Home High Efficiency Speaker Asylum

Need speakers that can rock with just one watt? You found da place.

A Short History of High Efficiency Weaponry



As you may know Paul Klipsch developed the Heresy and LaScala during WW II when he worked for the Army munitions depot in Hope Arkansas. They were intended to be used against fanatical Japanese defenders in caves and bunkers, but the Army decided the use of the Heresy against the Japanese was inhumane and decided to use flamethrowers, gasoline and satchel charges instead.

In any event the advantage of the Klipsch weapons was their compactness and light weight; the LaScala was capable of being used in a WW II infantry company's heavy weapons platoon with the mortars and heavy machine guns and the Heresy could be used as a squad support weapon like a BAR. Ammunition would have been Nelson Eddy-Jeanette McDonald recordings played from battery powered small wire recorders based on German models smuggled out of Germany before the war by the same Polish intelligence agents who smuggled out the early Enigma machines.

Even though the Army decided against using the Heresy-LaScala weapons system in it's drive across New Guinea and into the Phillipines, the Navy did consider the system for Marine Corps use in the Navy's Central Pacific drive. But Admiral King, always jealous of Navy prerogatives in the Pacific War, decided against using a weapon developed by the Army.

Patton, in late 1944 while his Third Army was bogged down reducing the fortresses of Metz, asked the War Department for the Heresy-LaScala system but since the system had not been put into production he had to wait while an effort was made to cobble a few together (by this time attitudes toward the Germans had hardened considerably over those of 1942-43). Before the Heresys reached the European Theater the stalemate at Metz was broken and the war entered it's final highly mobile phase with the breakout across the Rhine and into Germany; a mode of war for which PWK's weapons were unsuited.

"Bomber" Harris, the brutal and ruthless head of Britsh Bomber Command, heard of the Heresy-LaScala system and wanted to fit Lancaster bombers to drop over German cities loads of Heresys fitted with miniature vacuum tube radio receivers tuned to a station in London that would broadcast Gilbert and Sullivan songs. He thought this would strike a bigger blow against German morale than the firebombing of German cities. His vision of a thousand bombers over Berlin releasing hundreds of thousands of Heresys screeching "I'm the Very Model of a Modern Major General" is terrifying indeed. Unfortunately for Harris the best British "boffins" were at work on radar, Enigma and iceberg aircraft carriers and the engineers assigned to the program soon fell out arguing whether the Heresy sounded worse with single ended or push-pull amplification. This squabbling torpedoed the development and the scheme was dropped.

After the war American Army scientific teams spread out across western Germany to find evidence of German research into rumored V Speakers but though Klangfilm had a small program Hitler was fixated on von Braun's rockets and the German speaker weapon project was stillborn, especially after several of Klangfilm's top engineers were killed in an accident trying to make "werewolf" crossover capacitors filled with T Stoff.

Post war development of the Heresy-LaScala system, including Curtis LeMay's efforts to make it a part of American Cold War strategy and Soviet efforts to counteract it (involving a frantic crash Soviet program to develop their own using reverse engineered University and Electro-Voice drivers supplied them by Soviet agents employed in New York's famous "Radio Row") is a little known story now being researched by Richard Rhodes, the writer of "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" and "Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb".

JBL certainly had an eye to possible Defense Department contracts when they developed the infamous 075 tweeter. There are persistent but unconfirmed rumors the CIA experimented with it, both during the famous LSD experiments and possibly during the Bay of Pigs. It's known that Dick Bissell pushed for arming the Cuban émigrés at the Bay of Pigs with 075 tweeters but Allen Dulles feared their falling into Communist hands.

The firm stance Kennedy took during the Cuban Missile Crisis is a strong indication the Soviets were unable to duplicate 075 tweeter technology on a large scale, even if some had fallen into their hands. Of course the Soviets well understood the technology of the far less powerful EV and University tweeters but the thermonuclear JBL was beyond their resources.

Latest research indicates that the Soviets, wanting to make a cheaper and simpler weapon, a T-34 so to speak, eventually abandoned the American multi-driver model and went "single driver" with copies of Lowthers smuggled out of Britain by Kim Philby and Guy Burgess.

A little known article of the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed by Kennedy and Kruschev banned the development of weapons based on "obnoxious speakers". Kruschev, who'd never forgotten the suffering of the Russian people during the Great Patriotic War, is said to have been adamant in his demand that such development be stopped.

A mysterious American audiophile and Russian emigre known as "Romy the Cat" is said to be a veteran of the Soviet program but to this very day refuses to talk about it or even acknowledge the existence of the program. However some Cold War historians claim this "Romy"s prodigious talent at assembling dangerously bad horn speaker systems bespeaks a sophisticated level of knowledge no layman could've gained.

In any event we now know the REAL reason for the development of the ferrite magnet Lowther: the British, not wanting to be outdone by the Soviet copies upped the ante so to speak by developing the ferrite version. But as with the famous Castle Bravo H-bomb test the British scientists were totally unprepared for and shocked by the results of their efforts.

By the terms of the post war Japanese Constitution Japan may only use speaker weapons in self defense and is treaty limited to speakers no more dangerous than the Pioneer HPM series. Before the war, much as the Japanese Navy was modeled on Britain's Royal Navy so were Japanese speaker weapons modeled on such dangerous British speakers as the Voight-Lowthers. In addition the Japanese were much taken with the Voight "bath tub" horn, for obvious reasons. However Japanese speaker weapon research, though fixated on the British single driver model, came up with nothing more dangerous than the rather benign Fostex and Diatone weapons which lacked firepower and had the serious drawback of needing their voice coils to be regularly oiled. After the war Japanese development followed the multi-way American model, as with the previously noted HPM series for which the Japanese had high hopes of export sales to Third World armies. However Syria's HPMs failed dismally in the Yom Kippur War when pitted against Israel's highly modified JBLs and sales plummeted but the Japanese cleverly rebounded by pitching the weapon at marijuana befuddled young American audio enthusiasts by means of advertising campaigns in the National Lampoon and Penthouse.


This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
  Analog Engineering Associates  


Topic - A Short History of High Efficiency Weaponry - Tom Brennan 09:36:33 01/21/17 (26)

FAQ

Post a Message!

Forgot Password?
Moniker (Username):
Password (Optional):
  Remember my Moniker & Password  (What's this?)    Eat Me
E-Mail (Optional):
Subject:
Message:   (Posts are subject to Content Rules)
Optional Link URL:
Optional Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Upload Image:
E-mail Replies:  Automagically notify you when someone responds.