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Old 16th October 2012, 12:17 AM   #221
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Does not bother me at all. The high end of the range is always where they make the margins up. They are probably pushing to keep the L15 within most budgets, and have to get really beaten up by the OEM builders who want it for 5 cents over production. Also remember that the high end is lower volume so the materials cost is a larger jump that you expect. This is why I expect more things like documentation at the high end. It costs them almost nothing, but gives the consumer more value.

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Old 16th October 2012, 12:18 AM   #222
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I think what bothers me the most about driver pricing is in something like the L15>W15 from SEAS. One costs 2.5 times that of the other which does not represent anything close to the extra required to make the excel. For all intents and purposes they are the same driver, except for the cone material, the extra copper in the gap and the copper phase plug.
Economies of scale.
I bet they often buy the cones in from an external source (Chinese most likely) for instance for the pressed cone prestige models. The die cast magnesium cone an in house effort, paper cones from european source, some in UK from Dr. Kurt Müller: Sandwich Cones.

After considering that you have to work out the law of diminishing returns for yourself.
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Old 16th October 2012, 12:39 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
Also remember that the high end is lower volume so the materials cost is a larger jump that you expect.
Yes, except the magnet, the basket, the spider, the surround, the pole piece etc, they are the same in each. The only parts where the lower volume stuff comes into it is with the extra copper in the gap, the cone and the phase plug. We know that you can get shorting rings for peanuts as the ZA14 driver has them as do some of the SEAS Prestige range as do most of SB Acoustics drivers. This leaves the phase plug and the cone. The tooling that makes the phase plugs for the Prestige range is more then likely the same that makes the copper phase plugs for the excels, so from that perspective all you've got is the added material cost. That leaves the cone.

It is as you say though, the Excel driver will more then likely have a much higher profit margin.
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Old 16th October 2012, 01:22 AM   #224
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And a longer development time plus tooling. The Seas magnesium cones are cast and then turned manually on a lathe to make the profile thinner at the edge. Non of the SEAS people i know are any richer then a usual engineer.
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Old 16th October 2012, 01:26 AM   #225
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Oh I am sure they aren't, but what makes the Excel the excel to me is the extra stuff in the motor that lowers its distortion. I am sure they could add this to the L15 for very little, but if they did that there'd be very little point in the W15.
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Old 16th October 2012, 01:31 AM   #226
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Some of the drivers they make for me have a cheeper version of the Excel magnet.
Yes, hybrids can be made that are more affordable.
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Old 16th October 2012, 01:41 AM   #227
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I've always wondered how specific you can get when custom ordering a driver from somewhere like SEAS. I mean could they make a magnesium coned mid-range specific driver, like the W15 with the neo-hex magnet, which focuses on having reasonably high sensitivity at the expense of bass extension? I've always wondered why they haven't done this anyway.

I suppose the problem with that is if the cone needs to be lighter it would be thinner and that might not have beneficial effects on the break-up. Maybe you cannot change the cone as that might require new tooling.
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Old 16th October 2012, 04:27 AM   #228
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SEAS has over 1000 customers and i have seen 15cm magnesium midranges with hex magnet in the lab. Ether you use the big tool box they have or you invest in your own design. Have being there, have done that.
I have not talked with SB about that but i suppose that is possible. They supply a lot of raw parts to european vendors anyway, including metal parts.
When Davis Stevens visited me i showed him some SEAS and Scan drivers and he could identify most parts : this is made by SB, that is made by SB, and so on.
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Old 16th October 2012, 05:06 AM   #229
_henry_ is offline _henry_  Australia
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its interesting to see that even seas outsourced the parts to make the drivers.

i can see why sb acoustics can be so competitive as its made in sb factory.
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Old 16th October 2012, 05:09 AM   #230
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They have a huge factory, they also make cabinets.
I have checked if they ca do my design and they said yes.
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