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Buchardt Audio S400

jtwrace

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#1

617

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SB19 dome: $20
Sb oblong passive radiator: $34
SB17 aluminum woofer: $70

$248 worth of transducers for $1900. Perhaps that just speaks to the quality of inexpensive speaker drivers these days. SB Acoustics and Wavecor have really changed the game.

Great speaker but just reminds me why I got into diy. The sb19 works well in a waveguide although I'd bet the new sb20 ring radiator would be a great match too.
 

jtwrace

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#3
SB19 dome: $20
Sb oblong passive radiator: $34
SB17 aluminum woofer: $70

$248 worth of transducers for $1900. Perhaps that just speaks to the quality of inexpensive speaker drivers these days. SB Acoustics and Wavecor have really changed the game.

Great speaker but just reminds me why I got into diy. The sb19 works well in a waveguide although I'd bet the new sb20 ring radiator would be a great match too.
Well, when you design a speaker and can provide polar plots such as they have done you'll have a business for the world to buy. Easier said then done!
 
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#4
There are several cool reviewers on youtube dying for those, which probably means zero. The interesting part is that they have a good return policy and they have measurements on their site.
 

FrantzM

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#5
Hi

Too far to the East is the West ...

in DIY one never consider their own time cost... Selling a product involves marketing... Never cheap especially when it is DIY :). It also involves packaging, permits, warranty costs, profits and ways to feed oneself or family and pay Life bills and taxes ... So I would say fair pricing ...
 
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617

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#6
Well, when you design a speaker and can provide polar plots such as they have done you'll have a business for the world to buy. Easier said then done!
I have designed a few speakers and use directivity sonograms to design them. That's the easy and fun part. In fact, the speaker I'm building this weekend is very similar, albeit with (slightly) higher end drivers:
http://www.visaton.de/sites/default/files/dd_product/waveguidewg148r.pdf
https://rhythmaudiodesign.com/collections/rival-acoustics/products/r176-p-08-carbon-pulp
Tweeter tbd - Dayton RST28a or SB26STAC frontrunners. Could also use the tweeter designed for that waveguide from Visaton. The waveguide brings distortion to extremely low levels while increasing efficiency, so high frequency extension is your main goal here.

Baltic birch flat back cabinets will be available for sale through the guy who is making them from me. Pricing per pair is something like this for DIY:
Flat pack birch cabinets: 180
Woofers: 190 (Rival acoustics carbon pulp, 176mm)
Tweeters: 100 (
Crossover components and port tubes and terminals: 120 - could be much less
Waveguides: $40 from Mouser
~630

Not an option for everyone, but it's a fun hobby.
 

andreasmaaan

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#7
There's obviously quite a mark-up there on the materials costs, but it's nice to see a speaker manufacturer publishing reasonably detailed measurements, and the drivers they are using are decent.

The use of a passive radiator is an excellent choice, and something that should be done far more often in standmount speakers IMHO.
 

617

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#8
The use of a passive radiator is an excellent choice, and something that should be done far more often in standmount speakers IMHO.
It's a good idea, but it's hard to do in practice since you generally want a passive radiator to have twice the swept volume of air as the woofer it's coupled to. In the case of these drivers, the PR has a swept volume (xmax * surface area) of 196 cubic cm - the woofer is 129 cubic cm. In this case the ratio is 1.5, which listening tests may determine is sufficient, and probably better than a small port.

Anyway I agree with the sentiment here, this speaker offers pretty good value and very nice components and design.
 

andreasmaaan

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#9
In this case the ratio is 1.5, which listening tests may determine is sufficient, and probably better than a small port.
2:1 is a good rule of thumb, sure, but 1.5:1 may be perfectly adequate depending on the properties of the drivers. Do you know which specific woofer is used here? Is it the SB17MFC35 perhaps?
 

617

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#10
2:1 is a good rule of thumb, sure, but 1.5:1 may be perfectly adequate depending on the properties of the drivers. Do you know which specific woofer is used here? Is it the SB17MFC35 perhaps?
Almost certainly the SB17NBAC - black aluminum cone. I'm pretty sure these were/are used by Revel at some point as well. I've used the 15cm version and it's amazing. They make a ceramic coated version which I'm pretty sure is used by Revel in their ceramic cone speakers.
 

andreasmaaan

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Almost certainly the SB17NBAC - black aluminum cone. I'm pretty sure these were/are used by Revel at some point as well. I've used the 15cm version and it's amazing. They make a ceramic coated version which I'm pretty sure is used by Revel in their ceramic cone speakers.
Ok that makes sense. Well in that case the ratio is 178:118, which is indeed about 1.5:1.

Based on the specs for both the woofer and passive radiator and the impedance curve provided by the speaker manufacturer (and assuming there is no mass added to the passive radiator), I estimate that this box has an internal volume of 14 litres.

When I model this in Hornresp, it shows that the woofer excurses further relative to its Xmax than the passive radiator at a given SPL. So it seems to me that the passive radiator is more than adequate in this case (NB: woofer Xmax = 5.5mm, passive radiator Xmax = 11mm):

1557327103246.png
 
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617

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Ok that makes sense. Well in that case the ratio is 178:118, which is indeed about 1.5:1.
Based on the specs for both the woofer and passive radiator and the impedance curve provided by the speaker manufacturer (and assuming there is no mass added to the passive radiator), I estimate that this box has an internal volume of 14 litres.
Your conclusions aren't surprising - the rule of thumb probably comes from people designing subwoofers, which have totally different output and bass extension requirements. That oblong passive radiator is really a great driver, I should use it in my next design.

If you read the specification for the Buchardt speaker they mention that the PR has 'low mass' or something like that, so your assumption that no mass is added is probably accurate.

I didn't know hornresp did passive radiators, I normally use WinISD.
 

andreasmaaan

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Your conclusions aren't surprising - the rule of thumb probably comes from people designing subwoofers, which have totally different output and bass extension requirements. That oblong passive radiator is really a great driver, I should use it in my next design.

If you read the specification for the Buchardt speaker they mention that the PR has 'low mass' or something like that, so your assumption that no mass is added is probably accurate.

I didn't know hornresp did passive radiators, I normally use WinISD.
Hornresp is really a pretty versatile piece of software, although I tend to use it for only quick and easy woofer/box calculations as it is somewhat limited to ideal woofer/box models based on small-signal parameters (the "lossy Le" function is interesting though). It really lives up to its name when it comes to horns IMHO, however :)

And yeh, the SB oblong PR looks pretty good, and fits nicely on the back wall of a rectangular standmount. Haven't used it myself though...
 

andreasmaaan

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#14
Actually @617, I've just realised our original misunderstanding due to my reading your earlier post too quickly. You were talking about the ratio of each driver's swept volume of air, not of each driver's surface area, which is much more useful - my apologies!

However, in that case the ratio is not 1.5:1. This is because for whatever reason SB gives the linear coil travel (p-p) for their woofers, as opposed to Xmax. This means that the SB17NBAC in fact has an Xmax of only 5.5mm, not 11mm, giving a swept volume of air for the woofer of only 64.5, and thus a PR:woofer ratio of around 3:1. This tracks well with the Hornresp simulation.
 

617

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#15
Actually @617
However, in that case the ratio is not 1.5:1. This is because for whatever reason SB gives the linear coil travel (p-p) for their woofers, as opposed to Xmax. This means that the SB17NBAC in fact has an Xmax of only 5.5mm, not 11mm, giving a swept volume of air for the woofer of only 64.5, and thus a PR:woofer ratio of around 3:1. This tracks well with the Hornresp simulation.
Andreas, good catch. The PR seems to be a good option. I have a lot of drivers lying around so I may use it in my next build, a 2 way with a big planar tweeter of some sort (maybe the AST2560 or big Fountek ribbon.)
 

617

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#17
AudioXpress measured that kit. Which speaker is better is an interesting discussion.

The bass distortion of the Ara would be a bit better but I doubt it would be very noticable. The sb19 in a waveguide may have slightly higher distortion than the Satori tweeter on a flat baffle, but I doubt this would be very noticable (the waveguide brings down distortion quite a bit, but at the end of the day this is a $20 tweeter). The big difference is that one is a textbook LR2 design and one is a waveguide 2 way. The Buchardt has better directivity control down to a lower frequency, but the dispersion of the Ara is quite even.

For the money I'd say the kit is a bit better, but if you have a smaller room the Buchardt might be better.
 

invaderzim

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#18
.... It also involves packaging and permits and profits and warrant costs and ways to feed onesef or family to feed and pay the bills and taxes ... So I would say fair pricing ...
It is a bit like a fancy restaurant; you can't look at the cost of the ingredients and figure if it is worth it.

In the end it often comes down to how many they'd have to sell at any given price. If cutting your price in half wouldn't cause you to sell substantially more than twice as many then there would be no reason to cut the price even if you could.

Plus it looks like they ship for 'free' out of Denmark and cover 'free' returns back. So that has to add to the price.

That being said, if you have the skill or know someone who can make the boxes for you DIY can make some crazy good speakers for really reasonable prices. I don't have the design skills but I've built a couple that were designed by other people and they sounded about 4-5 times their price.
 
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#19
HI guys!

Just join this forum as i saw an thread on our speakers witch is fantastic!

Should you have any questions to our products and development i will try my best to answer your questions :)

As for the cost breakdown provided by 617, its correct that the drivers cost is far from the asking price of the speakers. But its an very unfair breakdown of what expenses a manufacturer have to a product. But i would completely agree that going DIY will give you a higher value in terms of parts cost for sure! :)

But to boil down years of development/engineering, tooling costs (waveguide, packeging, custom tweeter). Labor cost of assembly, test and inspections. Support, shipping cost and warranty for 10 years. These are things that usually is forgotten when doing a cost breakdown.

Being a company based in Denmark, we do have a huge benefit of having some of the most respected and talented engineers in this field. But labor cost of these are outrageous expensive. And company taxes are also sadly among the highest in the world here in Denmark :(

Our warehouse is actually in the same building where they engineer SB Acoustics drivers, so we work closely with them as well. We are very proud to use these drivers as they are without question the best value for money out there. To comment about the SB ARA kit: we did some A/B test with this and the S400. Its an fantastic kit that i would highly recommend! Usually kits do not have nearly the same time and attention in the development process as a finish branded speaker has. ARA is made by Ulrik that also designs the drivers, and its actually a pretty well rounded design.
 
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#20
SB had a room a few years ago at Axpona, stopped by and listened for a bit and was pretty impressed for a kit style of speaker. As a big fan of Danish bookshelf speakers (I think the drivers are actually made overseas) these compare quite favorably. I have not heard the Buchardt's but would probably be much of the same.
 
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