cabinet aesthetics ???

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Daedalus Audio

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cabinet aesthetics ???
« on: 15 May 2014, 05:25 am »
It occurred to me at Axpona that people no longer (for the most part) nit pick the sonics of these speakers but there are a lot of people who just don't like the 'look'.

I guess I'm a little slow sometimes... when I started branching off from pro audio, I looked at what was out there for high end audio speakers and felt that most of those I would not want to look at. So I focused on designs that would tastefully blend into most homes and not draw undo attention, I mean who would want someone to walk into their house  and immediately point to the speakers which are making this huge visual statement and say "WHAT ARE THOSE?"... well many years later I realize that is exactly what most audiophiles DO want  :duh:

The upshot of this is that I am thinking of a new line which will be ... shall we say 'different'... at first I was thinking paint etc but now am taking that much further. I don't want to say too much but I will say that the WAF will be very low, and man cave, sexy awesome factor very high.

Any comments?

thanks,
Lou

Early B.

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #1 on: 15 May 2014, 11:02 am »
Great idea. Nothing wrong with having various lines with different price points. The truth is that for many of us, the question of "What would my wife think?" immediately pops in our heads, so if the speaker isn't aesthetically pleasing or doesn't fit the decor, we won't consider it no matter how good it sounds. This also applies, to some degree, for a man cave. 

I'd like to see a more affordable line where so much of the cost is not associated with the cabinet.

Rocket

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #2 on: 15 May 2014, 11:41 am »
Hi Lou,

I've always thought your speakers look great but it will be interesting to see what you come up with in your new line.

Regards Rod

vinyl_lady

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #3 on: 15 May 2014, 01:21 pm »
Lou,

I think this is a really bad idea. I can't imagine anyone not liking the looks of your speakers. One of the things I love about your speakers besides the great sound, tonal accuracy, etc., are just how gorgeous they are and how they blend into the room. As you know, I have attended RMAF every year except the first. I've seen lots and lots of different speakers and there are so may that are so ugly or so weird looking that I would never consider having them in my home even if they were the best sounding speaker on the planet. In fact, I won't waste my time in a room if the speakers don't look good, meaning don't blend into the decor of the room. If your speakers had a "what are those" look I would never have walked into your room 10 years ago at RMAF and that would have been a loss for both of us. Stick to what you do best, continue to explore upgrades and look at bring the great sound of your speakers to more audiophiles by targeting different price points like you have done.

My 2 cents.

Laura

audiogoober

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #4 on: 15 May 2014, 01:49 pm »


Lou,

I think this is a really bad idea. I can't imagine anyone not liking the looks of your speakers. One of the things I love about your speakers besides the great sound, tonal accuracy, etc., are just how gorgeous they are and how they blend into the room. As you know, I have attended RMAF every year except the first. I've seen lots and lots of different speakers and there are so may that are so ugly or so weird looking that I would never consider having them in my home even if they were the best sounding speaker on the planet. In fact, I won't waste my time in a room if the speakers don't look good, meaning don't blend into the decor of the room. If your speakers had a "what are those" look I would never have walked into your room 10 years ago at RMAF and that would have been a loss for both of us. Stick to what you do best, continue to explore upgrades and look at bring the great sound of your speakers to more audiophiles by targeting different price points like you have done.

My 2 cents.

Laura

+1

Audio Room:




Living Room:




« Last Edit: 15 May 2014, 02:51 pm by audiogoober »

jriggy

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #5 on: 15 May 2014, 02:47 pm »
Maybe a +1 on this as well...depending on what you are thinking...

The only thing I can imagine would work to please people that do not like the look of real wood crafted to its finest would be to offer a veneered option. The veneered box is what most seem to think a speaker is. So if you are trying to please the masses (with no taste! :o ), then an option that is still wood but not finished to the beauty of your current speakers, instead covered in a choice of veneers. Then do what ya gotta do! But it sounds like you have something more interesting in mind than that. The question is, will it be "to interesting" for most? If it is 'man cave' worthy and meant to NOT blend in to a  decor, I question how popular it will be... But you are the one that has heard and assessed the comments over the years. But what do those making the negative comments actually own? I bet its a 'normal' looking speaker.

How 'bout leather covered with metal corner protectors a la Marshal amps. Make em look like a PA stack and go for real "man cave" appeal!  :lol:

easystreet

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #6 on: 15 May 2014, 03:26 pm »
Lou:  Don't let your current customers rain on the parade of this new idea. By definition, these are folks who love the traditional handcrafted look and feel of your speakers. I count myself in that camp, but you are certainly correct that a good portion of the market is looking for something less traditional and more exciting or innovative. A radically different design does not necessarily equate to bad taste -- you are still designing the speaker and I, for one, trust your design instincts. Go for it.

sts9fan

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #7 on: 15 May 2014, 04:03 pm »
Lou,

I think this is a really bad idea. I can't imagine anyone not liking the looks of your speakers. One of the things I love about your speakers besides the great sound, tonal accuracy, etc., are just how gorgeous they are and how they blend into the room. As you know, I have attended RMAF every year except the first. I've seen lots and lots of different speakers and there are so may that are so ugly or so weird looking that I would never consider having them in my home even if they were the best sounding speaker on the planet. In fact, I won't waste my time in a room if the speakers don't look good, meaning don't blend into the decor of the room. If your speakers had a "what are those" look I would never have walked into your room 10 years ago at RMAF and that would have been a loss for both of us. Stick to what you do best, continue to explore upgrades and look at bring the great sound of your speakers to more audiophiles by targeting different price points like you have done.

My 2 cents.

Laura

You can't imagine?  Not at all?  Not everyone wants wood speakers and offering more options just means more possible customers.

Gzerro

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #8 on: 15 May 2014, 04:25 pm »
I have been eyeing Daedalus because of the handcrafted look of your speakers. I think they look fantastic as they are.  I am not an owner yet, but Daedalus is on my short list for a future upgrade.

If you do try something different, I would love to see something with more visual interest than just a "box". Something with curves or other more organic shape, but retaining a handcrafted look and feel. I realize that isn't very easy to do.

I look forward to see what you come up with!

Tom


RDavidson

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #9 on: 15 May 2014, 04:34 pm »
+1 - Not certain this is a good idea to pursue.

Taste is VERY subjective and it often changes with age. The best way to go about all this would be to understand WHO your target consumer is. THEN get an understanding of this person's lifestyle and demographics ; what they drive, their household, unrelated products they like, their age, their listening habits, etc. etc. SOOOO many products miss the mark and often fail, because the company didn't do their homework to understand who they are designing primarily for. Trust me. I'm an industrial designer. This is the type of thing I deal with daily.
You don't want to design a speaker that looks amazing to a 20 year old, broke, college student, but costs $10,000. Know what I mean? You don't want to alienate your potential target consumer nor the somewhat niche consumers you already have. I have no idea what you have in mind, but, just some info to be mindful of.
Also, keep in mind that what may wow people at a show, may not wow them at home. Context is extremely important in all this.
There is beauty in simplicity. Often, simple, well-made things have the most longevity / long-term appeal.

david12

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #10 on: 15 May 2014, 04:57 pm »
I guess I am with Laura on this. I don't know how anyone could not love the look of the speakers. The exception would be ultra modern, chrome and glass apartments, I suppose. It might attract some buyers if the price came down, with a cheaper cabinet build, but they are pretty good value now.

  One other point, I thought you chose hardwoods for the sound quality it gives, Lou.
There is'nt much point using expensive walnut or oak, then painting it or covering it with leather.

   The other point is diluting the unique character of the line. Daedalus speakers make a great sound, but you can just recognise the speakers when you walk in a room, just as you can with say Sonus Faber(good), or Wilson(not so good)

  David

jonbee

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #11 on: 15 May 2014, 05:29 pm »
A tough one, indeed. The problem with personal taste is that it is so variable. Individuals commenting at a show about the looks may have very divergent ideas about what they would prefer instead. One may want a "modern", techie look, others basic black, etc.
Whatever the look is you want to draw enough new customers to make it worth the effort and cost. I wound reckon that the widest acceptance beside the look you have now might be all black, with a nice finish. This seems to be a perenially popular look, although it doesn't work as well for me, obviously :D

Good luck!

shahed

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #12 on: 15 May 2014, 06:25 pm »
I don't see anything wrong with trying a different look for a new line of speaker. There will always be a new group of customer who will dig it.

I absolutely love the look of Daedalus speakers and their unique wood cabinet. While I'm eagerly waiting for Lou to finish building me a pair of Athena V.2 - I'd browse their pic online and fantasize coming home to them. But I've heard one or two who weren't crazy about the look. Thats only expected as you can't expect a particular cabinet aesthetics would be pleasing to everyone.

A well engineered, great sounding (can't believe Lou would do it any other way) Daedalus speakers with a new look - count me intrigued.

shahed

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #13 on: 15 May 2014, 06:42 pm »
Greg, What a beautiful pair of Athena you have!! Is that a walnut finish? If so, I'd guess my Athenas will look like yours. Can't wait.

jhm731

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #14 on: 15 May 2014, 06:46 pm »
Lou,

I've never seen any of your speakers in person(no owners in my area).

I'm not concerned about the WAF, so I would encourage you to try a new look.

Here's some inspiration for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU9Li7yckw8

Sonus Faber Lilium, new world premiere at High-end Munich 2014


RDavidson

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #15 on: 15 May 2014, 07:06 pm »
A tough one, indeed. The problem with personal taste is that it is so variable. Individuals commenting at a show about the looks may have very divergent ideas about what they would prefer instead. One may want a "modern", techie look, others basic black, etc.
Whatever the look is you want to draw enough new customers to make it worth the effort and cost. I wound reckon that the widest acceptance beside the look you have now might be all black, with a nice finish. This seems to be a perenially popular look, although it doesn't work as well for me, obviously :D

Good luck!

I think they're very nice looking too. Their look should work with most people's tastes / decor.
I wouldn't go too far away from where you are today. The look you've created is what makes Daedalus, Daedalus. If you don't plan on making a very wide range of speakers to try and suit EVERYONE, I think you should stick to your core aesthetic, but modernize it. Your current speakers have a very lovely "traditional" hand-crafted look. I think if you kept the overall hand-crafted look but gave them a mix of high gloss paint in some areas, and maybe metal accents in other places besides the plinths you could keep the Daedalus identity in tact, while making something more new, fresh, unique. Draw inspiration from things like high end car interiors and mid century modern furniture. Think about varying textures and materials. Sonus Faber is very good at this. Of course. They're Italian.

audiogoober

Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #16 on: 15 May 2014, 09:16 pm »
Greg, What a beautiful pair of Athena you have!! Is that a walnut finish? If so, I'd guess my Athenas will look like yours. Can't wait.

Thank You Shahed, and Congratulations! 

Yes, the Athena's and Ulysses were both made from Walnut...they have different wood variations/grains but both are unique and stunning in their own way.

You'll love the Athena's!

nnck

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #17 on: 15 May 2014, 11:43 pm »
Hey Lou. Personally I love the hand-crafted look of the current cabinets you are making. However, I cant fault you for wanting to increase sales by coming up with new designs to attract other groups of buyers. I would consider the new designs carefully, however. IDK what sort of designs you have in mind obviously, but I might be worried that if its something REALLY 'different' you may be just appealing to another niche market - trading one niche for another or just adding a new niche on top of the current one.

I would also consider carefully what message you are sending to customers about the Daedalus 'brand'. Existing customers have been hearing from you over and over about the benefits of using real hardwood cabinets. We are taught that one of the special things about the Daedalus cabinet is the natural resonance features of real hardwood (something contrary to a lot of the other current thought out there in the field, btw). They are thought of like fine-tuned musical instruments, in a way. If the designs are drastically different, what will everyone think the Daedalus 'brand' really is and what it looks like?

Currently, when I see a picture that has a set of Daedalus speakers in it, there is no question in my mind about what I am looking at, regardless of the model. This is certainly not true of every other speakers manufacturer. Again, no fault in trying to increase your business. Just a few things to think about I guess.

Daedalus Audio

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #18 on: 16 May 2014, 01:12 am »
Hey Lou. Personally I love the hand-crafted look of the current cabinets you are making. However, I cant fault you for wanting to increase sales by coming up with new designs to attract other groups of buyers. I would consider the new designs carefully, however. IDK what sort of designs you have in mind obviously, but I might be worried that if its something REALLY 'different' you may be just appealing to another niche market - trading one niche for another or just adding a new niche on top of the current one.

I would also consider carefully what message you are sending to customers about the Daedalus 'brand'. Existing customers have been hearing from you over and over about the benefits of using real hardwood cabinets. We are taught that one of the special things about the Daedalus cabinet is the natural resonance features of real hardwood (something contrary to a lot of the other current thought out there in the field, btw). They are thought of like fine-tuned musical instruments, in a way. If the designs are drastically different, what will everyone think the Daedalus 'brand' really is and what it looks like?

Currently, when I see a picture that has a set of Daedalus speakers in it, there is no question in my mind about what I am looking at, regardless of the model. This is certainly not true of every other speakers manufacturer. Again, no fault in trying to increase your business. Just a few things to think about I guess.

Good points!  Don't worry the core of my designs are and will always be using solid hardwood, but there are many ways to do that.

I have had several people comment on how the design of my systems needs no 'logo' to be easily recognized, what a great compliment! Thanks everyone. One of my friends is Jeff Trougott, one of the very best (and most expensive) guitar builders, he has never had a logo or name on his guitars but anyone who knows guitars looks at one of his and instantly recognizes it, I always aspired to hit that mark.
 Anyway, I think the design I am working up will also be easily know as "Daedalus"


malden

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Re: cabinet aesthetics ???
« Reply #19 on: 16 May 2014, 02:53 am »
Just a noob here but I have been listening to, looking at and collecting audio components since the 70's. It seems to me that some of the most interesting designs of speaker cabinets are those that somehow hint to without totally exposing the components. One example is the JBL L88 NOVA. I have a pair of these, among others, but I keep the NOVA's in the living room because they are the only ones that get any comments from guests.

Another aproach is to allow the cabinet design to express how the drivers and enclosure work together. An example of this could be the JBL PARAGON. I'm not sure how much of the design is functional vs. sculptural, but to me it looks very musical.

Then there is simply a nice piece of furniture as in the JBL LOWBOY which I believe was designed by George Nelson, a furniture designer.

These are just examples of speaker cabinets that, to me, have stood the test of time.