Originally Posted by petetherock
But is it true?
That the same drivers are used in the Confidence lines and also in their lower series? Exactly the same drivers? That's not so good right?
It's like saying, B&W uses the Diamond tweeter in the CM series or something like that.
No, that is certainly NOT true. As someone else mentioned, of course we do not develop a completely new driver from the ground up for every model, that would be ridiculous. But because we do manufacture every driver from the ground up, we can fairly easily change every aspect of a driver to match the needs of each specific model. In some cases it is not necessary, for instance, often (but not always) the tweeter is the same for all models in a particular lineup, but with different woofers. Some of these differences do affect the cost quite a bit, which is why we do not use Confidence level drivers in the Emit series. To be fair, that was not what the person in the link was trying to say, although his statements about our drivers being the same throughout the lower ranges is also not true. Are they similar? Of course.
We do take pride in the fact that we have some technologies that are similar or even identical throughout our lineup. We do not like using more expensive materials for the sake of making a more expensive speaker, if we do not like the acoustic properties. Vice-versa, we do not like to intentionally make our lower range drivers look worse, to "excuse" the price difference to the higher-end models. Whether you like to call it trickle-down or not, our woofers and tweeters all look very similar, from the Emit to the Evidence. Why this would be an argument AGAINST our lower-range models, is beyond me.
One reason why people may find it difficult to find precise information on what the actual differences betwee two drivers are, could be that as a low-level manufacturer and developer we have a lot of intellectual property that we want to protect. We may not want outsiders to know which changes makes the most difference in the performance, or exactly what those differences are.
All this is not taking into account the fact that designing and tuning the crossovers in our speakers is very time consuming - to the point that it is very similar to actually doing it from the ground up in every speaker. Getting 90% of the way is 10% of the time spent, so whether we actually work from an off-the-shelf filter or start from scratch, is not really what matters, cost-wise. But as it has at least as much impact on the resulting sound quality, it has to be done. I have witnessed first-hand how a seemingly small change in a driver to achieve a specific wanted improvement, starts a chain reaction causing countless engineering hours to be spent adjusting the crossover to make sure that the change does not hurt the balance of the finished speaker. So even in cases where you could argue that the drivers are very similar if not the same, the sound quality achieved can be quite different.
The above is mainly relevant for comparing different lower-range models. The Confidence drivers are much, much better, with very significant differences internally, even though that may not be obvious looking at the speaker from the outside.