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Old 13th June 2017, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Custom Concrete Speaker Cabinets

I am currently having a new countertop made for my kitchen by a local contractor here in northern CA. He specializes in concrete and terrazzo and has been working with this material for a long time. It came up in a conversation that he is looking to expand his product offerings beyond kitchen a bath products and after awhile we started talking about speaker cabinets. He is currently developing molds for mass producing sinks and bathtubs and I we came up with the idea that he could make a mold for a speaker cabinet. This could be something similar to the Parts-Express removable baffle, curved back cabinets except done in a single color or terrazzo style (with ground-flat and polished inlaid stones, marble chips, mother-of-pearl, etc) concrete. The quality of his work is really excellent and he can also do custom work on a case-by-case basis.

I offered to put out a feeler here at DIYaudio to see if people are interested in this kind of product, what size might be a good first effort for him, and so on.

If you are interested in something like this, please post a reply with your thoughts.
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Old 13th June 2017, 11:46 PM   #2
wmd916 is offline wmd916  United States
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Anywhere near Sacramento? Sounds very interesting. I might possibly be interested in some front baffles.

Wes
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:04 AM   #3
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Anywhere near Sacramento? Sounds very interesting. I might possibly be interested in some front baffles.

Wes
It's out on the coast in Sonoma county. There is a cool art culture here and he is part of that. But he is also trying to earn a living and there is only so much clientele in the immediate area. He can ship anywhere in the USA.
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Old 14th June 2017, 01:57 AM   #4
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I’d start with something small to help ameriolate shipping costs. 7-10 litres.

dave
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Old 14th June 2017, 02:22 AM   #5
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I’d start with something small to help ameriolate shipping costs. 7-10 litres.

dave
Was thinking more like 20 liters and wide enough to accommodate an 8" woofer and possibly with the sides curving inwards. The exterior surface is polished smooth and sealed. The cabinet would come without a baffle so that the user could route a wood baffle for their drivers and then install it. At least that was what I was envisioning.

Obviously the weight will not be insignificant and the shipping cost needs to be considered. As you suggested a very small cabinet would help keep shipping costs to a minimum, but I am not sure how much demand there would be for a very small cabinet. But I am certainly open to input and if that is the size that has the most interest we would start there. That would lower the cost hurdle for people who wanted to try it out... on the other hand I am not sure how the manufacturing costs scale with volume. This will all have to be figured out I guess.

Depending on what is used for the inlay the terrazzo material can be really striking and would be a really beautiful piece to put up front and center in one's living space.
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Old 14th June 2017, 06:56 PM   #6
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Attached is an example of the "terrazzo" inlaid material in a neutral background cement matrix. You can choose both the cement color and the type and character of the inlaid material. This is a pic of the first 12x12" sample he made for our countertop job. It hasn't been sealed and polished yet. The final surface will be reflective, like polished granite.
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File Type: jpg IMG_2895.JPG (282.8 KB, 508 views)
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Old 14th June 2017, 09:04 PM   #7
badman is offline badman  United States
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A couple things-

1) Cool!
2) I'd have metal threaded inserts in the material for baffle mounting, and have the baffle inset with a large roundover made of the cast material
3) Damping will matter, as hard materials like these will tend to ring. I'd make a point of incorporating a resin or other component into the mix, something I've had success with when using plaster cloth
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Old 14th June 2017, 10:13 PM   #8
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Was thinking more like 20 liters
Bigger than any of my favorite drivers work in 7-10 litre covers off my favorite driver.

dave
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Old 14th June 2017, 10:23 PM   #9
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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There is a local Lunatic who builds Bespoke Flowerpots /Planters from concrete.
It took him almost 3 years of Dicking about experimenting to develop his technique.
Yess Flower pots ..Urns etc All heavily decorated, Think Wedgewood and Cast Iron from the Victorian era stylings.
Exquisitely done with Zero airbubbles/ voids
All come out of Silicone Molds and wall thicknesses are in the 3/4" to 1" range
Concrete is of snow white or coal black Buyers choice.
His Concrete Matrix is a self developed blend of Plastics.. Yup!
These sell from 200$ to 2000$ ..each. And there is a constant wait list.

Perhaps your Cement guy might consider a product market where the Buyers are plentiful/increasing and passably wealthy.
Neither of which applies to DIY speakers
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Old 15th June 2017, 03:13 PM   #10
badman is offline badman  United States
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DIY speaker builders, I suspect, have higher than average education levels and incomes. I don't disagree with your conclusion (not a great market), but in my experience most DIYers are in their 40s-50s and are reasonably well-to-do. The tools, time, etc, are not as accessible to people of low income, naturally, there are some exceptions.

But for this kind of thing, there is precedent that should be something of a concern- look at the autotech horn ordering from diysoundgroup. They order things on a one off basis for most models. The market simply isn't that large, and while diyers may have decent incomes, many are very frugal about the parts used, valuing getting great sound from more modest part investments. A product offering in the mid-size bookshelf range is probably best, but there are many for whom that's too small a speaker for their preference.
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