Stereo Speaker Systems #2

Avid 102 (right)
Avid 102 (left)
Avid 102
Avid Model 102

Avid Model 102 (1976) $225

Without getting into semantics, the classic Avid Model 102 speakers are cousins of, and sound similar to, well-known Acoustic Research, KLH and Advent designs of the 70's.  These are a two-way system featuring 10" woofers with butyl surrounds and high efficiency dome tweeters packed inside very heavy, well-braced floor cabinets with walnut vinyl veneer.  They are fuse protected and have controls on the front plate under the unique textured rounded edge fabric grills framed on the front.Nearly impossible to find today, the Avid Model 102 was reviewed in 

Consumer Reports (Feb '76 issue) as follows:

"Out of the eleven different medium priced models we tested (including Marantz Imperial 5G, Dynaco A35, Large Advent and the KLH Model Six V) the top-rated Avid Model 102 earned a higher score than any speaker we’ve ever reported on with an amazing score of 91. Listeners looking for a fine loudspeaker at a moderate price should be quite content with the Avid Model 102 accuracy score of 91, so long as the speaker’s power needs are suitable to the receiver to be used and to the listening room of course."

The drivers are VERY similar to the AR-4x, are physically, and very nearly electrically, drop in replacements for the 4x fact MUCH more so than any currently sold AR "replacement" driver. Both the woofer and tweeter are actually better constructed than either 4x counterpart (but they are almost 10 years newer). The Avid crossover is simpler, with no woofer inductor, and a much lower value cap on the tweeter, which is controlled by a 3 position switch.

About AVID...

Founded in Rhode Island back in the 70's, AVID was one of the foremost designers of high quality speaker systems.  Competing against the other speaker companies with big names like KLH, Advent and Marantz was not an easy task.  However, thanks to fantastic reviews in major publications in shoot-out tests between some of the others led to a core following of audiophiles.  One of the most interesting facts about Avid speakers were their use of a minimum diffraction grill design. The grill cloth was fitted to a hardboard sheet with holes cut for the drivers. In practice, when the grilles are installed, the faces of the drivers are flush with the grille's baffle. AVID noted that their speakers were thus intended to be used grills on.



Acoustic Research AR-48S

Acoustic Research AR-48S (1981) SOLD

The AR48S represent the last of Acoustic Research’s classic series of speakers and were introduced in the final year of the "Golden Age of HiFi" in 1981. They were offered until around 1983.  Please remember that these AR48S speakers should not be confused with the later post-classic AR48B and AR48BX speakers produced afterwards.                

Sporting a 10″ Acoustic Suspension Woofer, 4″ Mid Range and 1″ Dome Tweeter and were designed for amplifiers rated between 15 & 100 Watts.                                          

As a 3-way speaker with a 10″ suspension woofer, the AR48 is the natural evolution of the AR2ax and saw improvements with brighter sound and excellent dispersion characteristics.                                                                                                                                                                 

While the AR48S doesn’t always have the vintage recognition of, say the AR5, their performance is very impressive. Their mid-range and high’s are excellent and well dispersed and they sound great even when your positioned closely to the speakers. These are sealed enclosures and in a bookshelf format designed to give a more natural sound. with just enough bass that's sufficient for most music genres.                                                                                                                T​he cabinets are very heavy, well braced and the walnut veneer ​laminate on th​is pair of​ AR48S is better than most...thick and has not suffered peeling as is so commonly seen with laminate of this vintage.

About Acoustic Research (AR)...
Acoustic Research was a Cambridge Mass. based company that manufactured high end audio equipment.  They were well known for the AR-3 series of speaker systems, which used the 12-inch acoustic suspension woofer of the AR-1 with newly designed dome mid-range speaker and high frequency drivers which were the first of their kind. AR's line of acoustic suspension speakers were extraordinary for their time, as they were the first loudspeakers with flat response, extended bass, wide dispersion, small size, and reasonable cost.
In 1967, Acoustic Research was bought by Teledyne Inc., and for the next 22 years it continued development and operations in Cambridge as Teledyne Acoustic Research. Technological breakthroughs in this period included the high-current amplifier. When purchased by Teledyne, AR was the world's second largest supplier of branded loudspeakers.



ADS L-520

ADS L520 (1982) $275

ADS produces some of the best two-way bookshelf speaker systems that money can buy and the premium L520 system is certainly recognized for their excellence.  A quick check online will yield reviews by just about everybody that has experienced their sound.

Their unique one inch acoustic suspension soft-dome tweeters account for the ultra-clean, "airy" high-frequency response.   The tweeter domes are made of a super-light fabric-like material with a proprietary "sticky" damping compound and powerful Barium Ferrite magnets and are fuse protected.  Fuses are tucked away in a hidden door above the spring loaded speaker connections. (there's a lot more to describe but suffice to say, the ADS tweeters are fantastic!)

The L520 has 8-inch woofers (with rubber surrounds) feature ADS' tapered "Stifflite" cones. (Stifflite is a relatively thick material formed of air-filled, randomly-oriented pulp fiber in a unique "sandwich" construction).  Because of this unique design, ADS firmly believes it has the closest thing yet to the ideal woofer cone.  

The network crossover components, furthermore, are of the finest quality. Thanks to ADS' advanced driver technology, ADS' crossover networks are free of excessive complexity and have the lowest power loss and distortion figures in the industry. 
The perforated metal grills are in pristine condition...the real walnut veneer cabinets are also in excellent condition and are precision constructed from 3/4-inch extra-high density particle board with extreme bracing.

Good stuff!

ADS L-400

ADS L400 ('83-'86) $175

The biggest reason to seek out these ADS L400s today is because they are beautiful. The solid-wood radiused edges match almost exactly to Komfort's very expensive Danish dressers and night stands of the same era. While these speakers are walnut, as they have aged over the years, they match Komfort's teak almost exactly in both color and style! While the ADS L400 are very handsome loudspeakers and, like most of the ADS, prices tend to be high because of their sound, looks and lineage.  The beautiful perforated metal grills float over the front of the speaker with concave corners that come forward to hold the grills.

The highs are sweet. The very high treble might be just a tiny bit stronger than usual, giving cymbal ticks a nice presence. The ADS L400 doesn't emphasize anything; any errors would be errors of omission and they are never, ever harsh. It's always smooth.  And always very accurate.

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.



DLS Flatbox

DLX Flatbox (Sweden) $125 (for all 3)

We're breaking our own "vintage" rules by offering this currently still available speaker system. But, since these are an unusual and very cool system for stereo or surround (using the included third unit for a center channel) we decided to go with it anyway. 
Made in Sweden by DLX, each 28" tall and thin rectangular enclosure features twin 4" drivers that are eerily similar to ADS drivers with beefy magnets and rubber surrounds.  The 1" silk dome tweeters are controlled by attenuators on the back of each slim white MDF cabinet. These enclosures themselves are heavy and very well-braced with strong, factory installed wall mounts on backsides.  The crossovers are first rate on these. 
DLX intended for these to be hung on the walls but it's not absolutely necessary.  

The gold plated bi-wired banana jacks have jumpers for separate amps if desired.  The pristine white grills fit snugly making for a clean, elegant and different way to hear your music.  Recommended for minimum 30 watts up to 150 watts.  

About DLX...
DLS of Sweden was established in 1979 and over the years, have won hundreds of awards for their superior speaker systems.  They've been very successful in sound-off championships, both in Sweden and the rest of the world.  


KEF C40 (stands not included)

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 twin 8" 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, can deliver good ol' rock n' roll...the so-called "West Coast' sound or, do just fine for jazz, classical, etc.

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.



DCM CX-17 (1990) $140

DCM, the company that designed the famous TimeWindow® speaker systems, released the CX-17 in 1990.  Of all the great speakers designed and built in the US during the "Golden Age" of audio, the DCM CX series perhaps represent the most independent design philosophy and unique sonic excellence. The CX-17s are the slightly smaller brothers to the more well known DCM CX-27.  They are a co-axial design with 6.5" woofers and .75" tweeters housed in a vertical "pancakes" with a single bass port in the rear.  The cabinet construction of the CX-17 is a great testimony to craftsmanship and design. Thick walls, interior bracing, a near top-to-bottom wall reinforcing bass response with the bass port located at the bottom rear of the cabinet.  They have a very attractive "Chatsworth oak" finish with slightly tapered edges on the front.

About DCM...
In the spring of 1974, DCM Loudspeakers was born. It began with a deep love of music. A love of music that listened for the emotion and impact of live concert sound from recorded music. A love of music that led the founders to expect more from a loudspeaker than existing audio technology at the time was able to deliver. A pursuit of great sound that led to an obsession with high-fidelity loudspeaker design.  Soon, the legendary TimeWindow speaker was introduced to the world and has since become revered by audiophiles and critics was far ahead of its time. Finally, DCM is one of the most storied brands in loudspeaker history. They have successfully designed many well-reviewed and highly loved speakers.


Bose 2001

Bose 2001 (1994) $125

Probably the most surprising (and mysterious) speaker system ever designed by Bose.  The 2001s, 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.

Bose 201 Series II

Bose 201 Series II ('84-'91)  $125

Probably the most popular of all the Bose 201 series because of their nice dark walnut cabinets and slanted rear firing design, they have additional mesh covering over woofers and tweeters.  
Being very efficient, as little as 15 watts per channel will get these to fill a small room with warm and clear sound.  Be aware that one of the cabinets has taken a hit at one time and has a battle wound that forces us to discount the price.  This does not, in any way, affect the sound.  Beyond that damage, the drivers, cabinets and grills are in very good condition.

Each speaker (left and right) has one 6” forward-facing woofer, one 3” free field tweeter, nominal impedance 8 ohms, power rating is 5 watts minimum and 60 watts RMS maximum. Dimensions of each speaker is: 14 ½” wide, 7 ¾” deep, and 9” high.
Each speaker weighs about 10 pounds. The speakers are also built with a dual frequency crossover network, and automatic system protection circuitry.

About Bose...
There's nothing we can say that hasn't already been said before about Bose.  You either like them or you don't.  We feel that there were several different models that are popular with most people.  It's suggested to let your ears decide.  Bear in mind, that in the last 50 years, nobody, and we mean nobody, has sold more speakers worldwide than Bose.  End of story.


Sansui SP-2500 (early 70's) $225/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.

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.


Advent 3/

Advent 3/  (1976) $145

This is an absolutely awesome sounding 2 way speaker design. If you know about the Advent 3, then you know what these speakers can do. If this is your first pair, you're in for a treat. These Advent 3's can hang with almost anything twice their size. Amazing engineering, super efficient and just killer sound. Great speakers for any genre and can put BIG sound in any size room, big or small. The cabinets have a bit of wear on the wood veneer as shown in the photos and one of the grills is excellent while the other has developed some wear over time. This is a great chance to get a legendary pair of vintage high fidelity, mid 70's speakers for a good price.

About Advent...

Henry Kloss (the "K" in KLH) left 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, The Advent Loudspeaker.  The rest is glorious vintage speaker history.

Kloss later created many other versions of Advent speakers and also a high-fidelity cassette tapeplayer and recorder incorporating Dolby noise reduction.



Lancer 9711 by Soundcraftsmen

Lancer 9711 by Soundcraftsmen (1976)  $190

Since the vintage Lancer Soundcraftsmen speakers are almost never available on the East Coast, these are indeed a very rare find!  The Lancer 9711 is a sealed box, 2-way system that was designed to be used vertically and have the woofers on top with the tweeter on the bottom.  This results in an uncommon yet very effective way to disperse the bass in a more open near field experience.  Gorgeous hand rubbed walnut cabinets and genuine cane grills (specifically used only by Soundcraftsmen) identify these rare beauties.  Excellent interior bracing on the cabinets are indicated by the heavy weight of the 9711 system.  Best described as having a warm tube-like sound, they are a good fit in almost any vintage system with low to moderate power.

About Soundcraftsmen...

Formed in Southern California during the late 60's and by the mid-1970s ,Soundcraftsmen introduced their line of preamps and power amps including the first preamplifier/equalizer combo. Soundcraftsmen equalizers and their compact "brick" style power amplifiers gained a sizable following among audiophiles during the 1970s and 1980s.  They also began producing a line of loudspeakers that sourced some of the best available drivers available at the time.  Because they were centrally located in the fast paced Southern California area that had numerous electronics manufacturers, they had access to many fine brands including Electro-Voice, University, etc.  As their reputation grew, the speaker lineup grew to include several models yet always had the same vintage appearance with genuine cane and fabric grill cloth and fine hand rubbed walnut cabinets.
Rarely (if ever) seen on the East Coast, the Lancer series of speakers are an excellent choice for collectors seeking fine vintage gear from a great vintage era.