Stereo Speaker Systems #1

Concord/Epicure CE-2W

Concord CE-2W (1978)  $165

A stunning pair of very rare and collectible, vintage 2-way speakers with absolutely beautiful, terracotta fabric grills fashioned over arched frames.  The solid hardwood cabinets have real walnut veneer and are in excellent condition.  Typical of the Epicure sound, the CE-2W are a 2-way with 10" woofers and 2" tweeters. Unlike Epicure, these are front ported for clean bass.  The rear attenuators function perfectly to trim the high frequency to suit the room environment. 
We have to admit, every once in a while, truly rare and beautiful things show up that completely and accurately define "vintage audio".

About Concord/Epicure...
Epicure, a well known name in vintage speaker lore, was a USA​-​based loudspeaker manufacturer founded in 1970 by Winslow Burhoe​.  They ​made ​a ​​very popular series of ​relatively inexpensive ​loudspeakers​.  I​n the 80's the company introduced a line of speakers branded as Epicure that where very popular with the US audio press, the company actually changed it's name to Epicure Products, Inc. ​in​ 1977. 
​Shortly thereafter, around 1978, Epicure was purchased by ​the Japanese manufacturing subsidiary of Concord​ Electronics.  Concord was originally located in Los Angeles during the late 60's and 70's and were known fpr producing very good reel-to-reel tape decks, receivers and car stereos​.  ​For a few short years, Concord/Epicure produced a line of speakers that are now considered highly collectible, very rare and very unique in design and appearance. 
T​hey​,​ ​in turn, eventually ​sold the company to Harman International in or around 1987 and that company did for a time manufacture speakers under the EPI name but these are believed to have been made by other Harman owned concerns.  Finally, Concord was sold off along with Epicure in 1986 and they faded away into history.
Although the name "Concord" has been, and continues to be, used by many companies for many different products, there was only one Concord/Epicure as far as we know.


Boston A-70

Boston A-70 (1980) $175/pr 

From the original brochure:
"The slim profile of the A70 not only makes it easier for you to place the speaker unobtrusively in a room; more important from a music lover's point of view, the dimensions of the cabinet minimize unwanted sounds that would ordinarily muddy the stereo picture.  The A70 has a remarkably wide dispersion for a 2-way speaker, which permits the imaging to be stable over a wide listening area. Boston beveled the grille panel around its inner perimeter to minimize early reflections that can blur the stereo image.  As a result, a cabinet of about one cubic foot (28 liters) internal volume was chosen as the most cost-effective solution, with an aspect ratio of front panel size to cabinet depth that research (at the time) by Boston Acoustics indicated would yield the optimum imaging capability."

About Boston Acoustics...
In 1979, Boston Acoustics was founded as a company committed to creating products with superior high fidelity quality and design at a great value. ..Boston was a renowned leader in high-performance loudspeakers, tabletop products, and advanced car audio systems.  In 2005, Snell and Boston Acoustics were purchased by D&M Holdings which also owns Denon, Marantz, and McIntosh. 

Realistic Nova 4

Realistic Nova 4 (1984) $99 

The very rare Realistic Nova-4 is a two-way, bass reflex speaker system with excellent low-end response along with good efficiency. Bass reflex designs tend to yield greater efficiency and lower harmonic distortion when compared to some acoustic­ suspension systems. The Nova 4 features 8" woofers (tuned port system) and 2.5" wide dispersion tweeters (they give higher sound pressure levels per watt, which means you can use lower powered receivers or have greater headroom with your existing high power amplifier).  The genuine oiled walnut veneer cabinets have easy-to-use spring speaker wire terminals on the rear and, of course, they feature the famous lattice grill design that personifies the "vintage" design.

Realistic Nova 7B

Realistic Nova 7B (1975) $145/pr (near mint) and $125/pr (two pairs available)

Very, very good sounding speakers...originally priced at $130 each ($260 pair) in 1975, these Nova 7Bs are the very earliest version and continue to amaze at the incredible great quality of the interior/exterior build of these classics from Radio Shack.  This 3-way setup was made in Japan using 10" Foster/Fostex drivers and two 3" mid/tweeters per cabinet...they can pump out some serious bass. The very heavy, sealed and oiled walnut cabinets have the famous lattice grills that so defined the era.  The lattice frames are recessed into the beveled edges of the enclosures and are removable.  The higher priced pair are in near mint condition, the other pair has a few battle scars.

Realistic Optimus T~100

Realistic Optimus T~100 (1980-1983) $225/pr

Rare, and in excellent cosmetic and working condition, these T~100s are some of Realistic's best.  Made in japan back in the day when high quality sound and excellent cabinet design really meant something.  Each beautiful, genuine oil-rubbed, walnut veneer cabinet contains two 16 ohm 8" woofers in tandem (to become 8 ohms), they produce some deep and satisfying lows.  The 1" dome tweeter is wired to a continuously variable L-pad for fine tuning the crystal clear highs.  They are so efficient that 20 watts will do the job.  Of course, because of they were made, you may want to power them with a lot more wattage because they can handle whatever you throw at them.  The original, soft brown luxurious fabric grills are in great shape as well. 

About Realistic/Optimus/Radio Shack/Tandy Corp...

Realistic branded vintage stereo gear is all over the place.  Some of it is right up there in quality with the best of Pioneer, Sansui, etc.  Also, some of it is just...ok.   Their best era was during the 70's when they successfully competed head-to-head with all the big names in high fidelity.  They sourced practically all their products from Japan and sometimes had the exact same components inside their gear as the competition but at a much lower price.  


RSL Magnificent

RogerSound Labs "Magnificent" (1989) $165/pr

This is a truly beautiful speaker.  Beautiful styling, room filling sound and practically impossible to find on the East Coast.  Designed as a bookshelf speaker that can outperform most floor sized units, the very heavy solid oak cabinets feature a 2-way system with a 2nd order crossover. Massive 3.25 lb magnets on the 8" long excursion woofers deliver tight bass down to 45Hz. Rare (as are most of the RogerSound Labs vintage speakers), the Magnificents are some of our favorite speaker systems.  We've had several pair before and once you see them and hear'll understand why.

About RogerSound Labs (RSL)
In the ‘70s and ‘80s Howard Rodgers owned a series of hi-fi stores in Southern California called Rogersound Labs. He was (and still is) an icon in the San Fernando Valley, CA who had built himself a reputation for manufacturing the highest quality speakers possible for the money. They sold direct to the consumer to avoid high retail markups and put most of the savings back into the quality of their builds. In the 80's, RSL Speakers were industry-standard in many recording studios throughout Southern California. Howard started off in a small shop in North Hollywood, building speakers one at a time by hand. He later moved the business to a larger facility in Canoga Park where he really gave JBL a run for their money.



Lafayette Minuette Mark II (1969) $85/pr
Original ad for Epicure in the 70's
Sansui SP-30 ('69-'72) $95/pr
Jennings Research Contrara Group Pedestals

Jennings Research Contrara Pedestals (1976)

Jennings Research was based in Los Angeles, California, USA and founded in March, 1975 by Tom Jennings.  Mr Jennings had been the head of marketing for JBL in the late 60’s, early 70’s and was instrumental in the success of the JBL Aquarius series. In a different time he was also CEO of Wald Sound.  As it is with most driven entrepreneurs, Jennings stuck out on his own, brought in a dedicated group of talented associates and made some amazing speakers. 

The initial product line at Jennings Research was called the “Contrara Group”.  At the top of the line was the "Contrara Elan Pedestal" with twin Audax tweeters and Audax woofers.  Next up was the "Contrara Group Pedestal", which features twin woofers and a single tweeter.  Also included in the model series were the "Contrara Group MKii Rectangles" which had single woofers and tweeters in each cabinet. 

Other than the high quality drivers and crossover networks, the most striking thing is their physical appearance: all the Contrara Group pedestal systems feature hand-rubbed, solid dark walnut cabinets with mosaic tops.  The Rectangles have the same high quality finish but without the mosaic tops.  The pedestal models also have very heavy cabinets mounted on swivel bases which is quite unique, to say the least.  There were a few other speaker models, not as well known but still carrying the Jennings Research badges.

They were introduced in the summer of 1975 and the company initially made quite a splash with an advertising campaign in national magazines such as "Popular Science" and the "New Yorker Magazine". The well-designed systems sold well, but, unfortunately, the very high cost of materials and labor, let alone the cost of marketing and sales, put Jennings Research in a precarious position compared to the well-funded competition. 
There was no question the product is excellent but, as happened to so many companies in the crowded high fidelity market, they just couldn't stay afloat.

Occasionally,  Jennings Research speakers turn up for sale but are considered very rare because, generally speaking, they sound VERY good and most audiophiles tend to consider these "keepers".  The company also introduced a line of amplifiers the next year, but they appear to have only been in production for only a couple of years.



ADS L-10 ('78-'80) $180 

Frankly, these are some of the best bookshelf size speakers ever made and they are definitely rare. Actually hearing the phenomenal sound coming from these relatively small enclosures is the key to discovering the magic of the L10s. 
They seem to defy logic and physics to be able to have such clean, low bass and crystal clear highs coming from such small real estate.  
If you weren't looking at them you'd swear you were listening to some superior floorstanders. The L10s are another in the series of the finest earlier vintage speaker systems from ADS.

a/d/s SAT5 satellites
a/d/s Sat5 satellites (1990) $135/pr 

These are the very first series of Sat 5 (heavy black metal enclosures with flat banana plug outputs) and were made for professional use (unlike the oak cabinet version of Sat 5 for home use).  These are very rare and will only accept banana plugs, also they are 4 ohms.

Petite and very heavy, it is perhaps the SAT 5 that best embodies the a/d/s​ ideal - maximum performance, absolute commitment to unparalleled quality.

They use a special version of the fourth-order crossover - the Linkwitz-Riley configuration. This sophisticated alignment remains unique among crossover designs in that it produces no audible phase shift at any frequency. Crossover performance like this does not come cheap. 

a/d/s turned to the only possible solution for reproducing deep bass in a compact loudspeaker - a small woofer with long, controlled excursion. Large precision magnet assemblies provide the necessary force. Oxygen-free copper voice coil windings travelling in an exactingly narrow gap react quickly and efficiently. And a stainless steel voice coil former provides the mechanical strength to handle the most dynamic transients.
The dome drivers have smooth extended response, extremely low distortion, and broad, even dispersion.
Finally, ​an impressive magnet structure drives the dome. Oversize magnets and tight voice coil tolerances allow fast transient attack and impressive dynamic range. A Kapton® voice coil former and high gravity magnetic cooling fluid ensure maximum power handling. And a single layer, oxygen-free copper voice coil provides efficiency.  Amazing stuff!
There are no grills with this pair but no one ever left them on anyway, because those grill covers cause dispersion loss, change in sound stage, potential muffled-ness of bass or treble,  as well as "stereo stage loss," which is really bad.  Besides, they look really cool without them.

About a/d/s ADS (Analog & Digital Systems)...

Manufactured since the early 80's in Germany (Braun) and the USA, ADS (a/d/s) products are of very high quality and have a very detailed sound.  

Golden Era - a/d/s & ADS - Mid 70s to Late 80s:

Early models were assembled in the USA from parts produced by Braun in Germany. Over time, more production occurred in house (America). 

L Series:

The two-way Lx20s and three-way Lx30 came before the two-way Lx70s and three-way Lx80s. There is a later, and supposedly improved, “version 2” for all the Lx10s.

Bottom line, suffice to say that ADS produced very highly respected speaker systems...true audiophile sonics.Design:
The actual industrial design was from Braun Design in Germany. One interesting tidbit is that the cabinets were manufactured by a German furniture company named Hados, and sent to the USA for installation of the ADS-made drivers. This is a complete reversal of the typical loudspeaker company practice of building ones own cabinets and stuffing them with drivers built elsewhere.


Coral BX-300

Coral BX-300 (1968) $175/pr

We are lucky to have this v​ery nice pair of ​Corals (Japan), they are a ​3 way​ system with​ 10"​ woofers, 4" horn mids and 1" tweeters.​  ​R​are and are ​completely​ original​,​ ​t​he grills are ​nearly ​perfect and the ​walnut ​cabinets are ​very good condition considering these are almost 50 years old.  ​​Additionally, both ​Coral ​​badges​ are excellent and​ intact. ​ Original factory p​aperwork ​are present on the​ back of both ​cabinets.  The sound from the Coral BX-300​ is very clear and clean with an excellent bottom end​.​  Needing minimal power to make these come alive, ​they would be perfect for any lower to middle powered receiver.  Of course, the very cool, colorful vintage fabric grills are a major plus adding a distinct flavor to these wonderful speakers. 

About Coral Audio Corporation...
Coral was a Japanese company that used very high quality drivers. Much of their speaker design looked like reversed-engineered JBL. They made their own compression drivers and co-axial drivers among other things.  Coral was very highly regarded in the late 60's and 70's for high quality, high efficiency speakers. There was a time when some models of Coral would have cost as much as some models of Klipsch and other well known names.


Epicure Model 70C

Epi Model 70C (Epicure, '77-'79)  $125/pr

The EPI 100 loudspeaker is a timeless classic indeed. Originally designed in the late 1960s by Winslow Burhoe, it was his first "module" speaker. The module concept was a woofer and tweeter that had the same efficiency, and frequency reponses that matched each other. The woofer was designed to roll off on its own at 1800 Hz. The tweeter was designed to do the same thing. The only need for a "crossover" was something to protect the tweeter from bass frequencies, hence the incredibly simple use of a ten microfarad capacitor to do the job.

This model stayed in production well into the 1980s, selling hundreds of thousands of units, and for several years was highly recommended by Consumer Reports.
There were three distinct generations (with plenty of overlap) - and ours offered here are the first version (and some say the best) featuring a tweeter built on a five inch diameter Masonite® faceplate, with a paper concave dome. The voice coil is centered and cooled by four tiny pieces of foam and some silicone heat sink compound. This version's woofers have butyl rubber surrounds and, as ours will testify to, are often still working very well forty years later. The original coarse weave black or medium brown grills were glued and nailed on, and sported the brass badge.  These were made with the walnut veneer only, and were referred to as the "M100".

About Epicure (Epi)...

EPI was founded in 1970 by Winslow Burhoe, to manufacture speakers based on the "module" he had designed. This module consisted of an eight inch woofer and a one inch tweeter. Many different speakers were built using various combinations of this module, and a six inch version of the woofer. They were wonderful speakers and are still usually prized by their owners, who will frequently go to great lengths to repair them properly when they (rarely) develop problems.


KLH Model AV33

KLH AV-33 (1985) $85/pr

KLH was clinging to its much deserved reputation for classic speaker designs by the late 70's and mid-80's but began a slow decent into mediocrity by the 90's.  The AV33s are similar to the KLH Model 802 from the late 70's and contain the same drivers albeit shielded as typical of most AV-type systems from the 80's.  Good looking...oak veneer cabinets with rounded edges...2-way system with 8" woofers and 3/4" dome tweeters, rear ports for good bass response.  Affordable with good sound.

About KLH...

Much of the rich history of KLH began with Henry Kloss (he was the "K" in KLH and known to most as one of the most famous of the pioneers of audio) way back in the 60's.  The 70's were a rich time for KLH and they produced many fine classic speaker systems that are still coveted today by collectors worldwide.  Too many models to list here but, sad to say, by the late 80's, like most of the famous names in audio, the past became just a memory as KLH has now been reduced to just another company consumed by a large corporation looking to cut corners whenever possible.