Warfdale Resto-Mod

Warfdale Resto-Mod

Vintage Audiophile

Project Category:

Project Level:

Project Time:
1-8 Hours

Project Cost:
$100 – $500

Project Description:
I recently completed the rebuilding or I should say a “resto-mod” of 1960s vintage Warfdale W-40 speakers. I found these British beauties at a garage sale for free. The cabinets were in great shape but what really struck me was the speaker cloth – they have a real 60’s British vibe. Of course the drivers were in poor condition (hence the price). I had a decision to make, do I follow the audio archeology route and try to track down original speakers online or do I replace them with modern equipment? Though I normally would take a more “purist approach” I let time and patience get the better of me, so I chose the latter. The task ahead was more of a mechanical challenge then and electronic one. In simple terms, the project involved the replacement of a 4-inch inch tweeter, 8-inch woofer and the addition of a new crossover set. The existing crossover consisted of huge capacitor and an L-pad – simple as you can get. Not so simple was the fact that the outer faceplates of the replacement speakers had to be mounted on the inside of the speaker cabinet The original speakers were mounted on studs protruding inward inside the cabinet. To complicate matters further, the 4 studs made to secure the original speakers would in no way line up with the mounting holes for the new speakers which had a 5-hole configuration. OK.. so why not remove the speaker cloth, expose the cutouts and simply mount new speakers? Well, the aforementioned speaker cloth – the reason I was attracted to these speakers in the first place-was because; a) after 50+ years the cloth is old and likely fragile; b) the cloth is mounted directly on and flush with the front face of the speaker cabinet so that the outer faceplate of a new speaker would be pressed too tightly against the cloth, and; c) the cloth, if even possible to remove, could NEVER EVER be re-mounted properly (by me anyway).

The solution I came up with was to mount “modern” speakers on 1/2-inch MDF adaptor platforms with the speaker faceplates on the outside and appropriate baffle diameters for each driver, then mount the platforms behind the original speaker cutouts. Mounting the speakers in this fashion enabled me to utilize the existing mounting studs protruding rearward to secure the woofer. Mounting the tweeter was trickier since the studs had to be removed and replaced with sheet metal screws. Once the speakers were mounted all that was left to do was to install new 2,000Hz 2-way crossovers, new binding posts and new wiring.

Design Goals:
Get a modern accurate sound while maintaining the cabinet’s vintage vibe.

Driver Selection:
275-070 Dayton Audio DC28F-8 1-1/8″ Silk Dome Tweeter
295-335 Dayton Audio DA175-8 7″ Aluminum Cone Woofer

Enclosure Design:
Original Warfdale W-40 fruitwood cabinets

The moment of truth finally arrived to plug-in and play. I had no idea what to expect up to this point all I had to go by were technical specs and some customer review (which were all at least 4 out of 5 stars). I connected the speakers to my vintage Marantz 1060 integrated amp fired it up and what I heard simply blew me away. These speakers simply came alive – crisp highs clean well formed bass. The sounds coming from these resto-modified Brits far exceeded my expectations. To think these cabinets were built in 1963 just when the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Kinks and others were just breaking over in England adds to the joy of listening to their music through these speakers.

About the Designer:
I thoroughly enjoy playing music through my vintage stereo equipment. As a consummate tinkerer, it gives me great satisfaction to restore old audio equipment.


Project Parts List

Dayton Audio DA175-8 7″ Aluminum Cone Woofer
Dayton Audio DC28F-8 1-1/8″ Silk Dome Tweeter
Dayton Audio XO2W-2K 2-Way Speaker Crossover 2,000 Hz
Dayton Audio BPA-38G HD Binding Post Pair Gold

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