During the mid 1960's the development work carried out by the BBC had advanced to a stage which was beyond the capabilities of the available paper pulp cone bass units. The decision was taken to investigate the possibilities of using some form of plastic as a cone and surround material. Some two years were spent making 12 inch unit cones in a variety of shapes and from a range of plastics. The first successful unit was made from the now well known Bextrene and used in the development of the BBC studio monitor type LS5/5.
My part as a laboratory technician in the operation, was to do most of the actual work both on the plastic investigation, and development of the LS5/5. With that experience I decided that it should be possible to make a loudspeaker from scratch in the home environment. With the aid of our electric fire, a compressor working in reverse and an old iron bedstead, the first vacuum former was built. Bins full of malformed cones were produced before any measure of success was achieved and the first 8 inch unit was produced. This turned out as the first commercial 8 inch bextrene driver and still arguably one of the best.
The first pair of BC1's was constructed using these units and Celestion HF1300 tweeters. The cabinets were smaller than the now famous commercial product and initial listening tests indicated that the performance could be improved by an increase in size. At this point it was all being done for fun! The second pair of BC1's was made for a friend who took them to Merrow Sound of Guildford, Surrey. The third pair was sold to Merrow Sound and Spendor was on the way to a small niche in the audio world...