Jump to content
The Classic Speaker Pages Discussion Forums

Recommended Posts

Noticed an unusual speaker at an antique market so I searched the make & model - Pickering 180L. Turns out there's a couple on Ebay for 10x the asking price - working or not, it's worth a shot.  Google searched and found a small amount of history on it and I was intrigued and happy to carry on with sprucing this one up. 

First thing, connect and see if it works. Ohm meter shows 7 ohms +- so that's good. Connect to amp and it's producing sound... not too bad with low-res satellite radio as a source. Time to open it up. Whole lotta wood screws holding in the rear panel (with variable bass port mechanism - type of folded horn enclosure with an adjustable port) and once it's off it reveals a properly old Electro Voice SP-8-B driver and what looks like untouched wiring, including the paint seals on the + & - terminals. Removing the speaker I find a production date on the front pads of the speaker showing Oct 24, 1950 - fairly early model, with a whizzer cone driver.  The back is also tagged with a 'Pickering' stencil so it looks like it's all original. 

At this point I decide it's probably worth cleaning up the cabinet which has the look of 60+ years of cigarette smoke tinting the colour. There's also a horrible stain on the front of the speaker cloth - most worrying thing to deal with since that cloth probably impossible to replace. Some patient work with a clean toothbrush and the most gentle cleaner I could find to start with - water. It worked like a charm, leading me to suspect it was probably a coffee stain. Sanded down the surfaces, carefully pulled the trim and then started to removed at least one very rough layer of random brush strokes (shellac?) to make it more difficult. There were also some dents, scratches and what looks like evidence of this being used a sawhorse at one time, on the top. All came together nicely when the mahogany stain was applied. Even the saw cut has been minimised to a point where it's not too noticeable. Just wanted to keep the look close to original. Satin varnish finished it off properly.

It's all together now and I'm merely waiting for the right moment to present it for admission to the living room. 

20181205_132713 copy.jpg

20181217_143127 copy.jpg

20181222_120858 copy.jpg

20181222_121001 copy.jpg

20181222_121837 copy.jpg

20181222_123339 copy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Permission has been granted - the speaker is in the living room and it sounds fantastic. I have a fair bit of background and history to make this statement, even though my hearing is not what it once was. I enjoy the sound of this thing more than my JBL 4410s (yes, studio monitors - very flat) and the frequency range is quite wide with the help of the whizzer cone and the folded horn design - mellow and clear. Surprisingly efficient too - I substituted the Pickering for one of the Boston Acoustics A40s in the room and the sound of the 180L is at least 9db louder.  With it's small footprint and pleasing sound it may be in use for quite a while.

20181223_152418 copy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×