Working too hard

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Working too hard
To some life seemed simpler in the past. They remember a time when there were simple choices in loudspeakers: big ones were full range, small ones not so much. And rarely was there any talk of adding subwoofers. Heck, if you go back far enough there were no subwoofers. My first exposure to high-performance stereo was on a pair of JBL Corner Horns. To my astonished ears, there was nothing more to be desired. That is until a later visit to another system featuring Cerwin Vega 18" subwoofers, Jantzen electrostats, and Blue Flame tweeters. While about as far away from apples to apples as you can get, the corner horns were thrashed by the later system audition. That system was a tri-amped hybrid Audio Research setup with electrostats mating to the 18" massive subs through an Audio Research EC-22 active 3-way crossover. Here's a picture of that crossover for those who never had the experience. This all took place in the early 1970s right at the transition from simple box speakers to complex systems. Talk about frying pan to fire, the mere notion of cobbling together three completely disparate speaker types into one through an active crossover was an anathema to some, a Godsend to others. The notion of building a tri-amped system is all about less work. Not less work for the audiophile, but less work for the amps and drivers. I thought beginning tomorrow we might take a look at some of these notions of removing the workload of drivers and see where it goes. Stay tuned.
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Paul McGowan

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