Originally Posted by Chu Gai
That's an interesting post, JoshKo. I can understand and sympathize with your returning it. After all, you expected a sub built to a particular standard - one which would be 'cosmetically' perfect (tight angles, an even and uniform finish, properly installed hardware, etc.) much in the same way that the vast majority of HSU's or SVS's arrive at a customer's home. But I have to wonder if in your haste to return it, you have put too much of an emphasis on this modern concept of quality and overlooked just what you had there? Consider the following for a moment.
CHT products can be well described as rustic. While CHT has stated that they use an outside source to cut the wood using CNC machinery, they are assembled and finished by individuals. This allows cost savings by taking advantage of automation while also using skilled artisans to assemble and finish the product according to their individual whims. By running counter to prevailing aspects of modern engineering such as detailed engineering diagrams or using time wasting processes such as statistical quality control and quality assurance, time is saved while allowing for individual creativity. Cost savings are then able to be passed on to the buyer while giving him something unique in this cookie cutter world. Uniqueness.
Judging by various photographs of their products that I've seen, including yours, this seems very much the case. Some of their products differ only slightly on the exterior while exhibiting larger internal variations. The beauty of this can only be revealed if one were to say remove the driver where they could marvel at the interior. Some, such as yours, have what appear to be inadequately built up corners and edges, uneven application of the exterior pebbled finish, and nail holes. You see this as deficiencies. However others recognize immediately this is an example of a distressed look. Your sub, which you no longer have, has been artificially aged which enhances its beauty by paying homage to uniquess. After all, when Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing
had her nose 'fixed' she lost a substantial amount of popularity not to mention work. I think you may have over valued perfection and under valued imperfection.
You've also made mention that the sub leaks air through the holes where the feet attach as well as one of the caps. Again, you make the error that this is a defect. It should be looked at as a welcome surprise. Kind of like finding Easter Eggs in programs or games. By allowing you to place the sub so that it's front firing, you can experiment with varying the amount of air leaking from the sub by adding or removing the feet. This gives you an enormous amount of control over the sub's output by allowing you to vary or change whether it's sealed or quasi-ported. I must admit, I've never seen quite this degree of sophisticated end user control before.
I'm certain that you'll have no problem finding a sub without these attributes but I rather doubt you'll ever have such a conversation piece as you've returned.