Originally Posted by ebr
You call it poor quality control, but I think it has been established earlier in this thread that is not the case. It is a conscious business decision.
So if it is a business decision to accept poor quality control, it ceases to be a poor quality control issue? Great! Did Yugo owners get that memo?
Tolerances, when specified in an engineered design, is meant to guarantee that something will fit/work given the reality that nothing can be perfect - it is a metric for pass/fail, it is *NOT* meant to give leeway for sloppy manufacturing. If 1/16th of an inch is specified, then that means the cuts can be off by that much and the system will still fit/work - but it is not an excuse to then have 1/16th of an inch error on every piece that comes off the line - you still strive to achive the best result possible within the constraints. I have had 3.5 pairs of Ascends in my hands now and every single one of them had a poorly done tweeter cut-out. You don't design mediocrity into your process - you aim to eliminate it but with a realistic threshold for pass/fail.
As an electrical engineer, if I designed a 9v power supply with a +-0.3V tolerance allowance and the products that came off the line consistently were 8.7V or 9.3V, I would be very concerned.
Originally Posted by ebr
That 1 millimeter is invisible (hidden behind the grill) and makes absolutely no audible difference in the performance of the speaker (unless, of course, you are able to hold your head steady within 1 millimeter of space). Therefore, the decision was made to spend no further time, effort or money on such things. Instead, David concentrates those resources on the things that he believes will make these speakers the best sonic quality in their (or even higher) price range.
Most professional engineers I know would never use "out of sight, out of mind" as an excuse. You don't know who is going to see it, even if it is burried inside the cabinet. And if someone ever took apart something I designed/built, I want that person to see the work of a capable professional.
In any case, tell me when you go to your buddy's house to see his new speakers you don't ask him to take the grill off. I know my friends do that when they come over to my house, and I do the same when I go to theirs. High quality drivers are visually appealing to guys like us.
Anyway, I'll post pictures if anyone wants to see them. Otherwise, I've made my point and I'm receiving familiarly cool reception from Ascend owners/fans as I expected. Unless something new comes up for discussion, I'll leave it as it is.