I’ve become a very big fan of a technique originally described by Jeff Bagby (PCD) and later expanded upon by Nigel Tufnel (A Speakermaker’s Journey). In Nigel’s blog he calls for testing raw drivers in either a test baffle or in the actual cabinets themselves. I’m a fan of doing both. I feel that the test baffle gives me even more ‘raw’ data when is comes to driver behavior.
The problem came where you can’t just go out and buy one of these things. And, in the DIY community, why not build it your self? So I did. I found the IEC 268.t spec and realized that there were different sized baffles for different drivers. Now what do I do? That dilemma hatched the idea that I could build one of the baffles and modify it to fit my needs. Optimal? Nope. Convenient? Yup!
I made the decision to build the baffle that was designed for a 10″ driver, except that I was going to modify it to accept a 12″. That’s the only change I made. The other idea I came with was the replaceable speaker platform. What’s this? Well, there is now a 12″ hole in the baffle. What if you wanted to test a 1″ dome tweeter? Or a 6″ midrange? Those require a much smaller hole. By cutting a 14″ x 14″ square out of lauan plywood, I would bore a hole suitable to any driver and mount it onto the baffle. Bingo!!
Here’ my finished product:
Notice the hinges on the front. It folds down on itself for easy storage…one of my design goals. This version also features wheels for easy movement.
If you would like to build it, a complete “How To” guide is available for free on the site. Just navigate to “Test Baffle” under “Projects”. Or, you can just click here.
Once you have all the materials together it took about three hours to build. I have my first opportunity to put it through its paces very soon. Testing for the Helix project commences in a couple of weeks!!