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The Lii Audio Fast-8 (Read 5506 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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The Lii Audio Fast-8
10/20/19 at 02:05:37
 


With all of the success and positive feedback surrounding the Lii Audio F-15 driver, I was curious about another one of their reasonably priced drivers ..... the "Fast-8".

So I obtained a pair to see how they would perform in my low profile open baffles .....

The QTS is slightly lower than the optimum value, but at .6 it's pretty close.
A sensitivity rating of 94 db means that they will have around a 97 db perceived efficiency in an open baffle ..... so that is a plus.

Of course, after setting them up and allowing some time for break-in, the obvious question would be "how do they compare to the WBAL Betsy drivers" .....

It's an interesting contrast for sure.

As might be imagined, a question that I am asked (via email) on a regular basis is "which drivers do you use and prefer in your home listening room between the original Betsy, the Betsy alnico and the Lii 15 ?"

My sincere reply (which I shared with several of the attendees of the recent Decware Fest) is "whichever drivers that happen to be playing at the time".  That answer is not a cop out.

Each of these drivers has its own set of charms and they all make music and make me want to spend time in my listening room .....

So ..... how does the Lii Fast-8 fit into the mix ?
My initial impression is that it is well named ..... it is "fast" indeed.
The sound is not as "full" and warm as either of the Betsy drivers, but the speed and detail are a bit better.
The bass is very tight and digs surprisingly deep for an 8" driver.
With a little help from my subwoofer, the overall sound is very good.
As to which is "best", it will be a matter of personal taste and preference as are all things in this hobby.





I am seriously considering offering these as an option on my website.
The cool thing is that the price point would put them just about squarely in the middle between the original Betsy and the alnico Betsy.

For the DIY crowd, this driver should work very well in a two driver baffle paired with a larger driver for bass ..... or with a subwoofer.

I will post something to this thread if these are added to the line.

Larger photos here and here.

Happy listening,
Randy

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HockessinKid
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #1 - 10/20/19 at 14:04:33
 
Randy,

Those new "Fast-8" speakers and your baffles look great. Yet another wonderful option for music lovers. Based on the specs it looks like a very good option for open baffle designs, much like the F-15 drivers.

I guess all of us should be planning for a stable of different speakers. I'm thinking maybe a pair for each season - Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter. Plus at least a couple of Steve's amps.

HK
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Vooraphile
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #2 - 10/26/19 at 05:54:00
 
Randy,
This is right timing as I was just searching for the dimension on the 8" betsy for DIY with my existing alnico 8" FR..

In any chance, would you share the baffle dimension.?

Thanks.

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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #3 - 10/27/19 at 14:11:16
 


Hi Vooraphile,

Sure ..... no problem .....

Caintuck Audio exists to provide open baffle loudspeakers for music lovers who don't have the tools or the desire to build their own speakers.
I probably spend as much time responding to questions from folks in the DIY community as I do building speakers .....

My baffles are 22.5" tall, 18" wide at the center and 11" wide at the top and bottom.

I make the bases from poplar that is 1.5" thick.
They are 10.5" wide and 11.25" long.

Happy listening,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
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Vooraphile
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #4 - 10/28/19 at 12:49:30
 
Hi Randy,
Thank you for the sharing.
Just one more info require, what is the center speaker position from bottom or top.

Thank you again.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #5 - 10/28/19 at 15:44:11
 


Hi Vooraphile,

From the top ..... 9.75"
From the bottom ..... 12.75"

If you lower the driver (closer to the floor), the sound is a little bit "warmer" with a bit more upper bass / lower midrange.

Best wishes,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
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Dana
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #6 - 10/28/19 at 16:21:11
 
Randy,
If you inverted the baffle on the Fast 8 what would be lost?
Would get the speed plus some of the additional warmth of the original?
Would the interaction with the floor muddy the sound?

Dana
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'Cause the piano has been drinking,
The piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking,
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #7 - 10/29/19 at 15:00:52
 


Hi Dana,

I don't have a good answer for that .....

The first few Betsy baffles that I built and sold had the driver mounted dead center from top to bottom ..... despite the general consensus that it's best not to do that. After looking at a pair from my listening seat for a few days, I decided to move it slightly higher for aesthetic reasons.

Several months ago, I was able to A / B a pair of the early baffles with a pair of the current ones. An audio buddy that joined me for the comparison and I both heard the same thing. The baffles with center mounted drivers had more upper bass / lower midrange.
It wasn't an earthshaking thing, but noticeable.

Based on that, my guess is that the lower the driver is to the floor the more upper bass / lower midrange the speakers will produce.
How far that you can go with this before the sound becomes "muddy", I can't say.

I do think that the speakers would look unusual ..... but we all know that the sound is more important than appearance .....

Best wishes,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles
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Dana
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #8 - 10/29/19 at 21:23:38
 
Grin

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invertedsm.png

Tom Waits:
And the newspapers were fooling,
And the ash-trays have retired
'Cause the piano has been drinking,
The piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking,
Not me, not me, not me, not me, not me
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #9 - 10/31/19 at 13:58:48
 


Yep ..... as I expected ..... "unusual" .....

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Dana
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #10 - 10/31/19 at 19:54:52
 
That's what grills are for.  About that,  what are the chances of a Betsy speaker grill?
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Tom Waits:
And the newspapers were fooling,
And the ash-trays have retired
'Cause the piano has been drinking,
The piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking,
Not me, not me, not me, not me, not me
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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: 859
Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #11 - 11/01/19 at 15:09:41
 


Hi Dana,

While I don't offer grills as an option, I found a source (Simply Speakers) that carries mesh and "waffle" grills for several sizes of speaker drivers.



My guess is that the waffle grill would do the least "sonic damage".

These grills can be found here.

Best wishes,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
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Caintuck Audio Lii 15 Open Baffles
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Randy in Caintuck
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Posts: 859
Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #12 - 11/13/19 at 21:56:22
 


Update .....

I have a couple of pairs of the Fast-8 drivers in stock .....

If anyone would be interested in a pair of baffles with these drivers, just add $ 90.00 to the price of any speaker that uses the original Betsy driver.

Options can be found here.

Several of the "exotic" plywood versions are out of stock and will not be available in the future. My expectation that there would be a demand for "something different" was incorrect.
The best sellers in plywood are still red oak and Baltic birch.
Go figure .....

If you have any questions, please PM or email me.

Happy listening,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
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NTheo
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #13 - 11/07/20 at 13:14:37
 
Hi,

Is there a reason the units are not counter sunck. Another question... what are your ideas about chipboard, the dense variation used for worktops. The are sold here in France an inch to two inch thick.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #14 - 11/07/20 at 17:10:39
 


Hi NTheo,

The reason I don't countersink the drivers is that the baffles I offer are only 3/4" thick and there wouldn't be much depth left for the mounting screws.

Some day, I might offer thicker baffles and flush mount the drivers ..... but the 3/4" thick baffles have been well received by my customers.

I really don't have any experience with chipboard.
For the past few months, I have only been offering baffles made from solid hardwoods because the results are better than using plywood and working with hardwood is more satisfying (for me) than working with plywood.

The chipboard worktop would probably be OK ..... but I have no idea what the results would be sonically.

Best wishes,
Randy

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Cambridge Audio Azur 851N DAC / Streamer
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
Decware SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles
Caintuck Audio Lii 15 Open Baffles
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NTheo
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Re: The Lii Audio Fast-8
Reply #15 - 11/07/20 at 22:31:52
 
Hi Randy,

Really appreciate your reply. I assume there is no acoustic objection to counter sinck a unit as long there is anough 'beef' in tickness? I will use 30mm thick material and do a 45 degree rebate at the back of the baffle and countersinck the unit. (sorry about the metrics)
I have ordered the Lii Audio Fast-8 and will combine your baffles with active ripole subs I have (in stereo). Will show the project here.
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