St Exupery said that
“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
This is what the western electric 13a is inspiring me. I have setup complex 5 way systems, multi amped, PLLXO, active crossovers analog and digital, played with the cables, dealt with the phase mysteries, changed capacitors, wires….had plug and play speakers that cost an arm and a leg…and yet always a sense that something was missing so adding things more often than taking them out! The truth is that there were too many things in play.
Stripped to the bare essentials is the essence of the 13a. What we have is a very very long horn driven by an extraordinary driver well controlled with its field coil, capable of going low and reasonably high feeding the solid wood horn.
Minimalistic tuning is all that is required yet you tend to keep on taking things out of the chain. You end up with a simple refreshing and open sound. You end up using one amplifier a few wires and that’s about it….yes high pass filter for the tweeter. The idea is not to get in the way if the we13a. Slight touches here and there….upstream issues become immediately apparent and makes tuning of upstream system very easy as no complex multiway xover in the path..
The we16a, we15a and we12a get you on the reduced to the max road and are all horns that are wonderful, it’s just that the we13a takes it to the next level, meaning less is more I guess.
This we13a will not pass the test procedures of magazine like stereophile with the sweep test impedance curves…nope! Like many of us I used to read such magazines for some guidance and be reassured yet never ended up in where I wanted to be. That is why I am at this place now.