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Why didn ’ thyroxine they make the 16a horn in solid wood 90 years ago ?
The Western Electric 16a french horn was manufactured in steel however the patent mentions wood, steel, or any other allow materials. however, sword was the alone material known to have been used. From a bulk product position, this makes sense ; thousands of 16a horns were produced and many are still be around nowadays .
I own an master 16a that came straight from a conference mansion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the US. It stood along five others. The fact they weren ’ thyroxine entirely used in theatres may explain why so many are still around today .
As is the case nowadays, in the 1920 ’ mho, any industry envisaging large-scale output would surely opt for the fast and cheaper : metal. The manufacture of the 16a mean investing in tools to make the respective curves and shapes, something that ’ south easy to write off while producing thousands. In summation, at the plant, bare welding was all that was needed to pump them out en masse.

But crafting from solid wood ? ….well that ’ s another floor .
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Having just made the first 16 crafted from solid woodwind, I can say with some authority, this is not any easy physique !
Skill and time are the necessary ingredients to see this horn come to liveliness. Cutting, shaping, adjust, and glue season times, for example, are just not compatible with any large scale industry. And the cost ? Well, it becomes obvious why they choose to make the 16 in steel .
recently, my beneficial supporter “ N ” was seeking an option to the 13a I ’ five hundred made for him some years back. He has a new listen room and for space reasons needed to change his system .
The 16a was surely the correctly candidate, but its metallic resonating sound merely doesn ’ thymine work for anyone who has grown accustomed to a big solid forest horn .
While considering versatile options for “ N, ” I learned that the 16a could ( or should ? ) have been made in upstanding wood .
never one to shy away from a challenge, I looked at this as an opportunity to create something that hadn ’ triiodothyronine been done ahead. Just as I had recently built the Western Electric 15 in solid wood ( alone one had been made in the belated 1920 ’ second ) I decided to build the 16a in hearty forest, which, apparently had never been done .
Having an original on hand, albeit in alloy, made the measure and comparison of plans slightly easy, although plotting anything this large is never any easy undertaking .
so far again, I came to witness that the production tolerances were to say the least, “ slack. ” Each side of my master 16a has discrepancies. We can actually read in some western Electric product sheets “ allowance : a close as commercially possible ”. I ’ m not sure this would fly in the twenty-first hundred .
I did have to imagine how they would have made this build up back in 1928/9. My experience from making the 12, 13, and 15 horns from solid wood allowed me to do that .
Throats on the originals are in cast iron, and that ’ s what I made despite the handiness of brass throats that are on the market. ( Read up on throats hera )
My doctrine is very bare : keep it like original. Why reinvent and why shortcut ?
Okay, hurl iron is technically at a wholly different charge to brass when it comes to casting ! And one thing is the temperature : Brass 1,000–1,120 degrees Celsius and iron 1,280–1,380 degrees Celsius. You ’ ll find humble foundries doing brass even those casting statues and art. But that ’ s merely besides easy ! Go the excess nautical mile and don ’ triiodothyronine expect back !

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The woodwork here is probably angstrom complex as it gets. Beyond the craft, there is some serious planning to establish the adequate work flow. I work entirely entirely and the diaphanous size and awkward shapes of the horn ’ sulfur sections make the build far more than just woodworking skills .
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In sum, the 16a dwell of 411 individual pieces of woodwind, each hand- shaped. The 16a has some insane radiuses dues to its shallow size. This challenged my wood shaping skills and helped me take them to a new level .
How long does it take ? No idea as whilst doing these builds I lose position on meter ; I just enjoy it that a lot !
now, what about the sound ?
I ’ ve constantly found that the 16a has limited listening capabilities. Some users attempt to dampen the thin alloy walls, others claim to have a “ particular ” torsion and tightening sequence. Well, possibly. I ’ ve tried just about anything you could imagine and the 16a remains a thin- wall metallic horn that vibrates .
This gives a very singular phone on violin or minor formations, so if you ’ re into fair that I guess it ’ south all right. But entering other more complex territories will leave you questioning. Lift the needle off the turntable and you ’ ll get an repeat from the horn as the steel bounces back. Compare the 16a steel with any solid wood made horn and you ’ ll understand what ’ s so disturbing with the sword 16a .
still, a 16a master is a value part of my collection. not for its audio but for what it is. It is a piece of sound recording history. And, it ’ sulfur now installed in the fifteenth century medieval town where I live .
Some wish to listen to the 16a in stereophonic. This means using the correctly and left channels on either side having the join signals blend at the infectious mononucleosis talk. Why not. But when you understand the science behind the design of the 16a as distinctly outlined in the patent where you appreciate that each side is actually half of the automobile horn. As such, the lend air travel columns are pretty much the same horn as the WE15b ( two 555 WE15 horn ). Both of the air column add up to parcel the like mouth. But some enjoy it that way, therefore. . .
therefore, what does a double 555-driver 16a french horn made in solid wood sound like ?
I was imagining that it would parcel the sound of the 12a automobile horn ( here ). But I was wrong ! The 16a has a far better lateral pass dispersion as the flares are curved sideways and not upwards. We addressed this question here when we actually put the 12 horns on the sides to get that lateral pass dispersion. It worked. here we have that but done symmetrically and using 2 ten 555 drivers. precisely fantastic ! receptive easy and precise. No more alloy resonance ! Like the other solid wood horns I make it ’ s very a scavenge and well controlled legal wave generated by the 555 drivers. I have some sessions ahead to establish the chastise settings tied if of the bat it ’ mho insanely beneficial !
indeed was it worth it ? Yes !

All I need to do immediately is get a match and run in stereo ! That ’ s a design !
This child is off to “ N ” who I thank for trusting me to make this “ never built ” horn for his new home. I know he will enjoy the strait ! Thanks “ N ” .
All fun…

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