Silbatone Amplifiers, Western Electric Horns

The South Korean company Silbatone manufactures exquisite pure tube and hybrid audio amplification that's specifically engineered to be un-conventional, un-compromised, and un-affordable. About that last characteristic: It's un-affordable because it's not for sale—and everyone knows you have to pay extra for stuff that's not for sale. Right?

Silbatone also collects—and demonstrates, at audio shows—un-obtainable vintage Western Electric movie-theater equipment. To my knowledge, Silbatone's museum-quality WE tube and horn speaker collection has no equal in either completeness or condition. Every year, at enormous expense, they come to High End Munich with a different example of WE un-obtainium—just to f**k with the minds of the audiophile mainstream. (That and to show people where audio began, and where it's going.)

The Silbatone design team is of un-paralleled intelligence and consists of my No.1 friend and primary Tall-Wizard, J.C. Morrison, and his legendary partner, Dr. Stefano Bae—the nicest, most humble PhD (in material sciences) wizard I know. This team's stated goal: "Not to profit in the marketplace but to achieve musical enjoyment and contribute to the evolution of sound system design."

This year, Silbatone's un-obtainable-ness reached a new high with the Racon/Amplion papier-mâché theater horns from 1930-34 (on the floor). These are rarer than Venus figures from prehistoric caves and make a touchable sound only equaled by the sheet-metal WE-22A horns above them. All the wide-range horns in the photo are powered by WE 555W field-coil compression drivers and augmented by WE 597A horn tweeters.

All this deep-state WE exotica is powered by a Morrison-Bae WE 205D tube–MOSFET amplifier that puts out 20W and features a 3:1 silver wire/silver foil Hitachi Finemet-core output transformer. Folks, this stuff is un-believable.

MhtLion's picture

Love to hear these horns.. too bad Munich is far and expensive..

tonykaz's picture

These guys are "inspiring" creative minds,

not :

f**king with people's minds, arn't they?

I was reading along, seeing with my mind's eye, observing the Papier-Mache concept, thinking that I can do this, it's kinda brilliant, it's like building a Wilson Loudspeaker with gooey NY Times newsprint instead of Cement.

A Dam Re-Cycled Loudspeaker !!

A Re-cycled Loudspeaker, I'm impressed.

A brilliant find.

Thank you.

Tony in transit

ps. I can accept the hell outa this engineering. ( but not quite believe )

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Creativity gone wild? :-) ............

Normal Man's picture

papier-mâché = 1930 composite technology

Anton's picture

Their demos are so good, it makes me sad...I want it!

I’ve never heard them sound bad. In fact, they are so great that I’d be willing to just send money to keep them in existence!

Thanks for posting that!

PeterPani's picture

driven directly by a 78 shellac record player with a Caruso record. Never again heard anything more human coming out of machinery (there was no electronics involved at all - except the DC for the motor of the record player).

Bonamy's picture

I have a pair of WE15A Can you said me what is the best solid state phono ,preamp and amplifiers to drive my WE15A ? I have to much problems with tubes
I have 450 000 vinyls records in France.
All my best regards.
Serge Bonamy