Destination audio and conspiracy theories - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-17-2012, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello folks,

I’m about to have a 7.1 room trimmed out with these for LCR

http://www.destinationaudio.com/alw580.html

and these for the sides and rear

http://www.destinationaudio.com/aw680.html

the installer swears they are great but I can’t find any mention of these anywhere on the internet, and I’ve spent hours searching. Destination audio is a sister company to RBH and EMP those two hrahds have product reviews out there, but DA does not. Out of frustration I talked to DA’s director of sales directly and he told me that its true, he has not submitted any of these for review.

But wait the story gets deeper. I figured that since these three companies allegedly share engihwers that could be some common components. This is not the case. These speakers use “nano-silk tweeters”. No one else uses these. They use “aluminized fiberglass matrix” woofers. Google has not heard of these either.

I’m not trying to imply that the company or the installer are scam artists. I just like doing my own research and am alarmed that *nobody* is talking about these speakers. No good reviews. No bad reviews. Just an alarming silence.

Any help would be very welcome. I half expect the Stone Cutters t to have this post taken down. Just kidding. I think.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-17-2012, 04:57 PM
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There's another thread where somebody asked about in-wall, and I noticed the people there all recommending that the speakers be enclosed in-wall speakers, meaning that they actually have a box, not just a couple speakers mounted to a plate with an open back. From the cut sheet on this company's website, it looks like these have an open back.

An article to consider:

http://www.cepro.com/article/how_to_prevent_audio_loss_with_in_wall_speaker_systems
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-20-2012, 11:45 AM
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dshorter, I understand your concerns and you are correct, Destination Audio is a sister company of RBH Sound. My goal with this post is to hopefully put to rest some of your concerns about Destination Audio.

We (members of RBH Sound and Destination Audio staff) started Destination Audio in 2005-06 to offer select A/V distributors and their dealers (your installer being one of these dealers) higher quality audio products than what was previously available to them. We succeeded in doing this with only five models. As time marched on, we introduced many new models along the way such as the ALW580 and AW680 you're considering for your system. One of the products we introduced in 2007, the F300T tower speaker, was awarded the Electronic House Product of The Year award that same year. The neat thing about this award was that we (RBH and Destination Audio) didn't submit the F300T to Electronic House for consideration; one of the magazine's editors who was impressed with the F300Ts at a trade show submitted them for the award on our behalf and they won. Something else to consider, the first generation F300T with poly graphite midrange drivers was awarded, but the second generation featured an upgrade to the 5.25-inch Aluminized Fiberglass Matrix (AFM) midrange drivers. This upgrade greatly improved the sound quality of the speaker in the passband of the 5.25-inch midrange, not to mention it made the speaker look better!

Both the ALW580 and AW680 feature Aluminized Fiberglass Matrix cone drivers and nano-silk tweeters. The AFM cone has significant advantages over the poly graphite woofer cones; most importantly, AFM woofer cones are stiffer and weigh less. Added stiffness minimizes distortion and provides more bass than poly graphite cones. The aluminization of the AFM comes as hand-me-down technology from RBH Sound and from our desire to provide an advantage over our competition's models at a similar price point. As for the nano-silk technology, this fabric was used by our engineers because the material had become available and because its performance was superior to the other tweeter dome materials we were considering.

It is unfortunate that there are a lack of reviews on these two products. In general, there aren't many professional product reviewers out there who regularly review in-wall speakers, and for good reason - it takes a lot of work to construct a typical wall/room just to listen to and review this type of product. In my tenure here, there have been a few good attempts, but only a few have succeeded. This leaves many product reviews of in-wall speakers to end-users like yourself. Of those who have had Destination Audio speakers installed in their homes, there are many who could write a review, but unfortunately haven't. I'm sure if you were to ask your installer to put you in touch with a few of his previous clients who have these speakers, you would find they are very pleased with them. If it were me, I would have already asked for a couple of the installer's referrals anyway to make sure the installer is as good as he claims to be.

I hope I have helped put to rest some of your concerns about Destination Audio. Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions or concerns regarding any of our products or our companies.

DanLW, you are correct, the ALW580 and AW680 are an open-back design. As the article you mentioned describes, most in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are designed with an open-back like this. RBH Sound manufactures a lineup of enclosed in-wall speakers, the Signature In-wall series, which provide superior performance when compared to open-back designs.

Daren Egan
Sales and Marketing Director
RBH Sound / Destination Audio / EMP Tek
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-20-2012, 01:32 PM
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Daren,

Having heard the RBH Signature series in-wall speakers and really liking them, if as you mentioned above is true and enclosed speakers offer better performance, why don't more speakers come enclosed? Especially speakers that cost more than $500 each?
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-20-2012, 02:43 PM
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-20-2012, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshorter View Post

woofers. Google has not heard of these either.
I’m not trying to imply that the company or the installer are scam artists. I just like doing my own research and am alarmed that *nobody* is talking about these speakers. No good reviews. No bad reviews. Just an alarming silence.

You're right, there isn't a lot out there about Destination, but it seems as though Daren has addressed your concerns. I'm not an in-wall speaker expert, so I can't really comment about those, but I did take a quick look at their subwoofers and to be honest they aren't all that impressive. Perhaps their forte is really the speakers, so they might be good, but I suspect you could do better in the sub department if you looked at alternatives.

If you take yourself too seriously expect me to do the exact opposite
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-23-2012, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

...if as you mentioned above is true and enclosed speakers offer better performance, why don't more speakers come enclosed? Especially speakers that cost more than $500 each?
Good question. In my opinion, it really boils down to the price of the speaker and the ease of installing a speaker with a rear enclosure. For example, lets look at the rear enclosures that can be mounted directly to the back of many of our Destination Audio in-ceiling models like the BBC6 or BBC6S for the AC640. These rear enclosures mount directly to the speaker and then the speaker is installed into the ceiling. This solution is easy, doesn't require any drywall repair, and the rear enclosure provides both damping and prevention of audio loss and sound leakage to other rooms or floors. These work well and, if I had to guess on usage, are used about 20-30% of the time. There are companies which offer aftermarket back-box solutions; one such solution is the Dynabox from Dynamat. Keep in mind that an enclosure like the Dynabox is much better than nothing and prevents sound transfer to other floors and rooms, but they may not be "optimal" for any given speaker.

In terms of in-wall speakers, there are plenty of manufacturers which have models featuring enclosed backs, but they tend to cost more than $500/pr. because of their higher performance and materials costs. The ease of installation of these enclosed speakers can be much more difficult and can require drywall repair especially if the installation is into a finished room. On the other side of the coin, there are low-budget in-wall models which feature a factory-installed, molded ABS/nylon plastic enclosure on the back of the speaker. We have specifically avoided manufacturing these types of enclosures because the results we've seen often include poor sound quality - and if the enclosure does not contain the proper damping or air volume, the low-frequency extension will suffer greatly.

Bottom-line: To the majority of people, good in-wall speakers (even those over $500/pr.) can sound very good without a rear enclosure. The trick is consistency - not only with volume, but damping too. Those with a trained ear will hear a dramatic difference if care is taken to install those same speakers into an enclosure which, as David Logvin points out, prevents audio loss. Getting good sound out of an in-wall speaker is a lot like getting a good paint job...it all comes down to the preparation.

I hope this answers your question!
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-23-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egandb View Post

Good question. In my opinion, it really boils down to the price of the speaker and the ease of installing a speaker with a rear enclosure. For example, lets look at the rear enclosures that can be mounted directly to the back of many of our Destination Audio in-ceiling models like the BBC6 or BBC6S for the AC640. These rear enclosures mount directly to the speaker and then the speaker is installed into the ceiling. This solution is easy, doesn't require any drywall repair, and the rear enclosure provides both damping and prevention of audio loss and sound leakage to other rooms or floors. These work well and, if I had to guess on usage, are used about 20-30% of the time. There are companies which offer aftermarket back-box solutions; one such solution is the Dynabox from Dynamat. Keep in mind that an enclosure like the Dynabox is much better than nothing and prevents sound transfer to other floors and rooms, but they may not be "optimal" for any given speaker.
In terms of in-wall speakers, there are plenty of manufacturers which have models featuring enclosed backs, but they tend to cost more than $500/pr. because of their higher performance and materials costs. The ease of installation of these enclosed speakers can be much more difficult and can require drywall repair especially if the installation is into a finished room. On the other side of the coin, there are low-budget in-wall models which feature a factory-installed, molded ABS/nylon plastic enclosure on the back of the speaker. We have specifically avoided manufacturing these types of enclosures because the results we've seen often include poor sound quality - and if the enclosure does not contain the proper damping or air volume, the low-frequency extension will suffer greatly.
Bottom-line: To the majority of people, good in-wall speakers (even those over $500/pr.) can sound very good without a rear enclosure. The trick is consistency - not only with volume, but damping too. Those with a trained ear will hear a dramatic difference if care is taken to install those same speakers into an enclosure which, as David Logvin points out, prevents audio loss. Getting good sound out of an in-wall speaker is a lot like getting a good paint job...it all comes down to the preparation.
I hope this answers your question!

Totally makes sense, and thanks for the explanation and taking the time to write. I do think there is some room for a speaker company to offer a good in-wall/in-ceiling option at a lower price. There seem to be more and more people looking to go in-wall/in-ceiling and this could be a market Emptek might be able to enter smile.gif

BTW, I was just in Layton Utah visiting family (went to Bear Lake for 5 days) and was right by you guys smile.gif I had owned several RBH speakers in the past and am a big fan of your products.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

BTW, I was just in Layton Utah visiting family (went to Bear Lake for 5 days) and was right by you guys smile.gif I had owned several RBH speakers in the past and am a big fan of your products.
Good to hear you're a fan! I hope you enjoyed Bear Lake too. I was able to stay in Laketown (S.E. side of the Lake) for a few days mid-July & loved it. You should've stopped by for a visit!
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Daren,
Having heard the RBH Signature series in-wall speakers and really liking them, if as you mentioned above is true and enclosed speakers offer better performance, why don't more speakers come enclosed? Especially speakers that cost more than $500 each?

Size and profit margin.

Physics dictate speaker efficiency proportional to box volume and inversely proportional to the cube of the low-frequency cut-off. Make an enclosure bigger to make both reasonable and you're going to need a cut-out a couple feet high x 13.5 - 14" wide (to allow a little wiggle room for studs a little closer than perfect 16" on-center spacing which would allow 14.5") Using the wall cavity you have 90"+ of height to work with even when the baffle is only big enough to accommodate the drivers. With most people placing cosmetics ahead of performance that's important.

Obviously a 14" W x 24" H x 4" wide MDF box isn't free, takes up storage space and means an extra 15-20 pounds to ship around the world assuming you've done the right thing and used 3/4" MDF with a bit of bracing.
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post #11 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egandb View Post

Good to hear you're a fan! I hope you enjoyed Bear Lake too. I was able to stay in Laketown (S.E. side of the Lake) for a few days mid-July & loved it. You should've stopped by for a visit!

I have actually toured your facility before (brother-in-law) knows some of your employees, but it has been years. Will look you up on our next visit.

Cheers.
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