Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers

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JohnR

Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« on: 5 Apr 2017, 03:11 pm »
This post will have a list of links to drivers that are specifically designed for open baffle use or have been deployed for use as such.

Note that this list cannot possibly cover every driver that "could" be used in an OB configuration, so it focuses on drivers that are proven or popular for DIY use, or otherwise interesting. Note also that drivers that are not currently in production and/or not readiy available for purchase by DIYers are not included.

Please post in this thread if you have a suggestion that is not already here or additional information that should be added to this post.

Update: I've tried to order each section roughly by cost. Just thought it would help people looking for drivers to focus in based on their budget.

Fullrange

While any fullrange driver could be put onto an open baffle, this list includes only those specifically suited for it, meaning high-ish Qts or that were recommended by members. Consider however that most of these drivers will have fairly low Xmax so you may want to supplement the bass anyway when used on open baffle.

  • The Wild Burro Betsy is quite inexpensive (USD110/pair) for a driver intended for OB use.
  • The Visaton B200 was an OB experimentor's favorite for some time. Currently available from Sound Labs Group (Australia), Impact Audio (UK), Thomann (Germany), ...
  • Fane Sovereign 15-300TC is an interesting candidate (15") that has seen good reports. Available from Thomann (DE, ships worldwide), Blue Aran (UK). The 12" Sovereign 12-250TC is another (Thomann )
  • Lii Audio sell a range of drivers suited for OB, ranging from 8" to 15".
  • Commonsense Audio sell the Audio Nirvana range of drivers. As a general rule, only the Alnico magnet drivers seem readily suited for OB use, with Qts in the range of 0.5 to 0.8. (The Ferrite and Neo series have much lower Qts - around 0.2 to 0.3 - suggesting use in back loaded horns, unless used only as a mid-tweet with helper woofer.)
  • "The Lowther PM6A works well in open baffle, and to my ears, sounds much better than any of the Fostex or Audio Nirvana drivers I tried." - glynnw. Also used in Nelson Pass' Slot Loaded Open Baffle. Available from Lowther Loudspeakers (UK). Low Qts - spec sheet

Woofers

There are two schools of thought for dipole woofers. One is that high Qts (0.7 or higher) is better as it tends to counteract the dipole roll-off. Often, these are "pro" style high sensitivity drivers and a low rolloff is chosen (eg. single inductor) to match a midrange or fullrange driver in the 200-300 Hz range. The other school of thought is that Qts doesn't matter and lower may in fact be better, because active EQ will be used. In the latter case a dual-opposed arrangement with good quality subwoofers is often used for the lowest frequencies.

  • MCM Electronics sell a number of cheap drivers that could be used, here is a curated list by Monte Kay.
  • The Visaton WS 25 E is high QTS 10" driver and very inexpensive. Available from: Parts Express (USA), Soundlabs Group (AU), ...
  • The Eminence Alpha 15A is a popular budget choice for OB woofers. Available from: Parts Express (USA)...
  • The Morel MW-1075 seems to be related to the PAP1075 (below) but with lower Qts. Available from: Parts Express.
  • The Faital Pro 15PR400 is used by Troels Gravesen's OBL-15 and receives favoriable reports. In the USA they are quite expensive so importing might be cheaper. Available from Parts Express or 4 ohm version (USA), DJ City (AU), Lean (UK), ...
  • GR Research sell various open baffle servo woofers (bottom of page) and matching amplifiers.
  • Pure Audio Project sell their 15" and 10" drivers.
  • Acoustic Elegance make a number of drivers specifically for open baffle use, in particular the Dipole Woofers and the LO Woofers. (Note: AE typically build to order and have a reputation for long wait times, so be sure to check on this before completing your order.)
Midrange

Any number of cone drivers can be used as a dipole midrange. This list includes only drivers that are designed for the purpose or distinguish themselves in some way.
  • The Bohlender Graebener Neo10 was off the market for a while but is currently available from Parts Express. As of July 2019 however, the price has nearly doubled (to USD370) so it's hard to recommend....

Tweeters

The following includes only dipole tweeters. Often other drivers like dome tweeters may be used in an open baffle speaker (sometimes "back to back"), but these are not included in this list.
  • The Beston RT002A tweeter is available in a "dipole" version from Parts Express. I haven't seen any measurements of dipole performance but this driver seems to be the current budget champ for experimenting with dipole tweeters.
  • The Bohlender Graebener Neo3PDR (the former budget champ) was off the market for a while but is currently available from Parts Express and GR Research.
  • AMTs (air motion transformers) are inherently dipole, but many have a non-removable back plate. Apart from the Mundorfs below, some AMTs that are known to be usable as dipoles or at least open-back (by removing the back chamber or foam pad/backing) are Dayton Audio AMTPRO-4, Aurum Cantus AST2560, Beyma TPL-150...
  • Mundorf make a range of dipole AMT tweeters, available at: Madisound (USA); Hifi Collective (UK); lautsprechershop.de (Germany). NB links include non-dipole tweeters also.
  • The Raal Dipole 140-15D is quite expensive so not that well known. Some measurements on audioexcite.com. Available from Madisound (USA), Stones Sound Studio (Australia), ...

Test gear (draft)

Dayton DATS - https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-dats-v2-computer-based-audio-component-test-system--390-806
« Last Edit: 16 Nov 2019, 04:28 am by JohnR »

AJinFLA

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #1 on: 5 Apr 2017, 05:05 pm »
Hi John,

For passive woofers sytems, MCM has a number of very inexpensive drivers that can be used, some measured independently here http://www.mfk-projects.com/my_projects/Projects%202015/MCM%20woofers.html. Many of their house brand drivers have much higher Qts that spec'd, including some of the cast frame pro drivers.
At Parts Express, some Goldwood and GRS woofers also have high Qts (spec'd) that can be used passive.

cheers,

AJ

glynnw

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #2 on: 5 Apr 2017, 05:42 pm »
The Lowther PM6A works well in open baffle, and to my ears, sounds much better than any of the Fostex or Audio Nirvana drivers I tried.  Nelson Pass uses this driver in many of his OB designs.

JohnR

Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #3 on: 6 Apr 2017, 01:40 pm »
Thanks guys, list updated  :thumb:

Fjendbo

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #4 on: 19 Apr 2017, 07:10 pm »
The German dealer OmnesAudio have a 10" (OBW 1006), a 12" (OBW 1206) and a 15" (OBW 15PA) woofer for OB.
https://www.oaudio.de/Lautsprecher-Selbstbau/Lautsprecher-Chassis/Omnes-Audio/OA-Tieftoener/

Thought they might be relevant for EU members :)

Fjendbo

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #5 on: 19 Apr 2017, 07:17 pm »
And the Monacor SP-382PA could also be a possible candidate for an OB woofer: https://www.monacor.com/en-gb/monacor/products/components/speaker-technology/pa-bass-speakers/sp-382pa/

Can be found at various dealers in Europe. Don't know about the US.

JohnH12

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #6 on: 24 Apr 2017, 12:19 am »
There are a number of high QTS GRS woofers and subwoofers that work well OB https://www.parts-express.com/brand/grs/466

JohnR

Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #7 on: 24 Apr 2017, 03:20 pm »
Thank you for all the recs, I will update the first post when I get a chance.

Bumpy

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #8 on: 24 Sep 2018, 04:01 pm »
Why are there no cone tweeters recommended?

ricmon

Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #9 on: 24 Sep 2018, 07:43 pm »
Guys this is a bit off topic but I'm interested in finding a smoother sounding compression tweeter driver for my Emerald Physic's 2.3's.  Any suggestions?

thanks
Ric

JohnR

Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #10 on: 24 Sep 2018, 08:23 pm »
Guys this is a bit off topic but I'm interested in finding a smoother sounding compression tweeter driver for my Emerald Physic's 2.3's.  Any suggestions?

thanks
Ric

Can you start a new thread for that?

Why are there no cone tweeters recommended?

I dunno... I don't think I've seen a cone tweeter used in an OB... did you have some specific recommendation?

PDR

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #11 on: 24 Sep 2018, 11:45 pm »
Before opening the backs of the compression drivers of the P-Audio in the V series,
Danny used a dome ......guess that made them bipole for the highs....for the rear.


PDR

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #12 on: 24 Sep 2018, 11:49 pm »
Oops.....just noticed you said CONE not DOME.....

Dont all the full range driver O.B. use a cone.....or wizzer for tweets?

JohnR

Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #13 on: 25 Sep 2018, 06:09 am »
Yes, I guess if you use a fullrange driver it's also acting as a tweeter. At tweeter frequencies the output from the back is quite attenuated though.

JohnR

Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #14 on: 23 Jul 2019, 05:57 am »
I've added a few more drivers to the list, feel free to post if you have additional recommendations.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #15 on: 23 Jul 2019, 06:56 am »
Kevin at http://www.glowinthedarkaudio.com/audionirvana.html
have tested some Nirvana ferrites notedly Classic10CF that was performed a very open sound as OB with a small tube amp in a previous version of this review, at the current price the Classic10CF are good value.

JohnR

Re: Open Baffle Resources: DIY Drivers
« Reply #16 on: 16 Nov 2019, 03:09 am »
Added Lii Audio, any others that have come up lately to include in the list?

 :drums: