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Posted by STEVE M on

Harold Leak (HJL)  had a thing about aluminium and why not indeed as he was a true alchemist in his ability to turn aluminium into gold.

Harold's genius led us to the Leak Sandwich Speaker where the cone of the woofer was manufactured by sandwiching two cones of aluminium with an elastopolymer filling to create a very rigid cone.     This speaker technology was first marketed in 1961 and continued in various iterations until 1975 receiving great acclaim from many audiophiles and broadcast monitor users alike, for me though, I found the sound they produced both chesty and brittle, there again I don't like the coloured sound of the LS3/5A either but I digress.

The speakers sold well truly turning aluminium into gold!

HJL continued his aluminiophillic odyssey as this photograph from 1968 shows his Daughter-In-Law, wowing crowds at the 1968 HiFi Show clad in a Melinex dress which echoes the theme of the brushed aluminium fascia of the Leak Stereo 30 and Troughline 3 also pictured.

What is Melinex? I hear you cry,  well, you may know it by any of these other trademarks: - PET, PETE, Dacron, Terylene, Lavsan, Mylar, Melinex, Terphanemor, BoPET.

What else is it used for besides spangly dresses?.... Well, the list is multitudinous:-

Food: -  as packaging for Pop Tarts, coffee and attaching strings to teabags!.

Photography:- as the top shiny layer of a Polaroid SX70 print.

Survival :- as the matrix for emergency blankets, NASA space suits

HiFi: - Speaker cones and electrostatic loudspeaker membranes.

Cosmetics: -  shredded as glitter in nail varnish.

Musical Instruments: -  banjo and drum heads.

Electronics: - capacitor film, floppy discs, recording tape.

Leisure: - confetti, metallised helium balloons, pinball machine playsurfaces.






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