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Recessed baffle and speaker grills [message #95248] Thu, 17 February 2022 14:23 Go to next message
alexg is currently offline  alexg
Messages: 17
Registered: June 2019
Chancellor
Hi Wayne,

I have already started my build but am considering switching things up. What would happen if I recessed the baffle or left a slight lip (1/4" to 1/2") on the perimeter of my Four Pi Baffle ala Klipsch Forte (See photo below).

Also, what are your thoughts on speaker grills? Good? Bad? OK?

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Re: Recessed baffle and speaker grills [message #95249 is a reply to message #95248] Thu, 17 February 2022 15:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 18362
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Speaker grilles are sometimes a "necessary evil." They do create a little bit of self-interference because they aren't perfectly transparent, acoustically. But they are close enough to the source that the self-interference isn't too bad, almost nothing at low and midrange frequencies.

So absolutely, if you need a grille, add one. I like attaching them in such a way that I can take them off, when they aren't needed.

Re: Recessed baffle and speaker grills [message #95250 is a reply to message #95249] Thu, 17 February 2022 15:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
alexg is currently offline  alexg
Messages: 17
Registered: June 2019
Chancellor
What about the lip / recessed baffle?
Re: Recessed baffle and speaker grills [message #95251 is a reply to message #95250] Thu, 17 February 2022 17:03 Go to previous message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 18362
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

It does create a diffraction edge, which is more significant for wider lips than narrower ones, as you would naturally expect.

However, in my experience, the adverse effects are marginal for lips that are 3/4" or less. I give this measurement empirically, based on baffle edges that I've personally used, tested and gotten user feedback about.

Quick story - Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, I made a big deal out of cabinets with rounded edges. I knew that edge diffraction was possible, so I wanted to reduce it by rounding the edges. The problem was it was really difficult for my cabinet shop to apply veneer over rounded edges. Painted cabinets were no trouble but veneered cabinets were a huge challenge when the edges were rounded.

So my cabinet makers challenged me to do blind tests - comparing loudspeakers made with rounded edges to the exact same models having squared edges. We would A/B the speakers and ask listeners to tell us if they could hear a difference. The listeners were all college students with fresh ears. And none could hear the difference.

I'm not saying it doesn't make a difference. Edge diffraction is an easy physical property to demonstrate, and it does make a difference in loudspeakers. The baffle step is a form of edge diffraction. But the higher-frequency scattering from a squared cabinet edge appears to be inaudible, at least in directional speakers with waveguides. Could be there is just too little high frequency content at the baffle edge because the waveguide directs sound energy forward. So I no longer recommend rounded cabinets. I don't discourage people from rounding their baffles - it surely doesn't hurt - but it doesn't hurt to leave 'em square either.
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