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Western Electric WE753 speaker build for friend

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  • Western Electric WE753 speaker build for friend

    A friend commissioned me to build a replica cabinet of this vintage speaker (to slightly different dimensions. First pic shows the speaker as built. Second pics show my progress so far. Third pic shows rear of WE753 (using 15" woofer). Dimension on 753 were 30" tall, 20" wide and 14" deep.

    The grill (top, bottom and slats) are solid walnut. The sides will be 5 /8" BB ply with a 1/2" ply panel veneer on top with curly walnut veneer. Top will be curly walnut veneer matching up with the back of the front top piece. He is using a 12" Altec 601C woofer (he had it reconed at Great Plains Audio) and GPA driver on a mid/tweeter horn (horn bends downward to allow shallow cabinet (14" deep).

    The grill was a chore to get right. The motorboard will be installed through the removable back with brown cane type grill material. He will use an EV electronic crossover. Cabinet will be vented.

    I'll post as I proceed.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Interesting project, Ken.




    • #3
      Thanks Andy. No I'm building two speakers. Doing these one at a time to get the sequence correct. I have the grill parts cut out for the second one and will get that gluing this week. About to veneer the 1/2" plywood sides on the first one then glue/clamp to cabinet. Here's a pic of the current layout for the woofer, mid/tweeter horn and vent.


      • #4
        Starting to look like a speaker. Not far from finishing first speaker. 30" tall x 24" wide x 14" deep.


        • #5
          Looking good, love the wood.
          Your version looks wider than the original, did you change the dimensions?


          • #6
            Andy, yes my friend is putting these in a large wall cabinet (only 15" deep but plenty wide ) and we changed the width to 24 3/8" (original is 20") to get some extra CF to help on the low bass. he will probably run a sub with them. He's using a 25 watt amp on the woofer and 2 watt amp on the tweeter and an EV electronic crossover.


            • #7
              I installed the cane type grill material on the motor board last night. Good contrast with the walnut. Material is really good stuff and easy to work with.


              • #8
                Very cool build! Thanks for sharing! What kind of treatment did you give the walnut? doing my speakers in walnut as well but want something more neutral (not brown, not too dark)


                • #9
                  Gotta' hand it to you, Ken. This is, without doubt, the prettiest cabinets you've done so far. Just knock outs. It's sort of interesting that this level of workmanship and graceful design was the standard in the early 20th century. Tastes have changed (deteriorated?) dramatically over the last century. I notice it every time I drive through even small cities and compare the old, ornate churches versus the all-metal modern churches with the phony facade up front. But, I won't start down that road. Modern design just ain't my preference.

                  Just a little curiosity about your friend's choice of an Altec 601C woofer. This, of course, is the coaxial design. Does the 3000-series tweeter still function in these? Altec designed the 3000 tweeters to use the diaphragm from one of their microphones. Not many functional ones remain. The gentleman who used to supply diaphragms for them died several years ago and his tooling was sold off on ebay by his kids. So far, nobody has found another diaphragm that will work in them.

                  Most people who have 601Cs with blown tweets just use them as woofers, since they are basically just an Altec 414. I'm assuming that this is what your friend is doing? It's a very good woofer, and can play lower than most people think when in the right cabinet.

                  Is he using the original Western Electric #32 "bent" horns or the later Altec version? Both are well respected horns. Which drivers is he using with the horns?

                  Thanks for posting this build. It's very interesting.