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New Bracketing System Delivers Near-Invisibility

9/11/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Here's how Sonance plans to deliver on its promise of near-invisibility in its Architectural Series of flush-mount trimless speakers:

For each speaker, Sonance will ship a precut panel that's screwed to a wall's studs and features a finished, precut opening that's "very clean and exactly the right shape and size" for its matching speaker, said president Scott Struthers. The panel also features precut screw holes and integrated baffle-mounting brackets fastened at the factory.

Before drywall goes up, installers screw the panel to the wall's studs. The drywaller then butts regular drywall sheets up against the panel and applies drywall tape and mud to make the seam disappear. The drywaller also applies a light coat of mud up across the panel's surface to a raised circular ABS-plastic edge running around the speaker cutout. The speaker and its grille can be installed in the panel anytime after.

Citing demand by some architects and designers, Sonance will also offer a 3/16th-inch “microtrim” piece as a design element to “delineate the speaker border from the wall,” Crawford said.

Each Architectural speaker can be mated with a grille in one of five planned styles. One of the first two grilles available will be cloth; the other will be “nano-perfed” metal said to offer the same acoustical transparency as Sonance's current metal grilles.

The models in the series come in three shapes [rectangular, square, and round], three sizes [8-, 6-, and 4-inch], and two performance levels for a total of 18 SKUs, excluding the Fascia model.

The round and square 4-inch models are designed to match upscale in-ceiling lighting fixtures.

All products will be displayed here at the Expo in “beta production” form now that select installers have beta-tested them. An expanded test begins in October with price sheets to determine if some behind-the-wall refinements are needed, Crawford said.

One thing that installers will have to refine is their work flow. “It will take awhile for installers to adjust their job-site timing” in conjunction with builders and drywallers, Struthers noted.