AudioSlave: A Concrete Conquest

The most recent innovation in home stereos will have your jaw dropping. Hip, New York based audio company, Master & Dynamic is leading this revolution with their newest speakers made of, incredible as it seems, concrete. The world is seeing how the post modern designer is starting to get obsessed with this material- a simultaneously playful and serious reference to the Brutalism of modern architecture. A notable mention is the Catalonian trio of architects that won the Pritzker this year, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, who repeatedly use the material, magically molding and commanding impossible texture and tones into it.

Master-And-Dynamic-MA77-Concrete-Speaker-1

Concrete furniture is becoming a favorite with designers, too, especially those who love to embrace the curve, innovating and introducing the material in completely unpredictable ways. And we are loving it.

But concrete speakers? Isn’t concrete supposed to be the devil, when it comes to acoustics? The saving grace, though- a material this sturdy would be immune to wasteful vibrations, making it a somewhat good choice material for a stereo system. Other light-duty materials like the standard plastic and wood don’t put up so well, inevitably creating aural impurities. “You want all that energy to be pushed out as sound,”  Briggs, says. Generally, this is done by thickening the cabinet walls and adding internal braces that reinforce the internal structure. Now Master and Dynamic have picked up exactly on this unique feature of concrete to withstand vibration, and optimized it. By mixing rock and stones with a handful of polymers to create a unique kind of concrete that absorbs echoes better, they have, it seems, managed to create a speaker that sounds as sleek as it looks.

Master and Dynamic MA770

The architectural MA770 is making waves with its unique design. As you might guess, it is a pleasure to look at, with its design that was arrived at to further minimize echo and optimize aural realism. And this sculptural speaker is not exactly light, which, according to Briggs, only enhances its artistic and luxury appeal.


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