Status Acoustics Granite Bookshelf Speakers Preview

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by admin, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    We got a chance to listen to Status Acoustics' new bookshelf speaker system and they sounded every bit as good as they looked! The cabinets are made out of actual granite (weighing a whopping 53lbs each) and is the most dense, inert speaker enclosure we've ever seen or even heard of. We've seen speakers made form glass, plexi, composite materials and carbon fiber. I've never seen anything like this. Surprisingly, granite, like everything else, actually rings. To kill that and make it completely inert, Status Acoustics used a layer of dampening material, then a layer of aluminum, and then another layer of dampening material. The idea was the make this the most inert box you can get. Of course all top notch Status parts are used throughout including their beryllium midrange and Scan Speak tweeter.
    [​IMG]

    Discuss "Status Acoustics Granite Bookshelf Speakers Preview" here. Read the article.
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  2. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

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    Looks nice, and I am sure they sound great too.

    Norh has been making their marble enclosure speakers for years. The "ham hock" look isn't for everyone though :) Looks better in an conventional cabinet.

    [​IMG]
  3. BrettMendes Audioholic Intern

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    I think they're hideous, but that's just me.
  4. Tomorrow Audioholic Ninja

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    Hey, what's not to like about 15 large for a couple of rocks and a few hundred dollars worth of drivers? :D
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  5. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    Coolest. Paper. Weights. Ever. :D
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  6. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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    Only thing I will say is....... Damn rich people. :D
  7. majorloser Moderator

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    I wouldn't pass them up if I was given a killer deal, but otherwise I still like my Decimo bookshelves.
  8. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

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    doesn't use the 6640? seriously?
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  9. Darkwing_duck Audioholic

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    Wow...

    If their goal was to reduce cabinet resonance why wouldn't they use bamboo like the Ascend Acoustic Sierra towers but with more proprietary techniques to reduce the cabinet resonance to absolute zero ? ( The sierra towers literally have very little resonance to begin with )

    Sierra Tower Bamboo Loudspeaker

    ( RE: Cumulative Spectral Decay plot at the bottom )

    ...Oh i know why...this is the ultra high end market...for the right price they would build a speaker out of anything sheesh
  10. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    Umm the tweeters alone are $150/ea and the Beryllium mids are also very expensive. Not to mention the quality of parts in the crossovers. But yes, Granite is the most expensive item in these speakers and they aren't meant for the value shopper.
    gene,
  11. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    You're joking right? These are by far the most rigid and inert cabinets I've ever seen. Lot's of false assumptions people like to make without ever seeing let alone hearing a product.
    gene,
  12. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    I'd think with a handle like "Status Acoustics" and those glorious monsters you have that would be clear :p

    I think they're definitely an interesting design and would love to hear a pair. There's a guy over on PE Techtalk that is experimenting with a DIY concrete build, which I find fascinating, especially since he's trying to use a 3D printer mold to do it. I think both represent an interesting and unique way of tackling the cabinet resonance area of speaker design. I wonder how Quartz would fare as a material.
  13. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    These threads about previews or reviews of expensive products are so predictable on AH. Various posters lament the product's cost, and then Gene jumps in to remind the cheapskates that some products are not for "value shoppers". I'm waiting for someone to post saying that they wouldn't waste this much money on small monitors if they were a billionaire, so that I respond with my usual slightly clever and modestly humorous reminders about how trivial even $50K is to someone with a billion dollars, using the most complex third grade math I can muster.

    I wish Wilson Audio would send Josh one of their Thor's Hammer subwoofers to review. The resulting thread would be epic.
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  14. JerryLove Audioholic Samurai

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    Though resonance has an effect on sound: neither seeing nor hearing a product will exclude the possibility of resonance. You'd need to hook a velocimeter to the side.

    I disagree with the cost analysis. Granite (counter-top thickness) can be bought for $40 ft^2. If those are 1'x1'x2' (which they are clearly smaller than), that would still only require 20ft^2 of granite.... about $800. Your tweeters are $260 ($131/ea), I can't find the mids or anything like them. I would think that material would lack sufficient damping to make a good mid: but if I assume you are correct about the granite being the most expensive part: that would make it $800 at most.

    So $1860 +crossover costs (I won't estimate) in parts.

    Interestingly: There are several companies building out of cast marble (I have a pair of Green Mountains around here somewhere) for similar reasons; and at lower costs. Come by and we can measure the cabinet resonance on my Europa's.
  15. JerryLove Audioholic Samurai

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    If you are travelling and need, say, a replacement digital watch; and you walk into a store and buy one for $20, you likely don't think much of it.

    Fact is, that same watch may be available for $5, and a "just as functional" one for $2. You've just paid 10x the cost: but you don't think about it because it's just $20, and you wanted the watch.

    The same thing happens between $2k and $20k when your bank balance is large enough. Not only do you not much care, it's not worth your time to hunt for prices.
  16. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    RE: Granite
    Granite is one of the strongest naturally occurring materials on earth, measuring an eight out of ten on Mohs hardness scale. It is an important building stone and is extremely resistant to weathering. To give you an idea of granite’s strength, diamonds, the hardest natural material, are required to cut, shape and polish granite. Marble is relatively soft when compared with granite, which explains its use in sculptures since classical time. It scores a six out of ten for hardness. It is still suitable for use in the home, but more care is required to avoid chipping, staining or scratching. Joel Foust will be assisting me in measuring these speakers but given the track record RBH has with their upper echelon products like this, and what I am hearing from my listening tests, I expect no surprises NOR do I detect any audible resonances. I ran a slow sine-sweep through them at high power and the cabinet was completely free of mechanical vibrations which I can rarely say for a loudspeaker at any price point.

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <![endif]--> RE: Cost Analysis
    You disagree with my cost analysis b/c you've never actually built a product or done the R&D to develop one. It's easy to sit back and analyze raw material costs without factoring in research and labor. I've been on both sides of the fence for years so I appreciate everything that is involved for product development and know it's not as easy as it may look to an outside audio enthusiast without the experience.

    Here is a little background on the Granite Enclosures for these speakers that I learned from dealing with RBH's Chief Designer:

    First, depending on the quality of Granite, it can range from $40 to 200 per SQ ft.

    For the first pair of granite enclosures, RBH walked into a granite supplier in China and paid about $40 for each enclosure. They were just a rectangular box and functional, but there was no they could sell anything like that because of the poor seams/ fit and finish. Although, they were probably as good if not better than the average DIY person could come up with. The problem with DIY estimates is that they never take into account the R&D and true production cost (i.e.what do you have to pay the guy to program and run the CNC router,) overhead for company, marketing to show the product at shows and advertise, brochures, etc.

    The enclosures RBH are making now are made here in Utah and actually quite tricky to make given the shape of the cabinet. So tricky in fact, that most of the stone fabricators they approached refused to do them at any price. Why? Because they are way more hassle than a counter top which they sell fabricated by the square foot. It took RBH several years to find the right fabrication facility for their cabinets.

    The $15K price of the speakers includes matching stands which requires over 30 square feet of stone. Also, they are offering these speaker in custom finish options, so that means the price the stone can vary substantially. The speakers that were sent to me for review were a grade 4 stone (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). Again far more costly than $40 SQ ft, not even factoring in labor costs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
    gene,
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  17. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

    cpp
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    Heck I got a slab in my workshop with nothing to do with it, maybe a pair of speakers

    IMG861_zpsabb42e36.jpg
    cpp,
  18. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    Pretty stuff. A cool pair of speakers it would make.

  19. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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    What happens if they accidentally drop off the stand? Will the granite crack easier than wood? :D

    I guess if you were a billionaire, it wouldn't matter anyway. Damn rich people. :D
  20. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

    cpp
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    If they fall off the stand they could crack like any chunk of stone/rock ...:D
    cpp,

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