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Krabbenkoenig

(lifestyle) Speaker Concept

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Good Morning!

As some of you might know, I do a lot of design regarding Hifi/home entertainment.

 

At the moment i'm doing my internship at Bosch-Siemens Hausgeraete in Munich, but somehow this internship doesn't provide me with lots of projects or input, so I decided to do a new design for a speaker which I hopefully will be able to build at the start of the next semester.

 

My goal is to design and build a "lifestyle" speaker which not only sounds good but also looks good.

The concept actually exists but at the moment the enclosing for this extraordinary good sounding concept (Imagination 2 by Manfred Zoller) is the typical "boring" rectangular Box.

But as stated I want to design a speaker which would fit into this whole lifestyle theme built up by the media or big companies like Sony etc.

But unlike Sony I do not want to design a speaker which only looks good, I want to design a speaker which is (also in terms of sound quality) appealing to the die hard audiophile but which is also appealing to a younger target group for which looks are very important.

 

So I started a little research about speakers with hulk shaped body and after tons of sketches I came up with the following concept:

imag2konzepthighdef9si.th.jpg imag2konzeptquer2sr.th.jpg imagekonzepttop7ju.th.jpg

 

The whole concept is still in a very early stage, since the next term will start in about 3 month I still have lots of time to develope this whole thing.

But I'm just curious about what you think of this speaker design.

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Guest LeL

The concept is truly unique and it looks like you've got the lifestyle ideas goin. However, it doesn't communicate to me that its a speaker that will win the hearts of audiophiles. The speaker openings kind of remind me of those weak desktop satellite speakers. If you don't know about em already, check out Bang & Olufsen's designs. These guys have some of the most dynamic speaker designs I have ever seen, and they put out some mean audio quality to boot. Also, could you post a few examples of the Tons of sketches that you did prior to this model?

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Guest majendie

this does look nice, but i have some questions -

 

firstly, what does the bottom cavity do? is it purely structural? if so that's fine, it's just unclear from your renders what's going on down there. i would suggest some more lighting in your renders. the image is dramatic, but it's impossible to see the shape clearly. it does *look* unbalanced, even though it could easily not be. is this a deliberate thing?

 

and then some comments -

 

i'm not sure this kind of shape is really hitting the market you say you are trying for. it does have some very nice lines and is elegant in it's simplicity, but i think it needs some more refinement.

 

the yellow cone thing is very reminiscent of bowers and wilkins and as such has been done by them and copied by everyone else to death. i would urge you to find something less conventional.

 

i think the colouring is way too dark and heavy. modern "lifestyle" stuff is tending towards the lighter, more minimalist designs. huge almost-black blocks of wood in the lounge room aren't too appealing any more.

 

and finally, although it is nice and i do think it has potential, it still looks like a regular speaker, just a little skewed. the whole world of traditional box speaker design is horrifically stagnated due to acoustic limitations. for an idea of where cone speakers can go, have a look at these -

 

http://www.slabsound.com/images/learntofly.gif

 

http://www.slabsound.com/images/xtremeani.gif

 

this speaker is called volare. is was designed by a new zealand architect called richard london, and developed by a company called slab, who specialize in flat panel speaker designs, but picked this up as an ultra top range piece. unfortunately, the company was not in a position to put the speakers into production, so what you see are photos of one of only 3 pairs ever made. but nonetheless, having seen them in person, and heard them, these are the most amazing speakers i have ever seen. they have a drama, an elegance and a total uniqueness, and yet they are using traditional cone speaker technology. cones don't have to come in boxes.

 

hope there's something in there for you to think about.

 

- m

 

p.s. - as a quick edit that i forgot to mention, LeL, yes, Bang and Olufsen do make some beautiful equipment, but the sound quality is truly dissapointing. the only thing they have that sounds like it should for the money is the whacky dalek thing i can't remember the name of, but i'm sure you've seen it. their tall aluminium speakers, while excessively expensive, are just not up to scratch, and actually sound quite terrible, especially considering the price tag. bang and olufsen make lifestyle speakers, not good speakers. a lot of the same criticism is true of the rest of their product range, like their $800, 128mb mp3 player. ack.

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Sketches:

It's a bit difficult to post them since I don't have a scanner/computer at home, the only possibility would be to take a photo of the sketches - I'll try it today in the evening.

 

Bang & Olufsen:

May look nice, but is far away from the sound quality I'm after.

 

As stated before, I'm in cooperation with a german louspeaker manufacturer and the concept already exists and works, so I can't choose which drivers the speaker utilizes. The yellow kevlar drivers are there and I'll have to live with it...

The dimensions of the front are also defined (540mm x 210mm) and since the speaker has been developed with this frontplate, I can't change it's dimensions, every change would worsen (change) the sound quality - keyword baffle step.

btw. Bowers and Wilkins weren't by far the first to utilize Kevlar drivers, Focal did this a long time ago (including tweeters).

 

I personally think that the volare and the other one are ugly as hell, I couldn't imagine having one of these in my living room (for my taste good looking, extravagant speakers are for example http://www.dietiker-humbel.ch/avantgar.htm or the http://www.cabasse.com/english/artis/ ), or for real exclusive looks and state of the art craftmansship have a look at http://www.sonusfaber.com/ .

 

I mean it's nice to see some ultra extravagant speakers, but mine should still be rather easy to manufacture to keep the final price rather low (about 3000€ per pair).

Also the design shouldn't be to exaggerated, it shall remind of "normal" speakers but with the special "touch".

I also will have to design two bigger speakers, which will play in the range of JM Lab Utopia, B&W 801& Co., they should look similiar to this little fella since they're part of athe same range of speakers - called Imagination.

There is also going to be a small 2 way bookshelf speaker, non d'appolito design, the design shown is for the d'appolito version (2x 18cm Bass/Mids and a 25mm tweeter).

 

Regarding the color:

There will be several different colors/veneers but since I will build a prototype of this speaker for myself I chose high gloss black paint.

 

Just to clearyfy it one more time, the concept already exists and made a massive impact at the High End Hifi show in Warshaw, these speakers are thought to be used as a high end stero setup without any subwoofers for rooms up to 25m² (at a (volume) level as if you would sit in a liitle club and listen to live music - anyone who was listening to a live jazz concert in a small club knows what I mean).

They are also not meant to be hidden in a shelf or behind the curtain, they are thought to take up a certain room and be present.

For smaller rooms and smaller purses the smaller version will be aviable. :)

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Guest majendie

those points all taken into consideration, i'm still not into that form. it feels awkward to me, that curve running up the back, the angles of the flats at the front - it is difficult to make out the surfacing and proper proportions in that dark dramatic render. do you have/can you make any others? i think it would work better if the two front lines were more cohesive with each other, perhaps a gentle curve, or a lower angle between them. and i would extend the back curve further at the bottom to give the speaker more visual balance.

 

but then . . .

 

i'm guessing that as you're working with a developed speaker, you probably have freedom only of shape (but not volume) of the cavity, some small freedom of location (but not depth or diameter) of the port, and as you mentioned, almost no freedom of location or shaping of the frontispiece. however, that doesn't necessarily constrict you too tightly.

 

i think the support looks like an interesting idea, and would like to see it in more detail. it is nice to see a speaker that isn't the ubiquitous rectangular box with bits stuck on, although in terms of finish, it might be nice to try something more original than the veneered MDF so common (which i realise is an acoustic necessity, but doesn't have to be gloss black or fake-wood veneer. other facing materials are available, such as aluminium, which could work . . . )

 

also, what ideas in terms of detailing the face plate have you had? i'm assuming there's a tweeter in there between the woofers? and the back. i want to see the back! i'm interested to see how you're working with the transition from the port.

 

another thing i wanted to ask about - those cones, are they concave or straight-edged? your model has them curved, but i figure that could just be a model thing. i haven't seen curved cones like that before . . .

 

anyway, keep having fun. you're getting me all inspired to start playing with speakers again myself now . . . hmmmm . . . .

 

- m

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Guest RXB

I like the concept of leveraging high technology into something traditional, but the form of the speaker is awkard, it seems too top heavy, without any real balance to it, It almost looks like it will fall over if I touch it.

 

I do enjoy black veneer though, but perhaps integrating it with other materials or aspects of form your trying to communicate.

 

I suppose I would ask myself is it suppose to be dynamic?, Does it seem strong and sturdy?, Does it communicate any brand values?

 

Personally I would like to see the top box section > Dynamic Arc match the bottom one.

 

Also I'm sure I read somewhere something about Flat panel speakers in this topic? (Can't find it now......) Well if your using Flat panel speakers, such as NXT isn't the primary benefit that it consumes barely any space at all?, if your leveraging higher technology its analogus to leverag ethe features and benefits.

 

Have fun its always is designing

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