This project's funding goal was not reached on June 12, 2013.
About this project
Take our speakers home for free...virtually!
We've developed a free Augmented Reality app to allow you to view our speakers in your home. Simply download the app and the PDF markers. Print out the funny looking black and white markers on A4 paper or better A4 card then follow the instructions.
Don't forget to tweet images of them!
"Im a designer, a Dad, a daydreamer. My passion, my fascination for many years is how something so simple like a wooden enclosure can be made to produce sounds that can make people feel a range of emotions. This fascination has driven me to create many loudspeaker designs. I felt the time was right to share my very latest and Kickstarter is an ideal platform." - Adam
Meet the TAILOR loudspeaker
Not all loudspeakers are created equal. Many are large black boxes that lack any sympathy to their surroundings. Others have looks but no substance. We have made it our goal over the last decade to produce a loudspeaker that has both style and sound to match.
Its design follows the philosophy of fusing modern and traditional to create a piece of audio furniture that is timeless, a part of the room. We literally tailor these speakers in fabrics from Maharam designed by Paul Smith which results in a fresh and unique look that suits many tastes.
Why do we need the funding?
We felt that our loudspeakers deserve to be seen by a much broader audience and Kickstarter is an ideal platform. 8 ball audio is a small partnership focused on building handmade Hi Fi. We are asking for funding that will help achieve two important goals:
Benchmarking is very important as it records an industry standard set of figures for our loudspeakers. Many people use these when comparing speakers and it helps them filter their choices, especially if they can't audition them personally. Small independent manufacturers like ourselves don't have our own sophisticated benchmarking and evaluation equipment so we use a third party to carry this out.
Packaging our loudspeakers means that we can offer them locally, nationally and overseas, a goal we've been working towards over many years. It is vital that this is professionally designed, robust and environmentally friendly. It takes a deceptively large amount of money, effort and time to create a packaging design that will protect what is after all a piece of hand crafted furniture and be strong enough to withstand the rigours of shipping.
What is involved in benchmarking?
1. Loudspeaker benchmarking (reference unit)
- Anechoic frequency response, distortion and directivity measurements
- Subjective evaluation / listening test
- Benchmark report detailing performance
2. Loudspeaker comparison
- Simulation model
- Documentation (paper study)
- Design handover meeting and sign-off
3. Drive unit assessment
- Impedance measurement
- Anechoic sensitivity measurement
- Distortion measurements
- Directivity and subjective evaluation
4. Final sign off
- Measurement, final tuning and sign-off
From us to you
With support of family, friends and colleagues we have been developing loudspeakers and in particular the Tailor for many years. Currently in it's 4th revision it represents our ideal for a loudspeaker. Small independents like ourselves using direct selling in favour of a dealer network mean we need other methods to let people know how our speakers sound. It was particularly important for us to show that our speakers are beautiful to listen to as well as look at.
We also feel strongly that a loudspeaker should be an investment not only for the ears but for the eyes. We pride ourselves on the quality of workmanship and it's something we are very keen to share. There is absolutely no reason why a pair of well engineered loudspeakers should not last many decades.
Where does the funding go?
The majority of the funding goes into bench testing and profiling. This carries the most weight for us as it represents a real high watermark and proof that our design can hold it's own against the larger brand manufacturers.
Other financing is split off into bespoke packaging design, which on first glance may not seem important but is a vital component in being able to offer our loudspeakers to a much wider national and international audience. Happy in the knowledge that they will reach you in the same shape as they left us.
Video and photography by Juliet Sheath
Music by Sleepy Town Manufacture
Risks and challenges
Once we have succeeded in raising the funds to benchmark the TAILOR loudspeaker any risks and challenges are small. For example there might be obstacles in the driver manufacturing process which could have an effect on our delivery schedules, however we have been producing this design in collaboration with our driver manufacturer and master cabinet makers over the last 5 years, so these risks are small.
By using proven suppliers and technology partners who have experience of this process we minimise any problems. Where we can we will always use local craftsmen and suppliers so we can keep a close eye on everything.
We are confident that our existing pedigree in audio design along with the many years involved developing our loudspeakers will put you at ease. Please visit the website www.8ballaudio.com for information on our previous projects.
With your support we are aiming to have the TAILOR loudspeaker benchmarked, packed and ready by October 2013. We hope that you are as excited by the idea as we are. Please help us spread the word and share this with your friends.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The short answer is no. We use Maharam for our materials, the same supplier who produce upholstery fabrics for Paul Smith.
We like to spice things up so we choose a colour at random. If you have an allergy to certain colours then we will try and see what we can do.
I'd certainly like to think so.
We are committed to producing our designs locally. It is really important to us that we support small scale manufacturing and fine craftsmen in the UK before we loose them for good. With your help and support we can achieve this.
- (30 days)