Rawson Sparfield sells a 100w Fane Crescendo 12A replica that is a very accurate recreation of the original, using a similar cast metal frame, the same magnet and voice coil specifications, and aluminum dust cap just like the original. It is named the Starfinder, after the name of the WEM Starfinder speaker cabinets that Gilmour is so much associated with, and the company is named after Rawson Sparfield Ltd, the original builder of those Starfinder cabs, although RS is not affiliated with either original company. RS is run by Jeff Lewis, head of the U.K. amplifiers and speaker cabinet company Matamp, and Chris Hewitt, owner of Ozit Morpheus Records and CH Vintage Audio. Chris is a music gear collector with a large collection of vintage WEM audio equipment, including one of Pink Floyd's early mixing boards bult by WEM.
The Starfinder is made in the U.K. using Kurt Mueller cones and the magnets are charged on a magnetizer used by the original Fane speaker company. Visually the speaker looks very similar to the original Fane Crescendo, but the spoke holes in the cast metal frame are not as wide, the underside of the magnet has a beleveled edge rather than a corner like the original, and the hammerite finish pattern is smaller and smoother looking. RS sells the speakers individually, and also loaded in their Starfinder 4x12 speaker cabinet, which is a replica of the WEM Super Starfinder 200 4x12 cabinets that David Gilmour used. Hearing a Hiwatt through the Starfinder speaker is instantly recognizable as the Gilmour Pink Floyd sound, especially his early to mid 1970s tones. All Crescendos do not sound identical, but compared to my originals, the Starfinder is slightly darker with less upper mid range. It is still very close
From the Kitrae Gilmour Tone Building website
"Today I have moved several degrees closer to my sonic ideals, thanks to my new Rawson Sparfield Starfinder 12" speaker. Chris Hewitt and Jeff Lewis of Rawson Sparfield have meticulously engineered this speaker to come as closely to the legendary Fane Crescendo as possible. My disclaimer is that I've never played through an actual Crescendo, nor do I have anything like a WEM cab to install this speaker in. But that's not my goal. Those of you who know me as the tube guy will recognize that I'm very much obsessed with audio clarity, and that search is what drew me to this new re-creation of the Crescendo.
The Starfinder is rated at 100W. I chose the 8-ohm version. Specs are on the site, but they don't list the efficiency.
I'm guessing about 100dB, based on relative volume impressions when comparing to other speakers. https://www.rawsonsparfieldloudspeakers.com/speakers
Many thanks to @Kit Rae for bringing this speaker to my attention (check this out)!
Shipping was extremely fast; two days from Britain to San Francisco Bay Area. I don't even know how that was possible.
I was pleasantly surprised to have this speaker waiting for me when I arrived home yesterday.
I did not try this speaker in its native habitat. I used it with my Greer Thunderchief head and mounted it in a Mesa widebody 1x12 with open back. The Thunderchief is based upon a Vox AC30 top boost, and can be powered by 4x6V6 or 2xEL34. I'm running mine with EL34 (early-'60s MBLE/Amperex), with a long-plate Valvo '50s ECC83 in V1, and I tend to play my amps clean and chimey. I have two identical Mesa wide-body cabs, and I spent some time comparing with a couple of other speakers in the same cab. I love cast-frame speakers with large magnets, and so this Starfinder appealed to me just by design alone."
Customer in San Fransisco
"First of all Chris has been a reliable seller since message one; excellent communication, quick at responding and providing solutions to any needs, this is the reason I ordered a brand new custom Rawson Sparfield cab and a DG12 Starfinder chassis speaker. The quality of the product is top notch. I’m very satisfied and I will do business again in the future with him. Highly recommended"
Customer Calvin J Candle from Italy on his Rawson Sparfield Cabinet and Chassis Speaker
“I brought a Starfinder speaker off Rawson Sparfield. Sounds great, I compared it to my Crescendo and it's very close."
Roy Lindsay who plays in a Pink Floyd tribute band
“Check out a Rawson Sparfield Starfinder DG12A Its an exact replica of the original Fane Cresendo A. Its also a really heavy magnet speaker, coming in right around 18lbs. Its also got the widest frequency response Ive ever seen on any single speaker. 30hz-16,000hz. and a Gauss of 20,000, which is almost 1/3 more powerful than a JBL E120. They are even charged on the original machine as the original Fane.
Ive got 2 of them, and 4 original Cresendo As, and theres not a hill of beans difference in the 2 speakers. Initially the originals may have a bit more highs, but after a good breakin, I cant tell the difference.
Dave Gilmour still uses the original Cresendos with his Hiwatt. And if youve ever seen the Floyd video, Pompeii, and noticed all those WEM cabinets?? Those are all loaded with Cresendo As. You can use these speakers for any musical instrument, and vocal reproduction.
You wont find a cleaner, more clear and articulate speaker. Though many people would say they are unforgiving. They will do everything from Clean, to heavy distortion, and never have icepick, though they could be considered a Bright speaker. These things cut through a mix like no other.
The Cresendo A was he First 12in guitar speaker to be 100w, x 100db. It had these specs when a JBL D120F was 60w, and 100db, and Altec 417C was 75w, and 100db. Fane also used Pulsonic Cones. So this speaker is to the original Fane Cresendo A, as Scumback is to the Original Celestion G12Ms, and G12H 25w-30w 55hz-75hz speakers.”
Customer review from thegearpage.net
“I've played almost all speakers worth playing, ranging from Ubiquitous Celestions to Weber FC 12, Thames and even some local ones but, I never heard any speaker as clear with high end definition and dynamic details as Starfinders. The build quality, precision and monstrous and powerful magnet together do the magic. This is a bright speaker and can take you by surprise when you play for the first time, You would never have known how much definition was present in the guitar signal. There is no match to these. Those who love the sparkling details and dynamics in the sound, this is the ultimate destination. Thanks for starting the reproduction and thanks a lot to Chris Hewitt for his help and support in getting these drivers shipped safely from UK to Mumbai."
(Founder: Grooved Cranial Highway & InsigniaHiFi Audio Labs)
“All but an exact repro of the Fane 100w Cresendo A speaker. The sound of early Pink Floyd. Think of all those WEM cabinets they used??? l loaded with original Fanes. Gilmour still uses those speakers with his Hiwatt.
To me they are the European version of a Ceramic JBL E120, but take distortion and over drive better.”
Customer review from thegearpage.net