The Latest News on Acoustic Speaker Cloth – and Us

Author: Hilu (Page 2 of 5)

»Color of the Year 2020« An Ageless Classic Blue

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.

Akustikstoff.com now also in French

Interest in our sound-transparent fabrics is growing steadily – not least in France. Several renowned manufacturers of high-quality loudspeakers, such as FrenchFlair Audio, have decided to rely on our speaker fabrics. The same gos for AV-Furniture manufacturers, trade fair builders, interior decorators, architecture firms, and numerous private customers.

To further improve our services for our French-speaking customers, the content of our online shop www.akustikstoff.com is now also available in French.

And now in French:

Akustikstoff.com maintenant aussi en français

L’intérêt pour nos tissus acoustiques ne cesse de croître, notamment en France. Plusieurs fabricants renommés de haut-parleurs de haute qualité, tels que FrenchFlair Audio, ont décidé de faire confiance à nos tissus pour enceintes. Notre tissu acoustique a également rencontré un grand intérêt de la part des fabricants de meubles audiovisuels, des constructeurs de stands d’exposition, des architectes d’intérieur, des bureaux d’architecture et de nombreux particuliers.

Afin d’améliorer encore nos services pour nos clients francophones, le contenu de notre boutique en ligne www.akustikstoff.com est désormais également disponible en français.

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.

Simply Great: Individual Speaker Cloth Pre-Cuts

Speaker cloth laser pre cuts by Akustikstoff.com.

Quiz question: What does our boss present in this photo? A new, even more sound-transparent speaker fabric? Nice try, but not even close! Such grids remain when we produce individual pre-cuts of our speaker cloth.
Manufacturers of consumer electronics, AV furniture, vehicle components, and even slot machines are increasingly relying on such laser-cut pieces of our speaker fabrics produced exactly to provided standard CAD data.
As required MOQs are extremely small and lead times are next to none, Akustikstoff.com pre-cuts are also worth thinking about for companies that only produce very short production runs: Any tedious – and in most cases little precise – cutting of the fabric on the shop floor is eliminated, the pre-cuts can be processed immediately. On request, we can even “engrave” the speaker fabric, for example with a product name or a company logo.

Speaker cloth pre-cuts by Akustikstoff.com

Acoustic Cloth 2.0 for Italian High-end Sound Studio

»The Spheres« is a recording studio and events space in Pescara-Montesilvano (Italy) on the Adriatic coast, offering state of the art audio and video equipment as well as an active concert calendar. Without doubt, the studio, which also offers mixing and mastering services along with outstanding recording opportunities, can be considered one of the finest recording studios in northern Italy and even beyond – especially for classical, jazz, and world music. It is available to all labels, engineers, projects, and artists who want to benefit from the extraordinarily high levels of acoustic and technical standards that characterize the studio throughout.

Main room of

The studio was designed principally for acoustic music, but is versatile and welcomes all genres. It was rapidly constructed inside an adapted warehouse between November 2016 and May 2017. Planning and acoustic design was by producer, sound engineer, and studio owner John Anderson. The classical pianist, who runs the record label Odradek Records, holds two performance degrees from the Accademia Musicale Pescarese and a degree in musicology from the University of Oxford. 

Having had a look at samples of our Acoustic Cloth 2.0, John decided to use this stain-resistant, liquid-repellent, and B2 fire-rated fabric for the numerous wall and absorber covering purposes in the recording rooms and the control room of his studio. Altogether, 160 square metres of Acoustic Cloth 2.0 and 250 metres of our adhesive hook fastener tape were used in the construction of »The Spheres«.

Main room of

The main room offers 135 square metres of space and a diffuse sound field that is achieved with eight 2D QRD »Skywalker Sound« replica movable diffusors/gobos, and a further 144 2D QRD »BBC style« diffusors mounted on the walls. Every corner has a wedge bass trap from floor to ceiling, a column of 115kg per cubic meter dense rock wool covered with Acoustic Cloth 2.0, which help control the room’s bass build-up and modal distribution. The dropped ceiling is sound absorbent. The floating walls are insulated and isolated via rubber decouplers from the structural walls behind. The result is a silent, world class lively ambience with no boomy bass build-up confusion and silky-smooth highs with no harsh flutter echoes.

Control room of

The control room features 48 square meters with four-metre ceilings and has a separated machine room. It is a Tom Hidley »non-environment room«-inspired design with vertical and horizontal wave guides angled to capture incoming sound from their opposite side monitor. Sound is trapped by eight cm of dense rockwool behind. Unabsorbed energy is directed away from engineer’s listening position to create a reflection free space, ensuring accurate monitoring. The waveguides are completely covered by Acoustic Cloth 2.0 for an elegant finish.

Vocal booth of

If you want to get a more detailed impression of the construction process as well as the finished studio, have a look at their amazing construction book and visit the studio’s website.

Drum booth of

Colour Trend 2019

A lively, warm and gentle tea rose hue has been designated the »color of the year 2019«. It »appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media«, explained color specialist Pantone LLC as they presented their choice, which they decided to call »Living Coral«.

Presumably Strong Trend
The color of the year 2018, a bold, bright, and somewhat pompous violet referred to as »Ultraviolet« didn’t really catch on. For the much more harmonious tea rose hue »Living Coral«, chances are expected to be much better. It is expected to become a dominant trend in fashion, consumer goods, and even interior design next year. The trend was already looming on the catwalks lately. Tea rose and coral hues are playing an important role in spring fashion from Prada, Hermès, Brandon Maxwell, and Giambatista Valli for instance, while Calvin Klein, Moschino, and other fashion labels already used them in their 2018 fall collection.

Speaker fabric in
Always on trend in 2019 with speaker fabric from Akustikstoff.com in «Tea Rose«

Sound-transparent Fabrics in the Colour of the Year
Speaker cloth from Akustikstoff.com in Tea Rose keep you well prepared for the upcoming trend. The colour is available as a Standard Acoustic Cloth (colour code 35), as water-repellent and stain-resistant Acoustic Cloth 2.0 (colour code 135), and as nonflammable Acoustic Cloth FR, which is particularly suitable for public buildings (colour code 235).

Design Hints
Tea Rose can be harmoniously combined with many colours – another big difference to last year’s somewhat conceited violet. It comes especially nice when combined with speaker fabric in Pastel Blue (color code 34) – a combination that creates the positive, maritime yet warm color play of a coral reef, to which Pantone themselves refer in their video for their color of the year 2019. Artichoke (47), Navy Blue (38), Light Ochre (20), Off Yellow (21), and Green Tea (40) also make for attractive, warm, summery combinations.

Play it Safe With Acoustic Cloth FR

We raise the bar for sound-transparent fabric again: Our new Acoustic Cloth FR is non-flammable and will fulfil the dreams of many architects, interior designers, stand builders, and PA techs.

It’s a speaker cloth the world has been waiting for: Flame-retardant, easy to work with and elastic, with excellent acoustic and aesthetic properties,  available off the shelf in numerous attractive colors. Our newly developed Acoustic Cloth FR makes the world of sound-transparent fabrics significantly better.

Akustikstoff FR ist nach NFP 92502 als nichtbrennbar (M1) zertifiziert.The renowned French test institute FCBA has certified Acoustic Cloth FR to be nonflammable according to the European standard EN 13773-1 as well as to the much more demanding French standard NFP 92503 M1. It puts an end to a notorious problem that bothered architects, interior architects, PA and event technicians day by day: So far, applicable fire protection regulations and the use of visually attractive, sound-transparent fabric in publicly accessible buildings didn’t go well together.  Sound-transparent, visually appealing speaker fabrics  are usually made of flammable plastic fibres. But building codes and other regulations—as well as technical guidelines that are part of many contracts—require fabrics to be certified at least fire retardant (FR)  according to EN 13773-1.

For the first time ever, this dilemma can be considered solved. Our non-combustible Acoustic Cloth FR combines optimal preventive fire protection and outstanding acoustic properties and is available in 42 different colours right off the shelf with no lead time. The nonflammable (M1) speaker cloth exceeds the fire retardancy requirements that are part of most tenders. According to the FCBA test results, it’s about as combustible as plasterboard.

Whether used as speaker fabric or in decorative applications that require acoustically transparent fabric: Acoustic Cloth FR enables optimum fire protection without compromising on sound transparency in architecture and interior design as well as in exhibition booth building, stage building, shop construction, advertising technology, and at exhibitions, concerts, and events—and last but not least in the entire catering sector.

Acoustic Cloth 2.0 – Dustproof? Oh Yes!

It all started with an enquiry from Nevada: A customer wanted to know whether our acoustic fabric would be dustproof enough to protect a couple of Bose F1 Arrays from exposure to dust during this year’s Burning Man festival. Good question. We didn’t have any  empirical data, as we’d usually focus on sound permeability and translucence (or rather the opposite) in the development of our speaker fabrics. But the question piqued our curiosity and we wanted to come up with a proper solution. We decided to use superfine flour as an imitation of the dust in Black Rock Desert. Not the worst idea: Marc-Antoine from Nevada replied that “superfine wheat flour is a good approximation of Burning Man’s dust.”

Our DIY test setup for dustproofness test of Acoustic Cloth 2.0 from Akustikstoff.comThe core of our test setup consisted of a piece of our stain-resistant and water-repellent Acoustic Cloth 2.0, an empty cardboard box, and  a DIY “flour cannon” made of a cardboard roll core and several bits and pieces. We pointed the “cannon” to the speaker cloth at a distance of about 20 cm. Dried pressurised air at about 80 psi from our workshop was used to propel the flour towards the fabric. The measured air speed (and, consequently, the exit velocity of the flour) at a distance of about 10 cm from the cardboard tube was 27 knots (which equals 50 km/h or wind force 6). Not bad, eh?

We wasted the first pack of flour to find that one layer of fabric isn’t sufficient in our view. We weren’t happy with the amount of flour that went through. So we modified the setup and attached two layers of fabric. The distance between the two layers was about 1.5 inches and the frame with the first layer was slightly tilted to prevent the flour particles from building up between the two layers and instead simply drop to the ground. Admittedly a somewhat shaky impromptu installation that wouldn’t meet the requirements for whatever ISO certification, but good enough for our purposes.

dustproofness of Acoustic Cloth 2.0 from Akustikstoff.com proven with a testThe result of this second round made us happy, as there were only very few particles still going through the two layers of speaker fabric. We found just a little dust on the ground of the box, after we’d propelled another full pack of flour towards the front of the construction and finally cleaned both with an air nozzle before opening the box.

We’ve uploaded a video of this test on Youtube, so why not have 90 seconds of fun, watch this bonkers and weird dustproofness test, and judge for yourself.

Acoustic Cloth Samples: Why They Make So Much Sense

Every week we receive a considerable number of emails that go like “I’ve seen a photo of this and that piece of furniture on your blog. What is the colour of the acoustic fabric?” If you’re about to drop us a similar email, please hang on for a sec and read the following lines first.

As we know where the photos come from (we have many customers who send us photos of their pieces of work and are happy to see them featured on our blog), it’s easy for us to answer such questions precisely. However, the answer could be pretty useless anyway.

The problem is that the screen reproduction of colours in RGB colour mode can (and in most cases, especially with Windows computers and budget monitors, does) differ considerably from the actual colours of the objects in a photo, Unless your screen is set to a white point of D65 and precisely calibrated with a colorimeter, certain colour aberrations are virtually inevitable. On top of that, lighting conditions and individual camera settings have noticeable additional impact on how colours are reproduced in a photo.

This means that if you only use a photo to choose the colour for your piece of our Acoustic Cloth, what you get may not be what you’ve seen and expected. Sure we accept returns in most cases and are happy to exchange them for another colour. But it will delay your project, you’ll have to cover the postage if you return an order, have to bring it to the next post office and so on.

Why not avoid all the hassle by ordering a sample set? It will provide you with an absolutely reliable  way to find the right colour for your project if go for anything else than black or white. They are about postcard size, so they also give a good impression of how the fabric appears as a larger surface.

packaging acoustic speaker cloth samplesDon’t get us wrong: The reason behind this blogpost is not to increase the turnover from sample sets. Okay, we charge a couple quid for them, but if you consider the material costs (the production of 100 sample sets requires a whopping 90 square metres of speaker fabric) plus the time-consuming work of putting the sets together, you’ll find that we don’t make any money from samples. We rather subsidise them to offer our customers a reliable and convenient way of finding the right colour.

Beovox CX50 and CX100 upcycled

The great days of the classic passive loudspeaker seem to be over: In times of AirPlay, DLNA, and streaming, WLAN loudspeakers are virtually ubiquitous. On the other hand, however,  true audiophiles and devotees of classic hi-fi technology still prefer sound reproduction at the highest possible level to the convenient, wireless omnipresence of MP3-compressed music. Are these totally incompatible points of view, or is there a way to combine the outstanding acoustic characteristics of venerable passive speakers such as the Beovox CX50 and CX100 with the advantages of sophisticated WLAN technology?

Upcycled Beovox CX50 with Akustikstoff.com speaker fabricThere is indeed, at an amazingly high level. The solution entered the market last year: the Beocreate 4CA. This four-channel amplifier, designed by the Swiss company HiFiBerry together with Bang & Olufsen, updates passive loudspeakers to state-of-the-art active speakers with full wireless functionality in a few simple steps. Even better, this handy DIY solution works with speakers from all manufacturers.

The folks at HiFiBerry refer to the digital upgrade of vintage speakers as “upcycling”, and it doesn’t sound odd: Updating excellent passive hi-fi speakers surely makes much more sense than the »creative« utilisation of (most often new) Euro pallets for trendy but rather uncomfortable garden furniture and the reuse of scrap tire snippets as equally uncomfy shoe soles.

And if you’re already about to upcycle your speakers with the smart Beocreate device, why not attach new cloth to your speakers as well? After all, the speaker fabric used with most B&O speakers is extremely delicate and most probably got a bit long in the dent anyway – just like may be the case with most other vintage speakers. Unfortunately, most manufacturers have been a bit too keen on saving a few quid by using budget speaker fabric. But the HiFiBerry staff have also spent a few thoughts on the visual refurbishment of old speakers: They’ve come up with a blog post in which they describe how to replace the speaker cloth of the popular 80s classics Beovox CX50 and CX100. It’s more or less a matter of course that they also rely on the highest possible quality for the speaker fabric. That’s why they recommend products from Akustikstoff.com: https://www.hifiberry.com/blog/changing-the-spaker-fabric-of-your-beovox -cx-50 cx100

HiFiBerry is no stranger to DIY hi-fi circles around the world: The leading provider of audio add-ons for the Raspberry Pi has a clear focus on high-quality sound. For several years, HiFiBerry has been developing hardware-on-top modules and digital interfaces – some of them with onboard amplifiers that are mounted directly on the Raspberry Pi. HiFiBerry boards can be used to create streaming players and media centres, but also to customise multi-room setups.

Scandinavian Design Meets Our Acoustic Cloth

Excellent workmanship, glorious Scandinavian design, and individual, custom-made production a– that’s what the Danish carpenter Per Plauborg and his company Hifimøbler.dk stand for.

AV furniture from Hifimøbler.dk, with cover fabric from Akustikstoff.comPer’s aim is to make custom-made AV furniture of outstanding quality that meets any customer’s individual taste and demand. All furniture is tailored to the individual customer in terms of color, size, number of shelves, cable holes, and any accessories, such as drawers and legs, wheels, and wall-mounting options. This way, AV furniture from Hifimøbler.dk suits any audio and video equipment and at the same time contributes to an elegant Scandinavian home furnishing style.

AV furniture from Hifimøbler.dk, with speaker fabric from Akustikstoff.comIf you want your Hifi and video equipment as well as similar gear ready for use at all times but still perfectly hidden away in a great piece of handmade design furniture,  Hifimøbler.dk will provide the perfect solution. All furniture is prepared for inside and outside cabling within and between the modules. This way, all cables are hidden, ensuring that the living room always looks tidy and stylish. Even better, these great pieces of furniture come at a price you’d usually expect for standard run-of-the-mill pieces.

Per Plauborg uses fabrics from Akustikstoff.comPer places great emphasis on quality and the compelling craftsmanship of which he is justifiably proud. It’s no wonder, then, that he has chosen fabrics from Akustikstoff.com for the front covers of his furniture. The outstanding acoustic properties of these acoustic fabrics ensure perfect sound reproduction even if the speakers are placed behind the doors. At the same time, the specially designed  acoustic cloth lets infrared signals pass through, so remote controls even work with closed doors.

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