Open baffle

December 24, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

20 comments on “Open baffle”

  1. Also, the more narrow the front baffle, the less standing wave reflection in the mids and highs are developed.
    I’m a fan of a taller narrower baffle with the emphasis on the mids and highs in the main speakers, where it really counts for imaging, soundstage, height, depth.

    Then I prefer the low-end supplementation with one subwoofer that can be, ‘aimed’ in the long direction of the room, where are the long wave-lengths can develop and load the room.

    1. Agree John! My 2-way 7″ wide stand monitors (operating full-range) offer similar superior soundstaging advantages…extremely wide, articulate upper bandwidth dispersion and extension (Custom RAAL Ribbon Tweeter), wide band/dispersion specialized woofer (Custom Seas Curv Excel mid/woofer, -3db down at 34hz) and supplemented with a powered 12″ musical sub (LP @ 50hz and -3db down at 18hz)!

      Overall synergy and system balance offers spine tingling, jaw dropping musical realism and holographic presentation that is as close to Live Acoustical Performances I’ve ever heard!!

  2. I have a smallish man cave, 4.5m x 3.5m, I like good clean bass, so I use a transmission line design. TDL Studio 1’s, bass down to 28hz and no bigger footprint than a stand mounter. Love ’em.

  3. And yet my DeVORE Fidelity – ‘Orangutan O/93’ two-way floorstanders with their 15″ wide baffle & their 90 degree ‘sharp’ edges cabinet design sound phenomenal, & they can go
    down to a ‘feelable’ (gut shaking) in room 26Hz…talk about ‘design chops’ 😀

    1. Also agree, FR! In the early 80’s, heard a 24″ wide baffle 3-way floor stander (Boston Acoustic A200s) in a large room and setup along the listening room’s length that offered Amazing soundstage width depth and height!!

      Alas, they totally failed when I introduced them into my tiny fully furnished living room. When the audio salon opened first thing Monday morning, the dealer was shocked to see me waiting with the A200s, requesting a full refund!

        1. Good evening Ted!
          By the way, Mary Christmas man!
          Some 22 years ago, I went to a live audio show that Legacy Audio put on at the Ramotta End in Saint Auguest Teen Florida.
          They showed me a pare of open air speakers that they called, The Wispers.
          They stood about 7 feet tall.
          Each one had a quod of 15inch woofers, a quod of 7inch mid ranges, one 1.5inch soft dome, and one 4.6inch rebbon tweeter.
          You can only see two of the 15inch woofers.
          But if you take off the side greels, you can see the other two 15inch woofers that are behind the front ones.
          I can’t speak for others.
          But as for me, they threw a very large sound stage.
          They are still making those speakers today.
          You can check them out at:

          Please let me kno what you think of those speakers.

          1. JP,

            What do “I” think about the Legacy Whisper XDS Speakers…well,

            1. They are Way Too Big for my dedicated 90sf music room…
            2. Not interested in Bi Pole Open Baffle speakers…
            3. I have Already Obtained a tremendous and accurate soundstage presentation at 1/20th the speaker cost while achieving an even wider in-room bandwidth response (18 to 28K HZ)!
            4. If I were going to spend $30K, my best guess would be on the PSA FR30s!!

            Sorry, but I certainly can’t offer you any accurate comments other than the ones above, as I have never seen nor heard Any Legacy speaker system!

            A Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

          1. FR,

            Thought about it, however my active converter is single ended (RCA) to balanced (XLR). Seemed Paul had a good answer with Peter’s question about his reverse converter action needs (XLR to RCA)!

            Hope your Christmas Day was Great…”Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Mankind”!

            Paul, wishing You and Your family (PSA family also) a Blessed and MERRY CHRISTMAS!! 🙂

  4. Open baffle is a very old concept. Almost every old tube based radio had a rather open rear. This worked more or less good. At those times bass had not really priority. But hi-end open baffle relies much on placement in a room to enhance the bass response. For me this is too complicated and I prefer a transmission line bass concept which my speakers are and produce a clean deep powerful bass whereas some with closed box don’t go really deep. So bassreflex was born which has its own adjustment challenges.

  5. Hi Paul. If you advocate using a pair of subs to augment your F30 speakers what is wrong with using a pair on planar speakers to solve their low end deficiency while maintaining the speed, soundstage and imaging properties.

    1. Nothing is wrong with that approach and that is exactly what I did for many years in my Magneplanar days. In fact, with planars, subwoofers are pretty much a requirement. That is something I would not say with the FR30s since in many rooms they will go deep enough in the bass to scare you, something I would not say about planars.

      1. Thanks Paul, that’s what I thought you would say. I am using two JL E110 subs with my 3.7i Maggies. I also use the CR-1 electronic crossover to high pass the Maggies at 60 Hz, 24 dB slope. The subs integrate seamlessly. Of course my system sounds so much better with the MKII. Simply an awesome DAC!

  6. The apogee full range planar speakers will go deep, all the way down to 25hz. It’s not that planar speakers can’t get down there, they just lack impact on drums mostly, they can rumble the room with electronic bass (at least the big apogees do). I have some Polk SDA 2A speakers that spec at 15hz -3db, so I know the apogees can go pretty deep.

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