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View Full Version : I am pleased to announce [tour of Westlake]



Ken Pachkowsky
12-16-2005, 04:44 PM
We have been invited to tour and photograph the Westlake manufacturing facility in Newberry Park, California. This is a wonderful opportunity as they don't make a habit of granting access to the factory. I am most grateful to Sherwood Davies (VP of Manufacturing) for making this possible. This tour will take place after CES, Probably around the middle of January. They want to make sure there is a pair of SM-1's going through final listening tests when we are there.

I am told Glen Phoenix has agreed to an interview. His reputation is that of a hard core perfectionist. For those that don't know, Westlake Audio was arguably the most influential / successful studio design engineering and consulting companies during the 70's and 80's.

I know from my conversations with Sherwood, Glen has some interesting opinions on the direction (or lack there of) Commercial Audio, specifically studio mains. Their main market is now the far East which I am sure comes as no surprise. During a visit last month they had no less than 3 pair of SM-1's in the construction stage for shipment to Hong Kong and Japan. I also noticed a pair of BBSM15's in the final assembly stage as well.

The tour will include all aspects of the design and manufacturing of these esoteric monitors. Steve Schell, I and at least one other member will represent the Lansing Heritage site.

May I suggest to the moderators that a thread be started with members being able to post questions that they would like answered by the people at Westlake?


Should be a great learning experience and a wonderful opportunity to gain some insite into a facinating company.

Ken

toddalin
12-16-2005, 05:21 PM
We have been invited to tour and photograph the Westlake manufacturing facility in Newberry Park, California. This is a wonderful opportunity as they don't make a habit of granting access to the factory. I am most grateful to Sherwood Davies (VP of Manufacturing) for making this possible. This tour will take place after CES, Probably around the middle of January. They want to make sure there is a pair of SM-1's going through final listening tests when we are there.

I am told Glen Phoenix has agreed to an interview. His reputation is that of a hard core perfectionist. For those that don't know, Westlake was arguably the most influential / successful studio design engineering and consulting companies during the 70's and 80's.

I know from my conversations with Sherwood, Glen has some interesting opinions on the direction (or lack there of) Commercial Audio, specifically studio mains. Their main market is now the far East which I am sure comes as no surprise. During a visit last month they had no less than 3 pair of SM-1's in the construction stage for shipment to Hong Kong and Japan. I also noticed a pair of BBSM15's in the final assembly stage as well.

The tour will include all aspects of the design and manufacturing of these esoteric monitors. Steve Schell, I and at least one other member will represent the Lansing Heritage site.

May I suggest to the moderators that a thread be started with members being able to post questions that they would like answered by the people at Westlake?


Should be a great learning experience and a wonderful opportunity to gain some insite into a facinating company.

Ken

Would this be open to all forum members to attend? I would make the trip (about 1-1/2 hrs each way for me).

norealtalent
12-16-2005, 05:28 PM
I wanna go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who put California way over there? Two progressive states such as NY an Ca should have been side by side!

Ken Pachkowsky
12-16-2005, 06:06 PM
Would this be open to all forum members to attend? I would make the trip (about 1-1/2 hrs each way for me).

Perhaps, lets see what we can do. I want some of the senior moderators to step in and make some suggestions. Perhaps Don will be able to submit some remarks as well?

Ken

Ian Mackenzie
12-16-2005, 08:19 PM
A couple of odd ideas to pre empt the main event and culturally adjust the forumites:

1. Seems to me you want a Westlake Forum or Westies Club thingy.We already have a 4343 club and a charge-coupled club so why not.

2. What about a tour the Pachkowsky maufacturing facility...when is the open day and how about an exclusive interview with Julie? Q's Like how do you put up with it all could prove interesting to the readership?

Ken Pachkowsky
12-16-2005, 09:19 PM
2. What about a tour the Pachkowsky maufacturing facility...when is the open day and how about an exclusive interview with Julie? Q's Like how do you put up with it all could prove interesting to the readership?

To say the least:bouncy:. I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you!:yes:

Merry Christmas Ian.

Ken

norealtalent
12-16-2005, 09:45 PM
To say the least:bouncy:. I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you!:yes:

Merry Christmas Ian.

Ken

Hey Ken, Can you hold off on that kill part for a while? I'd like to ask Ian for help with my x's before you do that part please.
Thanks, Dave :D

andresohc
12-16-2005, 10:16 PM
Sounds like quite an adventure:).
Would this be open to all forum members to attend? I would make the trip (about 1-1/2 hrs each way for me).

Ian Mackenzie
12-16-2005, 11:24 PM
To say the least:bouncy:. I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you!:yes:

Merry Christmas Ian.

Ken

Merry Christmas Ken

Ian

:tree:

Ken Pachkowsky
12-16-2005, 11:58 PM
But I am sure we could take up to 5 people. I would have to clear this with Sherwood of course.

Will keep you posted.

Ken

Windsor2k1
12-19-2005, 05:50 PM
I can imagine that will be really cool to see all that goes on at the Westlake company. I know they use a lot of TAD and JBL stuff, god bless 'em.

I'd be curious to see all that does go on there... so maybe I could appreciate it a little more. I do think there stuff is overpriced. I know it's good stuff... However, I can also say... on a bit of a tangent... that BMW 7-series automobiles are not worth $250k apiece. 80-100k? maybe... It seems like that's the scoop with Westlake. They're selling 7-series bimmers for a quarter of million bucks.

Will

lfh
12-19-2005, 08:57 PM
Hi Ken,

thanks for sharing this with the forum! :applaud:


Here are some questions already:

1. When did (company founder and studio design pioneer) Tom Hidley leave?

2. When did series production of monitors (as opposed to custom built ones) begin?

3. Did they manufacture the Smith-horns for (Tom Hidley's new company in Europe) Eastlake's custom monitors (or did Hidley setup a new production)?

4. Are there any ties between Westlake, Eastlake and Hidley Design today?

5. Are they still in the studio design business?

(6. What's Glen Phoenix' view on 5.1 in general and 5.1 monitoring in particular?)

More specific 5.1 questions:

6a. Are most new control rooms built with 5.1 in mind and are people converting old ones on a larger scale?

6b. How do they typically go about it, as proven two-channel designs such as LEDE and (Hidley invention) Non-Environment rooms likely don't work "out of the box" with surround speakers added?

6c. Will the business make a serious attempt at moving to 5.1 for music - and will the consumers embrace it (or will it fail like the four-channel systems did in the 70:s)?

7. Do they expect (hope for) a revival of big studios (after people possibly get tired of tracking in their bedrooms and project studios) any time soon (and what can the business do to get their customers back)?

Regards,
Fredrik

PS
I have fun story to tell - will post as soon as I have some pics. :bouncy:

lfh
12-20-2005, 02:09 PM
8. What was the recipe (at least driver sizes, horn type and baffle layout) for the "original Westlake / Sierra / Eastlake" monitor being referred to here (http://www.hidley-design.com/01_2/01_hid1/e_hist_2.html)?

9. When did they start to sell their Smith-type horns?

Fredrik

Ken Pachkowsky
12-20-2005, 08:05 PM
8. What was the recipe (at least driver sizes, horn type and baffle layout) for the "original Westlake / Sierra / Eastlake" monitor being referred to here (http://www.hidley-design.com/01_2/01_hid1/e_hist_2.html)?

9. When did they start to sell their Smith-type horns?

Fredrik


Fredrik

Thanks for your input. I would be happy to have these questions asked during the tour process.

Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
01-16-2006, 10:43 AM
Hi All

I just spoke with Westlake and we are setting up the tour for this week. I will confirm what day as soon as I hear from Steve Schell.

For those wanting to join us, please contact me by phone at 760-574-8786 and I will explain how we will select the individuals who will come along. At this short notice perhaps none of you will be available? I am rushing this tour because of moving away in 2 weeks.

Ken

lfh
01-16-2006, 03:19 PM
Hi Ken, All,

I wish I could join, but... One final question sprung to mind:

10. When did the famous Westlake Studio A open for business?

Given the already large number of questions (sorry!) - and I figure more will follow - I volonteer to help transcribing the answers (provided that you bring some kind of recorder).

Fredrik

Ken Pachkowsky
01-16-2006, 04:14 PM
The tour will be Thursday morning early (9:00am till noon). Edgewound, myself and Steve Schell are going. We have room for 1 maybe 2 more people? We are meeting at the crack of dawn and will all ride togther from the 605/210 area to Westlake. We want to finish up and get back to East side of LA before rush hour. For those of you who know I-10 you will understand.

We will take many photo's and post the interview results on the site. Should be a great morning.

Ken

edgewound
01-16-2006, 04:19 PM
I'm looking forward to this...should be a great time. Thanks for arranging this, Ken

John
01-16-2006, 04:22 PM
Hi Ken Please don't forget what we talked about? :bouncy:

Oh And you guys all have a hell of a time now "Ya Hear":applaud:

Wish I was there but will be in Oklahoma. picking up some JBL,s :blah:

The next best thing!!!:D

toddalin
01-16-2006, 05:03 PM
The tour will be Thursday morning early (9:00am till noon). Edgewound, myself and Steve Schell are going. We have room for 1 maybe 2 more people? We are meeting at the crack of dawn and will all ride togther from the 605/210 area to Westlake. We want to finish up and get back to East side of LA before rush hour. For those of you who know I-10 you will understand.

We will take many photo's and post the interview results on the site. Should be a great morning.

Ken

Would love to join you but have a conference call on Thur.:banghead:

trekman
01-16-2006, 11:11 PM
10. When did the famous Westlake Studio A open for business?
Fredrik
I had 6 TAD 1601A woofers that came from Westlake Studio A, or perhaps B or C, I don't remember. I bought them from some sort of storage facility or perhaps liquidator in CA, it was off ebay, and they haven't sold much since. They had the cabinets too. Dual 15".The shipping boxes were factory TAD and had Westlake's address all over them, like they went back and forth to TAD's facility, perhaps for reconing. The backs of the drivers had stickers on them calling out studio A soffit etc. These drivers introduced me to the pitfalls of heavily used woofers, the cones had sagged into the frames slightly. My Hit Factory 1601's were in better condition.

lfh
01-18-2006, 03:17 PM
I had 6 TAD 1601A woofers that came from Westlake Studio A, or perhaps B or C /.../ My Hit Factory 1601's were in better condition.

Hey, that's a neat collection of famous studio monitor parts! :) Did you buy the ex Hit Factory drivers last year when they closed? (BTW, I have some Westie-parts from a famous studio myself - will post about that later. :yes: )

Fredrik

Ken Pachkowsky
01-19-2006, 07:55 PM
Steve Schell, Edgewound and I enjoyed a good part of the day with Glenn Phoenix and Sherwood Davies at Westlake. Having met Steve on several occasions I have always enjoyed his company. This was the first time I met Edgewound and must say I can think of many members that would enjoy his company. After seeing his picture Julie suggested we invite him for dinner, not sure what she meant by that?

The highlight of the day was auditioning a pair of BBSM15's that also included a custom bottom enclosure that housed 2x18" Tad drivers per side. This particular system was inspired by a request from Will Smith who had purchased a pair. Westlake was so pleased with the results they are introducing the system in the regular product line. The 4-way system used a 2 way active system crossing over at 45hz at which point the rest was a high level passive design. The system consisted of 2x18" Tad's; 2x 15" Tad's; 1x 2122H JBL's and finally a JBL 2426 on a Wood Horn.

Between Edgewound and me we took a bunch of photos and will post some here.

I simply wanted to wet your appetite before Steve uploads the initial overview of our impressions. Edgewound and I will add our 2 cents afterwards. I will post one photo of the above system with a couple of more to come.

Ken

edgewound
01-19-2006, 10:55 PM
Here's a teaser shot of the crossover network for a BBSM....well, ok, not really a teaser, it is a crossover network for a BBSM(corrected: TM3 VF)....and they use Solen capacitors to boot!

It was truly my pleasure to spend the day with Ken Pachkowsky and Steve Schell on our trek to Westlake Audio Mfg today. There was not a quiet, awkward moment the entire way there and back...constant conversation and quite a few laughs. These guys know their stuff. I wish more of you could of joined us. Hey Ken, who told Julie I can cook?....:) . The sheer attention to detail that Westlake employs in the design and manufacture of their products is really something to behold....a rarity in today's business world. More to come later.:applaud:

Ken Pachkowsky
01-19-2006, 11:04 PM
Hey Ken, who told Julie I can cook?....:) .

I have no idea, apparently it has something to do with women's intuition. She took one look at your picture and mumbled something about "He Cooks" :blink: .

I don't know, but with a last name like Pachkowsky, you know I am challenged?

PS: I will correct you though, the picture above is the high level crossover for the pair of TM3 VF's we photographed by the back door.

I have included a pic of the completed network for the other cab.

edgewound
01-19-2006, 11:08 PM
I have no idea, apparently it has something to do with women's intuition. She took one look at your picture and mumbled something about "He Cooks" :blink: .

I don't know, but with a last name like Pachkowsky, you know I am challenged?

:o: :rotfl:

I'm flattered....and you're definitely not challenged!!

I got that network wrong because I was too blown away to be paying 100% attention:blink:

Steve Schell
01-19-2006, 11:16 PM
We had a really great time today. Ken Pachkowsky and I met at Edgewound's home at 6:30AM, to get a jump on the morning traffic and drive the 75 miles or so to Westlake Audio in Newbury Park. This strategy proved successful, as we had time for a quick breakfast before arriving at Westlake at 9AM.

We were greeted by Sherwood Davies, Westlake's Sales and Marketing Director. He took us on a quick tour of the offices in front, then we were introduced to Glenn Phoenix, Westlake's President and Chief Engineer. Westlake was founded in 1971, and Glenn joined soon after, in 1972. Glenn studied electronics in the Air Force, before joining 3M in Camarillo and working closely with John Mullin for seven years on tape recorder electronics designs. Glenn has, for some time now, been developing his theories behind what is termed "The Phoenix Effect", or "PE Distortion".

Much of what Glenn has discovered is proprietary, but it involves the cumulative effects of interferences from many sources that corrupt the audio signal at various points in the audio chain, both in recording and playback. He has developed a number of methods of combating these effects to the extent possible, in an attempt to restore the signal integrity and dynamic range that is potentially available from equipment but seldom realized. Current Westlake products benefit in many ways from techniques to minimize PE.

We walked out into the production area and met a gentleman named Zen. He winds all of the inductors used in Westlake crossover networks, laboriously and by hand using a small machine with a hand crank and a turns counter. While we spoke with Glenn, Zen worked nearby for what seemed like a half hour winding a small coil, compacting the windings, dressing and tinning the leads. A worker brought a tray of completed inductor assemblies which Zen began to carefully measure and mark. Other workers assembled complete networks; test equipment and solder pots seemed to be everywhere. Glenn explained that Westlake could buy inexpensive complete networks from offshore, but the quality of their products would suffer. Westlake obviously goes to extraordinary lengths to optimize their crossover networks.

Sherwood walked us around the production area. There were many racks stacked with new drivers, each carefully coated on the rear with a damping compound. Workbenches were covered with tall, slender cabinets from their Hi Fi Series speakers. They had received treatment of their internal walls with damping compound as well. The emphasis seemed to be on careful hand work and attention to detail. We then visited a room that was lined with shelves and stacked to the ceiling with new boxed drivers from JBL, TAD and other manufacturers. Some of these drivers are kept in stock to repair older Westlake products in the field, or for custom ordered products.

We were then taken to the audio test / listening room, where Glenn played the new monitors shown in Ken's picture. Glen demonstrated some of his techniques for combating PE, and we could really hear the results! The monitors with the subwoofer cabinets beneath them sounded fabulous in the heavily treated room.

We could have sat in there all afternoon, and almost did, but finally said our goodbyes to Glenn and Sherwood about 1:45PM. These fine and I'm sure very busy gentlemen had taken the major part of their day to show us around and treat us like VIPs. I am very grateful to them for this, to Ken P. for setting the whole thing up, and to Edgewound for driving us out there in his new stylish GMC SUV.

Okay guys, let's have some pictures!

Ken Pachkowsky
01-19-2006, 11:48 PM
We had a really great time today.

Glenn has, for some time now, been developing his theories behind what is termed "The Phoenix Effect", or "PE Distortion".

"we could really hear the results!"



I will second that. At times they were beyond subtle. Glenn developed this theory around the year 2000 and is challenging his peers to acknowledge the legitimacy of his theory. His logic and analogies, combined with real world listening tests made a believer out of me (us)?

So we don't get a pile of duplication here, I will wait for Edgewound to upload his photo's and then fill in with mine. I will post one I don't think he got?

These are HR-7's part of the Tower Series.

edgewound
01-20-2006, 09:41 AM
I will concur with Steve and Ken on the phenomena of "P.E. Distortion". You must fully experience it to really understand, but it actually makes perfect sense in the world of electronics around us.

Sherwood Davies and Glenn Phoenix went out of their way to make us feel at home. At the conclusion of our meeting, tour and listening session, I felt like we were all old friends just enjoying our interests....we were welcomed to stay longer, but L.A. traffic is something you can't argue with:( .

Here's some more photos:

Front door...That's Ken Pachkowsky

edgewound
01-20-2006, 11:57 AM
Front lobby. This is a relatively small, highly specialized operation.

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:10 PM
One of many awards...

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:13 PM
Our gracious and generous hosts Sherwood Davies and Glenn Phoenix...Glenn says this is his "morning face".

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:27 PM
Zen....the coil winding master. This craftsman winds all of the inductor coils by hand to precise tolerance.

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:29 PM
Meticulous network layout...

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:32 PM
Serious finished networks. Check out the size of some inductors.

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:34 PM
Towers patiently awaiting assembly...

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:37 PM
Stacks of JBL drivers. The collection of drivers here would give any JBL aficionado the shakes...

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:43 PM
Glenn Phoenix say's, "Give me damping or give me death." Notice the thorough damping of all internal cabinet surfaces. This takes alot of effort, folks.

edgewound
01-20-2006, 12:50 PM
Even the drivers get damped. Note the peanut butter looking coating on the drivers. It's extreme attention to detail that makes Westlake monitors rise above the rest.

edgewound
01-20-2006, 01:12 PM
Final listening room. Technician's setting up the final listening test. Every speaker system undergoes a final listening test in this room. Not anechoic, but as you can see...highly damped. We spent nearly two hours listening to this system, and being introduced first hand to the effects of "P.E. Distortion". Glenn Phoenix is both a pioneer and a maverick in ultra high-end audio.

edgewound
01-20-2006, 01:23 PM
Edgewound(me, Ken Haerr), Sherwood Davies, Glenn Phoenix and Steve Schell. Ken Pachkowsky is behind my camera...after a fabulous day of experiencing the inner workings and philosophy of Westlake Audio Manufacturing. What a great experience. My thanks to Ken Pachkowsky for arranging this (and his personable company), Steve Schell for his gracious company and in-depth knowledge about audio history. I'm sure Ken and Steve will join me in thanking again Sherwood and Glenn for rolling out the red carpet for us at Westlake Audio.

Ken Pachkowsky
01-20-2006, 01:28 PM
Here is a closeup of the Zen Master at work.

It was in Zen's working area that Glenn began to quiz us, preparing for his introduction to PE. Consequently we have several shots of the coil winding area because the discussion lasted almost 35-40 minutes. I believe Glenn brought it up at this point because of proven interaction between stray magnetic/electric fields of each coil/component as well as everything else within and around the system. This realization has led to the birth of the ever developing phenomena of PE Distortion. Isolation, along with dampening is the rule of the day at Westlake. The rear baffle containing the nework is dampened to the best of their ability by the use of a Butyl type dampening material (black) that is highly absorbent in terms of vibration, thereby helping the baffle to float while still creating a seal to the enclosure.

I have included a couple of other shots as well.

toddalin
01-20-2006, 01:34 PM
Very cool..., wish I could have been there. I might even have made off with a few of those cool, custom port plugs, that I assume to be 4" in diameter. (Wonder if they sell those.:hmm: )

Ian Mackenzie
01-20-2006, 03:34 PM
Very interesting.

So Ken,

From what you now know having done the lavish Westlake tour why the need for all the elaborate passive crossover networks (inside the boxes) when they have SOA active crossovers?

I would be interesting to hear Glenn Phoenix reponse to this question.

Ian

Ken Pachkowsky
01-20-2006, 04:29 PM
Very interesting.

So Ken,

From what you now know having done the lavish Westlake tour why the need for all the elaborate passive crossover networks (inside the boxes) when they have SOA active crossovers?

I would be interesting to here Glenn Phoenix reponse to this question.

Ian

Ian

A valid question but difficult for me to answer with any certainty as I am not Glenn. I would assume it has something to do with customer preference and the end result required.



I did pose the question "Was it my imagination or did the BBSM15's I heard last month sound as good if not better than my HR1 active system".

Glenn’s reply was the HR1 being a purely active system was much more difficult to setup and tweak along with being more susceptible to room and PE anomalies. I believe Ken and Steve would agree that he suggested a simple single or bi-amped system was more “Plug and Play” friendly in “any” given environment. In a round about way, I felt he was saying “you can’t drop a pair of 4-way active monitors with mutiple amplifiers into a room and expect the system to perform to its full potential without a great deal of planning and tweaking. That would include all aspects, from acoustic treatments to the signal paths between multiple amplifiers and other components. It is not considered a home audio system but more a system that a room is designed around.

You may recall when I first got the HR1's I was quite frustrated and went through a few months where I just was not satisfied with the results. After much tweaking/tuning, combined with some electronics changes I am very satisfied with the performance (does not mean I won't continue to experiment). I also picked up some great ideas to improve the overall system performance when we get to the new house.

May not be as definitive an answer as Glenn could give but I believe it’s somewhat accurate. Perhaps Ken or Steve could bally up and let me know if I am on the right track with my interpretation of your question and the answer?

By the way the picture in the middle of post #42 are prototype boards and not production boards.


Ken

edgewound
01-20-2006, 05:28 PM
Yeah Ken...I'd say that's a very good interpretation of what Glenn Phoenix was saying. Westlake passive networks are so refined that given a power amp that can welcome the low impedance of the system, it's quite a bit more user friendly....not to mention the cost involved with the added amps, active crossovers, cabling and potential PE Distortion that goes along with all of it.

lfh
01-23-2006, 04:10 PM
Thanks much for the report and the pics! Very inspiring! :applaud:

(Did you have a chance to move over the questions?)

Fredrik

sonofagun
01-24-2006, 08:34 AM
Very interesting. Three comments/questions:

A - Did you get any pics of the cabinetmaking area(s)?

B - I'm wondering if Westlake would be interested in diffraction free foam grilles :D for at least some of their models?

C - These pics reminds me of the suggestion I made on these forums some time back about a video or photo tour of members installations or audio manfrs. facilities.

toddalin
01-24-2006, 10:09 AM
Very interesting. Three comments/questions:

A - Did you get any pics of the cabinetmaking area(s)?

B - I'm wondering if Westlake would be interested in diffraction free foam grilles :D for at least some of their models?

C - These pics reminds me of the suggestion I made on these forums some time back about a video or photo tour of members installations or audio manfrs. facilities.

Looking for a new market?;)

How about producing those 4" plastic port plugs backed up with some foam? At one time these were offered with the Marantz speakers. One could insert the plug for a smooth, extended bottom end, or remove the plug for more impact in the rock music bass range.

In fact, by now the Marantz foams have probably all rotted away and may also need reproduction.:hmm:

Ken Pachkowsky
01-24-2006, 10:57 AM
Very interesting. Three comments/questions:

A - Did you get any pics of the cabinetmaking area(s)?

B - I'm wondering if Westlake would be interested in diffraction free foam grilles :D for at least some of their models?

C - These pics reminds me of the suggestion I made on these forums some time back about a video or photo tour of members installations or audio manfrs. facilities.

A: The cabinets are manufactured in San Diego and shipped up to ther Newberry Park facility for completion.

B: They currently manufacture Speaker Muffs and Cable Muffs. My suggestion is to explore this further by contacting Westlake yourself.

C: Yep

Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
01-24-2006, 11:14 AM
Thanks much for the report and the pics! Very inspiring! :applaud:

(Did you have a chance to move over the questions?)

Fredrik

Fredrik, all BS aside I took your questions with us and unfortunately got so wrapped up in the tour and listening tests for PE Distortion it slipped my mind to ask them.



I apologize, it was very inconsiderate of me.

Ken

lfh
01-24-2006, 11:36 AM
No worries, Ken! (I'll get in touch with Eastlake soon anyway, and I can ask them some of the questions.)

Fredrik

allen mueller
01-24-2006, 12:00 PM
I remember a while back someone posted a link to the papers on PE Distortion. I searched but was unable to find what i was looking for. Does anyone know where I can find that information? Thanks





Allen

Ken Pachkowsky
01-24-2006, 12:21 PM
I remember a while back someone posted a link to the papers on PE Distortion. I searched but was unable to find what i was looking for. Does anyone know where I can find that information? Thanks


Allen

Here ya go

allen mueller
01-24-2006, 01:20 PM
Thanks, interesting read


allen

johnaec
01-24-2006, 01:49 PM
Here ya goAw - jeez - what was in the second article you posted, then pulled before some of us could read it? Can you give us at least a summary?

John

edgewound
01-24-2006, 02:46 PM
Aw - jeez - what was in the second article you posted, then pulled before some of us could read it? Can you give us at least a summary?

John

You can view and download the articles here:

http://www.westlakeaudio.com/Speakers/Whitepapers.html

sonofagun
01-24-2006, 05:43 PM
Looking for a new market?;)

YOU BET!


How about producing those 4" plastic port plugs backed up with some foam? At one time these were offered with the Marantz speakers. One could insert the plug for a smooth, extended bottom end, or remove the plug for more impact in the rock music bass range.

In fact, by now the Marantz foams have probably all rotted away and may also need reproduction.:hmm:

Please indicate exactly what these "plugs" are (picture of?).

toddalin
01-24-2006, 08:50 PM
Look at the picture. The "plugs" are just left and right below the wooden horn. I assume these are like the old Marantz plugs that were of plastic with a foam back that filled the port.

http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=12385&stc=1


YOU BET!



Please indicate exactly what these "plugs" are (picture of?).

Magnet3
01-25-2006, 01:00 PM
Here is a closeup of the Zen Master at work.

It was in Zen's working area that Glenn began to quiz us, preparing for his introduction to PE. Consequently we have several shots of the coil winding area because the discussion lasted almost 35-40 minutes. I believe Glenn brought it up at this point because of proven interaction between stray magnetic/electric fields of each coil/component as well as everything else within and around the system. This realization has led to the birth of the ever developing phenomena of PE Distortion. Isolation, along with dampening is the rule of the day at Westlake. The rear baffle containing the nework is dampened to the best of their ability by the use of a Butyl type dampening material (black) that is highly absorbent in terms of vibration, thereby helping the baffle to float while still creating a seal to the enclosure.

I have included a couple of other shots as well.


Just had to tell you these are amazing pictures! http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/applaud.gif

Magnet3
01-25-2006, 01:04 PM
Edgewound(me, Ken Haerr), Sherwood Davies, Glenn Phoenix and Steve Schell. Ken Pachkowsky is behind my camera...after a fabulous day of experiencing the inner workings and philosophy of Westlake Audio Manufacturing. What a great experience. My thanks to Ken Pachkowsky for arranging this (and his personable company), Steve Schell for his gracious company and in-depth knowledge about audio history. I'm sure Ken and Steve will join me in thanking again Sherwood and Glenn for rolling out the red carpet for us at Westlake Audio.

You are some lucky fellows!

Ken Pachkowsky
01-25-2006, 01:19 PM
Just had to tell you these are amazing pictures! http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/applaud.gif

Edgewound and I are happy you enjoyed them.

Ken

KCENTOFANTE
02-23-2006, 03:13 PM
Very interesting.

So Ken,

From what you now know having done the lavish Westlake tour why the need for all the elaborate passive crossover networks (inside the boxes) when they have SOA active crossovers?

I would be interesting to hear Glenn Phoenix reponse to this question.

Ian

Dear Ian,

As most visitors to the "Audio Heritage" website probably know, "its all about the sound you get". On the surface it's obvious that the primary distortion components are at lower levels (% or actual) in signal processing devices and at higher levels in speaker systems themselves, with or without their power level crossovers. But yet we all agree that tremendous sound style and quality differences between manufacturers or manufacturers models exist and are readily heard in both electronics and speaker systems.

So what's the deal? Customers want choice and thus we offer both. The models with built in high level networks allow the customer total control of his active electronics sound. The models that employ the Westlake Audio MRX-2 (2-Way, 2 Channel) or HR-X (4-Way, 2 Channel) active crossovers reduce the power level distortions to a point, but introduce a small degree of active electronic signature to the sound.

The last few years of research have produced an understanding of a distortion that we fondly call "P.E. Distortion". We are steadilly producing products(including both passive and active crossovers) that have less intrinsic "P.E. Distortion" (Trademarked/Westlake Audio Inc.) as well as products that are less likely to cause or be receptive to "P.E. Distortion" when installed in a complex audio system. For information see our White Papers "P.E. Distortion, The Last Barrier to High Fidelity" available for online viewing at www.westlakeaudio.com (http://www.westlakeaudio.com) under "Loudspeaker Systems".

Thank you for your question Ian. To you and the other Audio Heritage members we are always happy to answer specific questions regarding our products and audio quality issues, we can be contacted at the following:E-Mail: glennrphoenix@earthlink.net, FAX: (805) 498-2571 or phone at (805) 499-3686.

Glenn R Phoenix, President
Westlake Audio

Titanium Dome
02-23-2006, 05:45 PM
I read it twice. :D

Thanks for the answers.

Ian Mackenzie
02-23-2006, 08:24 PM
Glenn,

Thankyour for you post.

I will download the paper and have a careful read over the weekend.

Can I ask do you feel more of the unique Westlake sound style comes from your specialised passive networks and enclosure techniques than Westlake electronics?

My own feeling is that until recently active crossovers were a step backwards from serious audiophile loudspeakers...The added complexity of the signal path using chip opamps tends to cause a loss of information and intrusion of noise and other distortions and colourations. However recent advances in simple discrete class A opamp based crossovers may make these blemishes a thing of the past.

I would add that Ken holds his HR1 Westlake active crossover in high regard.

Perhaps you can elaborate .......

kind regards

Ian Mackenzie

ps Your post is going up on the wall in my "Audio Hall of Fame" along with Norman Thagard, Nelson Pass, Greg Timbers, Giskard and Doug Self.

jim campbell
02-23-2006, 09:34 PM
i feel the need to torture myself;how much do hr1's sell for.they must be mega bucks:banghead:

Ken Pachkowsky
02-25-2006, 11:30 AM
i feel the need to torture myself;how much do hr1's sell for.they must be mega bucks:banghead:

Jim

They are manucfatured in a few different configuration's so prices do vary from 50k to 70k. The HiFi versions are at the higher end of the scale due to the cabinet finishing. They come in a Bi or Quad amped configuration. More info can be found at www.westlakeaudio.com (http://www.westlakeaudio.com).

Ken

KCENTOFANTE
02-28-2006, 04:25 PM
Glenn,

Thankyour for you post.

I will download the paper and have a careful read over the weekend.

Can I ask do you feel more of the unique Westlake sound style comes from your specialised passive networks and enclosure techniques than Westlake electronics?

My own feeling is that until recently active crossovers were a step backwards from serious audiophile loudspeakers...The added complexity of the signal path using chip opamps tends to cause a loss of information and intrusion of noise and other distortions and colourations. However recent advances in simple discrete class A opamp based crossovers may make these blemishes a thing of the past.

I would add that Ken holds his HR1 Westlake active crossover in high regard.

Perhaps you can elaborate .......

kind regards

Ian Mackenzie

ps Your post is going up on the wall in my "Audio Hall of Fame" along with Norman Thagard, Nelson Pass, Greg Timbers, Giskard and Doug Self.

2/27/06

Ian,

Well as to what effects the "Unique Westlake Sound" most:

I (and most knowledgeable audio types I know) subscribe to the theory "everything effects the sound". It's only a matter of whether you're paying attention, have a system with enough resolution to dig it out and whether you think it's a good or bad effect.

And so, trying to say where, in a complex electro-mechanical system that, the significant bodies are buried, is tough. But in a system (and we have many) that would not include our active crossovers, the passive network and system design is all it can be. So, the answer to your question is "yes, probably". But let's not forget the obvious (or maybe its not so obvious?) that the crossover is the all important control and synchronism mechanism that ties it all together in both cases. Additionally there are equalization issues that are addressed at high level in the case of our all passive systems, and with a combination of active and passsive circuitry in our multi-amp models that use our active crossovers. Over the years we have gotten a lot better at passive E.Q. execution, without screwing up the sound (as much as we might have in days gone by).

Your thoughts about active crossovers intruding on sound clarity is pretty much on the mark. For our own evolution we have yet to fully explore the distinct Class A OpAmp circuitry you mention, mainly because we are real estate and power bound in our existing HR-X(which can be fitted with up to 44 I.C. opamps per channel if required) and MRX-2 packages. We have however, as mentioned recently been incorporating changes to these systems based on our "P.E. Distortion" research. Direct A/B comparisons between older units and current production shows we are making steady improvements on the sound quality front with what is essentially the same basic approach that we (Deane Jensen, audio guru now deceased,Rob Robinette, our then chief engineer and myself) took back in the mid 70's to early 80's when the active crossovers were first developed.

Thanks for the "Audio Hall of Fame" mention Ian, hope this information is useful.

Sincerely,

Glenn R Phoenix
Westlake Audio

Ian Mackenzie
03-03-2006, 11:35 AM
Glenn,

Thanks for you reply.

I think most of us here took even the enclosures as something that needed bracing and some stuffing until we saw inside a Westlake monitor.

They are built like a bomb shelter!

The devil is certainly in the details with those intricate passive and active crossovers you install!

At some stage I will have to audition some of your fine systems.

Moving onto another very interesting aspect of the Westlake monitor sound that I know many members would like to know more about, your beautiful horns.

Ken is always raving about how nice the horns are.

Can you tell us a little about the history of your wooden horns?

Ian

KCCT82
08-17-2008, 08:04 PM
I was there a couple of weeks ago trying to fix my Westlake BBSM-10 and SWP, snapped a picture of what they were testing at the moment.

Titanium Dome
08-18-2008, 08:42 AM
Gor! Did the ceiling fall in?

I'm pretty sure that's one look I wouldn't be able to sell at home, though I bet Steve Schell could get away with it. :rotfl: