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Open Baffle Speakers

Joe Carter

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On 2/8/2024 at 2:44 PM, rplace said:


I had Khorns for 14+ years with various "improvements" like High-Zoot crossovers, also had Chorus/Heresy/Forte II/Heresy II/La Scala LSI/KG-4/etc.


Once in a very great while I miss the though of my Khorns sweet spot, it passes quickly.


Pure Audio Project is the real deal. You owe it to yourself to give them a listen. I was on the fence with their horn center baffle. I recently passed on a pair on US Audio Mart. Kind of regret it just to see how they might give the "horn thing" along with open baffle. Some day, maybe.


From This:






To This and don't think I'll ever go back to box speakers:




These are with an older set of center baffles/drivers Audio Nirvana. They currently have a set of Voxativ AC-1.6


They work great with HT too! Here you can see the Vox drives (white cones not black)







What are you using to power yours? How is their efficiency?


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OB won't have the thickness or meat on the bone without subs. Also, several businesses are now capitalizing on the open baffle popularity because it used to be such low cost but it's clearly obvious now that the market is being taken advantage of because OB speaker prices are becoming ridiculous and one might as well just go with the Klipsch Heritage at this point if they're gonna spend that much money. As much as I have experimented and use open baffle speakers, my feelings about their exploitation in abusive ways has changed since 2022. It's not a very cost savings option anymore with the inflation of material costs. 

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On 2/10/2024 at 3:53 PM, CWelsh said:

What are you using to power yours? How is their efficiency?


I'm using a FirstWatt J2 to drive the two mid channels and have 2 NCORE Hypex mono blocks, one channel per driver, for the Pure Audio Project proprietary 15" bass speakers. I have no idea about efficiency. I'm sure that can be looked up on-line. They get plenty loud.


Pretty safe bet most speakers/rooms would benefit from a properly set up sub or two. Ported, bass reflex, horn-loaded included.


All the generalized talk about :


On 2/11/2024 at 8:18 AM, Idontknow said:

thickness or meat on the bone




you get into the Blose reflected sound "stuff", stealing focus.




@the real Duke Spinner

The Music was not kix d on that kind of Speaker - Decoder ring needed for most of his/her posts (typical)


I'd be willing to bet they have never heard a pair of Pure Audio Project speakers (Kudos for you @CWelsh for giving them a go at AXPONA 2023). Lumping all Open Baffle speakers into the same bin or ones you heard 25 years ago or slapping a couple of spare drivers on a plywood board and calling it a day is about as closeminded as  you can get. Are the white van box speakers from the 70s/80s the same as a Heresy? Remember all the cupped hand over your mouth, megaphone, honking comments from Klipsch bashers 20+ years ago? Same thing....different day. 

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  • 2 months later...

Dave Harris built a speaker system he named the Yield. Its an open baffle full ranger with two 15 inch open baffle drivers mounted behind an 6 inch hole.  The results are amazing. I have owned the speakers for 12 years but now have to get rid of them,




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As I understand it, the Enclosure serves to capture the sound energy coming off the back of the driver. The Yield is very flat and has wonderful bass sound but cannot go very loud. The room and placement is also important to the how the Yield sounds. Enclosed speakers are more flexible.

Who is Helmholtz?

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51 minutes ago, the real Duke Spinner said:

Is Mr Helmholzs work discredited ???


Yes when AS came into existence. 😉


Before Novak and later Thiele and Small knowing a box could be used as resonator didn't automatically mean good sound.


Open baffle/panel speakers have existed for a very long time, probably all the way back to 1924? and the first moving coil loudspeaker.

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In the past I have owned every Heritage model and enjoyed them all.  Years ago I started a long journey learning, building and experimenting with OB speakers.  I too doubt I will go back to box speakers for my main listening room. I do use box subs for the lowest end, but my 3 front speakers are a DIY project with Heil AMT's and dual 18 inch woofers housed in an H frame.  Overall, very inexpensive to make and enjoy.  Biggest expense for me was the active crossover and amps. 


If you are at all interested, I highly recommend you take the journey and learn about OB speakers and build your own.  Yes, there are many manufacturers of OB speakers, but you will pay for the better options.  Pure audio project has some great, high end, options for the top end.  


There are limits to how you can use OB speakers relative to room size since they must be away from rear walls.  Picking drivers for a project is not difficult and you can spend as much as you want in that area.  Have fun and enjoy the journey.  If you are interested in my experience, you can search my old posts during those builds. Plenty of pictures there.  


I still use and enjoy my KPT-942's in my large barn.  OB would not likely work well in that application. 


In the picture below, you can see two of the full size Marty subs in the corners.  I only use the subs for movies.  For my 2 channel listening evenings, only the two mains operate.  Bass is not at all missing, contrary to popular belief.  Of course, you need a lot of room to house dual 18 inch drivers in each main speaker.....they are rather large.  If you are interested in the build of the double stacked Heil AMT's, there is a very long thread with some really good commentary from some extremely knowledgeable guys from the 'old' gang on this forum. If you have never heard a Heil AMT, you owe it to yourself to find a set and listen....


If you wish to learn about OB speakers, there are many great resources on line. I highly recommend a deep dive into the Linkwitz Lab documentation....




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Open baffle speakers are another animal. I've owned many of the Klipsch horn speakers (hello folks - I'm back after an 8 year hiatus - I'm the original prerich). The ones I've owned are heritage series the larges of which were the Cornwalls (if I still had room in my house - I would have never sold them). I went to infinity P-FRs and after those...my dream speakers finally came to me - Legacy Audio Whispers. The Whispers are open baffles, they image like crazy. They have great sensitivity - but do not be deceived, you need some juice to run these things (I have the older ones - the newer ones can come with their own amplification). I'd describe OB's as electrostatic like with power. 

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I was ok with the bass from my LA Scalas. However, I did use a crossover that allowed me to the midrange a few dB. They sounded way more balanced that way. And turning them up to get more midrange also helps the bass fill in a bit more.

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21 hours ago, the real Duke Spinner said:

What ??!

My Forte 2 we're killer in the low end.

I have no complaints at all about my Forte IIIs, either. I was just saying it seems many others think so.

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