(I wrote this article listening to the music of Hamza El Din playing the Oud)

The email from 'Awrence of Arabia said:

Dear Dr. Gizmo,

Please accept my invitation for dinner under the desert stars at Wadii El Tjek so we can explore my new concept in loudspeaker design. I will send my camel to pick you up at 3PM on Friday.


Major T.E. Lawrence, HRM, BMF



How sad and disappointing…I have none. Every really concrescently cool gizmological concept I have ever implement is someone else's…just passed on, or channeled through me…your average American major dick head…. to do right. So it is with SANDORAMA™, the next big breakthrough in loudspeaker design…which is as old as the sands of time. Let me assure you that the Priests of the Monkey Coffin, who jealously guard their power, will be very angry…and they will attack me and 'Awrence, who first conceived of this heavy concept.


In 1966 I met this major foxy babe..dark, brooding, beautiful, with a lanky sexuality that I have only previously encountered in German Shepherds…and I wanted her bad…I mean I was ready to sell my soul to the Devil to " know her", in the Biblical sense.

Years previously my father gave me his old Wharfdale 16 ohm speakers, and they were just sitting in the corner of my apartment and this femme fatale bitch was desperate for a pair of speakers. Eureka! Yes, it is true…I was ready to trade sexual favors for speakers. What would you do? Grunt, if you think it courageous to admit how quickly I am willing to slide into the slime of horniness ?

The sex was an 7.215 out of a possible 10, which is like a C-, but that is not the important point..the important point is that after sex, when my mind was unburdened by my true ape nature; clear and focused, and I immediately returned to thinking about what is truly important: audio…(grunt if you start thinking about audio circuits right after sex)….and I was staring at the Wharfdale speakers that are now in her living room…and I think…"Why are these box speakers so damn heavy?…because I schlepped them up the stairs. So I ask the babe, who is now eating a big bowl of ice cream, if she has a screwdriver, and I open one of the speaker cabinets and discover that there are canvas bags filled with sand inside the speaker box. How cool, and end of the episode..until I discovered…

During my meeting, in the desert, with Major T. E. Lawrence, that this Englishman had given Wharfdale, and English company, this SANDORAMA idea in the 1920s.

Now let's discover why SANDORAMA is the next big fashion trend in speakers….after it has swept through speaker stands and turntable bases.


I remind you that I love to drive for hours…sometimes twelve hours straight…when I am driving one of my wheeled works of art. I had to accept 'Awrence's offer, but riding a camel from Stamford, Connecticut, to the city of Akaba, in Turkey, in only three hours was a real challenge because riding a camel is not much high speed..and then there is the smell…and the flies, when you stop for a rest.

There was 'Awrence sitting at a table at a café overlooking the sea. The real 'Awrence looks nothing like Peter O'Toole, and has a completely different personality. With a warm greeting he asked me to sit down and the first thing I noticed was his robes, and the water pipe that was on the table…and the aroma of burning hashish. The waiter immediately brought me a cup of very dark sweet tea and we began…by talking about our love of motorcycles. His charisma was flowing like honey because any short man in a tribal costume that loves motorcycles and is into tube audio….well…he is a bro' of mine. Does it surprise you that 'Awrence is into tubes? Yes, all of the British military communications equipment from the air force, army to the navy was all tubes.

'Awrence nodded his head and the waiter brought me a pipe, and he opened his pouch and rolled a small ball of a brown gooey substance and put it into the brass bowl, and then took out the coolest "vintage" lighter and held it over the smoke filled door way into the mystical mind of mid-eastern tribal man who surfs the sand.

After just two puff 'Awrence and I were sitting on a blanket in front of a fire. It is night in the desert and the stars are blazing, in a way that they only blaze for men who wander in large open spaces. 'Awrence told many tales, but they all had the same theme…his struggle to change minds…the British military mind, the Bedouin tribal leader's mind, and English loudspeaker companies. How could I not be inspired by this warrior who hated complain, and just made shit happen, and was ready to risk everything? Capturing the city of Akaba, his victories in Turkey, his heroic efforts to free the Arab states from European control, and convincing Wharfdale to manufacture the first sand filled speakers, are the deeds which explain his now mythical stature.

The subjects he wanted to talk about most was his struggle with loudspeaker design orthodoxy …and rightly so…it was 'Awrence's passion…like yours and mine, and why we are so intense about these musical instruments.

What surprised me 'Awrence revealed to me about his loudspeaker breakthrough. Evidently, at his base camp, were a gaggle of destroyed tanks, that were scrap, and 'Awrence decided to take his wind-up record player inside one of these tanks to get some solitude and listen to his favorite records, and he had a "Eureka" experience, and decided to mount his horn speaker directly to the wall of the tank to make it more rigid…and that is why he screamed out "SPEAKERS THAT WEIGH AS MUCH AS A TANK SOUND BETTER!"…and now you know why damping resonances makes a speaker sound better. What was the next thing that 'Awrence did? He filled a box with sand and mounted his horn speaker in it, in such a way, that the sand covered the horn and damped all of its vibration.

Then, according to 'Awrence' he looked all around him and saw miles upon mile of great sounding sand, and believed that his Arab friends could make a fortune selling "Genuine Arabic Sand" to loudspeaker companies all over the world…and the rest is history…almost.

Sand filled speaker cabinets became the rage all over Europe…for those who were wealthy enough to afford the cost of speakers with imported Turkish, or Persian sand. Then the depression and WW II came and the idea of filling a speaker cabinet with expensive sand was almost completely forgotten…except by Wharfdale who had the right idea….but started to have a hard time competing with bad sounding monkey coffins… became financially wobbly and lowered their speaker standards to compete…goodbye to expensive sand filled speakers. With the collapse of their speaker sand exports, in desperation, these countries switched to oil production to earn foreign currency.

Now that I am in the business of designing speakers just for tube amplifiers… I understand why Major Lawrence had contacted me. He wanted his idea implemented once again, except this time in a modern format…because this simple idea could vastly improve the quality of all loudspeakers…from the cheapest to the most expensive, and the revival of the imported exotic sand business.



A speaker that is as heavy as a tank, doesn't speak…it does less… generates much less noise through its cabinet. It sounds clearer, has better transient response and improved bass response…and sounds like it is more dynamic.

What is the biggest more?…Weight.

QUESTIONS:How much does these benefits cost you?

ANSWER: With TGS speakers, the cost of the sand, which could be huge if you import sand from Yemen.



By now some of you are already plotting how to steal the sand from children's playgrounds…STOP DO NOT, because playground sand does not sound any good…. it is the type of sand used to make transistors, which explains why transistors sound so sandy.

Different type of sands sound very different because of their granular structure, and the connoisseur uses the right sand for the right speaker. For some speakers, sand from "Baywatch's" beach works right, and for other speakers, those which need some extra liquidity, consider the white sand from Fiji. Sand from France's St. Tropez beaches, where all of the French women go to celebrate their pagan fertility ritual, is superb with speakers that specialize in jazz. I have also had very pleasing results with the sand from the D Day beach, that is richly endowed with warrior's blood. Others will prefer the sand that appears in English chalk brown trout streams. Some of my favorite sand is from a particular beach in Crete where Homer once danced naked by moonlight to the Mermaid's song.

You have probably heard that some use very find lead shot. If you want to mix lead shot into your sand be sure to use #9 Skeet shot, which can be bought from your local gun shop. I don't like lead shot, all by itself, because it doesn't fully dampen the walls of the speaker cabinet….but empirical approach is the only right approach.

You will notice that I am offering for sale some of my favorite "vintage" sand. This sand is not for everyone, but is just for those men, who can appreciate the subtle tonal flavor of different "Chateau Bottled" sand. At only $14.95 a bottle is guaranteed to satisfy the palette of the man who demand's only the finest in sand….for this speakers.



You will note that many of the speakers I am designing use their own BUILT IN SANDORAMA units which permit you to fill in the designated space with sand…or lead..or Italian sausage. It is easy to fill and it is easy to empty.

SANDORAMA is the only way to achieve the high weight you need.

Back to The Triode Guild               Back to Meta-Gizmo   

e-mail Dr. Harvey "Gizmo" Rosenberg:

Copyright© 2004 and Dr. Harvey "Gizmo" Rosenberg      All rights reserved.
All the material contained within the above articles may not be reproduced without his express permission