Everything about speaker cloth

Akustikstoff.com's English Blog

The Rapalje Sound System: High-end quality in mini format

Stage performers such as musicians, cabaret artists, readers, and lecturers are usually confronted with a fundamental question before any live performance: Will the PA system provided on site meet the requirements? At the end of the day, the PA system is key to the success of a live event – even in the long run. Poor sound prevents the proverbial spark from striking during the performance, no matter how hard an artist tries on stage. Much more serious, however, is the fact that audiences usually blame poor live sound on the artists themselves, which means that inadequate PA systems can be a real career obstacle.

To minimise this risk, most performing artists rely on a so-called tech rider, a contract addendum that specifies the required features and performance data of the PA system and the lighting equipment. But in daily practice, even precise specifications in a tech rider do not protect artists from unpleasant surprises, and hardly any artist will cancel a show shortly before the venue opens because the PA system does not meet the agreed specifications.  

That’s why the Dutch band Rapalje takes a completely different approach: The famous Celtic folk artists are usually using their own PA system, which is tailored exactly to their requirements and delivers excellent sound. Even at festivals, Rapalje like to set up their own system instead of the equipment available on site. This provides the musicians with the invaluable advantage of being able to fully focus on their performance because they can be be sure that the audience can hear exactly what is happening on stage. 

Dutch Celtic folk band Rapalje
The Dutch Celtic folk band Rapalje at the Zomerfolk Festival 2022 in Groningen.

However, there is a secret behind Rapalje’s excellent sound: The PA system does not consist of off-the-shelf components but is custom-built and optimally balanced in terms of acoustic behaviour. Undoubtedly, not every band can afford this luxury, because profound knowledge of acoustics and loudspeaker technology is required to design such a high-performance PA system. It’s precisely this knowledge that Maceál, one of the founding members of Rapalje, brings to the table. The multi-instrumentalist, not without reason called „Inspector Gadget“ by his band mates, is a born tinkerer with everything that has to do with music. In addition to harmonicas with completely new tunings and the gitouki, an instrument that adds a unique flavour to the Rapalje sound, Maceál developed the band’s proprietary headset microphones as well as the entire PA system, which he continues to optimise with great attention to detail. In his home province of Groningen and beyond, Maceál is a highly coveted expert in all matters of sound reinforcement technology. His company HornAudio, which has now been in existence for ten years, installs and rents out sound reinforcement systems of all sizes – all of them, of course, developed and manufactured in-house.

Measurement of the acoustic behaviour of a "Pixi" prototype by Maceál
Sound tinkerer Maceál in his studio determining the acoustic behaviour of a „Pixi“ prototype.

As for most artists and stagecraft suppliers, the onset of the Corona pandemic initially heralded difficult economic times for HornAudio and for Rapalje due to the almost complete collapse of the event business. But surrendering to fate has never been Maceál’s thing. Instead, he used the free time he suddenly had to push his loudspeaker developments in a completely different direction: He used the principles of PA technology and his experience to develop extremely compact systems that offer true high-end sound with minimal space requirements. HornAudio breaks completely new ground with these systems that consist of a class D amplifier, a very compact subwoofer, and surprisingly small satellite speakers called „Pixies“, whose main parts are 3D-printed, acoustically optimised housings and flat membrane speakers. During development, special attention was paid to the avoidance of partial oscillations as well as to the prevention of phase cancellations through sophisticated housing and the front grille design.

A feature taken directly from the PA sector – and an extraordinary property in the hi-fi segment – is the scalability of the HornAudio system. While array configurations that can be adapted to the respective power requirements and on-site conditions are common state of the art in professional sound reinforcement technology, similar flexibility isn’t common for hi-fi and high-end loudspeakers. Maceál has created this possibility with his new development: Just like the speakers of a full-blown PA system, the „Pixi“ satellites can be configured as an array, if more power and an extended coverage angle adapted to the spatial conditions of a room are required. Arrays with four or eight „Pixi“ satellites per side can be easily realised to meet the requirements of large living rooms, public spaces, or a restaurant, for instance. Thanks to the runtime-corrected design of the speakers, the audio image remains linear in such array setups. Dreaded phase cancellations are avoided, so the sound isn’t compromised regardless of the listener’s position.

For the aesthetic design of the loudspeaker fronts, Maceál chose speaker fabrics from Akustikstoff.com. Despite good visual opacity, these high-quality fabrics offer maximum sound transparency and don’t impair the excellent sound of the system. Moreover, the extensive range of available colours allows the speakers to be visually matched to almost any conceivable room design and to meet any customer requirement.

The sophisticated development is convincing all along the line: Even the smallest configuration, which consists of two weatherproof „Pixies“ measuring only 7 x 7 x 7 cm and a 28 x 28 x 16.4 cm subwoofer that also houses the amplifier, renders a surprisingly voluminous and detailed sound. Its almost linear frequency response from 38 all the way to 21,000 Hz and the excellent spatial imaging raise the bar for small speakers with big sound, which has so far been defined mainly by Sonos systems. 

Array configurations of four or eight satellites per side plus a correspondingly powerful subwoofer further extended the frequency response, bring even more sound pressure and sound volume to the table, and provide outstandingly fine detail regardless of volume. In fact, such an array with its linear reproduction behaviour outshines many established studio monitors in a direct listening comparison. In terms of acoustics, it is on a par with high-end loudspeakers that change hands for five-figure sums per unit.

The wide range of connection options leaves nothing to be desired. The system can play back audio directly via Bluetooth, and it can be integrated into a multi-room system via WLAN. In addition, there’s an RJ45 socket for wired connection to a LAN, a 3.5 mm jack socket to connect analogue audio sources, and a USB interface to play back audio content directly from USB data carriers.

Prototype of the Rapalje Sound System
The smallest configuration of the new HornAudio system, marketed as „Rapalje Sound System“.

A first series of the smallest configuration has now been launched as a special „Rapalje Sound System„. It can be ordered from Rapalje’s online shop together with a USB stick containing the band’s complete repertoire. There is a choice of five different colours for the speaker fabric from Akustikstoff.com that covers the speaker front: Customers can either choose neutral black or one of the band’s four typical colours, which are green, red, blue, and brown.

How to ensure the quick and smooth delivery of your order

Active tracking of your shipment from Akustikstoff.com is more important than you may think. 

Is your order from our online shop already on its way to you? If so, you will have received a shipment notification email with a tracking number. Use this number to actively track your shipment. It’s worth the effort.

Now and then we receive emails and calls from customers who report problems with the delivery of their shipment and ask us for help. Apart from a few exceptions, however, there is very little we can do in such cases. The parcel services’ operations are completely beyond our control, especially outside Germany. Nevertheless, there are several things you can do in advance to avoid much of the typical hassle with parcel services. 

This article illustrates how to set the course for the smooth delivery of your order. Let’s start with a look at what causes the vast majority of problems, because, as always, understanding the origin of problems makes it easier to avoid them right from the outset.

Overworked delivery staff 

Are you still expecting several delivery attempts to be made before a shipment is considered undeliverable and returned to the sender? Well, time to say farewell to this idea. Today, delivery services are amazingly quick when it comes to returning a shipment because of an insignificant address error, a missing door code for a building, or simply because the reception desk in an office building is unoccupied during the very minute a delivery driver appeared and disappeared again. 

You can also bid farewell to the hope that drivers will actually phone, text, or email you, no matter how many contact options may be printed on the address label of a shipment. According to our experience, phone contact is only made for express items nowadays. In all other cases, the delivery driver, in all likelihood a prime example of an overworked, underpaid gig worker anyway, will try to get the shipment out of that delivery van clogged with far too many Amazon parcels as quickly as possible. Quite frankly, working conditions don’t leave space for even the least bit of additional service. So don’t blame the driver. 

Parcel service drivers are often overworked nowadays. Help them deliver your Akustikstoff.com order smoothly.
The volume of parcels is continuously increasing and most delivery drivers are terribly overworked. Please make it as easy as possible for them to deliver your Akustikstoff.com order effortlessly.

Do not expect notifications

In the meantime, items are often deposited for collection at a depot (UPS Access Point, post office, etc.) after a single delivery attempt. And, in many countries, you better not bet on a corresponding notification to land in your letterbox. In the worst case, your fervently awaited speaker cloth will be returned to us without any further notification after about 10 days in the depot. 

Much in the same way, items are more and more often „delivered“ at a random place somewhere on the plot or in the immediate vicinity of the delivery address. And, again, the expected notification card might be missing. In such cases, the item is flagged as “delivered” in the parcel service’s database, but it can be almost impossible to identify its actual location or to collect it. This can be particularly annoying for business customers who are urgently waiting for our speaker fabric to keep their production running.

Moreover, the vast majority of parcel services still perform „contactless delivery“ as a protection measure against Covid-19. This can make it even more complicated to find out the whereabouts of an item and the person who has accepted the shipment.

Keep a constant eye on the shipment process of your speaker cloth 

Once you’re aware of all this, you can do appropriate steps to ensure that your shipment from Akustikstoff.com arrives at the desired destination on time and reliably. We do everything we can to make this possible. That’s why we ship all orders with a shipment ID that enables seamless tracking of the item.

If you’ve placed an order in our online shop, you will automatically receive a shipping confirmation with a clickable shipment ID enabling you to track the shipment directly on the parcel service’s website. You can monitor the entire shipment process and usually also see all delivery address details stored by the parcel service.

Actively facilitate a smooth delivery of your speaker fabric

First check this address data for correctness and completeness. Should you discover an error, please contact the parcel service provider immediately and have it corrected. In most cases, this can be done directly online. However, some providers will require you to create a customer account first. 

Then take a look at the scheduled delivery date. Ideally, you should arrange for someone to be present at the delivery address on that day. If this isn’t possible, best change the delivery date or address way in advance. Alternatively, you can issue a one-time drop-off authorisation for a specific location with almost all parcel services.

Personal deliver of a shipment from Akustikstoff.com
Personal delivery of a shipment has become rare in the wake of Covid-19.

We’ve also heard that drivers simply skip deliveries that would require them to ascend several floors and simply send parcels straight to a depot for collection. While that’s surely not nice, there’s not much anyone can do about it, and it seems to happen quite often nowadays, especially in cities. With the help of the shipment ID, however, you can at least find out immediately whether your shipment has been made available for collection at a depot near you.

As you can see, the shipment ID in our shipping confirmation email is your key to a smooth delivery. Take advantage of this opportunity!

Stay on the ball

It is very important to track the shipment closely until you have received it. After all, the vast majority of problems occur on the proverbial last mile. Consistent tracking keeps you aware of whether the item is still on its way or has already been delivered, deposited in a depot or delivered to another address. In most cases, proof of delivery with the relevant details is also provided. These can help you to get possession of your parcel as quickly as possible. 

Please remember: time is short once your shipment has been sent to a depot. Items that are not collected within a maximum period of two weeks (rather less) will be returned – which is a disadvantage for either side, as you will not obtain the speaker cloth while we get charged exorbitant return fees. 

Don’t forget to check your spam folder

If you have placed an order with us online, our system generates an order confirmation email immediately. Should you not have received this email, please check the spam folder of your email programme – and continue to do so, because it is very likely that the shipping confirmation with the shipment ID will also end up there. 

The simple remedy for future cases: put the domain akustikstoff.com on your whitelist. Don’t worry, we never send advertising emails and prevent our systems from spreading spam. 

Avoid problems even before placing your order

Please make sure to check the following simple points before sending your online order. This greatly helps to ensure the quick and smooth delivery of your shipment:  

• Did you enter your e-mail address correctly and without typos when placing your order?

• Is the indicated shipping address correct, complete, and accurate?

• When ordering via Paypal Express: Is your correct delivery address on file with Paypal?

• Have you entered your telephone number for queries? A telephone number is always required for express shipments, but it can also be extremely helpful in other cases.

• Do you have a clearly legible bell plate or a company sign bearing the name in the shipping address? If not, delivery is almost sure to fail.

• Is your letterbox easy to find and clearly labelled? This is the only way of enabling the driver to leave you a message if necessary.

Additional information from Shipcloud

We process almost all our shipments with the help of Shipcloud, and our customers will also receive a message from Shipcloud if problems with the shipment are reported by the parcel service. 

If you receive such an email, please contact the relevant parcel service immediately to resolve the problem. Please remember that it doesn’t help to contact us. We do not have any information beyond the tracking information and are not entitled to act on your behalf in relation to the local delivery service. We can only help you if the shipment is lost or completely misdelivered, and, of course, we’ll be happy to do so. But fingers crossed that this won’t be necessary once you’ve taken all the precautions described above.

Eavesdropping on Frogs with Acoustic Cloth 2.0

The white-bellied frog (geocrinia alba) is an extremely tiny species that only lives in an equally tiny area. Scientists have found that total area the extremely endangered frogs occupy is less than 2 square kilometres of swampy patches in the Margaret River region in southwest Western Australia. Such an endemic species naturally attracts the interest of scientists. 

Biologists at the University of Western Australia wanted to record the frogs’ distinctive noises to to gain further insight into the behaviour of the animals. But in a wet environment, this poses particular challenges. So they got in Touch with Soundlabs Group in Mittagong, Australia, our distribution partner for the Asia / Pacific region.

“My application is probably a bit unconventional,” wrote Emily Hoffmann, PhD Candidate at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia. “I am working with critically endangered frogs in Western Australia, and we are trying to monitor their calling behaviour remotely by using audio recorders that we can deploy into the field. I have made some water-resistant cases for the audio recorders, but I need to cover the holes for the microphones with something water resistant that won’t interfere with the recording ability.“

Leon Gross, the owner of Soundlabs Group, was more than happy to help. He provided the biologists with some of our liquid-repellent Acoustic Cloth 2.0. The specially treated cloth, which has already proven its special qualities in numerous applications such as outdoor loudspeakers or in yacht building, now covers the section where the microphone is located, so any rain or drops of water just run off while neither the technology within the cases nor the quality of the recordings are affected.

One of the recording devices equipped with Acoustic Cloth 2.0 by Akustikstoff.com. The devices are used to monitor white-bellied frogs in Western Australia.

To learn more about the white-bellied frog and the research project, which is supported by several foundations and associations, read this article, which was published by „The Naked Scientists“.

Speaker Cloth meets Exceptional Design

Philippe Guènerie’s from the French town of Blois specialises in exclusive retro design and impressive high-quality horn systems. The hi-fi tinkerer has been building loudspeakers and amplifiers for a long time. He also refurbishes historical amplifiers and radios.
Whenever speaker fabric is required for a project, he relies on the products of Akustikstoff.com. „You have beautiful things on offer,“ he praises the range.

Impressive horn systems, partly covered with speaker cloth from Akustikstoff.com, by Philippe Guènerie.
Impressive: Philippe Guènerie specialises in high-end horn systems.

Metallic-Line Speaker Cloth by Akustikstoff.com to Appear on British TV

Nothing is more pleasing than satisfied customers – and we’re especially pleased when we exceed our customers‘ expectations. We did so again, this time with our Metallic-Line speaker fabric , which will now even appear on British television. A few days ago, we received a message from Paul Golledge, who lives with his partner Emma Newton-Gunn in the Château de Montvason, a lovely castle in Normandy. The couple is among the protagonists of the British Channel 4 series „Escape to the Chateau DIY„.

Paul Golledge and Emma Newton-Gunn, who are delighted with the compelling look of Akustikstoff.com’s Metallic Line speaker fabric. Photo © chateaudemontvason.com

Paul writes: »Hello, I ordered your copper acoustic cloth for a project I have.
We are once again filming for U.K. channel four ‘chateau diy’ and I have built a large pair of Art Deco speakers for my French Mouthful O’ Jam vintage 78 record DJ kit.
The old kit was filmed for a German Arte documentary called Shellack.
After having trouble with my staple gun I finally managed to fit the cloth and I’m incredibly pleased with the look. I chose copper because I thought it would look OK but to my surprise it is incredible and the deco speakers are superb. I will be ordering more as I need to build the Art Deco bass speaker units. I’m sure that on television it will look incredible.
What an amazing surprise. Well done and keep up the good work.
All the best,
Paul,
Château de Montvason

Individual Speaker Fabric Samples

You’re not one hundred percent sure which of our 42 standard colours best suits your project? You don’t trust the colour reproduction of your computer screen because you know about the pitfalls of colour reproduction within digital systems that are not consistently calibrated? Or you’d like to receive speaker fabric samples in order to get a hands-on impression of our various types of acoustic cloth before you place an order? 

It always makes sense to take a close look at the original product before making a purchase decision. But this doesn’t always require a complete sample set. That’s why we’ve decided to provide the opportunity to order individual samples directly in our online shop. 

Individual samples of Akustikstoff.com speaker fabric
Choose up to 15 different speaker fabric samples

Select up to 15 different speaker cloth samples of your choice. Combine different fabrics, such as standard, 2.0 and FR, and different colours according to your particular requirements. This opportunity is the perfect basis for an informed decision. Click here to discover our new individual sample service.

Of course, you can still order our sample sets. They are unbeatable as a source of inspiration and remain the perfect reference for all resellers. 

New international distribution partner

Our international distribution network keeps growing – much to the benefit of our customers, as it makes our products increasingly available in non-EU countries.

Akustikstoff.com distribution partner Cinert
Cinemart in Natanya, Israel, is a boutique company specializing in the planning, supervision, sale, and installation of audio-video systems, home theatre rooms, control and monitoring, smart electricity, and computer communication networks. Cinemart is a member of Cedia and leads the global scene of tailor-made private screening rooms and advanced audio-video calibration methods.
With our products also attracting increasing interest in Israel, our new Israeli distribution partner Cinemart is now making them easily and conveniently available to all customers in Israel.

Acoustic Cloth 2.0 Goes High-tech: Protection of Phased Arrays for Air-coupled Ultrasonic Applications

The number of complex ultrasonic applications is increasing. The range extends from distance measurement and the identification of obstacles to non-destructive material testing with phased arrays for air-coupled ultrasound. So-called 3D-printed waveguides are currently being developed for such technically complex applications. So far, adequate protection of the equipment against water and dust has been a problem, however, as many practical applications require the equipment to function even under extremely demanding environmental conditions

The Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany has now addressed this problem in a research project and carried out tests with our liquid and dirt-repellent Acoustic Cloth 2.0, among other things. The results presented by Professor Mario Kupnik’s research team in September 2020 during the 2020 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) in Las Vegas* demonstrate the high suitability of acoustic material 2.0 for protecting waveguides. „We (…) demonstrate that the protection via hydrophobic fabric works excellent, i.e. without any significant drawbacks. Beam steering stays fully functional and the reduction of sound pressure level is only in the order of 1.5 dB. However, now the array can be used in real world applications,“ the researchers conclude.  

phased arrays for air-coupled ultrasonic applications using Akustikstoff.com's 2.0 fabric as a protection layer
Acoustic Cloth 2.0 as a protection layer for air-coupled waveguide ultrasonic phased arrays

Further details on the TU Darmstadt website

* M. Rutsch, G. Allevato, J. Hinrichs and M. Kupnik, „Protection layer for air-coupled waveguide ultrasonic phased arrays,“ 2020 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), Las Vegas, NV, USA, 2020, pp. 1-4, doi: 10.1109/IUS46767.2020.9251728.

Living Room for Perfect Listening Pleasure

It doesn’t happen too often that people decide to optimize the acoustics of their living room. But true audiophiles are of a special breed. Marcel from Almere in the Netherlands is one of them.

Marcel and his wife designed the room interior and commissioned Mutrox, a renowned Dutch acoustics specialist and studio builder, to develop and deliver the required acoustically active elements.

The main goal was to acoustically optimise the room while retaining the look and feel like a living room. The second and more demanding aim was to provide the opportunity to adjust the reverberation of the room, in this way giving the residents the opportunity to fine-tune the room acoustics at their discretion whenever they like.

Marcel and his wife finally opted for the use of false walls, acoustic curtains, and an acoustically active suspended ceiling. While the suspended ceiling is fixed due to the limited height of the room, the side walls and the front wall are made of various movable boxes that contain acoustically active elements such as absorbers and panel resonators.

Absorbers behind acoustic cloth from Akustikstoff.com

These boxes, as well as the suspended ceiling, are covered with acoustic cloth from Akustikstoff.com

suspended ceiling with absorber covered with acoustic cloth from Akustikstoff.com

Individual wall sections were also clad with strategically placed strips of wood, which meet the aesthetic criteria of the residents and also work as diffusors. »They render more ambience to the room. We find wood a great product to work with, it has character and it benefits the sound«, explains Marcel.

Acoustic cloth from Akustikstoff.com and wooden diffusors in living room

With a base reverberation of 0.41 seconds and a rather natural decay as well as with an almost linear frequency response with a slight dip around 55 Hz and a peak around 130Hz, the optimised living room boasts next to neutral audio reproduction with great balance, focus, and range of audibility. It perfectly suits the requirements for high-quality audio reproduction.

Acoustic cloth from Akustikstoff.com on living room walls

»It was a lot of work and we did it all ourselves. After all, the effort paid off: The room looks cosy and it’s nice to be in there«, says Marcel. »We are satisfied with the fabric. It was great to work with, has a fine-meshed structure, and, as you can see in the pictures, it looks fantastic when installed. I highly recommend it.«

living room with acoustic cloth from Akustikstoff.com

Church Organ With Acoustic Cloth From Akustikstoff.com

The field of application for our sound transparent fabrics is surprisingly broad. They also play an important role in organ building, for instance. It is quite possible that you will come across products from Akustikstoff.com when visiting a church, for example in Ahaus in northwest Germany. 

The pipe organ, whose roots reach back to antiquity, has played a central role in Christian liturgy since the Middle Ages. Elaborately designed organs are special treasures of numerous churches and impress with their enormous sound variety. Mozart once called the pipe organ the „king of instruments“. Like other instruments, however, organs need regular professional care and occasional restoration. For many parishes such a restoration project is a welcome opportunity to expand and redesign the instrument in order to broaden its musical range and move it closer to modern sound ideals. 

One example is the widely known Church of St. Mary’s Assumption in Ahaus: The local Catholic parish commissioned the old-established organ builder Orgelbau Fleitner from nearby Münster with extensive restoration and extension work. The task was to clean the old parts of the church organ, reassemble them, and make reasonable additions. 

Church organ in St. Mary's Assumption in Ahaus, Germany, with grey sound-transparent fabric from Akustikstoff.com.

A particular challenge for organ builder and voicer Eberhard Hilse, one of the owners of Orgelbau Fleitner, was to harmoniously adapt the appearance of the instrument to the church interior, which dates from the mid-1960s. Hilse chose our acoustic fabric to implement a visually appealing design without compromising its sound and acoustics. 

Completed in February 2018, the three-manual instrument is 9.35 meters high and boasts the impressive total of 2,520 pipes: The swell at the top has 772 pipes, the grand organ in the middle has 840 pipes, the positive behind the console 728 pipes. In addition, there is the pedal with over 180 pipes. The largest pipes belong to the principal 16′, which can be seen at the front of the organ and is assigned to the pedal. The largest of these pipes in the front left with a total length of 664 cm has a diameter of 250 mm and weighs about 105 kg.

Church organ in St. Mary's Assumption in Ahaus, Germany with sound-transparent fabric from Akustikstoff.com

Tape Magic

How to use our self-adhesive hook fastener tape

A couple of days ago we received an email from Casper, a customer from Denmark: »Shouldn’t the fixing tape I received consist of two parts – one for the fabric and one for the cabinet?« To get straight to the point, his assumption was wrong. But Casper was completely happy with the product after we’d emailed him a few explanatory lines and a link to our video tutorial. So, what’s the secret of our fastening tape?

Just like Casper, most people are under the false impression that hook fastener tapes always consist of two components, a strip with tiny hooks and another one with soft loops. This is true indeed for the classic »velcro« as we know it from numerous everyday applications, which is called a »hook and loop fastener« (there’s even a lengthy article on Wikipedia for those who are interested). In our case, however, you won’t find a single hook under the magnifying glass. Have a look at the closeup photo and you’ll find that the upper side of the fixation tape is covered with small stalks that have a mushroom-like top.

Akustikstoff Pilzband Nahaufnahme

To mount the speaker cloth, simply press the fabric onto the tape. Best protect your fingers with a robust glove or use something like a wallpaper roller, as the little heads are quite hard and edgy. They will penetrate the mesh and keep the speaker fabric in place tightly. Our video tutorial on Youtube provides you with more detail.

Mounting speaker cloth

The great advantage of this mounting method is that the speaker cloth can be detached again if you ever feel like giving it a wash or replacing it with a new piece of Acoustic Cloth in another colour.

»Color of the Year 2020« An Ageless Classic Blue

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Trust, hope, peace, and tranquility are properties that are traditionally associated with the colour blue. No great surprise, then, that the Pantone® Color Institute has made a very classic, neutral blue the „Colour of the Year 2020“. After all, our life feels considerably more turbulent than a decade ago: Megatrends such as digitisation, along with political and social upheaval around the world, are contributing to a general longing for harmony and security. 

The calm, appealing, and confidence-inspiring deep blue colour of the year 2020 „lends itself to relaxed interaction. Associated with the return of another day, this universal favorite is comfortably embraced“ says Pantone, explaining the choice of the colour that is expected to shape fashion and beauty as well as interior design and the design of electrical and electronic devices worldwide for the next twelve months. At Akustikstoff.com the colour of the year is available as „Navy Blue“.

When it comes to loudspeakers, „Navy Blue“ spontaneously brings to mind JBL’s classic 43xx and 44xx studio monitors. These treasured vintage speakers still have a firm place in many studios and we have recently supplied the speaker fabric for countless refurbishment projects all over the world – evidence to suggest that blue speaker fronts will see a renaissance in loudspeaker manufacturing in 2020. 

Navy Blue, a particularly calm, balancing, and attractive hue, is a good choice for interior design purposes as well: It can be combined with black and white as well as with silver, gold, and numerous organic brown hues. 

Acoustic Cloth in Navy Blue is available as Standard speaker cloth (colour code 38), as water-repellent and stain-resistant Acoustic Cloth 2.0 (colour code 138), and as non-flammable Acoustic Cloth FR (colour code 238), which is particularly suitable for projects in public spaces.

Spray Adhesive as a Problem Solver

Many hifi enthusiasts have developed a great passion for the DIY refurbishment of vintage speaker cabinets. An update of the speaker grille with new Acoustic Cloth is one of the key elements in most of these projects, but it’s not always the easiest task. 

The JBL* LX55, for instance, a popular speaker among experts that is sold at increasingly high prices today, has a plastic frame with a relatively small edge to which the original speaker cloth is attached to. Moreover, the slot between the frame and the cabinet is extremely narrow. This construction makes it impossible to staple the speaker fabric to the frame (the method of choice with wooden frames) or to use of hook fastener tape instead. 

This is where our special spray adhesive comes into play. The adjustable nozzle of the container ensures convenient and economical application of the adhesive without any scattered spray mist and the high immediate adhesion of the adhesive provides for the easy and precise mounting of our sound-transparent fabric on such frames. It’s the perfect solution whenever you want to make speakers with plastic frames look like new.

JBL-LX-55-with-Akustikstoff-speaker-coth

»Your adhesive is really good for mounting fabrics. Very easy to use, no spill, and good adhesion. I used it for my JBL LX55 speakers with your grey cloth (colour code 14). I also refurbished a pair of Bose* 601 series 1 speakers with your beige fabric this year and I am perfectly happy with the result«, wrote Emmanuel D. from Digoin in France as he proudly sent us some photos of his speaker refurbishment projects. 

JBL-LX-55-and-Bose-601-refurbished -with-Akustikstoff-speaker-fabric

*All brand names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not in any way associated with Akustikstoff.com. 

DIY Embellishment: Covering AV Furniture With Acoustic Cloth

Sometimes it’s the little things that make small rooms look friendlier, less cluttered, and more attractive. That’s why it is a good idea to cover the often small-sized compartments of an AV rack in such a room with Acoustic Fabric in a matching colour. The immediate effect is that the entire room appears more straightforward and comfy.

Making such a cover doesn’t require any distinct DIY skills. All you need to build is an accurately fitting wooden frame with a hinge and a magnetic catch. Cover this frame with an appropriately sized piece of Akustikstoff.com Speaker Cloth (watch the tutorials on Youtube for details) and you’re done. The Acoustic Cloth lets infrared signals pass easily, so remote controls for receivers, amplifiers, etc. will work through the closed front, while all equipment along with the centre speaker or a soundbar remain hidden – as well as the countless little thingies that inevitably tend to accumulate in such a shelf over time.

DIY project with speaker cloth from Akustikstoff.com

A nice example is the AV-shelf our customer Nicolas T. from Joinville le Pont in France DIYed lately with Akustikstoff.com Standard Speaker Cloth. He kindly emailed us some photos of his project for this blog.

MC Audiotech chooses Akustikstoff.com as OEM supplier

MC Audiotech is a new name in high end audio, but the people behind the company and the products are not. With over 60 years of combined experience in the high-end audio industry through Linaeum, Impact Technology, and Veloce Audio plus an array of patents that speak to true innovation under their belt, they are driven by the true passion to develop trendsetting products that serve both the needs of most demanding customers and the music. 

The company, which is headquartered close to Philadelphia in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, now offers a brand-new speaker system, the »Forty-10«. MC Audiotech say that this speaker truly »mirrors the sound of real-world voices and instruments«.

A brief summary gives a hint at this amazing speaker’s characteristics:  The »Forty-10« is a two-way design consisting of in-house designed and built proprietary transducers mounted in a double-curved so-called »spaced array™« and a separate »folded cube™« low frequency enclosure. 

MC Audiotech claim that their system is so efficient that can be driven by as little as 15 watts from the softest pianissimos to the most massive crescendos and is seriously full range, treating the lucky owner to a complete presentation of the recorded information, regardless of genre. 

MC Audiotech speaker eqipped with Akustikstoff.com speaker fabric
»Forty-10« speaker by MC Audiotech

Visually, the speaker is an elegant nod to mid-20th-century modern design. By default, it comes in a satin walnut veneer with bright aluminium work and grille covered with Akustikstoff.com’s off-white speaker fabric. Other options for material and finishes are available. One example is the Figured Maple option which is paired with black metalwork and beige speaker cloth from Akustikstoff.com.

We are delighted to have contributed to the creation of this wonderful product with our Standard Speaker Cloth. The »Forty-10« by MC Audiotech gives further proof of the fact that the quality of our fabrics meets even the highest demands of proven high-end professionals.

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