Sound and Beauty: A Tour of Specimen Products - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

Sound and Beauty: A Tour of Specimen Products

Join us for a one-of-a-kind visit to Ian Schneller’s magical workshop teeming with his finely tuned creations.

On this visually and sonically stunning tour, you’ll experience the Humboldt Park studio and workshop of artist, designer, musician, and luthier Ian Schneller. As a kid, Schneller spent countless hours creating “stick and tissue” airplanes, planting the seeds for the exploration of physics and geometry that his craftsmanship still employs. Formally trained as a sculptor, but deeply rooted in the landscape of high fidelity and instrument construction and repair, Schneller will walk you through his Specimen Products facility and highlight various audio landscape concepts and works in progress.

You’ll enjoy a demo of his signature Janus Double Spinning Horn Speakers (you might have seen them on the stage of an Andrew Bird performance); witness the skill and beauty behind his tube amplifier electronics and other pneumatic “hardware” creations; and view his varied product line of stringed instruments, aerodynamic cycling gear, and captivating sculptural pieces.

The light-filled space doubles as The Chicago School of Guitar Making (which Schneller describes as “Montessori for adults”) and the training ground/sweat equity base camp for budding musicians, instrument designers and sound engineers, who come from all over the world to study and build with Schneller. You’ll also get to see several examples of hand crafted instruments in progress.

The tour will last 90 minutes and we’ll make sure to include time for questions at the end.

Additional Details

  • Specimen Products is located at 1240 N. Homan Ave.
  • Street parking is available on N. Homan Ave.
  • The #82 Homan-Kimball bus stops at N. Homan Ave. and Potomac Ave.; walk a half a block south.
  • Limited ADA access
  • This ticket is not refundable, but you can transfer it to someone else by using this handy Eventbrite tutorial.


Email Joie Mikitson at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.