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Magico is iffy. While the cone materials are custom, they rely on Seas and Scanspeak to make them, and the motors are based on existing units.
I'd call them more "extreme custom" than in-house drivers.
A more average custom driver is what Wilson may order. Off the shelf driver with custom parameters.
BTW, I make no quality statement about who uses in-house drivers and who does not.
From the manufacturer, in house drivers is a HUGE cost savings, and removes your product from being perceived as a pure commodity. However, that doesn't mean your product is any better or worse than others, generally.
Gryphon and Wilson audio for instance make fabulous use of mostly off the shelf drivers.
Bose ... They achieve the magical goal of being extremely inexpensive to produce while giving consumers enough value to merit ridiculous prices for a kitchen radio.That doesn't make sense. If the product gives consumers "enough value," then the price can't be "ridiculous."
Vandersteen make the cones and Scanspeak integrates those w custom designed and Vandersteen patented aerodynamic basket ( think about how the rear wave off a midrange runs into the magnet and IS reflected right back thru the cone....out of phase and now lagging the initial signal....unless ya fix that )... magnets, voice coils, faraday rings of various configurations, high temp formers.
on the lower end a combination of custom specifications from Seas and Scanspeak.
I would refute cost savings asserted by doing everything in house...squeeze cast baskets or even milling machine time ( cost of capital ) is not cheap....share those brutal costs w others and innovate where you can make a unique difference...
As far as I know, ALL electrostatic (many) and magnetic-planar (Magnepan, Eminent Technology) drivers are manufactured in-house. If not, each company's are made for them exclusively, unlike most speakers employing dynamic ("cone") drivers, Vandersteen being, as others have stated, a notable exception.
I am disturbed that I am the only one here who speaks fluent gibberish! :D
Sorry, what I meant to say is that Bose does the business task of discovering what consumers besides me will pay for very very well, and it results in table top radios that cost hundreds of dollars. To those who shell out the money, clearly they are getting equal or better value for their cash.
At the same time, I can't imagine a table top radio being worth more than $40
The idea that manufacturing one’s own speakers is a question of ignorance of the cost of product development costs and those of purchasing or developing and manufacturing the equipment as the additional cost of QA. This said, companies like Totem by raw drivers and then customers them and other speaker designer/manufacturers may have customization contract manufactured. On top of this, the cost of components is a fraction of the total cost of bringing a product to market. Analysis of component costs is a foolish one, just like tear downs of Apple products. And with audio equipment there are costs of artistry that factor significantly. Finally, there is the question of both quantity production relative to recouping R&D/development costs. So the next time someone says, gee, the cost of that $50,000 piece of equipment is outrageous, well, if you only sell 10 a year, get the idea? If there is greater production of lesser products that take advantage of the R&D and can provide greater yields...Business is about profits and if the company isn’t turning a profit, then they won’t be there to support you next year. No different than manufacturing a Ferrari.
> From the manufacturer, in house drivers is a HUGE cost savings, and removes your product from being perceived as a pure commodity.
If this would always be the case then almost all brands would do it. Only very small brands would have to wait until they become a bit bigger.
I am pretty sure making your own drivers could be a huge cost instead.
I think you have to understand why they build their own. Some do it because they need to drive the price down on certain products or product lines. Some do it because they build so many different types of speakers its easier to build these slight variance in models on the same machines (JBL, Focal). Some do it for performance reasons and the OEM part they need is not available (ATC). Once you understand that, then the next thing to know what is the QC procedures applied. Many manufacturers have a +/- 10dB "pass" windows (although few would admit it). This is not a super high end performance driver, but it could be an acceptable live sound high power driver. Some of them have smaller pass windows, like +/- 6dB or they don't really test them under realistic loads. I would expect almost none of the OEM or in house speaker manufacturers use +/- 2dB QC windows. Few of their customers have a reliable way to measure anything to that small a QC window and wouldn't really know if it was that tight or not. It requires substantial investment in measurement gear and facility to pull that off in manufacturing or incoming QC over and over all day long.