Sigberg Audio MANTA dual cardioid active speaker development thread

TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I genuinely appreciate all your kind words and support! :D

With regards to the DIY route, I'm not explicitly against it, but I have a number of concerns:

1) Is there a real market? Even a DIY approach will be relatively expensive given the cost of the components
2) If people are to design the cabinet from drawings alone, will they be able to succeed, and if not, will they wrongly assume the speakers are bad?
3) If a flat packed cabinet is to be included, there will still be significant cost involved in manufacturing and shipping, especially world wide shipping.

I'd be happy to hear your reflections on what a successful DIY offering would like.
For a start I would not ship flat packs across continents. There certainly are individuals that could build those speakers from accurate plans. In addition there are now good C & C shops in most regions now in the US. There are quite a number of cabinet shops that will cut you a flat pack around here.

While building this home, a had a shop flat pack my in wall system for our great room. This was done in a little town of Albany MN. Their machine was actually built in St. Cloud MN. I arrived at 8:00 AM and was back on the road before lunch. They cut the four cabinets for that system and did the four in ceiling back boxes for the ceiling speakers in the theater. Since I was in transition and had no work shop at that time I had them assemble the boxes. This was all done in less than four hours. A perfect job. They shop also has an excellent finish shop with an expert finisher. They built and finished the custom cabinets for our house, kitchen the lot. I cut the trim for the theater, but I took the pieces to them for a pro finish.

















One of the problems in the US, is that the drivers you use, are not available in the US as far as I can tell. Your Italian manufacturer say they have an agent, but said company seems to know nothing about them.

If this is going to be a go, then seeing if your manufacturer could make Parts Express or Madisound, agents and importers. For this Madisound might be best. I have bought most of my drivers from them for years and have an excellent relationship with them. Also Madison Wisconsin is not that far from the Twin Cities here in MN.

They might be able to handle the electronic parts also.

My experience is that the DIY community tend to be excellent "influencers". They are unlikely to make a bad job of it. It may well be they will actually make improvements and suggestions. The DIY community is a good way to get your foot in the door of the US market.

These new speaker technologies and practices are ripe for a return to the time of amateur enthusiasm and creativity.

You might also consider US manufacture of the cabinets for US distribution anyway. That would save a lot of shipping costs. As you may know, there are a lot of people of Norwegian ancestry in Minnesota and Eastern ND.

If I can assist I'm willing.
 
Sigberg Audio

Sigberg Audio

Junior Audioholic
I'm not sure I see much of a business case in it if they buy everything including drivers and electronics elsewhere / locally. :)
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I'm not sure I see much of a business case in it if they buy everything including drivers and electronics elsewhere / locally. :)
It seems to me you are essentially an intellectual property company and not a manufacturer. It is not just the design of speakers that needs a shake up, but the whole system from start to finish.

Good speakers are far too expensive for most.

An even bigger issue is the carbon foot print of all these shipments. Speakers are heavy. CO2 in the atmosphere is wreaking havoc, especially here in the US. Major events are now daily.

Transport is a large element of cost. So lets take a look at your operation.

You have your cabinets made in the UK. That cabinet shop likely imports most of the material from Scandinavia. Once the heavy cabinets are made they have to be shipped. The UK roads are grid lock 24/7. So more likely than not those cabinets have to make their way to the port of Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
That is the port that handles the bulk of the Scandinavian/Baltic trade. So more likely that not the goods have to use the Thames Dartford crossing which usually takes hours. Then down the A2 to M2 which are full of traffic. Then go to Sheerness on the A249 over the Kingsferry Bridge.



Then shipped to Norway. The merchant marine has a very large foot print. Once you have done the assembly then there is the shipment to final destination.

I applaud that you are not building in a hostile nation. But there has to be a better way.

So licensing the plans would be a good way to go. Probably the first I would approach would be Parts Express, as they have the resources to bring this off. If you could make them agents for the drivers, agents for your electronics, download of the plans and franchise them to sell the electronics.

Norther Minnesota has plants producing tons of particle board. So I'm sure a good C & C shop could be found to make and finish your cabinets from those inclined.

This change will make small pre/pros much cheaper and the rule. The place to put DSP is not in receivers and pre/pros but in the speakers. In any event the most important aspect of voicing a speaker to the room is being able to adjust BSC. When I moved my system for our former lake home to our new home, the set of the BSC was very different between the homes.

This is all exploratory at present. However I think an innovative way to get these very promising speakers in customers hands at an affordable price is the way to go.

Yesterdays speakers are like Perlisten where they produce the whole works including massive cabinets in a hostile nation, using yesterday's design approach.

B & W is now part of a large conglomerate, just produced a new flagship speaker, that believe it or not, measures worse then the previous one at increased cost. That is not what is required.

A further consideration is designs for builders and interior designers. The big barrier is WAF. So in wall attractive designs could be popular. I can tell you that an in wall design presents problems that can not be overcome with passive design. My system is good, and my wife loves it, but using your type of approach would overcome the remaining issues to produce a truly state of the art in wall systems.
 
Sigberg Audio

Sigberg Audio

Junior Audioholic
All I can say at this point is that I will keep the idea in mind. I don't think you'll see any DIY options any time soon, but who knows.

I appreciate that the price is high in absolute terms, but when you understand what you get in terms of quality in every aspect of the SBS or the Manta (or any of our subs), it's actually not that expensive compared to a lot of alternatives. And having everything sourced in Europe, as well as assembly done in Europe is an active choice as opposed to China. And yes, that adds to the price as well. Finally they are built to last, and they're built to be servicable. We have a five year warranty, and we guarantee parts&service availability for a minimum of ten.

Perhaps expensive up front, perhaps not so expensive in the end.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
All I can say at this point is that I will keep the idea in mind. I don't think you'll see any DIY options any time soon, but who knows.

I appreciate that the price is high in absolute terms, but when you understand what you get in terms of quality in every aspect of the SBS or the Manta (or any of our subs), it's actually not that expensive compared to a lot of alternatives. And having everything sourced in Europe, as well as assembly done in Europe is an active choice as opposed to China. And yes, that adds to the price as well. Finally they are built to last, and they're built to be servicable. We have a five year warranty, and we guarantee parts&service availability for a minimum of ten.

Perhaps expensive up front, perhaps not so expensive in the end.
There is nothing to disagree with there at all. However it is my contention that sweat equity options can not really hurt. That customer will probably be eager to trade sweat equity for a cheaper price, as well as increased satisfaction from the endeavor.

I would at least consider some US manufacture, I would have thought that the US is by far the potentially largest market, especially in the HT arena, where smaller foot print options with high quality is an untapped market. But just by posts on this forum, it is clear that, that market is there.

It seems to me that your approach is ideally suited to the in wall market. That is where sound quality is a barrier to adoption except for surrounds. I would think your cardioid approach might well have application here, to prevent the interference that results from the large baffle area, which can not be avoided with in wall.
Your whole concept seems to me to be ripe for in wall applications with a lot of potential for improved results.
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
There is nothing to disagree with there at all. However it is my contention that sweat equity options can not really hurt. That customer will probably be eager to trade sweat equity for a cheaper price, as well as increased satisfaction from the endeavor.

I would at least consider some US manufacture, I would have thought that the US is by far the potentially largest market, especially in the HT arena, where smaller foot print options with high quality is an untapped market. But just by posts on this forum, it is clear that, that market is there.

It seems to me that your approach is ideally suited to the in wall market. That is where sound quality is a barrier to adoption except for surrounds. I would think your cardioid approach might well have application here, to prevent the interference that results from the large baffle area, which can not be avoided with in wall.
Your whole concept seems to me to be ripe for in wall applications with a lot of potential for improved results.
Uhhhhh no. Go find me customers that want to sweat, now, before they wake up and realize they want SERVICE.
You think the US is the largest HT market?? Tell me, do you even stop to check before you hit the "submit" button on your keyboard? Dude, its called "research" and for a guy that is claiming to be about science you get an F:
Global-Home-Theater-Market.png


Now let me get this straight, you are attempting to provide a market forecast... "just by the results on THIS forum", dude that is NOT a sampling size, that isn't even a bad guess. that is just a stray thought that somehow made it from your head to your keyboard, no.

Please, go back to discussing covid, politics, your favorite TV show, but NOT business advice, just don't do it. Ever. You are liable to cost some unassuming entrepreneur time, working capital, you might even cost them their brand reputation, no...
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
Uhhhhh no. Go find me customers that want to sweat, now, before they wake up and realize they want SERVICE.
You think the US is the largest HT market?? Tell me, do you even stop to check before you hit the "submit" button on your keyboard? Dude, its called "research" and for a guy that is claiming to be about science you get an F:
View attachment 57395

Now let me get this straight, you are attempting to provide a market forecast... "just by the results on THIS forum", dude that is NOT a sampling size, that isn't even a bad guess. that is just a stray thought that somehow made it from your head to your keyboard, no.

Please, go back to discussing covid, politics, your favorite TV show, but NOT business advice, just don't do it. Ever. You are liable to cost some unassuming entrepreneur time, working capital, you might even cost them their brand reputation, no...
Yeah, the "scientist" " that doesn't know the US HT market is dwarfed by Asia thinks THIS post is dumb, it never ends:
378864314-Homer_Simpson.jpg
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Yeah, the "scientist" " that doesn't know the US HT market is dwarfed by Asia thinks THIS post is dumb, it never ends:
View attachment 57396
Again you are wrong more often than by chance.

The US audio market is double China's. We do have Asian members here, and I can tell you they have very limited product available especially in speakers. Cost are way higher than the US.

The other issue is that a far higher proportion of American homes have the space to devote to HT than other countries.

In addition, China is an increasingly hostile nation. Going forward the US will be a better safer location for manufacturers. The Chip act will help. However for cabinetry, it is a really good place. We have plentiful wood supply and lots of capable C & C shops.

Even if your source is correct, which you do not site, the Asian market does not dwarf the US market, but would only be marginally larger. Even then we would not know how much of that was sound bars etc, and how much high end accurate speakers. In any event the article I site shows the US home audio market is 36% of the global share, which is a lot.

This is a reasonable analysis.

I have to say your general tone on this forum is beyond the pale.
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
Again you are wrong more often than by chance.

The US audio market is double China's. We do have Asian members here, and I can tell you they have very limited product available especially in speakers. Cost are way higher than the US.

The other issue is that a far higher proportion of American homes have the space to devote to HT than other countries.

In addition, China is an increasingly hostile nation. Going forward the US will be a better safer location for manufacturers. The Chip act will help. However for cabinetry, it is a really good place. We have plentiful wood supply and lots of capable C & C shops.

Even if your source is correct, which you do not site, the Asian market does not dwarf the US market, but would only be marginally larger. Even then we would not know how much of that was sound bars etc, and how much high end accurate speakers. In any event the article I site shows the US home audio market is 36% of the global share, which is a lot.

This is a reasonable analysis.

I have to say your general tone on this forum is beyond the pale.
OK TLS Guy if you are serious about HELPING a budding entrepreneur in Norway here is what you do. BUY a pair of his speakers, use them for a while, write a review here, and then send any helpful critiques in private. Please don't "help" anymore with your dangerous financial advice. Please leave that to investment bankers that can help him find angel investors (unless you want to be an ANGEL and see if you can invest). I am not responding to any more of your posts in this thread because it is pointless.
 
Sigberg Audio

Sigberg Audio

Junior Audioholic
It seems to me that your approach is ideally suited to the in wall market. That is where sound quality is a barrier to adoption except for surrounds. I would think your cardioid approach might well have application here, to prevent the interference that results from the large baffle area, which can not be avoided with in wall.
Your whole concept seems to me to be ripe for in wall applications with a lot of potential for improved results.
The in-wall market is significantly smaller in Europe as opposed to the US, but it may be something to look into in time. Built-in amplifiers aren't necessarily a perfect idea for in-wall speakers either, so it would probably have to be conceptually different and require some additional R&D. Being small we have to focus, and every new product takes a lot of time to develop. But we'll see. :)
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Again you are wrong more often than by chance.

The US audio market is double China's. We do have Asian members here, and I can tell you they have very limited product available especially in speakers. Cost are way higher than the US.

The other issue is that a far higher proportion of American homes have the space to devote to HT than other countries.

In addition, China is an increasingly hostile nation. Going forward the US will be a better safer location for manufacturers. The Chip act will help. However for cabinetry, it is a really good place. We have plentiful wood supply and lots of capable C & C shops.

Even if your source is correct, which you do not site, the Asian market does not dwarf the US market, but would only be marginally larger. Even then we would not know how much of that was sound bars etc, and how much high end accurate speakers. In any event the article I site shows the US home audio market is 36% of the global share, which is a lot.

This is a reasonable analysis.

I have to say your general tone on this forum is beyond the pale.
I'm still trying to figure out how all the countries grew at the exact same rate every year in the 'graph' that was posted?

If it includes lifestyle products I could see Asia being ahead, not in dollars but units, but the true home theater market isn't ahead of the US. Mike C, who use to post a lot, always talked about how difficult it was to do HT over there. IIRC his family had a few home theaters thet took forever to complete because of poor distribution.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
The in-wall market is significantly smaller in Europe as opposed to the US, but it may be something to look into in time. Built-in amplifiers aren't necessarily a perfect idea for in-wall speakers either, so it would probably have to be conceptually different and require some additional R&D. Being small we have to focus, and every new product takes a lot of time to develop. But we'll see. :)
Yes, I appreciate that, the European market is small. I have just spent three weeks in the UK. Most houses are older construction and do not have frame walls with sheet rock. It is largely plaster.

I agree the challenge of in walls is formidable. When we built this house I had intended that the great room be an AV free zone like our former home. My wife however absolutely insisted that we have a good system in the great room. Not only that, but she insisted that it take up zero floor footprint. "There were to be no boxes on any part of the floor!" I resisted for a while, but lost the battle. I was aware that this would create significant design challenges, and it sure did.

So the first is the large front baffle, so no BSC required. However, I have found you need actually a little reverse of BSC. This is tricky because it makes the lower crossover difficult. Although it is helped by the fact that the sub is in the same wall, so there are no sub localization issues, even with higher crossovers.

So I deigned two way MTM mains, and a three way center, because of height constrains and avoiding horizontal MTM problems.

I ran tech tube conduit to bring in the ethernet, cable and FM from the theater chase, and also used it to connect the power amps to the pre/pro.

One bonus was that the TL sub is absolutely ideal for in wall as it can be narrow front to back, and can be part of the supporting structure.

Friends and visitor are highly enthusiastic about this system. The interior designer was not, but that was not all we disagreed about. That confirmed my view that on the whole they are rigid thinkers.

This is a passive system except the sub cross. However, and active system would really be ideal for this type of system.

I understand that service access is a big issue, so the electronics would need to be either wall mounted or installed from the front into the bottom of the speaker cabinet. If you look at the picture in my previous post, you can see that the control unit for the fan cooling system is surface mount. It is actually redundant, as the system has never generated enough heat to turn the fans on!

I do think that coaxial drivers would be beneficial in an in wall design, and in a way I wished I had built it round the SEAS coaxial drivers I used in my theater center. That is a tricky driver to use though, and getting my center TL dead right was actually quite a challenge.

My builder and real estate friends tell me that a good AV system is high on the want list of prospective buyers. However there is a dearth of good designer/installers so offerings are far and few between.

My view is that it is the engineering difficulty of good elegant design of systems for the home is the biggest barrier to acceptance. Willing ends, but not means is such a problem for humans.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Again you are wrong more often than by chance.

The US audio market is double China's. We do have Asian members here, and I can tell you they have very limited product available especially in speakers. Cost are way higher than the US.

The other issue is that a far higher proportion of American homes have the space to devote to HT than other countries.

In addition, China is an increasingly hostile nation. Going forward the US will be a better safer location for manufacturers. The Chip act will help. However for cabinetry, it is a really good place. We have plentiful wood supply and lots of capable C & C shops.

Even if your source is correct, which you do not site, the Asian market does not dwarf the US market, but would only be marginally larger. Even then we would not know how much of that was sound bars etc, and how much high end accurate speakers. In any event the article I site shows the US home audio market is 36% of the global share, which is a lot.

This is a reasonable analysis.

I have to say your general tone on this forum is beyond the pale.
Aside from the fact that pricing in China can be set by the government, I don't know why most speakers would be more expensive, since so many high quality speaker systems and components are made there and the companies are owned by Chinese companies.

BTW- if you have a compressor and want to try spraying finishes without breaking the bank, look at the Harbor Freight HVLP gun with the regulator. It's on sale for less than $25 and it's great- I sprayed Minwax fast-drying satin floor poly on my kitchen cabinets and it turned out beautifully. I also sprayed Shellac on the case of a McIntosh power amp after removing the garbage finish they put on it and it looks like the one I French polished. I have also sprayed a lot of other things, like the service door to my garage, the trim and handrail in my stairwell and most recently, some small speakers that I mounted on the walls in a basement home theater system. For primer on the trim and handrail, I used Zinsser water base, on the door, I used the Alcohol-based primer, then Benjamin Moore exterior trim paint.

The gun is very easy to learn and adjust and having the regulator on it makes adjustments much easier than needing to go to the compressor.

I HATE BRUSH MARKS! Having worked in a lot of high-priced homes, I became very accustomed to seeing sprayed cabinets/trim/doors and other items, although I have to say that some of the painters achieved insanely flat and smooth gloss finishes on some cabinetry and doors- I thought it was sprayed, but apparently, they added Flood paint additive to a Rustoleum industrial paint.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Friends and visitor are highly enthusiastic about this system. The interior designer was not, but that was not all we disagreed about. That confirmed my view that on the whole they are rigid thinkers.

My builder and real estate friends tell me that a good AV system is high on the want list of prospective buyers. However there is a dearth of good designer/installers so offerings are far and few between.

My view is that it is the engineering difficulty of good elegant design of systems for the home is the biggest barrier to acceptance. Willing ends, but not means is such a problem for humans.
ASID needs to teach the idea that it's not about leaving a testimony to the designer's talents and a way to massage their egos- these homes need to be lived in by the people who hire them in a way that they don't need to relearn how to store things, find things and that the design needs to consider the dimensions of the items that need to live in the cabinets. With few exceptions, I have had to intercept AV cabinet designs before building because they didn't think to add space at the side, top and back for ventilation and cables. One guy, who IMO only got the cabinet job because his wife was the interior detonator, had no sense of urgency to finish the cabinet when he said he would and after telling him that the floor of the 1905 house dives at the back corner, he said he would put short adjustable legs on it. He said he should be able to finish it by that October, but it didn't show up until 5 months later and as I expected, it had no adjustable legs. Then, his helper showed up to install the drawers and positioned two of the three in a way that prevented them from closing without scraping the bottom edges- when he installed the drawer pulls, he left with the screws too long and the pulls were loose. I was the one who re-positioned the drawers and cut the screws shorter.

I think the worst thing he did was tell me that he had no idea how to recess the back into the cabinet, so it would provide enough room for the bundle of cables behind it and would prevent seeing them from the top. I just stood there with my mouth open after hearing this- all it requires is making the cabinet a bit deeper and cutting dados in the sides and a rabbet (rebate) in the rear edge of the bottom, for support. It adds almost no time to the job. Oh, he also said he would make it with a face frame, to prevent racking and he didn't do that, either.

BTW- I posted a request for names of the best AV integrators in the Minneapolis area on a forum for people who do this kind of work. One of the members is a sales rep for a distributor and he also designs systems for projects outside of work- he works in the consumer and pro audio/video areas, so if anyone will know, he will. I'll let you know what they provide. These people do high end homes and many do commercial/industrial jobs as well, so their capabilities aren't like....Best Buy.
 
Sigberg Audio

Sigberg Audio

Junior Audioholic
In-wall speakers would certainly be an interesting design challenge. It's already in my drawer of "interesting ideas to be considered at some point in the future". :)
 
Sigberg Audio

Sigberg Audio

Junior Audioholic
In other news, the Sigberg Audio Manta (which is theoretically the main subject of this thread :D) will be presented to the public live for the first time on 24-25th of September at a Norwegian hifi show. A selected few have been around to listen to the prototype in our demo / test room, but it has not yet been presented to a wider audience. The prototype will be both on display and of course be playing together with dual 10D subwoofers all weekend.

It will be very interesting to hear the reception and feedback from the visitors. :)
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
Thorbjørn, when were you guys expecting to get your next round of measurement data on the design?
 
Sigberg Audio

Sigberg Audio

Junior Audioholic
Thorbjørn, when were you guys expecting to get your next round of measurement data on the design?
It's delayed due to the fact that we decided to revise the front baffle ports (as pictured below), so there's no real point in spending a lot of time with anechoic measurements before we get the next prototype revision, which will probably be another 1-2 months at least. We've done non-anechoic measurements on a rough prototype of the design below, so I don't expect large differences, but we'd still have to redo it on the final design, so..

On the bright side that's also a production prototype (built by the manufacturer that will build the production cabinets), so we will be able to iron out potential production issues at the same time.

1661016027068.png
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
It's delayed due to the fact that we decided to revise the front baffle ports (as pictured below), so there's no real point in spending a lot of time with anechoic measurements before we get the next prototype revision, which will probably be another 1-2 months at least. We've done non-anechoic measurements on a rough prototype of the design below, so I don't expect large differences, but we'd still have to redo it on the final design, so..

On the bright side that's also a production prototype (built by the manufacturer that will build the production cabinets), so we will be able to iron out potential production issues at the same time.

View attachment 57434
I wish you every success. It certainly is a most intriguing speaker. Next step would be do design a center. They are another tough challenge. I use a coaxial TL design in my theater. Coaxial speakers are ideal. It is a vertical through wall design, with variable BSC. You would likely use a horizontal design with the coax center flanked by fill drivers either side.



The lower driver is obviously the main and the upper the fill driver.



Center FR.



Main speaker FR.



The lowest LF feed is deliberately reduced because of room gain

Here is the room curve of the total system at the MLP



So if the last octave were not reduced, room gain makes it excessive.

Of axis responses mirror the on axis responses closely until HF roll off.

I would imagine your system should give similar results with a small foot print if everything goes to plan.

I really enjoy your posts and appreciate you taking the time to post here. I do think our fundamental approaches have a lot in common.
 
Sigberg Audio

Sigberg Audio

Junior Audioholic
@TLS Guy Looks like a well behaved system! I appreciate the feedback and compliments, and yes we seem to have some similar ideas. :)

A center (or LCR) version of the SBS.1 with a single coax and dual midbass drivers has been on the drawing board. But everything is difficult in the early stages, including conveying a clear identity and clear values as a company or brand. So far our products and our approach have been aimed at music / 2 channel stereo, and we have made no attempts to explicitly cater to home cinema needs and/or that customer segment. This is also evident in the choices made in our subwoofer designs.

An active, high capacity speaker designed to play with a subwoofer is obviously well suited for a home cinema system, but this is (perhaps interestingly) more by accident than due to explicitly designing for that purpose.

So if we were to suddenly release a center channel speaker, that would be a deviation from our current focus and possibly make it more unclear what we are about. It would also be something completely different than for instance the Manta. This is not to say we will never make a center speaker, but I'm not sure this is the right time.
 

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