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Cement, Sand, Water

Concrete Audio loudspeaker systems made of concrete at High End 2015 Munich

At this year´s High End, Europes leading show for high quality audio, Concrete Audio introduces a new on-wall speaker.

Last year at the High End show introduced as a study, the innovative draft has been developed into maturity and will be available from end of the year.

“The F1, a full active flat panel speaker made of concrete, is the result of a research cooperation with the Fraunhofer-Institut IDMT in Ilmenau.” explains Frank Nebel, owner of the speaker manufactury.

The ultra flat concrete body together with the patented array-technology forms an innovative speaker system. 41 electrodynamic mini-speakers act like one large membrane, allowing for a total depth of only 32 millimetres and giving a convincing performance.

The F1 is placed, just like a picture, directly on the wall and appears despite a weight of 12 kg very filigree.

The loudspeaker can be hidden or be an eye catcher, harmonises with various interiors, and, thanks to wireless connection, suits multi-room installation.

Especially, but not only for audio purists, Concrete Audio shows the passive floorstanding loudspeaker N1, designed for a completely natural sound reproduction without any loss of quality.

The enclosures are made of special high-strength concrete, that reliably prevents vibrations.

Concrete Audio speaker systems are produced in a limited edition in Germany.

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Concrete Audio F1 wins the German Design Award

The F1 Flat Panel Speaker System by Concrete Audio in Weimar wins one of the leading german design prices, the German Design Award 2015.

The model F1 combines an ultra flat concrete body with the patented array-technology of the Fraunhofer IDMT to form an innovative speaker system. 41 electrodynamic mini-speakers act like one large membrane, allowing for a total depth of only 32 millimetres and giving a convincing performance.
The enclosure of the Concrete Audio F1 is made of special high-strength concrete. This material reliably prevents vibrations of the enclosure. The curing process makes each piece a unique loudspeaker - identical in shape and surface quality, but individually in terms of grain.
With a design reduced to the essential, this loudspeaker can be hidden or be an eye catcher, and therefore harmonises with various interiors. The F1 is placed, just like a picture, directly on the wall and can be connected wireless and via cable, respectively.

The German Design Award is the international premium prize of the German Design Council. Prizes are awarded to high-quality products and projects from product and communications design, design personalities and newcomers for their pioneering contributions to the german and international design landscape.

The prestigious German Design Award enjoys considerable public attention thanks to the reputation of the awarding body, the German Design Council, who has for the past sixty years represented the german design scene.

The goal of the German Design Award is to discover, present and award prizes to
exceptional design trends.

The award ceremony took place in February 13th, 2015 in Frankfurt.

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS MODEL F1

Housing:
System:
Frequency range:
Max. SPL/1 m:
Ports:
Dimensions (H x W x D):
Net weight/piece:

Concrete, monolithically poured
2-way-array, closed-box, active, DSP, Class-D
100 Hz – 20,000 Hz
98 dB (10 % THD at f = 100 Hz; < 3 % THD at f > 200 Hz)
digital: Audiofly Syncronice wireless
57,5 cm (22,6 in) x 39 cm (15,4 in) x 3,2 cm (1,3 in)
12 kg (26,4 lbs)

The technical data of the Concrete Audio F1 is the result of an extensive acoustic survey by the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, Ilmenau. The data was charted using a low reflection chamber of the Class 1 (according to ISO 3745) to Requirements of DIN 60268-5.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Audiofly Syncronice wireless device:

48 kHz, 16 bit I2S Digital Audio
20 Hz to 21 kHz Frequency Response
2.4 GHz Frequency Band
High Quality of Service (QoS)
Very high signal stability with adaptive frequency hopping.
Inaudible delay with extremely low latency
HPX™ Audiocodec
THD+N better than 0,01%
All systems run without drivers and Apps
Fast and simple expansion
24 bit, 96 kHz Stereo D/A- Convertor from Cirrus Logic

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Nomination for German Design Award

F1 Speaker by Concrete Audio

The F1 Flat Panel Speaker System by Concrete Audio in Weimar is now in with a chance to win this years most prestigious german design price, the German Design Award 2015. The German Design Council recently announced the nomination of Concrete Audio's F1 model for the Computer and Entertainment subcategory of the Excellent Product Design award.

The prestigious German Design Award enjoys considerable public attention thanks to the reputation of the awarding body, the German Design Council, who have for the past sixty years represented the german design scene and for Concrete Audio the nomination alone is a gesture of the highest distinction. The award ceremony takes place in February 2015.

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Cement, sand, water – ingredients for perfect sound

Concrete Audio at HIGH END in Munich

"Dynamic, authentic, vibrant", these are the attributes Weimar-based startup company Concrete Audio - who is presenting itself for the first time to an international audience at mHIGH END in Munich - uses to describe its loudspeaker system that's hand-made from cement, sand, water and high-tech in a limited edition. Following the official launch of its concrete loudspeakers in July 2013 at Weimar, the presentation at the leading trade fair in the segment of high-quality consumer electronics aims to raise the Weimar-based loudspeaker factory's profile on the national and international stage.

Frank Nebel, who founded the loudspeaker factory in 2010 at Weimar, combines high-tech, craftsmanship and practical design to create an audiophile loudspeaker system. Having studied music and mechanical engineering, he has the theoretical background to know how music, in its pristine form, needs to sound in an acoustic panorama to get audio connoisseurs excited.

The idea of a housing made of concrete came about during a conversation on the ultimate sound for loudspeakers. The result: concrete as the perfect material, but one that's hard to tame. "That was the beginning of an elaborate and equally passionate experiment, borne by craftsmanship and attention to detail", Frank Nebel says. This was followed by several years of development work and numerous test runs to find the ideal solution for mould, construction and material combination. This process culminated in the founding of the Concrete Audio Loudspeaker Factory which, in the summer of 2013, presented the N1 model in the classical city of Weimar.

The presentation at HIGH END is focusing on the N1 loudspeaker system. Concrete Audio will also be showing a flat panel loudspeaker in the form of a study developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology, IDMT. The creative design demonstrates that concrete can also show a delicate side without neglecting the key role in plays in terms of sound and design. For the concept, Fraunhofer IDMT's flat panel loudspeaker technology was combined with Concrete Audio's material design philosophy.

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Concrete Audio: Loudspeaker system N1

Special concrete for sound connoisseurs and design aficionados

Perceiving instruments naturally, the singer's breath, the sound of a string on the fingerboard or the movement of an ensemble on stage - sound connoisseurs want all of this when their own four walls need to substitute the concert hall or live stage. The N1 concrete loudspeaker system from Concrete Audio transports the complete sound spectrum into any space, making every nuance tangible. And it's also a cool eye-catcher for the trendy home.

Cement, sand, water, in other words concrete, are the materials for the N1 loudspeaker system. "The inadequacies of existing audio systems and the search for the perfect sound gave us the motivation to develop a loudspeaker that also satisfies the most exacting demands on sound and listening enjoyment", says Frank Nebel, founder of Concrete Audio, explaining his reasons for choosing concrete, the tough material that is castable in almost any shape and, most importantly, resistant to vibration.

Concrete Audio manufactures N1's housing from special high-strength concrete. Its high specific gravity and amorphous structure, Concrete Audio say, reliably prevent the housing of these high-end loudspeakers from oscillating and corrupting the sound. In a special casting process, the housing is produced in a single mould that is closed and sealed on all sides. This monolithic structure is lined internally with various viscoelastic layers of sound-dampening materials to prevent any reflections.

For sound-related reasons, Concrete Audio dispenses with any bass reflection tuning. This results in an extremely low distortion factor and audible precision even at very high levels. The manufacturer uses drivers from the Danish company Scan Speak which has an international reputation of being a strong innovator. These make it possible to configure the signal path with a very small number of selected components: 6-dB filters fitted with copper foil coils and
special concrete for sound connoisseurs and design aficionados silver-gold capacitors of the finest quality. According to the manufacturer, this produces are extensively loss-free signal path while permitting very direct control of the linear-tuned selected pairs of precision drivers.

Frank Nebel: "The sound produced by an N1 is brilliant and rich in detail with extremely fine nuances pervading a room in high definition. All instruments are distinctly positioned in the panorama, voices clearly structured and natural. Bass comes in when it's needed. The overall impression remains pleasantly neutral. Nothing is added or omitted – in short: music in pristine form."

The exquisite design goes well with contemporary home environments. It consistently meets the functional requirements without neglecting the demands
of aesthetic style. The N1 loudspeaker system is capable of conjuring exceptional spatial settings that place the spotlight on qualities, such as listening, feeling and seeing. Each loudspeaker is unique – identical in shape and surface quality, individual in terms of its grain. The surface provides several sealing options to underscore the material's natural feel.

Sales, delivery as well as positioning and calibration are handled directly through Concrete Audio. Worldwide, the company gives its customers the opportunity to sample the loudspeaker systems in exclusive showrooms or live with them for 14 days in their own surroundings without obligation.

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Why concrete? Technical backround

Unlike the body of a musical instrument, good loudspeaker housing should not vibrate, as modern drivers (the actual loudspeaker in the box) today render the full sound spectrum linearly.

But if the housing itself does vibrate due to its construction or materials (wood, plastic), then those vibrations affect performance by amplifying or diminishing certain sympathetic frequencies within the sound spectrum. It is a complicated physical process with a simple and clearly audible consequence:

The music does not sound original, it sounds distorted and unnatural.

Here, the difference with musical instruments is clear. It is desirable that the natural resonant frequencies of a violin body should colour the instruments sound. It is only in this way that timbre comes to distinguish a Stradivarius from other violins. The only sound that should be heard from a good loudspeaker is the input signal, nothing more and nothing less.

Concrete is:

Very heavy.

Its weight and high density prevent it from vibrating.

Irregularly structured.

Vibrations can not spread.

Castable in any form.

It is possible to cast a very robust loudspeaker housing with one single pour.

We manufacture the housing of our loudspeakers made from high-strength concrete. By means of a special casting process, the housing is cast out of one single body with all sides closed and sealed.
The monolithic structure has no internal walls in parallel and is lined with different layers of sound absorbing materials to prevent any possible reflections. The result is a resonance free housing that lets the driver function as it is intended.

Music in its original form.

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS MODEL N1

Housing:
System:
Frequency range:
Power handling:
Sensitivity:
Total Harmonic Distortion:
Nominal impedance:
Crossover frequency:
Ports:
Dimensions:
Height:
Width:
Depth:
Net weight/piece:

Concrete, monolithically poured
2-way closed-box, passive
34 Hz – 40,000 Hz
100 W
83 dB (1 W/1 m)
< 1% at 90 dB SPL (1 m), f > 100 Hz
4 Ohms
6 dB/2,000 Hz
Single-wiring/bi-wiring

110 cm (43,3 in)
23 cm (9,1 in)
33 cm (13 in)
80 kg (176 lbs)

The technical data of the Concrete Audio N1 is the result of an extensive acoustic survey by the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, Ilmenau. The data was charted using a low reflection chamber of the Class 1 (according to ISO 3745) to Requirements of DIN 60268-5.

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