Monday, November 29, 2010


this seems like a simple point A to point B.

literal steam punk

draw your own conclusions but I have to say that the guy deserves to be a member of the family.

Western Electric 13c

This beauty popped up on eBay. Sold for a little over US$3k.

The WE13 was new to me. It appears quite similar to the 7A, but scaled up for public address by swapping in 205's over the 216's to get some power.

Check out the construction. I like it! Dave can you make my iron look like this sweet silver and black... and all caps should be engraved, right?

and then the literature.... This baby driving some horns to a huge crowd. Who says you need a Crown amp for PA?

(Joe, I hope to get to listen to it in Korea.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

On one of my Asheville trips I went to the Radio Museum at their local technical college. What met me in the first case had me crying with laughter. Thousands of students walk past this case every day. It is in the main lobby announcing the museum upstairs. I am sure not a single student has ever noticed what is wrong with this display. In fact, it probably indicates just how much of a geek I am that I found it so amusing... are you that much of a geek as well?

In fact, every single tube in the display was incorrect. The highlight for me was the "battery" Eimac. Although it is an absolutely beautiful early specimen with the open plate connection, the six amp filament draw would eat even a giant lead acid cell extremely quickly. Below are two of the same shots with what should be in them.

so just beware when that eBay auction that is tempting you says, "museum quality"...


p,s.- That VT-2 is the driver that I am using in the final 304tl build. Yummy tennis balls... :^)

Black Freeday

Since everyone else is cutting prices today and content has been slow, I'll offer up another pair of the small 49% nickel PS chokes for free.

Same basic rules as the last ones.  A one line reply with your unique name or moniker gets you entered and will determine the winner ina couple of days.

Along with the 30-50-80 ohm possibilities I also have the curves for a 10 ohm and 1.3 ohm version.  The 1.3 ohm is intended for filament isolation. (final L of a LCLCL filter) These are not the only possibilities and i'll work with the winner to get them exactly what they want with this given core size.

L=hy  I=ma

L=mhy I=Amps

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day Jobs and Birthday Month.

First of all Happy Birthday Month to Lisa!  I know we have been somewhat lame but things have been hectic for both of us.  I actually had the day job get me busy and while playing around I came up with this video to test out an idea for the end of a TV commercial.

In the audio world, I have most of the mundane stuff shipped that I am behind on and should be able to get back to the cool stuff like big 80% nickel outputs and Rev. II of the FC103 in the very near future.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scheming Kittens.

 Sure they look innocent and cuddly

Not a care in the world

Beware when they scheme to escape

They sense you watching

And you must face their wrath

These are some pics that came along with the usual "gear" pics from a friend at RMAF.  There seems to be a common thread between many audio folk and animals and I hope these pics at least bring a smile to someone.  In the even you ever need to hunt down and capture one of these beasts,  drop me a note since my 6 year old has become quite proficient in caging feral animals.

More RIAA Nickel....

yummy! yummy! Nickel gives me butterflies in my tummy!

Phono is tough. I can't sugar coat it. Easily more parts than a big amplifier. Add to that the requirement of absolutely dead silent, and it is work. But it is work with rewards - butterflies when things all finally come together....

I also often get the question of why my phono is so expensive... and why it weighs so much... Above is a picture of my signal chassis from one side. Below is a picture from the rear. The signal chassis has fifteen pieces of hand wound nickel inductors alone.. nearly all of which are custom for this project. The power supply has another dozen or so chokes and transformers as well... and then there are the film in oil capacitors... and the potted teflons... That is how I end up over 150 pounds for phono. It just happens. Blame Dave. Kick him in the shins if you want. Tell him it is from me. My back will thank you.

[Some rough snapshots of new Kahn Phono are up at Experience Music]

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sometimes you get lucky!

Silver Silver Silver!   Yes it seems every other day another person is asking me about silver windings and I say the same thing to everyone.  It is really easy to get but insanely expensive so write me the blank check and I'll get it done. 

I was doing up a batch of autoformers for the Bent remote units and figured it was time to dig into my meager stash of silver wire and do up a pair that I can circulate among a few of the OEM's who have been asking for silver.

The red enamel is the copper wire I typically use and the pair wound with the gold enameled wire is essentially my remaining stash of silver wire.  I was actually really scared to use it since even though I did all of the calculations I feared the dreaded out of wire with 30 turns to go.  As the pictures above prove, I didn't run out of wire and now I'd like to show you what remains of my current silver stash.

I guess that means I can offer up some nice $10K silver interconnects :-)


A pile of horns...

wrecking what was once a nice clean work area..... and this is less than half of them....

140 LC with 4" throat...

custom oblate spheroid with roll back

if you live in texas, come get your horns... texas scares me...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Everyone works in a different way.  Some people are perfectionists and others just want to git 'er done.  I think the key is to stand back and identify the goal of a certain situation and then decide the best way to obtain that goal.  Oddly enough we live in such a linear society that it seems everything must be presented from start to finish and for this case, I'm going to do the opposite to give a better glimpse on the actual process of a 30 minute window of time.

After RMAF we were up in fort collins and rolling in a New Fostex T500a supertweeter to go "above" some lowthers in 160hz azurahorns.  When I say "Above" I am referring to from circa 10KHZ and up and not physical positioning.  Traditionally the tweets have resided inside the speakers on a shelf (offset on the horizontal plane).  I'll leave all of the discussion of theory out of this and simply state the goal was to align the new tweeters in the vertical plane and let that story play out.

The final

From the side

Essentially the goal was to elevate the tweeters above the horns in the vertical plane for a quick evaluation.  We needed about a metre of height and an adjustable base.  The original idea was simple barstools and shims but that would require an time wasting outside trip.  Christophe suggested tripods and fortunately several gitzos were onsite.   What follows is not pretty so women, children and audiophiles should probably not see it but the rest of you need to know.

Placing the T500

Attaching the base to the 1/4-20

Keeping a round tweeter from rolling


  Yes that is a 2 pound sledge driving 
a 12ga brad through a pink rubber eraser

The entire story if polished, could be an article in a high end rag with names, dates and quotes. The essence of the situation is the quick and ugly proof of concept implementation solidified a concept the core family members understood. 

The most important result was a group of friends from far away locations were listening to music together and discussing sound with the same source rather than phoning it in.

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