WE 555 is probably the best speaker ever made.

late 30's WE555

WE555W and early WE555

mid 30's WE555

People think that all we555 are the same ...but there are several types of diaphragms . The older types ( ph1 ) , about 1928-1932 , have lighter diaphragm , seems max power 5W , and tangential wires from voice coil to binding posts : bright , brilliant , smooth sound. Mid 30's production has tangential wires too but slightly heavier diaphragm : thick sound , with good bass , but less smoothness, well balanced. Later production , I suppose starting from 1938 , has straight wires , different method of fixing voice coil to diaphragm , heavier diaphragm .power rating is higher : sound has full bass , warm sound , but a bit muddy and not very refined. the IPC lu1000 driver has this diaphragm too. the diaphragm choice is a matter of tastes...


597A is a fundamental complement of 15A + WE555.Other modern or vintage tweeters , permanent magnet type, don't blend with we555. So 597A is a must. Unfortunately original we597A is extremely expensive ( 8000$ in USA , more than 1.000.000Yen in Japan ). But there are some nice replicas on the market. : GIP , Kanno , Eltus ...

In my opinion the most faithful 597a replica is GIP597A model 2 , after comes Kanno K597 , then Eltus596E.

GIP597A model 2 : this is the most faithful we597a replica . 24 Ohms voice coil , as original 597a. Very smooth , natural sound, very low distortion , no harshness,brilliant, blends perfectly with we555. Trebles are not so extended as a modern tweeter : it behaves exhactly like the original we597a in this ... GIP has listened and tested more than 10 pieces original we597a in order to make their own replica. For people who wants a 597a replica with improved treble , GIP manufactures the gip597a model 1 and model 3: model 1 is an extended trebles 597a , model 3 is a supertweeter 597a. For contact and info : www.gip-laboratory.com

Kanno K597a : sorry no photo available. but top grade manufacturing. I have listened K597 on a customer's 15a stereo system: brilliant , smooth sound , very efficient . similar sound of GIP597a but more HIFI sound ( less mid and more trebles ). Less lifelike than GIP , but top sounding anyway.Kanno is more hifi sound , GIP is more WE style. For contact and info : www.soundprestige.com/kanno.html


A note about frequency measurements below . I employed a cheap electret microphone for computers . Its frequency response is limited above 10.000Hz , so in the actual listening , those tweeters have more trebles than graph shows. The amplifier used is we46c , which is 40-10.000 Hz.

GIP597a model 2 + we555+15a . Xover at 4000Hz 6db

WE597A replica by Mr Ogawa.This tweeter is not available anymore . See photos to understand how a 597a is internally made.

Other Western Electric speakers

KS 12025 500Hz horn

WE 713 B

1 inch throat, 5 cm phenolic diaphragm 500Hz-15000Hz , very small bakelite rear chamber, 4 Ohms.Very different from metal diaphragm drivers: warmer, less but more natural highs, wonderful voice.WE713A and C are metal diaphragm versions.

We753c monitor speaker . bass speaker is WE Jensen ks12004 , horn is we32a , driver is we713b , but many we753c are fitted with we713a metal diaphragm type. Xover is at about 1000Hz . Incredibly coherent sound : woofer and driver blend perfectly and the 713b +we32a horn give a non horn sound. Beautiful but very expensive speaker.