Why aren't AK speakers more popular?

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 6199 times.

Tyson

Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« on: 30 Apr 2011, 01:26 am »
As someone that's been dabbling in the DIY area of open baffle speakers, I look at the offerings here and they are some of the most intelligent and well thought out designs I've come across.  Don't get me wrong, I love my fully active OB speakers, but if I were gonna buy some passive speakers, it'd probably be a pair of Prisms or similar.  They are so clearly superior to standard box speakers it's a wonder these things are not flying off the shelves.  Or maybe they are, I dunno. 

shooter

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #1 on: 30 Apr 2011, 02:01 am »
It take money to run those glossy ads, lot of BS and showmanship and outrages claims and Duke is not like that.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 5726
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #2 on: 30 Apr 2011, 03:08 am »
This is an example of why the TAS/Stereophile/etc. speaker recommendations doesn't interest or impress me.

Obviously they can't test everything out there, but come on man.   :duh:

Duke

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #3 on: 30 Apr 2011, 03:35 am »
As someone that's been dabbling in the DIY area of open baffle speakers, I look at the offerings here and they are some of the most intelligent and well thought out designs I've come across.  Don't get me wrong, I love my fully active OB speakers, but if I were gonna buy some passive speakers, it'd probably be a pair of Prisms or similar.  They are so clearly superior to standard box speakers it's a wonder these things are not flying off the shelves.  Or maybe they are, I dunno.

Thank you very much, Tyson!

So you're a DIY guy... okay, that explains a lot.  Me too, for twenty years or so before crossing over to the "dark side" and becoming a dealer, then later a manufacturer.  And now my journey to the Dark Side is... complete.  Anyway, you've rolled up your sleeves and gone head-to-head with the issues that a "professional" speaker designer grapples with, so you have a heightened awareness of what might constitute a good solution, even if it's not the solution you have chosen.  And in my experience, people who are into it that much are usually... DIY guys!  Guess how many sales I make to DIY guys??  And I don't blame them one bit - there are few things in life as satisfying as creating your own kick-@$$ speakers.  Having someone fall in love with a speaker you created enough to vote with their wallet is arguably among those few things... especially if you make enough doing so to pay the bills.

I think one of the barriers I run into is the anti-horn prejudice that most people (including myself!) have.  Too many of us have had our ears hurt by harsh prosound horn speakers so we have a hard time completely trusting horns.  I get people in my room at audio shows who don't hear any hint of horn coloration, or at least say they don't, but I suspect many of them go home and think about it and figure they better play it safe, maybe it was just that recording that my speakers didn't honk on.   But most of the time I'm playing recordings that other people bring into the room and request, rather than my own selections. 

That being said, I think I'm in the sweet spot now... enough orders in the pipeline that I worry more about time than money, but not so many that I can't spend a few minutes on the computer! 

It take money to run those glossy ads, lot of BS and showmanship and outrages claims and Duke is not like that. 

Obviously you're unfamiliar with my opening post about the Rhythm Prisms, wherein I claim that they DEFY THE LAWS OF PHYSICS! 

shooter

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #4 on: 30 Apr 2011, 03:52 am »
Yes Duke go ahead and make a few more outrages claims, the Rhythm Prism will literally fly out your door!   :wink:

zybar

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #5 on: 30 Apr 2011, 03:24 pm »
As someone that's been dabbling in the DIY area of open baffle speakers, I look at the offerings here and they are some of the most intelligent and well thought out designs I've come across.  Don't get me wrong, I love my fully active OB speakers, but if I were gonna buy some passive speakers, it'd probably be a pair of Prisms or similar.  They are so clearly superior to standard box speakers it's a wonder these things are not flying off the shelves.  Or maybe they are, I dunno.

If I didn't love my 5A's, I would definitely be a customer of Duke's.  Not only does he make great speakers...he makes OTL friendly great speakers!!   :thumb: :thumb:

George

Turk

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 168
Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #6 on: 30 Apr 2011, 05:36 pm »
I have owned the Jazz Modules for about 18 months and I still marvel at the quality of the drivers.  Extremely low coloration and no honk, far better in that respect than the $100,000 horns at RMAF.  Th JM's work well with about any amp I have used with them from Mike Galusha's Atma-Sphere OTL's to hi-power PP triodes and quality low power solid state.

The ability to tune the JM's for base and treble response is a blessing.  I don't know how Duke builds such quality products for so little money, but I have not had the urge to change.  The TAD drivers are a marvel, once they got hit with a surge to the point I thought they were going to fly across the room.  Surely the voice coil was cooked and I would have to replace them.  No, they never missed a beat.  I am sure many other expensive drivers would have required surgery or replacement.

Durability is something that, even in a loudspeaker, is often overlooked.  People worry about the latest hi-tech cabinet materials, exotic drivers and wood veneers that rival a Stradivarius.  Duke builds them to sound exceptional, last forever and not break the bank.  Tremendous dynamic range to boot, unequaled in most hi dollar conventional designs.

Keep it up Duke; now if I can just figure out how to get a Swarm in my room.

 

Will2

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #7 on: 30 Apr 2011, 06:15 pm »
I have wondered the same thing myself.  There are a number of very happy AudioKinesis owners out there - me included - we just aren't very vocal.  Maybe we should shout from the rooftops more.  Duke does get speakers out in the field, but have you ever seen any come up used?  I haven't.  Speaks volumes I think.
« Last Edit: 1 May 2011, 11:17 am by Will2 »

jtwrace

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #8 on: 30 Apr 2011, 06:34 pm »
Although I'm not an owner, I just want to give the man props as a person.  Great guy!

matt.w

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 21
Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #9 on: 1 May 2011, 02:32 am »
I have wondered the same thing myself.  There are a number of very happy AudioKinesis owners out there - me included - we just aren't very vocal.  Maybe we should shout from the rooftops more.  Duke does get some speakers out in the field, but have you ever seen any come up used?  I haven't.  Speaks volumes I think.

That's me too. Loving my custom Alphas, but I'm just a shy lurker :oops:. Other people say what I'm thinking much more eloquently, and with more experience to back it.

Only way I'm changing speakers is if I'm getting Planetarium Betas :green:

borism

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #10 on: 1 May 2011, 01:24 pm »
I have been a very happy Jazz Module owner for ~ 6 months. What attracted me to Duke's speakers was the aspect of small manufacturer with innovative design and individual attention. I believe there is an inverse relationship between quantity of production and quality of personal attention including knowing whose hands built something for you. From the other perspective, I can imagine that being a small to medium sized manufacturer is also very gratifying. You can meet and get to know many of your customers. The down side is probably less financial reward. So in summary, many of us - customers and manufacturers - are in this for similar reasons.   

NekoAudio

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 168
    • Neko Audio LLC
Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #11 on: 1 May 2011, 04:50 pm »
There are a number of very happy AudioKinesis owners out there - me included - we just aren't very vocal.  Maybe we should shout from the rooftops more.

I agree with the shouting. :D Word of the mouth is extremely powerful, and Duke's speakers definitely deserve the words.

Tyson

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #12 on: 1 May 2011, 05:19 pm »
Just one example of why I think so well of the design - since I have OB speakers, I have a lot of room interaction, and good ambiance, etc.  But what I DON'T have is a rear wave with a flat frequency response that perfectly matches the front wave coming off the driver.  Just the nature of OB and rear wave propagation.  And if I adjust the EQ to get a fairly flat rear wave, then the front wave gets much worse, and vice-versa.

So, having a speaker with mirrored drivers (front and back) neatly avoids this problem.  And I won't even go into the brilliance of offsetting the rear drivers to be close to the floor!

Tyson

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #13 on: 1 May 2011, 05:23 pm »
Oh, and I also got to hear them at the most recent RMAF - they were one of the few rooms that got the music "right", IMO.  They weren't my pick for best sound at show (I believe there were some tuning/size problems being dealt with), but they weren't far out, and trust me, VERY few speakers even get close.  For example, I thought the AK's were better than the most reputable OB speakers at the show - the Linkwitz Orions. 

Will2

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #14 on: 1 May 2011, 06:04 pm »
Just one example of why I think so well of the design - since I have OB speakers, I have a lot of room interaction, and good ambiance, etc.  But what I DON'T have is a rear wave with a flat frequency response that perfectly matches the front wave coming off the driver.  Just the nature of OB and rear wave propagation.  And if I adjust the EQ to get a fairly flat rear wave, then the front wave gets much worse, and vice-versa.

So, having a speaker with mirrored drivers (front and back) neatly avoids this problem.  And I won't even go into the brilliance of offsetting the rear drivers to be close to the floor!

This is what attracted me to Duke's designs.  It seemed to me that musical instruments very seldom created sound directed only forward so if the objective is to emulate a musical instrument, sound radiating symmetrically from front and back of a cabinet made a lot of sense.  I've been very pleased with the results.

brj

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #15 on: 2 May 2011, 01:59 am »
Quote from: Will2
This is what attracted me to Duke's designs.  It seemed to me that musical instruments very seldom created sound directed only forward so if the objective is to emulate a musical instrument, sound radiating symmetrically from front and back of a cabinet made a lot of sense.  I've been very pleased with the results.

I hope this isn't viewed as off-topic, but I guess this is one thing that conceptually bothered me about both open baffle and rear-facing drivers is that many instruments are directional - like the entire brass section.  So is this simply a matter of specific AK speakers being better suited to different types of music?

For what it's worth, I say this as someone that has thoroughly enjoyed every conversation I've ever had with Duke and who very much wants to hear the Jazz Modules... (though I don't know if there are drivers left to make them anymore.)

Will2

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #16 on: 2 May 2011, 02:27 am »
that many instruments are directional - like the entire brass section. 

True - I used to play the trumpet, but I also used to play the tuba - maybe not all of the brass section is directional forward  :lol:

Duke

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #17 on: 2 May 2011, 02:37 am »
I hope this isn't viewed as off-topic, but I guess this is one thing that conceptually bothered me about both open baffle and rear-facing drivers is that many instruments are directional - like the entire brass section.  So is this simply a matter of specific AK speakers being better suited to different types of music?

The point of the bipolars is not so much to replicate the radiation pattern of specific instruments, as it is to more closely approximate the relative balance of direct and reverberant sound we're likely to hear in a good recital hall.   And I believe that balance generally includes more reverberant energy than our typical speakers in our typical home listening rooms provide.   In practice, the radiation pattern of different instruments can vary a great deal, so we're at the mercy of the recording engineers to mic those instruments in such a way that we get a good representation of their characteristic sound on the recording.  For replicating the in-room behavior of any variety of instruments, pretty much any speaker is going to be a compromise... so pick yer poison!  I just happen to find bipolar poison especially tasty. 
« Last Edit: 2 May 2011, 05:18 am by Duke »

brj

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #18 on: 2 May 2011, 03:42 am »
As ever, Duke, your answers only prompt more questions, but I'll avoid further derailing the thread and wait until I can camp in your room at RMAF! :)

Now if only I knew what speakers you were bringing... :D

Duke

Re: Why aren't AK speakers more popular?
« Reply #19 on: 2 May 2011, 05:33 am »
As ever, Duke, your answers only prompt more questions, but I'll avoid further derailing the thread and wait until I can camp in your room at RMAF! :)

Now if only I knew what speakers you were bringing... :D

Brj, go ahead and ask whatever questions come up.

Just so you know, I'm not planning on exhibiting at RMAF this year; the only high-end audio show I have scheduled is Lone Star in Dallas in a couple of weeks.   

This thread asks why AK speakers aren't more popular, but that really only applies to home audio; my bass guitar cab has been pretty well received. 

Duke