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Monday, May 28, 2012 - Page updated at 06:30 p.m.

Tunes from the tub

By ED DEL GRANDE
Scripps Howard News Service

Q: I was recently at a home show and saw a bathtub that seemed like it was actually playing music from the tub itself. The place was crowded and I had to leave. Can you give me information about these new-wave bathtubs? How do they work, and where is the music actually coming from?

— Bill, Illinois

A: Electronics and plumbing fixtures are being combined into many new and exciting products for your bathroom: from digital showering valves to toilets that automatically lift or lower the seat when you approach them. So it makes sense that we're starting to see bathtubs that also double as musical speakers.

The new bath technology that I'm familiar with is called "vibracoustic." a Basically, here's how it works: The bathtub is made from acrylic materials, and amplified transducer speakers hidden behind the shell of the bath transfer the sound waves into the tub itself. So, when the bathtub is empty, the system can play music in your bathroom like a standard stereo system, but the tub itself will be the musical speaker for the system. However, the real fun is when you fill the tub with water, get in and play your music. Then the sound feels like it goes through your entire body, giving the user a relaxing experience. As with most electronics, prices have come down recently, so you no longer have to take a "soaking" if you want a musical bathtub.

Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com. or write eadelg@cs.com

. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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