real.  No other speaker quite does this so well.

Happy listening.

Steve

P.S.  Despite the choice and reasoning of the guy who played the pianos, going only on the sound, I stand firmly by my opinion.  Also, to hear what two of these pianos sound like in a large space, played by someone else, to gain a wider perspective, here is another comparison video: https://youtu.be/T2GYYV8JSqM. Again, the sound of it just melts me.  The other two pianos are nice, but not in the same league.  It really is fascinating how something like this could create such a strong opinion.  Hehe, I know sound is subjective, but to me the difference is pretty massive while others will choose what I hate.
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Archie
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #913 - 10/19/19 at 18:09:51
 
I only watched the 35 seconds, so far, but a massive difference in the pianos is their age.  The Steinway and Fazioli are new while the Bosendorfer is several years old.  Pianos get better with age and use -- up to a point anyway.  This comparison may be like comparing green tomatoes with vine ripened.

Save your money for now Steve and do a comparison of more similarly aged pianos.   Cheesy
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Lon
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #914 - 10/19/19 at 18:45:48
 
It's true about the age of the pianos. My favorite piano I've played in person is a very old Steinway that an in-law had. I do like Bosendorfers but haven't played one in person, though I've heard them in person. I have a cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas on SACD performed on a Bosendorfer recorded very well that I really enjoy (even though they were composed on an earlier form of piano, and especially not with the extra octave the Bosendorfer has on the keyboard).
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Archie
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #915 - 10/19/19 at 18:50:06
 
A friend of mine learned to tune pianos at the NY Steinway factory.  He told me stories from the technicians there about how the pianos didn't sell during the Great Depression and just sat.  The technicians would occasionally go over them and fix any minor defect that occured with time.  As a result, those were the greatest Steinways produced and were responsible for Steinway's reputation as the best piano.

I'm sure there is some truth to this tale.
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Lon
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #916 - 10/19/19 at 19:10:52
 
I would believe it. When my first wife's aunt passed we were offered another Steinway in that family, a player piano from the 'twenties, that was in her home in Chicago since she was a kid. I wanted it so bad, but had to agree with my wife there was nowhere we could put it in our small home in Austin. I bet that was a fantastic instrument as both a player piano and to play personally.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #917 - 10/20/19 at 01:47:29
 
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #918 - 10/20/19 at 01:57:28
 

As you can see I'm getting really close now! The web page is 90% done for the model ZF15L (large) and I am pleased to say that we will be offering them in your choice of 16 different 2 inch thick solid hardwoods! The type of wood is what determines the price. On the low end with shipping they will land right at $4000 for the pair! On the high end with shipping they will land right around $6000 for the pair, such as the model shown above.

I hope to have this model online for orders next week sometime!!!  

The ZF15M (medium) will be exactly the same price, but will be able to ship for less. So far as I can tell the basic performance of the two sizes is nearly identical, so just go with what fits your room best.

Steve

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #919 - 10/20/19 at 16:22:32
 
Great photography Steve!
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #920 - 10/20/19 at 17:55:06
 
Had I not built a pair of these I'd be astounded at the price.  But they are deceptively complex to build and given the price and quantity of wood needed, c'est la vie!  Every time I see these beauties I'm tempted to order up some 8/4 hickory and build a better looking set than my Darth Vader pair.   Smiley
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #921 - 10/20/19 at 18:48:56
 
Great photo Steve, I’d love to see a medium pair in those same woods. It sure would be fun to live with those and my DNA2’s, a nice custom silver wired speaker selector by DecWare and a guy could never leave the house!
Very exciting to say the least.
Best,
Scott
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Lon
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #922 - 10/20/19 at 19:19:34
 
Beautiful. Those things are GIANTS. I couldn't get them to work in any of the rooms I have. But they look wonderful and I'm sure sound even better than they look.
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Brian
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #923 - 10/20/19 at 22:42:40
 
My choice through my $35 computer speakers (never having played a piano) was easily the Fazioli. Here in this room, that was a sweeter and much more emotional sound. I thought perhaps the hammers were too soft in the treble and were therefore damping the overtones. It may be they were dressed that way on purpose knowing they would compact from several hours of beating against the strings.

I wonder how much of my preference being different from yours is based on your superior knowledge of proper tone from having actually played piano when I have not, and how much is the difference in you using high fidelity speakers and amps and me using speakers I like, but in a lesser league, and no tube amp.

Comparisons are always fun.
Brian
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #924 - 10/21/19 at 00:33:54
 
For me, this may be the most beautifully toned piano I have heard that reviewer play.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFSX79E6pd0
1907 Schiedmayer Grand Piano

Add this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9L6VUV9dW8
Wilhelm Schimmel  Baby Grand  wonderful rich tone

Brian
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #925 - 10/21/19 at 14:19:24
 
$6000 per pair?
OUCH!!
I bet they sound amazing, though.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #926 - 10/23/19 at 04:21:40
 

I have more time on the ZF15M baffles that I made from Birch Plywood.  The reason for making these was to make sure this smaller size as well as a DIY version of this is actually going to be sonically viable.  Now that the speakers are past the initial break-in I can safely say they sound great, and so I'll be making a pair from solid hardwood next to be photographed for the web site.



That means this pair will be for sale in about a month to anyone wanting to audition them in person and take them home with them.

Steve

-SOLD-
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Reply #927 - 10/23/19 at 10:37:56
 
Hi, I´m new at this forum and i have follow this project with big interest.I´m big fan of open baffle speakers and since  i have F15 drivers on the way a project like this would be great. I would gladly phurchase these birch plywood baffles but since i`m living in Sweden the cost of transportation and with that custom clearance would raise the total cost a lot. You did mention earlier about a DIY version. Would it be possible to purchase the drawings for ZF15M baffles?
Kind regards
Michael
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #928 - 10/23/19 at 14:43:26
 
These look great Steve.  The smaller size should surely expand the market.

I also appreciate you sharing your findings on material, bracing, footer, etc.  I believe these concepts carry over to other designs.  I have two other pairs of open baffles and I will likely bring some of this technology over to them.  Just yesterday I was looking at the bottom of one pair and thought to myself I am giving up bass response by not having it properly weighted/braced.

No brainer alert!  If you have a two watt zen and want to hear fully what it is capable of, buy (or build) these.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #929 - 10/23/19 at 17:24:36
 
Steve, ditto what Pal just said.

Though I am coming from it another direction, once I have my DIY version of these together I expect I will be reaching out to better understand which version and options of the “two watts” will serve my and my listening goals best.

Just sayin’... Smiley
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #930 - 10/23/19 at 17:31:10
 
Buy the 25th!

In the words of Ferris Bueller  "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #931 - 10/23/19 at 23:23:40
 
Second Pals “Buy the 25th!”.

I’ve had the SE84UFO2 and as good as it is... no contest, no comparison, the 25th is true reference league.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #932 - 10/24/19 at 00:12:11
 
I’ll have to strongly look into that as an option for my household, bunch of enablers you fellas seem to be (lol!).
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #933 - 10/24/19 at 00:19:54
 
Not enabling, BillW, trying to save you some money in the long run! Really!!!
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #934 - 10/24/19 at 00:38:56
 
Quote:
...bunch of enablers you fellas seem to be...


No, an enabler would be telling you that you need a pair of them to run as monoblocks at 6W!   Grin
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ZR2 (25th A Mods)
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #935 - 10/24/19 at 00:47:08
 
Grin Grin Grin
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #936 - 10/24/19 at 04:49:59
 
Steve, Archie and Pal,

I got the cast iron handles today, put them on, and am very pleasantly surprised with the results. So much so, that I’ve been listening to music for 3 hours straight. I keep listening to music I know well to listen for the improvement. That fact that I can compare before and after the handles has been a revelation. Hard to believe that they could make this much difference. I guess that ‘More Focused’ would be the best description. I’m trying to understand the science of it. Explanations?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #937 - 10/24/19 at 12:40:13
 
Randy is an alien Smiley
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #938 - 10/24/19 at 13:27:15
 
I think so. He and Steve both come from a galaxy far away😎
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #939 - 10/24/19 at 14:15:27
 
Seriously I think the baffle in an integral part of the sound reproduction and you are tuning it.  More weight/stiffness on the bottom equals better bass output.  You don’t want to add too much up top but just enough to impact the mid/treble.  The handle does that.  I suppose you could measure this to be sure but I heard it both with my own baffles and Steve’s on the bottom end. That dense wood and dense base impacts the sound.  It was not subtle.   I also could hear the impact of the handle.

One thing I wanted to do at the fest was get my face close to his baffle to see what kind of wave it was putting off compared to mine.  I forgot to do this.   I’m guessing Steve’s puts off a lower frequency.

One thing I can say is Steve’s baffles put out a richer deeper sound while mine are more lively.  After the fest I almost wondered if the Zrock was running on his big Betsy’s when I heard them but looking back I heard them several times and heard the same thing each time.
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Archie
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #940 - 10/24/19 at 15:53:43
 
I don't hear the stark difference with the handle that you guys are hearing.  Not sure if it's the baffle material or the brass weights I placed on the back of my baffles.  Or just me.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #941 - 10/24/19 at 15:59:43
 
Archie, I would guess you have tuned your baffle in a different way - with brass weights.  

I also think MDF vibrates differently than Baltic/hardwood and gives off a different tone.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #942 - 10/24/19 at 16:59:09
 
I was watching a video review of the Tannoy Autograph mini from Upscale Audio.... and they talked about the construction of the speaker.  In those speakers they use a combination walnut over birch.  The density of the wood absolutely plays a critical role in the speakers tone.  Hers the link of the review...

https://youtu.be/JR7pGgbKjag

Fast forward to like 4:54 where he talks about the construction.  

While expensive...I really love the look of those monitors.  Unfortunately they are only 85 dB and with me looking to buy the 25th Zen amp, they probably wouldn’t cut it...unless they were strapped into mono.    
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #943 - 10/25/19 at 02:21:51
 

Quote:
One thing I wanted to do at the fest was get my face close to his baffle to see what kind of wave it was putting off compared to mine.  I forgot to do this.   I’m guessing Steve’s puts off a lower frequency.


Actually the thicker it is, the stiffer it is and the stiffer it is, the higher the resonant frequency / harmonics will be.  My guess is that the farther away from the bass frequencies you get the resonance, the better the bass.  And the stiffer you get the baffle, the less the woofer frame moves, the better the bass.  And as the mass goes up, the better the speaker couples to the floor.  Speaking of that, I think someone in the DIY community should bolt a pair to the floor and see how that sounds compared to the speaker just setting there on it.  ; )

To test that theory, I once put a woofer in a styrofoam baffle that was 1 inch thick and flexible.  There was zero bass.  The baffle was 4 x 4 feet.  

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #944 - 10/25/19 at 02:24:16
 

Tonight I have started glueing up a solid cherry pair of ZF15M baffles to replace the plywood ones!

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #945 - 10/25/19 at 08:10:45
 
This OB project going on with Decwarians are so happening..
I couldn't stop the temptation to build one myself..
I have a pair of Alnico 8" full range, I wonder is there any info I could get on the baffle dimension for this size..

Thanks.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #946 - 10/25/19 at 15:14:23
 
Interesting Steve.  Somewhat counter intuitive but I get what you are saying.  I wish we could have had two or three of these baffles at the fest and the time to listen to all of them.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #947 - 10/25/19 at 16:04:10
 
I can see where a baffle with a low natural frequency would/could cancel the movement of the driver moving at similarly low frequencies.

Bolting to the floor might be an interesting exercise but I suspect that the relative mass of the baffle/driver combination is so overwhelmingly bigger than the mass of the moving cone that no difference could be perceived or measured even if the floor contact were to be frictionless.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #948 - 10/26/19 at 03:03:13
 
Hello Vooraphile

On Randy's page http://www.caintuckaudio.com/
He says:  "The standard dimensions of the speakers are 22 1/2" high and 18" wide - the base is rear mounted and 12" deep."

This is for an 8 inch speaker.

Randy could probably answer questions on his forum page https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?board=randy

Brian
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #949 - 10/26/19 at 05:55:37
 
Hi Brian,
Thanks for the info.. I shall check with Randy.

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