Goose Bumps And All

Goose Bumps And All

Written by Paul McGowan

Audio reproduction was of great interest to me ever since, as a teenager, I ventured to Lafayette Radio and heard a marching band emanating from a JBL C34 mono loudspeaker and felt the drum.  I immediately realized I could not afford such a ‘HiFi system’.  I therefore purchased the least expensive full range 12” loudspeaker along with cabinet construction plans, a Scott amplifier and a Gerrard record player.  I built a bass reflex cabinet and began enjoying the music.  The sound was not terrible.  

In 1973, after many iterations of my original sound system, I finally had the resources to buy my first “manufactured” Stereo System.  After auditioning everything out there, I decided on AR LSTs powered by a Phase Linear 700B amplifier and Phase Linear 4000 preamp.  Music sources were Thorens turntable, CD player, FM tuner, cassette and reel to reel tape.  This system served me well until I retired (for the first time) in 2003.


I decided to explore improving my system and started an on-line search.  I stumbled upon Siegfried Linkwitz’s web site and found a wealth of information on his loudspeaker design concepts.  He had developed a relatively diminutive, full range open baffle speaker design (ORION) that intrigued me.  His speakers were DIY.  You purchased the plans, circuit boards for an analog signal processor (ASP), and a parts list, enabling you to buy and build the system (soldering ability and a wood shop would be helpful).

This system was not in any showroom so one had to venture to CA to hear it in Siegfried’s home.  Fortunately I have a cousin (also an audiophile) who lives in CA near Siegfried and he went to audition them.  My cousin’s overwhelmingly positive reaction to the ORIONs convinced me as well, to build them.  I was never disappointed.


After multiple iterations and upgrades, my ORION system sounds realistic, and is a joy to hear especially with classical, opera and jazz.  This computer driven system includes:

Core i7Samsung laptop running Windows 7 Pro and foobar2000 with KS

2.56 TB of SSD memory for music storage, files are 24/96 and 24/192


MSB Analog DAC with volume control

Linkwitz ASP (active X-over)

Two ATI 1807 amplifiers;  TOTAL 14 – 180w amplifiers, one per driver.  One dedicated 20 amp circuit for each 1807 amp and a third for everything else.

7 drivers per speaker (SEAS – 2 T, 1 MR, 2W (10” open baffle), Peerless – 2W (10” sealed enclosure))

Interconnects by Signal Cable; Speaker wire – 14ga by Radio Shack.

This system transports me to the concert hall – goose bumps and all!!!


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