The Key Factor of Sound Quality - The Metal Base

The Function of the Metal Base

The metal base is not only the base for installing the comb and cylinder, but it plays a key role in determining the sound quality! 

The function of the metal base in Muro Box is to conduct the vibration from comb to the wooden box. It is similar to the “bridge” of guitar and violin, which conducts the vibration of strings to the hollow wooden boy to create beautiful sound.The “conduction” is the key factor that determines the sound quality, therefore, the material, size, shape, and thickness of the metal base went through a series of experiments. 

programmable music box Muro Box-metal base
programmable music box Muro Box-metal base

The Design of the Metal Base

The design of the metal base is based on a traditional music box. Our design principle is  “less is more”, and each part has its own practical function. One of the key factors is “weight”, and adding some weight can strengthen the bass sound and enhance the overall sound quality. Therefore, we’ve modified the weight of the metal base many times to find the best sound quality. 

Material wise, through many tests, we decided to use zinc alloy due to its weight and firmness. Other materials often generate irritating noises due to resonance. The weight of zinc alloy allows stable conduction of the vibration from the comb to the wooden box. Therefore, its suitable firmness generates the best sound quality. If the metal base uses harder metal, the music box sound will become too sharp and even generate irritating noise. If the metal base uses softer metal, the  sound will become less sonorous.

programmable music box Muro Box-metal base

History of Zinc Alloy

Over a decade of revolution, the material used for the metal base of a music box has gone through continuous modifications. From our partner “Kyooh” who has produced traditional music boxes for over 40 years, we learned that many different kinds of metal, such as copper, aluminum, cast iron, and other macromolecule materials, have been tested. Zinc alloy was the best result from huge amounts of tests and trials. Another crucial advantage of zinc alloy was the easiness to produce with molds , therefore it is also widely used in products such as faucets, locks, door knobs, car badges, and wine openers. Despite the fact that the price of zinc alloy has increased significantly in recent years, most music box manufacturers still insisted on using it.

智慧音樂盒Muro Box創辦人之一蔡筱晨(右)

Our components had a very low tolerance in size errors. Therefore, to ensure the best quality, we must find the right manufacturer with rich experience in creating precise molds. Finally, we found the manufacturer in Changhua city in Taiwan, who has over 30 years of experience in this field. They’ve also partnered up with “Kyooh” for over 25 years, who’s the only music box manufacturer in Taiwan that reached 6 million annual sales volume during their peak years. With their experiences, we believe they can provide us with the high quality zinc alloy base components.

Let's Watch How the Metal Based Was Produced!

First, the zinc alloy chunk is placed into a 435ºC metal furnace to melt it. Then it is compressed with a die casting machine with the carefully designed mold to form the precise shape. 

Afterwards, it will go through the process of oil washing. Before coating the metal base to the black color, we will apply a special sticker designed by “Kyooh” on top of the metal base. This sticky can prevent the coating material to cover the connecting spot of the zinc alloy and the comb, so that the comb and metal base can be tightly connected. Next, it will go through coating processes to create matte black lookFinally, we use sandpaper to rub off the black paint on the Muro Box logo, and the logo will show in the original color of the zinc alloy. 

Check Out the Live Demo!

This video is a live demo of Muro Box prototype playing “River Flows in You”. We want to give credits to the composer of this beautiful melody: Ching-Tien Chang. Thank you for sharing this amazing melody on Muro Box App with all of our users. 

The Muro Box demonstrated in the video is a prototype for the Indiegogo version, and all metal components, including the zinc ally base, will require electroplating and painting processes. Please refer to our product page in the store to check its final appearance. 

Except from the zinc alloy base, the other key component that determines the sound quality of Muro Box is our “Secret Pin Stopper” design. Click HERE to learn more.

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