Revenge with the Super-Tweeter

W.A. Grieve-Smith

[November 2000. Originally appeared in La Folia 3:1.]

Way, way back in the Olde Dayes, which were not Good, just Different, most of my disposable income went to two stores on 8th Street, just off McDougal. Downstairs was Joe Greenspan’s Discophile, the import record shop. Directly upstairs was the Electronics Workshop where I continually appeared to upgrade my audio gear. The Workshop was owned by Cliff Howard, who is now a psychoanalyst in Ft Lee, N. J., and Jay Carver (NOT Bob!). Jay was the kind of obssessive who would be the stereotypical computer geek today. (If you want to see a cross-section of the socially and sexually inept, just look in on one of the current Audio Engineering Society’s monthly meetings!)

Anyhow, Jay Carver decided, in the spirit of Christmas cheer, to put up a small loudspeaker and play quiet Medieval Christmas carols. But the owner of a restaurant across the street went ballistic. Outdoor speakers were illegal and he was going to bring the full power of the Law down on Jay. So Jay, simmering, dismantled the speaker and plotted revenge.

One evening Jay called me to come over to the store, well after business hours. This was not unusual. Once I went over to listen to a live Toscanni broadcast through an Olson LC 1-A speaker and a Klipshorn. This time I found Jay in the darkened store looking out the window at the door of the restaurant across the street. So? We watched a well-dressed couple approach the restaurant door, hesitate, then walk away shaking their heads. Jay was ecstatic. He said that he had heard that the restaurant’s business had dropped by half. The owner had thrown out all the food from the freezer and then fired the chef. And then Jay showed me his secret weapon.

He had aimed a Stephen’s ring tweeter across the street at the restasurant door. Hooked to the tweeter was a massive Scott tube amp (20 watts) and an oscillator, set for 20 kiloherz. You wouldn’t hear it as sound. But you just might feel something uncomfortable. After a week or so of this, Jay decided not to drive the restaurant out of business and took down the tweeter. Piss off audio geeks at your peril!