|Platine Verdier with Shindo Mersault tonearm and Shindo Cartridge mounted with|
A23 bell bronze base, next to Shindo Monbrison preamplifier
(most underrated extra: the Fissler pressure cooking seal to damp the light weight platter)
As seen, the today bespoken type of components it is not of foremost importance, but for the sake of completeness, I will list them up. I did listen to a Arome step up transformer at a Monbrison preamplifier and a set of Shindo WE 300b monophonic power amps. All components were equipped with vintage original tubes from Western Electric or RCA. As main program sources vinyl long playing records via a Platine Verdier record player was used with a 12'' Shindo tonearm and a Shindo modified Ortofon SPU pick up system. All components have been chosen lined up in their design by its creator to bring out a refined tonal expression, were technical performance will be almost forgotten.
|Shindo 300b Mono amplifier|
The other alternative program source was a digital music player system, based on a Mac-Mini and a RME Dac, purely non Shindo orientated, till its analogue signal insertion into the Monbrison line preamp section.
|"Die Bank" as heavy wooden shelf system with air suspended feet, inside the digital |
streaming client with RME Dac does not create any dissent comparing the
300b tube amplifier underneath
|Installation at Maison de la L'Audiophile in Paris in the 1980ties|
Mike used a lead battery operated phono equalizer together with different tube preamps and a sheer uncountable amount of different tube and transistor power amplifiers for alternative testing. He worked beside several Thorens 124 at a record player concept, which was basically made from three different sized lathe chucks, one hold the main bearing for the heavy platter, one kept the motor unit and one to hold the SME 3012/II with outside fixed Isoda cabling and a lead housed Denon DL103 cartridge, the hole installation was set in a sand filled wooden box of 100 kg, just to recall some of the ideas coming from France these days. He already had ordered the legendary Partridge Transformers TH4663 through La Maison de l'Audiophile for building his own pair of legacy 300b single ended amplifiers with the WE310 as driver tube.
Many components have passed through over that time, for example only to name the loudspeakers was a whole lot. Seriously it started after some ordinary hifi speakers from the british 1970ties school with Lowther drivers and with Audiovector enclosures at the end of this lane (front- and backloaded horn). Followed by Salabert PHP drivers in different types of enclosure types, mostly open baffles. Both speakers are full range 8 inch speakers, which were used from a basic underlying theory, that a crossover less, small scaled single driver does show the fewest errors and the best homogenious sound… Every theory is only as good as its successful contradictory idea.
|Line Magnetic LM22A/555W field coil receiver unit|
The need for room filling horn enclosures with heater like radiations from 6 watts tube amplifiers is based on pure luxury, but not at fundamental demands. For this reason several asian ( japanese, korean and chinese) companies do fill the gap of demand, created by the rarity of the original collector items with very close made reproductions for the every day use. Western Electric like amplifiers are made with original spare parts since decades as their transformers are wound on original WE iron cores by asian enterprises. A chinese specialist from HK, Mr. Wu and the japanese company P&G in Tokyo are highly specialized in that field. The US american government had sold ships full with industrial junk and waste in the early 1970ties to China in order to get rid of it. Tons of military, telephone and other equipment gathered near Guangzhou, were it formed the largest spare part junk yard for the Western Electric audio aficionados in history.
Not only the amplifiers but as well WE Speakers, drivers, their parts and a diverse range of horn funnels are made as perfect reproductions mainly in Asia. GIP company is a well known since decades in Japan or Line Magnetic now in China are doing replicas of original Western Electric horn assemblies and drivers with a high degree to the authentic originals. Single WE horn funnels as perfect replicas are made in Italy and Korea with a lot of empathy. All this enterprises exist since the originals have completely disappeared to collectors hands (mainly in Asia) and are even with real money not anymore available. In the closely past years real clashes were apparent in several internet forums, were interest holders of both lines are fighting about sovereignty of quality against each other.
|Line Magnetic LM555W field coil receiver|
To me the question about such horn installations is absolutely not a question of originality. For me it is in the foremost stage a question of properties such incomparable designs will have to offer. For me the principal design values are dependent, for example a horn design itself, its shape, its lengths comparing its development, its used materials and its therefor resulting resonances, its physical abilities, its electrical efficiency, its usable frequency range and finally its ability to bring me emotionally into the music event – and make me to forget any theory about.
From this point of view it does not interest, if it is branded with WE22A or LM22A, if their physical appearance is almost identical. The Line Magnetic clones are as close as it can be by material match and built quality. But their biggest advance, their unrestricted availability in new made reproduceable amounts, made possible, that even I will have a chance to listen to their unbelievable fantastic sound properties.
Coming back to my main intention, I want to write about a unique audio set up with the listed loudspeaker transducer installation. A Line Magnetic LM22A medium frequency horn with LM 555W field coil driver, expanded a with a LM 597 Tweeter and a pair of Klangfilm KL405 woofers to complete the installation in a WE design influenced low frequency dipole enclosure. To make a short cut to the late end of this series of articles, this set up is one of the most musical inherent systems I have heard so far with the best natural response I do know. Within the following articles I will try to explain why it is and why it is not possible just to spend money to get it.
Read on soon, Volker
Read on soon, Volker