As new Bluetooth speakers hit the market, some manufacturers try to elevate their products above the competition by making a big deal of their ruggedness. There’s video evidence of the £50 Jacket H2O surviving being run over by a tractor, attacked by a machine gun, blasted with explosives and consumed by a fireball. It’s likely that you’re only ever going to take it on holiday or bung it in your car, but it’s good to know that if you do happen to end up in a war zone, it’s more likely to survive than you are.
Old Ironsides Amp
Recently the US Navy discovered a stash of oak used in the construction and repair of US warships in the late 18th and early 19th century. Submerged in water and mud, this wood was perfectly preserved and begging to be put to use by craftsmen of our time. Some of them work at Fender, and the result of their labour is the Old Ironsides amplifier, retailing for a cool $20,000 (around £16,000). Fender claim that it “imparts pronounced clarity and sharpness to the sound”; I’ve no idea about that, but just look at the thing. It screams “warship”.
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When our headphone cables are tangled, our instinct is to get a bit annoyed. Not Moscow-based sound artist Dmitry Morozov, who sees it as a creative opportunity. Volnovod is a sound sculpture with arms that twist the cables, a camera that captures their contortion and a sound generator that converts those images into soundscapes. Said soundscapes may or may not light your candle, but the ingenuity is undeniable.