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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Speaker That's So Loud It Can Kill You

LEAF imageThis is perhaps a dream of some guitarists that I know, but there's actually a speaker that's so loud that it can kill you. Really.

It's actually a test chamber called the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF) and was built by the European Space Agency for a single purpose - to make sure that satellites can withstand the effects of the massive noise made by a rocket during liftoff.

The chamber is 54 feet high, 36 feet long and 30 feet deep (you only see part of one horn on the left, but you can see most of it on image on the right), and consists of 4 different horns with cutoff frequencies of 25Hz, 35Hz, 80Hz and 160Hz. The frequency response extends out to 10kHz.

The system uses 100% nitrogen gas to activate it so that micro-climates aren't created and cause rain to form inside the chamber. As a safety precaution, it can only be activated once all the doors are closed, and both doors and walls are steel-reinforced.

The overall SPL can reach 155dB, which would instantly perforate your eardrums, then cause your lungs to vibrate so violently that they'd rupture, and you'd probably have a heart attack as well, so don't try this at home!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So is it a Fender or a Marshall stack? That's amazing what those sound levels can do (i.e. forming rain).


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