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EbenLee Audio?

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
Has anyone heard of EbenLee Audio?

They make some subwoofers and other speakers with bracing that I've never seen before. The cabinets are CNC milled I guess and they look pretty nice. Baltic birch ply wood I think as well.

But no reviews... what gives?

Has anyone heard of these guys?
post #2 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

Has anyone heard of EbenLee Audio?

They make some subwoofers and other speakers with bracing that I've never seen before. The cabinets are CNC milled I guess and they look pretty nice. Baltic birch ply wood I think as well.

But no reviews... what gives?

Has anyone heard of these guys?

Jim Wilson has one.

Just be aware that cabinet bracing may not all that important. One of the best subwoofers of its time is the Velodyne DD -18 costing ~$4,000. While the DD-18 may not have the ultimate in output it is highly regarded by professional testers and owners. Bottom line: the DD-18 has no internal bracing at all.

Since I first read about the DD-18 not a single person has complained about spurious resonances from the cabinet.

Personally I would strongly recommend something from Rythmik in the price range of even the least expensive model from EbenLee. The least expensive EbenLee is $1,600 for a sealed 10 inch model. You can buy the top-of-the-line Rythmik for a hundred less. And the sound quality of the Rythmiks is among the best at any price.

I also recommend the new Velodyne DD Plus series.
Excellent review by Josh Ricci in Audioholics of the new DD-18 +.
post #3 of 76
Yup, I know EbenLee very well (and have several hundred emails, literally, that Peter and I have exchanged to prove it ).

Having worked directly with him to design several products -- including a few currently up on their website -- I can tell you the cabinet construction is unequaled. There are significant benefits to having a completely inert enclosure, and their stuff comes as close to that ideal as possible. Everything they make, everything, feels more like it's built from stone then wood. They're actually that solid.

But the products are not really for the mainstream consumer. If price is the number one priority EbenLee won't appear to be very competitive. Their stock-in-trade is extraordinary engineering and luxurious finishes. Peter's goal is always sonic purity, and he does achieve that remarkably well, but he sells exquisite statement pieces not mass produced products (it's all hand made).

I can personally attest to the fact that Peter cuts no corners, nor does he compromise on anything, so if you're looking for speakers like that he should be your first phone call.
post #4 of 76
Hi,

I'm Peter from EbenLee Audio. Here's an article that discusses cabinet rididity and its importance. This is not my article. In fact its one published by Audioholics and there was a lot that went into including some pretty detailed CAD analysis.

Not using cabinet bracing is at best lazy on the part of the manufacturer. There's too much empirical evidence to suggest otherwise. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course.

Here's the article at Audioholics : Loudspeaker basics and contruction
post #5 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

Has anyone heard of EbenLee Audio?

They make some subwoofers and other speakers with bracing that I've never seen before. The cabinets are CNC milled I guess and they look pretty nice. Baltic birch ply wood I think as well.

But no reviews... what gives?

Has anyone heard of these guys?

As you mentioned we haven't gotten around to getting reviews yet. EbenLee is only about 1.5 years old now. And most of that time we have worked on our product line and discovering the importance of things like resonance control with bracing and panel resonance control. - As well as making sure our products are very high quality.

Getting some reviews is on our agenda and we hope to have some reviews in the next 6-12 months. What we do have is plenty of customer reviews. But I realize some will want to see print in some publications on our products, so point taken Mikal.

Jim is right, we don't really fit into the budget market, that's not really our 'bag' as it were.

Thank you.
post #6 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by EbenLee View Post

As you mentioned we haven't gotten around to getting reviews yet. EbenLee is only about 1.5 years old now. And most of that time we have worked on our product line and discovering the importance of things like resonance control with bracing and panel resonance control. - As well as making sure our products are very high quality.

Getting some reviews is on our agenda and we hope to have some reviews in the next 6-12 months. What we do have is plenty of customer reviews. But I realize some will want to see print in some publications on our products, so point taken Mikal.

Jim is right, we don't really fit into the budget market, that's not really our 'bag' as it were.

Thank you.

The question is what do they bring to the table? What makes them better than our "budget" subs? Besides the price? As we all know price isn't very telling, atleast for folks that particapate on this and other sites. The Box store crowd measure by price, not so here.

Jim
post #7 of 76
I think everyone would like to believe that a budget sub or speaker is going to produce the same results as say a 'reference' type system.

And in some situations I suppose this could be accurate.

But when you get right down to it; high quality speaker parts or any type of high quality parts regardless of the industry are expensive. Drivers, enclosures, everything adds to the final costs, including the finishes.

To get high quality low distortion parts requires more money than a budget product will allow. Higher distortion parts whether its the driver or the enclosure will contribute to the sound and take away from the quality of the system. And that's not saying anything about the engineering that goes into a given design. But lets assume for this example that the engineering in both a budget and 'reference' level speaker were equal.

If you want truly high quality low distortion parts and low cost you have little choice but to build the products yourself, saving the labor and high expense materials (like a well built box).

I'm not saying a person has to go 'high end' to get good products, just that to compete at the same level you have to put the same 'level' of parts, engineering, and build quality into the product in order to actually compete with it.

You shouldn't be able to compare a 400.00 sub with one that costs 1k or 2k. If you can, then something was missed in the design process and/or the decisions made for the parts said product includes.

There are other factors too; like the retail markup that certainly can hurt some products. Retail markup is in the neighborhood of 30 to 50% in most cases. If a company can eliminate this markup step it should offer more performance per dollar than a system that is bought from a store where the overhead can be immense.

Again, this is not an indicator of quality, but with many companies going to a 'direct' sales approach its becoming more difficult for retail chains to compete. This is why many of the retail offerings include parts that are less than 1/10th the cost of the product. Cutting 40% off the top certainly makes more room for using higher quality parts into the design at a given price. The downside is that there's not as much marketing (compare to retail) advantage to back up the speakers or the companies claims. Nor will the company reach as high of a market acceptance because you'll never see them at the Big Box store or even a high end retailer for that matter.
post #8 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

The least expensive EbenLee is $1,600 for a sealed 10 inch model.

The least expensive sub is actually $825; it's the 10" unit with an unfinished cabinet. All the parts are identical to the finished units - this one just allows someone to finish it however they like. Vinyl covered versions are currently under development, so less expensive finish options are being explored. The uber high-end automotive paint is what really brings the price up. A different finish will have a lower price point.
post #9 of 76
Send some units to Audioholics to have Josh Ricci review
post #10 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post

Send some units to Audioholics to have Josh Ricci review

Getting a product reviewed actually has a cost associated to it from most places, so that's something I know Peters been working with. 6moons is one place I know he's reached out to, because they test the very best equipment.

I'm not sure where else he's made inquiries, but it's something I've been nagging him to do for a while now. He's a bit of a perfectionist though, so he wants to wait until everything is just right with the products.
post #11 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post

Send some units to Audioholics to have Josh Ricci review

^^^^

Those who are serious about the performance of their product aren't deterred by the process of getting Josh Ricci/Audioholics to test their product. The added advantage to having Audioholics and Josh do the testing is that the performance results can be (eventually be added to the data-bass).

http://www.data-bass.com/main.php?page=systems
post #12 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

The least expensive sub is actually $825; it's the 10" unit with an unfinished cabinet. All the parts are identical to the finished units - this one just allows someone to finish it however they like. Vinyl covered versions are currently under development, so less expensive finish options are being explored. The uber high-end automotive paint is what really brings the price up. A different finish will have a lower price point.

Since when does it cost $775 to apply a satin black finish???

Piano black is a different story but there's no way that satin black should add another $775 to the $825 for the kit.

At this point in time the lowest priced finished product is $1,600 for a 10 inch sealed sub.
post #13 of 76
Thread Starter 
If you look at the site you would see that the satin finish is 'auto satin finish'. I spoke with Peter over email and he also said that its basically 'hot rod satin' too. It does seem high though. Maybe its because birch ply is a pain to finish or somethin. But it also loooks like they are getting awayfrom satin finish too. Its pretty much gloss at this point. I think the site needs some updating maybe. But he also said they do lots of custom stuff, so can do pretty much anything the customer wants.
post #14 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Those who are serious about the performance of their product aren't deterred by the process of getting Josh Ricci/Audioholics to test their product. The added advantage to having Audioholics and Josh do the testing is that the performance results can be (eventually be added to the data-bass).

Who said they were deterred by the process? I merely explained what's associated to it. I never said Peter would or wouldn't. Audioholics in not the only authority either; there are certainly other places to have reviews performed.
post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Since when does it cost $775 to apply a satin black finish???

Piano black is a different story but there's no way that satin black should add another $775 to the $825 for the kit.

It's far above the piano black you're accustomed to. Unfortunately, the website hasn't been updated to show the new finish; what's depicted is the original finish, but Peter has transitioned away from that into a much more elaborate one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

At this point in time the lowest priced finished product is $1,600 for a 10 inch sealed sub.

For a finished unit, yes. However, you said "The least expensive EbenLee is $1,600 for a sealed 10 inch model" which is the inaccuracy I corrected. The least expensive is still $825.
post #16 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

It does seem high though. Maybe its because birch ply is a pain to finish or somethin.

I agree, it is high. But he was after a perfect finish, and that simply can't be done with birch ply unless you do a lot of work with it. MDF is easy by comparison. Testing has found that MDF does not have the equivalent sonic characteristics that birch ply does, so the latter was chosen for that very reason. But it is a huge PITA to get right when it comes to paint.

Peter and I have had many a discussion about that very thing, but he adamantly refuses to compromise on anything associated to the sound and build quality. He's a determined guy, that's for sure. Trust me on that one...
post #17 of 76
Thread Starter 
It looks to me like ebenlee isn't trying to cater to a high/low- performance/price ratio. They're doing something else here. I never seen any boxes built like that. So someone who wants a high price/perf ratio might not be their ideal customer. Seems like more of a high quality at any expense situation. Is there anyone else building boxes like that? I don't know of any. Even SVS or Velodyne's best models aren't braced like that. If you think about it the prices really don't sem crazy if nothing else exist even at 1600.00 built to same level. (but yes, very expensive for a 10") I agree its high. But can someone name another brand that's building a box like this below 1600? Im more interested now in the bigger 15" model anyway. The fact that I can get one and finish myself saves a lot of money too but I don't feel like doing it. lazy I guess.
post #18 of 76
Thread Starter 
Why don't they have a 12" model? WTH -That would be more my style 3k is alot of dough for any sub. Its probably worth it, but still hurtful to my wallet.

Crap the braces on that thing! Ij'm guess the 15 is brand new cause they only have drawings of it up on the site.
post #19 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

It looks to me like ebenlee isn't trying to cater to a high/low- performance/price ratio. They're doing something else here. I never seen any boxes built like that. So someone who wants a high price/perf ratio might not be their ideal customer. Seems like more of a high quality at any expense situation.

That's pretty much the situation. It's like an Aston Martin in some respects; can other cars go faster, handle better, cost less? Yes to all, but it's the impeccable engineering, fanatical attention to detail and quest for perfection that makes a difference. These are not for everyone, that's a certainty, but there's most definitely a market for upscale items.

You should see some of the stuff in his Reference line. Towers that weigh over 400 pounds. Each!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

Im more interested now in the bigger 15" model anyway. The fact that I can get one and finish myself saves a lot of money too but I don't feel like doing it. lazy I guess.

The unfinished speakers have become quite a success for him; he sells a ton of them now. Seems people want the quality, but feel just like you; they can finish them for cheaper, or want to customize the exterior. I'll bet if you brought the enclosure to an autobody shop or cabinet maker you could get them to seal and spray the cabinets for $500 (or less). That might make it workable for you.
post #20 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

Why don't they have a 12" model? WTH -That would be more my style 3k is alot of dough for any sub. Its probably worth it, but still hurtful to my wallet.

The ELA-4, which is the 12" version, is just about to be released. Ask and yea shall receive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

Crap the braces on that thing! Ij'm guess the 15 is brand new cause they only have drawings of it up on the site.

It's actually been out a while now.

Peter is a bit of a "lab rat", and spends so much time on product development that he, um, 'forgets' to work on the webpage sometimes. I'll start to nudge him on occasion and tell him that he needs to update things. But invariably he heads back into the dungeon to work on his next experiment.
post #21 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Who said they were deterred by the process? I merely explained what's associated to it. I never said Peter would or wouldn't. Audioholics in not the only authority either; there are certainly other places to have reviews performed.

I know they aren't the only authority. They're the only ones I'm interested in for subwoofer reviews though, due to the way Ricci tests them.

I know it costs money to get things tested as well - a small price to pay for positive publicity provided the units perform well.
post #22 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post

I know they aren't the only authority. They're the only ones I'm interested in for subwoofer reviews though, due to the way Ricci tests them.

I know it costs money to get things tested as well - a small price to pay for positive publicity provided the units perform well.

phillip, when an entitiy like Audioholics does a shootout, a good number of the companies invited decline. When Josh Ricci tests a subwoofer for Audioholics, his reviews include a lot of stringent and demanding "bench test" data which reveals the actual performance capabilities of a sub. In other words, his reviews are at least equally balanced between subjective observations and the numbers on extension, output, distortion and frequency response. His reviews are short on hyperbole and long on measurements.

Why even the $9,000 Paradigm Sub 2 has its limits at 20 Hz and lower due to the amount of 3rd harmonic distortion. Companies that are not comfortable with high power testing usually seek a review that is short on things like CEA 2010 test results and long on hyperbole.

Long story short, I wouldn't hold my breath on a review by Audioholics. It is like you said, the cost of having Josh Ricci test a sub for Audioholics is not that great provided the unit performs well.
post #23 of 76
Thread Starter 
If I'm a guy that's interested in squeezing every single ounce of 'specs' out of my dollar, then I guess I would care about some Ricci review. But to me its more than 'specs' I have seen his reviews, and they are fine for what they are. Which is a bunch of numbers and graphs and all about data. Great, I just fell sleep. But some of us want to buy something that performs great and we're proud to own. You can disagree if you want, but the EbenLee stuff looks like something that has some pride of ownership. I don't see that with too much out there. I think I"m gonna pull the tirigger on the ELA-4 sub as soon as they come up on the site. (thanks Jim)
post #24 of 76
^^^ +1
post #25 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

If I'm a guy that's interested in squeezing every single ounce of 'specs' out of my dollar, then I guess I would care about some Ricci review. But to me its more than 'specs' I have seen his reviews, and they are fine for what they are. Which is a bunch of numbers and graphs and all about data. Great, I just fell sleep. But some of us want to buy something that performs great and we're proud to own. You can disagree if you want, but the EbenLee stuff looks like something that has some pride of ownership. I don't see that with too much out there. I think I"m gonna pull the tirigger on the ELA-4 sub as soon as they come up on the site. (thanks Jim)

If you actually read the entire review by Josh Ricci of the Paradigm Sub 2 in Audioholics you would realize there are actually 4 separate pages;

1) Introduction
2) Listening Session
3) Measurments and Analysis
4) Conclusion

Apparently you didn't look at Josh's entire review. Bottom line is Josh can and does do everything subjective reviewers do plus a boat load more. That's why so many people are anxious for Josh Ricci to do more subwoofer reviews.
post #26 of 76
There's an informal sub meet coming up in May in southern california. Might be a good way to put the product before a lot of enthusiasts...


http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1388206
post #27 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

If I'm a guy that's interested in squeezing every single ounce of 'specs' out of my dollar, then I guess I would care about some Ricci review. But to me its more than 'specs' I have seen his reviews, and they are fine for what they are. Which is a bunch of numbers and graphs and all about data. Great, I just fell sleep. But some of us want to buy something that performs great and we're proud to own. You can disagree if you want, but the EbenLee stuff looks like something that has some pride of ownership. I don't see that with too much out there. I think I"m gonna pull the tirigger on the ELA-4 sub as soon as they come up on the site. (thanks Jim)

lol?
post #28 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post


lol?

Yeah, seriously.
post #29 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikaljones View Post

If I'm a guy that's interested in squeezing every single ounce of 'specs' out of my dollar, then I guess I would care about some Ricci review. But to me its more than 'specs' I have seen his reviews, and they are fine for what they are. Which is a bunch of numbers and graphs and all about data. Great, I just fell sleep. But some of us want to buy something that performs great and we're proud to own. You can disagree if you want, but the EbenLee stuff looks like something that has some pride of ownership. I don't see that with too much out there. I think I"m gonna pull the tirigger on the ELA-4 sub as soon as they come up on the site. (thanks Jim)

It's the numbers that show performance imho aside from your ears (which aren't very accurate).

You can add gold leaf embossing to a sub which might appeal to some and jack the price up but that doesn't mean the sub is better than one 1/10th of the price.

Each owner has their own requirements. If I can get the samiesh specs for 1k rather than 9k other than what paint/veneer they use, well that's a no brainer for some. Each to his own.

P.S. the use of "Budget" is a relative term. Some of the guys I hang with in the Porsche club have very deep pockets and others not so much (me being one).
The term here is being used as negative. High price doesn't always mean substance.
post #30 of 76
Does EbenLee have a website?
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