Stereo Speaker Systems #2

KEF C40 (shown with optional custom angled wood stands)

KEF C40 ('85-'88) $185/pr 


The C40 system is both generous in both volume and drive unit. Bass is plentiful and extended, and the design is balanced to operate clear of room boundaries on the optional open stands. The two 200mm bass/midrange units use polypropylene cones. Operating as a 2½-way system, the lower driver is used only at the lowest frequencies, augmenting and extending bass output, substantially improving power handling capacity, and assisting bass damping. The system can go exceedingly loud, can handle plenty of power, and, with a generous bass delivery, is particularly suited to good ol' rock n' roll...the so-called "West Coast' sound.



About KEF...

It all began in 1961, as it so often does, with one man who was somewhat detail-obsessed. And in the world of hi-fi (or indeed, anything grounded in innovation, technology and perfection), that man, was Raymond Cooke, a former technical director for Wharfedale speakers (England).  In the beginning, their tendency to sell raw drivers to their competitors – rather than keep them for themselves  – solidified them as true leaders in this field.  They went on to produce the K1 Series but with the 1962 introduction of the now world famous B139 bass driver, the Celeste was born. It proved to be a best seller but it wasn’t until the 1970s that their real breakthrough occurred.  After a series of very successful commercial loudspeaker designs, 1975 saw a development which placed KEF on the hifi map. Indefinitely.

Thanks to t​he first implementation of computers in the design and measurement of their loudspeakers, t​his lead to the world famous

​ ​KRF ​Reference designs emerging for the first time, from the 101 all the way through to the 105.2. The first of many lines of References, each dominating its market.
Everything about what KEF ha​s​ produced since day one has screamed of quality, of innovation and of style… three very memorable qualities. And when you have a company history (not to mention product range) as long and as illustrious as KEF’s, there are some seriously impressive things to remember.

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The Advent Loudspeaker (Large Advent)

The Advent Loudspeaker (1976) $200/pr
(new foam surrounds Sept 2017)
Copy of original magazine ad from 1975 shown below


One of the most famous classic speaker designs of all time...

Drivers, cabinets, grills and badges are all in excellent cosmetic condition.  Woofers refoamed in September 2017.  

Sometimes referred to as "The Large Advent or, as Stereo Review magazine said in the early 70's:
"By all the accepted standard of evaluation, The Advent Loudspeaker is an accurate reproducer of sound as any top-line system we have heard. We feel, though, that listeners who have no particular preference for a certain aspect of or kind of reproduced sound will be as happy with the Advents as with anything costing up to five times as much. Maybe even more so."

This pair we offer are described as the "utility" model as opposed to the "bullnose" model.  The difference being the cabinet design but the heart and soul are the same.  The famous "fried egg" tweeters designed by Henry Kloss are as exquisite today as they were some 50 years ago. Uncolored and neutral sound, very efficient, easy to drive and the original linen grills are in excellent condition as are the correct Advent badges.


About Advent...
The legendary Henry Kloss founded Advent Corporation in 1967. (Kloss was the "K" in KLH) The name came from the legal description the advent corporation ("advent" means "approaching" in Latin.  Around 1968, Kloss had quit KLH to develop a low-cost projection television, but had trouble financing the leading-edge research and development that was still required. To earn some money, he decided to build a high-performance, low-cost, dual-driver speaker system with a 10 inch woofer called simply The Advent Loudspeaker (later given the retronym "The Larger Advent", after introduction of "The Smaller Advent Loudspeaker"). It rivaled the sound of the then top-line AR Model 3a (which used three drivers and a 12-inch (30 cm) woofer), but only cost about half as much.
Advent produced a number of different versions of the 2-way Advent including: The Advent Loudspeaker, The Smaller Advent Loudspeaker, The "New" Advent Loudspeaker, Advent/2, Advent/3, 4000 series and 5000 series to name a few. They were usually offered in both wood veneer and vinyl-covered "utility" cabinet versions, which other than appearance were acoustically identical.
Henry Kloss left Advent around 1977 and, e
ventually, long after Kloss’ departure, Advent ran into hard times and never emerged from a bankruptcy declared in March 1981.

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Sansui SP-2500 (early 70's) $200/pr


Introduced between middle of 1960 and 1974, these SP-2500s (and most all of the SP-xxxx series) are the most well built Sansui speakers of that vintage era.  With their famous "Mikuni" grills and reputation, these are regarded by many as the best model of this range from Sansui.
The SP-2500 is a 3 way system with each cabinet containing one 12" woofer, twin 5" mids and twin horn tweeters.  As you can see from the photo, we always open up the crossovers (on higher end units) to check the caps and clean (deoxit) the attenuators.  After driving these with a 75 watts per channel receiver, they perform flawlessly and are in great sonic condition.  
At a heavy 50 lbs each, the dark walnut cabinets were not perfect so we spent hours restoring and refinishing them to the best possible condition.  
As some of you may already know, Sansui invented the design of the famous "Mikuni" grills.  These grills were all individually hand-made (in Japan) and many companies copied the idea with their own different styles of lattice grills with fabric backing.

Sansui SP-30 ('69-'72) $95  (see photo on the other speaker page)
Smaller 2-way version of the "Mikuni" styled vintage lattice grills.  Great for a small room.


About Sansui...
Founded in Tokyo in 1947, Sansui initially manufactured electronic parts.  By the 1960s, they had developed a reputation for making serious audio components. They were sold in foreign markets through that and the next decade.  Sansui's amplifiers, receivers, speakers turntables and tuners from the late 60's, through the 70's and very early 80's continue to remain in high demand by audio enthusiasts.

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Bose 501 Series V

Bose 501 Series V ('94-'99) $160/pr

​The last of the Bose 501 series, they are probably the best of the entire series.  ​Why?  Bose ultimately managed to figure out the exact size and dimensions of the cabinetry and the design of the multitude of chambers inside to get it right .  The direct/reflecting design of th​ese ​speaker​s actually​ deliver​ real​high fidelity, lifelike sound quality. ​P​owerful and rich bass without any distortion ​thanks to the specially designed 5.25​"​ woofer​ ​and​dual 2.5​​" tweeters ​inside each of the slender floor standing black ashwood enclosures.  They are capable of reproduc​ing excellent ​high frequency ​for​ enhance sound quality. ​As mentioned before, the​ multi-chamber bass enclosure​s​ ​are able to​ eliminate sonic blur and ​yield​ amazing bass effects at any volume. 

Bose 2001

Bose 2001 (1994) $125/pr


Probably the most surprising (and mysterious) speaker system ever designed by Bose.  The 2001 speakers, besides being rare, produce an amazing amount of sound (especially on the bottom end) considering their small size.  Whenever we've been lucky enough to find a pair of these two-tone grey beauties, they usually get snapped up immediately after they are demonstrated.  The general reaction is "Are you serious?  All that sound is coming from just those two speakers?"  As is with all Bose bookshelf systems, these are very efficient and will get you evicted with only 10 watts of power.

Amar Bose


About Bose...

We had the distinct pleasure to have met Dr Amar Bose, in person, during the late 60's at a Pacific Stereo store demo in Walnut Creek CA. It was one of the first public demonstrations of the now famous Bose 901s.  When asked about his philosophy towards speaker design, he replied "I want to build speakers the way people want to hear them".  So, there's nothing more we can say that hasn't already been said before about Bose.  You either like them or you don't.  Bear in mind, that in the last 50 years, nobody, and we mean nobody, has sold more speakers worldwide than Bose.  End of story.

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Lafayette Minuette/II

Lafayette Minuette/II (1969) $45/pr

Originally designed for use where space is at a premium, these very cool, great sounding Minuette speakers have 5" x 7" oval woofers and 2.5" tweeters. They are enclosed in real oiled sculpted walnut, ducted port brass reflex cabinets​.  The vintage speaker grill cloth is unique for its time.  These were designed to be used vertically or horizontally and feature adjustable level controls on the rear.  Rated at 10 watts, it's suggested for use with low powered receivers.  Very cool stuff!

Lafayette Criterion 77

Lafayette Criterion 77 (1977) $65/pr


These are a nice, restored and refinished pair of Criterion 3-way speakers.  Unlike the "West Coast" boom-boom rock n' roll sound, these are closer to the "East Coast" sound that favors accuracy over thumping bass (think jazz, classical, etc).  Of course, the vintage grill material on these is impossible to duplicate so that adds to the "flavor" of that vintage look and feel.

About Lafayette...

Established in the 1920s, Lafayette Radio Electronics (LRE) became a thriving mail order catalogue business; the electronic components it sold were useful to amateur radio operators and electronic hobbyists in areas where such components were unavailable in local retail outlets.   Early Lafayette Radio stores were located in New York during the mid '50s. 

Lafayette advertised heavily in major U.S. consumer electronics magazines of the '60s and '70s, particularly.  The company offered a free 400-page catalog filled with descriptions of vast quantities of electronic gear, including microphones, speakers, tape recorders, and other components.  A significant share of '60s and '70s vintage Lafayette hi-fi gear was manufactured by a Japanese subcontractor named "Planet Research". "
The Criterion" brand speakers were built by several offshore and American assemblers.

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