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Arc Audio = SB Acoustics?


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#1 Spink!

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:16 PM

Someone mentioned this to me recently, and I just saw an install on DIYMA when I spotted the midwoofer.
It appears that the Arc Audio Black series 'raw' speakers 6.0 is the SB Acoustics SB17 midwoofer, just with new stickers.

Arc audio here RRP$699 pair
http://store.arcaudi...501.0.0.0?pp=8
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SB Here RRP$<200 pair
http://www.sbacousti...6-sb17nrxc35-4/
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What does everyone think about this? Price difference is huge.

Discuss!

Edited by Spink!, 11 February 2012 - 06:18 PM.


#2 268669♫

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:23 PM

haha mate, your a bit late, but very right. Has been discussed and confirmed from ARC themselves on this site. I'll try and dig up the thread but it wasn't long ago.

Ant

here it is > http://www.mobileele...__fromsearch__1

#3 Spink!

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

Damnit!! I have to hang around on these forums more. Cheers for that Ant.

#4 MTX Andrew

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:19 PM

They are indeed built by SB Acoustics for ARC Audio.. But the only pieces that are the same are the dustcap and the basket, but the basket is put through 3 further CNC processes.
The ARC Black drivers are spec'd for in car (in door) use and the SB drivers are built specifically for tuned home enclosures.
The raw speaker pairs are in store now, available in 28mm tweeter, 4.0" wide-midrange, 5.25" midrange and 6.5" midbass. A limited edition (100 prs) full format tweeter will be available shortly and an 8.0" midbass is in final development at the moment.
Full component kits including multi x-over sets (21,500 x-over variations in the 6.3 set) and unique style grilles will be available by the end of the month.

#5 muzzy66

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

A little unrelated, but I get the feeling the OP might find this interesting so I've added in in here anyway. Just when we all thought the existing range of SB Acoustics stuff was pretty impressive, they have gone and told us that these were only ever intended to be there 'budget' line, and that the 'real' stuff will be released under the "Satori" name and built to compete against the very best Scanspeak has to offer.

I guess that would be these:
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When I saw these shots on the Madisound site I think I wet myself! Looking at the spec sheet it looks amazing - flat extended response out to 20khz (for a 6.5" !!!) on-axis and a to about 3,500khz @ 30 deg off-axis. No signs at all of the cone breakup issues that limited the SB17 and SB15. An FS of 29hz combined with 6mm of one way xmax and a nice open basket means they should play REAL low and handle good amounts of power. On top of all this they still have nice high sensitivity like the other SB Acoustics drivers.

Won't know anything until the tests start coming out, but I'm absolutely dying to see what these babies are capable considering:
1. What they have achieved with the SB17's for less then $150/pair
2. That the head of SB Acoustics is the same guy who designed the Revelator for Scanspeak - a driver that Scan has since still not been able to outdo

More information:
http://www.sbacousti...2-satori-mw16r/

http://www.madisound...tian-reed-cone/

They are indeed built by SB Acoustics for ARC Audio.. But the only pieces that are the same are the dustcap and the basket, but the basket is put through 3 further CNC processes.
The ARC Black drivers are spec'd for in car (in door) use and the SB drivers are built specifically for tuned home enclosures.
The raw speaker pairs are in store now, available in 28mm tweeter, 4.0" wide-midrange, 5.25" midrange and 6.5" midbass. A limited edition (100 prs) full format tweeter will be available shortly and an 8.0" midbass is in final development at the moment.
Full component kits including multi x-over sets (21,500 x-over variations in the 6.3 set) and unique style grilles will be available by the end of the month.


Are there any specifications provided by ARC to confirm this? Curious as both drivers were tested on DIYMA not long back with the assumption that the ARC version would have subtle changes to make them better optimised for car use. When they were actually put on the klippel though, the TS specs for both drivers were found to be [for all intents and purposes] identical. They basically said that any differences between the two were insignificant enough that they could be put down to manufacturing variances/tolerances. I'd be interested to see ARC Audio's published TS specs if they have any to see how the two drivers differ.

Here are the links to both tests (4" and 6.5"):
http://www.diymobile...el-results.html
http://www.diymobile...el-results.html

Edited by muzzy66, 11 February 2012 - 09:48 PM.


#6 MTX Andrew

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

That is also a nice looking driver.

The Black series T/S specs are available on the new ARC website and on the ARC Audio forum.
Along with different specs, the basket, cone and spider material, magnet are all built to ARC's specs on the Blacks and differ from the SB.

Edited by MAS Andrew, 11 February 2012 - 09:04 PM.


#7 MTX Andrew

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:11 PM

The T/S parameters listed are quite different.

It sounds like you thought ARC wouldn't publish T/S parameters on the range?

If you click on the link provided in Spink's first post, the T/S's are listed there..

Edited by MAS Andrew, 11 February 2012 - 09:13 PM.


#8 muzzy66

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:50 PM

The T/S parameters listed are quite different.

It sounds like you thought ARC wouldn't publish T/S parameters on the range?

If you click on the link provided in Spink's first post, the T/S's are listed there..


No, not at all - to ARC's credit they usually do provide a decent amount of specifications for their gear. That's more then I can say for most car audio companies!

If you look at the numbers there's not really that big a difference.
* Qtc is listed as 0.32 on the SB17 but Zaph tested it at 0.47, and that averages out at 0.395 if you consider both results. The ARC is listed at 0.43 which is slightly higher but not (I think) enough to make any real audible difference, and still quite low for a car door
* Sensitivity of the SB17 is listed at 92dB, but that's rated at 2.83V/1M. At 1W/1M for a 4ohm driver that would work out as somewhere between 88dB-89dB. The ARC is listed at 88dB
* Xmax is listed as 5mm by SB, but Zaph tested it at 5.5mm. The ARC is listed at 5.75mm, so pretty much even there.
* FS on the SB17 is listed as 35hz on the SB sheet and tested at 40hz by Zaph. ARC is listed at 44hz)
* Cone area is listed at 119cm^2 for the SB and 118cm^2 for the ARC. No practical difference there.

The only ones that really stand out are VAS (35L vs 20L) and Power handling (60W vs 200s). I wouldn't pay too much attention to the power handling because I'm pretty sure that spec has just been optimised for marketting perposes - I'm pretty confident that ARC will not handle >3x more power then the SB17 does.

There are some small differences between the drivers on the surface, but I'd definately label them as different rather then better. I'm very skeptical about how much practical difference these would make in the real world, and considering you can get the SB17's for under $160/pair right now I definately don't see how ARC can justify an extra $500/pair (or 4x the price) for what is essentially a few small tweaks.

That said marketing is the name of the game and at the end of the day. While ARC cannot possibly justify selling this driver over the SB17 for that type of price, they don't have to. The SB17's are a very good driver, and most people who'd buy the ARC would never shop for an SB17 - they'd shop for Dyns, or Morels, or Focals and against any of these competitors the ARC Black series mids will absolutely hold their own. So from that perspective, ARC's pricing is perfectly justifiable given their competition within the market and so I suppose it's fair game.

#9 muzzy66

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:57 PM

Along with different specs, the basket, cone and spider material, magnet are all built to ARC's specs on the Blacks and differ from the SB.


Hmm fair enough, but I don't see it. I have a pair of the SB Acoustics drivers in front of me right now, and looking at those photo's of the ARC drivers I cannot see any difference in the basket, cone or magnet at all. Well the sticker on the magnet is different obviously, but other then that they look absolutely identical. What exactly is the difference in materials according to ARC?

Oh and just out of curiosity, is the tweeter also made by SB Acoustics? I would imagine it's based on the SB26 looking at the dome/surround?
http://www.sbacousti...b26stac-c000-4/

Looks like it wouldn't be a cheap set, but it should be a very nice sounding one. They are available as a set with crossovers I imagine, or just raw drivers?

Edited by muzzy66, 11 February 2012 - 11:05 PM.


#10 TMM

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:55 AM

If paying that much for speakers you'd hope to be running active anyway :P

#11 muzzy66

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

If paying that much for speakers you'd hope to be running active anyway :P


The issue is that if the ARC's are available with crossovers that gives them a major advantage over the SB Acoustics drivers they are based on. Most people who buy high end car audio gear do still run a passive front stage, and many people would spend that much of a premium on them for the convenience of having a simple 'plug and play' component set. POlus it helps ARC somewhat justsify the extra cost to make up for the development and construction costs of the crossovers.

If they are only being sold as raw drivers, then the ARC really has nothing to justify it's price over the SB12/SB17 drivers. If that's the case the only person who'd spend the money on the ARC is somebody who doesn't know the SB Acoustics exist for rougly 1/5 the price. If you did know this you'd have to either be a straight moron or just have way too much money on your hands to consider the ARC's...and if the latter is true then you'd be better served giving the extra $500 to charity so you can get a tax break AND help somebody in need.

There are other drivers out there that have been based on significantly cheaper DIY drivers - perfect example is the Alpine F1 Status, which was based on the Scan Revelators. That was far more justifiable though because at least Alpine provided crossovers (and apparently mighty impressive ones) and the drivers were also significantly altered from the ones they were based on (completely different basket, fancier terminals, quite different TS specs, etc). It only took one quick glance to see that that outside of the cone/surround almost the whole driver was different. Even then the Alpine's were about 2x the price of the Revelators...not 5x the price!!

#12 hardyards

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:12 PM

http://www.arcaudio....omp-set-web.pdf

According to this the Arcs do come with crossovers, and those crossovers have quite a number of adjustment options (via jumpers) available.

#13 muzzy66

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:17 PM

Thought that would be the case. Plenty of adjustments indeed! :)

#14 MTX Andrew

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:24 PM

More than 21,500 x-over adjustment variations in the 3 way 6.3 kit..

#15 MTX Andrew

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:45 PM

In the component kits, you get a passive x-over for each speaker. Ie, 4 x-overs in a 6.5" 2 way kit and 6 x-overs in a 6.5" 3 way kit. With these x-overs you can change the x-over frequency, slope type and level for each speaker. It allows the user to experiment with what works best depending on tweeter mounting position etc.. In a 2 way kit you can have a tweeter hi-pass x-over of 2.5k and in a 3 way kit you could make it 5.9k.. In a 3 way kit you have a number of choices for bandpass frequency and slope.
I think the pricing is very competitive for the kits,
$999 rrp for the 6.2 kit
$1399 rrp for the 6.3 kit

I think the price factor is getting a little lost because they came out first selling the raw speaker pairs, I think you may find the same anomalies with all brands if they had their "raw" components available.

If you divide up the cost of the 6.3 kit, the x-overs would then be free....or the driver pairs would be much cheaper..

#16 muzzy66

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:21 AM

In the component kits, you get a passive x-over for each speaker. Ie, 4 x-overs in a 6.5" 2 way kit and 6 x-overs in a 6.5" 3 way kit. With these x-overs you can change the x-over frequency, slope type and level for each speaker. It allows the user to experiment with what works best depending on tweeter mounting position etc.. In a 2 way kit you can have a tweeter hi-pass x-over of 2.5k and in a 3 way kit you could make it 5.9k.. In a 3 way kit you have a number of choices for bandpass frequency and slope. I think the pricing is very competitive for the kits, $999 rrp for the 6.2 kit $1399 rrp for the 6.3 kit I think the price factor is getting a little lost because they came out first selling the raw speaker pairs, I think you may find the same anomalies with all brands if they had their "raw" components available. If you divide up the cost of the 6.3 kit, the x-overs would then be free....or the driver pairs would be much cheaper..


The raw drivers are not even close to being competitively priced, but I think the kits are priced pretty reasonably considering the level of crossover adjustability. I've got no doubts about the ability of these drivers to compete against those found in other $1,000+ component sets. I wouldn't argue that buying the set gets you the crossovers for free. On the contrary the way I see it is that people who only buy the raw drivers are being forced to a pay for the crossovers, even though they aren't getting them. I'm not sure that really agree with that morally - I think it'd be much more fair if they charged realistic prices for the drivers and then just charged a justifiably high amount for crossovers (much like Focal does with their crossblock.

That said, it's not like people are forced to buy the raw drivers - if you're going to run active just buy the SB Acoustics gear. If you're planning to run passive, then get the ARC set. I could get the SB17 midwoofers with the higher end SB29 'Ring' tweeters and with a custom designed and bult passive crossover all for a total of about $400. It's much better value, but it's also riskier because you're putting yourself in a hit or miss situation - if you don't get he crossover right first time, then you dont have the ability to adjust it on the fly. If you have allt he neccessary knowledge then it's fine, but for most people the ARC set is going to be a better path to take. They are sure as hell better value in my eyes then 90% of the other $1,000+ component sets I've seen out there, and if somebody is on that type of budget I'd have no hessitation recommending them.

It's actually kinda funny, because I remember when I first played around with the SB17's I made a suggestion that they would be a perfect set for a car audio application due to genuine 6.5" diameter (rather then 7" like most DIY drivers), relatively high Q, great off axis response, good low end extension and clean overall distortion. Good to see somebody agrees with me! :lol:

Edited by muzzy66, 15 February 2012 - 07:23 AM.


#17 Bobby B

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

No, not at all - to ARC's credit they usually do provide a decent amount of specifications for their gear. That's more then I can say for most car audio companies!

If you look at the numbers there's not really that big a difference.
* Qtc is listed as 0.32 on the SB17 but Zaph tested it at 0.47, and that averages out at 0.395 if you consider both results. The ARC is listed at 0.43 which is slightly higher but not (I think) enough to make any real audible difference, and still quite low for a car door
* Sensitivity of the SB17 is listed at 92dB, but that's rated at 2.83V/1M. At 1W/1M for a 4ohm driver that would work out as somewhere between 88dB-89dB. The ARC is listed at 88dB
* Xmax is listed as 5mm by SB, but Zaph tested it at 5.5mm. The ARC is listed at 5.75mm, so pretty much even there.
* FS on the SB17 is listed as 35hz on the SB sheet and tested at 40hz by Zaph. ARC is listed at 44hz)
* Cone area is listed at 119cm^2 for the SB and 118cm^2 for the ARC. No practical difference there.

The only ones that really stand out are VAS (35L vs 20L) and Power handling (60W vs 200s). I wouldn't pay too much attention to the power handling because I'm pretty sure that spec has just been optimised for marketting perposes - I'm pretty confident that ARC will not handle >3x more power then the SB17 does.

There are some small differences between the drivers on the surface, but I'd definately label them as different rather then better. I'm very skeptical about how much practical difference these would make in the real world, and considering you can get the SB17's for under $160/pair right now I definately don't see how ARC can justify an extra $500/pair (or 4x the price) for what is essentially a few small tweaks.

That said marketing is the name of the game and at the end of the day. While ARC cannot possibly justify selling this driver over the SB17 for that type of price, they don't have to. The SB17's are a very good driver, and most people who'd buy the ARC would never shop for an SB17 - they'd shop for Dyns, or Morels, or Focals and against any of these competitors the ARC Black series mids will absolutely hold their own. So from that perspective, ARC's pricing is perfectly justifiable given their competition within the market and so I suppose it's fair game.

 

Thank you ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ well said.

I'm saving for a set of the SB's 6.5's and 4.0's and the Scan Speak Iluminator tweeter

 

http://www.madisound...5-4-6.5-woofer/

 

http://www.madisound...-woofer-4-ohms/

 

http://www.madisound...r-textile-dome/

 

 

 

I plan to seal up the doors as best as I can and run an active three way using the Arc Audio PS8 sound processor. if they don't sound good or "ahem" fail then I'll buy some different diver, but not Arc's. I'm ready to find out the hard way if there different or not. According to the Kipple test 6.5's are almost identical and the 4.0's are spot on

How bad can the SB's possibly sound?



#18 Spink!

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:35 PM

Bad? The SB17's sound great.. 



#19 GRH

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:36 PM

to me .. the ARC audio product looks like it is a slightly modded version of the SB one on the outside. 

if you observe the back of the speakers, you will notice arc one has a better metal. and the breathing air openings on both speakers are slightly different. (could also be achieved merely by adding a finishing process to manufacture band)

arc has a better looking and angled cast, 

sb has a cheaper looking direct cast

 

i pretty much agree with the muzzy  here.. the fine differences of TS parameters can be slightly underrated or slightly overrated, and may not really cause a dramatic difference. 

i think designing a speaker isnt just merely using better glue or better coil, and especially with the same magnet, same coil diameter, same basket, same cone.. two speakers will yield to very similar results even if you use a different coil as long as the resistance and inductance is the same.  Additionally, visit the SB link and find the tiny remark at the bottom of specsheet " T/S parameters are measured on drive units that are broken in"  enough to create a legit variation? if you inspect the arc specs.. you can see drivers have same R and same LE, the rest does make sense when considering the break in period which would give you , lower QTS, higher VAS, higher efficiency. lower FS. 

 

also, SB product already seems to be a half decent one.. with a mainstream price.. that is already enough to pay for the 0.002 cents cost of best industrial speaker glue on the planet. and even if some alterations are made (these already depend and limited to basket design) to the lets say coil wire type, or the coil material type, (we can already observe the better cast or finished metal on the outside) none of these are costly enough to justify the price difference of triple !. 

 

this comparison is also a good example, of the diminishing returns.. and how branding works. 

 

we are constantly exposed to very similar marketing policies the only reason we cannot tell is because they dont come in the "same basket" 

 

btw.. same thing is valid for almost every consumer product. 


Edited by GRH, 22 March 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#20 jas

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:47 PM

dont forget T/S specs....the driver can look exactly the same but perform totally differenly in a door. ALso they might have added water proof coating on the back of the driver like the f1 status did.



#21 TMM

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:51 PM

dont forget T/S specs....the driver can look exactly the same but perform totally differenly in a door. ALso they might have added water proof coating on the back of the driver like the f1 status did.

 

The Qts and Fs on the ARC version are subjectively better suited to a door but the VAS is worse. I modeled both in WinISD (55L Sealed box, 150L Sealed box), and they are within 1dB down to 40Hz.

Valid point about the waterproofing, though i don't think it is as much of a concern as people make it out to be.



#22 GRH

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:26 PM

The Qts and Fs on the ARC version are subjectively better suited to a door but the VAS is worse. I modeled both in WinISD (55L Sealed box, 150L Sealed box), and they are within 1dB down to 40Hz.

Valid point about the waterproofing, though i don't think it is as much of a concern as people make it out to be.

what do you think of the theory , about arc one being ts specced when not broken in, and SB is ts rated with a broken in driver?

wouldnt that legitimately explain the TS parameter variations from the same driver? they have same basket, same cone, same resistance and same inductance.. i am very convinced that these are exactly the same drivers apart form minor toying with the exterior of the chassis. 

 

also. in the thread link, the specs given are  a bit different than the specs Arc give on the newer listings. old one has spl 88 for instance (non broken in driver would have less sensitivity, yes? ) .. it looks like they made some changes on the  new one, page  states 92 same as SB, but doesnt give the rest of the parameters, and the user manual pdf downloads but opens to show a weird "not available" logo.  

 

the old one seemingly loses at the spec side.. so why would they change the specs on the newer ones? why would they want to publish the lesser specs on the older one? no company likes to publish lesser specs... unless there is something to veil 



#23 jas

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

things you can not see

 

gap geometry, shorting rings, spider and surround compliance and lineararity, cone mass, coil length, wire diameter, former type and weight.

 

custom ordering dramatically increases costs..then everyone needs a cut of the car audio driver, SB, arc, distributor, retailer.



#24 GRH

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 01:06 AM

things you can not see

 

gap geometry, shorting rings, spider and surround compliance and lineararity, cone mass, coil length, wire diameter, former type and weight.

 

custom ordering dramatically increases costs..then everyone needs a cut of the car audio driver, SB, arc, distributor, retailer.

gap geometry = defined by the basket &chassis

rings = i dont know what those are 

spider = defined by the basket &chassis  + cone surrounds, and your mechanical properties,  you cannot really change it unless you change other things along with it. you can alter it a bit.. but what you do in there, will not make much more difference than a new driver gradually softening down as it gets older. 

coil length = defined and limited by the basket & chassis , spider and surrounds. 

wire diameter = irrelevant as we have exact impedance and exact inductance.. if the wire was changed at all, at least one of these parameters would change 

former type and weight = a manufacturer is limited to the technologies either they own or commonly available. it wouldnt make much sense to convince them to use a generic coil, while they have their superior and patented coils. 

a factory isnt a small boat.. a factory is titanic.. 

you cannot change things as you like without costing a ton of money.. 

changing the next month manufacture plan for a factory, is a lot of work, and a lot of money. you can do "minor" differences, that will cause minor improvements, that doesnt justify "major" retail price differences. any major improvement would be seen in either of the features, and two drivers would definitely sound and bench different.  Yet, i am not really for or against either of the brands here.. this is a very common issue that we are exposed to every day, and i am pretty much immune to it. 

 

in the end..  the fact that both drivers have been inspected and tested to perform exactly the same, and show exact TS parameters after the tests. 

clearly explains, whats going on there. 

there is only one logical explanation to this, apart from the misprinted or purposefully misleading  TS parameters 

SB values are measured on a broken in driver 

Arc values are measured on an unusued driver 

 

the value differences make perfect sense to me. does it not make any sense at all to others, as i havent seen anyone looking into it ?

let me point out one by one

wouldn't your QTS get lower as your driver breaks in? suspension softening down = less mechanical resistance =more pushing power = less qts .. yes no ? and same thing would effect below :

wouldn't your FS get lower as your driver breaks in ?

wouldn't your vas increase as your driver breaks in ?

wouldn't your efficiency increase as your driver breaks in? (also added on above, that as a driver is used, your coil settles in, and your glue dries better with coil heating and resonating and  all that)

 

summarize.. 

both drivers have 

exact cone 

exact surrounds

exact coil diameter

exact inductance

exact resistance

exact basket and chassis 

exact magnet 

exact dustcap.. (though the distributor claims dustcap has been altered to show better performance.. it looks the same to me, and i dont see how a basic dustcap can make a driver sound heaps better, its called "dustcap" for a reason.. its job is to protect the coil ) 

spider is claimed to have been improved.. how much of it can you improve, when the suspension of your driver is limited and defined by other factors... can you replace your 15" tyres with 19 ones and expect the car to drive properly...

 

now if you think you can make a driver sound heaps better by pretty much changing nothing as limited above.. 

i will send you my best pair of speakers for free, along with pretty flowers and a thank you card. 



#25 TMM

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 01:52 AM

what do you think of the theory , about arc one being ts specced when not broken in, and SB is ts rated with a broken in driver?
Does it matter if they will perform almost exactly the same regardless?
things you can not see
 
gap geometry, shorting rings, spider and surround compliance and lineararity, cone mass, coil length, wire diameter, former type and weight.
 
custom ordering dramatically increases costs..then everyone needs a cut of the car audio driver, SB, arc, distributor, retailer.
The 'standard' SB17 motor is already top notch. Any improvement to the motor would not likely be audible. The TS specs don't reflect any massive mechanical differences and will likely only result in a slightly tweaked bass response.

If i had to bet on it, i would say they have just improved the visual build quality and not made any major changes anywhere else.

#26 GRH

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:25 AM

Does it matter if they will perform almost exactly the same regardless?
The 'standard' SB17 motor is already top notch. Any improvement to the motor would not likely be audible. The TS specs don't reflect any massive mechanical differences and will likely only result in a slightly tweaked bass response.

If i had to bet on it, i would say they have just improved the visual build quality and not made any major changes anywhere else.

 

yes and no .. 

we can relate to the person/s who work with this company, or others 

then we can either empathize with the guy and justify the company.. 

or we can empathize with the company and justify the guy 

 

if your concern is related to neither of the above.. then we are saying exactly the same thing.  

then that means its all as bright as daylight.. and no variations to talk about. 



#27 muzzy66

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:43 AM

As another person linked above, there have been klippel tests done on these drivers compraring the ARC to the SB equivalent, and the comments basically stated that the variation between the two drivers was so minute that it could easilly come down to production variances.

 

The difference between the ARC 4" and the equivalent SB was practically non-existant - they measured as close to identical and you will ever get.  I'm also not so sure about the basket materials...they look exactly the same to me.  I think it's just the difference angles/quality of the photos that makes it look otherwise.  I think the only significant difference is a Poly (ARC - the waterproofing part) vs Papyrus cone (SB) and even that is a moot point now that SB have a Poly version  of the SB17 and SB15 selling for the same price as their Papyrus model.

 

I think this is very much a case of slap on a new sticker, add 200% on top of the price. Many car audio enthusiasts are silly enough to pay that much for a brand, even if they know the drivers are the same.


Edited by muzzy66, 24 March 2013 - 09:29 AM.

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#28 GRPABT1

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:17 AM

And this kind of rort if rife within the industry.
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#29 muzzy66

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:19 PM

To be honest, it does make me feel a little bit sick in the stomach seeing this type of thing.

 

I know that there are other brands out there who use drivers based on DIY designs (such as the aformentioned F1 Status / Revelator) but in most of those othe cases the car audio versions really are very heavilly modified.  For example, if you looked at the F1 Status driver from any angle other than the front of the cone, you would never pick that it is the same driver.  Different flange, completely different basket, different termnals, etc - only the trademark slit cone gives the game away.  The basket was clearly designed to give better protection against the elements (small openings) and Alpine's version also had quite different TS specs,  In this case I can somewhat understand the added price premium becuase the company has had them custom made for their application, and no doubt they will pay more than an off-the-shelf version due to small production numbers, etc.  

 

This ARC however honestly looks like a 95% duplicate of the SB driver, so seeing such a rediculous price jump to me just doesn't seem right.  From what I understand the component set itself only costs something like $999?  If that's so maybe they are heavilly discounting the drivers when selling them in the set, so they are jacking up the cost of the raw drivers to try to make up for it (or to try to push people into buying the full set instead)?  No idea. 

 

All I know is that if I ever bought the ARC set the first thing I'd do is ditch the stock tweeters and replace them with SB29's, but if you're doing that you may as well just save yourself $400 and buy the SB17's with a custom crossover instead. :/



#30 GRH

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:45 PM

it makes me sick in the stomach every time i walk into a supposedly high end brand store (i rarely do that unless i am dragged in there) 

you might be good at speakers, and you can protect yourself as you know how to identify and evaluate what you are actually paying for.. 

but then they get you in a different industry... 

 

i have quite a bit of experience in multiple fields due to my growing up in a retail store.. and being involved in other industries.. 

i can tell you that i have an extreme hard time buying anything.. as often i can see the rip off that is hidden behind the price tag.