The Latest News on Acoustic Speaker Cloth – and Us

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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.

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

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.

DIY acoustic pictures

So-called acoustic pictures for home use are very much in vogue. These sound-absorbing elements improve the acoustics of a room by eliminating unwanted sound reflections, and they can look good too.

The good thing is that there’s a quick and inexpensive way of making them as a DIY project: The first step is the construction of a wooden frame with an edge height of about 5 centimetres. Then, a special acoustic foam such as Basotect is tightly inserted in the frame. Finally,  the front of the entire construction is covered with an acoustically transparent fabric, such as Acoustic Cloth.

Akustikstoff.com fabrics are particularly robust and elastic, which ensures easy processing in the DIY workshop. Our Youtube channel provides a number of practical tutorials that apply to loudspeaker frames as well as for acoustic pictures.

akustikbild oder schallbild aus akustikstoffHave a look at the photos one of our customer has kindly provided to give an impression of how good such DIY acoustic pictures with our Acoustic Cloth can look in a room. Thanks to a choice of 42 colours and a further nine metallic shades, there are no limits to creativity here.

Of course, you can give your DIY sound pictures a further individual touch by painting them with suitable textile colors. Just make sure that the colour doesn’t clog the pores of the acoustic fabric.

To fix the textile colours, the polyester speaker fabric can be ironed at up to 175 ° C. Simply put a piece of thin, flat cloth between the Acoustic Cloth and the iron. It makes some sense to mount the fabric on the frame only after fixing the paint. If you do so, make sure that the picture isn’t spoiled by uneven tension. And if this appears to be too tricky,  you can also mount  the fabric on the frame first, then paint it like canvas on a stretcher frame, then fix the colors by ironing from behind, and finally insert the acoustic foam tightly in the frame. Just make sure not to paint the areas of the Acoustic Cloth that are right on top of the frame, as you cannot iron these areas properly afterwards.

Please note that  due to its water-repellent and stain-resistant properties, Acoustic Cloth 2.0 is not suitable for painting.

New Top-notch Studio Relies on Our Acoustic Cloth

Akustikstoff von www.akustikstoff.com im Studio A der Kung Fu Studios Berlin (Marek Pompetzki)The newly opened Kung Fu Studios in the hip Berlin neighbourhood of Kreuzberg are the latest top address for world-class hit productions made in Germany. Replacing the former Numarek sound studios, the new recording facilities are the residence of Marek Pompetzki, Paul NZA, and Cecil Remmler—presumably today’s most successful producer team in Germany.

The trio has ranked among the German top producers for several years now, and the three guys churn out productions that do not have to shy away from comparison on even the highest international level: The sound of German rapper Sido bears the mark of Pompetzki & Co.  just as much as countless other recordings by artists such as Miley Cyrus, Kelly Rowland, Nico Santos, Max Herre, Cassandra Steen, Deichkind, or Ivy Quainoo … the list could go on for a while.

Akustikstoff von www.akustikstoff.com im Aufnahmeraum der Kung Fu Studios Berlin (Marek Pompetzki)Recording technology and acoustics at the Kung Fu Studios meet the highest technical standards, of course. At the same time, the premises provide plenty of room for creative work and offer a convincingly appealing, pleasant work environment.

Akustikstoff von www.akustikstoff.com im Studio D der Kung Fu Studios Berlin (Marek Pompetzki)It goes without saying that the producer team also insisted on highest quality when it came to choosing the sound-transprent cover fabric for the acoustic cladding elements and absorbers in the recording and control rooms. That’s why they chose Acoustic Cloth by Akustikstoff.com in fig, anthracite, and other colours.

If you want to know more about the new sound studio, check out this interesting tour on Youtube.

Akustikstoff von www.akustikstoff.com im Studio B der Kung Fu Studios Berlin (Marek Pompetzki)

Great Metallic Lustre, 9 Colours: Metallic Line Extended!

Akustikstoff.com Metallic Line speaker cloth comes in nine great coloursA speaker cover that matches the trendy rose gold of the iPhone? Why not! What might have been a dream for some of us has now become possible. We have extended the Metallic Line of our Acoustic Cloth with another five amazingly authentic, shiny colours. The truly unique speaker fabric now comes in nine highly attractive metallic hues. In addition to classics such as gold, silver, and copper, there’s speaker cloth in gorgeous steel blue, enormously authentic antique bronze, and brightly shining aluminium, among others.

Akustikstoff.com Metallic Line speaker cloth closeupMetallic Line acoustic fabric opens up completely new possibilities for loudspeaker, absorber, and studio design. The acoustically transparent, Oecotex-certified fabric also comes in particularly handy as a decorative fabric wherever a sophisticated and stylish metallic lustre is required—in interior design, fair stand construction, and shipbuilding, for instance.

Best visit the online shop for an overview or, even better, order a set of sample swatches immediately!

Introducing Metallic Line Acoustic Cloth

Metallic Line Akustikstoff - metallic speaker fabricHotter and even more value for money: We’re proudly presenting our new Metallic Line Acoustic Cloth. The new fabric replaces our old “Metal Line” speaker cloth and is readily available in four great colours: Gold, Silver, Copper, and Brass. More colour options will follow suit.

The new speaker grille cloth is made of 100% polyester. Thanks to  an improved production processes, we were able to change the material composition. The new Metallic Line fabrics are made of 100% polyester. This means that our entire product range is now certified according to the German “Oekotex-Standard”, the most valuable eco-seal for textiles and clothing. It will remain our well-kept secret, however, how we achieve the further improved metallic shine.

Even better: The new speaker fabric is even more reasonably priced. The new production process made it possible to produce the speaker grille fabric at a width of 164 centimetres, but  we didn’t change the price per metre. In other words: more value for money per square metre!

Why not have a look at the new products instantly? 

Opacity of Speaker Fabric – Technical Basics and Best Practice

You can’t eat the cake and have it:
Why an acoustically transparent fabric can’t be 100 percent opaque

“Is your Acoustic Cloth really opaque?” That’s a question our customers ask quite frequently. After all,  speaker fabric from Akustikstoff.com is primarily used to hide loudspeakers, AV equipment or whatever else as elegantly as possible without impairing acoustic transparency.

Strong contrast leads to marking with any acoustically transparent fabric.

Marking with acoustically transparent fabric: a deep black background remains somewhat visible under white speaker fabric.

The theoretical ideal is obvious, of course: absolute acoustic transparency plus absolute opacity (i.e., the opposite of transparency) at the same time. Unfortunately, the laws of physics counteract this ideal, since both sound and light are waves – temporal and local periodical changes of a physical quantity in the dry language of physics.

 

It’s all about waves

As sound propagates through the mechanical deformation of a medium, in our case by changes in air pressure, everything that is in the way acts like a kind of barrier: It is moved itself and starts vibrating, this way absorbing energy from the impinging waves, and it reduces the amplitude, i.e., the magnitude of the oscillation. That’s why a completely closed, airtight surface always attenuates sound waves. Depending on the material, the sound is “swallowed” by resonance and usually reflected or diffused to a certain degree at the same time.

Put the other way round, high acoustic transparency is simply impossible without openings, through which air – and thus the sound – can penetrate. Even the smallest apertures, however, can also be penetrated by visible light, which has a much shorter-wavelength. This effect can be experienced in a striking manner in a completely darkened room as soon as the door does not close completely on all four sides of the door frame.

 

Crucial: the higher frequency range

Insufficient acoustic transparency is most noticeable in the higher frequencies within the normal range of human perception: the short-wave, low-energy high frequencies and high mids are attenuated first, while energetic, relatively long-wave bass frequencies are noticeably less hindered. In practice, this means that unsuitable or inferior cloth for acoustically active elements usually eliminates exactly those acoustic frequencies that are of utmost importance for a sophisticated, well differentiated sonic image.

 

Exploring the limits of physics

The secret of high-quality Acoustic Cloth is that it lets sound waves pass through virtually unimpeded but blocks the light waves as much as possible. At Akustikstoff.com, we’ve performed a lot of research and development work to get this physical balancing act done in the best possible way. Nevertheless, it is in the nature of things that both objectives can’t be achieved to the full at the same time. In addition, there’s a third, no less important aspect to be considered in the development of loudspeaker cloth, and we’ve put quite some effort in it: robustness. That’s why all covering fabrics from Akustikstoff.com are remarkably durable and are very easy to process while they feature the highest possible opacity and excellent sound transparency. We’ll go a bit more into details on this in a separate article in the near future.

 

The opacity of dark speaker fabric is higher than that of brightly-coloured speaker cloth.

In pure incident light, dark colours tend to be more opaque than bright colours. Here in comparison: black and white.

Three typical problems with acoustically transparent fabrics

Typically, problems with the opacity of acoustically transparent covering fabrics occur when there’s a strong contrast between a speaker cloth in a light colour and rather dark objects behind it, when there’s light from behind, and when a source of strong incident light is pointed directly at the surface of the Acoustic Cloth.

 

Decrease contrast, increase distance

The most important measure to prevent translucency is to keep the contrast between the covering fabric and the objects behind it as low as possible. It is worthwhile, for instance, to varnish the cover frames and fronts of speaker cabinets and sound absorbers, in matt white if they are to be covered with white acoustics.

In addition, a larger distance between the background and the Acoustic Cloth helps prevent translucency. If, however, the speakers installed in a white housing have pitch black diaphragms, these will nevertheless remain visible under most lighting conditions. In some cases, this may even be desired since the effect can also be very elegant depending on taste and design. A similar transparency effect may occur with absorbers: If grey absorber material (think Basotect®) is covered with a piece of white Acoustic Cloth, the surface will often not appear in pure white, but rather in light grey.

Contrast of black and white with speaker cloth

The two pieces of speaker fabric illustrate the intensive contrast of black and white. However, the contrast between black and yellow is even stronger.

Contrast of black and yellow with Acoustic Cloth from Akustikstoff.com

The strongest contrast: black and yellow – in this case illustrated with two pieces of Acoustic Cloth from Akustikstoff.com

By the way, the contrast between black and yellow is even stronger – hence the colour combination of yellow and black for safety markings.

 

Avoid translucency from behind

A certain degree of optical transparency remains unavoidable if acoustically transparent fabric is exposed to backlight: Similar as with a curtain, the contours – or even more – of objects placed behind a piece of Acoustic Cloth will become recognizable if light is permeating the fabric directly from behind. This problem occurs mainly with AV furniture such as soundboards, soundbars, and lowboards. To avoid this “curtain effect”, place your AV furniture cleverly to prevent daylight from shining through and don’t put any artificial light sources behind the furniture.

 

Strong incident light leads to transparency

Strong, bundled light that is directed right at the front on the speaker fabric can also lead to transparency effects: The light penetrates the Acoustic Cloth, is reflected by the objects behind the cloth in the opposite direction, permeates the fabric again and this way leads to a certain degree of transparency. Such effects can be prevented by not pointing any light source directly at the fabric, rather using diffuse light, and ensuring a lateral light incident.

 

Heavy stretching makes speaker cloth increasingly less opaque.

The “curtain effect”: The higher the tension under which the elastic speaker fabric was mounted, the more transparent the speaker cloth becomes. The photo shows a piece of heavily stretched Acoustic Cloth with bright sunlight from behind.

Mind the tension                

The tension that is applied when processing our acoustic fabric is has a considerable influence on its optical transparency: The more intense the elastic fabric is stretched, the wider the meshes become. While heavily stretching a meshed fabric may improve its acoustical transparency (you won’t really need to do this with Akustikstoff.com Acoustic Cloth, as the utmost sound transparency was our primary design objective), it also changes the opacity of the material. This can lead to the so-called “curtain effect”: especially in the case of backlight, the fabric becomes progressively less opaque with growing tension. In such a case, it is necessary to experiment somewhat before final assembly.

 

Use two layers?

Depending on the application, it may be possible to use two layers of Acoustic Cloth to improve the opacity of the speaker fabric. The acoustic losses, an additional reduction by approx. 1-2 dB at approx. 8-9 kHz, are well within the acceptable range. Even if you use two layers of our Acoustic Cloth, acoustic transparency remains distinctly higher than that of other single-layer materials*. However, it is necessary to work very carefully in order to avoid the dreaded moiré patterns that the fine structures of the fabric may cause when they’re spatially overlapped. To a certain extent, this can be avoided by using the more structured surface of the fabric as the outer side at the front and the second layer with the slightly smoother side outwards. Then twist the two layers of fabric against each other until the moiré effect disappears. Again, some experimenting prior to the final fixation of the speaker fabric will ensure an optimal result.

*Schmid, Johannes: “Messungen zur akustischen Durchlässigkeit verschiedener Textilien“. Jade Hochschule University, Oldenburg, Germany, September 2015

Akustikstoff.com at High End 2017 in Munich

Akustikstoff.com @ High End 2017, MunichMore or less as a matter of course, our acoustic fabrics were present at this year’s High End fair in Munich, Germany. Especially the Austrian high end speaker manufacturer Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur presented a large variety of acoustically active elements that were nicely covered with our acoustic cloth.  Here are a few impressions from the fair booth.

We’d like to thank Mr. Andreas Steiner from Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur for the photos.

 

Akustikstoff.com yl High End 2017, MunichAkustikstoff @ High End 2017, MunichAkustikstoff @ High End 2017, MunichAkustikstoff @ High End 2017, Munich

Speaker Cloth in Another 12 Crisp and Luscious Colours!

The new 2017 colours from Akustikstoff.comWe have extended the range of available colours for our speaker fabrics again! The new colour variants include timeless classics that go especially well with natural materials as well as the latest trend colours—among them the Colour of the Year 2017, which is now available in our online shop as “Green Tea” (colour code 40 / 140). This means that this year’s most snazzy colour is now readily available as a high-grade acoustic fabric for loudspeakers, soundboards, door pods, absorbers and diffusors and much more. It is also the perfect match whenever shop fittings or trade fair booths require an acoustically transparent fabric.

All new colours are available for our standard acoustic cloth as well as for our water-repellent, flame-retardant and stain-resistant Acoustic Cloth 2.0.

42: The answer to life, the universe, and colours 
Our Acoustic Cloth and Acoustic Cloth 2.0 are now available in 42 various colours – immediately from stock, as handy pre-cuts as well as by the metre from the roll. You can be sure to find speaker fabric in the ideal colour for every purpose and taste .

Why not visit our shop right away and be inspired by the stunning variety of colours?

Server Migration

akustikstoff-server-umzugTo keep our online shop for acoustic cloth as fast and comfortable as possible, we will migrate our content to a new server on Tuesday, 09. May 2017. Shop, blog, and email may be down between 10.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. In urgent cases, please give us a phone call. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Wall Unit With Value Added

Mit Metal-Line-Akustikstoff von Akustikstoff.com zum Phonomöbel aufgewerteter SchrankKurt Büchler used our acoustically transparent Metal Line Speaker Cloth with its elegant metallic shine for a pretty smart DIY solution to turn his living room cabinet into a highly attractive phono wall unit.

The speakers are nicely hidden behind the silver speaker fabric, the cabinet appears much more elegant and has turned into a piece of true phono furniture that suits the room well and provides value added.

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