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Bigger Betsys (Read 1000 times)
Geno
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Bigger Betsys
03/22/20 at 03:27:24
 
I’ve just added a slightly bigger version of Randys Betsys to my lineup. I had them made and shipped to me sanded, but unfinished (Baltic Birch plywood)  I finished them with 3 coats of Boiled Linseed and simply took the Alnico Betsy drivers and Randy’s connection box from the smaller baffles and placed them in the new. The new baffles are about 4” bigger each direction. That is as big as I wanted them for my room, plus I wanted to keep the driver as close to the floor as I could. The main difference is that they are twice as thick - 1 1/2”.

I’ve been listening to them for about 2 hours or so, and like what I hear so far. I like the Crystal Baffles that I have very much too, but, as Betsy was my first, my heart belongs to her. ❤️




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Alnico Betsy Baffles OR Crystal 10 Baffles
(2) 12" Lii Bass Baffles
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Larpy
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Posts: 6
Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #1 - 03/23/20 at 23:35:50
 
Well, reading this post motivated me to register for the forums.  I've made my own "Bigger Betsy" baffles.  I bought a pair of Caintuck Betsys (with Lii Audio Fast-8 drivers) a few months ago and was instantly smitten with the sound.  Reading about the Decware Big Betsys on this site got me wondering what the Lii F15s would sound like.  So I built an upscaled Betsy baffle 30" high and 24" wide (my mathematically challenged calculation of a precise upscaling) from 3/4" birch plywood.  Worked pretty well but they could have been more rigid, so I'm just now finishing another pair of baffles with two sheets of 3/4" birch plywood glued together to make a 1 1/2" deep baffle.  Made them slightly smaller too, to better fit my small listening room (12' x 13').  They need a nother coat of finish but then they will be done.

I'll share photos when I've posted enough to earn attachment rights.

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Geno
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Without music, life
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Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #2 - 03/24/20 at 00:04:20
 
Hi Larpy. And welcome. No doubt that open baffle sound is pretty awesome.

I also own a pair of 32” tall baffles with the Lii Crystal 10’s. I have not heard the 15’s or the 8’s, but the Crystals are great. The advantage of the F-15’s is, you would not need supplemental bass.

The 8” Betsy Alnico’s that Randy sells are very special drivers too. I have not personally heard a driver that I like more. But again, supplemental bass is needed. I have two 12” Bass Baffles that fill out the sound nicely.

Best,

Geno



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SE84UFO(25th Mods)
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PS Audio DSDAC JR / Cambr.Audio CXC / LRaven AudioPC / ZBIT
Technics 1210MK5(KAB Mods)-KAB/Ortof ProS 40 cart / ZP3(25th Mods)
Otari MX5050 R2R
Decware ZLC
Alnico Betsy Baffles OR Crystal 10 Baffles
(2) 12" Lii Bass Baffles
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Larpy
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Posts: 6
Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #3 - 03/24/20 at 20:15:02
 
Ironically, I haven't heard the Betsy drivers.  My Betsys were shipped with the Lii Fast-8s because of an issue Randy had on his end.  I essentially got an upgrade from the Betsy drivers to the Fast 8 drivers.

So I can't compare the Fast 8s to the Betsy drivers. Actually, the only open baffle drivers I've ever heard are the Lii Fast 8 and the Lii F-15.  I'm a recent convert to open baffle speakers after building a Bottehead 300B Kaiju amp and needing SET-friendly speakers to go with them.  I had been Aerial speakers with a VTL amp, but the Aerials' low sensitivity wasn't going to work with a 300B amp, so I bought a pair of Betsys from Randy as a way to get my feet wet.

I was instantly smitten with the sound.  The Bottlehead amp sounds fine, but it's not a night-and-day difference from my push-pull VTL amp.  The Betsys, however, were a revelation after listening to conventional bass-reflex speakers for the last 25 years.  The immersiveness of the sound, the size of the soundstage: I found it intoxicating.

At Randy's suggestion, I bought an inexpensive subwoofer to fill in the Betsy's bottom octaves, but I still found the upper bass and lower midrange a little lean.  The Fast 8s sound terrific, and if I never listened to electronic music I could live with them happily, but they don't do, say, Radiohead as well as my Aerials do.

So after reading through the dozens of pages of Steve's "Big Betsy" thread on the Decware forums, I ordered a pair of the F-15s and decided to try my hand at building my own baffles--like Randy's, only scaled up somewhere between the originals and Steve's medium-sized Betsys.
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Larpy
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Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #4 - 03/24/20 at 20:19:50
 
OK, now that I have attachment privileges, here's a photo of my Randy-made Betsys with the Fast 8s and my first attempt at a Bigger Betsy with F15s:


My second attempt (two sheets of 3/4" birch ply glued back-to-back to make a baffle twice as deep) has a slightly smaller "barrel."  They'll be ready for service tomorrow.

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Geno
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Without music, life
would be a mistake.
Nietzsche

Posts: 889
Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #5 - 03/24/20 at 20:28:45
 
Very good Larpy. I think you made the right decision. The fact that you won’t have to have supplemental bass is a money saver. I’ve yet to hear anyone say anything bad about the 15’s.

Now, get a Decware amp, and you will be set for a long time. Saying the ‘B’ word (Bottlehead) on this forum is not allowed🤓

Post pictures and give your impressions after you get things going!
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SE84UFO(25th Mods)
CSP3
PS Audio DSDAC JR / Cambr.Audio CXC / LRaven AudioPC / ZBIT
Technics 1210MK5(KAB Mods)-KAB/Ortof ProS 40 cart / ZP3(25th Mods)
Otari MX5050 R2R
Decware ZLC
Alnico Betsy Baffles OR Crystal 10 Baffles
(2) 12" Lii Bass Baffles
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Geno
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Without music, life
would be a mistake.
Nietzsche

Posts: 889
Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #6 - 03/24/20 at 20:31:05
 
Ooops. You posted pictures while I was posting. Very nice!  I know you will enjoy them.

Nice music collection!
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SE84UFO(25th Mods)
CSP3
PS Audio DSDAC JR / Cambr.Audio CXC / LRaven AudioPC / ZBIT
Technics 1210MK5(KAB Mods)-KAB/Ortof ProS 40 cart / ZP3(25th Mods)
Otari MX5050 R2R
Decware ZLC
Alnico Betsy Baffles OR Crystal 10 Baffles
(2) 12" Lii Bass Baffles
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Larpy
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Posts: 6
Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #7 - 03/24/20 at 20:33:49
 
As for the sound so far, in my experience, the F-15s need at least 50-75 hours of break-in before they sound the way they should. For the first 24 hours, I thought I'd made a big mistake: the F-15s sounded big but seriously muffled, and there was no soundstage.  The upper frequencies gradually filled in (though inconsistently).  I now have 100 hours or so, and they sound like I'd hoped:  like the Fast-8s but bigger, fuller.  They're not as detailed, but I'm hoping that will change with more break-in.

Even so, to get deep bass in my little room I'll probably still need a sub.  The F-15s are relatively linear down to 60 Hz, but they drop off quickly below that.  Maybe that will change with  more break-in, but I suspect it's the physics of my room and open baffle bass.

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Joey
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Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #8 - 03/25/20 at 00:29:38
 
I'm thinking the F15 with the Zrock would go low enough to forfeit the sub. Since I already have the Zrock, I have nothing to loose?
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #9 - 03/26/20 at 15:21:51
 


Hi Joey,

The amount of bass an open baffle will make is directly related to the surface area of the baffle.
The bigger baffles that Decware offers produce more bass than the smaller ones that I build.
Larpy is correct that the F-15 drivers drop off pretty quickly below 50 or 60 HZ ..... but the frequencies above that are very robust and there is the impression of deeper bass, especially in a larger baffle.

If you have a ZROCK and mount the F-15 drivers in a larger baffle, I am guessing that you will be happy with the results.

I use a small powered subwoofer in my listening room with the F-15 drivers in my smaller baffles. The results are very good in my opinion ..... probably because the subwoofer doesn't start contributing to the sound until around 60 HZ. The human ear is not as "picky" at that frequency as it is at 90 or 100 HZ .....

Happy listening,
Randy

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Larpy
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Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #10 - 03/26/20 at 15:53:30
 
My new baffles are done.  28" high and 22.25" wide with the F-15s centered and installed from the rear: they're essentially mini-Zen Master Mediums, though my craftsmanship is nowhere near Steve's.

They weigh twice as much as my original baffles: I'd guess 40-50 lbs each.

I don't hear major differences between these beefier (but slightly smaller) baffles and the first ones I made.  But I'm pretty sure I hear more clarity. There's more resolution, better imaging.

In any case, they sound great, and they're still breaking in.

Here are the new baffles introducing themselves to my Caintuck Fast 8 Betsys:


And here are the new baffles in place:
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Larpy
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Re: Bigger Betsys
Reply #11 - 03/26/20 at 16:04:03
 
I should add that the sound of these speakers is, after 120 hours or so of break-in, much like the Caintuck Betsys (with the Fast 8 drivers) only bigger, wider.  Significantly more bass and lower midrange.

I don't know if there's any advantage to the baffles I've built over the Lii 15 speaker Randy makes and sells.  I've not heard one.  But I enjoy the DIY aspect, and I was curious to see (hear) what difference a larger baffle would make.  Initially, I thought I'd contact Randy and ask him to make bigger Lii 15s, but I read elsewhere on this forum that he restricts his builds to the size that fit his shipping materials, so that option was out.
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