COBIES – Cheap Open Baffle Speakers

This project was inspired by the “Big Air” open baffle system by Jim Strasser (please contact me for additional information regarding that system). That Big Air open baffle is a simple good sounding system based on a different woofer, smaller baffle and does not incorporate a few other things that I have added.
My target cost was to build a pair of open baffle speakers for under $150US. In exploring the possibilities of open baffle speaker systems I reviewed numerous sources to gain an understanding of how they function. I additionally used the worksheet xbaffle.xls (ZIP 692kB) (written by Thorsten Loesch and permitted only for non-commercial use) and the LDC7 worksheet (from the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason) to test various aspects of the speaker system before actually constructing it or making changes. I ended up with a larger baffle, a different woofer, a symmetrical crossover, and the inclusion of a rear firing tweeter.
COBIES – Cheap Open Baffle Speakers
Clearly not as simple as the original system but I felt the changes worth the effort. I normally listen to Martin Logan Vista electrostatics and I have come to like the sound field they present. To date I have not found any “box” speaker systems that can equal the electrostatics’ ambiance. Thus was at least part of my desire to explore the open baffle concept.

Open Baffle Speakers in My Listening Room

Note that the white frame work on the baffles was done during the design phase in order to enlarge the baffles from the smaller original size to the desired larger size. It is recommended from a structural standpoint to use a single piece of plywood the correct size. Also note that the final physical placement should have a slightly greater “toe in” angle.

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