This has made me rethink about the huge number of manufacturers using same drivers (from Focal, Seas, ScanSpeak, etc. ) ? Where is their contribution? A passive X-over + an expensive cabinet.
But cabinets don't make any music, or they shouldn´t... the more complex the cabinet, the most expensive. And, all in all, ¿for what? Just to avoid that the front wave doesn't communicate with the rear wave cancelling themselves (woofer). What would happen if we wouldn´t need a cabinet? We shouldn't pay for that furniture... we would pay only for the drivers, the only ones that should turn the AC from the poweramp/integrated amp into 'air-waves'.
Why Big Box Speakers Cost So Much - by Bob Rapoport -
The most annoying thing about high-end speakers today is how expensive they’ve become. Would it surprise you to learn that 85% of the material & labor cost of today’s most expensive speakers is devoted to the cabinet? Seriously, is any pair of speakers worth $108K? If most of that money is devoted to a box just to make sure it does not make any sound of it’s own, and the rest is going to dealer/vendor profit, then I guess there is a sucker born every minute, as the old saying goes.
Somewhere along the line, several speaker manufacturers went way past the point of diminishing return, let alone sensible thinking. Forgive my political incorrectness but the lunatic fringe and the elitist magazines that hawk their products have gone off the rails telling music lovers the new price of admission to audiophilia is the equivalent of a vacation home.
Lets get real. Lets agree that if you cant build quiet boxes at a reasonable price, then eliminating the box makes more sense than building it anyway and ripping people off. Sat/Sub systems came into being for that reason in the 1970′s, big expensive cabinets were obsolete and nobody wanted one in their living room anyway.
The problem with speaker boxes is they resonate and vibrate, adding their own coloration to the sound. So speaker designers use a variety of techniques and exotic materials to reduce or remove those distortions, attempting to make the cabinet inert, so it makes no sound of its own. The cost and complexity of these efforts drive up the price to astronomical levels for a box with some woofers, tweeters, and crossover in it.
In most industries, when more efficient ways of doing things evolve, the less efficient ways are abandoned. The audiophile community is already way behind in adopting the best software; if you want your system to sound better, feed it better content and get a pair of Essence Electrostatics with no cabinets. Blu-ray discs hold 50 Gigabytes of music and movies with no compression, including bit-for-bit identical to the studio master soundtracks with 120 dB dynamic range. If you have the privacy and the system to play it loud, there has never been a better time to be an audiophile.