Basic Open Baffles

These are my super basic open baffle “cabinets”, loaded here with one of my favorite drivers, the 1950's Zenith 49CZ852. Open baffle really is this simple. Here I’ve gotten fancy and used nice piano style hinges and cabinet drawer pull handles with 12 inch wide “wings” attached to 16 by 36 inch Alder wood baffles. The hinges give some flexibility to the angle of the wings and allow the whole thing to fold into a fairly small space. With a lightweight driver like these Zeniths, the entire speaker weighs very little, and the handles make it a breeze to move or reposition. The total cost of lumber and parts is around $80-$100. One could get far more or far less elaborate, and there are any number of wonderful examples of open baffle projects to view online.

As pictured, these are one of the finest sounding loudspeakers I have heard. I’ve also used these baffles to good effect with Supravox 215RTF64, Audio Nirvana 15 inch alnico and ceramic magnet drivers, Hawthorne Silver Iris 15 inch coaxial drivers, Bozak B199a and an array of smaller full-rangers like the Visaton B200, Fostex fe206, Electro Voice 12trxb, and L. Cao Alnico. This plan, and open baffle in general, represents one of the lowest barriers to entry for hi-fi that I can imagine. If you can cut a reasonably symmetrical circle in a piece of wood, that's all that is required to enjoy a speaker system whose sound quality can rival some of the biggest and most expensive speakers on the market.

You can see that I'm not a careful craftsman. I've personally never felt the need to progress beyond such crude panels, but obviously these could be made as elaborately as one wished.

Below is a previous version of these simple open baffles, here with a 24 inch wide front panel and the very nice Audio Nirvana 15 inch ceramic magnet drivers.

Here the Audio Nirvana driver is paired with an Emininence Alpha 15, crossed at 150hz.