Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Auction Talk => Topic started by: Doug Rose on December 17, 2011, 07:29:42 AM

Title: What is this??? Western Electric Receiver 555 on eBay
Post by: Doug Rose on December 17, 2011, 07:29:42 AM
Besides expensive!!!!....Doug
Title: Re: What is this??? Western Electric Receiver 555 eBay 200688087461
Post by: TelePlay on December 17, 2011, 11:26:13 AM

Not a phone thing.

"Western Electric 555 field coil mid range large format compression driver or speaker. This is a rare legendary speaker from the golden age of audio, designed by Western Electric and Bell Telephone Laboratories. The Western Electric 555 is reputed to be among one of the best speaker driver ever. Partnered that with a Western Electric horns like the 13A or the stereo horn 16A, and you are in audio mid range heaven.

The WE 555 was made in the late 1920s to the late 1930s when Western Electric dominated the audio industry for movie theaters.

If you are planning to get a WE555, you will want to know it still works well after 80 years. As you can see in the attached photos which are of the actual WE 555 in this auction, you can be sure this WE555 does work

1. Speaker DCR is 13 ohms (measured with the Fluke 87). This is a nice impedance as it allows easier matching with 8 ohms or 16 ohms woofer in your design. Plus it works very well with low power single ended triode (SET) tube amps. I stress and stress low power tube amp only for WE555, as it is a very high efficiency speaker, and it is designed for a 5 WATTS/channel amplifier MAXIMUM.

2. Field coil impedance is 4.7 ohms. A 7 volts DC supply is required to drive the electro magnet. For this measurement I use an HP DC lab power supply. The WE 555 prefers and will sound best with a tube regulated DC supply, and preferably one using tungar tubes

3. Attached are a frequency response (FR) curve of this WE 555 and the measurement set up.

   a. This FR curve aims to demonstrate the WE 555 is working well and sounding well. I was not trying to characterize its FR. Correctly done, I would need to mount the WE555 in a horn for better acoustic coupling and loading, Correctly done, I would have to align the microphone on axis (it is a bit off axis). here it is about 16 inches away, close enough to remove room reflections. Also I was measuring this during day time with all the cars driving by, and not at 3am.

   b. The WE 555 was designed to operate between ~300Hz to 4500Hz in a WE 13A horn. Even without proper loading from a horn, the 1/3 smoothed FR curve shows that this WE555 does work well (and it does sound exceptionally clean) between 300hz to ~5Khz, although there is extension to nearly 8+Khz. There is the typical frequency response curve rise between ~5Khz to ~8 Khz, this is seen on all large diameter diaphragm speakers which the WE555 is such a design (you also see this with 12 inch midbass drivers or 5 inch mid drivers)."


"In 1926, talking motion-picture development was well under way, but with the low-power amps available at the time, high-output reproduction was pretty much out of the question. Given that premise, two Bell Labs engineers, Edward C. Wente and Albert L. Thuras, offered what they described as an acoustical device using a “light piston-type diaphragm” driven by a light rigid coil. The diaphragm/voice coil was set within a dense electromagnetic structure and designed to mount onto a horn.
The resulting Western Electric Model 555-w “receiver” was surprisingly close to modern high-frequency compression drivers, with its 0.002-inch thin aluminum-dome diaphragm, corrugated surround, phase plug and threaded mount for fitting the driver on a variety of horns. Shown on the previous page is the 555-w mounted on a Model 12-A horn having a 45x45-inch throat opening and an 11-foot exponentially tapered pathway. The driver/horn combination proved highly efficient, achieving high SPLs from low-powered amps, whether used alone or with cone woofers for extended low-frequency performance."

I wonder how much of this was used by Boze to produce their products?
Title: Re: What is this??? Western Electric Receiver 555 eBay 200688087461
Post by: AE_Collector on December 17, 2011, 12:49:55 PM
The seller should have thrown in a "Kit Option" that would add 4 ounces of Western Electric Solder and 4 feet of Western Electric Wire for another $1800 :)

Title: Re: What is this??? Western Electric Receiver 555 eBay 200688087461
Post by: TelePlay on December 17, 2011, 05:41:49 PM
Started at $1,500 and ended 14 bids latter at $3,605. Won by the person who placed the first bid. Would be interesting to know where it will end up and for what purpose.
Title: Re: What is this??? Western Electric Receiver 555 eBay 200688087461
Post by: bingster on December 17, 2011, 07:28:37 PM
It undoubtedly went to an audiophile who will probably use it for it's intended purpose.