My History with Babb by David Chaffey:

I had seen some advertisements for Babb speakers for several years. As a "full-range" marine speaker, I did not pay much attention, after all, I was an "audiophile" and marine speakers were beneath me. Boy was I stupid!  Then Alan developed the Lorelei as a 5” speaker that covered the range of 30Hz to 20kHz. I saw the ad in Speaker Builder or AudioXpress.  It was crazy expensive, buy my curiosity got the best of me and I had to try it. At the time (about 2002) they were $835 for a pair. “For a limited time” Alan was offering a free cabinet with it.

I got a pair…They did some things better than any speaker I had ever heard. They were not without their challenges, but worth the tweaks to figure out how to get the most out of the beast. I friend in Texas also had a pair and we communicated on cabinet ideas to get the most bass, mid-range clarity, etc. from the speaker. It was a bear to load in a cabinet. I know the design idea for the speaker was to make it cabinet neutral, but it seemed to be the pickiest speaker I had played with in over 25 years of design work. I tried a semi-transmission-line the friend in Texas recommended and it seemed to be the best yet, a bear to make, but worth the effort.  

In between cabinet experiments there were issues with some noise in the voice coil. The original bearing was Teflon and there was a rubbing noise at low levels. The speaker went back to Alan a few times for a re-build and in between we discussed the Lorelei, its parts and construction. I suggested ferro-fluid as it had become readily available. The last version had the ferro-fluid instead of the Teflon – noise gone! I built a 1/8 wavelength T-line cabinet for it and lived with it for a few years.

The last design turned out to be the best, a sealed di-pole, with two of the Lorelei drivers in a sealed cabinet; that became out GR 2.0. As it turned out the Lorelei was cost prohibitive to build and with the advent of the N7R we were able to outperform the Lorelei and it cost less! Onto new drivers and designs.

To be continued………