New vuvuzelas turn down volume

2010-06-14 13:04
Johannesburg - Makers of the vuvuzelas that have become the talking point of the World Cup have come up with a toned-down version after a growing backlash against the din at matches.

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"We have modified the mouthpiece, there is now a new vuvuzela which will blow noise that is 20 decibels less than the old one," Neil van Schalkwyk, a partner at Masincedane Sport, told The Star newspaper.

"We hope to sell these at park and ride areas and public viewing areas," added Van Schalkwyk, whose company owns the vuvuzela trademark.

A recent survey found that the sound emitted by a vuvuzela was the equivalent to 127 decibels - louder than a drum's 122 decibels, or a referee's whistle at 121.8 decibels.

Difficult to concentrate

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo was the latest World Cup star to voice unease about the trumpet, telling reporters that it affected players' focus.

"It is difficult for anyone on the pitch to concentrate," the Real Madrid star told a press conference.

"A lot of players don't like them, but they are going to have to get used to them."

The local organising committee however has called them the symbol of the tournament and says the horns are here to stay.

Vuvuzelas are modern spin-offs of traditional instruments made from spiralling kudu horns. Van Schalkwyk said he decided to develop a plastic version after spotting the original versions of the horn being blown at games.

The company says it has had sold 1.5 million vuvuzelas in Europe since October and expects the tournament will generate sales of up to R20m.


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