Stereo Speaker Systems #1

Hartley Zodiac 1A

HARTLEY Zodiac 1A  (1976) $225/pr

These extremely rare, sonically excellent, Zodiac 1A speakers are in mint working and cosmetic condition...all 100% original drivers, cabinets, badges and fresh "vintage style" grill cloth covers. 
They are 8 ohm speakers. The hand-rubbed, real walnut veneer cabinets are surprisingly heavy for their size.
Each enclosure measures 22" x 15" x 9"inches. Speakers size Tweeter 1 1/2" and 10" Woofer (Bass/ Midrange)  
Reviewed in Stereo Review magazine in the mid 70's, they said: "powerful, clean sound from a bookshelf sized, two way system that's enclosed in seriously heavy, well braced, hand-rubbed, oiled walnut cabinets."

About Hartley...

In 1927, Henry Alexander Hartley coined the phrase "high fidelity" to describe his new speaker design.  The term went on to become synonymous with superior sound reproduction.  Later, he and partner P.K. Turner would develop and improve the basic principles and architecture for many types of ausio equipment.  They formed Hartley-Turner Radio Ltd in 1930 (Middlesex England).  Their patents, designs and philosophy would become Hartley Loudspeakers.  Today, Hartley speakers have a cult following. Hartley made their own full range, woofers and mid-drivers and their full range drivers are considered top notch by Hartley fans. They're serious. 

For those out there that are involved with vintage audio, and in particular, Hartley, there are a few book and articles available including one classic article written by Hartley in 1956 called 
Realistic High Fidelity Horn Loudspeakers and Enclosures - 1956
A deeper look is "The Real History of Hartley Loudspeakers, Inc.", a limited edition, (each signed and numbered) coffee table sized book written by the current owner/designer Richard Schmetterer.  It covers the history from 1927 to the present with archival photos. This book is a limited edition, each one signed and numbered!


Tandberg Fasett (stands are extra cost)

Tandberg Fasett (Norway, 1972) $165/pr (stands extra)

We've acquired a very rare pair of fully functional Tandberg Fasett speakers.   Overall condition is very good considering their age.  So, Tandberg decided during its heyday in audio that loudspeakers didn't have to be square to produce music.  These Fasett speakers look like they belong on the Millennium Falcon (Star Wars).  
In the brochures of the time, Tandberg featured the Fasetts alongside their heavyweight amps and reel to reels, and that was to make a statement that these were unique and good enough to sit with the "good" stuff.  Each hexagonal enclosure has two very good drivers with a reflex port in a design that defies conventional thinking.  The white poly-infused cabinets are very cool on proper stands, or as stand-alone (as in photo) or can easily be hung on the wall with the built-in heavy duty iron brackets. 

NOTE: The concrete base stands shown in the photo were originally sold by IKEA back in the 80's are not included but are available for an additional $50/pr.


Type: 2 way, 2 driver loudspeaker system / Frequency Response: 60Hz to 20kHz /Power Handling : 25W / Crossover Frequency: 3500Hz / Impedance: 5-8Ω 
Bass: 5 "cones / Tweeters: 2.25" / Enclosure: white poly reflex
Dimensions: 280 x 242 x 220 mm / Weight: 8 lbs 

About Tandberg...
This highly respected (even today) Norwegian company's products are still commanding high prices due to the excellent quality in just about everything they built.  Tandberg was founded by Vebjørn Tandberg as Tandbergs Radiofabrikk (the Tandberg Radio Factory) in Oslo in 1933. The company's first radio was named "Tommeliten" (Tom Thumb) and used only earphones.  In the early 1950s, Tandberg opened a branch plant in Oslo to produce reel-to-reel decks. Their first model was the TB 1, introduced to the market in 1952. Over the next decade, Tandberg quickly incorporated a number of leading-edge concepts in the tape deck design and production.

Tandberg tape recorders dominated the Norwegian market, and had a reputation for advanced technology and high quality at reasonable prices. It was on Tandberg reel-to-reel machines that JFK recorded many meetings in the Cabinet Room (White House) including those associated with the Cuban missile crisis.  A serious economic downturn in 1976 disrupted the company, and by 1978 it was insolvent. A shareholder revolt removed Vebjørn Tandberg from control of the company, and he committed suicide in August. In December, the company declared bankruptcy.



JBL J216A (1985) $165/pr

While not quite approaching the famous JBL L20T in performance, nevertheless, JBL's aim in designing the J216A was to produce a small system very close in design and sound of the L20T but at a more economical price that was suitable for smaller living spaces.  A high quality system that would deliver a balanced and musical acoustic output suitable for all types of program material.  To keep low-frequency distortion within acceptable limits despite a small woofer-cone diameter, the J216A uses a "symmetrical field" magnet structure, a JBL development introduced years ago on some of the company's more expensive speakers.  
The sound quality of the JBL J216A system belies its size and driver complement. It is not in the least "thin" or lacking in bass (or any other part of the frequency range, for that matter). The balance that JBL engineers sought has certainly been achieved in these incredible (for their size) speakers.
Weighing in at about 18 lbs each, the cabinets of the J216A are finished in oak-grained vinyl on the sides and in black vinyl veneer on the top and rear.  
These "little" JBLs are little short of amazing to hear the sounds they produce from digital and/or vinyl.

About JBL...
JBL is an American audio electronics company founded in 1946 by James Lansing after whom the company was named. Their primary products are speakers and associated electronics. There are two independent divisions within the company — JBL Consumer and JBL Professional. The former produces audio equipment for the consumer home market while the latter produces professional equipment for the studio, installed sound, tour sound, portable sound (production and DJ), and cinema markets.  JBL is synonymous with the term "West Coast sound".


Boston A-70

Boston A-70 (1980) $160/pr 

The Boston A70 has excellent bass and crystal clear highs. 
From the original brochure:
"The slim profile of the A70 not only makes it easier for you to place the speaker unobtrusively in a room; more important from a music lover's point of view, the dimensions of the cabinet minimize unwanted sounds that would ordinarily muddy the stereo picture.  With the use of the famous SEAS drivers, the A70 has a remarkably wide dispersion for a 2-way speaker, which permits the imaging to be stable over a wide listening area. Boston beveled the grille panel around its inner perimeter to minimize early reflections that can blur the stereo image.  As a result, a cabinet of about one cubic foot (28 liters) internal volume was chosen as the most cost-effective solution, with an aspect ratio of front panel size to cabinet depth that research (at the time) by Boston Acoustics indicated would yield the optimum imaging capability."

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

Jennings Research Contrara Group Pedestals

Jennings Research Contrara Pedestals (1976)

The initial product line at Jennings Research was called the “Contrara Group”.

These "Contrara Group Pedestals" have twin Audax woofers and single tweeters.

They were second to the top of the line Contrara Elan Pedestal model. 

Other than the very high quality drivers and crossover networks, the most striking thing is their physical appearance: all the Contrara Group pedestal systems feature hand-rubbed, solid dark walnut cabinets with mosaic tops.  This particular pair have the light bronze smoked glass tops.    These pedestal models are heavy, well-braced cabinets mounted on 180 degree swivel bases which is quite unique, to say the least.  There were a few other speaker models, not as well known but still carrying the Jennings Research badges.

They were introduced in the summer of 1975 and the company initially made quite a splash with an advertising campaign in national magazines such as "Popular Science" and the "New Yorker Magazine". The well-designed systems sold well, but, unfortunately, the very high cost of materials and labor, let alone the cost of marketing and sales, put Jennings Research in a precarious position compared to the well-funded competition. 
There was no question the products were excellent but, as happened to so many companies in the crowded high fidelity market, they just couldn't stay afloat.

About Jennings Research...

Jennings Research was based in Los Angeles, California, USA and founded in March, 1975 by Tom Jennings.  Mr Jennings had been the head of marketing for JBL in the late 60’s, early 70’s and was instrumental in the success of the JBL Aquarius series. In a different time he was also CEO of Wald Sound.  As it is with most driven entrepreneurs, Jennings stuck out on his own, brought in a dedicated group of talented associates and made some amazing speakers. 

Occasionally,  Jennings Research speakers turn up for sale but are considered very rare because, generally speaking, they sound VERY good and most audiophiles tend to consider these "keepers".  The company also introduced a line of amplifiers the next year, but they appear to have only been in production for only a couple of years.


Coral BX-300

Coral BX-300 (1968) $150/pr

We are lucky to have this v​ery nice pair of ​Corals (Japan), they are a ​3 way​ system with​ 10"​ woofers, 4" horn mids and 1" tweeters.​  ​R​are and are ​completely​ original​,​ ​t​he grills are ​nearly ​perfect and the ​walnut ​cabinets are ​very good condition considering these are almost 50 years old.  ​​Additionally, both ​Coral ​​badges​ are excellent and​ intact. ​ Original factory p​aperwork ​are present on the​ back of both ​cabinets.  The sound from the Coral BX-300​ is very clear and clean with an excellent bottom end​.​  Needing minimal power to make these come alive, ​they would be perfect for any lower to middle powered receiver.  Of course, the very cool, colorful vintage fabric grills are a major plus adding a distinct flavor to these wonderful speakers. 

About Coral Audio Corporation...
Coral was a Japanese company that used very high quality drivers. Much of their speaker design looked like reversed-engineered JBL. They made their own compression drivers and co-axial drivers among other things.  Coral was very highly regarded in the late 60's and 70's for high quality, high efficiency speakers. There was a time when some models of Coral would have cost as much as some models of Klipsch and other well known names.


Realistic Optimus T~100

Realistic Optimus T~100 (1980-1983) $175/pr

Rare, and in excellent cosmetic and working condition, these T~100s are some of Realistic's best.  Made in japan back in the day when high quality sound and excellent cabinet design really meant something.  Each beautiful, genuine oil-rubbed, walnut veneer cabinet contains two 16 ohm 8" woofers in tandem (to become 8 ohms), they produce some deep and satisfying lows.  The 1" dome tweeter is wired to a continuously variable L-pad for fine tuning the crystal clear highs.  They are so efficient that 20 watts will do the job.  Of course, because of they were made, you may want to power them with a lot more wattage because they can handle whatever you throw at them.  The original, soft brown luxurious fabric grills are in great shape as well. 

Realistic Nova 7B

Realistic Nova 7B (1975) $145/pr (near mint) 

Very, very good sounding speakers...originally priced at $130 each ($260 pair) in 1975, these Nova 7Bs are the very earliest version and continue to amaze at the incredible great quality of the interior/exterior build of these classics from Radio Shack.  This 3-way setup was made in Japan using 10" Foster/Fostex drivers and two 3" mid/tweeters per cabinet...they can pump out some serious bass. The very heavy, sealed and oiled walnut cabinets have the famous lattice grills that so defined the era.  The lattice frames are recessed into the beveled edges of the enclosures and are removable.  These Nova 7Bs are in near mint condition.

Realistic Nova 4

Realistic Nova 4 (1984) $60/pr 

The very rare Realistic Nova-4 is a two-way, bass reflex speaker system with excellent low-end response along with good efficiency. Bass reflex designs tend to yield greater efficiency and lower harmonic distortion when compared to some acoustic­ suspension systems. The Nova 4 features 8" woofers (tuned port system) and 2.5" wide dispersion tweeters (they give higher sound pressure levels per watt, which means you can use lower powered receivers or have greater headroom with your existing high power amplifier).  The genuine oiled walnut veneer cabinets have easy-to-use spring speaker wire terminals on the rear and, of course, they feature the famous lattice grill design that personifies the "vintage" design.

About Realistic/Optimus/Radio Shack/
Tandy Corp...

Realistic branded vintage stereo gear is all over the place.  Some of it is right up there in quality with the best of Pioneer, Sansui, etc.  Also, some of it is just...ok.   Their best era was during the 70's when they successfully competed head-to-head with all the big names in high fidelity.  They sourced practically all their products from Japan and sometimes had the exact same components inside their gear as the competition but at a much lower price.  


Knight KN-3030K

Knight/Allied KN-3030K (1965) $175

These are a 30 Watt, 8 OHM, 3-way pair of very rare Knight speakers. They were also sold as Allied 3030K speakers. 
These are most suited for jazz and vocals (East Coast sound)...definitely not rock n' roll (West Coast sound).  They have massive 10" woofers very similar to many of the fine Electro-Voice drivers in the 60's. 
The cabinets are real wood and are in reasonably good condition. The golden brown cane mesh grill fabric is also in generally good condition. 
There are a few battle scars on the wood from age but they look great and we have refinished them to the best of our ability. 
These speakers sound amazing especially if playing monaural or high fidelity vinyl. They have nothing but excellent reviews over the years. There are very few Allied 3030 and Knight 3030 speakers out there so this is a chance to for any collector to get these wonderful vintage speakers.

About Knight...


Fisher S10/XP-65B

Fisher S10/XP-6B) (1967) $125

The vintage Fisher S10 (XP-6B) is a superb 2-way speaker system from the great series of "The Fisher" XPs in the 60's.  Fisher would sometimes re-badge the model numbers to suit certain retailers that would offer a full Fisher stereo system (receiver, turntable and speakers) so, in this case, the S10 would be part of one of those systems but still be the same XP-6B speakers.
They offer the full frequency range with full bodied presence and excellent transients.  They feature 10" bass woofers and 2.5" tweeters.  The beautiful orange interlaced fabric grills and vinyl walnut veneer cabinets are not exactly perfect but they are acceptable.

About Fisher...


Epi MT-1 Microtower

Epi Microtower-1 aka Epicure Model 75 ('73-'74) $215

The Epicure Microtower speakers were made in the mid-1970s, Three of the models (MT1, MT2 and MT3) were tall, thin columns with bottom vents, intended to be relatively omnidirectional. 
The fourth one (MTB2) shares parts with the others and not much more.  
Some were marked EPI and some Epicure. Each Microtower 1 enclosure has twin 4.5" full range drivers with durable cloth surrounds.  Rated at 5-50 watts, they are very efficient and can do justice with a minimum of power and produce very good, non-fatiguing sound.  Relatively rare, they are a welcome addition to any vintage collection.  Placed correctly, they do put out an omnidirectional sound, as intended.  

Of course, they are a very cool design, especially with the new smoked glass tops and wood bases to reflect the omnidirectional sound smoothly and evenly ...the circular Epi logo screens are similar to a passive radiator although they don't really affect the sound much. This pair was made with a walnut vinyl finish. Some are marked "M-75".  These are the MT-1 version.  Epi badges and grill covers are complete and in good condition.  Overall these are in good shape considering their age.

About Epicure (Epi)...
EPI was founded in 1970 by Winslow Burhoe, to manufacture speakers based on the "module" he had designed. This module consisted of an eight inch woofer and a one inch tweeter. Many different speakers were built using various combinations of this module, and a six inch version of the woofer. They were wonderful speakers and are still usually prized by their owners, who will frequently go to great lengths to repair them properly when they (rarely) develop problems.


Wharfedale W60D clones

Wharfedale W60D "clones" (60's) $225

Clones?  Yep.  Because the original Wharfedale W60D cabinets are in a class of their own (sand filled, very heavy and acoustically excellent) they have been re-purposed with some outstanding components.  First of all, they sound terrific, are very efficient and perfect for tube amps or even lower powered solid state receivers. 
What's inside?  Each 50 lb refinished (hand rubbedhardwood with real walnut veneer) cabinet contains 12" refoamed Utah Stephens-Trusonic woofers with massive Alnico magnets, Marantz HD88 mids and Foster 3" super tweeters along with all new capacitors on the crossovers boards.  Funky looking but accurate controls on the rear but hey, who cares...they're on the back.Newly fabricated grills that look like vintage AR, KLH, Advent, etc. add the perfect touch to a very nice pair of speakers.

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’ endeavours, 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 theatres, 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.



Ampex 414 "cubes"

Ampex 414 "cubes" (70's) $115

These small walnut cube speakers were originally included with the Ampex Model 761 tape deck.  Each 6" square walnut cube contains one 4" full range CTS driver.  The cubes are an excellent compliment for any existing speaker system if you want to add some high range but, as far as bass goes, forget it.  However, they definitely have the cool factor going for them.​  The very cool and unique included stands are sculptured, hand-made, real Acacia wood.

About Ampex...