|I own some great speakers that are benchmarks for what they do. For example:|
Quad57's- Incredible, open midrange, but limited frequency extremes
Magnepan Tympani 1-D's- Amazing dynamics, fast bass, and HUGE soundstage, but limited to solid state amps and large rooms
KLH Nines- Dynamics, scale, warmth, 3-d imaging, and an ability to be driven by a Marantz 8b, but a beamy treble
Chartwell Ls3/5a's: Very even frequency response, Quads in a shoe box, but again, limited frequency extremes
I keep these speakers because there are areas where they excel over all others, but I have yet to find a speaker that combines all these best characteristics, until now...
The JBL Hartsfield Replica.
Even more legendary than the other speakers I mentioned and for good reason. I've lusted after them for years, but always considered them to be unobtainable. Rarely are they seen for sale and when they are, you can expect a price of $20K-$40K for a pair...Gulp. Seeking out a replica was going to be my only financial option.
Having heard of Classic Audio Reproductions and their Hartsfield replica, I decided to look for the builder of these speakers and through my research, I was led directly to Bob Jacobson at JR Sound Co. I contacted Bob and told him of my interest. He explained to me how C.A.R. contracted him over 20 years ago to build the first 6 pairs, how more were ordered and completed, and then how their business relationship dissolved over cost increases. He also added the irony in my calling him, as he had been itching to start building Hartsfields again!
I contracted Bob to build a single speaker for me as I am interested in the virtues of MONO. It seems logical to me that the speakers of a particular period are voiced to the music of that period. That is why The Hartsfield, Klipschorn, Altec, and Electrovoice corner horns are most often recommended for mono systems.
Bob got to work immediately, kept me constantly informed, and 3 weeks later- I was uncrating a Hartsfield! Pictures of the process can be seen here-
I have been married to Mrs. H for 3 months now. I have enjoyed every moment with her, even now as I listen to Jutta Hipp w/zoot sims on a mono lp. This speaker combines all the best attributes of the other classic speakers I own. It has the lifelike mids of a Quad57, but with far more high and low frequency extension. It has the dynamics and soundstage of Magnepan Tympani 1-D's, but because of high sensitivity and efficient design, it can be driven with 15 tube watts! It has the warmth and 3-D imaging of KLH Nines, but has a more even frequency response like the Ls3/5a's. The 2-way, folded corner horn Hartsfield has a coherence and a startling realism that the others do not. I can't tell you how many times, in the last 3 months, I have had an adrenaline rush thinking I was having a home invasion. I can't listen to the soundtrack from Apocalypse Now without taking cover. The barking dog track at the end of Pet Sounds sends my dog into attack mode every time. I have never heard a vocal project like this or a guitar sound more natural. From rock to jazz, from vocal to classical, this speaker truly does it all and better than anything else I have ever heard!
This Hartsfield cabinet is an Exact replica, not a close approximation. Bob is a master craftsman and has the original blue-prints. The drivers he chose to install, like the JBL 2440 high frequency compression driver, is the pro version of the 375 used originally and the Alnico D-130 baskets reconed with a 2205 woofer kit is simply the best replacement for the 150-4c. The pro 2390 horn + lens assembly is exactly the same as the Hartsfield 5039 horn + lens. It's funny how JBL simply changed model numbers on the same parts.
I can't believe that I actually own a Hartsfield! I have never been so thrilled with any other single audio purchase before now.
I am very impressed with Bobs ability. The crating and shipping, the fit and finish of the Hartsfield, and his professionalism.
I will be ordering another as soon as I return to stereo...
Take a look at his listing currently on Audiogon-
Dreams come true!
Quad II Classic reissue
Nakamichi Dragon CT/Denon DL-102 mono
REL Precedent FM tuner mono
by Vinylvision on 04-18-10