AVS Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I am new to this forum and I am a new convert to DIY speakers. I thought I might post my latest efforts for discussions. Here goes!

I have twopairs of DIY Open Baffle speakers - one pair for Home theatre: Hawthorn Silver Iris 10'' co-axials withcompression drivers and one pair for Stereo Listening - Audio Nirvana Super12'' cast frame full range.

They were both built in my garage with the following minimal equipment;

- A two speed drill
- 2 clamps
- a hacksaw
- a small electric jigsaw
- a small tool kit - hammer, pliers, spirit level, screwdriver, set square,ruler, etc
- a small folding picnic table
- assorted nuts and bolts, rubber grommets and washers and plastic grills

The materials are from various sources:

- IKEA - Assorted coloured kitchen door cupboards and handles ($30 per door)
- 2 black aluminium fence posts from the hardware store ($30 each)
- 2 black angle brackets ($15 a pair)
- 4 pieces of high density foam, cut with the jigsaw ($17 a piece)
- 2 plastic gutter leaf traps ($15 a pair)
- 10'' OB speakers from Hawthorne Audio - $258 a pair - including highcompression drivers and minimal
- 12'' OB speakers from Audio Nirvana (Common sense Audio) $250 off E Bay(normally $328 a pair)
- assorted nuts, bolts, spikes, cupboard bolts, washers and rubber grommets -$100

Each speaker takes about 5 hours to assemble from scratch and you can belistening to them that evening.

The sound..............let's talk about how good they sound!

1. The bass ! OB bass is way better than box bass. It sounds more real and isfull sounding like a real
instrument. It goes deep enough with a 10'' speaker driver for jazz, femalevocals, small ensembles etc but
likes support for heavy tracks like dub, and reggae. Here I supplement the 10''with a 12'' passive non vented
sub. This fills in the bottom end and the bass is then awesome - with greatimpact.
2. The midrange! This is where the OB's are really excellent. They produce themost realistic voices and
diction. They are non fatiguing and I can listen to mine for hours. They areparticularly good with jazz and
and piano and bass instruments. The soundscape is tangible, if using them aspoint source monitors.
3. The top end is sweet, clear and non brittle with both sets of speakers andis integrated into the mix very
well. I would say the are an overall excellent way to listen to music. They donot get louder when you turn up
the volume........the sound just gets bigger!

You may feel that I an going overboard about these speakers but I must say in30 years of buying expensive hi fi equipment, These are my best buy ever. Plus,it also feels good to make something that actually lives up to it'sexpectations.

Open baffle sounds are exactly what people said they should be (the best sourceof info on the subject without doubt is Darrel Hawthorne - of Hawthorne Audio)

A few words of caution - they need to be tweaked.

- My pairs both sound better on spiked stands, tilted back 7-10 degrees
- the tube stands and are filled with sand and all the fittings are rubbermounted very tightly
- they like to be toed in a little
- they sound great at about 9-10 feet apart, pulled out from the back wall atleast 15'' and side walls about a

But apart from those few issues they are fit and forget..............and themore you play them the better they sound.

I wonder why I have not done this DIY thing before!!!!!

Regards Harry Potter



· Registered
4,829 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Glad you love your sound. I think I remember seeing some pics of your setup on Hawthorne website. While I am not a convinced listener of OB I do love the many different ways to achieve great sound. I have been listening to my single 15" subwoofer in free air for about 2 weeks now and I must say I really like it. That being said I would need about four times as many of the same thing compared to a sealed alignment.

But when are you stepping up to the 15's in OB?:D

· Registered
973 Posts
That is a pretty cool looking setup you have there. What kind of equipment are you running with these setups? Amps, preamp, source? I have never really had the chance to hear any OB speakers, and while I don't think that they would be my cup of tea, I could be wrong. I have heard bipolar speakers, ie Definitive Technology, and several dipolar speakers, but never OB. Kuddo's to you for building something that you love!

· Registered
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Open Baffle System details

Hi Guys,

Sorry about the font issue, I copied and pasted a previous article from another forum to save me writing it all out again.

Some of you asked about my system components. Here is my budget system;

1. Yaqin SD-32A HDCD player with Sylvania 1947 Black Gate tubes - bought in Hong Kong and modified by tube rolling - cost $600
2. Modified Music Angel Class A Tube Triode/Ultra linear amplifier with Mullard EL34 and Tung Sol tubes and remote control - bought in Hong Kong - modified by PN Electronics in Perth
WA. - cost $500
3. Digitech T amp driving a DAB tuner from Jaycar Electronics, bought in Perth, Western Australia - cost $140
4. DAB Tuner from Jaycar Electronics, Perth, WA - cost $140
5. Dayton Audio SA230 subwoofer amplifier, from Parts Express, USA - $150
6. Home made passive subwoofer in a narrow sealed enclosure (12'' driver) - $100 - from a garage/ car boot sale
7. DIY Open baffle loudspeaker drivers from Hawthorne Audio.(10'' Coaxial speakers with 1'' high compression driver units and crossovers) - cost $550 pair
8. DIY Open baffle loudspeaker drivers from Common Sense Audio (12'' Full range cast frame Super 12's from Audio Nirvana) $240 - from E Bay
9. Zhaolu 2.5 DAC with headphone amp from Hong Kong - $250
10. Switching unit - from Jaycar Electronics Perth WA - $35
11. Assorted cables/ connectors from Arrow Interconnects - $250 - from Hong Kong.
12. Assorted parts from IKEA /Hardware stores - $500

Total cost all up - a few dollars short of $3500 - the cost of one of my previous turntables without arm or cartridge!!!!!!

I know it may sound pretentious but the system I have now in this house is by far the best looking and best sounding (in my opinion) I have ever had in 30 years of buying expensive Hi Fi equipment. It is ironic how much money I have spent pursuing the ideal sound and then find I can get close to it, for fraction of the price and have so much fun in building and tweaking it.

No fancy expensive cables any more, no special isolating platforms, no turntables with arms or cartridges that cost more than a small car, no ugly speakers that the wife hates to look at, let alone listen to.
No need to buy amplification that would drive a small shuttle craft - weigh up to 50 kilos, requiring two people to lift in to its special resting/loading platform
No worries about where to position the speakers to get maximum effects, no room treatment required, easy to drive, easy to listen to and loads of WAF (Wife acceptance factor)
No worries as to whether the system will fit into the house décor as my lovely wife picks the materials and pays for them - all I do is assemble them.
No real criticisms from friends who come and have a listen - nothing but good feedback (and I have some so called 'Audiophile' mates who are hard to please)
No worries about getting bored with system or speaker designs as the baffles are interchangeable and I have colours in black, white, smoked acrylic and Perspex.
No worries that the styles will date as I can change the look of the speakers in a couple of hours without affecting the sound quality too much.
No more' keeping up with the Jones's' down the street

It might sound too good to be true, but I am very happy a the moment with the overall choice of a CD/ radio based system to suit my current needs. I am a bit old school and have not yet gotten into high resolution downloads via a PC, but who knows I may get the itch again to move forward in some way in the future with music servers etc.

Cheers Harry


· Registered
12,625 Posts
Do you have a UMIK-1? I'd be curious to see how it measures.

When I think of a cello it makes sense that the sound travels out spherically in all directions with roughly equal power.
Then we go and destroy everything by sampling the sound in one fixed location, or maybe 7.1 if we are lucky (i.e. 7 mics vs 1).
Now that we have Dolby Atmos which allows encoding and playback of 40+ discrete channels in a music room, I sometimes wonder how much better it would be if you used say 50 or 100 mics and 50 or 100 speakers throughout the recording and playback room. Would it be better, would it be worse... who knows!

When I was making my speakers I had the drivers just in free-air sitting on the ground, and even that sounded pretty darn good for what it was.
Obviously at the correct height and baffle size it would be that much better.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.