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My garage speaker cabinet shop. Not really. Bowers and Wilkens.

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  • My garage speaker cabinet shop. Not really. Bowers and Wilkens.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6r5SiiZbV8


  • #2
    Wow. That is a seriously complicated speaker assembly!
    Statements: "They usually kill the desire to build anything else."

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    • #3
      This will be controversial but,

      After going up and down the HiFi ladder in the past and just recently seeing the major advantages/benefits of DIY, I still think there may be a point where the economic 'slopes' cross back over, and its just better to buy new HiFi. (Keeping in mind the look / finish of the product). I seriously doubt that many people here could do that speaker for the same price it costs to just straight up buy a pair. Sure, we dont 'pay' for labour, but if we factored in our own hours into our builds, a build like that would get seriously expensive.

      If you had 20k+ that you were set to spend on speakers, and your goal was to acquire something like that or better, including aesthetic appearance, wouldnt you just buy the B&W's? I think I would. And get 500-1000 extra hours of listening.
      Last edited by Mainframe; 09-18-2019, 05:21 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mainframe View Post
        If you had 20k+ that you were set to spend on speakers, and your goal was to acquire something like that or better, including aesthetic appearance, wouldnt you just buy the B&W's? I think I would. And get 500-1000 extra hours of listening.
        If you like the characteristic sound of B&W speakers, think they look good rather than ugly, don't derive more from what you put into a DIY speaker than you get out and have £20k+ to spend on speakers rather than an order of magnitude less than that then the answer is possibly yes.

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        • #5
          Different markets. Oh well, whatever they are doing works. I think those 803 speakers look awesome. I know if i had that much to spend on speakers I couldn’t make something DIY look that good IMO. But hey, I also think my unfinished MDF zingers look awesome, in a rugged industrial way.

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          • #6
            Looks are in the eye of the beholder. But measurements don't lie. I think you can easily do better DIY, or for that matter with commercial speakers, unless looks are your primary consideration, or you happen to like the bizarre frequency shaping.

            https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements
            Francis

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mainframe View Post
              After going up and down the HiFi ladder in the past and just recently seeing the major advantages/benefits of DIY, I still think there may be a point where the economic 'slopes' cross back over, and its just better to buy new HiFi.
              True, but the point where they cross over isn't $20k, or even $2k, it's more like a hundred bucks. That's where the economy of scale for a manufactured speaker still allows it to be competitive with DIY. If I could afford to spend $20k on speakers, and I can, I'd still build the equivalent for $2k or less, and invest the rest. Of course that's because I have the tools and skill required to do so, while the vast majority of the general public don't. But the majority of those who frequent this forum do.
              www.billfitzmaurice.com
              www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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              • #8
                Also, there's DIY and DIY. You can spend 500 - 1000 hours if you do your own design and woodworking, but if you get a decent kit with a pre-fab cabinet the time investment is considerably less.
                Francis

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                • #9
                  Well I have to say that was pretty impressive

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                  • #10
                    The machinery is impressive, but I've seen members here do just as well with hand tools, it just takes longer.
                    www.billfitzmaurice.com
                    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                      The machinery is impressive, but I've seen members here do just as well with hand tools, it just takes longer.
                      Yes indeed: the workmanship and imagination shown by so many of the designers/builders on this Forum never ceases to amaze and would stand comparison with commercial products on looks alone. Then you factor in the sound and value and that's a good combination.

                      I won't name names for fear of missing out some great projects, but there have been so many on PETT alone which show design flair as well as reportedly sounding great. Some with beautiful curved cabinets, some with innovative shapes like engines, musical instruments or cones, and some with conventional cabinets but beautifully finished with high grade timber.

                      The marvellous machinery and technology shown in the video is impressive but of course you pay for that - plus various mark-ups etc - when you buy expensive speakers. I haven't heard these B&Ws and maybe they sound very good, maybe they don't even though they look great.

                      For speakers which look better than my alleged efforts,I would prefer to select a well-known and reviewed DIY project and pay a cabinet maker to work his/her magic for us. I can't think of any design which would cost any more than $A2,000 in drivers and crossover parts, which would leave me with $A21,000 for the cabinets!


                      Geoff

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                      • #12
                        All valid points. I would say that DIY, in my case, is less about the economics, and more about the experience (and learning) of the "doing." That said, when I look at a Wilson speaker or these high end Bowers and Wilkins, your are getting a lot of quality design and workmanship in your product. And you are no doubt paying for it. My neighbor purchased years ago a used pair of the old B&W matrix speakers. They sounded fantastic. I have never hear the WATT/Puppies sound anything but terrific in the 5 or 6 times I have heard them. I have also heard mega-buck speakers that did absolutely nothing for me. I do not have the tools or capability to build something like that, but I can DIY a pretty decent looking monitor or floorstander box. Which of course will sound pretty damn good. On the other end of the spectrum, the many OEM speakers and electronics now in the less than $1,000 range that have standout performance is just amazing. ELAC, for one, has speakers that a DIYer would be hard pressed equal at that sound quality level. And when it comes to DACs or amps, the value propositions out there these days are just blowing me away.

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                        • #13
                          This video popped up in my suggested list a while back. I've been wanting to post it so I'm using a very tenuous connection to the subject here. Not a thread hijack, I think 20 minutes watching this is well spent. For me it was. Lots of other vids on this project.

                          1,080 lb Wood Wheels; Borax Wagons | Massive Wheelwright Work - YouTube

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by djg View Post
                            This video popped up in my suggested list a while back. I've been wanting to post it so I'm using a very tenuous connection to the subject here. Not a thread hijack, I think 20 minutes watching this is well spent. For me it was. Lots of other vids on this project.

                            1,080 lb Wood Wheels; Borax Wagons | Massive Wheelwright Work - YouTube
                            Interesting. Thanks!
                            Francis

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                            • #15
                              Cabinets have always been the most expensive part of any commercial speaker build. But when I see it taken to extremes like that, I think they’re selling a lot of “hey look at this” rather than “hey listen to this,” and it confirms that the majority of people do an awful lot of listening with their eyes and knowledge of price.

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