I’ve been traveling in England the last couple weeks and got home last night at 1 a.m., and am now trying to get caught back up on everything, including some sleep and some music listening.
I was on a tour with Rick Steves’ Europe that was a lot of fun. Rick is a cultural treasure here in Washington State where I live, and you can see his escapades around the world on his television program and web site. Our group was a fantastic collection of fun and adventuresome people that I really enjoyed traveling with and getting to know.
I immensely enjoyed my visit to England, but I didn’t get a chance to connect with audio pals in the UK like I had hoped to, like Mark Coles of Sablon Audio, Howard (a fellow WRSE enthusiast), Ray at CTC, and Paul Mills at Tannoy, to mention a few. The dynamics of group travel ended up limiting what I could do time-wise, so I was bummed at not to be able to see you guys for some audio fun & games! Next time I hope!
The first thing I want to tell you about is the update I got from Frederik Carøe (Duelund Coherent Audio) about the DCA16GA wire that is a modern (and perhaps improved) interpretation of the vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire that many of us have been immensely enjoying, thanks to the tip about its musical qualities from Yazaki-san.
The Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA is almost ready!
In the photo above you can see a spool of the tin-plated copper wire at Duelund Coherent Audio waiting to be wound with a cotton casing followed by Duelund’s oil impregnation & curing process.
In case you’re just tuning into this important and exciting story, let me do a quick recap for you.
Yazaki-san sent me a sample of the rather rare vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire to try as a pair of speaker cables with my Duelund CAST crossovered Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers.
The Western Electric WE16GA wire took a while to settle in, but once it did it was extremely musical, and gave the music a very ‘real sound’ feel that was extremely enjoyable.
Ron, Leo, and I went in together and bought a spool of the rare WE16GA that Yazaki-san was so kind as to get for us, and I proceeded to wire my Duelund CAST crossovers with it, and then the internal wiring of my Westminsters, with similarly musical results all around.
But for all practical purposes, the vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire is essentially extinct, and what’s passing as Western Electric in the wilds of eBay doesn’t look much like authentic Western Electric wire to me.
I think it’s likely sellers are trying to capitalize on the fame my blog posts imbued onto Western Electric WE16GA wire, and what you’d hear from the wire being sold as Western Electric might very well be significantly different from what I’m hearing from the authentic WE16GA wire I have been using and you have been reading about here at Jeff’s Place.
Western Electric WE16GA has that desirable ‘vintage tone’ that you keep seeing me talk about here at Jeff’s Place, which is to say, I think it possesses special tonal properties that enhances the beauty, meaning, spirit, artistic intent, emotional connection, etc., of reproduced music when used as speaker cables, or as internal speaker and/or crossover wiring applications, or in other electronics applications.
I have slowly come to the conclusion that it might only be possible to experience the full musical & acoustical palette vintage gear is capable of with the Western Electric WE16GA and its desirable vintage tone. My vintage McIntosh amplification is wired with it internally stock from the factory way back when, and I’ve been using it as speaker cables for my Altec Lansing A5 and A7 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers, and the crossovers I’m building for them, as well.
So a lot of you (and me) have been lamenting that the superb Western Electric WE16GA wire has become extinct, and in fact I am down to the last little bit of WE16GA I have left, which is what I am using to wire my new crossovers for my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers project. Knowing that I am almost out of WE16GA has made me feel a bit panicky!
As I’ve reported earlier, Frederik Carøe of Duelund Coherent Audio had been observing our reaction to the vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire, and our dismay at having it become extinct, and became intrigued enough with the Western Electric WE16GA wire that he decided he wanted to investigate producing a contemporary Duelund Coherent Audio version that is very similar to the Western Electric WE16GA in concept, but utilizing Mr. Steen Duelund’s original axiom of a natural materials philosophy.
Frederik has worked closely with a specialty manufacturer to provide the 26-strand, 0.25mm diameter, tinned-copper conductors that are the heart & soul of the Western Electric WE16GA wire, but has eschewed its plastic inner sleeve in favor of a black cotton dielectric that is impregnated in oil, whose fully organic nature Frederik believes will imbue an even more natural tone than the use of plastics in the vintage WE16GA could allow for.
Frederik says the oil impregnated cotton dielectric is then baked “so people won’t get a messy cable” and that “its main role is to make the dielectric anti-static, and the cotton more durable.”
Like all Duelund products the wire is all hand-assembled with meticulous care and attention to details.
The photo below is what it will look like when it is all finished.
The Western Electric WE16GA inspired Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire should be ready to ship in about a week, so distributors may want to get their orders in ASAP, and those of you who want to order the DCA16GA wire for your own use may want to check with your current Duelund source so you can get your name on the list to reserve some, that way you can get some as early as possible after it comes out.
Frederik will announce final pricing as soon as manufacturing costs are fully accounted for, but Frederik tells me that he hopes to be able to provide the DCA16GA wire in the range of what I paid for Western Electric WE16GA back when I bought the spool you see in the photos here at Jeff’s Place from Yazaki-san (approximately $25.23 USD per meter of twisted pair wire, which translates to about $12.62 USD per meter for single-run wire).
For a custom DCA16GA wire handmade by Duelund Coherent Audio to their lofty standards, I’d say that’s a bargain if Frederik can get anywhere close to that kind of pricing.
The new Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire is cause for celebration here at Jeff’s Place, and here’s a big “Thank you!” to Frederik for taking on this project of developing a new ‘vintage tone’ Western Electric WE16GA style of wire, and I am thrilled about it.
Frederik will be sending me some Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA to compare against my Western Electric WE16GA, so that should be really exciting, and you can expect to read all about it in detail in the not too distant future.
July 14, 2016 Update!
I just got a message from Frederik saying that the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire received its cotton wrapping and has completed the oil impregnation & baking process and is ready to ship. That’s the finished DCA16GA in the photo above.
Frederik told me that DCA16GA will be shipping here to Jeff’s Place in the next few days, and it should be shipping to Parts Connexion by next week.
These are exciting times, stayed tuned!
Thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!