Drivers with style

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Okay, I know I am going to take some crap for asking this but I am curious. I have built a couple of speakers and have been pretty happy with them. However for me looks are important. Obviously they are speakers so sound is the most important thing, but I would like to think I have some kind of taste visually too and would like to show that in my next speaker project. So now the question. Is there anywhere that you can get stylish looking drivers, such as those used in some of hte new B&W speakers. But the key here is for them not to cost outragous prices. For me 100 or 150 dollars per driver is out of the question as I am a college student. So if anyone can recommend something that might fit this description or if anyone would like to brainstorm with me about possible alterations to current drivers you help would be greatly appreciated.
Several thoughts.

1. I was "richer" as a poor college student than I am now as
a married father of kids.

2. If you want cool color/looks, the car speaker guys have
all the cute colors.

3. If you have some sort of grill cloth you won't see the
speakers, or just barely see them.

4. If exposed, Kevlar cones are cute. So are those
magnesium cones from Seas.

5. Disregard the "cool appearance" factor in the drivers
and worry about performance. If you want to worry about
appearance, worry about the appearance of the cabinets.

6. When building my current speakers, I could have cut my
construction effort by 75% by ignoring appearance. Spray-
painted particle board or MDF would have been a snap.
Beauty is only skin deep...

BUT... if looks could kill, it's probably worth it.

Similar with markkanof, I also wanted to have nice looking loudspeaker system, but it doesn't cost me too much. As for the drivers, I prefer its performance than its appearance. So, I agree with Brian... I am much worry about cabinet appearance. But if you like a good looking drivers, look for Seas. Sonus Faber use this driver for its bookshelf (small) speakers.

Speaking of sonus faber.... I also wanted to build cabinet with Sonus faber appearance (you know... the black leather (?) in the middle of the front side cabinet). Anyone tried this style? What do you guys use? Leather? I learn that sonus faber use special kind of "leather(?)" which can disperse the sound. You guys know what this kinky stuff?

The only leather I have seen is for shoes or clothes( kind depends on taste and mood etc.) but I can't imagine it would do anything sonically better than the felt rings often put around tweeters. As for looks I think Mark is thinking of the cool space ship looking tweeter and mid cabs on the top of the line B&W, so he wants something that looks cool as well as sounding good. Mark, you can cut out pieces of MDF with the interior dimensions you want and glue them together as laminates, then grind, saw and sand any shape you want and paint it any color you want. Is there an industrial design class you can take that gives you access to the sculpture departments tools? You could get some great looking cabinets that sound like you want and get 3 hours. Your in college, use the system.

Thank you for your reply, most people just tell me these things can't be done or shouldn't be done when I ask questions like this. I am just asking for advice or recommendations of products or techniques that people have discovered on thier own journeys. I appreciate you giving a helpful answer to my question instead of lecturing me about why I shouldn't care about looks or how it is not possible to make speakers that apeal to both the ears and the eyes.

Now to add to my original post I am speaking all around both tweeters and woofers, you idea about sculpting the mdf rings sounds decent and I am considering incorporating that. As for the woofers I am looking for something similiar to the b&w 600 series. They arn't anything amazing looking but they are grey and yellow instead of black and have a sort of cosmetic mounting ring that has bevels for the screws to sink into.

I guess maybe I am asking for a lot here, but I am new to this hobby and looking to build something impressive. I have built a few sets of speakers before that sounded very good but looked like hell. Now I want to build something that could maybe compete with some of the comercial offerings in both sound quality and looks. Otherwise I might as well just buy a set of b&w speakers.


If you want woofer with cool looks (with gold/yellow cone), check Seas website: They have all the specs and some pics. They sell some kits too.

If you want to take a look of Sonus Faber clone, check this:

you can see the nice looking woofer/midrange.

Hey, Mark.... I know this driver is damn expensive. But if you want to buy good drivers (vifa, scanspeak and also seas), try this: (Rolph Audio)

choose your seas type from and ask Rolph Audio for their quotation (through their fill in form). You got the quotation the next day you open your email. I've got my Vifa Midrange (P13WH00/08) for Euro 35.45 each (the cheapest price from other distributor). Problem is, they are in Netherland. But the shipping price is not so expensive (5-10kg = Euro 51 for non europe country).

audax aerogel woofers look pretty good, and they aren't too expensive. They have those bitchin dustcaps.
Also look at Hi-Vi, I have used the F8, and it is looks and sounds quite good. Thick aluminum frame, yellow kevlar/paper cone, sounds amazing. Only $60!
I combined one of these and a vifa D25AG tweeter for my dorm room "control monitors" (chuckling).
They are in disguise as old cheap speakers.
I am also trying something with clay speaker enclosures. I have a thread called ceramic speaker enclosure.
the possibilities are endless!
You could make a dragon. Large egg shaped cavity in the middle with a downfiring 12" like Shiva, mid in mouth/ throat of head and a pair of silk domes for the eyes. A pair hanging from the cieling in the cornrs of you soom. Super sub under the bed, You could rent by by the quarter hour and pay for your tution . Who knows, you could build theam-room hotels that have exellent soundsystems and pottery collections.
Thatch-I shoud have taught pottery of cruiseliners.
Yellow submarine...

Is this what you looking for, Mark? A yellow speaker?
It's Seas G17RE/P ... 17 cm woofer. I think it's around Euro 95...


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That yellow SEAS takes chronic amounts of work in time to get it sounding its best.

In regards to looks, drivers you have little control over their apprearance, so stick with the sound, but the cabinet, you really cant go past the old Piano Black Gloss finish, ill post some pics of my shiva and bookshelves soon.
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