Western Electric Horns in 21century?


There seems to be a lot of buzz and talk about the large Western Electric Horns, some saying they should not be used in anything less than a theater, others stating that the glue used in the originals give a better sound…the talk goes on and on…but many of those making the comments have no such system they live with; they have at best random experiences on which they feel that universal comments can be made…well I had to get my own hands on experience of the 16a versus the 15a debate. 

I have had a good share of listening WE horns in various installations around the world. Some very good others not that good. What I have learnt enables a decent appreciation of what that can and cannot do. But it takes a long while to get things setup just like any high caliber system. So I am am now on a 15a setup period to see what can be made of them, and in the end the values of the 15a versus the 16a…


I have at hand two amps, Single end and Push Pull (300b WE tubes), two preamps, passive preamp, and all the caps and coils it takes for the crossover (even if my favor goes to series…) and needless to say adequate power supply for the field coils and upstream sources that suite the challenge. This setup is 15a with original 555 drivers, 597a tweeters from GIP,  WE4181a 18″ field coil woofers, Tunger power supply, full range, 6db on top and bottom, WE300b single end (WE171a tx’s), EMT 139a phono and EMT927 turntable.

Tim Gurney 13audio