Gallery: Specimen’s Hand-Crafted Horn Speakers Are Made from Recycled N...

The inspiration for the speaker's horn came to Schneller from his love of geometric form — although it may call up images of phonographs for some. "Those that think gramaphone or Victorla — it is a double sword, since it is a coincidence." To create the horn shape, sections of newsprint are cut from patterns. These patterns are each made following 3D mock ups of the horn's interior shape. The material is steam bent, similar to the process for guitar making.

Not only are Specimen’s horn speakers visually intriguing with their flared newsprint protrusion, but they project larger-than-life sound using only 3 watts of power. The technology employed was common in old movie theaters when speakers were placed behind the movie screen to give bold, room filling sound with very little energy usage. Today, performers will use a handful of horn speakers to greatly reduce their energy usage as compared with PA systems typical of today’s clubs and concert venues — these easily use 5,000 watts.

With a background in art, Ian Schneller began Specimen Products in 1981. Combining a love of handmade art with the practicality of building and repairing instruments for his friends and members of his own band, the business grew to become a manufacturer of specialized music equipment.


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