Casing The Cabinets By: Jake Feldman

February 26, 2008 by Mobile Beat Staff Writer

From the automotive world, a creative way to update your speakers with spray-on bed linerScented candles, linen cloths, and centerpieces are the décor. Here you are performing a reception at the most prestigious hotel in town-a market which you want desperately to take hold of. Ratty speakers, scuffed lights, and ugly orange cords pollute the atmosphere. You’re a DJ with a budget, and your system has been on the road for too long. But a new set of speakers will cost some serious capital; yet a professional and prestigious appearance will generate you referrals. What do you do when forced to choose between great sound and nice appearance? One possible solution is to pick the best of both words by coating your cabinets with spray-on truck bed liner.

Retrofitting speakers is not a new practice; however it is usually reserved for upgrading internal components. Now, however, with companies like Line-X, RhynoLiner, or Herculiner, in a day’s work the exterior of your favorite cabinets can become wedding-worthy once again. Gone are the days of stage taping torn and aged carpet, replaced by the security of a professional coating with a cool name.

Strip ‘Em Down

First things first. Most bed liner installers will not allow you to drop off your cabinets with carpet and or drivers (subs and tweeters) still installed. Unfortunately, the most tedious job of the whole experience is all yours: stripping your speakers. It is important, no matter how painful it may seem, to devoid the cabinet of all carpet and components, except for any crossovers (circuit boards) that may be attached (more on this ahead). Make sure you save EVERYTHING.

Next, make sure your wood cabinet is sanded and free of carpet residue, which can cause irregularities in the finished product. Also make sure that all metal edges, handles, wheels, and brackets (tripod cups) are removed.

Finally, make sure that any non-detachable crossovers (circuit boards) and wiring are covered up, as the bed-liner installation pros may not be particularly versed in the audio world. Think of your speakers as a human body and your crossover as the brains-please protect them.

Back in Business

Once the speakers are dropped off for the spraying appointment, you have the opportunity to make any special requests. For instance, I insist that no liner be applied to the inside of the speaker, to avoid any risks related to the electronic components of the speaker.

When you are satisfied with the work, you may re-install all of the components you stripped, save for the metal corners that are unnecessary. Remember that the coating may add as much as a quarter-inch to the outside of the cabinets, so reinstalling handles and grilles may include an extra challenge.

Interestingly, the effects of adding spray-on bed liner to your speakers will be immediately noticeable. Even though they are the same cabinets with the same shape and sound, you will be surprised at just how many people are visually oriented, and will respond to the new look. In a wedding setting, where appearance is important, your newly coated speakers will have the same effect as a new pair, although I would be hard pressed to find a speaker on the market with this particular coating. At the same time, you may just be saving a piece of you. Speakers that have been on the road with you for years are almost like old friends. For a small price, wouldn’t you want to save your loyal comrades?

Mobile Beat Staff Writer (375 Posts)

This is the general editors account for Mobile Beat Magazine and Website. Who reads Mobile Beat online and in print and attends Mobile Beat events? DJs, VJs and KJs to start with, especially those who own and operate mobile entertainment services. They provide music, video, lighting and a myriad other entertainment choices for corporate events, wedding receptions, dances and innumerable other gatherings.

Filed Under: 2008, Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs