To quote his bio created for CAF, “Master furniture maker John Semrad hand-builds each horn loudspeaker with a solid basswood core, poplar cross-ply, and American walnut face veneer. The process takes more 240 hours, and each completed horn weighs 240 pounds. With a Jean Michel Le Cleac’h profile for the horn flare and [full-range] resolution from Oleg Rullit’s Super Aero 8″ field coil drivers, these units are offered at $36,000 per pair, including field coil supply.” Those drivers are said to be made of Korean Hanji paper.
Semrad’s beautiful, horn-loaded speakers were driven by a front-end assembled by Mockingbird Audio’s Philip Holmes, who wrote on Instagram before CAF, “I am responsible for the analog front end. The Thorens TD124 turntable features Sorane ZA12 and TA1L tonearms, Mutech Hayabusa, modded Retrotone top platter, modded Swissonor main platter, mounted in the world’s first Panzerholz plinth (built by John). I couldn’t make it, which is okay. It’s John’s speakers that are new.”
Also in the Semrad system, an Allnic Audio H-1202 phono stage ($3750), two Semrad-built 2A3-based amplifiers, and Semrad cabling throughout.
This system was special. It played Lee Morgan’s Candy with more depth and decay than I’ve ever heard, his trumpet large, immediate, and upfront, with true tone. The music was fast, with body. Art Blakey’s Moanin’ was rendered equally fast, spacious, with powerful dynamics.
I asked Semrad why he made the horns so big? “That’s the only way I could get good sound.”
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