The Latest News on Acoustic Speaker Cloth – and Us

Tag: speaker fabric

»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.

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.

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!

B&O Beolab 8000 Speakers Looking Like New Again

Beolab8000-with-akustikstoff-acoustic-clothThe Beolab 8000 from Bang&Olufsen an iconic example of elegant styling and good performance . It was one of the most successful B&O loudspeakers ever, remaining in the range for 18 years without any major change. Many music and home theatre lovers still hold the Beolab 8000 in the highest regard and consider it a purchase for life—no wonder in view of the whopping £2940 you had to cough up per piece in 2010 , which was the last year of production.

 

But as the saying goes, nothing is perfect. In the case of the Beolab 8000, the delicate speaker grill cloth was a definite downside. It didn’t take long and the speaker fabric looked much older than it actually was, which compromised the design (and reduced the value) of the speakers considerably.

 

refurbishment-of-beolab8000-with-akustikstoff-acoustic-fabricLuckily, it is quite easy and inexpensive to return the speaker front to its former glory. Our standard acoustic cloth does a perfect job on the Beolab 8000. Even better, the readily available 42 colours of Akustikstoff.com speaker fabric provide the opportunity to achieve a totally new, individual visual appearance and adapt them to your personal taste in a very unique way.

 

 

 

Beolab8000-with-akustikstoff-acoustic-cloth   Beolab8000-with-akustikstoff-acoustic-cloth

Speaker refurbishment of B&O Beolab 8000 with black Akustikstoff.com acoustic speaker cloth.

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

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?

Musikmesse 2017 – Review

akustikstoff-musikmesse2For the first time ever, Akustikstoff.com took part in the Frankfurt Musikmesse.  Together with the studio builder Professional Media Solutions, we had a share of the joint stand provided by  ES Pro Audio, and we presented our acoustic fabrics to international trade and industry professionals. We introduced six new colours and talked to numerous studio builders, acoustic experts, speaker and equipment manufacturers, stage builders, and, of course, musicians.

The response was consistently positive and encouraging. It confirmed that our range of acoustically transparent fabrics is truly unparalleled worldwide. Professionals were especially impressed by the remarkable properties of our Acoustic Cloth 2.0, which is water-repellent , stain-resistant, and flame-retardant.  Our newly developed PA-Type Acoustic Cloth also attracted great attention – as well as Acoustic Cloth Custom, the custom-dyed speaker fabric that is available in all Pantone™ textile colours starting at as little as one single roll.

Here’s a couple of impressions from the busy days in Frankfurt:

Akustikstoff.com auf der Musikmesse 2017

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Stand construction on Tuesday evening. Will everything be ready in time?

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2027 – Stand construction: metres of acoustic fabric still need to be stapled to the wall coverings

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2027 – Stand construction: metres of acoustic fabric still need to be stapled to the booth wall coverings

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2017 – Stand construction.

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2017 – Stand construction. Later in the evening, things are slowly taking shape, and Steve from Professional Media Solutions is taking some photos.

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2017 – During stand construction we suddenly realise that we did not have a proper sign. In a cloak-and-dagger operation, we have it designed and made at our premises on Tuesday evening …

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2017 – During stand construction we suddenly realise that we did not have a proper sign. In a cloak-and-dagger operation, we have it designed and made at our premises on Tuesday evening …

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2027 – Production of the signs for our booth using our laser

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2027 – Production of the signs for our booth using our laser

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2017 – The signs fresh from the laser

Akustikstoff @ Musikmesse 2017 – The signs fresh from the laser

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 - The sign, finally mounted at the fair stand

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – The sign, finally mounted at the fair stand

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Outside view of the fair booth

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Outside view of the fair booth

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Our acoustic fabrics on display

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Our acoustic fabrics on display

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Great colours on display

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Great colours on display

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Nicely looking absorbers fitted with our speaker fabric

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Nicely looking absorbers fitted with our speaker fabric

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Absorber wall equipped with acoustic cloth

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Absorber wall equipped with acoustic cloth

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Our stand host Erich Strich playing a spontaneous guitar solo. Impressive!

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Our stand host Erich Strich playing a spontaneous guitar solo. Impressive!

Carlos Juan @ Akustikstoff.com's fair stand dat Musikmesse 2017

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Visit from the master himself: Our friend Carlos Juan, the brain behind the famous acoustic guitar pickups and amps, which are used by Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana, John Fogerty, George Benson … (the list goes on and on).

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Ryan from Mäag Audio, Benny and Robert from Professional Media Solutions

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Ryan from Mäag Audio, Benny and Robert from Professional Media Solutions

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Cliff from Mäag Audio fighting with a power cord

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Cliff from Mäag Audio fighting with a power cord

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Taking souvenir photos at the end of the fair

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2017 – Taking souvenir photos at the end of the fair

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2027 – The guys from Mäag Audio, Professional Media Solutions, and Akustikstoff.com

Akustikstoff.com @ Musikmesse 2027 – The guys from Mäag Audio, Professional Media Solutions, and Akustikstoff.com

Akustikstoff.com at Musikmesse 2017

musikmesse2017Visit us at Musikmesse 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, on 4 – 8 April.

You’ll find us in hall 9 on level 0 in the Professional Media Solutions section of the Erwin Strich ES-ProAudio joint stand F40.

Musikmesse provides an ideal opportunity for a first-hand impression of our acoustic fabrics in all available colours and variants. Professional Media Solutions will also display several demonstrative application examples equipped with our speaker cloth.

Why not drop by at our stand, discover numerous applications of our speaker fabrics in a professional sound studio environment, and receive a complete sample swatch with all new colours that will be available just in time for the fair?

We are looking forward to meeting you in hall 9.0 at stand F40 and to a stimulating conversation!

Add a Touch of Individual Colour!

akustikstoff-custom-as-colourful-as-natureSpring has come and is getting us all in the mood for fresh and vibrant colours. We’ve drawn on the colour explosion around us to come up with something as diverse as a flowerbed: Acoustic Cloth Custom, the acoustic fabric dyed in the colour of your choice. 

Forget about colour limitations when you’re looking for a quality acoustically transparent fabric for speaker grilles as well as for AV furniture and wall panelling in sound studios, showrooms, and exhibition booths! Simply have the fabric dyed in the colour your design concept requires.

Our Acoustic Cloth Custom meets the needs of any studio designer, exhibition stand builder, and interior designer: The fabric makes it possible to design rooms and exhibition booths in the clients’ corporate colours without any compromise, because Acoustic Cloth Custom is dyed according to your colour specifications.

Acoustic Cloth Custom is the speaker fabric that perfectly suits your individual colour and design concept for all speakers, absorbers, diffusors, and acoustically transparent panels. Wherever an acoustic fabric of outstanding quality  is required, Acoustic Cloth Custom ensures a unique and harmonious appearance – with all the beneficial properties that characterise our products. When you choose Acoustic Cloth 2.0, the fabric is even stain-resistant, water-repellent, and flame-retardant.

All Pantone™ TC and TCX colours can be applied – making it possible to reproduce virtually any colour. And even better: Your individual colour is available from as little as a single roll of 46 metres.