Silbatone Acoustics at Munich High End 2010
Faced with the challenge of a huge 35x35m space, we decided to bring along a Western Electric L9 theater speaker from our museum collection. Our usual exhibition speaker, the Aporia Full Range, is geared for home listening applications and would never cut it in a huge room with 50-75 listeners.
The L9 is a permanent magnet system from 1948, the last days of Western Electric involvement in sound gear. It uses a pair of 728B woofers, 713B Phenolic drivers, and KS-12027 horns. We were quick to point out that the L9 was a "second class" WE system, not up to par with the early field coil systems, but it sounded very nice.
At least it was fun and different from the 100s of almost-identical plastic cone speakers found in most of the other rooms. Many people loved the sound and considered it the "Best of Show."
We teamed up the WE L9 with our A-845 amplifier, C-100 preamplifer. and the Artemis Labs table with Frank Schroeder's tonearm. We played 99% vinyl, selected for musical enjoyment rather than audiophile labels.
Based on this successful "WE Road Show," we are developing some large scale field coils systems for the 2011 season. More below...
TNT Audio report
Audio Eagle Report
You Tube Videos
Our Quest for a New Exhibition Speaker: The SGW-24
Since people at shows appreciate hearing exotic vintage horn speakers, we decided to develop a large-scale field coil system that would give visitors a taste of the real Western Electric sound. We used a combination of original WE parts from our museum collection, the fantastic "Field HiFi" drivers from G.I.P., and a Silbatone-designed backhorn LF enclosure to create the SGW-24 field coil system.
Our friend, Mr. Suzuki of G.I.P., shares our excitement about presenting a full-scale theater system at audio shows and worked with us enthusiastically on the development of this project. Great theater sound is what Silbatone and G.I.P are all about and we want to take it on the road!
The G.I.P drivers are enhanced versions of the famous 1930s WE 594A and TA-4181 field coil units and surpass the originals in many respects. Musical quality is of the highest order. We matched the 100 lb. GIP midrange with the WE 24A horn, which is one of the best of the Mirrophonic era classics.
The G.I.P. 18" woofer is a tremendous performer that mates seamlessly with the high frequency horn and provides remarkable LF detail. Silbatone, home of the backhorn, designed a unique enclosure with horn loaded LF and a front lens for dispersion control at the crossover frequencies.
At the moment, we are using WE 597A tweeters and WE crossovers, running a single RI-25 amplifier, but we have the option of G.I.P. tweeters or a silver foil inductor active crossover if we choose to multi-amp configuration.
Since the SGW-24 is a combination of very expensive custom G.I.P. units and rare, unobtainable vintage items, this speaker is not available for purchase. However, if you collect all of the parts, we will give you the cabinet plans! This speaker is presented for our mutual listening pleasure and we look forward to sharing the experience with our visitors.