With its cooler temperatures and wetter weather, Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is a time when life starts to shift indoors. It means kicking off new audio projects, getting the fireplace going, getting out a good book, with the muse of music stirring thoughts of the past as well as dreams for the future.
So it is also with my friend my friend and kindred spirit, Frank, in Canada. Frank was intrigued by what I related to you as I described trying the Western Electric WE16GA as speaker cables, and as internal & crossover wiring in my Duelund-ized Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers, and was inspired to embark on a cable project he had been wanting to try with his own Duelund-ized Westminsters.
However, instead of the Western Electric, Frank had been wanting to try the exotic Duelund Coherent Audio pure silver foil wire that is insulated with a silk jacket, and is impregnated with a mineral oil. Here’s a link to the Duelund web page describing their wire offerings.
Here is Frank’s account of his Duelund rewire project for his Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers with external Duelund crossovers:
“Your recent changes to the Duelund crossover wiring from the Neotech to the Western Electric wire, and your positive musical results, pushed me to think about changing the Neotech wire running through my Duelund CAST crossovers. To me the word that came immediately to my mind was the synergy of combining the parts to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. “
“With that in mind I turned to Duelund again and their hook-up wire, the 2.0 and the 1.0. The Duelund wire is pure silver foil, is a flat ribbon, and is insulated with a silk jacket and impregnated with a mineral oil. In the photo you can see that one end of the 2.0 is not flat. That is because the 2.0 wire was too wide to go through the McMaster-Carr copper lugs within the crossover, so I rounded it to fit. The Duelund silver wire is relatively soft, so it was easy to make it roundish to fit through the MCMaster-Carr lugs. This worked well, because once rounded, the wire is very rigid for pushing through the lugs crowded with the other wires.”
“In addition to rewiring the low-frequency section of the Duelund-WRSE crossovers with Duelund 2.0 wire, and the high-frequency section of the crossover with Duelund 1.0 wire, I also replaced my Sablon Audio Panatela cables that go from the crossovers to the Tannoy Dual Concentric drivers with the Duelund 1.0 and 2.0 foil wire, and the results are breathtaking and phenomenal! (I am still using the Salon Audio Panatela component speaker cables from my monaural amplifiers to the Duelund crossover.)”
“The music is now so coherent ascending into the high-frequencies, and as it descends into the low-frequencies, that the music – including operatic voices – is simply more beautiful, totally satisfying, and sweet in a very complete way.”
Frank shared with me that the theme of his listening room is from the poem The Lark Ascending by English poet George Meredith, a tribute to the song of the skylark.
He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake.
English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote a tribute to The Lark Ascending for violin and piano, which was later re-scored for solo violin and orchestra.
Frank told me as he sat listening to the music, memories of his friend and listening buddy, Helmer Biermann, came back to him.
Helmer wrote about his passion for opera and classical music for the Telegraph-Journal, and the Evening Times Globe, from where he eventually retired as the Editor of Arts and Entertainment.
Frank told me, “Recently, when the Duelund wire went into the system, and glorious music flooded into the room, at about the same time I came across my tribute I wrote about Helmer when he passed away in 2005. I thought about how much Helmer enjoyed listening to music, and how he enjoyed listening to music here with me, where he introduced me to some great music.”
“Helmer came to Canada with his parents as a young boy from Denmark. Unfortunately, Helmer passed away before hearing my system in its “completed” state. As I listen to the music now with my Duelund-Westminsters, with the new Duelund wire in the speakers & crossovers, I think of Helmer because he is the only person I’m acquainted with who would have been as overwhelmed with the beautiful sound and music as I am right now.”
Frank’s tribute to friend and music lover, Helmer Biermann:
“Any tribute to Helmer Biermann and his recent passing to a musical celestial shore must recognize the truth of an important musical trinity. The three in one of the composer, the performer, and the listener. A few years ago Helmer told me that early in his life he dedicated himself to that part of the musical triad, the listener, because he believed that meaningful music demands one’s undivided attention. Thus, instead of many hours struggling with the creation of music, or the practice for performing, he chose to become part of the musical trinity as an enlightened listener. “
“I believe that Helmer thought, and he was probably right, that the human ear is the first musical instrument of all. That is, the ear and mind make music by organizing oncoming tones. If you can recognize or remember a piece of music, it is because it was composed by someone whose ear and mind organized tones with the same idea you use. In other words, listeners make music. But music goes out of existence with every performance, and must be recreated at every hearing. Helmer told me recently that Tosca was at the top of his list, hearing it forty six times, Verdi’s most listened to opera by Helmer, Il Trovatore came in at twenty-one times. Helmer could never be too closely acquainted with the greatest music. Its meaning to him was as infinite and unfathomable as the works of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Euripides, Shakespeare, or Goethe. At each repetition you may understand more of it. So it was with Helmer and the musical masterpieces, for he knew that the ear must be trained to the beauties of the music by a great deal of listening.”
“To see Helmer in his final days, as he continued to listen, you knew that the music he was making, resonated with harmony, beauty and meaning, taking him on a path to inner peace and contentment. Music in all its splendor is that powerful. Plato said it best. “Music gives a soul to the Universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.””
I would like to say a big “Thank you!” to Frank for sharing his adventure about the Duelund re-wire of his Westminsters and Duelund crossovers with us, and particularly for sharing his memories of his friend and listening buddy, Helmer Biermann, which quite literally brought tears to my eyes.
The power of music to bring back memories and stimulate our emotions never ceases to amaze me, and I’m thankful for that, as I am for my friends and fellow music lovers that share their passion of audio & music with me.
Thank you Frank, and Godspeed Mr. Biermann!