A local came by. He likes what he has heard of the horns... and wants to get his feet wet... Well, he got more than his feet wet. Look at his new toys!
He started by asking if I had anything laying around. Sadly, in the quest to try to listen to as much as possible, I often have really nice stuff just sitting. The pile below is just one pile of a few. So we had options. He listens in a relatively small room.. so integrating a lot of large horns is tougher... but the TAD 2001 drivers on a very fast flare horn really cover a wide range. I measured flat from lower than I would recommend crossing over up to higher than my microphone is accurate (any good measurement microphone recommendations?).... I actually had some NOS diaphragms.. these things are really cool.. different from the JBL Beryllium as these are formed by vapor deposition.. that has to be a nasty and toxic process... these look as if the dust would just flake off.. obviously it does not actually do that... but compared to the formed from flat sheet JBL diaphragms, they look like it!
some random shots along the way:
I have a few of these horns left... they have been great.. no issues so far.. heavy... solid... sound great.. and I have a friend with another pair of TAD's available if anyone wants to mimic this rig...
. Yep... time to let them go.. I have lived with them and loved them... but they are collecting dust.. which is a crime.. so time to go...
These are the higher voltage, 115Vdc, versions.. some say better, and more highly sought after versions.. the only difference between these and the more common 1428 is the field coil voltage... all else is the same...
Serial numbers are 1261 and 5861.. the earlier one has the ever so slightly more green tint to the paint.. definitely rare.. and I dig it more than the later simple grey... you will only notice in side by side comparisons, but it is there...
sonically, they are perfect... same diaphragms.. same sweeps... a very good matched pair.. see the plots and video below..
oh, and I even have a good clean pair of the original connectors that I made new cables for.. they fetch a couple hundred themselves..
private email to experiencemusic at hotmail dot com is probably best..
Last nights project from the scrap heap was another "quickie" that we discussed a while ago and I purchased the materials for. Jon at Lowther America asked how a copper washer fitted to a Lowther phase plug would work. While theory abounds, there is no better option than to get your hands dirty and give it a try so I took a half hour off and played. Unfortunately I only could find one of the appropriate plugs and more are on the way so listening tests on the the effect with the Lowther field coil will have to wait.
From Lowthers to another Old English standard.
Oops... that was the milwaukee standard for insanity...
The phase plug wasn't even close to insanity of some of the people we call "family". Back in July one of the family pushed the 301 envelope a bit with a solid brass platter for his 301.
Well, Lets just say the results were promising enough for him to "kick it up a notch" and the results are not for those with a weak stomach.
Yes, that is a solid Brass 301 deck + platter (with a 401 motor) and the insane thing is he is not done yet. The bearing housing is next. If all goes well, there will be a "DIY" room at the Capital Audiofest this year and everyone will be able to hear it against a stock 301 on some quads and be their own judge of what is insane.
Sparton and Cardon made mesh versions of a few of our favorite tubes.... this one is the half wave rectifier type 81... I love them just because of the big globe bottle and the beautiful filament that glows through the mesh... here is a shot pulled from the mesh 50 I used in a line level crossover I built a while back...
and for Adam, I must zoom out a bit on that first shot... he has been promised this photo for a while...
and lastly... could you read that label? how about a close up?
yeah.. that's right.. Bonham Music Shop in the Haight... rumor has it John Bonham's old man sold Jerry Garcia this very rectifier! I am gonna eBay and retire! (rumor not verified)
Remember those fires in Los Alamos last summer? Well, my friends from the area, Robert and Deb, survived quite well thanks to a move to a new location down by the river a few years back. However, one of their friends lost part of his house... ouch.. but while the wall was down, being the audiophile that he is, he decided to install that horn in the subfloor that had been lurking in the back of his mind for a while. As a long time audiophile, he had never quite forgotten the sound of horns... and being a physicist, he knew the theoretical advantages... and those advantages are greatest in the bass... he asked my friend robert to help think it through.. robert, being the guy he is, not only 'thought it through", but ran simulations and helped pick out woofers that met the budget and application.... (my only role was to look at their plan and say "cooool").... the plan was in place for a quick install over the holiday break...
floor cut (note blue tarp for wall)
long section half way
ready to play
The horn "exceeds all expectations".... but while he did manage to get everything out of his house and save most everything, he lost a very unique friend....
"ok, i was thinking, should tell you a little more of the burned house story. some of the house burned, but other than that he got everything out, just some smoke damage. including his bird. he had this starling, he rescued 7 years ago, & the smoke got to its lungs & it died. but the bird was cool. it had lived its whole life between his speakers, so it didn't know bird songs, but it could sing. mostly liked the blues, or jimi's guitar, but got upset, and would screech if he played metal. thing was you usually couldn't hear it, unless you got close, because it had perfect pitch, and would sing lead, or harmony, at whatever level would fit in with whoever it was singing with. rip starling"