Canadian Made, eh?

Buying Canadian is becoming increasingly difficult in times where the easy answer is to go off shore and have it made for you, as cheaply as possible. As a medium sized loudspeaker manufacturer, we at StudioLAB could just as easily decided to have our loudspeakers manufactured, packaged up and shipped to us from China.

So why haven’t we oriented ourselves to go down the same path as most of the loudspeaker industry? There are many moral reasons, which we feel by now is plainly (and painfully) obvious to anyone who’s lost a job to cheap labour. Products coming out of those factories can sure look pretty, but where corners can be cut to save a few cents, you can be certain they will be. After all, isn’t it the time spent in ensuring that no corners were cut what differentiates a run of the mill audio product from a true to life music reproducer? Our 37 years of experience in producing hundreds of thousands of loudspeakers certainly points to that conclusion.

Although now in the minority, we are certainly not the only ones who continue to produce quality Canadian made products, you just have to look carefully. If you’re looking to support the local economy by purchasing locally made products, may we suggest that you look past the well known North American brand name, and find out just what country the sticker says it’s made in.

Celebrating 40,000 Musical Years

Scientists in Germany have published details of flutes dating back to the time that modern humans began colonising Europe, 35,000 years ago.

The flutes are the oldest musical instruments found to date. The researchers say in the Journal Nature that music was widespread in pre-historic times. Music, they suggest, may have been one of a suite of behaviours displayed by our own species which helped give them an edge over the Neanderthals. The team from Tubingen University have published details of three flutes found in the Hohle Fels cavern in southwest Germany.

The most well-preserved of the flutes is made from a vulture’s wing bone, measuring 20cm long with five finger holes and two “V”-shaped notches on one end of the instrument into which the researchers assume the player blew.

The find brings the total number of flutes discovered from this era to eight, four made from mammoth ivory and four made from bird bones. According to Professor Nicholas Conard of Tubingen University, this suggests that the playing of music was common as far back as 40,000 years ago when modern humans spread across Europe.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that music was part of day-to-day life,” he said.

Exerts from Pallab Ghosh - Science correspondent, BBC News