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andywin
02-20-2012, 12:05 PM
Just purchased a pair of vintage Westrex speakers this past weekend and couldn't stop playing the all day yesterday.

I am astounded at how good they are. They are definitely a lot better than my old 4333's and are certainly the equal of my Array 1400's and in some areas are better.

What is unusual about the in that the mid/hi horn driver has been reversed.

54814

54815

54816

DavidF
02-20-2012, 01:42 PM
Whoa! My 093's long lost pappy. Built like like a tank I see.

54818

andywin
02-20-2012, 11:52 PM
Whoa! My 093's long lost pappy. Built like like a tank I see.

54818

Certainly well built, much heavier than a 4333.

louped garouv
02-22-2012, 11:21 AM
sweet score....

audiomagnate
02-22-2012, 12:04 PM
They sound better than your 1400s? Wow. How old are they? Is that a factory cabiinet? What is the model number? That's a 2390A hf driver, correct? Is that cotton in between the dome and the lens?

louped garouv
02-22-2012, 12:05 PM
They sound better than your 1400s? Wow. How old are they? Is that a factory cabiinet? What is the model number? The horn is connected to the vent of the compression driver, correct?

I think that the compression driver is used in 'reverse' as a direct radiator
with no horn -- just the acoustic lens in front of the driver

andywin
02-22-2012, 12:23 PM
I think that the compression driver is used in 'reverse' as a direct radiator
with no horn -- just the acoustic lens in front of the driver

Yes, it has been reversed and has a triangular damping plate over the dome. I would also assume that Westrex left out the phase plug. The 2080 bass drivers have a mass ring in the front of the cone.

They are very efficient, certainly more than the S8's or 4333's I have owned. A small single ended amp drives them extremely loud at about 11:00 o'clock on the volume control of a pre in passive mode.

The bass is the cleanest and most articulate I have ever heard.

They are certainly very rare.

andywin
02-22-2012, 12:30 PM
They sound better than your 1400s? Wow. How old are they? Is that a factory cabiinet? What is the model number? That's a 2390A hf driver, correct? Is that cotton in between the dome and the lens?

They date from somewhere between the late 50's and mid 60's. The model number is 2390A wheras when used in its normal compression driver configuration it would have the designation 2090A. The cabinet is quite clever in its construction and the large port gives an excellent bass response that exhibits no woolliness, booming or chuffing.

andywin
02-23-2012, 09:42 PM
They sound better than your 1400s? Wow. How old are they? Is that a factory cabiinet? What is the model number? That's a 2390A hf driver, correct? Is that cotton in between the dome and the lens?

After a little research I have discovered that they are Westrex 2326A speakers. The cabinets are factory original as are the drivers and they date from cira 1961. That makes them the same age as me :)

audiomagnate
02-28-2012, 09:12 AM
It seems everything on the internet about these speakers was posted by the OP. I just have a hard time believing that a 50 year old design can beat the 1400s, but the idea of using a compression driver in this manner is intriguing, and I'm going to give it a try, just for Sh*** and giggles.

4313B
02-28-2012, 09:20 AM
Greater efficiency has a way of "sounding better" to alot of people. Sometimes it's for real.

andywin
02-28-2012, 10:17 AM
It seems everything on the internet about these speakers was posted by the OP. I just have a hard time believing that a 50 year old design can beat the 1400s, but the idea of using a compression driver in this manner is intriguing, and I'm going to give it a try, just for Sh*** and giggles.

Give it a go, but it's not as simple as just taking the back off. have a close look at the pics.

The arrays are very good speakers but the technology is basically the same as 50 years ago. The westrex was not built to a price point, the arrays were so it is less suprising than you think.

grumpy
02-28-2012, 10:41 AM
Greater efficiency has a way of "sounding better" to alot of people. Sometimes it's for real.

There certainly can be a "liveness factor", for lack of a better phrase, that often presents itself
from high-efficiency systems. When that "liveness" is a prime aspect of sound that floats your boat,
older, reasonably-designed such systems can still be quite intoxicating.

Mr. Widget
02-28-2012, 11:02 AM
The arrays are very good speakers but the technology is basically the same as 50 years ago. The westrex was not built to a price point, the arrays were so it is less suprising than you think.Well... I guess it depends on what you're looking for too. My guess is that you are finding the far more dynamic sound of the phenomenally efficient older Westrex system quite compelling. I wouldn't disagree with that... heck this sort of dynamic appeal has swayed lots of people enough that they have fallen in love with the rather inaccurate and often harsh sounding vintage Klipsch offerings. I believe what these folks and the fans of high sensitivity vintage Altecs etc. are captivated by is this dynamic "realism". It is quite compelling. That said, most high sensitivity systems are also far from tonally neutral and often have other issues that many of us won't tolerate, but for many, the suffocated dynamics of a typical "audiophile" system is intolerable and they are fine with the other distortions.... pick your poison I suppose.

Now, I have never heard this Westrex system, but let's assume it has a rolled off bottom end (physics) but assuming the Bell Labs engineers did everything else right and it is a very neutral sounding speaker, I could see how that might make them extremely compelling... still, they predate stereo and I am sure that since the dispersion is not as well controlled as the 1400 Array, I am confident that they will not image nearly as well in an ideal stereophonic setup. Of course that may not be as important to you as their dynamic character.

I find the strengths of the 1400 Array to be their surprisingly neutral tonality, their fairly extended bass, their fairly dynamic sound quality, and most especially their amazing imaging ability. They are certainly not a perfect speaker, but for many of us they represent a perfect blending of the necessary compromises.


Widget

andywin
02-28-2012, 12:29 PM
These speakers are tonally very similar to the arrays, thats one of the pleasant surprises. Yes they are very efficient but probably bo more than most large JBL's. The arrays ore only hungry because of the bass driver used, that's why I use 550 watt amps with them.

The Westrex 2080 is based on the Altec 515A which rolls off quickly from 40Hz. The 2080H in my speakers has a brass mass ring around the dust cap that I can't remember seeing on normal 2080's or for that matter 515's. I assume this added mass would lower the FR slightly. They are very clean and fast and are flat down to about 40HZ and only slightly down at 32Hz. After that they roll off quite fast.

Whilst the drivers have their roots in the pre stereo era, as do many great JBL drivers, these speakers were developed in the early sixties stereo age and were first listed for sale in 1961. Both the drivers have been re-worked from the previous Westrex offerings. The bass drivers with the mass ring and the adaption of the 2090's into a dome mid/hi. The Westrex specs state 18kHz for the top end which is pretty impressive for a 2 way of the age. I know Tannoy's supposedly went to 20kHZ but I have my doubts that they were able to produce a compression driver with such an extended range when others who had far more experience with such drivers failed.

The imaging is superb as is the arrays. I have found the arrays do not like to pulled too far apart otherwise they develop the hole in the middle syndrome and the imaging starts to collapse. I'ts probably due to their dispersion characteristics. The Westrex's obviously have a greater dispersion and I have them sitting outside of the arrays. They give a far wider soundstage, a little more depth and good seperation too. The depth may be due to the valve amp rather than the speakers though.

As I have said previously on this forum, the Array 1400's are outstanding and I doubt that I'll ever part with them. The Westrex were a lucky find and as every bit as good as the arrays. They allow me to play with my valve amps which unfortunately the arrays do not. I have tried but the lower power amps that I prefer just won't cut the mustard.

I have another pair of speakers that are in the same league as both the Array's and the Westrex. They are BTH K10A's, and they have their roots back into the 1930's, way before stereo. They are basically a permanent magnet version of the Western Electric 4181a with a concentric compression driver/horn. The cones are interchangable with the WE / Jensen 18".

So, my experience is:

Well engineered modern speakers sound very good
Well engineered old classic speakers sound very good
Well engineered very old classic speakers sound very good
It certainly helps if the manufacturer has a background in professional Cinema / theatre / studio / broadcasting. i.e proper engineering
And I and consider myself fortunate to have these great loudspeakers.

grumpy
02-28-2012, 02:34 PM
...fortunate to have these great loudspeakers.

Indeed. :applaud:

Mr. Widget
02-28-2012, 03:14 PM
So, my experience is:

Well engineered modern speakers sound very good
Well engineered old classic speakers sound very good
Well engineered very old classic speakers sound very good
It certainly helps if the manufacturer has a background in professional Cinema / theatre / studio / broadcasting. i.e proper engineering
And I and consider myself fortunate to have these great loudspeakers.Agreed...

Though I am skeptical about a few of the details... I have no doubt they are a magnificent speaker and you are quite fortunate to have found them.


Widget

JoMoCo
02-28-2012, 06:39 PM
Interesting, looks to be similar size but not the same as the Shindo Latour .. I wonder were the HF's earlier than the Acoutilens or just another implementation .. ?

andywin
02-28-2012, 10:56 PM
Interesting, looks to be similar size but not the same as the Shindo Latour .. I wonder were the HF's earlier than the Acoutilens or just another implementation .. ?

I my search to find out more about these speakers I have been in contact with two former Westrex employee's. One left in 1961 and couldn't remember them but the other had some recollections about them. So far I have uncovered:

They are Westrex model 2326A
They were developed around 1960/61
They supposedly were intended as a replacement for the larger Acoustilens so post date them
They use the same base componants as the Acoustilens with the exception of the horn but do have the slant plate lens from it.
One of the aims was to have a greater HF extension than the Acoustilens.
The first development models has two HF units although they may have been GEC presence units
The HF unit (2390A) was a develpment of the 2090 using the principles of the GEC HF units
The GEC anechoic chamber was supposedly used to develop them
With the L pad adjusted for the room they apparently gave a very flat response. Listening seems co support this.
The cabinets are original
Thats about it so far but I'm still searching for any further info or recollections.

audiomagnate
02-29-2012, 08:27 AM
Yes you are very fortunate indeed. No speaker is perfect, but you own a pair of what I consider the most realistic sounding speakers on the planet, the 1400s. The Mark Levinison HQD system from the late 70s was my previous jaw dropper. How could this speaker go unnoticed for 50 years?

stephane RAME
02-29-2012, 09:04 AM
My WESTREX horn
http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?11750-My-new-Loudspeaker-Systems-%E2%80%93-Great-Plains-audio&p=262291&viewfull=1#post262291

Stéphane

louped garouv
02-29-2012, 10:52 AM
How could this speaker go unnoticed for 50 years?
perhaps limited availability/distribution and lack of internet 'brouhaha' --
for lack of a better term is significant?

andywin
02-29-2012, 11:26 AM
perhaps limited availability/distribution and lack of internet for lack of a better term is significant?

I would have to agree with you. They were the last Westrex domestic / studio loudspeaker before Westrex pulled out of that market. They were very expensive, I don't know how much as the only references say "price on application". I can find no contemporary reviews of them so, apart from a reference to them in the 1962 HiFi Year Book with no accompanying picture there was little public exposure.

I have found only reference to one other person who once owned a pair so they do seem to be rare.


I have found a site that shows four 2080E woofers owned by a Serbian. http://'http://www.german-vintage-loudspeakers.com/navid.826/westrex-15-woofer-2080e.htm' --


These are the same as in my speaker with the added mass ring. The owner has measured the speaker parameters


Brand: western electric
Model: 2080.E
Thiele-Small Parameters:
Fs: 34.00 Hz
Vas: 149.27 l
Qms: 19.3111
Qes: 0.1998
Qts: 0.1978
Sd: 693.60 cm2
Vd: 0.0694 l
XMax: 1.00 ±mm
Revc: 12.0000 Ohms
ZMax: 1171.7574 Ohms
ZNom: 12.0 Ohms
Bl: 35.8684 N/A
Rms: 1.1093 kg/s
Cms: 0.2185 mm/N
Kms: 4.5767 N/mm
Mms: 100.2717 g
Mmd: 79.2648 g
Levc@1kHz: 2.5270 mH
Levc@5kHz: 1.0722 mH
Levc@10kHz: 1.3017 mH
Levc (Ave): 1.0793 mH
no: 2.8480 %
SPL @ 1W,1m: 96.56 dB
SPL @ 2.83V,1m: 94.80 dB
Measurement Info:
Method: Delta Mass
Added weight: 32.00 g

JoMoCo
02-29-2012, 02:12 PM
Andywin
Would you mind sharing the dimensions of and any other info on the cabinet .. ? It is hard to tell from the pictures about the porting .. maybe a tapered resistive vent style .. ? Wow xmax 1mm .. :drive:Thanks in advance

found this and though it was useful also .. http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=115080

andywin
02-29-2012, 03:12 PM
Andywin
Would you mind sharing the dimensions of and any other info on the cabinet .. ? It is hard to tell from the pictures about the porting .. maybe a tapered resistive vent style .. ? Wow xmax 1mm .. :drive:Thanks in advance

found this and though it was useful also .. http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=115080

Speaker cabinets are 37.5 " x 22.75" x 16.25"

I'll take some more pics of the porting arrangement.

The link you posted is of my speakers. I posted on pfm in my quest for further information. :)

I've just been listening to Paul Simon's Graceland through them and I stand by all I've said before.

audiomagnate
02-29-2012, 06:52 PM
I would love to hear these speakers. Are they truly the Holy Grail? Too bad you're so far away. The 1400s float a voice like nothing else for me, Sinatra in the room. Can they really do that?

tomt
03-04-2012, 10:08 PM
what a bargain this was -

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?2085-Westrex-2080A

pde2000
03-14-2012, 11:48 AM
hi andy, just seen your post. where did you find them? im jealous. you remember i had a single bth 5b driver, it went to a japanese ebayer for not a lot. he also bought a 30150a for £860 + etc, so at that price i will be keeping mine. my grandad tried using a 2090 back to front in his setup, with a 2080. he ended up using a 12" westrex 30928 on its own, with a bit of treble lift and was very happy with that. that lens looks diy-able, is it simply alloy plates bolted together, with a v notch out of each? you know the 2090 is better than the altec if it still has the original diaphragm. i bought a replacement from gpa, which sounds poorer to the original and has a narrower ribbon (and the alloy is a bit crummy, not smooth and creamy). i finally succeeded to solder the voice coil, using a tinned piece of copper wire and a high temp, still going strong, crossed at 500hz with an old we xover with no attenuation (ie a pair of aircore chokes and a pair of big dubilier caps) and a fibreglass 805. i could have saved a few quid if id persevered with repairing the old coil. a very nice chap bought my gaumont 379 and a 12" gaumont (goodmans) at a very fair price. i had no idea the gaumonts were so popular (a pair just sold by emporium for nearly 3grand). i am still kicking myself for missing a 20/80 a few years ago, being sold by a lady in ascot from this site. she only wanted £750 but divorce was making that difficult and my dad didnt think it was a good bet. damm:banghead:

i see they now fetch $35000 a pair and then some.

my dad thinks gec shared some research with westrex, because he was shown round there once. they used to give away their designs, like the presence unit which became the celestion hf1300 and the ribbon mike that made reslo famous (it must have helped that the m.d. of reslosound had been head of gec labs before he moved to romford). gec, like litton were an aerospace and military contractor, doing secret work for the government, so making music was a sideline eventually.

my dad finally talked a bit about his dad's work and remembers being taken to ireland when he was about 2, in 1935, while the cinema's were being converted to sound. he caught chicken pox and his mum blamed the ferry journey. before working for we my grandad had been installing radio for hmv, having apprenticed at eveready. he wanted to settle down and get married. they bought a home near caterham (warlingham) and then along came the war so they moved up to newcastle. they lived in warlingham then until they both died, about 10 years ago, with pop going about looking after his cinema's and kay keeping accounts for an artists agency in bayswater.

dave fenner
06-03-2013, 09:28 AM
I was a field engineer at Westrex, my patch was NW London. I left to set up my own company and Westrex were my main Distributor, so I was often in and out of the Works at Coles Green Road. The following paragraph is not for the squeemish.

Most UK cinemas using Westrex sound and projection equipment were on a lease plus service contract, the gear was owned by Westrex. During late 60's cinemas were fast being converted to multiples, bingo halls or bowling etc, so masses of equipment was being removed. Having no storage space they put large skips behind the works. These were daily filled with 2040 40 watt tube amps (best ever), 2080 bass drivers and 2090 drivers and horns, and sold as scrap. Bass bins were broken up on site. Crying is allowed.

One day when visiting I saw lying by the skip a 2090C driver complete with Book Radiator. I grabbed it and remarked to the warehouse manager (Mr Bill Diamond) 'pity there is not a pair'. 'Wait',we are having a clear-out' he said and went inside and returned with another, which was obviously a prototype, having a rough looking makeshift bracket for mounting but otherwise identical.

I beleive these speakers as shown here were intended to superceed the original Acoustilens model, I cannot be certain but few if any were sold, in which case they are extremely rare. The only ones I knew of were owned by a very few of my fellow engineers. The guys that had them were the cream of the West End sound men, like Gorden Isaacs and Billy Bell. I heard them on a system consisting of a pair of 2040's, a Decca FFSS cartridge and tone arm. I never heard before or since such gorgeous quality from vinyl. But I must say the best systems I ever heard were the circa 1954 4 track mag Cinemascope movies with 3 Westrex bins with cellular horns. Its all gone backwards since. It is no surprise to me that efficient speakers sound far better, its the tight control by the huge magnets and small accurate gap, and stiff ouput of the transfomer coupling, damps overshoot and flapping around.

Back to the Book Radiator; I do still own the original prototype. At one time I pondered copying the perforated sheild and the Book 'pages' and offering them as conversion kit for 2090A. Too old to bother now. I am not familiar with the type number 2390, my memory is fading but as I recall the original horn driver was 2090A (24 ohms) and 2090C (15 ohms and no phase plug) but I could be wrong.

Earl K
06-03-2013, 10:01 AM
Hi Dave,

It's wonderful to hear about this stuff from someone who was actually there .

Were these drivers & horns ( 2080 & 2090, etc. ) made on the premises ( at the "Works" as you put it ) ?

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to fill in some of the details.

:)

andywin
06-03-2013, 12:47 PM
Hi Dave

Thank you for your recollections from your time at Westrex and for filling in some gaps in my knowledge.

[/URL]The drivers are stamped 2390E so I would assume the 2090C's were used to develop the transducer

[URL="http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1315.jpg.html"]http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1315.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1314.jpg.html)


Below is a pic of one of the drivers with the diphragm removed, clearly showing the absence of a phase plug and added foam for damping.


http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1534_zps3793bea1.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1534_zps3793bea1.jpg.html)

dave fenner
06-04-2013, 06:15 PM
Hi Dave,

It's wonderful to hear about this stuff from someone who was actually there .

Were these drivers & horns ( 2080 & 2090, etc. ) made on the premises ( at the "Works" as you put it ) ?

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to fill in some of the details.

:)
Difficult question. Westrex certainly had quite large manufacturing capacity but mostly for electronics. There was a trend to buy from outside specialists but they modified parts that they could do better, always something modified. Perhaps they were buying from Altec, you guys could tell me in which ways their units were differant. They were quite secretive about suppliers, even with us employees. They also had license agreements. For instance US Cenury projectors were made in London under licence sold as the Westar but the most vital precision part (the 'crossbox') was changed to their own better design. Possibly a similar thing was done with the speakers? There were some very good speaker manufacturers in UK at that time (and now, e.g. ATC).

The competitive Kalee HF drivers type 379 were US made, they have physically interchangeable diaphram but housing and magnet were differant, they had noticably inferior performance to the Westrex.

This posted in good faith but may not be strictly accurate; it was a long time ago!

andywin
06-08-2013, 03:47 AM
I was a field engineer at Westrex, my patch was NW London. I left to set up my own company and Westrex were my main Distributor, so I was often in and out of the Works at Coles Green Road. The following paragraph is not for the squeemish.

Most UK cinemas using Westrex sound and projection equipment were on a lease plus service contract, the gear was owned by Westrex. During late 60's cinemas were fast being converted to multiples, bingo halls or bowling etc, so masses of equipment was being removed. Having no storage space they put large skips behind the works. These were daily filled with 2040 40 watt tube amps (best ever), 2080 bass drivers and 2090 drivers and horns, and sold as scrap. Bass bins were broken up on site. Crying is allowed.

One day when visiting I saw lying by the skip a 2090C driver complete with Book Radiator. I grabbed it and remarked to the warehouse manager (Mr Bill Diamond) 'pity there is not a pair'. 'Wait',we are having a clear-out' he said and went inside and returned with another, which was obviously a prototype, having a rough looking makeshift bracket for mounting but otherwise identical.

I beleive these speakers as shown here were intended to superceed the original Acoustilens model, I cannot be certain but few if any were sold, in which case they are extremely rare. The only ones I knew of were owned by a very few of my fellow engineers. The guys that had them were the cream of the West End sound men, like Gorden Isaacs and Billy Bell. I heard them on a system consisting of a pair of 2040's, a Decca FFSS cartridge and tone arm. I never heard before or since such gorgeous quality from vinyl. But I must say the best systems I ever heard were the circa 1954 4 track mag Cinemascope movies with 3 Westrex bins with cellular horns. Its all gone backwards since. It is no surprise to me that efficient speakers sound far better, its the tight control by the huge magnets and small accurate gap, and stiff ouput of the transfomer coupling, damps overshoot and flapping around.

Back to the Book Radiator; I do still own the original prototype. At one time I pondered copying the perforated sheild and the Book 'pages' and offering them as conversion kit for 2090A. Too old to bother now. I am not familiar with the type number 2390, my memory is fading but as I recall the original horn driver was 2090A (24 ohms) and 2090C (15 ohms and no phase plug) but I could be wrong.

Hi Dave

Do you have any recollections as to the function of the perforated shield with its polythene domes? Was it to modulate the HF response, dampen any resonant buzz from the diapfagms, or was it for some other purpose?

Steve Schell
06-09-2013, 11:08 PM
Fantastic thread, due in large part to the contributions of Dave Fenner! I have heard my share of horrible disposal stories on this side of the pond, often involving that awful (gasp!) Lansing prewar field coil gear. Inevitably it is out with the old, in with the new, despite how badly the new sucks.

The Westrex and Western Electric London drivers have always appeared to be upscale versions of the Academy-approved Altec Lansing designs of the 1940s-1950s. The consumer Acoustilens 20/80 systems were the pro drivers shoehorned into home cabinets, just as the Altec home systems were during the same period. I've always wondered whether the British systems were built under license from Altec Lansing, or whether the technology was simply borrowed. In any event the gear was very good, mostly blowing away pretentious modern stuff.

The Shindo system borrows heavily from the Westrex 20/80 Acoustilens system, though the drivers have been converted to field coil operation. In my experience this is a worthwhile thing.

Andywin I have seen pictures of at least one other example of your system with the inverted compression driver, so these were evidently production items.

andywin
06-10-2013, 12:02 PM
Fantastic thread, due in large part to the contributions of Dave Fenner!

I'll bow out now then.

dave fenner
06-10-2013, 05:26 PM
Hi Dave

Do you have any recollections as to the function of the perforated shield with its polythene domes? Was it to modulate the HF response, dampen any resonant buzz from the diapfagms, or was it for some other purpose?

First in reply to others about origin, I should have said, it is fact that all the 2080 and 2090 drivers had transfer label 'Made in England'. I dont know where or by whom, maybe Vitavox or BTH or even Goodmans?

As you may know, if you put LF power to an unmounted bass driver, no loading to control it, it will likely bust the spider and surround. An HF pressure driver with no horn will do the same, fly to bits. Thats why they are tightly bolted up with a gasket. Failure of these drivers is often result of blown seal. If HF diaphragm was left bare with no horn load it would only be able to work at low level without damage. The name Book Radiator is the clue; you cannot slam shut a book however hard you push, you are working to push out the air. Thats what the leaves are for, to load the thing so it has some work to do. The perfotated shield holds the leaves in place and restricts overshoot.

This may be likely reason crossover frequency of these units was raised to 1000hz (Acoustilens was 675 i think, cinema horns were 500).

HCSGuy
06-10-2013, 09:17 PM
I'll bow out now then.

NO! - It's your job to find more cool stuff:) Thanks so much for sharing pics of your find; It's so much fun to see what creative minds have done...

Steve Schell
06-10-2013, 10:59 PM
Aw jeez andywin, please don't be that way! I intended no slight whatsoever toward you, and do appreciate your sizable contributions, including your pictures, descriptions and the origin of the thread. I suppose I could have stated things in a better way. You need to understand that when the Lansing Heritage site founders encounter an original source such as a Westrex field engineer we get a bit weak in the knees. We started off a dozen years ago studying the enigmatic Jim Lansing, who died in 1949. Finding original sources to document such a person is not easy, though I have spoken with more than fifteen people who knew him. More often we speak with people who have heard such and such from so and so and often the stories disagree.

Mr Fenner, I eye such a thing as a compression driver turned around and used as a direct radiator with suspicion, for the reasons you have outlined. It appears that the engineers' goals were to achieve a relatively uncolored sound at living room levels, and I suppose they succeeded in this. This was the era of congested-sounding midrange horns; thankfully we have made some progress since then. One well known studio engineer here in L.A. is well known for having used Altec 1" drivers turned around as tweeters in his monitor systems over the years.

dave fenner
06-12-2013, 07:39 AM
Aw jeez andywin, please don't be that way! I intended no slight whatsoever toward you, and do appreciate your sizable contributions, including your pictures, descriptions and the origin of the thread. I suppose I could have stated things in a better way. You need to understand that when the Lansing Heritage site founders encounter an original source such as a Westrex field engineer we get a bit weak in the knees. We started off a dozen years ago studying the enigmatic Jim Lansing, who died in 1949. Finding original sources to document such a person is not easy, though I have spoken with more than fifteen people who knew him. More often we speak with people who have heard such and such from so and so and often the stories disagree.

Mr Fenner, I eye such a thing as a compression driver turned around and used as a direct radiator with suspicion, for the reasons you have outlined. It appears that the engineers' goals were to achieve a relatively uncolored sound at living room levels, and I suppose they succeeded in this. This was the era of congested-sounding midrange horns; thankfully we have made some progress since then. One well known studio engineer here in L.A. is well known for having used Altec 1" drivers turned around as tweeters in his monitor systems over the years.

I second you about andywins contribution, his pictures are unique and rare.

Re your remarks, the point is that this is not a bare diaphragm. Be that as it may, fact is Westrex's unit rating was 30 watts continuous and it is clean all the way. I suspect it would bust without the 'book' but wouldn't want to risk trying it (around £50 for new one, still available from Lansing!). I can assure you acoustic output is plenty high enough in a small hall (but probably wouldn't survive for todays pub gig levels).

Mr. Widget
06-14-2013, 10:37 PM
Just purchased a pair of vintage Westrex speakers this past weekend and couldn't stop playing the all day yesterday.

I am astounded at how good they are. They are definitely a lot better than my old 4333's and are certainly the equal of my Array 1400's and in some areas are better.

What is unusual about the in that the mid/hi horn driver has been reversed.So, now that you've lived with these amazingly pristine and undoubtedly amazing speakers have they become your primary system's speakers?

I do wish you were a bit closer... I'd love to hear them!!!


Widget

andywin
06-16-2013, 01:22 PM
So, now that you've lived with these amazingly pristine and undoubtedly amazing speakers have they become your primary system's speakers?

I do wish you were a bit closer... I'd love to hear them!!!


Widget

Over the last couple of months yes they have, but I have set up my system so that I can switch between the Array 1400,s and the 2326A's with ease. I also have been using one of my BTH K10A's ( in it's original cabinet ) for mono replay and have now decided to have either a matching cabinet made or a pair of cabinets that follow the design principles of the Westrex cabinets, only a little larger as they need at least 7 cubic feet for optimum peformance.

My secondary system has a choice between Isophon G3037 and Philips 9710M full rangers.

As for distance, If your'e ever in London, I'm only 20 minutes away by high speed train.

Andy

pde2000
07-21-2013, 02:22 AM
ive just discovered westrex were in business with celestion and vox. the 30928 12" is identical to the early celestion g12, famous for guitar amps. some of celestions g12's were made by westrex and some of the vox amps also (voxac100.org.uk). of course i cant tell which came first the cinema speaker or the guitar speaker, but my grandad rated the 30928 so highly that its all he listened to at home and he had no shortage of other equipment to compare it with. then again he was a heavy drinker. lived into his 90's tho. sorry i wasnt actually there with him on his job, my dad took little interest and became a vicar.

Fort Knox
07-21-2013, 07:54 AM
If theirs Un'ckd Liveliness.... and one note bass...
Why not hookup a Bose 901 Active EQ....:)
You could call it the DD68000...:D

pde2000
07-21-2013, 10:16 AM
If theirs Un'ckd Liveliness.... and one note bass...
Why not hookup a Bose 901 Active EQ....:)
You could call it the DD68000...:D


what?

hjames
07-21-2013, 02:24 PM
If theirs Un'ckd Liveliness.... and one note bass...
Why not hookup a Bose 901 Active EQ....:)
You could call it the DD68000...:D

Daytime drinkin' ??

NickH
07-21-2013, 07:54 PM
:lol_fit:
Daytime drinkin' ??

Fort Knox
07-22-2013, 03:56 AM
:lol_fit:

I find it a bit curious that the westrex is persumed (without hearing it) to be lively.
I haven't heard this model ...Westrex... but I have heard a larger westrex version..
and it .. sounded a lot more linear and natural than you might imagine by simply looking at it...
Sort of reminded me of the old Table radios w/tubes

gasfan
07-22-2013, 01:27 PM
Aw jeez andywin, please don't be that way! I intended no slight whatsoever toward you, and do appreciate your sizable contributions, including your pictures, descriptions and the origin of the thread. I suppose I could have stated things in a better way. You need to understand that when the Lansing Heritage site founders encounter an original source such as a Westrex field engineer we get a bit weak in the knees. We started off a dozen years ago studying the enigmatic Jim Lansing, who died in 1949. Finding original sources to document such a person is not easy, though I have spoken with more than fifteen people who knew him. More often we speak with people who have heard such and such from so and so and often the stories disagree.

Mr Fenner, I eye such a thing as a compression driver turned around and used as a direct radiator with suspicion, for the reasons you have outlined. It appears that the engineers' goals were to achieve a relatively uncolored sound at living room levels, and I suppose they succeeded in this. This was the era of congested-sounding midrange horns; thankfully we have made some progress since then. One well known studio engineer here in L.A. is well known for having used Altec 1" drivers turned around as tweeters in his monitor systems over the years.


I've been following this thread with serious attention as I'm in the process of building a pair of 4345 with 2206 mid-bass and 2390 mid-range. Why? Just for fun. But the idea of building in the ability to quick-change to direct radiator with the 2441 and 2310 is intriguing. It seems a mid sized (living room) setting could benefit from this configuration. My question is, would you consider attempting it and thus eliminate the need for the 2405?

Fort Knox
07-23-2013, 05:06 AM
I've been following this thread with serious attention as I'm in the process of building a pair of 4345 with 2206 mid-bass and 2390 mid-range. Why? Just for fun. But the idea of building in the ability to quick-change to direct radiator with the 2441 and 2310 is intriguing. It seems a mid sized (living room) setting could benefit from this configuration. My question is, would you consider attempting it and thus eliminate the need for the 2405?

Hey Man...You can try it.,,,.... Necessity is the mother of invention :) carry on...

gasfan
07-24-2013, 01:31 PM
Hey Man...You can try it.,,,.... Necessity is the mother of invention :) carry on...

Sure, but it's become fairly obvious that the diaphragm would need to be damped. I would think the distance from the plate to the diaphragm is critical. It seems the closer the better without the diaphragm bottoming out on it during play. I suppose maximum travel in half in a 2441 reversed and sealed is what one would need to know to start with. Any ideas?

Forever grateful:)

Mr. Widget
07-24-2013, 03:11 PM
Reversed compression drivers... :hmm:

Many decades ago when testing a newly re-diaphragmed pair of LE-85s, I discovered that using the driver as a large dome radiator sounded far more linear than using it as originally intended. I considered a number of ways to implement my "discovery"... and after a bit of thought, "Hey, why not use a properly designed dome?" :D

This led me down the path of using Dynaudio dome radiators, ribbon tweeters and other heretical driver types and for the next couple of decades that is where my DIY projects went... eventually I discovered beryllium and that horn designs had improved and the sensitivity gain and pattern control of using a modern horn led me back to compression drivers and horns.

If you don't over-power the driver, you can have a lot of fun experimenting with them.


Widget

Robh3606
07-24-2013, 03:28 PM
Reversed compression drivers... :hmm:

If you decide to go that way be careful as excessive excursion is not a good thing. Either use Titanium or a Symbiotic with a mylar surround. What ever you do don't use an all aluminum like the original 2441 diaphragm or a 2440. It could potentially shorten the length of the diaphragms life by quite a bit and they are not cheap. Ti would be a much better material in this application.

Way Off Topic

Rob:)

gferrell
07-24-2013, 06:54 PM
The 099ti comes to mind.

gasfan
07-25-2013, 08:55 AM
Thanks for that insight, guys. Back to the original plan.

andywin
07-28-2013, 01:11 AM
I've been following this thread with serious attention as I'm in the process of building a pair of 4345 with 2206 mid-bass and 2390 mid-range. Why? Just for fun. But the idea of building in the ability to quick-change to direct radiator with the 2441 and 2310 is intriguing. It seems a mid sized (living room) setting could benefit from this configuration. My question is, would you consider attempting it and thus eliminate the need for the 2405?

If you do decide to experiment with this you will need to remove the phase plug and provide some front damping. The Westrex uses a shaped plate with about six circular "leaves" of soft polythene. I would think Radian diaphragms with mylar surrounds would be ideal.