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Whaam68 3rd Feb 2018 5:31 pm

Heathkit Cotswold Speakers
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A few years ago I was lucky enough to obtain through Freecycle a gentlemanís late Fathers giant mk1 Wharfedale Teesdale Speakers, 15ohm with a 15Ē Bass unit. This in turn led me to construct a few low power valve amplifiers. Some time later In a moment of madness I sold those speakers on cheaply as the missus wasnít keen on their looks and I moved onto messing with transistors. Looking for something similar to get the valve amps running again I recently stumbled on a pair of these locally on Gumtree for the princely sum of £38. They were being sold by an ex professional bassist who had constructed them from a kit in the early 60s and had them ever since in a bedroom studio. While he assured me all the drivers were in working order, the wooden cabinet legs were missing, the veneer was a bit rough and the level pots seized so hopefully not a massive job. Cosmetically Iíve gone with some 12mm steel hairpin legs for a coffee table sourced from eBay, these are really well constructed but cost me as much again as the speakers! The cabinets took a night of sanding and three coats of Danish oil, with black cloth grilles they now look fairly contemporary. New crossover caps from Falcon acoustics I had in the spares box were fitted. I didnít bother testing the Hunts as they are approx 55 years old by now. Plenty of Servisol on the pots freed them up but to be honest I canít detect a huge difference between max and min settings so have left them set at max. The seller had wired in extra tweeters into the crossover as ďthe hf was lowĒ I removed the extra wiring as once recapped and brought back to their original height there is plenty of ďtop endĒ. The original Fane woofer and Goodmans treble units were all hidden behind thick layers of stapled wooden blanket material. As they appear to be working Iíve left them alone. Peeling up a bit covering the woofer I couldnít see any surround degradation. I know a lot of Fane units from this era used foam surrounds but this set look like something else. I may just be lucky. The elliptical tweeters are sealed in their own wooden compartment so again as working well I left well alone. The only other job was replacing broken input connectors on one cabinet. Each cabinet Is stuffed with a monumental amount of original cellulose wadding as these are an infinite baffle rather than a ported design. Performance wise my 3.5w pch amp drives them easily sounding very good to my ears being nicely balanced with a good mid range. For about £85 all in the pair Iím very happy with them. Now to dig the Heathkit S-99 I have out of the loft!

wd40addict 11th Feb 2018 10:32 pm

Re: Heathkit Cotswold Speakers
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Well done for restoring these, I have always wondered how good they sound by modern standards. Like you I have always thought the surrounds would probably be rotten on any surviving examples.

The original cabinets, like yours, are pretty big so Heathkit subsequently produced the MFS version with a more upright style cabinet and slightly reduced based response.

Attached is the original datasheet, plus a review of the MFS variant.

Whaam68 12th Feb 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Heathkit Cotswold Speakers
Hi and thank you for the datasheet. Since putting these back into service I have been away or at work and only had a brief opportunity to listen to them. As you can see from the pic my room isn't an ideal size for these monsters (small terraced house) but there seems to be a reasonably good stereo effect probably as the mid range units are at the outer edges of each cabinet. I need to do more testing between the quad 405 I was briefly using with them and the 2A3 amp. I'm starting to think I may prefer the 405 so perhaps they may need a little more power than the 2A3's 3.5W! I have a heathkit S99 in the loft (9w p/ch) I'm now motivated to get that finished as they should go well together. I find it really difficult to rate speakers! I did play the Animals on vinyl the other day and that did come across as very "life like " which I enjoyed. You don't have to crank these too much either which is good as a lot of my listening is in the evening and at lower levels. No particular frequency stands out....I'd say they have a fairly flat response.....

deliverance 12th Feb 2018 5:59 pm

Re: Heathkit Cotswold Speakers
They look fantastic good work .

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