During the recent years vintage field coil speakers gained an increasing popularity. Those who have heard a good speaker based on field coil drivers know why. This principle is far better sounding than the more common speaker drivers with magnets. More resolution, more sense of beeing there, more tone, more of everything.
If you are interested in field coil speakers, but don't want to hunt those vintage drivers, of which you can never be certain how good they are after decades of use or storage somewhere in a barn, there are few choices of currently manufactured drivers. One of them is the Kilimanjaro Series by Wolf von Langa. I already used a field coil horn driver from Wolf in a speaker installation and it sounded much better than the TAD 4001 it replaced. I also had the chance to briefly test his field coil version of the Altec 515 woofers. I'm currently in the planning stage of a new speaker set up which will use Kilimanjaro drivers. This is the A2000 horn driver for this project:
For the bass and lower mids I will use the A416 and A515. Below two fotos of one of the woofers:
As much as I like vintage tubes, I feel a bit uneasy to spend a lot of cash for 50, 60 years old or even older drivers. How well are the voice coils still aligned? Have they been abused? What is the condition of the membranes? They sure have soaked up humidity over the decades and are far from their original condition.
The Wolf von Langa drivers are all brand new. No need to worry about aging for decades! For a short while I was tempted to go for chinese copies of a famous WE driver. I'm glad that I did not have to settle for copies but rather got some original work. Precision machined and engineered with brain, heart and soul! And the most important of all: With ears! I know Wolf since a few years and am glad that I can say that we became good friends. He has an exquisite taste, not only in sound and music. The photo on the right shows the creator of these drivers. Thanks a lot Wolf, for pushing the envelope in speaker design. Keep up the good work!
P.S.: I will write about the progress of my new field coil based speakers in an upcoming series of articles. Stay tuned.