Let all other subwoofer companies take note... http://www.aespeakers.com/ ...the SMACKDOWN has been LAID. [was formerly Stryke Audio] [new logo design by me, eh] John (aeproprietor?) was asked to comment for the members of CarAudioForum.com on the current state of the company and its direction for the future. Here is the text of that post: -------------- Hi Everyone, I was asked to stop by so here I am. I'll give everyone a rundown on what is going on with Stryke and what will be happening over the next 3mos to a year. I will say that one reason I don't post here particularly is that no matter what time of day, what day of week, etc I try to get on here, it always gives me this "The server is too busy at the moment. Please try again later" error. First, as some of you may know, the business name is changing. There was a trademark issue with Rockford Fosgate so I needed to change the name of the business. I'll be going in two different directions so there will actually be two new businesses. The first business will be Acoustic Elegance. This will be the portion of the business geared towards the high end home theater/audio market. The second business will be known just as AE Speakers. The new website is in the works and is changing daily. www.aespeakers.com AE Speakers will be devoted to manufacturing woofers and other drivers both for retail sales and for OEM. When I say manufacturing, I don't mean coming up with a design and sourcing it out like 90% of the companies out there do. I will be building or directly overseeing the build on each and every woofer, with the exception of our low cost yet to be named introductory series. I have had too many problems with having other companies build woofers to rely on anyone else now. It seems there was always something wrong. With out last manufacturer, one batch of woofers had coils misaligned by 10mm. On many woofers they used a cyano glue on aluminum cones, knowing it will not stick. Many were made with single VC instead of dual VC. Many were built with a single spider that couldn't support the mass of the VC, instead of dual spiders. Then there was the delay of nine months to get the final half of my order. There is just no excuse for this from a manufacturer that has been in business for 17 years. In order to make sure this doesn't happen again, I'm taking things into my own hands. This gives me the ability to oversee each and every step of the design and build process. I now have a complex magnetics FEA software package that allows me to model the woofer motors. I can simulate a variety of different VC's, move them through the gap, calculate BL curves, and derive parameters for a woofer without even needing to build one. From there I will go on to the prototype stage. To help assist with this, I will be purchasing a CNC lathe in the next few months. I can take the same steel model from the FEA software, import it to the CNC and within an hour or so have the steel ready for a prototype. I'll then glue the magnets and steel together, press it together with a 10ton press until it dries, and send it off to be zapped in the magnet charger. Once the prototype is fully built and thouroughly tested, production can begin. I have spent a good part of 3months doing research and experimenting with glues from many different companies including 3M, Loctite, CP Moyen, and a few others. While some companies try to save a few cents on each woofer by going with chearper glues, I want my products to last and will cut no corners. Many of the glues I will be using are used in the Aerospace industry for their extreme resistance to heat, and are more expensive than the standard glues. Anywhere from 50-100% of the woofers will personally be built by myself. They'll be initialed by myself, or my employees, so you know who to blame if something goes wrong. Go buy a woofer from any other company out there and see if you can find out who built it. Now, here is a brief preliminary timeline of how things will be happening here. In the near future, hopefully 3-4mos from now, the AV12 and AV15 MKIII will be released. There were no problems with the MKII versions, but now that they will be manufactured in house they get the new number. Everything should be the same except the cones will be a brighter, shinier aluminum and will have the AE Speakers logo in a bright silver on the dustcap. Same 23mm Xmax, 30mm suspension travel, nearly identical parameters. Oh, and when they are in stock I will be doing a special on them for 2 weeks at $140 and $165. NO MORE PREORDERS. I always hated doing that, but didn't have much choice. Now for 2 weeks as a new product is released you'll get the preorder price, but the woofers will be in stock. You get the sale price AND you get your woofer right away. After the AV series are going I'll be doing an introductory series. Look for these to be released end of 2004 or early 2005. I still need a name for them, but here is a rundown. There will be a 12" and 15". They will have cast aluminum baskets, binding post terminals, aluminum cones, rubber surround, 18+mm Xmax, and they will retail for $125 and $150. A budget series is also planned. These will retail for $85 and $99 for a 12" and 15". Stamped steel basket, kevlar impregnated paper cone, 16mm Xmax, 22mm suspension travel. If this sounds like another woofer out there that many of you have heard of, it should. It will be nearly identical. Look for these next spring. Then there will be the big one. The HE15 is returning. It will have suspension to do 50mm one way. The motor design has nearly ruler flat BL curve out to 40mm one way. Xmax is 43mm one way. It will have a double faraday motor with a copper sleeve on the pole and aluminum ring inside the magnets. This will greatly lower inductance and distortion. The 3" VC will let you pump in 2000W or so without worry. They will weigh in at 45lbs or so. Pricing will be around the $450 range. I'm not sure on the timeline of these. IF things go well I may be offering them before the end of the year. I'm also setting up a buyer incentive program. It's not finalized yet, but this is a general idea how it works. If you buy a woofer and then refer a customer to buy one, you will get something like 10% back from thier purchase. So if you buy an AV12, then someone else you refer buys one at $175, you will get $17.50 back for referring that customer. You'll be able to refer as many customers as you want. If you refer 10 people to buy AV12's you'd get $175, 100 people, $1750. The reason I can do this is fairly simple. To put products in a store for dealers to sell I have to sell at a much discounted rate so they can make a markup. Rather than give that money to a dealer, I'd like to give part of it back to those who have bought woofers from me and help spread the word. You can give verbal referrals, I'll have some banners to put up on websites, etc. As you can see, I'll be pretty busy with things. I run the business alone and only have a few people who come in to help out right now. I am very grateful for their help. I have great friends. However, because I do everything alone, I don't have the time to put into going on the forums that others do. There are just so many forums out there now too that I just can't keep up. I do make myself available with the forum up on my site. I try to get to all the questions every few days. I'll be glad to answer questions for anyone there and you can copy what I say to the forum here if you wish. Also, you know that when you have questions, you are talking to me. I design, build, and support all my woofers. You're not getting answers from someone reading them off a sheet, you're getting answers from the source. I will try to continue to do all support myself until the day things get too big for me to handle it. I hope this gives everyone a good idea of what is going on in the future here and why things are they way they are. If you have questions, please let me know. Thanks for your time everyone. John ------------- That post is number 24 on the page at this URL: http://www.caraudioforum.com/vbb3/sh...0&page=2&pp=15 -------------- Greatness is Loud [editorial by rory buszka] When I dropped an allen wrench on the cone of my AV12 woofer and dented it a few weeks ago, I stormed around my grandparents' house for a good half hour beating myself up for being so stupid. Meanwhile in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a revolution was taking place. John Janowitz originally made a name for himself in the audio world in 1997 with Stryke Audio, LLC, when the Adire Audio Shiva was making waves (pun not intended, but quite appropriate and cool) in the audio industry as one of the first widely accepted high-excursion subwoofer drivers. It was in the context of this design revolution that John first partnered up with TC Sounds to produce the HE 15, which was for its time the most displacement your dollar could buy, price/performance ratio be darned. For the performance it offered in its time, the HE 15 was worth its high price, but that same high price severely limited its popularity. It also required expensive passive radiator box alignments, or massive ported boxes (see ThomasW's Aerial Stryke Subwoofer which duplicated the styling elements of the Aerial Acoustics SW12 subwoofer but features the HE15 driver). Still, the publicity of having the world's highest-excursion subwoofer driver was good for business. Stryke broadened its product lines to include finished speaker and subwoofer cabinets, and finally full-range speakers and kits featuring the SA-071 woven-glass-fiber cone 7" midbass and the SA-TW1 1" dome tweeter. But something else was brewing, which was about to alter the DIY landscape permanently. Though the HE15 had to be discontinued because of lack of interest, Stryke was about to partner up with TC Sound yet again, this time to deal a death blow to Adire and Parts Express by developing a most-displacement-for-the-dollar driver, the kind every DIY enthusiast waits for. And boy, did Stryke deliver. The AV12 and AV15 subwoofers practically had it all. They had 23mm of Xmag and 30mm of Xsus, allowing them to have nearly an inch and a half of cone stroke. The AV12 and AV15 also provided something seriously lacking elsewhere in the subwoofer world - style. The spun aluminum cone and matching inverted dust cap made the AV12 and AV15 arguably the very best-looking subwoofer drivers available, without breaking the bank. And though TC Sounds quality control proved fickle and inconsistent at times, John always made sure that only the very best product was delivered to the customer. Trouble came in the form of a letter in the late fall of 2003 from lawyers representing Fosgate Audio, which most know more familiarly as Rockford-Fosgate. They decided one day that the Stryke Audio name infringed on the "Strike" series products sold under the Lightning Audio brand, owned by Fosgate Audio. Fosgate threatened to sue if John did not change his name. Rather than risk losing his company and livelihood if he lost the case in court, John took defensive action, and planned to change the name of the company to Custom Audio Solutions. I knew there was the risk that I would be snubbed, but I emailed John and let him know that the new name for his company seemed a little...generic. Too much so for the company that at one time sold the highest-excursion subwoofer driver available. John agreed with me and introduced the Stryke Audio Name Change Contest on the Stryke Audio web site forum. The first prize for winning the contest would be a shiny new AV12 MKII subwoofer driver, a $175 value. I threw in my name idea, Aphelion Audio, but what grabbed John's attention was the logo I submitted. Using filled ellipses in a paint program, I proceeded to use alternating dark and white ellipses on a white background to arrive at a logo that did not expressly show the form of a woofer but instead formed two shadowy crescents and an ellipse that elicited in the viewers' mind the rest of the form of the woofer. That is the logo that you see on the new AESpeakers web site. For a while I offered to do the work for the new web site but I couldn't come up with any design I was myself satisfied with so I went ahead and told John to look elsewhere for his web design. The design you see was done by a personal friend of John's, who does web site design semi-professionally. When I saw the result just tonight, I was floored. The quality and taste exhibited in the new site design are fantastic. But I am equally excited by the fact that the same woofer lines that made Stryke Audio so famous are returning. Perhaps now I will be able to replace my dented AV12. And whenever someone asks if an AE Speakers woofer is a worthwhile investment, I am sure the reply will be a resounding "Definitely!" ++ Also, I am not an official Stryke Audio spokesperson, nor do I post on behalf of John Janowitz, Stryke Audio, Acoustic elegance, or AE Speakers, neither am I a liaison for any of the former.