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Neodymium???

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Over here pricing some cabs and seems like with ones using neodymium magnets are twice as much as others. I know ampeg had some cabs for like 600 but same size neodymium  were like 1200. Is there really that much diff. In the sound???

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Posted (edited)

The benefit is in the weight of the magnet and the cost is from the fact that the material itself is expensive.

Edited by Jus Lukin
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Neo magnets are more expensive to make than ceramic ones, but not anything like twice as expensive. Much of the price difference is down to good old hype. Many claim that there is no difference in sound. Fwiw, I found a very slight difference when I compared two identical cabs - one with neo and the other with ceramic drivers. I use Phil Jones C4s. I compared a ceramic to a non ceramic C4 and found the neo version was a little sweeter/smoother sounding. The difference was very slight. I'm obviously assuming that the drivers (PJB make their own) were identical save for the magnet material. If they weren't, then all bets are off. I got the ceramics. Make of this what you will. I certainly wouldn't pay a hefty price premium, or even any premium at all, for neo.

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Neo is more expensive than ceramic, but the main reason neo drivers cost more is that most have cast frames, which are more expensive than stamped steel, and nearly all are performance upgrades compared to ceramic OEM drivers.

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Yep...affects the price.

EBS Gorm combo is around the £300 mark

EBS Neo Gorm closer to £800

Wish I could get the latter at the price of the former...

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There is definitely a premium to pay for neo speakers but there is also a lot of profiteering on the exotic for early adopters too. There was a big price hike for neo when the Chinese cornered the market for Neodymium pushing up world prices. Now the prices have come down as other countries started to produce Neodymium the difference is less than it was. Just checking on the retail prices equivalent B&C drivers the neo driver is slightly cheaper (but has a pressed steel frame) against the much heavier ceramic magnet equivalent. For Eminence Delta Pro v's Deltalite  £113 plays £142, that's roughly a 30% increase. Ironically a pressed steel chassis makes more sense when you have lighter magnets and don't need a fancy supporting structure but neo speakers tend to be higher standard all round.

Neo magnets size for size are much more powerful than cheap ceramic magnets and even small neo magnets often outgun the traditional ones. It really is that much better at being a magnet. Elecctric cars would be milk floats without neo magnets and wind turbines would be massive too.

So given that the cab cost and labour should be the same and in a combo you have the same amp a neo cab should have maybe a 20% mark up and a combo less in percentage terms, maybe 10-15%. but the neo speakers are seen as the luxury model, they may have better finishes or other tweaks or the speakers may just not be identical to the traditional ones. I couldn't find any information on the gorm but on EBS's the neo combo's were showing an extra 3dB of output so better (louder anyway) speakers are being used in the neo line.

People pay silly money for all sorts of extras on their cars, or their basses to be honest so if super lightweight is important expect to pay silly money until the early adopters have all bought them and the prices start to flag. In the end I'd buy mainly on sound rather than anything else. If the specs are different then the sound is going to be too.

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as with anything, supply and demand, if folk'll pay it they'll charge it, new innovations always cost more to start with, while manufacturers are testing the water, when they're left with stock or supply out strips demand, the prices will tumble

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'Neo vs. Ceramic' is the early 2000's equivalent of 'Class D vs. Traditional',. Before that, in the 1990s, it was Blur vs. Oasis.

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4 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

In the end I'd buy mainly on sound rather than anything else. . . . . . . . . .

That's exactly what I did until heavy cabs wrecked my back. These days I have to buy on weight first then sound. Fortunately I have a lot of choice. If I had to use 90lb cabs, like the ones that caused my problems, then I'd have stopped gigging 15 years ago.

The price is what it is, but my light cabs have all been in the top tier for tone.

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My TKS cabs are ceramic, and they're as near to the weight of Neo as dammit...

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1 hour ago, wateroftyne said:

My TKS cabs are ceramic, and they're as near to the weight of Neo as dammit...

I had a fender Rumble 500 combo, very lightweight, but had ceramic speakers

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1 hour ago, chris_b said:

That's exactly what I did until heavy cabs wrecked my back. These days I have to buy on weight first then sound. Fortunately I have a lot of choice. If I had to use 90lb cabs, like the ones that caused my problems, then I'd have stopped gigging 15 years ago.

The price is what it is, but my light cabs have all been in the top tier for tone.

Yep, there comes a point where practicality has to be the first option. I’m not in a gigging band but if I were my Ashdown ABM gear is just that bit too much for me now, luckily my Ashdown RM gear nails it for me on sound as well.

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2 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

My TKS cabs are ceramic, and they're as near to the weight of Neo as dammit...

Just because a driver is ceramic that doesn't mean it's heavy. For instance, 2.04kg:

https://www.eminence.com/speakers/speaker-detail/?model=Alpha_10A

Being neo doesn't men it's light. For instance, 2.09kg:

https://www.eminence.com/speakers/speaker-detail/?model=DeltaliteII_2510

The difference in the price of these examples is significant, but so is the difference in performance, and it has little to do with the magnet material. One thing you can deduce, however, is that when a ceramic driver is light weight it's probably a weak performer as well.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bill Fitzmaurice said:

Just because a driver is ceramic that doesn't mean it's heavy. For instance, 2.04kg:

https://www.eminence.com/speakers/speaker-detail/?model=Alpha_10A

Being neo doesn't men it's light. For instance, 2.09kg:

https://www.eminence.com/speakers/speaker-detail/?model=DeltaliteII_2510

The difference in the price of these examples is significant, but so is the difference in performance, and it has little to do with the magnet material. One thing you can deduce, however, is that when a ceramic driver is light weight it's probably a weak performer as well.

 

 

I'm not sure what ceramic Eminence drivers are in my TKS S212, but it's only 21kg overall.

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21 hours ago, chris_b said:

That's exactly what I did until heavy cabs wrecked my back. These days I have to buy on weight first then sound. Fortunately I have a lot of choice. If I had to use 90lb cabs, like the ones that caused my problems, then I'd have stopped gigging 15 years ago.

The price is what it is, but my light cabs have all been in the top tier for tone.

Good point, sweeping statements are almost always nonsense. I should have said don't choose on the basis of the magnet material alone. The whole process of choosing ends up with a compromise of budget, convenience, taste and practicality. My own go to cabs are tiny, simply because most of the venues I play are pubs and stage space is almost always a problem. Sound still comes first but only just and the point about neo speakers is you can get a great sound in a lightweight package.

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There's an interesting paper on the Bergantino website about the differences between Neo and Ceramic speakers.  I've got two Berg Neo speaker cabs (AE410 and NXT212).  The NXT212 is a tad heavier than @wateroftyne 's TKS S212 but, having been so impressed with the AE410, it was a no-brainer for me to go for another Berg cab to pair with my B|Amp.  Sound first, then portability are the key factors for me but it's nice that the weight isn't bad either. 😎

https://bergantino.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NXTJIMDOC.pdf

 

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4 minutes ago, gazhowe said:

There's an interesting paper on the Bergantino website about the differences between Neo and Ceramic speakers. 

So the design concept for the NXT cabs is to move to warmer more musical sounding drivers.

Does it work? What do you think of the NXT212 sound?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, chris_b said:

So the design concept for the NXT cabs is to move to warmer more musical sounding drivers.

Does it work? What do you think of the NXT212 sound?

I’ve not had an opportunity to gig with it or A/B it with my AE410 but i really like it. It’s a bit warmer than the AE410, probably due to the different speaker size as well as the drivers, but there’s plenty of punch and definition too.  Top quality from Bergantino goes without saying but Jim seems have really hit the sweet spot with the NXT series. Highly recommended. 

Edited by gazhowe
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