Why choose an open baffle speaker?

The quality of a sound system is measured by how deeply the listener is moved by the music and the profound experience it evokes. Each person has had formative experiences with music and sounds, which resonate with them whenever they listen to music. Intuitively, the listener compares these formative sonic experiences from the past with the sound of the Hi-Fi system, and when the sound quality is high, it rekindles the emotions of past sonic experiences.

Open baffle speakers have several fundamental advantages over closed enclosures, as some of the flaws of conventional speakers are avoided altogether. Consequently, there is no need to compensate for errors with elaborate systems, which often leads to the emergence of complex other faults:

  • Open baffle speakers inherently offer maximum clarity in reproduction since standing waves in an enclosure and the associated resonances are absent by design in open baffles. Therefore, open baffle speakers, unlike traditional speakers, do not require damping materials to combat resonances, allowing even the finest details to be heard.

  • With open baffle speakers, the sound energy radiated to the rear is allowed to unfold freely, resulting in superior efficiency and detail accuracy compared to monopole radiating conventional systems.

  • Open baffle speakers behave in the listening room like musical instruments being played there, with sound radiating in all directions, creating a more natural sound experience and minimizing room resonances.

Design of the 12-inch drivers

The design of the open baffles with centrally located, wideband 12" drivers offers significant advantages:

The Club-27 Jimi open baffles are based on 12" wideband drivers, which transmit the entire musical spectrum from below 100Hz to 7Khz as a point source. Due to their wideband design, the additional 15" woofers and tweeters have no effect on spatial imaging, allowing the outstanding point source behavior to fully utilize its associated benefits.

The 12" wideband drivers have an extremely high sensitivity of 98dB/1W/1m at 16 ohms and, due to their large radiating surface area in the midrange, offer dynamic reserves comparable only to very large full-range horn speakers. As a result, even at extremely high levels, the sound remains free from dynamic compression when paired with a suitable chain and good recordings, delivering a live music-like experience to the listener.

Thanks to their high sensitivity, all details are preserved even at very low volumes while maintaining unchanged spatial imaging. This exceptional capability is further supported by the fact that the wideband drivers are directly connected to the amplifier output stage without any serial crossover components, allowing the amplifiers to drive the wideband drivers without losses and preserving the full damping factor of the amplifiers.

The wideband drivers are designed with a 16-ohm impedance, providing an exemplarily easy load for any amplifier - even low-power single-ended amplifiers perform optimally and can fully unleash their potential with the open baffles.

Unique in house treatments

Club-27 specializes in the in-house treatment of the cones of the wideband drivers, endowing them with exceptional properties that are largely responsible for the unique sound experience.

The 12" wideband drivers undergo a unique, in-house process that enables them to operate free from disturbing resonances, beaminess, and with exemplary self-roll-off at the ends of the frequency spectrum without the need for a crossover throughout the entire transmission range. Traditional drivers inevitably introduce transmission errors that must be compensated for with filters and equalization networks, inevitably affecting signal quality. Club-27 takes a different approach; through the elaborate cone treatment, the Club-27 wideband drivers are free from these errors. Only through two decades of continuous development of our cone treatment methods are our wideband drivers capable of covering the frequency range from below 100Hz to 7Khz in an open baffle without a crossover, exhibiting high sensitivity of 98dB/1W/1m at 16 ohms, free from disturbing resonances, beaminess in the midrange, and with a clean, resonance-free self-roll-off. 

The 12" cones of the wideband drivers are first treated with various oils in a multi-stage process in different areas of the cone. This makes the cones more elastic and increases their internal damping. Due to the increased elasticity, the cones break into partial vibrations very early, so that at higher frequencies, only small parts of the cones vibrate, avoiding the typical beaming of large cones at higher frequencies and eliminating pronounced resonance peaks.

However, even after oil treatment, relatively pronounced resonances would still be present. To further reduce these and bring them to a level that does not noticeably affect the useful signal, the cones are treated in a second step with two different types of varnish, one with strong damping properties and the other with anti-damping properties. The varnishes are selectively applied, taking into account the different areas of the cones where resonances occur at different frequencies.

Subsequently, the cones are treated with twelve additional layers of varnish that further improve the overall resonance behavior, resulting in an optically appealing, glossy surface.
  • The varnish treatment creates a three-layer sandwich structure with enormous self-damping, as each layer has a different resonance that is perfectly damped by the other two layers. The three layers consist of the oil-filled paper cone as the first layer, followed by a thin boundary layer where the varnishes have formed a connection with the paper fibers, and the upper varnish layer.

  • Thus treated in a two-month process, the wideband drivers behave like conventional drivers in the lower frequency range, with the cones pistonically vibrating. Early in the midrange, the cones transition smoothly into bending wave vibrations and maintain this behavior up to the upper end of the transmission range. The resulting resonances are distributed over a wide frequency range and are well below the level of the useful signal at every point, resulting in nearly perfect tonal and radiation behavior.

Above and below the wideband drivers

In the high-frequency range, the 12" wideband drivers are supported by 1" horn tweeters, which also have an impedance of 16 ohms and are connected above 7Khz with just one capacitor. The airy and detailed reproduction of the wideband drivers finds its ideal counterpart here, extending to the highest frequencies.

The 15" woofers in the closed enclosure are among the best and most powerful woofers, ideally suited to support the wideband drivers. The bass reproduction is extremely dry, dynamic, and highly transparent, seamlessly integrating with the wideband drivers.

As the 15" woofers are actively driven, the damping factor of the amplifiers remains fully intact, resulting in more precise and controlled bass reproduction than is possible with passive speakers.

The choice of active electronics is left to the customers and our dealers. The possibilities are nearly limitless, including integration into high-end home theater systems, combination with stereo preamps with DSP room correction, use of existing amplifiers as bass amplifiers in conjunction with analog or DSP-based active crossovers, etc. The most suitable and individually best option can always be found. 

The critical frequency crossover components such as capacitors for the tweeters and parallel resistors come from Duelund and are of the highest quality, reflecting the uncompromising focus on the best possible

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