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Stereo Speaker Systems Page (Con't)

M & K Satellite 1

(Miller & Kreisel, 1977) $300

The late 70's (1978) marked the consumer audio release of Kreisel’s innovative world-class professional studio monitor speaker system design called the Satellite-Volkswoofer System.

This system was originally designed by Kreisel for his own use in the M&K RealTime Direct-to-Disc recording studio. Incorporating controlled vertical directivity, a phase-focused crossover with true driver group-delay time alignment, dual-midrange and tweeter driver arrays and minimal baffle coloration, this system made for one of the most dramatic and revealing listening experiences imaginable.

The satellite system consisted of eight tightly packed and controlled Peerless drivers (2 Peerless tweeters and 2 Peerless woofers in each cabinet).

The Satellites are 4 ohm, 200 watts and together, the pair weighs about 45 lbs. Dimensions are 8"W X 6.5"D X 22"H.

What is really very cool about these is they can be connected 6 different ways for different sound characteristics. There is a bright or subdued sound that mimics the best German loudspeakers...a bright or subdued British sound...and a bright or subdued "American" full-on maximum sound.

The truly unique real hardwood sloped cabinet design (see photos) of narrow baffles and vertically directional tops, helps to minimize reflections off the ceiling and floor. It was the first truly high-end satellite system. Of course, as with all high end satellites, the addition of a subwoofer adds to the low end.

But as a stand-alone speakers, they can definitely hold their own.
Incredibly, the Satellite 1 system (even without the special stands) sold new in late 70's for over $1600!

About M&K (Miller and Kreisel)...
In 1969, Ken Kreisel is a teenage audiophile and audiophile recording engineer. Kreisel teams up with Jonas Miller who has opened one of the world’s first ultra-high-end audio salons: Jonas Miller Sound of Beverly Hills, California.  
*In 1973, Ken Kreisel designs and installs for Walter Becker (of "Steely Dan") the first M&K Subwoofer and triamped studio monitor system for the studio mixdown of Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic" album. 
The subwoofers used specially designed long-throw dual 12” drivers mounted in a unique balanced drive configuration.  In 1974, Ken Kreisel and Jonas Miller launch Miller & Kreisel Sound (M&K) founded in Beverly Hills, CA. Contrary to popular rumors, M&K started its subwoofer & speaker production in the prestigious high rent district of Beverly Hills on Wilshire Blvd., not Ken’s garage.  In 1976, again making audio history, Kreisel invents the modern day "Satellite-Subwoofer" system, The "David and Goliath" System.  Shortly therefater, Kreisel and M&K debuts the world’s first Self-Powered Subwoofer! This model was called the Servo Volkswoofer. This idea revolutionized the entire audio industry.  From then on, the innovations and awards kept coming...



Empire Grenadier 8000P
Empire Grenadier 8000P

Empire Grenadier 8000P

(1964)  $400

In very good cosmetic and working condition, the gorgeous pair of Empire Grenadier 8000P spreads the bass tones over 360° and high frequencies over 140° thanks to their divergent acoustic lens - and thanks to their hefty ceramic magnets the sound is everywhere.  

The Grenadier 8000P is also firmly footed on the ground with their round, vibration-free, marble-topped and unbending fluted enclosures. 

The design of the 8000P is a reminder of those ancient Greek columns and are much more striking in person than what a photo would show.Each of the Empire 8000P enclosures have a 12" downward firing woofer and a midrange/tweeter plate.  

Included are several full color photos of the hidden interior components.

15" mass loaded woofers with floating suspension and 4" voice coils (sound absorbent rear loaded) 

Die-cast mid / high frequency full dispersion acoustic lens

Enclosures are hand rubbed with satin walnut finish. lmported Italian marble tops

Ultrasonic domed tweeters and full presence mid range direct radiators.

World's largest (at the time) speaker ceramic magnet structure  Complete symmetry of design with terminals concealed underneath

About Empire...

Empire Scientific had its heyday in the 1960s with the Troubadour turntables, Cavalier and Grenadier loudspeakers - all heavyweights in weight... and decor.
Empire survived well into the 1970s, mostly with its cartridge and stylus lineups, and later on faded into this - empires never last as long as they would fancy to.



Bose 4.2 Series II
Bose 4.2 Series II

Bose 4.2 Series II

('92-'96)  $275

This pair of Bose 4.2 Series II are mirror-image with identical serial numbers and in excellent cosmetic and working condition.  They have the preferable walnut veneer cabinets.

Considered a major upgrade over the original Bose 4.2, the Series II has a completely different exterior and internal design, upgraded dual-frequency crossover and one added tweeter. 

Each enclosure has one 8" forward-firing woofer and two high sensitivity 3" tweeters mounted away from the cabinet.  In their fanciful marketing description regarding the tweeters, this was something Bose called a "targeted array".

The "dual-frequency crossover" is best described as a network that delivers power to both main drivers so they radiate in a common frequency range over nearly a full octave.  If there's any "magic" in the Series II, that's where it would be.

The slot-port tuning in each cabinet is part of the illusion of Bose design that adds balance to the overall sense of music coming not just from one source.  The room size has a lot to do with what they can produce and positioning is fairly critical as well.

Of course Bose was known for their consistent use of "Direct/Reflecting Speaker Technology" and the 4.2 Series II had an improved design that enhanced their specific stereo targeting system.  The drivers in the Series II were newly designed to spread the sound well enough that a lot of people compare them favorably to the Bose 301...some say they are even better.  We'll let your ears decide on that but they sound pretty damn good from where we stand.

Another mystical feature that Bose highlighted is their "Automatic Tweeter Protection Circuit".  Technically, that should mean they can't be fried if you crank the volume to a crazy level...hmmm, ok.


Type: 2 way, 3 driver loudspeaker system

Power Handling: 75W (nominal)

Our recommended amplifier: 60 to 150W

Impedance: 8Ω

Bass: 1 x 7.9" cone

Tweeter: 2 x 3" high sensitivity cone

Finish: walnut veneer

Dimensions: 10.5" x 17" x 9.25"

Weight: 16 lbs each

Year: '94-'96

Bose 2001
Bose 2001

Bose 2001

(1994) $125

Probably the most surprising and least known bookshelf speaker system ever designed by Bose.  They are relatively small, shaped like a trapezoid and punch out an amazing room-filling sound with a deep satisfying bottom end and very clean highs.   

As an 8 0hm,  2-way system with 6" mid-bass drivers and 1" tweeters, the overall sound comes from what they called "design targeting".  What that really means is the specific angle and direction of the tweeters and bass ports enable them to crossfire between each of the enclosures to such a point that you can't really tell where the sound is coming from.  Because of this design and unlike the other Bose speakers, wall placement is not that critical with this model.

Whenever we've been lucky enough to find a pair of these great little 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?"  Then they begin to look for the subwoofer, but there isn't one.

As is with all Bose bookshelf systems, these are very efficient and will get you evicted with only 30 watts of power.

About (Amar) 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.



Linn Keilidh
Linn Keilidh

Linn Keilidh (pronounced kay-lee)

('92-'99)  $500 (firm)

This pair of Keilidhs (pronounced "Kay-lee") are in beautiful cosmetic and working condition.  They have the light cherry/teak finish.

"Keilidhs are a rare speaker, European in consistency, but with a warmth and liveliness of the best of the new world."  ~High Fidelity Magazine

They were originally designed to communicate the spirit of a Scottish "ceilidh", the Linn Keilidh speakers deliver an outstanding level of performance and value. Their proportions, real cherry-wood finish and unique frameless grills give it the same elegant styling as Linn’s top-of-the-range Keltik Aktiv loudspeaker.

The floor-standing design of the Keilidh maximizes internal volume while occupying slightly less than a square foot of floor space. To enhance stability and performance, an integral base plate is fitted with adjustable floor spikes. Additional performance advantages are realized through the use of the included Linn granite composite base plates.  There are floor spike available but these stands provide a larger foot-print, lower center of gravity, and increased mass, further improving stability and resolution.

The Keilidh is an extremely versatile loudspeaker and can be used in a particularly wide range of configurations, making it easy to upgrade a hi-fi system in affordable steps.

A two-way system, the music signal to the Keilidh is split between a treble and two mid/bass units, and possible configurations range from single-wired passive through a variety of upgrades to fully active performance.   

Amplifier requirements are, at the very least, a minimum of 60 watts per channel into 4 Ohms. 


Introduced: 1992
Type: 2-way Infinite Baffle Loudspeaker
Frequency Response: 45Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB (Active), 65Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB (Passive)
Input Impedance: 8 Ohms per drive unit (Active), 4 Ohms (Passive)
Efficiency: 92dB for 1W at 1m (1kHz)
Minimum Amplifier Power: 60W / 4 Ohms
Drive Units: 19mm ceramic-domed treble, 2 x 160mm carbon-loaded polypropylene bass/midrange
Applications: Single-wired, Bi-wired, Bi-amped, Active Bi-amped, Active Tri-amped
Size: W 7.87" x D 10.83" x H 32.48" 
Weight: 39.68 lbs each 

About Linn...

Rather than go into a lengthy history, it's suggested to click on this link instead:


Snell Acoustics Type J
Snell Acoustics Type J

Snell Acoustics Type J 

('81-'82)  $250

This gorgeous pair of Snell Type J speakers are fully restored with vintage beige grill cloth...In 1982, if you had $550 in your pocket and wanted a truly great pair speakers, the Snell Acoustics Type J might have ended up in your house.Best described as a compact 8-ohm, two-way speaker system intended to bring the essential qualities of larger (and costlier) audiophile Snell speakers to a more popular price range. 

Physically, they are roughly 40 lbs each and about 2' high.  The Type J gives its best tonal balance when it is mounted vertically on floor stands about 1 to 3 feet out from a wall.
The very heavy enclosures are veneered in luxurious genuine oak with two five-way binding posts (on 3/4-inch centers) that are recessed into the rear.

This pair of Type J has recently upgraded, 8" long-throw woofers with polymer-treated cones and rubber surrounds crossing over to a 1" soft-dome tweeters at 2,300 Hz.  The enclosures are ported through 1.5" openings that are vertically aligned with both drivers.

In a detailed review, HiFi magazine noted that "in comparison with their much more expensive reference speaker systems, the Type J revealed a distinctly different spatial perspective as well as spectral differences...they produced a more forward sound and tended to sound brighter and crisper than the other speakers.  And finally, that the Snell Type J was able to hold its own very well against a very highly regarded system that was both larger and way more expensive."

Essentially, if you are seeking high quality speakers that yield pleasant, balanced, and natural-sounding reproduced music at normal listening levels, most audiophiles would have to give the Snell Type J a very high mark.

About Snell Acoustics...

Snell Acoustics made some pretty amazing speakers in the U.S.A. for more than three decades.  The company, founded by Peter Snell in 1976, continued to manufacture high-end loudspeakers in Massachusetts until 2010.  

Snell was a perfectionist about the sound and the build quality of his speakers. The cabinets were exquisitely finished, but the amount of handiwork invested in the parts the customer never saw was even more impressive. Though most of the better speaker manufacturers demand a minimum measurement variation for their suppliers' tweeters and woofers, Snell went the extra mile and hand-tuned each crossover network to compensate for the drivers' response irregularities. Then a computer measured the speaker's response, and a technician noted the difference between the desired flat curve and the speaker's actual frequency response.  

The hand-tweaking process continued until the speaker measured within Snell's unusually tight tolerances. The painstaking effort ensured all completed speakers measured within exceedingly tight tolerances (+/-0.5 decibels) of the original design prototype. Every Snell buyer heard exactly what the designer intended.  All Snells, including the most affordable models, were built this way, and all cabinets were assembled and finished by hand. Few American speaker companies continue to maintain that approach; most outsourced manufacturing long ago.  In 1990 the company teamed up with Lucasfilm to design the first line of THX loudspeakers, the 500 series and first In-Wall THX system. Snell speakers were used in Lucas Skywalker Ranch's screening rooms.