I first saw the Western Electric 16A at the Klipsch Audio History Museum in Hope, AR in 2003. It was love at first site. I never thought I would get to hear one until this one landed in upstate New York.
Not only did I get to hear a 16A but I got to here it with early WE555 field coil drivers.
This field coil power supply uses the mighty Western Electric Mercury and Argon
Look at how clean the lines are on this horn. Just beautiful.
This 16A was powered by the 2 watt amp on the right. Great sounding little amp.
So how did it sound? I'm not great at describing sound and I hate reading descriptions of how things "sound" but I'll give it a shot.
Ok so here is a speaker I have wanted to hear for over 10 years. I've built up an ideal in my head I'm pretty sure it can't live up to or at least this was my concern.
I awoke got up and went for a brief morning walk and came back to grab some coffee. After grabbing some coffee I heard sound coming from the other room which had to be the 16A. I think it took me 2 seconds to find my seat in front of the 16A. This speaker met and exceeded my expectations quickly. I was speechless. It had an energy that was very nice. I was unfamiliar with the first African artist we listen to but it was very good. We also listen to some early jazz for example Louis Armstorng and Ella. The energy was perfect.
I don't know the specs nor do I care right now. This sounded incredible. When listening to vintage speakers I have been greatly rewarded by stepping out of the 20hz to 20khz box. It is such a small place.
This concludes the IV part post of hanging with EMIA. It was superb.
Thank you Jeffrey, Lisa, and Dave. Your hospitality and generosity was greatly appreciated.
The tag line of the Experience Music and Intact Audio blog Hi-Fi Heroin is new school ideas meet old school junk. The junk they refer to is far from it. However It is very clear after just walking around snapping a few pics who they study and revere.
I was supposed to do a video interview while there but time just slipped away. Maybe next time. I learned alot just from hanging out and listening.
These petal horn studies are reminiscent of the early audio horns. I got to hear one of these briefly and it sounded great.
The picture of this horn does not do it justice. This walnut is stunning. I hope to see more of these in the future. The construction was very interesting.
Nothing.... Nothing beats a large well designed horn system.
I love the size and scale of this system. You can't fight physics horns just have to be big. The sound of this system was true to source, imaged beautifully, and had that extraction of detail I love. I got to hear this system a little louder than on previous visits which was a treat.
When I heard Junior Marvin's Police And Thieves and Roots Train on this system I was floored. This album was produced by Lee Scratch Perry so quality was very high from cymbals to vocals to thick bass. All the tracks we went through on this system were incredible. Jeffrey also played me some very early Phish that was extremely innovative so I am going to find that album. I didn't think I was a Phish fan well now I am.
Here is Stacey modeling the horns. She is 6ft tall so that gives you a good idea of scale.
If you have known Jeffrey and Dave for very long you realize they are nocturnal music listeners. Now when I think of the Eimac 75TL amplifiers it is glowing tubes in the dark that come to mind.
When I look around at all the gear I notice all the equipment in the house is chock full of custom wound Slagle transformers, autoformers, and chokes. That is alot of winding. Dave and Jeffrey are a great team and build stunning gear. The fact that they are founding members of the no bling coalition is an added bonus. The only shine you'll find is from glowing tubes.
Eimac 75tl output stage
Western Electric 287A mercury thyratron rectification
This pic is from my GoPro camera which isn't great close up as it distorts but here it is anyway.
The EMIA guys are too humble to say it so I will.
If you need custom audio I can say with 100% confidence that Jeffrey Jackson and Dave Slagle are among the best. I've heard their horn systems, WE field coils with their supplies, phono stages, preamps, and they are all top notch. Guess I'm a junkie too.
“I like big horns and I cannot lie, those little horns make me cry” Tom Danley "Simple. A horn is just a reasonably rigid boundary for an air column. Now all you have to do is figure what shape to make it." PWK