This report is all about the fun of field coils, open baffle, and horns. Three things that make most modern audiophiles cringe and recoil from. But seriously, let’s admit it, without any of the aforementioned none of this hobby would even exist.
My respect for field coils (and their history) runs deep, but I wish I knew more about them. That may be something I will explore when my autumn years are in full swing. Until then, it’s just seek-and-enjoy at audio shows.
Possibly the only large horn speakers at the show, the Semrad Audio design goes big. Built by master furniture maker John Semrad, the horn loudspeaker build process from soup to nuts takes a mind boggling 240 hours. That’s one hour for each pound of weight found in either right or left speaker.
Each Semrad speaker is designed using the departed Jean-Michel Le Cleac’h flare horn profile. Each one constructed from a solid basswood core, poplar crossply, and American Walnut veneer. The show samples were finished in a black paint, but a slab-cut cross section was on static display featuring the finished American Walnut veneer.
When it comes to the driver, it’s an Oleg Rullit Super Aero 8-inch field coil, loaded open-baffle style, and using a field coil power supply custom built by Semrad.
The system at the show was powered by a handful of tube watts, and supplied with vinyl goodness off of a custom classic rebuild turntable. Just for fun, can you name it? Can you name the long-arm? How about the one in the back? Looking forward to the comments.
This was cool. I get the horn sound and imaging. I get the flea watt field coil thing. I also get the open baffle timing thing. This experience combined them all, and it worked. Yes, it wasn’t the first name in bass — but that’s not what this hobby is all about … well, unless you’re one of those who prefers multi-channel surround systems, gigantic subs, and blockbuster titles (ahem).
This hobby is about feeling. Listening to Tina Brooks, actually a male saxophonist who got the nickname Tina, on True Blue from Blue Note Records was like time travel. The feeling of being audience to something from a different era was running throughout the records playback time. For me, that’s what it’s about. It’s about being there mentally.
Semrad Audio Horn Speakers – $36,000 pr
Allnic H-1202 Phono Preamp – $3,750
Turntable is custom
Amplifiers and Field Coil Power Supplies are custom
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