This “quick” to install mono setup was rigged some months ago just to have some decent music whilst I built some we13a horns.
It’s We555 with WE24a horn along with open baffle we4181.
Biamp we1086 amps, passive volume control with Dave Slagle autoformers (13Audio build) Studer a730.
Sounded easy and open.
Simple is not that bad…
It took a great deal of time to locate a foundry that could first of all accept small production and secondly agree to cast iron “the way it was done” in the 1920’s.
Indeed the sand used today in many foundries is not the same…it has bonding agents that make the mould removal easier preventing the sand from breaking. This is progress. The result is less wastage and associated costs. Well true to my objectives to make the closest possible to original as imaginable I had arranged with this foundry that they use the good old sand….it meant more labour and higher cost but that’s what it takes.
I had many meetings with the main man for production (the foundry having 12 employees….so…) so they could cast the Western Electric parts as in the 1920’s. I learnt so much that helped refine the models I make, admittedly this approach was really new to him as his clients were not seeking “like original” at least to the extent I wanted.
Our meetings and subsequent orders made working with this craftsman a true pleasure and as I rank pleasure higher than profit it was truly rewarding. Thank you “E”.
Shortly after placing an order for we13a and we12a parts I received a short email telling me that FVR went bankrupt and was closing down. This made me sad. Not because I had to find another foundry but because their knowhow was going to disappear.
FVR foundry in Normandy was established in 1919. Their initial business was making replacement parts for the textile industry machinery in the upper Normandy region, small cast iron parts, levers, bearing housings etc…Since, the weaving industry has gone to other areas of the world.
FVR moved on to cast for the industries that occupied the void left by the textile industry. Small production, bespoke work was their forte.
Now the adventure is over. Their orders having shifted to another part of the planet instructed to travel there by the all mighty P&L and bottom line.
“E”called me yesterday to tell me I had to come and get my moulds quickly otherwise they would be inaccessible when the factory got locked up tomorrow at noon. So I went for the last time to meet craftsman friend “E” to get those very precious mouldings.
He showed me the very last castings they made that are for the restoration of an historical building.
Thanks to FVR and thanks to “E” for such a pleasant journey. So sad it’s ending this way.
All fun….not this time!
When you move house you undo your fine tuned audio system to then build it up again. Obviously moving house is not just about the audio system….so what happened ? Well I just plugged in the system to enjoy some music and got on with other matters to be attended. Whilst my wife is very (very….) tolerant about my audio adventures she obviously would not understand days fine tuning, soldering, inverting phases etc….others matters such as bathrooms, lights, heating..took priority!
A good friend N needed some tuning on his tungar and to test things out we decided I give it a full sink in bedding time at my place. Despite me knowing that anything short of tungar DC power will not fit the bill (Read here) I had only installed diode and selenium power supplies to the we555 and 597a’s. Well you know all that house work! Anyway I just plugged N’s tungar, set voltages and….yes this is the real deal…! REAL DEAL….so much more so much!
Just need to test before delivery?
I was hosting a single mono we13a in my main room, fine and really a great system that I have baptised “the democratic western electric big horn system” one horn, one 555, one tweeter and maybe some bass….easy to setup, sits on the floor, rotate to suit your ears and room….voilà!
Had a 13a just painted sitting in my workroom. Tempting no? But…lucky? delivery schedule yet to be decided so?…yes….move it into to my room. 2 hours later all running in my 80m2 space. Does it sound okay? Yes!
Woodworking room has free space now….to build? Maybe we12a this time…let’s see.
Here we have the western electric reference 13810 bracket proudly produced and used for 13Audio horns. It is an exact replica of the original part made so many years ago. Yes it’s solid cast iron and ensures a solid and secure fixing of the throat to the wood sections of the horn.
This bracket was used for both the 12a and 13Audio horns. It is used and seen and mentioned Here.
Notice in image below that it has a very slight angle. This angle corresponds exactly to the expansion angle of the horn at the very 1st wooden section of the we13a.
The expansion rate of the 12a is not the same yet they used the same bracket? So it does not fit exactly….how’s that! The 12a has indentations at the connecting point where these brackets are used. The indentation (see image of 12a below) is not parallel to horn build but slight off. This allows the use of the 13810 bracket on the 12a like 13a. The flanges of the throats take this into account…detail detail….The truth is in the details….
Images are seen here of bracket aside a calibrated 90 degree angle square, bracket is fresh from foundry and machine house.
The last time these were produced was back in 1925/26…..
Also can be noticed is the woodwork on a 13Audio and the side sections that are juts over 1″ thick, this is yet another important detail….! More later about that.
This is all good stuff! Go here