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It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!! (Read 2516 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
08/11/19 at 05:45:25
 


With all of the buzz happening in the "Steve's BIG BETSY Project" thread in the General Discussion and Support forum, I have been doing some serious thinking about the future direction and destination of Caintuck Audio ...

Adding the Lii 15 baffle option has been interesting and I have received a large number of questions from prospective customers as to my recommendation for a loudspeaker purchase. As one might imagine, providing a satisfying answer to those questions is not really the easiest thing to do.

There are so many variables to be considered ...... the front end and amplification owned (or being considered) for use with the speakers, the size of the listening room, the type (or types) of music in the person's library and their listening habits, etc.

The Lii 15 is an easy recommendation for a lot of folks ..... based on the fact that they do so many things well and will eliminate the need for a supplemental bass system for many owners.

However ..... (there's always a "however") .....

There is quite a difference in the cost of the Lii 15 baffles compared to the original Betsy baffles ..... and despite the fact that a lot of music lovers are willing (and able) to spend whatever it takes to reach their audio nirvana, a large percentage of the music lovers contacting me want to spend as little as possible and still end up with a musical result.

I have spent the past few days in my new audio he shed swapping speakers ..... the original Betsy baffles, the Betsy alnico baffles and the Lii 15s. Apples and oranges, for sure .....
The beauty of the Betsy drivers (especially with well recorded music) can be absolutely stunning ..... but there is no denying that they drop off pretty quickly below 80 HZ or so.

It's not that difficult to add an additional baffle (or two) with larger drivers powered by a plate amp or subwoofer amp ..... but some folks don't want the added complexity or don't have the space in their room for additional baffles.  The other option is a high quality powered subwoofer which can be seamlessly integrated with some careful experimentation.

But, what about that music lover on a strict budget ?
Here comes the "sacrilege" part .....

A few months ago, I decided on a whim to order one of the small inexpensive powered subwoofers offered by Parts Express ..... specifically their 8" "house brand" model. I was curious to see if there was any way to make it sound respectable with a pair of Betsy baffles.
I became busy building speakers and doing some other projects and sat the little sub in the corner and pretty much forgot about it.

Two days ago while I was in my speaker swapping activities, I remembered the little sub and dragged it into the listening room.
It's not very big (about 12" cubed) and I tucked it into one of the front corners of the room.
Instead of running wires from the binding posts of the SE84UFO to the high level inputs of the sub, I ran wires from the binding posts of the Betsy baffles and tucked the wires out of sight under the carpet.

I adjusted the crossover and volume controls and started a listening session. After a couple of trips out of the listening chair to dial things in, I was quite happy with the sound I was hearing and pretty much amazed that I was hearing all of the things I enjoy so much about the Betsy baffles with a nice low frequency foundation.
I was running the Betsy baffles full range (not using the pass through high level outputs of the sub) and after getting the volume and crossover points of the subwoofer set, I backed the volume of the sub off slightly ..... very nice.
It wasn't drawing attention to itself, but the foundation it added made everything sound better ..... especially music with low frequency content.

So ..... I am happy to be able to recommend a pair of basic Betsy baffles with one of these little subwoofers (available from Parts Express) that only adds about 100.00 to the overall price.

I'm sure that there are some "purists" who will think it's time to get the torches and pitchforks ready to storm the castle at Caintuck Audio ..... but I have a sincere interest in serving the interests of the "sincere but (financially) challenged music lover".
This is a perfectly viable solution in my opinion and the best possible plan would be to spend the majority of the audio budget on an SE84UFO and use what's left for this speaker combo.

My time and efforts were justified today .....

A very nice gentleman from across the river in Cincinnati visited my listening room and we spent two and a half hours listening to the Betsy baffles, the alnico baffles and the Lii 15s ..... with the little PE sub adding its contribution to the Betsy and alnico baffles.
At the end of the session, he left for home with a pair of Betsy baffles and plans to order a little sub from Parts Express.

Does this mean that I no longer recommend the open baffles with larger drivers for bass augmentation ? By no means ..... I still think that open baffle bass is superior, but for those wanting an inexpensive and simple setup the PE sub will fill a niche.

The Lii 15 also fills a niche for a different group of music lovers and I am happy to be able to offer the options.
Right now, I am in the process of building three pairs of the Lii 15 baffles for customers with a probable fourth in the near future.

So ..... for now, hold off on the torches and pitchforks .....

I will bring the little sub to East Peoria in October and am thinking that some folks will be surprised at just how effective it is at a price nearly anyone can afford.

Looking forward to October ..... with all of the projects and new equipment on tap, this will certainly be a Decware Fest to remember .....

Happy listening,
Randy

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RiversideBlues
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #1 - 08/12/19 at 07:00:49
 
Where's the like button?
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Bottlehead
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #2 - 08/12/19 at 07:36:05
 
Hey Randy,

I applaud your efforts to fill the gap in the lower (price, not the quality) end of the audio spectrum. Not everybody can, or even wants to, dedicate big dough to audio. Your approach yields big results for very little $$.

My hat's off to you.

The Other Randy

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Randy in Caintuck
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Tube be ... or not
tube be ... it's a
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #3 - 08/12/19 at 15:06:01
 


Hey guys,

Thanks for the positive comments .....

I still remember vividly a time when I appreciated good sounding audio equipment but was in no position financially to do anything about it.

In my opinion, we are living in one of the "golden ages" of audio right now. There is equipment available now that sounds fabulous and is affordable for nearly everyone.  I am happy to be able to make a small contribution to that situation.

It's very cool to see how many forum posters have woodworking skills and equipment and are able to build their own custom speakers.
Caintuck Audio primarily serves music lovers who either don't own any woodworking equipment or have no desire to build speakers.

When I was in high school (man, that was a long time ago) ..... almost every guy took "shop" class. I had three years of it and really wish that I would have paid better attention and taken it more seriously.
I have two grandsons (18 and 19) who are whizzes at video games but have no interest in things like woodworking. The thought of them picking up one of my power tools terrifies me ..... I would probably be looking for body parts on the floor of my shop .....

So ..... as long as there is a need and interest in what I am doing from music lovers who appreciate my "mission statement", affordable loudspeakers will continue to be coming out of Caintuck.

Best wishes,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
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Geno
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #4 - 08/12/19 at 17:08:13
 
Randy,

You and Steve are the most important factors in my audio life. Thank God and the internet that I found you both. Making the switch to tubes (particularly low wattage SET) and open baffle speakers, have me in an absolutely perfect place. I never dreamed that I would have a system that sounds this great! And the fact that what I have was so affordable, I was able to get what I wanted.

Now, if I can just stop reading the Big Betsy thread. I have a terrible itch to try to keep up with the Jones's!

Geno
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Alnico Betsy Baffles OR Crystal 10 Baffles
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Randy in Caintuck
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Tube be ... or not
tube be ... it's a
no-brainer.

Posts: 821
Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #5 - 08/13/19 at 01:41:05
 


Quote:
Now, if I can just stop reading the Big Betsy thread. I have a terrible itch to try to keep up with the Jones's!


Hi Geno,

Yep ..... been there, done that .....

If Steve and Archie and Palomino weren't so good at relating what they are hearing, we wouldn't have this very distressing problem .....

You realize that the only way you will be able to sleep well at night and not end up with a terminal case of "audio nervosa" is to attend the Decware Fest in October .....  

Hope to see you there,
Randy

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TdarT
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #6 - 08/15/19 at 17:32:26
 
Hi, Absolutely new to the OP concept and have just recently started on my very modest 'Tube' adventure after years in vintage SS (Marantz, Carver, Mc) power audio.  My biggest problem with my current SW (Klipsch 12") is the WAF, of which there isn't any.  Has there been any experimentation with an OB containing both a Full Range and a SW driver that would maintain the same foot print but simply add height to the OB as opposed to a separate OB for SW use.  I would think that the SW's would need to be separately powered.  Something along the lines of a 10" Crystal (FR) and Lii15 (SW) perhaps?
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Randy in Caintuck
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tube be ... it's a
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #7 - 08/16/19 at 16:05:05
 


Hi TdarT,

I offer a speaker that I call the "Betsy & Buck".

The page on my website can be found here.

It uses an 8" Wild Burro Audio Labs Betsy driver and an Eminence Alpha 10" driver for the bass enhancement.
There are two sets of binding posts which allows the 10" driver to be powered separately by a plate amplifier or other subwoofer amplifier such as this one sold by Parts Express.

It's pretty amazing how much good sounding, tuneful bass that this 10" driver will produce and the 8" Betsy driver is very musical and does a nice job with the midrange and high frequencies.

The 10" Alpha driver is the largest driver that I can fit comfortably on a baffle of this size ..... and I only offer baffles of this size which fit in the shipping carton that I use for my products.

If you have any additional questions, you can email me at the address found on my website.

Best wishes,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
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DanG
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #8 - 11/17/19 at 13:04:32
 
Posting just to report that I purchased the Dayton Sub-800, 8". I'm enjoying it.

Many changes for me this year. New home and listening space, the switch from push-pull tubes to SET, and the switch from cabinet speakers to Open Baffle.

Everything is still breaking in. What with the move, and unpacking, and furniture shopping, putting hours on the SE84UFO and Betsy's and sub has been slower than usual. And the listening space is still a work in progress. But I am starting to hear really exceptional things  :)

I think I'm set for awhile, and I'm happy with it. I know I need time to let everything break in, especially the SE84UFO.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Tube be ... or not
tube be ... it's a
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Posts: 821
Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #9 - 11/17/19 at 19:19:18
 


Hello DanG,

Thanks for posting your input and results to this thread .....

I'm sure that some folks are thinking "seriously ... an inexpensive Parts Express powered sub in a high resolution audio system ?"

However, the proof is in the listening .....

Just to reiterate .....

1 - The 8" and 10" versions work for music ..... the larger versions are better suited for home theater. It's a "speed" thing.

2 - The 8" and 10" versions are small and can be tucked into a corner of the room out of sight. Instead of running wires from the speaker binding posts of the main amplifier to the high level inputs of the sub, you can run wires from the binding posts of the primary speakers to the high level inputs of the sub.
This is how I have it set up in my room with the wires running underneath the carpet, out of sight. Whichever way works best for the room.

3 - A pair of Betsy baffles and one of these subs is a very musical full range system that nearly anyone can afford. The low end is fast and tuneful and sounds much better than the price would indicate.

4 - Integration of the sub with the Betsy baffles is easy with a little experimentation and seamless once it's dialed in.

5 - Parts Express has a "no questions asked" return policy.

Happy listening,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
Schiit Audio Eitr USB to RCA converter
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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SteveB
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #10 - 11/19/19 at 05:36:24
 
I don't have a pitchfork, but I do have a couple of manure forks Grin.

Have you ever thought of trying out one of goldwood's GW1038/Pa 10" musical instrument speakers? 28hz to 8000hz with 92db efficiency. It might pair nicely with the Betsy driver.

I was absolutely stunned by the Betsy OB at Decfest 2018. Made me rethink everything about speakers in general. I did end up buying a pair of Imperial horns. I know where to get my bass fix
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Randy in Caintuck
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Tube be ... or not
tube be ... it's a
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Re: It's sacrilege I tell you ... sacrilege !!!
Reply #11 - 11/19/19 at 22:43:51
 


Hi Steve,

I have used some of Goldwood's drivers in the past when I was making some two way baffles with tweeters and they make some very nice products.

Right now, the only "multi-driver" speaker I am offering is the Betsy & Buck, which uses a Betsy driver and (originally) a 10" Eminence driver .... but the latest version is using a 12" Eminence driver.

I have been offering this speaker with two options ..... one with two pairs of binding posts for use with a plate amp or other subwoofer amp to power the Eminence driver and the other as a "passive" version with an inductor on the Eminence driver which allows both drivers to be powered by the main amplifier.

Since it takes more power to produce bass frequencies, the passive version usually benefits from a bass driver that has a higher sensitivity than the Betsy driver. In the active option, it wouldn't matter what the sensitivity is since it's being driven by a different amplifier.

Yep ..... a good full range driver in an open baffle can sound VERY good .....

No question, the Imperial horns are the real deal for bass .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
Schiit Audio Eitr USB to RCA converter
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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