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Why are LDS cabs so inexpensive?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by campersand, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. campersand


    Oct 26, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I don't know much about these other than what I've read here, which is that they're amazing custom-built cabinets. So why are they so much cheaper than cabs like Fearless, Audiokinesis, Barefaced, etc? Cheaper components? Lower quality workmanship? Or is Don just a saint who doesn't like to charge very much for his work? If I could get a cabinet built by him for less than I'd pay for any number of comparable mass produced cabs, why would I decide to go with anything else?
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    campersand likes this.
  3. From what I have read the workmanship is spot on. You choose your own components to a larger degree and he probably could get away with charging more.
    wave rider likes this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Word-of-mouth advertising, no employees, shop is part of his house. Low overhead.
    basscooker, saabfender and wave rider like this.
  5. Rick James

    Rick James

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    +1. Advertising and distribution makes up a major portion of the cost of factory made cabs. Small outfits iike LDS don't have that. I know that BFM authorized builders charge a lot less than comparable factory made cabs, I assume that Greenboy builders do as well.
  6. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    Yeah, what's up with that??

    Well you get to specify the components... so... probably not.


    Is this our only other choice? I guess so. Dangit.
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Because Don doesn't gouge his customers?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    DaveDeVille and /\/\3phist0 like this.
  8. That implies other custom builders charge too much. I think you will find they are all charging as little as they can while staying in business.

    Certainly there are some very high end cabs with exotic components commanding eyewatering prices. You can't compare those apples. All power to them as well as Don.
    chadds, DaveDeVille and HaphAsSard like this.
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Don's a custom builder, too. He uses top quality components and his builds are second to none. So, why are his prices more reasonable than that of some other custom builders?

    Note: I have not named any other builder's names in my posts, if others want to that is none of my concern.

    Whe I decided to go the custom builder route for bass cabinets I did my research, and at first chose somewhat poorly - Dr bAss. His cabs were fine for the most part, although did cheap out on some aspects, but it was mostly Marc, himself, that became the poor choice on my part. I did subsequent research which lead me to both the various FF guys and to LDS. I chose LDS based on my research, and from talks with Don; price did not enter into the equation at all.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    wave rider likes this.
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I think the thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is...how inexpensive are they? There are no prices on their website.
  11. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    OP: I'm pretty sure he'll let you pay more if you like.
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've known Don for a long time now, and have several of his cabs.
    He does good work for a fair price. He could charge more, but doesn't.
    He's cheaper than some others; but not by lots.
    He's also more expensive than some.
    I haven't had anything built since he moved to WA, because the three I have are all still working fine and performing well.
    I'm sort of surprised he's still working. He's approaching typical retirement age I bet.

    Anyway, good stuff. I have four right now, and have had several others over the years.
    jwindham and DaveDeVille like this.
  13. campersand


    Oct 26, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Btw, I'm in no way trying to disparage the other builders mentioned in this post. I actually contacted Duke about possibly purchasing one of his Hathor cabs recently and he, quite surprisingly, told me he didn't think his cabs were right for me and referred me to another builder. That's a stand-up move and ironically kind of makes me want to buy something from him! :)
  14. campersand


    Oct 26, 2011
    Portland, OR
    He quoted me around $600 for a 15/8/8.
    Low Down Brown and wave rider like this.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Duke's cabs are extraordinary. But like you say, it depends on what you're looking for.
    jwindham likes this.
  16. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    I slept on a used green 215 with Faitals in Concord a few months back for $300.

    Kicking myself but I don't need to load my home office until I can barely walk thru it to dump the garbage again.
  17. Type-55


    Jul 20, 2000
    I've known Don since his store in Ferndale, MI. Many years ago.
    I have had several of his cabs along with others such as Berg, Epifani, BF, AK, GB Bassic and others.
    For me the cabs I've owned and still own are built as good as any of the above, reasonable costs,
    and you're dealing with a great person. Not to mention excellent components and build quality.
    His tolex work is second to none.
    Very happy customer.
    jnewmark and wave rider like this.
  18. Pat C.

    Pat C. Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
    I bet that LDS cabs are less expensive in general than other custom cabs mentioned, but you really need to do an apples to apples comparison. Don can build a 12/6 with the same drivers as a current model Fearless 112. The difference is going to be in the crossover design and componentry as well as the cabinet design, shape and construction. I'm not claiming one is better than the other, but those differences are there. I know that Don sometimes uses custom designed crossovers by Ralf Patterson, which may be comparable to the stuff from Greenboy AB's.

    Duke, Mike A., Greenboy, et.al. have spend a lot of time designing and testing components and crossover iterations to get them to their current products (and you can follow most of their journeys on TB). If you go to Don with a cab idea with a particular woofer/mid/tweeter combo, he's gonna build it. He's built a zillion cabs and probably modeled zillions more, but if it's a first go around for those driver choices you're basically getting a prototype.

    An easier comparison is something like a 2x15" cab with Faital 15PR400's. An LDS version of this cab vs. a Greenboy Dually (assuming same cab volume and tuning with proper porting) is going to be much less expensive.

    But they are both a bargain compared to something like the new Mesa Subway 215, which is up for sale at $1600!!! Even with the cost of adding a tweeter to the custom cabs the price difference will be significant.

    $1600 for a 2x15". GTFOH with that. :/
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Don's build and components/crossovers, hardware, etc. are 2nd to none.All four cabinets he's made for me were custom spec'd between the two of us and all were/are superb IME (the were refers to the two cabs I have sold over the past few years). The two I currently have are not going anywhere without me.
  20. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Seems like a good deal on the Mesa cab, considering that Fearless and Barefaced 2x12 cabs start around $1500 (and those are 12's!). Remember, you are stepping up to a different class of cabinet building with these types of supercabs. You also get the best customer service and warranty in the business with Mesa.

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