Is the box speaker a dinosaur?

Is the box speaker a dinosaur?

  • Yes

    Votes: 11 25.6%
  • No

    Votes: 31 72.1%
  • What's a dinosaur?

    Votes: 1 2.3%

  • Total voters
    43

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,554
11
38
Metro DC
#1
It is a wonder box speakers have not gone the way of dinosaurs.We lavish so much attention on the obvious faults. When you eliminate the box, crossover and cone driver you are way ahead of the game
I have not heard the Magico Q7. I did hear the Magico Q6. I assume it is a better Q5 with a built in sub. To say it is a just a box(or two boxes stacked on top of each other) is an oversimplification. For Purposes of this discussion that is exactly the point. To paraphrase another saying the box speaker is easy to build difficult to master.
Being the audiophile hobbyist I am I can't help but applaud the existence of speakers suchas the Q7 or EA MM7. They are perfect examples of the downside of box speaker. Their greatness lies in the designers ability to solve those problems,

Prohibitively expensive
Elaborate cabinet designs
Massive size
Exotic drivers materials
Complex crossover design
Behemoth amplifiers


Relatively straightforward panel designs at obtainable prices seem to mock all but thier most elaborate and expensive cousins -the box speaker.
How can one justify a Q7 when so many panel designs exist at such lower prices and complexity? Not to mention requiring so much simpler amplification.
 

puroagave

Member Sponsor
Sep 30, 2011
1,297
0
36
#4
Relatively straightforward panel designs at obtainable prices seem to mock all but thier most elaborate and expensive cousins -the box speaker.
How can one justify a Q7 when so many panel designs exist at such lower prices and complexity? Not to mention requiring so much simpler amplification.
i assume you're leaving out horn and single driver type spreakers, all of which require very little power (ultra simple SET type amps come to mind) and are as simple in design as they get. the sonic rewards of horns can be life-like in a way neither a traditional box or panel speaker can approach.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,554
11
38
Metro DC
#5
Horns represent an even smaller subset of audio.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,056
34
48
Manila, Philippines
#7
Nope

:)
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
I'm sure many will disagree "again" ....:)

Is there a WBF Poll on speaker ownership , put one at the top if not.
Easy to add a poll to the thread
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,056
34
48
Manila, Philippines
#10
There you go counselor. :)
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,469
0
0
#11
Ohh , you do know panel speakers are way less expensive to manufacturer, just saying ....:)
Cost to manufacture has little bearing to price.

I have heard single driver speaker sand sincerely believe they represent an affectation of audiophile ideals.

Horns have become much better of late there are some superlative horn speakers out here .. They tend to be o expensive though ..

Very interesting subject. It doesn’t look like box speakers are going away. And the audiophiles seem to be less and less price sensitive as time goes by.
It must be said that so called box speakers have evolved. They now routinely exhibit attributes, we tended to associate with planars. As for the complexity of crossovers it is almost a necessity with passive speakers. This is not the subject of this discussion but it bears to remind that passive crossovers are extremely wasteful as most of an amplifier output is used to heat the resistors and inductors in passive crossovers … It is very easy to portray the crossover as a find a scapegoat but a crossover-less speaker comes with its own set of limitations.
Panel speakers have their problems. Panel speakers suffer from the limitations of physics… It is very difficult to build one panel to cover the entire audio spectrum. It is often done at the expense of dynamics or maximum output. The Quad ESL 63 is one of these... No bass to speak of and it won’t play loud … Single panel speakers capable of spanning the whole audio spectrum are the exception rather than the rule .. So we go toward panels with crossovers … or very large panels
But do Box speakers , the better anyway, have to be so big, thus so complicated? I do believe now, that trying to put low bass and the rest in one enclosure is not the best solution. I am not advocating the mini-monitor and sub approach. What I favor is a speaker capable of clean, distortion-free and substantial in the vital 70 to 500 Hz (of course elsewhere too :) ) with multiple subs. I have heard the Magico Q3 and fell in love with it. One of the best speakers I have heard at any price. I have not yet heard the Q7. I surmise however the following: What do you think may sound better: A Q7 by its loneself ($165,000) or a Q3 with two or more super subs ? We can go up to $30,000 for the multiple subs and add to that a DSP/EQ to match the Q3 to perfection… Actually $30K is too much for subs. Good subwoofers matching the most expensive ones are easily less than $3K The interesting thing is that the same (i-e ading subwoofers) can be accomplished with panels for even less … ;)
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,554
11
38
Metro DC
#12
The dinosaur analogy is used when a product or technology runs it's course due to expense, exhaustion of resources or new technology. In my own field many argue that trail lawyers are dinosaurs because litigation has become too expensive and the outcome to unpredictable.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,554
11
38
Metro DC
#13
Cost to manufacture has little bearing to price.
I disagree. Materials, labor, R&D are expensive especially for relatively new companies.There is also the problem of limited product runs. Von Schwiekert says in the video I posted on the VR44 a an aluminum cabinet can cost $30-50k.
Exotic speaker materials like ceramics and diamonds are also expensive. OTOH there is some snob appeal to audiophile pricing.

Magnepan, Soundlab Martin Logan, SandersSounsystems et al can play loud.
 

cjfrbw

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,174
7
38
Pleasanton, CA
#14
I voted solipsistically rather than parsing the theme. I consider big boxes to be expensive, monolithic furniture and glistening edifices that symbolize the psychology of the end user. If you were raised lusting for big boxes, that is what you get.

I suppose you could say the same of the internal combustion engine, a bad design taken to its most painstaking and precise level of compensating execution.

Doesn't mean boxes can't sound great, just like sports cars are a lot of fun.

Most audiophiles know the differences between the speaker types, and I mix and match types in my system. Small boxes for surrounds, woofers. Panels for main imaging, surrounds to reinforce acoustics and dynamics.

If you want speed: electrostats or panels, but you forego some dynamics. Electrostats for speed, ribbons for tone and richness.

If you want dynamics: horns

If you want something in between: boxes

Point source, line source, monopoles, dipoles yada yada yada, hybrids up the yang yang.

Getting it all in one solution is one of the dilemmas of audiophilia, what a pain in the ass.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,469
0
0
#15
Except for the MMG Magnepans are not single panel, the Sanders and ML that play loud are hybrid ...

As for the relationship between the cost of manufacture and price I maintain my position.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,554
11
38
Metro DC
#16
The Magico Q7 is a floorstanding, four-way loudspeaker measuring 60"H x 15"W x 32"D and weighing 750 pounds
That's 5' tall and just 500lbs. shy of a short ton. And it's by no means the largest or heaviest.
 

A.wayne

New Member
Jan 15, 2011
1,289
0
0
Front Row Center
#18
Cost to manufacture has little bearing to price.

I have heard single driver speaker sand sincerely believe they represent an affectation of audiophile ideals.

Horns have become much better of late there are some superlative horn speakers out here .. They tend to be o expensive though ..

Very interesting subject. It doesn’t look like box speakers are going away. And the audiophiles seem to be less and less price sensitive as time goes by.
It must be said that so called box speakers have evolved. They now routinely exhibit attributes, we tended to associate with planars. As for the complexity of crossovers it is almost a necessity with passive speakers. This is not the subject of this discussion but it bears to remind that passive crossovers are extremely wasteful as most of an amplifier output is used to heat the resistors and inductors in passive crossovers … It is very easy to portray the crossover as a find a scapegoat but a crossover-less speaker comes with its own set of limitations.
Panel speakers have their problems. Panel speakers suffer from the limitations of physics… It is very difficult to build one panel to cover the entire audio spectrum. It is often done at the expense of dynamics or maximum output. The Quad ESL 63 is one of these... No bass to speak of and it won’t play loud … Single panel speakers capable of spanning the whole audio spectrum are the exception rather than the rule .. So we go toward panels with crossovers … or very large panels
But do Box speakers , the better anyway, have to be so big, thus so complicated? I do believe now, that trying to put low bass and the rest in one enclosure is not the best solution. I am not advocating the mini-monitor and sub approach. What I favor is a speaker capable of clean, distortion-free and substantial in the vital 70 to 500 Hz (of course elsewhere too :) ) with multiple subs. I have heard the Magico Q3 and fell in love with it. One of the best speakers I have heard at any price. I have not yet heard the Q7. I surmise however the following: What do you think may sound better: A Q7 by its loneself ($165,000) or a Q3 with two or more super subs ? We can go up to $30,000 for the multiple subs and add to that a DSP/EQ to match the Q3 to perfection… Actually $30K is too much for subs. Good subwoofers matching the most expensive ones are easily less than $3K The interesting thing is that the same (i-e ading subwoofers) can be accomplished with panels for even less … ;)
Frantz,

You need to get out a bit more ...:)

Updated ESL63 by quads unlimited can play as loud as you have amplifier , as much as any maggie made now or in 2020 :) i was shock the first time i heard one...

Yep definitely not your fathers Quad ....:)
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,554
11
38
Metro DC
#19
Except for the MMG Magnepans are not single panel, the Sanders and ML that play loud are hybrid ...

As for the relationship between the cost of manufacture and price I maintain my position.]
We are talking non-box. I concede that a box is not necessarily a drawback for woofers It might be a plus. Yet they usually require huge heavy boxes and lots of power and sturdy cabinets. The Sander and ML hybrids panels play loud when there is no appreciable bass content. The CLS could bring the police to your door. )I did)

Just using the Q7 as an example do you have any specifics showing the $185k price tag is unrelated to manufacturing cost? I'll be specific. Buiding the cabinet. I assuming tooling up to build the aluminum cabinet. Developing and manufacturing the drivers built in house.etc. I lack the experience to assess these costs. What would be the potential units sold? You know that kind of thing.
,
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,469
0
0
#20
That's 5' tall and just 500lbs. shy of a short ton. And it's by no means the largest or heaviest.
The Q7 is 750 lbs.. As a matter of fact that much weight could be an advantage. If the cabinet is inert. The idea is for the driver to play and not the cabinet. This design consideration works on the Q3... to my ears...
Now I also think that the same consideration could be taken to some panels. The Maggies with a substantial stand (I had a Mye hybrid) sound clearly different and could even measure better.
I, also, believe the ideal is hybrid. I like Scaena a lot. I haven't heard the top of the line but the smaller one with two subs is already a superior performer... Panel tweeters in line source, cone mids and cone subs.. I wonder if they can be acquired without their subs. I think they are heir to the Pipedreams likely with the limitations (I didn't remember hearing these limitations last time I heard them back then in 2003) overcome. Several speakers of distinction are not perceived as hybrid although that is what they are Scaena, Von Shweikert (VR 9 and 11),Evolution Acoustics, Genesis 1, 200, 2.5, 5.3, etc

Al n'all boxes are here to stay. Their prevalence is not a fluke
 

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