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Old 8th Apr 2021, 5:52 pm   #1
BrianAllen
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Default Speaker Fabric

Was speaker fabric used on vintage radio, specifically manufactured/woven for radio manufacturers or was it off the shelf material, so to speak?

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Old 8th Apr 2021, 10:04 pm   #2
Julesomega
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

I think it was woven for the radio industry but was available off the shelf - Tygan and the like.
I once got a radio for cheap because someone had cut a patch out of the front. I never got round to repairing it
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Old 8th Apr 2021, 10:16 pm   #3
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

Depends a lot on the age of set and manufacturer.

In the early 1930s companys like Murphy spend a great deal on design of the whole set, I suspect the speaker silks of these sets were specially woven.

There were fashions in speaker silks in the 1930s most being a bronze gold colour.

Post war some silks were clearly special to the manufacturer Philips springs to mind.

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Old 8th Apr 2021, 10:38 pm   #4
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

Back in the day (1950s, -60s, early 70s) most of the many now-long-gone component shops in larger towns and cities, stocked speaker fabric, often in rolls of a fair range of colours/patterns. ISTR green/black mixtures were popular in the 60s and 70s. Nowadays, it seems you have to look hard to find colours other than black or white.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 5:13 am   #5
Simondm
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

Not intended to be a thread hijack, but since the subject came up...

I assume Tygan is long gone, but what is the recommended alternative?

I've some fairly chunky BBC speakers I would like to refurbish, that were in a black material (that _might_ be Tygan). They use a metal frame to stretch the fabric over, so the "heat-shrink" feature might not be essential, but I have looked around the internet and not found anything nice so far (yup, probably looked in the wrong places!).

Any recommendations would be appreciated...

Optimistically, S.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 7:14 am   #6
stevehertz
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

You can search for pretty much anything using Google, no need to presume!
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 7:50 am   #7
BrianAllen
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

Found this link this morning Steve.

https://www.retrospecialist.co.uk/al...cloth-30-c.asp
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 7:51 am   #8
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*Sorry meant for Simon
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 8:30 am   #9
Cobaltblue
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

A very good range of classic speaker silks for mostly philips but others as well can be found here
https://www.bendijkman.nl/https://ww...oduct&ipath=14

You can also get silks woven for you by Corrien Mass
http://www.corrienmaas.nl/
she did one for my Murphy A8

Cheers

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Old 9th Apr 2021, 8:49 am   #10
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

Has anyone encountered any odd replacement fabrics?

One member here has a set which has the cloth replaced by someone who has a big round hole in their 1970s style pyjamas!
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 9:53 am   #11
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

Amongst the strange replacement speaker fabrics I have found a woven "raffia" table mat on a Bush (it was a scrapper)

I had a prewar Cossor arrive with something that looked like a faded deck chair.

When I pulled it apart (this was in the 1980's) to replace it with something better it was clear the fabric had already been there for decades.

There are too many to list but cotton sheets seemed to be a bit of a favourite.

Cheers

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Old 9th Apr 2021, 10:24 am   #12
cathoderay57
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

I bought a McMichael 362 (1936) in which somebody had fitted gold glittery fabric. If I had put a candlestick on top then Liberace would have been proud of it. Needless to say, the fabric had to go.... Jerry
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 11:32 am   #13
vidjoman
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

I’ve used cross stitch fabric on several refurbs. Fairly stiff with various weave patterns and available in white or colours or you could dye it yourself. A look online will give you a view if you’re not familiar with the material. Available at your local haberdashery or online.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 11:49 am   #14
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

I bought this in a few colours - is a good match to for speakers I have repaired ;

https://www.fabricuk.com/fabrics/711...el-fabric.html
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 12:29 pm   #15
peter_scott
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

An open weave fabric was also used for the rear panel of all the EMI first generation televisions I presume to allow heat to escape although there were only a very few small holes cut in the cabinet floor under the power supply so convection was fairly limited.

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Old 15th Apr 2021, 6:24 am   #16
Simondm
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Default Re: Speaker Fabric

Thanks everybody.

Sorry I didn't respond instantly - had a busy couple of weeks.

I followed all the links given with interest. After a lot of browsing, I think Restoration73 nailed it: I'm probably going with this (in black):

https://www.fabricuk.com/fabrics/711...el-fabric.html

It seems to be the best match to what was originally fitted: after taking a second careful look at the originals, I'm not sure that they are actually Tygan. These are large speakers (BBC LS 3/7s), and the cloth is stretched over a steel flat-bar frame, which is held onto the front of the speaker with black-anodised aluminium angle. I suspect they used impact adhesive to secure the fabric on the frame, so it didn't need to be shrunk.

I'm hoping to do a more "spouse-friendly" makeover, as these speakers have always irritated me slightly as being too industrial. It never mattered in a studio context (speaker aesthetics being the last thing on one's mind!), but at home, even in a traditional drawing room (albeit not large), they look, well, ugly, frankly.

I'll keep the original, slightly damaged covers, so any eventual new owner can revert to the original design should they wish to. With a bit of care, I think I can dramatically improve the look of them, and possibly even improve the sound very slightly too, by cutting out a 3/8" MDF shape to fit into the front recess, on top of the baffle board (probably held in place with velcro pads, similar to the LS3/5A arrangement). If the cutout for the drive units and bass port has a good bevel around it, it will eliminate the resonance across the opening. I can add veneer tape to the plywood edge that was hidden in the original design. That, and not mounting the heavy side handles, ought to vastly improve the look without compromising the sound of them. Usual care to avoid vibration buzzes, etc., and they should be quite smart.

Thanks once again for all the inputs.

Simonm.

PS: I like the idea of crosstitch fabric too (thanks Vidjoman!). My wife does them sometimes, and that weave is very close to the original fabric on the speakers. If the fabricuk stuff doesn't look right, that will be my next port of call.

Last edited by Simondm; 15th Apr 2021 at 6:35 am.
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