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Steve's BIG BETSY Project (Read 424045 times)
Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #950 - 10/27/19 at 01:49:16
 

Quote:
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


Welcome to the forum!  The plans will be available on the web site once the web page is up and a professional set of plans is drawn.

Meanwhile, here is a PDF file of the plans I drew to give to a professional who can then draw the plans ; )


https://www.decware.com/newsite/ZF15Mplans.pdf


Steve

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #951 - 10/27/19 at 01:57:37
 
That drawing looks workable to me.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #952 - 10/27/19 at 02:05:27
 
As mentioned I have started a solid Cherry pair of the ZF15M baffles...  

These I am making from some really old stock of cherry. It was pretty rough, some of it full of worm holes so it is taking some time to puzzle it together in a symmetrical way so that the pair match.




Notice how the board widths vary.  In this case it goes from about 2+ inches to over 10 inches.  What you don't want is boards that are all the exact same width... The more variance there is between the board sizes, the more re-distribution of energy there is throughout the baffle. It's important to keep energy continually moving - as in - changing locations. If it stalls and creates a standing pattern (wave) you will hear it, and that is bad.

I'm pretty sure plywood has this covered when you look at the variety of crap they sandwich between the top and bottom ply, so no reason to panic in the D.I.Y. camp if you plan build one yourself from plywood.

When you factor in what I just said, with the radius sides, AND the 15 inch cut-out for the driver, there is constant change via radius in the shape which also redistributes energy into a beautiful and benign pattern so completely different from a square board, it's really apples and oranges.  Or perhaps more like truffles and turds.

Steve


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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #953 - 10/27/19 at 02:28:06
 




Cutting the radius... now that I have a pattern of the curve, I don't need to create the giant board to swing the arc, and I can just pattern cut it. Never liking to do anything the same way twice until I've figured out all the possible ways, this time I am using a 1/4 inch up-cut spiral bit.  There is half as much sawdust as a result vs. the 1/2 inch bit I used on the Wenge.

And no I didn't vacuum everything up for the picture... with this smaller bit the dust collection is about 98%.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #954 - 10/27/19 at 02:38:40
 




There is nothing quite like the precision of a router.  The crisp perfect edges really get me off!
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #955 - 10/27/19 at 03:10:24
 




I decided on this model and all future F15M hardwood baffles, that I would do a radius in the front, just like I did on the Crystal 10 baffle. I think this will look better, and probably sound better as well. It makes installation a lot safer because you are installing screws from the back rather than the front. This eliminates running a screwdriver bit through the surround of the speaker during install. Also, the F15 drivers have a gasket on the front that is properly utilized this way. And, best of all, you won't see the frame so it shouldn't matter what color it is.





This will be my personal pair of F15M baffles.  The wormholes are probably pretty rare, and this was my fathers stash of cherry which he himself cut down and milled, so I am finally able to turn that forgotten part of his life into a 500 year pleasure transducer.


Steve












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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #956 - 10/27/19 at 03:25:02
 

As I get more into working with hardwoods, I have noticed that everything takes forever. Today I worked 7 hours straight in the shop and all that happened was getting both of the glued-up panels sanded, and one of the two completely cut out. You tend to think that that's pitiful... but here's the deal...

The solid hardwood thing that you made well, as best you could, will last for 500 years. If it's well taken care of it will last for over 1000 years. This is of course assuming it isn't ugly and doesn't suck. In that case it won't last because someone will burn it. So lets assume it's beautiful and no-one wants to through it away, and it lasts for 500 years... how long it took you to make it is insignificant.  Here's why:

Took you 32 hours to make it.

500 years is 4,380,000 hours. That means that the time it took it build it was 0.0000073% of the time that it actually lasted.

-Steve

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #957 - 10/27/19 at 05:27:03
 
Steve,

That's what I tried to impress upon the subcontractors who came to work on my properties. Once in a while, a guy would come along, understand it, and buy into it. But not many. Most just wanted to get the most amount of money for the least amount of work, cutting corners all the way. And the fact that they were working on something that could last for a hundred years plus made no impression on them. They didn't have any vision, or any pride in their work. Fortunately for all of us, you do.

Thanks for taking us all along with you on your journey.

Randy
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #958 - 10/27/19 at 18:13:07
 
Too bad the drivers would be dust by then.  So, is the Decware Lifetime Warranty in effect for all that time?   Wink

Steve, minor typo on the plans, I think the 12 3/8" should read 15 3/8".

Having built my baffles out of BB that has regular strips of about 2 inches, I naturally take exception to the proposition that random sized boards are needed.  This might make sense if different woods are used, hence, different densities, but I can't see why give the same wood, widths of the strips matter.

I see that you have some sapwood at the edges.  When confronted with cherry I often stain first to pull the color together.  Otherwise it can look a bit like a zebra.  Linseed on cherry is a true thing of beauty!  An alkaline wash will darken the cherry and make it look 200 hundred years old.  It's the same effect as when you are pouring concrete near a redwood deck and you step on the deck and leave a dark footprint due to the alkaline staining of the RW.  (Just a few random thoughts.)
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #959 - 10/27/19 at 19:48:19
 
Steve, it`s great.
Thank`s a lot.
Looking forward to follow this forum and the products of your`s.

Michael
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #960 - 10/27/19 at 21:29:05
 
Steve, that Cherry looks, well, uhm, absolutely “Cherry”. Beautiful, beautiful pieces there! Just wow.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #961 - 10/27/19 at 22:23:42
 
I'm cutting down a neighbor's dead tree for firewood, Poplar I think, that's about 36" in diameter, BIG tree.  I keep wondering what a slice of that trunk would sound like as an open baffle.  It's close to the right shape.  Couple of slices 2-3" thick plus a 3rd slice 4" thick cut in half to form 2 bases...humm  Too bad its Poplar and not all that pretty.  Too bad I have no idea how to dry it without it warping all over the place and splitting too.


Dan
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #962 - 10/28/19 at 02:26:41
 



here is the link to the web page:  https://www.decware.com/newsite/ZMS.html

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #963 - 10/29/19 at 00:41:09
 
Is there a way to measure the frequency range of these speakers?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #964 - 10/29/19 at 01:01:58
 
I posted one earlier in the thread (could also be in the Palomino Audio Project thread) but I don’t think it conveys how good these speakers are.  

To elaborate a bit, I have speakers that play lower and extend higher that are simply not as fun to listen to.  One key measurement though that I do think makes this driver so listenable is the lack of rising response rate in the 2500hz to 4000hz range which plagues many single drivers.  Then you add the efficiency to the equation and the sound you can get with one of Steve’s Amps and only two watts is amazing.  Just my $.02.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #965 - 10/29/19 at 02:54:06
 

Quote:
Is there a way to measure the frequency range of these speakers?


The RED is the ZF15L and the GREEN is the ZC10 with ZROCK2.



Steve

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #966 - 10/29/19 at 08:10:31
 
Hey Steve (or anybody else who has tried mounting the Lii Audio drivers both ways),

I'm wondering if you hear a difference in the sound when mounting from the front, like a traditional Betsy, as opposed to mounting at the rear with the front of the baffle rounded over, like the ZF15M.

Thanks,
Randy
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #967 - 10/30/19 at 03:03:24
 

Randy,  too early to know that one. : )

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #968 - 10/30/19 at 03:10:46
 
Here is the page for the ZC10M, now online.

https://www.decware.com/newsite/ZMS3.html




Steve  :)
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Reply #969 - 10/30/19 at 08:03:16
 
OK, thanks, Steve. I'll stay tuned.

Randy
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #970 - 10/31/19 at 06:34:10
 

Here is a video recording of the model ZF15M before it leaves the Decware listening room for it's new home.  It is two songs recorded live from the listening chair.  [smiley=10.gif]

https://decware.wistia.com/medias/bzgplwck0s

Steve

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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #971 - 11/03/19 at 16:50:08
 
Steve,

Been a user of your equipment for many years. Been reading the forums as well for years. I am really interested in your Betsy speakers. Sorry if you already explained this but why is the Jr version more expensive than the Big Betsy? I realize the Zrock is included and I would guess the Driver is more expensive, just curious. Also, I would assume you need the zrock to achieve the performance of the Big Betsy. It seemed in this build thread you were saying it was pretty close without it. On the new purchase page you have a number above each type of wood that gets progressively larger as you go towards the bottom, is that hardness? Please put up picture of the finished solid cherry as soon as you finish them, those look like they are going to be beautiful!
Thanks! Smiley
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #972 - 11/03/19 at 17:36:47
 
I'll give my 2 cents.  Right off the bat, the ZROCK2 is 1K and the CR10s are $600 more than the F15s at a minimum.  (Cost only)  Give a little room for a business to make money and you're there.  The difference in wood isn't where the real costs are.  Labor to fabricate would be about the same.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #973 - 11/03/19 at 21:51:38
 

Hi Paul,

Welcome to the forum!  We're glad to have you!  Archie answered your first question.

Quote:
On the new purchase page you have a number above each type of wood that gets progressively larger as you go towards the bottom, is that hardness? Please put up picture of the finished solid cherry as soon as you finish them, those look like they are going to be beautiful!


Those numbers are the price per board foot (12"x12"x1") of the particular type of wood.


Steve
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Reply #974 - 11/03/19 at 22:10:46
 
Thanks,

If you choose the lindseed oil finish is that something you have to re-apply periodically?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #975 - 11/03/19 at 22:35:03
 
Steve,
One more question in the q for you, how much do deduct if a person already has a ZROCK2 in their system?
Those are really stunning speakers.
Best,
Scott
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #976 - 11/03/19 at 23:41:07
 
Since I got one right, I'll try another.   Wink

Linseed oil can be a lifetime finish but the beauty of it is that additional thin coats can be applied which will further enhance the finish over time.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #977 - 11/04/19 at 00:45:45
 
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #978 - 11/04/19 at 02:13:51
 
Quote:
Steve,
One more question in the q for you, how much do deduct if a person already has a ZROCK2 in their system?
Those are really stunning speakers.
Best,
Scott


The price of the ZROCK would be deducted from the final invoice.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #979 - 11/04/19 at 02:17:47
 

Quote:
Thanks,

If you choose the lindseed oil finish is that something you have to re-apply periodically?


It is a finish that requires yearly maintenance.  Something like "HOWARD Feed-N-Wax" wood polish and conditioner is what I recommend.  This is simply a wipe on, let set, buff off, non-sticky pleasant smelling beeswax and orange oil project.  If you get involved with applying more linseed oil you could easily ruin the finish by making it blotchy and shinny in areas, dull in others which is to say you would need to know what your doing.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #980 - 11/04/19 at 02:29:42
 

Quote:


Yes, that's it!  On real speakers, with real amplifiers, there is no finer sounding piano to my ears.  Thanks for link!!!  Enjoying the shit out it right now.

Steve
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Reply #981 - 11/04/19 at 15:24:23
 
I'm going to respectfully disagree with some of what Steve says about linseed oil finish.  I speak from vast experience.  In my own home, all of my doors and trim and 1800 sq ft of wood flooring have a linseed oil finish.  I even prefinished my siding prior to installation and used it on my exterior decks.

One thing about reapplying the oil is that you need to buff off all of the extra (same as when first applying it).  If you leave it wet, like a varnish, it will dry and you'll need to sand it off.  Once wax is put over it, it's pretty much game over as far as reapplying.

It is an elegantly simple finish to apply and maintain but it's not completely "idiot proof."  If someone can apply a wax finish, linseed oil is much simpler.  That said, for the Big Betsy speaker baffle, there is a risk of getting oil on the driver cones.  That would be a bad thing.   Cry

Maybe we are saying the same thing?  You need to know what you are doing.  I just think it's not at all hard to get great results.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #982 - 11/05/19 at 04:18:00
 
Thanks for the feedback. I made a cardboard cutout of the big Betsy and it would fit in my listening room but it wouldn’t leave much room to adjust position if need be so I’m thinking of the ZC10M.

The hardest part is picking the woods. I’m thinking the Paduke with curly cherry in the middle. But that one Steve made with the all cherry, they look like they will be gorgeous.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #983 - 11/05/19 at 04:29:54
 

I ran out of Cherry... more is on the way, so soon I'll be able to finish them.  I am anxious to not only see what they look like all oiled up, but also what the sound difference will be compared to the Birch Plywood D.I.Y. Version.  I have been listening to those exclusively until tonight, so I have my head well wrapped around them and know what to listen for when I get the drivers in the cherry pair.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #984 - 11/05/19 at 04:43:01
 
Paul,

For what it's worth, now being able to toss around the three different models in my listening room, I have noticed that the big ones are the most forgiving. So far I haven't found a bad place in the room as insane as that sounds, and I mean extremes, from wide on the side walls, to narrow in the middle, and closer to walls, vs. farther away and really can't kill it. So I wouldn't be afraid of that, in fact it seems to be working the opposite. Once some daring soles with smaller rooms decide to try it, and have good results, we'll all feel better about how to handle the physical size to room ratio thing.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #985 - 11/05/19 at 12:24:19
 
Great imaging in a 12.5 X 16.5 (treated) room here.  While the Big Betsys are a little visually overwhelming, you close your eyes and they are gone.
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #986 - 11/06/19 at 02:42:15
 

UPDATE

This is a followup on past posts that I've made comparing the ZF15L (Big Betsy) and the ZC10M (Crystal 10 baffle).

Taking the opportunity to spend a solid month with the in-development ZF15M D.I.Y. version, gave me some time away from the two main players.  That always makes coming back to two main players a fresh experience.  

First I hooked up the ZF15L wondering if I would hear any difference between it and the ZF15M that is just a slightly smaller version of it.  I pressed play and immediately caught the difference.  It sounded bigger, had better frequency balance, and images better.  Just a nicer texture to it.

So I listened to those for 24 hours, and then tonight I hooked up the ZC10M baffles with the ZROCK2, wondering if I would like it as much, because the ZF15L is just so over the top good, that anything that might be directly compared to it is in danger of extreme humiliation.

I dialed in the ZROCK2, a very precise and careful adjustment, pressed play, and just went WOW...  it's so different, and so exquisitely refined with the melt my face midrange most people never hear that I knew right away, hey, this is actually better!

I continually like to put myself into the hypothetical scenario where I would actually have to choose one and then never see the other one again.  The fact that all these months later I still can't do it, means it can't be done.  I HAVE TO HAVE both.  One is my coffee, and one is my tea.

My only regret is that during DECFEST no-one got to hear the ZC10M (Crystal 10 baffles) sound the way I am hearing them now, and that's because you have to know exactly what you're doing with the ZROCK2 to adjust it for speaker equalization.  During the fest people were unable to do that, in part because it was located in a different room making it harder to hear your adjustments.  Basically it was miss-adjusted during the entire fest and constantly changed from one miss-adjustment to the next.

In any case, I am very happy with both designs, I consider them equally successful and feel the ZC10M being two grand more expensive is worth the extra money to the holy grail hunters that can afford it.  

In another week or so, I'll have the solid cherry pair of ZF15M's done and am anxious to hear how the sound changes over the DIY plywood pair.  The DIY plywood pair have a more pronounced mid bass note than the larger ZF15L and I am curious to see if I detect that in the Cherry pair.  If I do, then the cause is the distance from the driver to the floor.  If I don't detect it, then it means the hardwood has more high frequency extension which balanced out the stronger mid-bass.  This is something I need to know for sure before I launch it as a product.

So that's the update, now back to listening... and God bless the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier, on either of these speakers it is so incredible I have little hope of ever hearing anything better in this lifetime... the chase is over. The starship has been built. Time to explore the universe which is actually itself, sound.

Happy listening.

Steve


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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #987 - 11/06/19 at 03:07:50
 

Having just answered a post about a "dream system" for a 12x12 room.... got me to thinking with all our speakers at my disposal, in such a small and bass handicapped atmosphere would I even dare consider the ZF15L (Big Betsy) open baffles, or stick with something a lot smaller.  Personally, myself, yes... I would actually choose them. I know they would disappear, and there would be no bass issues because the out-of-phase bass wave coming off the back of the cabinet would clean up the droning sound you typically get in a perfectly square room. That's what I would do, because I have spent so much time with them that I realize the only problem with their size is in your own mind.  It's a visual psych job, not an audio one.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #988 - 11/06/19 at 16:59:13
 
How much experimenting has everyone done with toe in? How much are you using?
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #989 - 11/06/19 at 17:39:40
 
I haven't done much.  I have my tape marks on the floor and line everything up with those.  The drivers cross a little in front of my face.

I did experiment with less toe in when the crystal 10s were still opening up, but now that they are more seasoned, I am back to my old standby toe in.
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Geno
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #990 - 11/06/19 at 18:45:12
 
Thanks Pal. Mine aren’t toed in that much. How far away is your listening chair?
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SE84UFO and Spud Kit (Balanced monoblks) OR Sansui AU-222 OR Sansui AU-555A OR Sansui 800 OR Pioneer SX-626
Cambr. Aud. CXN (ModWright) • Cambr. Aud. CXC • ZBIT
Technics SL-1210MK5 (KAB Mods) w/ Concorde 40 cart
Otari MX5050
ZLC
Lii Cryst 10 • Lii W-15
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Palomino
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #991 - 11/06/19 at 18:46:41
 
I have about a 7.5' triangle going.  Small I know, but I have a small room.
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Geno
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Without music, life
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #992 - 11/07/19 at 00:26:51
 
Pal, I got my Lii bass drivers today. They have 2 sets of speaker connections each. How do I need to connect them? They came with one set of connections open and the other set has a small wire run from negative to positive. Both drivers came like this.
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SE84UFO and Spud Kit (Balanced monoblks) OR Sansui AU-222 OR Sansui AU-555A OR Sansui 800 OR Pioneer SX-626
Cambr. Aud. CXN (ModWright) • Cambr. Aud. CXC • ZBIT
Technics SL-1210MK5 (KAB Mods) w/ Concorde 40 cart
Otari MX5050
ZLC
Lii Cryst 10 • Lii W-15
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Palomino
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #993 - 11/07/19 at 00:34:05
 
I think they are dual voice coil.  Same as the AE. I believe they can be run in series or parallel.  I am no expert in this but I run my AE in parallel. Google it.  There are diagrams for hooking up subwoofers.
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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 Anniversary Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Zen Styx Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speaker
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Palomino
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #994 - 11/07/19 at 00:41:07
 
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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 Anniversary Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Zen Styx Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speaker
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Geno
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Without music, life
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #995 - 11/07/19 at 00:58:33
 
Thanks man!
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SE84UFO and Spud Kit (Balanced monoblks) OR Sansui AU-222 OR Sansui AU-555A OR Sansui 800 OR Pioneer SX-626
Cambr. Aud. CXN (ModWright) • Cambr. Aud. CXC • ZBIT
Technics SL-1210MK5 (KAB Mods) w/ Concorde 40 cart
Otari MX5050
ZLC
Lii Cryst 10 • Lii W-15
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Palomino
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #996 - 11/07/19 at 01:04:25
 
BTW when I first read Steve’s comments about wanting to have both the F15 and crystal 10 based OBs I thought to myself “I’m screwed, he’s probably right.”  Well he was and now I am screwed but in a pretty good way other than my pocketbook.  I have and want both speakers.  

I do have to say that since the crystal 10s have come into their own I have less desire to switch back to the F15s.  

I am very interested I your finding Geno on the Lii 15” bass driver. It could be a way to get what I get from from the crystal 10/AE LO15 for a lot less scratch.

I am pricing out cherry wood to do a 30” X 36” X 1.5” baffle.
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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 Anniversary Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Zen Styx Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speaker
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #997 - 11/07/19 at 01:06:22
 
I went parallel because it resulted in 8 ohm resistance.
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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 Anniversary Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Zen Styx Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speaker
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #998 - 11/07/19 at 04:35:41
 

Got the rest of the Cherry today, another 20 BF.  So I started making the boards for the bases tonight.

Steve
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Re: Steve's BIG BETSY Project
Reply #999 - 11/07/19 at 06:16:34
 
Steve
Can the Crystal 10's be run on the ZMA? Looks like they are 2 ohm.
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