Horn Project – Part 1

Galibier Design - Speaker Project - Bass Cabinets

Bass Cabinets (click to enlarge)

Galibier is excited to announce that a long running collaboration is nearing completion. It's been in the works for five years.

It's a modern, sophisticated, two-way re-imagining (and clean-sheet redesign) of classic Altec designs like the Valencia, model 612, Model 19, et al.

Shown here, are photos, simulations, and supporting design files produced by Galibier Design in the late Winter/early Spring of 2023. 

They are based on an associate's soon to be released commercial 16" bass reflex and horn system.

This speaker's bass cabinet will house the legendary Altec 515C (AlNiCo) from Great Plains Audio, which is a contemporary recreation of the venerated classic driver, arguably the finest large music bass driver ever made among classic series. Made on original Altec tooling, no less.

A CNC-machined solid wood biradial horn fills in the upper octaves.

We've known the designer for over two decades, and with his blessing we developed this visually different but functionally very similar woofer cabinet you see here.

Galibier Design - Gipsy Moon Band

Gipsy Moon Band at Galibier Design

Project Origins and the Target

Galibier Design - Speaker Project Simulation

Simulation - 3/4 View (click to enlarge)

The designer’s primary target was to deliver a reference class large monitor to the customer at uncommonly approachable pricing for a device of this stature.

This Galibier variation was born out of domestic considerations - to blend a pair of large cabinets into the décor of our relatively small listening room - replacing the Daedalus Ulysses currently in service.

While there's no accounting for taste, we find cabinets with rounded front corners compliment smaller rooms (shown above) better than cabinets with square ones.

Our interpretation may come at a higher manufacturing expense for our U.S. cabinetry OEM, and the square edged corners of the original design fulfill the original concept while delivering a more classic, retro design aesthetic in a mid-century modern style.

Choose Your Aesthetic

We're pleased to say that depending on market response, his company may also engage in  production of our version.

In any case, if you audition our speakers, you're hearing the original joint design - a  respectful deviation from classic designs with much stronger performance at both frequency extremes. An experience that is, pardon the pun, nearly unheard-of for a true two way of this caliber and design.

Note: Some would claim that rounded edges reduce diffraction for a large cabinet. While a wider, squarer bass cabinet actually improves loading (in terms of diffraction), rounding it is virtually inconsequential at the frequencies of interest. Here, cabinets are a largely visual effect. 

The Project

The designer is very much like me – someone who is methodical and thorough - someone who brings products into production only after extensive design vetting.

Galibier Design - Speaker Project - Bass Cabinets

Ready for Assembly (click to enlarge)

I mention this, because I will only engage with individuals who share my design discipline and musical aesthetic.

The crossover has consumed some five years in design and tune, including tens of thousands of CAD permutations and extensive parts comparisons.

Running his business left little time to bring his project (and our variation) to the front of his queue, but a prior Altec renovation project you may soon read about (and the valuable lessons learned in the process) provided the impetus to bring this project to completion.

The Galibier drawings (modifications) below are as initially conceived.  The internal bracing and port design have undergone revision since these were produced in April, 2023 (click to enlarge):

General Overview:

  • Tuned reflex cabinet with Altec 515C AlNiCo-motor woofers from Great Plains Audio.
  • 320 Hz classic Japanese, broadcast-style vaned horn - designed just for this project, employing a compression driver to be named.

A best guess completion date will be in the February timeframe - pending final details.

We'll get some mocked up photos of the horns in the coming weeks - likely after Christmas.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 - pre-assembly photos and more ...

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