Loudspeaker Mapu Preto
New thought: loudspeaker boxes
The Mapu Preto ("Black Earth") series of loudspeakers are widely acclaimed. Behind them are Pablo Ocqueteau and Philine von Düszeln with their start-up Documentary Design. Ocqueteau, who studied design in Chile, wants his designs to bridge the gap between tradition and modern technology, in other words, to create products that rely on traditional craftsmanship and at the same time are attractive to an international audience. With the Mapu Preto series, he has succeeded in this endeavor in exemplary fashion. But what is it that makes these remarkable boxes so special?
Portuguese craftsmanship meets Danish technology
Ocqueteau and von Düszeln produce the speaker cabinets in cooperation with potters from the village of Molelos in the Portuguese Terras de Besteiros. There, an artisan tradition in the production of black ceramics has existed for centuries. Their basis is a ferruginous clay, which is given its striking black color by a so-called reduction firing. In addition to the color, the high precision with which the housings are masterfully crafted on the potter's wheel is also astounding. The sophisticated acoustics lead to Denmark, more precisely to Struer, the home of Bang & Olufsen. That's where the "Sound Hub Denmark" is located, the world's first innovation environment for sound technology with first-class craft and testing facilities in a professional co-working environment. In 17 months of intensive work, the technology was developed there that, in interaction with the enclosures, creates the outstanding sound of the Mapu Preto loudspeakers. The components are brought together in the Hanseatic city of Bremen.
Sustainable: on principle
The two founders of Documentary Design are committed to producing their speakers as sustainably as possible. Philine von Düszeln puts it this way: "We want sustainability on three levels: ecological, but above all cultural and social." In concrete terms, this means: regional production with regional materials, manual labor instead of mass production and, last but not least, an eye for the trappings, in this case the packaging materials of the speakers. So they come in tubes made of sturdy cardboard, well and securely embedded in a soft and protective fleece made of wool remnants. In addition to clay, the speakers themselves are made from renewable raw materials such as wool, wood and cork. Participation in the "No Waste Challenge 2021" of the organization "What Design Can Do" is therefore only logical. In the competition, which is all about presenting solutions for waste avoidance and rethinking the entire production and consumption cycle, the Mapu loudspeakers were one of 16 award-winning projects - out of almost 1,400 applications.
Decisive: the good sound
The Mapu Preto speakers can be used individually or as a duo. A single loudspeaker is suitable for room sizes up to 30 square meters, with coupled loudspeakers - a four-meter-long, textile-sheathed XLR cable with a 6-pin plug takes care of this with ease - the maximum value doubles to 60 square meters. In the front, a combined tweeter and midrange radiates the music, and in the back there are two openings for the bass frequencies - which suggests placing them not too far from a wall for an optimal sound image. The back is puristic: A solid metal on/off switch with a crisp pressure point is located at the top. Below that is the input for the power supply and a 3.5 mm jack for the analog connection of a sound source, and finally the jack for the XLR cable to the optional second speaker is at the bottom.
The Mapu Preto speakers are active speakers, which means they come with their own amplifier - in this case, it's a Class D amplifier with 40 watts, 90 percent energy efficiency and a D/A converter with Burr-Brown® technology. In practice, a harmonious and powerful sound comes out of the speakers, which impresses with its spatiality especially when two speakers are connected together for stereo sound. The music reproduction is brilliant across genres - from large orchestras to singer/songwriters: all frequency ranges are well covered and reproduced with astonishing clarity. This applies to both the wired and Bluetooth 5.0 interfaces - the latter ensures that music can be streamed from external devices like smartphones or tablets at 5G level in CD quality thanks to Qualcomm's aptX codec.
The speakers are handmade from natural materials. Size and weight may therefore vary minimally without affecting the performance of the system.
General product information
Article Number 211625
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