à Ken«
LM 755


July 2014

Hommage à Ken  

Timelessness. Consistency. Imperishability. 
The antonyms to that are:
Ephemerality. Fickleness. Momentariness.
Terms of the first category are those who stay in peoples mind, quickly
forgotten are the latter. To meet the requirements of the first category, certain qualities that define the difference are essential. Finding products of this specific quality on the one hand and to manufacture them on our own on the other hand, has always been the main philosophy of Auditorium23.

In 1996 we displayed the loudspeaker »Morgane« at the HighEnd Show in Frankfurt, which - controversial to common technical expertise – was manufactured with a lightweight cabinet and fitted with a coaxial-driver made in the 1950s by the German enterprise Siemens.

We received the plans of this cabinet from Ken Shindo. It was the friendship with him that gave us valuable insights into long forgotten knowledge of loudspeaker construction.

In the beginning of our collaboration it was nearly impossible to find
speakers that could fulfill the requirements of tube amplifiers with
output of 3 or 5 watts. Popular solid-state components at those times
didn't require drivers of high sensitivity. To actually communicate the special characteristics of Ken Shindo's gear, we began – also with his support – to develop our own speakers with the urgently needed parameters. 

In an environment of modern competitors »Morgane« succeeded at this show as “… une des plus belles ècoutes de salon “ in La Nouvelle Revue du Son. This loudspeaker concept demonstrated our wish and ambition to reveal the richness of early High Fidelity and how a sometimes misleaded belief in progress prevents our focus on historical qualities.

Ideally, the cabinet of the »Morgane« ought to be fitted with a Western Electric 755 driver – at those times a pure utopia in Europe. Very hard to find and always at collector's value. The internet didn't yet exist and successful worldwide search on international sales platforms was not possible.

20 years later – Wishes come true!

These days a newly evolved awareness for the art of developers from the
beginnings of High Fidelity motivates certain companies to develop
replicas alongside the originals. Excellent remakes by LineMagnetic from China at affordable prices paved the way for the realisation of concepts which for long had been kept in our drawers.

Almost 25 years later we still had the chance to ask Ken Shindo for his
permission to use his construction plan with the now available LM 755 driver, which was granted. His sudden death caused us to devote this speaker to him and consequently we named it »Hommage à Ken«.

The development and realisation of the concept - supplemented by further insights on our part that derived from the manufacturing of speakers over the past years – lead to the result that we are fortunate to have started over again with this project. Our electronic references are well known. In the phase of development we listened to the speaker with these references most of the time.

The cabinet is a so called 'backloaded horn' and in the image above is
manufactured of solid cherrywood. Other versions are possible, whereas
the density of the wood must always be considered – not all lumbers
are adequate.

With a total height of 105 cm and 40 x 50 cm in width and depth this is not
a small loudspeaker, but the volume is needed for an ideal adaptation
of the driver. The physical properties of the WE 755 replica are perfectly
maintained in all parameters by LineMagnetic.
The extreme complex and costly magnetic Alnico-structure, the thin pole plate, the 'overhanging` wound voice coil (manufactured for the first time by WE and a feature of all drivers of the 7 series), the accurate and well considered large conception of the spider in a wisely produced basket with little windows, the flat course of the membrane, built as a one piece dome-construction out of the cellulose-pulp – properties which Western Electric accurately elaborated in the 1940s. More than a few consider the WE 755 to be the best fullrange driver. For Line Magnetic this was reason enough to turn their attention to this driver in the second series. Line Magnetic started with a popular field-coil driver as well, variable by DC-supply, which offers a lot, as e.g. the variation of the electric parameters, but it just never was a 755 type as conceived by Western Electric.

As with our speakers »Hommage Cinema« and »Hommage 22A« you again will find fabric covered side walls. The careful tuning of driver and cabinet and the sonic performance confirm, that the replica of the WE 755 is one of the best fullrange drivers you can purchase. With the appropriate and context based electronics, tonal results are achievable that one would not expect from a fullrange driver. We believe, that we have fulfilled the requirements of the categories quoted at the beginning."

Our Hommage-speaker line includes

»755«»Cinema«»22A«Coming next »4181«