Western Electric's first hifi speaker

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bonzo

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Sep 13, 2013
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/79846937@N06/14213752391/

The horns below (the black pair on either side, not the brown ones) were the first hifi speaker ever built, 88 years ago, in 1926, one year before talkies were made. A Korean billionaire who is one of the owners of Hyundai spent a 100k USD bringing them over so that people could hear them (he doesn't sell them) They have still not been beaten, because the smaller models don't allow for the naturalness and efficiency, which is 30% at 160db. There were only 40 of them made over two years, after which they stopped production due to the high costs. Around 15 more exist, of which this guy owns 10 or so. Best I have ever heard opera, jazz and classical, and then, he said, people think old speakers can't play rock. We shall see. And out came Led Zeppelin with whole lotta love, and this the best I have heard Zep (and I am a hard core Zep fan who has heard all their bootlegs) - and the studio version of this song is normally my least favorite Zep song. Even those who were not Zep fans agreed that this had the speakers at their best. The imaging was huuge, Plant's orgasms were going from side to side across the room, the guitar was gripping, and when the bass chords and the drums started again with their build up, it seemed the speaker was reaching deep into the bowels of the earth, building them up and throwing them out to the audience. "This is the first and the last time you will see these speakers", he said, "so don't like them too much".

The small tweeter you see is relatively newer, from 1933.

The top speaker used to point down at the audience, and the bottom one above, to get a vertical dispersion in theatres.

The smaller, and then the smallest speakers (the brown ones) are also awesome. I am convinced that if I decide to sped real money on hifi, buying these expensive GIP lab drivers and getting a horn built for me is the way to go. Miles above anything else at Munich, and I would dare say that this was almost a consensus, probably the only one I will witness in hifi. Everything else paled in comparison. More on that later. Of course, the Silbatone electronics are expensive like crazy, but hopefully normal 300bs will do a good job.

 
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They look rubbish, they are obviously misguided, I will take them off their hands and store them in my front room.... they might just fit, probably:dunno:

 

pure sound

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Sep 10, 2011
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HiFi Trade?
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Sorely tempted to pop in this friday.
I would. I'll certainly try to find time to visit while that exhibition is ongoing. I wonder if they could be persuaded to lend it for Scalford!

 

Petrat

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Apr 7, 2009
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Peter
HiFi Trade?
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I would. I'll certainly try to find time to visit while that exhibition is ongoing. I wonder if they could be persuaded to lend it for Scalford!
What a brilliant idea :bulb:

Would have to be outside, I guess.

Also, a regular 'historical' display/room would be most interesting

 

bonzo

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Sep 13, 2013
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Hi Pete, your room is too small for it, can you please test it in my room before taking it home?

 

i_should_coco

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Sep 21, 2006
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lol! Sadly, you're right. No way I could sensibly get a 15A in my place.

Actually, the YL-based system is the sensible interpretation of this.

 

Hayward

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I think I would struggle to get the 15a's in my room too... 12a may be physically possible but the collateral damage would still be difficult to deal with :D .

I can't afford the drivers anyway. Sato horn and GP1 anybody?

 

i_should_coco

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Sep 21, 2006
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Actually, I reckon 15As would be ok in your room Ritchie. You can hang them from the ceiling.

Do it, just to put me out of my misery!