Thursday, February 20, 2014
Party like it's 1959
This is your audio-geek moment for Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Today, we'll party like it's 1959.
Above, the 12-inch, Electro-Voice full-range speaker of -- more or less -- that vintage. I got it via eBay, the best Internet friend of vintage-audio geeks like yours truly. The last part of the previous sentence, I suppose, also could be written sans hyphen and be just as accurate.
Anyway, this "Wolverine" driver from the venerable company is what folks bought when they embarked upon building themselves a "hi-fi" speaker. Basically, it's a woofer, mid-range and tweeter all in one.
Folks back then often got fancy and added a "crossover" and separate mid-ranges and tweeters just like what prevails today, but I'm lazy. Besides, a speaker enclosure with just a good full-range "coaxial" or "triaxial" speaker was pretty common back then.
Combine something like that with a vacuum-tube amplifier, and that's what you call "vintage sound." I do love me some vintage sound -- probably because I'm a vintage audio geek. No hyphen.
BUT TO GET a vintage speaker for my vintage tuner and vintage amp, I needed an equally vintage cabinet. One, it must be noted, that wouldn't permanently disfigure our checking account. (You'd be surprised at how much a nice, half-century old hi-fi speaker can monetarily disfigure.)
And hello to a Wharfedale W-60 speaker cabinet that's about the same age I am, sans guts. Or a woofer and tweeter, to be technical about it. Fifteen bucks . . . plus some rejuvenating oil, a black marker, a little wood stain and some elbow grease, which turned scuffs and worn-away veneer into gorgeous "character."
Of course, with old speaker enclosures like this, the only thing that's meant to come off is the back. That's bad when the screws that hold the speaker in are too short . . . and in the wrong places for the new-old Wolverine you bought to go in that box.
I had to do something that wasn't pretty . . . but it worked. And nobody will see it, so who cares?
Breakage of particle board and application of duct tape may have been involved.
Is what I am saying. Don't judge me.
AND VOILA! The finished product, voicer of "vintage sound" from my vintage hi-fi setup.
I think it's happy. See?