Originally Posted by TurboFC3S
You realize probably 75+% of the cost for those is in the cabinet work (although the cabinets are gorgeous!)
Thanks. Although the % is too high by about a third, your are right in that labor involved in cutting, building and finishing the cabinet is one of the major factors in the cost of a speaker.
the drivers are pretty inexpensive relatively.
"Pretty inexpensive relatively" is a relative term. Actually I think the driver cost is higher than the comparable Joseph Audio Pearls (which sell for $20,000 at retail).
I know he's worked with Raven tweeters in some designs, I bet if he used an R2 or R3 in that same speaker it improve things quite noticeably.
Yes, we have worked with other drivers. In fact, we are constantly evaluating other drivers. And if any driver, regardless of cost, were to "improve things quite noticeably," I can assure you we would use them. The HT3's are our current flagship model and we want them to be as good as possible. If an R2 or R3 would improve the sound, we would simply make the replacement and increase the cost of the speaker accordingly. We wouldn't give it a second thought.
We have evaluated other drivers but, in the end, have not found drivers that were any better in this application than the drivers we are using.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as the perfect speaker driver. There are trade-offs with every single one. While any given driver may excel in some area, it will have limitations or weaknesses in another.
In this design, the drivers work very well with one another. Weaknesses in one are compensated for by strengths in another. The synergy between the drivers is what is important. And this combination of drivers is about as good as any combination gets. If it weren't, we'd certainly use something else.
I hope that makes sense.