Welcome to Speakermonger.com. Our website is dedicated to the preservation and proliferation of great guitar tone. Please feel free to explore our site, use any of the resources on the site & pass us on to your friends.
Speakermonger is a new division of Stockdale Communications. Established for the purpose of providing direct sales of musical instrument speakers and accessories to the consumer.
Speakermonger is the sole US importer of the Howlin' Hound tm line of guitar speakers. Howlin' Hound tm speakers are, in our judgement the finest sounding guitar speakers available today. Please read on for additional details and sound comparison samples.
The “gift” that started it all.
how to become a speaker distributor in ten short years)
Sometime in late 1992 or early 93', I was offered (for free) an early
1960's Wurlitzer organ. The price was right so I went to check it out. I was led
by the owner of the instrument through the house out to the attached garage.
Under a painter's tarp was a mint condition 1960 Wurlitzer organ. I was
immediately impressed with the pristine condition of the cabinet. The mahogany
gleamed with a clear Chinese lacquer finish and all of the metal work had
recently been polished. The old lady who owned it said it had stopped working
one day and that she couldn't find anyone to repair it. The organ had been the
showpiece of their small living room and her husband, long since passed, had
entertained her with his playing for many years.
I got the thing on a furniture dolly, thanked the old doll and loaded the
organ on my pickup truck.
I moved the old Wurlitzer into my home office to await the opportunity to
troubleshoot it's internal problems. Judging by the condition of the cabinet, I
suspected a cold solder joint or perhaps a blown transistor or two.
One evening after work I decided to start the process of of disassembling
the gleaming mahogany cabinet to get at the “thing's” innards.
You can only imagine my surprise upon pulling off the rear panel of the
cabinet, every pc board was furry with two and a half decades of corrosion, and
every horizontal surface was covered in a half inch of mouse shit and dust. My
disappointment was total, the old Wurlitzer was beyond salvage.
I went across the street to recruit my neighbor John
to help me move the thing out onto the porch (just in case there were
still mice in the damn thing). My neighbor John commented on the cabinet and
asked me what my plans were for the organ.
When I told him the story and that I was pitching the whole
thing, he immediately asked if he could have it to make a “dry” bar. We
carted the thing over to his garage where it sat among his other projects
(perpetual motion generators, four wheel drive bicycles, small scale nuclear
particle generators etc. (John was a shell shocked Viet Nam veteran who believed
that perpetual motion was possible on a planet that has both gravity and
At this point I thought that my relationship with the old Wurlitzer was
over, but fate (and my neighbor John) had other plans.
Over the next week I watched as John “gutted” the old Wurlitzer in
his garage, cleaning the interior of the cabinet, adding interior shelves and
hinges to make a working “dry” bar. It was then John's turn to recruit me to
move the new “bar” into his den from the garage.
John asked me if I was interested in picking through the guts of the old
Wurlitzer for spare parts before he pitched the remains. Everything was pretty
much toast except for the 10 inch and 12 inch speakers removed from the bottom
and rear of the cabinet. Being the pack rat that I am I took the speakers and
put them on a shelf in the workshop.
I had been modifying and building tube amps for for some time, my rig at
the time consisted of a 1968 Tele with two coil tapped humbuckers and a strat
pickup and a “crosswired” 1964 Bandmaster with a 2x12 Celestion cabinet. I
had picked up an old (pre CBS) Bassman head and decided to build a 1x12 combo.
The Bassman chassis was too wide for a 1x12 combo, so I scoured the shop
looking for a suitable chassis. I found an old Princeton chassis (minus the
transformers and choke) and began the process of squeezing the Bassman's guts
into a chassis that was six inches shorter. I built the amp over the coming
weeks with a few mods to the tone bypass caps, added a master volume, presence
control, Hammond spring reverb and triode/pentode switching circuit.
After finishing work on the cabinet, I started rooting around for a
suitable speaker for my new creation. I didn't want to break up the pair of
Celestions, so my choices were limited to a 12 inch JBL cast frame woofer with a
16 pound magnet structure, an Altec-Lansing 12 inch cast frame with a hooded
magnet assembly and, you guessed it, an old Wurlitzer stamped frame/whizzer cone
I tried the JBL first, just barely clearing the output transformer of the
modified Bassman. The JBL was hugely loud, but you really had to crank the amp
to get any usable distortion out of it (they weren't lying when they gave it a
105 db SPL rating).
I tried the Altec Lansing next, but the dust cover on the magnet assembly
wouldn't clear the output transformer.
A few minutes of tinkering had the old Wurlitzer 12 incher mounted in the
cabinet and testing began.
I was totally unprepared for
the sound that issued from my new creation, the humbuckers in my Tele had
midrange punch where they used to sound muddy. The strat pickup “jangled”
with harmonic overtones, I was floored by this orphan speaker.
I continued to experiment with my new rig and found that the tone in
triode mode was smooth and silky and that when I switched to pentode mode and
brought the gain near the top, this little speaker growled like nothing I'd ever
At this point I had to know if the modified amp or this orphan speaker
was responsible for the huge improvement in tone. I had been playing through the
2x12 Celestion cabinet for quite a while and knew it's sound intimately. I
plugged the new rig into the 2x12 bottom and was surprised to find the sound
“muddy” in comparison.
Not wanting to give up on my beloved Celestions, I removed one from it's
home in the 2x12 bottom and placed it in the new combo amp. I noted an increase
in low-mids, or perhaps a decrease in the bass frequency due to the open back
design of the combo, but the high-mids and treble response were just not there.
I had, quite by accident, stumbled across the “Holy Grail” of guitar
speakers. There was only one major problem, Wurlitzer had gone bankrupt in 1963,
records of their suppliers went with them.
I had to have more of these fantastic speakers, so the search began.
Numerous long distance calls and many referrals led me to a former in house
repair tech for Wurlitzer who had purchased
the remaining inventory of repair parts at Wurlitzer's bankruptcy auction in
I purchased the last three of these speakers on the market for $75.00
each, highway robbery for a speaker that originally cost $10.00 to produce,
cheap at twice the price for it's harmonic overtones and sweet distortion.
Time warp to the year 2002. I took a “real” job as an inside sales
rep for an electronics and alarm components distributor. One of my duties at the
new gig was the evaluation of manufacturers and their products for inclusion in
our line of products. This process involves requesting and reviewing a huge
number of catalogs and sales flyers.
In the process of building a 25,000 item catalog of parts from over 150
different vendors, I ran across an importer of miscellaneous alarm parts and raw
speakers. Further communication with that company led the discovery that they
would custom manufacture and house mark product if a sufficiently large order
was placed. Further negotiation resulted in a set of four 35 watt, 12 inch
whizzer cone speakers, closely matching the specifications of the original
Wurlitzer organ speaker.
The first of the new speakers was immediately tested in the old 1x12
combo amp. I was thrilled to find the tone almost identical to the old Wurlitzer
organ speaker. I put a pair in a 2x12 closed back bottom and was pleased to hear
an extended bass response (due to the acoustic suspension design of the
cabinet), and absolute “sizzle” from the little whizzer cone. Subjective
testing aside, the frequency response graph tells the same story that your ear
The rest is history in the making, the Howlin' Hound speaker is born and
the sole North American importer is created...
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