Stereo Speaker Systems #2


DCM CX-17 (1990) $170

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 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.

Bose 4.2

Bose 4.2 ('86-'90) $125

There's only a few vintage Bose speaker systems we really like and the 4.2 happens to be one of them.  Mainly because these have the "stereo everywhere" just right;  while with most of the vintage stereo Bose speakers, placement is critical, it's not necessary to worry about that with the 4.2s as they do quite well without the use of walls behind or on the sides.  Besides, they just look cool with their radical design.  They are heavy and braced well.  The dark walnut veneer cabinets and dark brown grills are complimentary to almost all home environments.

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.


Fisher XP-5A

Fisher XP-5A (1966)  $125

One look across the room and everyone recognizes the "vintage" look of these wonderful speakers.  However, looks aren't everything...these well built, two-way XP-5As sound warm and accurate. They were designed and produced during a long gone era in America when pride in craftsmanship and materials were the main goals...not the almighty dollar.
The Fisher company produced a slew of XP models during the 60's and a lot of them are still doing the job today.  The highly prized cane style grill material instantly identifies the 60's and Fisher quality.
Back then, as long as Avery Fisher was running his company, pretty much everything coming out of their manufacturing facilities were top notch.  


Paradigm Titan V2

Paradigm Reference Titan ​V2​ (​90's​) $​99​/pr

One word to describe these speakers: Solid. ​Just like the original Titan V1, t​he Titan V​2s​ are versatile. They always sound great with all kinds of music --the imaging is impressive as is the clarity and bass response. It's often been reviewed as one of the best value speakers ever heard, and they could easily go up against speakers costing 3-4 times as much.
The Paradigm Titan ​V2​ ranked #1 in a shoot-out of 20 small speakers conducted by Sound & Image magazine. ​The conclusion​ “The Titan would be absolutely fantastic in any role: main, surround and/or dual-channel center. Bravo.”
The Titan ​V2​ beat out the PSB Alpha, and designs by AR, Boston Acoustics, Cambridge Soundworks, Celestion, KEF​,​ Jamo, Pinnacle, Polk and others. “Sonically, the Titans’ balance was nearly perfect, and detail was excellent."
These have the dark cherry cabinets​ and the foam surrounds are good​...2-driver, 2-way (Vifa tweeters)  quasi-3rd-order resistive port; bookshelf ​or ​can be stand-mounted

About Paradigm...

In 1982, Jerry VanderMarel, a seasoned veteran of consumer electronics and loudspeaker sales, teamed with Scott Bagby, a loudspeaker designer with a long history of innovative ideas. Together, they went back to the drawing board and developed a radical new speaker. To find the sweet spot, they tapped university audio researchers and detailed scientific findings from the audio studies conducted by the National Research Council of Canada. The point was to achieve a level of performance that would erase the speaker itself from the equation. Pure, lifelike audio, uninhibited by coloration, unrestrained in its ability to translate power into sound. And to do it at a price that would allow anyone to experience this magic. The Paradigm Models 7 & 9 were unveiled at the Toronto Audio Show that year. Immediately, a dozen dealers signed on to carry the line. (Many of these loyal charter dealers remain proud Paradigm dealers even today!)


ADC Sound~Image 5004

ADC Sound~Image 5004 (1991) $125

To begin with, besides the fact that these are VERY rare, it's important to explain that the Sound~Image 5004 series of speakers from ADC are not like regular speakers; You point them at each other, not towards the listener. They interact with each other to correct for frequency responses. These are a 3-way, 6 ohm, interactive system with each radically angled enclosure containing 6.5" woofers, 3" mids, 1" tweeters, and 2" tweeters.
Spaced at least 8' apart with the woofers mostly facing each other, they will pleasantly surprise you with clean accurate high and mids with substantial accurate bass.  They have front facing bass ports directly below the smaller tweeter on the opposite side from the woofers. The enclosures are genuine walnut.  Very unusual and cool...

About ADC (Audio Dynamics Corp)...

in 1991, after enduring years of unjustly harsh reviews from so-called "audiophile armchair critics", Stereophile Magazine praised ADC and awarded them with the 'best under $1000 speakers'.  
Founded in the 60's, by Peter Prichard, who was part of the design team for the GE VR-II cartridge, considered to be one of the earliest hi-fi phono cartridges commonly made. So, ADC was originally noted for phono cartridges and turntables. Their XLM/VLM phono cartridges and their 303 and 404 speakers were highly regarded in the 70s.  As they ventured into other products like Sound~Shaper equalizers, they were still considered as high quality products as time evolved into the 80's.  Eventually, when the company was sold (to BSR in England) ADC's lineup at the time included the famous  "Accutrac" turntables that had quite a following. They were also a mainstream cartridge manufacturer.  BSR decided to dismantle and/or cutback the quality in some of the product lines .  The Sound~Image series were considered to be the last of the truly good speaker systems bearing the ADC logo.


Acoustic Research TSW-210

Acoustic Research TSW-210 (Teledyne 1987) $125

After looking at the design and construction and then feeling the weight of these ARs, it's not surprising to be very pleased with the sound.  The 2-way and excellent crossover design are showcased in beautiful cabinets with solid oak tops and bottoms along with spring loaded grills. This tells you these are seriously well thought out speakers.  Although, at the time, AR had been sold to Teledyne, they continued to make very good speaker systems and the TSW-210s are proof of that.  
Rated 10 to 100 watts, 6-8 ohm. 54 to 40 Khz frequency response. 87 db SPL
8" woofers  and 0.75" tweeters

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.


Lafayette Criterion 77

Lafayette Criterion 77 (1977) $125

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.