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BFM Custom PA cabs

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Mystic Michael, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I'm in process of scoping out components for a high-efficiency, compact, modular, scalable PA system that takes full advantage of known audio science (i.e. vertical line array effect, etc.). Bill Fitzmaurice pro sound cab designs would seem to fit the bill.

    Strangely enough, a search here in the "Live Sound" forum reveals relatively little chatter about BFM cabs. Given Bill's high profile in the "Amps" forum, I'd have thought more people would be building his cabs for PA use - and posting about it.

    So who's had some gig experience using BFM PA cabs? And what about their performance (i.e. A main with 10" driver that competes with others' 2x15s? A subwoofer with a 12" driver that competes with others' 2x18s?)? Are they for real? :meh:

    I'm interested in your experiences...

  2. Philonius

    Philonius Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    2k W of the Duwamsh
    +1 on checking out the BFM forum to get answers to specific questions. There are lots of people with real world experience using BFM cabs and they will give you good advice. As a Jack 2x110 user, I can tell you that his stuff works. Period.
  3. BrBss

    BrBss Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    I've never personally used his designs, thought they're next on my list of DIY projects. However, as an engineer, I can say that horn loading to match the impedance of a load and source does greatly increase efficiency, so I think the claims "A main with 10" driver that competes with others' 2x15s? A subwoofer with a 12" driver that competes with others' 2x18s?" are quite valid.
  4. I'm interested as well. Sub'd.
  5. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    TB'er Robby Hoinsky is a BFM builder. You may have seen his composite fearful build thread. He can make the BFM stuff out of the composite. Super light.

    If I were building a PA I would want to go light and modular. I'm ceasing my gigging for a while so I won't be doing it, but I'd be tempted to do composite tops and subs.

    I suggest contacting him. He's got some vids up of BFM PAs and fearful vs jacks, etc.
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Robby is definitely on my radar screen. As is the BFM forum. Robby's BFM PA cabs made of lightweight composite material seem like just what the doctor ordered.

    Still looking for more TalkBass member experiences... :meh:

  7. contact Kesslari, he has one or two BFM cabs (as well as a nEARFUL) and has had very positive experiences with them for BG applications.

    I too am very curious to hear other TBer's experiences w/the BFM line for PA applications as I'm getting near where I have to upgrade my PA system.
  8. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    I'm using a pair of Jack10s (DeltaLite w/ full melded array) with my small PA (primarily vocals and acoustic guitar).
    They are very efficient little cabs and sound good after some EQ tweaking.
    Based on my experience with them, I would anticipate great things from a system built out of Omni or DR tops and Titan subs.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Well, I'm at least several months away from needing a PA system of my own just yet. But for a medium-loud four-piece band, playing halls, auditoriums and theatres, to audiences of several hundred people at a time, I'm already envisioning several Titan 39s and an equal number of DR200s - perhaps ultimately as many as eight of each, if all goes according to plan. :cool:

    I figure I could have the DRs built to be especially robust, with the Titans built just a bit on the lean side, so the two components maintain a relative sense of sonic balance (taking care to EQ carefully), while remaining very compact & lightweight. I'd love to be able to have these built to the same footprint (W x D) for all cabs - for maximum vertical stacking options.

    The coolest thing about all of this, is the opportunity to generate the biggest possible sound from the smallest possible amount of gear - by taking advantage of natural synergies, i.e. vertical stacking, line array effects, horn loading, strategic placement, etc. etc.

    Keep the comments coming...

  10. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    You shouldn't stack the tops and subs on each side of the stage. Subs should clustered in one spot. Spend some time in BFM's forum to understand why.
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I get that... :meh:

  12. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Sorry. I should have prefaced that with "In case you don't already know..."
  13. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I don't particularly live on one side of the fence or the other, since I haven't heard any of the BFM designs myself, but you should be aware that there are several Pro Sound forums where his designs are very poorly thought of. Again, you need to search and find out for yourself, but be aware that there are those on both sides of his designs.
  14. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    I have built 2*T39(@16"), 2*DR250, 2*J110, 3*WH8, one Omni12. Almost all of them with 3/8" pine ply. Very light, very efficient, very rewarding.

    Not very cheap, considering all the tools I suddenly "needed". :bawl::D:help:
  15. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011
    Subscribed and now reading his forum, which I completely missed. Spent the past few months reading a lot of BFM and fEARful content and related, as well as the greenboy forum. Planning....
  16. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    I started with a Titan39 as a bi-amped extension cab, and built myself a PA for DJ'ing by adding two DR200 tops. They rock. It is unbelievable what a single 12" horn-loaded sub can do. Once I couldn't read the songs on my laptop because "Single Ladies" was physically blurring my vision.

    The tops were a lot of work (really), but they sound great. You need EQ to compensate for the horn, but you get super-low distortion because they are so sensitive. That means it gets loud without sounding loud. It's deceptive until you walk away and realize how far the music is carrying while still sounding good. I've done outdoor events and people were dancing a hundred yards away. My friend's JBL's have a great rock tone, but they get 'loud' and in your face.

    Here's a link to my videos:
    BillFitzmaurice.info - View topic - DR200 and T39 System
  17. bertbass666


    Mar 6, 2009
    I use a pair of Otop 12s and a pair of T39s for P.A. Seriously good sound and projection. What everyone else says is true. You have to have a lot of faith that these will sound fantastic when they're finished, but they will.
  18. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    "You need EQ to compensate for the horn, but you get super-low distortion because they are so sensitive." How so? What kind of EQ adjustments do they require?"

    "...gets loud without sounding loud". Interesting. What exactly do you mean by that? Care to elaborate just a bit?

    Nice sound clips, Otter... :cool:

    Faith is right. Other than Otter's YouTube clips, I've never even heard a BFM PA cab before - and certainly not up-close, ITRW. But I believe... :smug:

  19. bertbass666


    Mar 6, 2009
    Gets loud without sounding loud. Perceived loudness is generally the result of distortion and a distorted P.A. sound can sound louder than it actually is. A loud undistorted clean sound doesn't sound loud at all until you try to talk to your mate standing beside you and he can't hear what you're saying until you shout loudly in his ear. Does that make sense?

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