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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Speakers esthetics

    So, straight to the point, what makes a speaker beautiful? How do companies achieve an appealing product and is it aspect which you would consider important.
    I am building a big speaker. Following the design of the Danish designer Troels Gravesen. If you are not familiar with his work I strongly recommend his website. I am building something which resemble the Wilson audio Alexia... Unfortunately I never found the big Wilsons to be beautifull. (maybe beautifully made - but that's not quite the same). They have those big shoulders and look to me like a BMW m5 sport car. So I am fiddling with the design... And I am quite stuck. How do you make a big speaker not aggressive looking or overwhelming... So what are your best candidates for beautiful speakers and why? For me, the Stradivary of Sonus faber, very musical too!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    The High Gloss Walnut on the Fyne speakers is really nice to look at no matter what size or model.

    -----------------
    Brian

    Main System -
    Rotel 1072 CDP / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Fyne Audio F502SPs > Synergistic Cables

    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > Dynaudio Audience 82s > Tara Labs Cables


  3. #3
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    Looks amazing indeed! But damn gloss is a pile of s#*##t to do right

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    People's preferences and the amount of weight they apply to aesthetics versus functionality varies. Likewise, things change with the times, and with the technology and our understanding of what performs well. Consider how cars, TVs, even refrigerators and floor lamps used to look decades ago versus today.

    In that vein, taking a cue from other products popular among your target audience might be a good starting point. After all, some people (communities, countries, regions, etc.) do on average like things that look aggressive and big while others like things that are cute and small/lithe. And take care to look outside your immediate circle—Microsoft famously neglected to consider differences like this when they first launched the Xbox.
    Neko Audio
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    Tricky one particularly for DIY speakers. The big producers (or smaller ones charging huge prices) can afford to make their speakers "beautiful" by employing more curves than is possible to the DIY’er. Plywood can be moulded in autoclaves or they can use moulded plastic-based materials to produce non-cubic shaped enclosures. Even aluminium can, to a certain extent, be rolled into interesting shapes.

    Decades ago, I built hexagonal-shaped enclosures following the designs of Wharfedale's then top-of-the-range Airedale system. This was built from flat panels of high density plywood used in the building industry, but with spaced narrow slats of solid walnut covering the 3 visible front upright surfaces. The top was also walnut veneered. I liked these big speakers but they were originally designed in mono days and more suitable for corner placement. I built 2 of them and fortunately had 2 room corners that were the right distance apart for reasonably good stereo.

    I continue to dabble with speaker aesthetics but based on modifying commercial designs. My 2006-vintage Avantgarde Duos became rather dated-looking as they were designed in the 1990s, so I redesigned the support system for the horn tubes and added new feet, resulting in a more modern appearance and (in most friends' opinions) are now much better looking - and sounding better too by improving the vibration control.

    However the old adage “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” leaves you to do whatever pleases you – and maybe your other half!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
    Amplification - NAD M33, NAD M12, Consonance Cyber 845 monoblocs
    Speakers - Avantgarde Duo XD, Avantgarde Duo (2006 - aesthetically modified), Martin Logan Expression 13A (now sold)

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2014
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    Double post -
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AudioQuest Diamond USB 5M: ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; AQ Diamond AES - 3M; AQ Diamond Ethernet - 1.5M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amp w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Hear Here View Post
    Tricky one particularly for DIY speakers. The big producers (or smaller ones charging huge prices) can afford to make their speakers "beautiful" by employing more curves than is possible to the DIY’er. Plywood can be moulded in autoclaves or they can use moulded plastic-based materials to produce non-cubic shaped enclosures. Even aluminium can, to a certain extent, be rolled into interesting shapes.

    Decades ago, I built hexagonal-shaped enclosures following the designs of Wharfedale's then top-of-the-range Airedale system. This was built from flat panels of high density plywood used in the building industry, but with spaced narrow slats of solid walnut covering the 3 visible front upright surfaces. The top was also walnut veneered. I liked these big speakers but they were originally designed in mono days and more suitable for corner placement. I built 2 of them and fortunately had 2 room corners that were the right distance apart for reasonably good stereo.

    I continue to dabble with speaker aesthetics but based on modifying commercial designs. My 2006-vintage Avantgarde Duos became rather dated-looking as they were designed in the 1990s, so I redesigned the support system for the horn tubes and added new feet, resulting in a more modern appearance and (in most friends' opinions) are now much better looking - and sounding better too by improving the vibration control.

    However the old adage “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” leaves you to do whatever pleases you – and maybe your other half!
    Speaking of vibration control, there is a nice (and affordable) improvement in sound when the cylinders behind the drivers are appropriately damped.

    Done properly, there is an improvement in focus & tone, while remaining unseen to anyone looking at the speakers.

    FWIW - I would think that the cylinder supports that you incorporated helped to some extent in that area as well.

    Although I remember doing the mods, and I wrote about this in an article 18 or so years ago, for the life of me, I cannot remember where ...

    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AudioQuest Diamond USB 5M: ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; AQ Diamond AES - 3M; AQ Diamond Ethernet - 1.5M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amp w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  8. #8

    Re: Speakers esthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Noam View Post
    So what are your best candidates for beautiful speakers and why?
    There are so many beautiful speakers. So many brands like Tidal, Marten, Vienna Acoustics, Usher Audio, Sonus Faber, Audio Physic, Rockport, AudioSolutions, just to mention some with more conventional look. But i like some strange look too, like Estelon, Mbl, or even Kef Muon or Kef Blade
    Don´t like a few electrostatic models and please don´t talk to me about horns.

  9. #9
    Audioshark
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    I decided that Estelon wasn’t for me. But I am looking at adding a real pretty (and virtually unknown) modestly priced speaker next year. Stay tuned. Late spring/summer time frame.


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  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Palm Coast, FL 'The Hammock'
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I decided that Estelon wasn’t for me. But I am looking at adding a real pretty (and virtually unknown) modestly priced speaker next year. Stay tuned. Late spring/summer time frame.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    "modestly priced speaker next year", cool Mike, can't wait to see what ya add .

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Speakers esthetics

    My wife laughed at me when I traded out Vienna Acoustics Beethoven’s for Wilson Sophia 2’a. She thought they looked like some kind of industrial vacuum cleaner. (I’m channeling Zappa’s Joe’s Garage). Anyway the Sophia 2’s were replaced by SF Amati Futuras which my wife and I both think are beautiful. They sound pretty good too.
    Tom

    Audio:
    Amati Futura Mains
    Amati Homage VOX Center,
    Proac Response 1sc Rears,
    Three MC2301's for L,C,R
    MC 602 for the rears
    C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 77
    Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
    SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

    Video:
    MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

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Speakers esthetics

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