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Western Electric Horns and Drivers


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I just picked up a pair of KS14706 horns attached to KS14704 drivers with what I assume to be some sort of crossover on each labeled "Output Trans 171 C". Transformer boxes have 13 seperate pins sticking up for connections in 2 rows marked 1-14; where pin #4 should be has no pin. Wire ends still attached to pins 1 and 2 for I assume input, pins 6 and 13 are connected to drivers. All connections soldered, haven't taken any measurements on anything or cleaned anything yet. Haven't found much information on any of them through Google yet, although appears to be a lot of stuff in Japanese (?) I haven't searched through yet. A few questions if anyone may be of help?

What would their original use have been? One of them has chains attached to it as if it had been hanging at some point in its life.

What should resistance on the driver be?

Am I correct that the Trans 171 is a crossover? Any info or links on it?

Any idea what could be expected for frequency response?

And of course, are they worth the money I paid for them? It wasn't much. I feel I got a good deal even if only used for decoration, they just look cool.

Thanks in advance for any and all info or links.

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The trans 171 is a matching transformer, probably an auto-transformer. I would disconnect the drivers and run a test tone of 1 KHz through the Trans 171 and monitor the output on a scope at each pin, which should confirm the level matching. You could then do a frequency sweep to see if there is any crossover action. The Japanese are all over the old W-E gear and there is quite a following (cult) over there. I;d recommend you print out the page in Japanese and get it translated.

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I agree with Boom3.

Someplace I read that WE installed a P.A. system in Penn Station or Grand Central Station in NYC and it relied on their horns and probably careful consideration of coverage patterns and intelligibility.

Then later it was replaced with another system with direct drivers which didn't accomplish what WE had.

My thought is that the transformer is part of what is now called a 70-volt distribution system. In this scheme, the amount of power drawn by the speaker is dictated by the taps on the transformer. Also, the use of high voltage on the distribution line greatly reduces losses. It is just like transmission of a.c.power over long distances.

The secondary of transformer feeds what is probably a more standard driver. The driver will have a resistance of about 10 ohms d.c.

Wm McD

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