Open Baffle is really great. And, becoming more popular in recent years. Always, a good topic for discussion between audiophiles I have noticed that recently Open Baffle seems to be rearing its head and people are taking notice. I decided to build an Open Baffle system for myself so I could find out what I could hear and if I liked what I heard.
I started this experiment by taking a very nice old pair of Wharfedale Dovedale 3 speakers that I had for years. The Wharfedales are a very nice sounding speaker, with a wide range. And, so were well suited for this purpose. Because, I was eager to see what all the OB fuss was about.
The first step was to build my OB and for this I used a sheet of 25 MM MFD which I obtained from our local hardware store. Getting the materials was easy and I returned home to carry on with The Baffle build.
Next, I had to assemble all the pieces together and was done just by simply screwing the four sections together. I did not use glue as all I was interested in was to hear what it sounded with the drivers in place.
My next step was to fix the bass driver, the midrange driver and the tweeter securely to the baffle. Which was done simply by screwing the three components directly on to the Baffle. Afterward, I was able to fit the crossovers and the termination by screwing to the base of the Baffle.
The second step was to do cover the front of the OB with a material that had a good feel, was transparent so the sound would be able to pass through. Also have a nice color so it would fit into the room and not look out of place. This was done with material taken from the local curtain shop. I was able to fit the material to the Baffle with the help of an industrial staple gun and I went on very smoothly. The next thing I did was to add some wooden surrounds to the Top, sides and bottom of the Baffle and this gave it a very nice look and even had a professional look I was told!
The first thing that I noticed was the air and space the music now presented. Gone was that typical boxy sound. And, now a very open and inviting sound. The bass was rich and full, all the highs were in place with more lively feel to everything. I was impressed and really excited to hear this transformation. The music also had a somewhat 3D effect to it and this I had not noticed before. This, was a real improvement in sound and I liked what I heard!
As the first experiment was a success I decided to take the OB a step further. I had a pair of 15″ Tannoy drivers and I thought it would be an idea to see how they sounded. I did the same thing, went to my local hardware shop and had 25mm MDF cut to suit. And, then went to work and installed the Tannoys.
This turned out to be a bigger success than I ever thought possible. The sound that I heard was magnificent with the same 3D effect as I had heard from the Wharfedale’s. But, this was indeed a new experience for me. I loved what I heard. The sound was so open and a real joy to listen too.
Will I go back?
Good question. But, in all honestly not in this case. I think, these drivers fitted in an OB is a much better arrangement than back in the cabinets. It is like the dog has been let off the leash and I also think the look is far more appealing. And, fits better into any living room. But, then that is just my opinion. And, as always, something that you would have to try yourself.
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