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Sound Leisure makes beautiful music!

Sound Leisure makes beautiful music!
Riding high on the vinyl revival, Sound Leisure has been making jukeboxes in Yorkshire since 1978. Specialising in hand-built and bespoke models, the family-owned business’s investment in a Mimaki UCJV300-107 printer/cutter has transformed its creative process when producing unique jukebox designs for its clients.

With a global customer base that ranges from private customers who are realising their dream of owning a classic jukebox, to corporate clients which are installing an entirely bespoke company centrepiece that accurately reflects and represents their brand, Sound Leisure’s Classic Jukeboxes division manufactures almost every element of the final product in-house.

“A large part of the process of delivering a totally unique, custom-built jukebox for a corporate client involves accurately colour matching all the elements of the unit,” explained Sound Leisure Director, Mike Black. “So, when we’re using powder coated metal, painted wood, different veneers, fabrics, plus clear and white vinyl and other materials, the UCJ300-107’s ability to print onto 85-90 percent of the substrates has enabled us to bring colour matching completely in-house.”

Whilst the company still uses screenprinting for certain aspects of its production, Black recognises the advances that digital print has brought. He said: “For customers who don’t require a completely bespoke solution but still wish to add an element of personalisation to our standard models, we’re now in a position where we can design, print and cut a huge range of custom elements. Because we have the facility in-house, these can be produced and integrated into the jukebox build without any disruption to the production process.”

Exploiting the Mimaki’s print and cut capabilities, the company now produces both standard and bespoke sticker sets, name badges, nameplates and other decorative elements on the printer/cutter, thus saving Sound Leisure a lot of time, while also enabling it to enhance and update designs and minimise its inventory.

The Mimaki UCJV300 Series can be used to print onto a wide range of materials with its LED UV cured inks, making it a popular choice for sign and print companies. Sound Leisure’s 107cm wide model sits within a production environment and the company makes great use of its creative potential, such as the multi-layer feature it uses for its backlit work.

Black continued: “Even though we purposefully don’t run the printer 24/7, it’s there as a resource for our designers to push their boundaries. Having that capability in-house means that we can continually revise and improve the components we are producing in a closed-loop manner – something that would quite simply be impossible if we were working with external suppliers.”

Sound Leisure develops every aspect of its products internally, from its player mechanisms, circuit boards, software and amplifiers, right down to the structural cabinets and components of the jukebox.

 

Black added: “This ensures we have visibility of every element of the process for our quality control and with full, bespoke products costing upwards of £10,000, quality is central to our brand. When people ask us how long we expect one of our jukeboxes to last, we say we don’t know – we’ve only been making them for 40 years!”

Sound Leisure made its investment through authorised Mimaki partner Granthams and worked with it for a number of years before committing to the UCJV300-107. Black recalled: “The purchase had to make financial sense and naturally, we carefully consider every investment the business makes. It took about seven years of evaluating digital printing technology before deciding that the latest Mimaki went from being a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘we really need it’ and we worked closely with Granthams to assess its capabilities. Its technical knowledge and advice have proved invaluable.”

Granthams General Manager, Kirsty Leader said: “During the years of working alongside Sound Leisure, we have provided an in-depth overview of all the technologies on the market to try and identify the best fit for its brand and, while other wide format print technologies ticked a number of boxes, they were still missing that ‘niche’ factor that makes a product stand out from the crowd. The introduction of the Mimaki UCJV, which offers both an opaque white ink and a clear varnish option, finally provided that ‘added value’ that Sound Leisure was looking for.”

Using its successful Sergeant Pepper themed jukebox design that was created in 2017 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary album, Sound Leisure rigorously tested colour density, image quality and a wide range of substrates with Granthams’ technical team. The need to print onto so many different materials, including speaker cloth and even leatherette, demanded a high level of flexibility, which the Mimaki machine met and surpassed.

In 2019, Sound Leisure launched a stunning branded jukebox. Designed in collaboration with legendary amplifier manufacturer Marshall, it uses iconic materials and branding to fabricate a unique product that serves as a testament to the diversity of the company’s skills.

Black observed: “Jukeboxes are luxury items and we’re proud to invite customers to the factory so they can see them being hand-built by our team of craftspeople.

“Exclusive models such as the Beatles’ jukebox, which was sold almost entirely to Beatles fans all over the world,  confirmed that there was a market for well resolved, exclusive jukeboxes that can demonstrate a tangible connection between the source material and the end product. We realised that we just needed to evolve the creative and production processes in order to realise such projects more efficiently and to ensure that both the bespoke and standard jukeboxes achieve the same high level of quality.”

Although they may retain the look and feel of classic models, the company’s handmade jukeboxes incorporate the very latest technology to deliver a product that’s tailored to a customer’s exact specifications. Now, with its Mimaki UCJV300 driving creativity and delivering spectacular visuals, Sound Leisure’s jukeboxes are capable of providing decades of enjoyment for generations of customers around the world.

For further information on Sound Leisure, visit: www.soundleisure.com

 For further information on Mimaki’s product range, visit: www.hybridservices.co.uk

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