I’m a newcomer to the blogosphere, and perhaps choose to remain such, well… until I’m not one any more. That being said, there is a bit of reporting, as it were, I’d like to do. On PHI, that is.
PHI (perhaps I shouldn’t blithely assume everyone knows: PHI Bespoke High-End, as it’s currently known, a company I started, who occasionally build some very nice loudspeakers) started out, as I mentioned, as quite a few things seem to do, as an itch. (A rather nasty sentence this, but I’m keeping it.) I read somewhere (I think it was on TNT Audio) about Sonic Impact’s T-Amp. Now the T-Amp, for those who haven’t yet formed an opinion, is a little grey plastic amplifier. It’s shaped and sized somewhat like a truncated bread roll with some cheap clips at the back and a nasty knob that goes click up front. It has space, unbelievably, for a bunch of AA cells (batteries) in its shell, which nevertheless manages to be mostly empty. Did I mention it’s made of plastic? The thing is, this little amp plays really well, and if one replaces the knob with something better and boxes it up neatly, with some proper terminals, some might say you’ve found yourself a sub-R300 high-end amplifier. I did this, but water came through the roof and killed it. Darkness between the notes seems to be its shtick, and good low bass (! – and not only for its size). It is only a 10W amplifier, but people get away with less than one Watt, once they get their speakers sorted out. (Sorry, I’m not talking to you head-bangers, though you might be surprised if I started…)
Either way, I was running a set of (please don’t sue me, I’m writing from memory and I just got up) 83dB/Watt Wharfedale bookshelf speakers at the time, which is the crux of the biscuit, as Zappa might say. (OK head-bangers, a 100W amplifier playing into these little speakers – and don’t get me wrong, they’re rather nice in their way – would play as loudly as a 6.31W amplifier into PHI’s latest loudspeaker. There’s more to it, of course, and quite a bit of that “more” is in favour of the 6.31 Watt set-up.) So, in short, the T-Amp wasn’t powerful enough to drive them to realistic volume levels. (Yup, there’s that too. If Rammstein concerts are your thing, you might struggle to produce these in your mom’s lounge, for more than one reason. But anyway.)
So I had to build some cheap speakers for the amp I’d bought to drive my speakers. I didn’t even try too hard and got it all wrong; but they sounded great anyway and Voilà! – PHI.
So that’s how you do it kids. I’ve since lost all my money, my house and most of my friends, but I’m famous now and it’s great fun. And I’ll be building a few more for sure. Probably shortly. And if I become, as I hope, a blogoholic, you might just read about them here.