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I found the LEE CATENOID patent!


D-MAN
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Armando, totally cool. Thanks for the info!

As an aside, I've always liked looking at other speakers, for insight into what to do and what not to do. Designs that went extinct always did so for a reason, and some reasons are clearly worse than others, but for the most part, it's pretty clear as to why they each eventually took a dirt nap. Only one is still standing and there's a few reasons behind that, too.

In the case of the L.E.E Catenary, it seems that the cost/performance ratio wasn't workable compared to its competition (basically the Klipschorn, the JBL Hartsfield, the Jensen Imperial(s), the Tannoys, the EV's, just about every cornerhorn that ever was). The size is about right, though, but a single 12" woofer that doesn't go as low is the kiss-of-death compared to a Khorn's output for the (almost) same footprint. Not too hard to guess, is it?

DM

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  • 5 months later...

I'm up to my elbows in one of these right now. It uses a 12 Jensen woofer and 5" midrange / tweeter. The super tweeter was a Jensen RP-302, which, sadly enough, was "scavenged" before I got the speaker. The cabinet is yellow formica (!) and the crossover is leaking a nasty green fluid. I'm hoping to have this thing together in time for the St. Louis "gathering" in the beginning of August.

My first impression is that it must have been a bear to build - lots of odd angles. It also uses really downscale drivers. Contemporary Jensen price lists put a total price around $70, less than half of the woofer in the Shorthorn, which appears to be its most logical competition.

I haven't been able to find a price list yet. I'm guessing this example dates to the early 50s, as I haven't found any ads for it after 1955, and by then it was already being sold by National.

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I saw one down town St Louis. Van Sikel. 40 yrs ago. Up stairs display room. Thats where I saw my first Klipschorn also. EV Patrition around corner upstaires at Aeolian. OH those were the days !!!!!

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I'd like to point out that it is fun to look at alternate designs.

But the designers don't find any magic. That is because we have the constraints of cabinet size, mouth size, and throat size. These are the problems in transmission line theory, which includes the terminations.

The catenary function is the curve of a hanging chain (some Latin here). Roughly, if you look at the Brooklyn Bridge, the arc is somewhat a catenary (loading probably distorts it a bit). And this is close to an exponential. Consider that the BB span resembles the side of a K-400.

Our bass horns are very short in comparison to the optimal; mouth sizes are suboptimal.

There are notions that in a short horn, with a sub optimal mouth, we can improve response by departing from the exponential. Heck, what we have is only an approximation.

I believe these notions are misplaced. The bass horns do not suffer from an inch or two along their length. Rather, we are dealing with a sub optimal situation which can't be cured by any particular structure as far as bass loading.

Gi

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  • 4 years later...
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I think it is a catenoid speaker but not "the catenoid"? It looks like someone monkey'd with it. Is it just me?

I don't know a thing about the Lee Catenoid, but the ones on eBay were made with parts from a Fisher console (Jensen speakers)...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Both sets of speakers appear to be the same pair, same picture even - they just got moved from Chattanooga to Cincinnati.

Odd choice of tweeters - the ones I've seen had a single Jensen RP-302, but these may have been built when the company was running low on funds.

I've also seen a pair of LEEs on ebay that used Bozak woofers in an infinite baffle with some kind of Jensen midrange (I think.)

It seems the big mistake they made was ignoring PWK's dictum "The music lives in the midrange." The Catenoids I've seen all had a real downscale Jensen cone midrange - except for that one mentioned above with a JBL in it.

L. E. E. lasted a long time - most of the fifties.

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