Silbatone & Western Electric Vintage Hornspeakers
Let's say you became 'filthy rich'. Let's also imagine you have only a few hundred million in Federal Reserve Debt notes (a.k.a. U.S. Dollar currency). Of course you're smart enough to also know holding any currency such as Dollar, Euro, etc is utterly stupid, because they all devalue all the time and never, ever go up in value.
Now also image you're a music lover and want the very best. Since you have nearly limitless funding, why not just create your own company? Go ahead and hire the very best designers, and then have them build the world's most esoteric audio gear. This is what Silbatone is all about. Back in 2002 I was perhaps the first to review their C-102 battery powered preamplifier. In May of the same year I reviewed their JI-300B integrated amplifier. While the preamp was absolutely incredible, the integrated did not fare as well and the company made changes to the design since then.
Now, finally, the major magazines have taken notice. Having earned my Best Sound Award during multiple years at HIGH END, it comes as no surprise others are (finally) taking note. Of course much of this is impossible to get, such as truly vintage Western Electric speakers and, others with cabinets made of paper mâché. As you can guess, those cabinets did not survive so only a small handful of these vintage speaker cabinets exist. If Western Electric wants to truly re-birth themselves, they'd go to the hornspeaker market while keeping the tube glow lit.
Silbatone's main tube amplifier designer is JC Morison, the cool dude behind Sound Practices magazine, which we are partners with. Wanna see something fun, then check out our nyNOISE show reports from 2002, the previous nyNOISE in 2001, the previous one to that in 2000, and of course their first nyNOISE show in 1999. that was operated by JC Morrison and Blackie Pagano.
Getting back to HIGH END 2019.... The sound was excellent, fast, clean, all the stuff that makes you wonder if we as an industry have really improved over the past, oh, say, 80 years or so. Bottom line, if you have a chance to buy vintage WE speakers and cabinets, or a tube amp from Silbatone, I highly recommend it. Other hornspeakers I love, Avantgarde Acoustic, yet let's not get ahead of ourselves within my HIGH END 2019 show report. More to come!
---> Back to main HIGH END 2019 show report page.