Doing a full range speaker for my first build. What driver and box?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Donny, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. hurdy_gurdyman

    hurdy_gurdyman Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Shepherd, MI
    I'm using Wild Burro Betsy drivers in a Caintuck Audio Betsy clone I made (with permission from Randy at Caintuck Audio). I love them! I've had a whole passel of fullrange/widerange drivers on OB and some coaxial drivers on OB since around 2003 and think these little drivers/baffle combo have them all beat. I use Hawthorne Audio 15" Augies with plate amps for bass, but Alpha 15's or 12's should work fine as well. These are on baffles just big enough to hold them and are on the floor in the corners behind the Caintuck Betsy's. The little Caintuck Betsy's image like you wouldn't believe! I'm keeping these! If you find that Wild Burro is out of stock, try Caintuck Audio. They stock some as well. I bought mine from there.
    No affiliation other than having met and talked music a lot with Randy, the owner.

    http://www.caintuckaudio.com

    These little speakers aren't taken serious by a lot of people because they have a stamped steel frame and small 10 oz magnet. However, they have a VERY elaborate cone and suspension. The cone is very light paper with kevlar and carbon fiber in it. If this cone was in a fancy cast frame and the magnet covered, it would be getting raves (at 2-3 times the price). It truly is built to just have what is needed for great sound without the frills. I have taken a lot of measurements since I've had it and it measures as good as it sounds.


    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  2. westend

    westend Audiopile

    Messages:
    10,139
    Location:
    Shorewood MN
    I'd suggest a Fostex 4" and less in any kind of box that fits your imagination. I built back-loaded horns for one of my first endeavors and it was too complicated for most newb builders. The smaller full-rangers won't pound your chest but they image like a champ.
     
  3. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    If you want a simple build with an inexpensive fostex driver search for Zigmahornet on this site.
     
    RamblinE likes this.
  4. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    The Betsy/Eminence Alpha open baffles were game changers for me. OB drivers need bass augmentation so I used an old AV receiver in stereo mode on the woofers with a MW/APPJ driving the Betsy's. I used a 80hz low pass to filter the highs from the woofers and ran the Betsy's full range as they were designed to do.

    My Zu Omens couldn't compete with these home-brew OB's so I wasted no time selling them.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    The nice thing with the old Denon AVR powering the Alphas woofers is I was able to feed it a digital signal from the CDP while simultaneously feeding the MW the CDP's analog signal. No preamp was needed and I even had remote control of the woofers.
     
  6. Donny

    Donny Big Damn Hero

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vidor TX
    I still would like to hear the betsy. I did message wildburro again. Waiting on a response... Those zigmahornets look pretty darn interesting aswell. Though I wonder if using 3/4 plywood would perform better?
     
  7. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    103 miles N. of S.F.
  8. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    I've driven the Fostex Frugal Horn MkIII with a MW with good results. They image like crazy but need a sub and corner loading helps. They won't produce the large seductive sound stage and ambience of the OB Betsy's but will give a little more detail.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Frugal Horns with Realistic Super Tweeter for a tiny bit of top end sparkle

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    With that nice curvey rear I've always referred to the Frugal as "she". :biggrin:

    [​IMG]
     
    Donny likes this.
  11. Donny

    Donny Big Damn Hero

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    Those do look really nice!
     
  12. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    103 miles N. of S.F.
    I've been spending free time looking for the perfect way to attach my OB's legs ie; no screws showing. And wires are also going to be a problem. Looks like I'll be going under the house to run some more speaker wire.
     
  13. absolon

    absolon Super Member

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    2,041
    Location:
    Lotusland
    bdpipes.jpg If you're considering the 4" Fostex, BD Pipes blow the socks off Zigmahornets in a side by side comparison.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 12:41 PM
    Donny likes this.
  14. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Make sure you leave enough speaker wire to move them around the room. I move mine so much I've thought of adding castors.
     
  15. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    103 miles N. of S.F.
    Good point thanks. absolon, thank's for the ling, it's bookmarked. Probably way above my woodworking skill level. Not sure if a 4" fullrange would do the job. Room is 17x27
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 5:47 PM
  16. Donny

    Donny Big Damn Hero

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    This morning I pulled the trigger and bought the mark audio 6inch alpair 10m. It has good reviews and I like the simple but good looking cabinet pencil 10.3 More than I was planning on spending but I wanted to give single driver full range a good shot! I will be posting the build :)
     
  17. Jim Shearer

    Jim Shearer Active Member

    Messages:
    304
    Location:
    upstate NY
    Donny,

    I think you will like the Alpair 10.3! I couldn't resist ordering a pair last fall when they were on sale for $70 each at Madisound. I plan to put them in BIBs, but have them breaking in slowly per Mark Fenlon's recommendation in 0.25 ft3 cardboard boxes ('sealed', as much as is possible). I think gentle break-in is critical, as I heard a pair that were not treated carefully & they sounded damaged.

    Here they are sitting next to my old Fonkens prime. Even in cardboard & sitting on the floor they sound nice!
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. Donny

    Donny Big Damn Hero

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    I hope so. I did a lot of reading on the forums and reviews. I tried to pick a winner! I didn't know about the sealed box break in. That's good to know. I will start on that as soon as they make it to me :)
     
  19. Jim Shearer

    Jim Shearer Active Member

    Messages:
    304
    Location:
    upstate NY
    Donny,

    The sealed box isn't a requirement for break-in. Low volumes with bass-light music is. Here is what Mark Fenlon has to say about breaking in his drivers:

    Please run in the latest Markaudio drivers:

    1 - First 100 hours - low volume music only. The music should be general/vocals with modest bass. Please don't use any artificial and/or single tone signal signals this risks creating a memory pattern in the outer 7 to 10 micron cone substrate. You can run the drivers in free air or near free air, but pay attention to the physical movement, the driver's power-train should not move more than 1mm.

    2 - From 100 hours to 300 hours, gradually increase the load to normal listening levels. Typically and depending on room size, the volumes should be around low 80's dB near constant loads with peak loads not exceeding 86dB. For those without any SPL measuring equipment, set your system to moderate listening levels. You should be able to hold a conversation without raising your voice while the drivers are being run.

    3 - From 300 hours out, the driver's power-train will enter its optimal load phase on its suspensions. Markaudio driver suspensions are critical components as they have to cope with long-throw demands of the cone/coil. I recommend some care from 300 to 500 hours as fully optimised suspensions will give you many years of reliable service life. Bass loads are available but go a little easy on the volume until passed 500 hours.

    Remember fellas, Markaudio drivers are "long throw" light load units. They will give you allot of wide usable band width but they aren't designed for near constant maxed volume "rock un roll". The latest models have built-in arrestors to help avoid damage from accidental over-load, so this helps but its not a replacement for commence sense operation of these types of drivers, be they Markaudio or other full-rangers.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks
    Mark.
     
  20. Donny

    Donny Big Damn Hero

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Well that give me plenty of time to build the cabs. 500 hours wow. Thanks for the info. I will start another thread when I get started on the cabs :)
     

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