High End 2012

The Japanese have held horn speakers in high regard for a lot longer than most, and as a result they have a deep appreciation for the creations of Western Electric. Given the dearth of Western Electric drive units from its horn era, GIP Laboratory has produced a series of compression drivers and woofers that are exact replicas of WE originals. These include the GIP-594A and GIP-555/555W compression drivers -- the "W" suffix indicating a mesh cap over the rear of the unit, a bit like a very early version of Bowers & Wilkins’ Nautilus tube. For the highs they have the GIP-597A horn tweeter, and lows are covered by the 18" GIP-4181A field-coil woofer. For the purist there is the GIP-4189 8" full-range field-coil unit, although to be fair these are all purist designs. GIP also makes full horn speaker systems at eye-watering prices, but with driver quality that is better than the tube aficionado could ever dream of.

GIP stands for Global Intelligence Planning, by the way.

The Audio Beat • Nothing on this site may be reprinted or reused without permission.