Cool Filter Material for DIYers from SAATI!

Not long ago, I wrote a little article about the effects of different filters in a headphone. Soon thereafter, one of the headphone engineers at Skullcandy shot me an email pointing out a company that makes acoustic filter materials for industry and a cool little sample book they have. Boy, wouldn't it be nice to get past the toilet paper and get some of the real deal into the hands of hobbyists. So, I followed the rabbit down the hole.

Eventually I found the right contact at SAATI, and explained to him I know a whole bunch of hobbyists who would love to have access to some of their materials. But, of course, we're really not the right kind of customer for these guys; they're looking for folks who need to buy this stuff by the roll.

I pressed onward, and explained that you never know when a young DIYer becomes a real engineer, and a little project to get some of this material into hobbyist's hands may end up getting SAATI a loyal customer for life. And headphone hobbyists are also pretty good at self-organizing, so I told him it's quit likely we could put together a group buy and satisfy a lot of DIYers with one simple order.

He thought that might work pretty well, so he sent me one of the sample books.

After receiving it and seeing that this was good stuff, I rang him up for a bit more info. Turns out, the material runs in the range of about $45-$75 per yard. Not sure how wide the bolts are, but even if it's only a yard wide (most fabric bols run about 60" wide) that's still a lot of filter material considering most filters will be less than 3" in diameter.

SAATI makes about about 20 different filter materials for acoustics with a wide range of air permeability. They also make these fabrics in white and black, and can add waterproof (hydrophobic) coatings—though he said those may be difficult for DIYers to deal with as adhesives often have a hard time bonding to it. About half the materials are readily available in stock (in black; without hydrophobic coating), and those materials could be ordered in quantities as low as one yard at a time.


The Plan
The plan, such as it is, is that I've sent the sample book off to a competent DIYer who is going to play around with the readily available materials and modify a few headphones to get a feel for the material's utility. (I'm not going to disclose who it is at this time because I don't want folks bugging him as he noodles around with the fabric.)

Once he's got a handle on how the stuff works, we're going to pick maybe six of fabrics with varying permeability as a range for DIYers to use. Then we will open up a group buy thread (probably on were folks can place an order for a little kit with a couple square feet of each material. My guess is the cost will hoover somewhere around $20-$30 per kit.

It'll take a little while to get sorted, but I'll post again when the group buy is set up. Just wanted you to know this is in the works.

JK's picture

Simply awesome, thanks Tyll !!!

artem_art000's picture

I be in

kejar31's picture

This is cool and all but what is up with that picture on the front of the box lol.... What exactly do acoustic fabric and phones and tablets have in common...

Tyll Hertsens's picture
They're used as dirt protectors for the drivers, and also for acoustic tuning.
kejar31's picture

Oh I understand what the acoustic fabric is for... I was just referring to the pictures on the front of the box... The box shows a picture of a phone and a tablet... not sure how that image reflects on what the product actually is.

Tyll Hertsens's picture lets you guess where most of this stuff is used!
dogears's picture

count me in :) thanks Tyll

AllanMarcus's picture

If TP works well as acoustic fabric, does acoustic fabric work well as TP?


Jim Tavegia's picture

to turn the impossible into to the probable. Nice work.

gibtg's picture

I am absolutely thrilled about this! I'm in! Likely I'll buy multiple kits.

Rmusic's picture

I am sooo in. Tyll, you're an angel from audio heaven.

McLelland's picture

This is practical and useful. I'll look for the eventual buy-in

JBoogie's picture

I have been buying and trying every random material that I can to find decent filters.

luvmusik's picture

Excellent idea to establish a graded standardized reference baseline material in the headphone modder community & manufacturer industry.