Do Loudspeaker Manufacturers Really Make Their Own Drivers?

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by admin, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1,612
    Among the many things with which audio aficionados use to evaluate the engineering and technical expertise of their favored speaker companies, one thing certainly stands out: Do they make their own drivers? The overriding thought is that a truly top-notch speaker company designs such sophisticated and specialized products that only custom-engineered and manufactured drivers will fulfill the design's requirements. This is usually not the case as you will find in this article from an Industry Insider's perspective.

    [​IMG]

    Discuss: Do Loudspeaker Manufacturers Really Make Their Own Drivers ?

    What do you think?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Chu Gai Audioholic Samurai

    Chu Gai
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,512
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    The Isles of Langerhans
    I think vertical integration is not necessarily prudent from an economic or technologically POV.
  3. Stanton Audioholics Contributing Writer

    Stanton
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    The good ones do ;)
  4. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Messages:
    7,536
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Location:
    Florida
    Actually most of the best transducers in the world are designed by Driver Manufacturers not producers of end products. It's knowing how to integrate them properly into an end product that really matters most.
    gene,
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Electrodynamic Audiophyte

    Electrodynamic
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    First of all hello everyone. New to this forum and everything looks like good reading material. :)

    I'm not sure how to take the second comment but I can tell you how we (Stereo Integrity) operate. We engineer/design all of our products. We don't make every single piece of our loudspeakers but we do engineer and design them here in the USA and have the parts tooled, cast, milled, etc, overseas. Some products we have assembled overseas and other products we assemble here in the states. Do we mine our own aluminum for the baskets here in the states and mine our own magnet material here in the states and have it all melted down and cast here? No we do not. The main reason being is that customers will not pay for it. Will customers pay $4,000 for the exact same speaker that costs $150? No. I would like to have that warm fuzzy feeling that everything was mined here in the states and melted down here in North Carolina, cast by workers here, etc, but it simply isn't economical. We are a pretty small company that employs about fifteen people and if we didn't build/sell woofers the way that we do we would have zero employees because our business would not be around and most of our employees would not have jobs.

    We do engineer and design everything here in NC. We send our drawings overseas, receive prototypes of those parts, test them, and confirm each part before anything is built. Some parts are "off the shelf" items like open-tooled baskets, speaker terminals, etc, but the rest of our loudspeakers are usually custom tooled items that we have supplied the drawings and materials specifications for.

    Having said that, there are companies that call up China, Italy, the Philippines, etc, and say "give me a speaker" and are Ok with whatever they get. We are not that kind of company.

    Sorry to jump into this thread with this being my first post on this forum but this post caught my eye as I was scrolling through this section. I am proud of our loudspeakers and the work that we do on them so I thought I would share our side of the story. :cool:
    • Like Like x 2
  6. MidnightSensi2 Audioholic Chief

    MidnightSensi2
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    376
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    JL Audio does. Yes, just the subs for the home market, but also the car audio and marine. There is a really cool tour that was photographed by someone online, I can't seem to find it. Shows their facilities, line, prototype shop. Pretty cool! Plus sounds good too imo :) I'd like to have two of their home subs one day. :)
  7. MidnightSensi2 Audioholic Chief

    MidnightSensi2
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    376
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Eh, I'm an engineer. I'll agree partially, but, in my experience in engineering, buying off the shelf can be very good, but it's going to determine a lot of downstream components and architecture. Especially with something like a speaker. That said, I'd imagine a speaker manufacturer can spec out their own drivers to be made by a driver manufacturer. I think that's done pretty common, right? Thinking of like the Lab subwoofer driver that Tom Danley designed and had made... you'd probably know more examples.
  8. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    4,933
    Likes Received:
    2,352
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Nothing wrong with using off the shelf parts especially from a mass production perspective but sometimes the design just needs a custom driver. The KEF Blade, the Genelec 8260A, and B&W 800 series come to mind.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Messages:
    7,536
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Location:
    Florida
    Good Driver companies typically have a wealth more knowledge than a small loudspeaker company claiming to "make their own drivers". There are different grades of performance and tolerances / failure rates of OEM parts. Some of the best performing and highest reliable parts are used by multiple brands and DIY designs without any issues in performance or longevity. I don't think a consumer should buy Speaker brand A over Speaker brand B b/c brand B claims to "make their own drivers". Knowing how the parts play together, choosing tight tolerance components, an integrating them into a final design is what really matters.
    gene,
  10. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

    cpp
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,532
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Coastal Fla ( somewhere south of Marineland
    Gene
    and that is where the magic starts, well said Gene
    cpp,
  11. Chu Gai Audioholic Samurai

    Chu Gai
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,512
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    The Isles of Langerhans
    Electrodynamic, I checked your company's webpage and noticed you're running a raffle with a prize. Unless the laws are different in your state, which you should look into, you have to be a non profit organization with the proper credentials to actually do this. What you probably can do is to run a sweepstakes but then people would not be obligated to purchase anything or make a donation.
  12. SearchofSub Banned

    SearchofSub
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    8
    LOL.. wow Chu Gai :D
  13. Electrodynamic Audiophyte

    Electrodynamic
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    My sites have been edited due to your post. There never was a "pay us an you are entered into a raffle". All proceeds went towards MS research. No amount of money went to the company or myself. And no one who gives/gave to the charitable MS organization will have a chance to get anything from us.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  14. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

    cpp
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,532
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Coastal Fla ( somewhere south of Marineland
    I was looking at your site and was attempting to pull up the " About Us" to find out a little more about the company but I can't seem to pull it up.. Using Firefox and Chrome
    cpp,
  15. Electrodynamic Audiophyte

    Electrodynamic
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Odd because I can pull it up just fine using Chrome. http://stereointegrity.com/images/aboutus.jpg
  16. Electrodynamic Audiophyte

    Electrodynamic
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    On a good note, the give-a-way is back in full force. It is not illegal. I will give a way an IB 24" and a BM mkIV prototype woofer to those who donated to the MS Foundation.

Share This Page

  • rbhsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • Emotiva.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA