Go to (LDSG vendor guideline links)….
Accuton ACI Adire Alcone Apex Jr. ATC ATD Audax Audio Technology Aura Axon
Eclipse Eminence Eton
Hi-Vi Hiquphon Human
Madisound Manger McCauley MCM Meniscus Monacor Morel
Scan-Speak SCH Seas Skaaning Stryke
Vifa Visaton Volt
Let's start this section out with a quote from a message I received when I
embarked on this project:|
Referring back to the introduction on the business perspective of speaker driver manufacturers, it's not surprising that some vendors have higher visibility in the DIY market than others - they're the ones who actively recruit and support DIY distributors. Those who are more ambivalent toward the DIY market won't have the visibility or penetration. With these facts in mind, let me try to summarize my feedback and research to date. The vendors listed are sorted alphabetically. Where sufficient information is available, I've also tried to characterize my respondents' views of the reliability of each manufacturer's published data.
Notes on boutique vendors:
As you peruse the LDSG, you'll notice that some vendors are quite small,
some even one-person operations. Among these are
Stryke Audio, and others|
These generally fall into one of three main categories:
Those in the third category often don't last too long once the owner finds out how much time, expense, and aggravation are involved in running a business. However, none of these are necessarily that much riskier than ordering from a larger dealer (those that have proven unreliable are not in the LDSG). Why deal with them, then? Most boutique dealers can offer prices and group discounts below those of larger dealers. The owners of a boutique are usually people with whom you can develop a rewarding personal relationship. It also gives many people a better feeling spending their money with a fellow enthusiast that they know personally.
What is required is a good knowledge of the facts of business life as it applies to dealing with such vendors. This is a simple matter of becoming an informed consumer.
A day in the life of a small vendor…Running a small speaker business is a balancing act. Suppliers often ignore you since you're not buying parts in sufficient quantities to demand their attention. Without the financing of a larger business, you can't afford to keep a lot of inventory so your business model is less that of a supermarket and more like a brokerage. Your customers' familiarity is a double-edged sword. One the one hand, it gets them to do business with you. On the other, many feel free to consume vast amounts of your precious time chatting about your common interest. The fact that you're small also makes customers nervous and quick to panic when problems occur. The same person who wanted to chat cordially last week may be the same one posting public messages that you're a scam artist this week and demanding a refund.
With all this in mind, consider the following when dealing with a small vendor:
Notes for prospective small businesses
Many people in the speaker building hobby at some time toy with the idea of
turning their hobby into a business. When this urge comes over you, consider
One of the rudest awakenings of a small business owner comes when he realizes how much higher the cost of doing business is than he planned. You also need to appreciate that while it may be obvious to you that you're doing your fellow hobbyists a favor by providing a source of something not otherwise readily available, their perceptions can be wildly different. Most significantly, they will expect you to treat them about the same as they've been treated by much larger businesses with relatively unlimited resources. If you're really serious about proceeding with it, here are some suggestions:
National origins (vendor web site links):
Finally, different cultures and languages seem to affect driver design. For example,
drivers from one French company often have similar characteristics to those from
other French companies, etc. Although there are obvious exceptions to this
generalization, here is a list of the country of origin for each various vendors,
both listed and unlisted:|
Discontinued and/or unavailable:
The following vendors at one time sold into the DIY market, but have since either
left it or gone out of business. These vendors are noted since many of their
drivers were recommended at one time. Some distributors or other DIY'ers may still
have some of these for sale and, in general, they are probably safe purchases. Also
noted here is SCH, whose drivers are
often recommended. The problem with SCH is that msny of their drivers are from
surplus sources and specific models sell out quickly, so any inclusion in the LDSG
has proven in many cases to be obsolescent almost from the date of first publication.
Vendor guidelines - ATD:
|ATD is a French company which makes several well-reported unconventional and full/wide range drivers. One of these, the 17LB can also be used as an excellent midrange. Read more about it in Section 3 (full/wide range drivers).|
Vendor guidelines - JBL
|JBL is one of the great names in American hi-fi, sound reinforcement, and autosound. See Section 5 (high efficiency drivers) for more information.|
Vendor guidelines - Jordan
|E.J. Jordan is a highly regarded British manufacturer of both full-range and wide-range drivers using metal cone conventional technology. Their JX53 and JX62/J62S are two of the few credible mid/tweeters on the market. Their JX92 is an excellent candidate for an extremely wide-range midrange driver. Their JX125 and JX150 aluminum-coned drivers are worth consideration as altenatives for Seas Excel magnesium-coned mid/bass drivers due to fewer problems in the upper stopband. For more details, see the Jordan listing in Section 3 on wide/full-range drivers.|
Vendor guidelines - Manger
|Manger is the premier DIY source of wide-range bending wave transducers. See their description in Section 4 on unconventional drivers.|
Vendor guidelines - Triangle:
|Triangle is a French company which makes several well-reported full/wide range drivers. One of these, the T17FLV08 can also be used as an excellent midrange. Read more about it in Section 3 (full/wide range drivers).|
Vendor guidelines - Visaton
|Visaton is a large German company with the reputation of having one of the best development labs in Europe. They sell several lines of drivers covering high-end, hi-fi, and pro (PA, stage, and sound reinforcement) drivers.|
©1998-2007 by Bob Stout, all rights reserved
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