Stereo Speaker Systems #1

ADS L710

ADS L710  (newest version, 1980)  $500  one owner, pristine

From the ADS sales sheet:

"It's difficult to think of a popular speaker system that has endured as long as the ADS L710 have. It is also difficult to imagine that these two 3-way systems, already refined to the highest degree, can be further improved. But, for 1980, the new ADS L710 boast several improvements from the inside out. Now, in their generation of refinement, the L710 continue to uphold the same standards of sonic performance which have made them two of the most popular bookshelf speaker systems ever produced."


~Celebrated ADS dual-woofer/dual-chamber design with new ADS Stifflite woofers for improved bass efficiency and accuracy.

~The new 2-inch acoustic suspension soft-dome midrange driver has a stronger magnet assembly for greater linearity,improved efficiency and transient performance, and lower distortion.

~The 3/4-inch acoustic suspension soft-dome tweeter boasts the lowest moving mass among drivers of its type (including tweeters which employ esoteric materials, such as beryllium); excellent force/mass ratio assures lightning-fast transients, superb damping, and extremely low distortion; small diaphragm diameter ensures highly uniform dispersion and smooth, airy sound quality.

~A newly designed crossover network works in conjunction with the new woofers and midrange to deliver improved linearity, efficiency and less pronounced room-boundary effects.

~New cabinets feature radiused edges with soild walnut reinforcement inserts.

~New acoustically transparent bronze-tint metal grill lends a distinctive appearance while eliminating grill-frame structure for reduced diffraction and improved dispersion characteristics.

~New user-interface panel features heavy-duty binding-post connectors and readily accessible tweeter fuse with built-in spares.

~Frequency Response:  40 - 23,000 Hz, ±3 dB;  25 - 30,000 Hz, ±5 dBImpedance:  6 Ω (nominal);  4 Ω (minimum)

~Efficiency:  93 dB SPL with 2,8 V RMS (1 watt) pink noise input measured at 1 m in typical listening room (2000 ft³)

~Driver Complement: 

~One acoustic suspension soft-dome tweeter, ¾" diameter, with single-layer, high-temperature metal voice coil; magnetic flux density - 1,8 Teslas (18,000 Gauss); magnetic flux - 325,000 nanoWebers.

~One acoustic suspension soft-dome midrange driver, 2" diameter, with single-layer, high-temperature metal voice coil; magnetic flux density - 1,55 Teslas (15,500 Gauss); magnetic flux - 1,450,000 nanWebers.

~Two long-excursion, high-compliance woofers, 7" diameter, with 1" high-temperature voice coils and tapered Stifflite cones; magnetic flux density - 0,85 Teslas (8,500 Gauss); magnetic flux - 500,00 nanoWebers.

~Crossover:  12 dB/oct at 550 Hz and 4,000 Hz~Power Rating:  75 Watts (nominal),  150 Watts (max. Peak program)

~Recommended Amplifier Power:  15 Watts minimum - 150 Watts maximum~Dimensions (H x W x D):  21⁵⁄₈" x 12¼" x 10½"

~Weight:  Approx. 35 lbs 

~Cabinet:  Select natural walnut over extra-high-density particle board, solid walnut edge inserts.

~Baffle: black finish with diffraction-corrected flush driver mounting.

~Grill:  Acoustically transparent removable frameless grill in bronze finish.

~Availability: Summer, 1980

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.



Wharfedale W20D

Wharfedale W20D (1968) $120

(or FREE with purchase of Wharfedale W60D MKii)

These very cool vintage cuties from the British company Wharfedale are one of of their "Achromatic Systems" series. 

They are a simple 2-way bookshelf system (14" tall, 10" wide and 8 1/2" deep).  

They were billed as "minorettes with acoustic suspension".  

The W20D use high excursion, low resonance, full 8" woofers with "exclusive" high compliance Flexiprene cone suspension.  Suffice to say they are not going to blow you out of the room but they will do just fine in a smaller room and they have undeniable vintage appeal.  

The grill material is perfect and the real hardwood cabinets are in pristine condition.

Wharfedale W60D MK2
Wharfedale WD60DMK2
Wharfedale W60D MK2
Wharfedale W60D MK2

Wharfedale W60D MK2 ('73-'77)  $300 (pristine)

FREE pair of Wharfedale W20D with purchase

These Wharfedale W60D MK2 speakers are in excellent cosmetic and working condition.  

They are a very efficient 3-way system with all original solid cast 12" woofers (with treated cloth surrounds), 5" midranges, and the famous pink "fried-egg" tweeters.   All the drivers are mounted behind the front board. 

The rear controls for mid & high adjustment are working properly as well. The W60D MK2 are perfect with low power tube amps and higher quality, medium powered, solid-state stereo receivers as well. 

This Wharfedale series are well known for their perfectly constructed Baltic Birch cabinets with real walnut veneer and anti-resonant, sand-filled back panels.  This *sand-filling technique remains one of the best ways to dampen speaker cabinet vibrations. It was (is) expensive as it requires double-walled construction (the sand filling the space between the rear walls)  

The grill cloths and logos are near perfect. Described as "bookshelf" is a bit of a stretch because they are fairly large at  14" x 13" x 24" and are very heavy.  Much better on the floor...

The difference between the original W60D and the MK2 version?  The W60D MK2 has the improved pink "fried egg" tweeters.  The earlier version had many issues with defective adhesive failure causing cone separation and power handling problems related to excessive cone excursion.  The MK II used an improved adhesive that did not breakdown and some of the later run MK2 models even had plastic grills over the tweeters that limited the excursion.

We recently turned the drivers because the Wharfedale woofers have narrow voice coils and can potentially rub.  Turning the drivers 180 degrees every once in a while can prevent the problem.  Also, if they are put into storage, it's best to lay them on their backs so they settle correctly.


Wharfedale became famous for its technique of eliminating cabinet resonances by using a double cabinet, with the space between the inner and outer shells filled with sand.  Purchasers of the loudspeaker systems would receive the appropriate quantity of sand which had been shipped from Wharfedale since Wharfedale in Yorkshire is the site of numerous sand quarries.

About Wharfedale...Britain has long been recognized throughout the world as being the home of loudspeaker technology in terms of innovation and quality. This reputation has built up over many years by some of the world’s most famous loudspeaker manufacturers. Wharfedale, established over seventy years ago has always been at the forefront of developing this reputation. 

The year is 1932; in the cellar of a house in Ilkley, Yorkshire, music enthusiast and audio experimenter, Gilbert Briggs, is building his first loudspeaker units. Briggs was one of the new breed of amateur electronics engineers, experimenting with what was, at the time, cutting edge technology.Briggs’ endeavors, however, proved to be far from amateurish, and no doubt aided by a musical ear, Briggs’ hobby of audio experimentation was about to explode beyond the confines of that cellar, and create a reputation which would quickly spread far and wide. 

Gilbert Briggs’ house was located in Ilkley, Yorkshire, in the valley of Wharfe, an area known, to this day, as ‘Wharfedale’; and so, it was to be that the name of his home area, became the brand with which Gilbert Briggs was to change the face of Hi-Fi.
Post-WW2, both in England and in America, wartime developments in electronics had sparked a nascent interest into ‘High Fidelity Audio’. 
Wharfedale seized upon this interest and used a number of technological developments to put them squarely in the ‘Hi-Fi Limelight’.  Two-way and multi-component loudspeaker systems had been attempted in the 1930s; they were however solely the reserve of cinemas and theaters, due to their size. In 1945 Wharfedale launched a two-way loudspeaker system, small enough to fit in a family home, even if the external crossover did require two people to lift it!

It seems fair then, to say that Wharfedale invented the domestic speaker as we know it. Famous demonstrations involving Wharfedale loudspeakers with Quad and Leak amplification took place at London’s Festival Hall, and at Carnegie Hall. There, the audience had to decide if they were hearing live music from live musicians, or recorded music from the Wharfedale speakers.  These demonstrations cemented global recognition of Wharfedale as a manufacturer of outstanding loudspeaker systems.



Boston A-120

Boston Acoustics A-120 ('89-'91) $165

The Boston A-120 speakers were designed to deliver the excellent mids and highs that this series was acclaimed for.  Although the well-braced, oak veneer cabinets and grills are absolutely pristine, there was work inside that needed to be done...  

They were originally designed with 10" woofer-style passive radiators, 6" midrange drivers and 1" CFT3 tweeters and max power handling of 100 watts.
In an attempt to harness the bottom end to compliment the overall sound, Boston used a 10" passive radiator that looked exactly like a 10" woofer except without a voice coil...just the basket frame and 10" paper cone.  

Strange, like an identity crisis.  

Since the foam surrounds on the "radiator" were rotted away, rather than refoam, we completely redesigned the radiator section.  

These now have 10" tuned rubber discs mounted on the original baskets.  We also filled in the empty lower chamber of the cabinets with a fair amount of acoustic polyfill.  

The result is a well-balanced sound with a good solid "punch" to the bottom end without any trace of "boominess".

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 Acousticswere purchased by D&M Holdings which also owns Denon, Marantz, and McIntosh. 



Sansui SP-50

Sansui SP-50 (1969)  $110

Sansui's speaker lineup in the late 60's was an attempt to match the reputation of their well-respected amp, receivers and turntables of that era.  

While the SP-50 were certainly not the biggest and baddest of the SP models, they were still pretty good considering their smaller size.  Just one notch above the baby SP-30s, the SP-50 found a loyal following and even today are surprising (sonically) for their size.  Sansui even went so far as to describe the SP-50 as one of the finest compact systems available anywhere, at that time.

The 8" full range drivers and 2" horn tweeters were placed inside beautiful, real walnut veneer enclosures...a bass reflex system with a large port on the front to emphasize the bottom end.  

As were all the Sansui speaker models (at the time), the SP-50 have the *kumiko style real wood lattice grills that were made by hand!  

The claimed 50-20,000Hz frequency response was helped by a special damping compound lining the interior of the cabinets.

*(Note:  Sansui invented this styling of lattice grill, nicknamed "kumiko" and it has been copied by most of the other big names of the era.  At some point in history, these lattice grills were referred to as "kabuki", which has nothing to do with either Sansui or the grill work.  Later on, for all the companies, as costs and competition heated up, to save money, most of the grills were punched out in plastic molds designed to look like wood, but, of course, plastic is not as cool)

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 and tuners from the 1960s and 1970s continue to remain in high demand by audio enthusiasts.



RTR Series III Model 4

RtR Series III Model 4 (1976)  $175

For those who are sticklers for accuracy (like we are), these RtR Series III Model 4 speakers were made by the original RtR guys way before BIC/America bought the company (it's generally agreed that after BIC took over, the quality of RtR began a slow descent into "just ok")

These very rare and very excellent speakers were designed and built by RtR in California and represent the classic American speaker sound.  Heavy at 35 lbs each, the walnut veneer enclosures are a 3-way system featuring 12" woofers, 4" mids, 3" tweeters and super horn tweeters..very good bottom end, crystal clear highs...

All the drivers are working perfectly.  The crossovers have been cleaned and checked.  The original grills are in excellent condition as well.

The RtR name derived from the designers, *RtR = Robert Rehorst and Ron Teyes, who made them in California. 

About RtR...

The initials  "RtR" stood for  "Robert Rehorst and Ron Teyes", the original founders of RtR.  Around about 1967, Bob became interested in electronics and high fidelity equipment. He and a friend, Ron Toews, started making some of the very first electrostatic speakers in 1968. Their company was called RTR lndustries, a combination of both their initials. The company was in business until 1981.  During the height of business in the 70's the company produced about 10,000 pairs of speakers per month. They ran the business out of a large building on Deering Ave. in Canoga Park CA.  Eventually, the company was sold to BIC America and the product line was morphed into other BIC speakers but never had the high quality that was so dominant in the original RtR lineup.  Today, it is without any doubt, RtR vintage speakers are high on the list for collectors looking for great speakers...well made, real wood and excellent sound.