Barn Audio Labs, a Canadian speaker company started by Mark Mason, an award-winning audio designer, has launched a line of professionally engineered reclaimed wood speakers with an innovative combination of vintage materials and modern technology. The speakers are handcrafted, combining the beauty of reclaimed wood with audiophile-quality components, providing good quality sound.
“Artisanal products and reclaimed wood are extremely popular. They appeal to environmentally aware consumers who prioritize quality and unique design,” says Barn Audio Labs owner Mark Mason. “No one else offers top-end sound combined with reclaimed wood. We sourced the materials and local partners to really do this right, and are taking a rigorous, scientific approach to our product design.”
Mason’s claim is not accurate, since there are companies in Europe and the US that are already exploring the use of reclaimed wood. audioXpress previously highlighted the work of Fern & Roby, a design house located in Richmond, VA, with a range of speakers using reclaimed wood. See more details here. Still, Barn Audio Labs’ custom speaker cabinets showcase the wood’s unique character in a unique way.
According to the company, each batch of speakers is named after the wood source, such as the “Stouffville” batch, made from hemlock from an early 20th-century barn in Stouffville, ON. Boards are hand-selected to exacting standards based on character, color, and texture, then individually planed to optimal thickness, removing enough weathered material to ensure the board is solid while leaving as much patina as possible for a unique, beautiful finish on every speaker.
Reclaimed wood is special because every piece has a distinct character, color and texture. Even when working with one type of wood from the same source, no two boards are alike, as the surfaces have been exposed to different conditions over time. Good barn board choices and patience during the machining process results in boards with strong uncorroded cores.
Each cabinet is carefully assembled and clamped overnight to ensure the wood adhesive is fully cured. The real aged beauty appears with application of the first clear/sealer coat. Each assembled speaker undergoes full acoustic testing before being given a stamp of approval.
Engineered by Mason, based on his years of experience in the consumer electronics hi-fi audio industry, Barn Audio Labs speakers are extensively tested and sonically optimized. They feature a woofer with a laminate wood pulp cone and rubber surround, along with a Vifa soft-dome tweeter, which combine to produce high-performance sound.
“The design is what you would find in expensive, top-of-the-line brands,” says Mason. “The speakers look very unique, but the sound is equally impressive.” Barn Audio Labs speakers are produced in limited quantities, and are available for sale online in the company’s website.