Stereo Speaker Systems #2

NHT 1.5

NHT 1.5 ('98-'08) $225

These amazing speakers were made in Benecia CA by NHT (Now Hear This) and the model had a successful run of about 10 years.
This pair has the rarest of the finished cabinets available at the time: highly polished mahogany laminate.
The NHT Model 1.5 excels in those areas that are most important musically: tonal neutrality, uncolored and transparent midrange, and well-defined and articulate bass presentation. In these areas, it rivals much more expensive loudspeakers. The midrange is especially clear and detailed, giving instruments and vocals a natural texture and providing an excellent view into the presentation.
A proprietary "Focused Image Geometry" concept is implemented in this two-way speaker system. 
It's known that certain room reflections can destroy the structure of spatial information. It's impossible to totally avoid reflections so NHT felt that any attempt to reduce them to a minimum was definitely worthwhile. 
The rotation at 21° of the front panels of the 1.5s and asymmetric position of the tweeters provide a high measure of focusing sound energy towards the listening point. 
The sealed acoustic design is typical of NHT. There were (are) few speaker systems that could "fit" into the sizes of the listening room and stage the spatial imaging so accurately and realistically as well as the NHT 1.5s can. 
The highs are exceptionally clean and detailed and the bass covers most of the spectrum less the very deep notes. It rolls off down very naturally, without being boomy or uncontrolled like many of the ported two-way designs. Vocals are presented very naturally. The overall dynamics and coherence is excellent. Sound best if 2-3 feet away from the back wall and about that far from the side walls. Stands do make a difference, but the sound is good even when placed on a bookshelf.
It should be noted that these perform better with more power. Although recommended for use with a minimum of 20 watts per side, we've tested these with 85 watts each and they come alive.
After all, high volume doesn't spoil anything. 

About NHT...
Still operating in Benecia CA, Now Hear This (NHT) was founded to produce high quality, low-cost loudspeakers a breed apart from the mass-market variety often found at the lower price points. Co-founder Ken Kantor has a long history in the hi-fi business as a designer at Acoustic Research, NAD, and as a design consultant to some large Japanese manufacturers. NHT's current lineup ranges from the $180/pair Model Zero to the $1200 Model 100.


DLS Flatbox

DLX Flatbox (Sweden) $175 (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.


The Advent Loudspeaker (Large Advent)

The Advent Loudspeaker (1976) $200/pr
(new foam surrounds Sept 2017)
Copy of original magazine ad from 1975 shown below

One of the most famous classic speaker designs of all time...

Drivers, cabinets, grills and badges are all in excellent cosmetic condition.  Woofers refoamed in September 2017.  

Sometimes referred to as "The Large Advent or, as Stereo Review magazine said in the early 70's:
"By all the accepted standard of evaluation, The Advent Loudspeaker is an accurate reproducer of sound as any top-line system we have heard. We feel, though, that listeners who have no particular preference for a certain aspect of or kind of reproduced sound will be as happy with the Advents as with anything costing up to five times as much. Maybe even more so."

This pair we offer are described as the "utility" model as opposed to the "bullnose" model.  The difference being the cabinet design but the heart and soul are the same.  The famous "fried egg" tweeters designed by Henry Kloss are as exquisite today as they were some 50 years ago. Uncolored and neutral sound, very efficient, easy to drive and the original linen grills are in excellent condition as are the correct Advent badges.

About Advent...
The legendary Henry Kloss founded Advent Corporation in 1967. (Kloss was the "K" in KLH) The name came from the legal description the advent corporation ("advent" means "approaching" in Latin.  Around 1968, Kloss had quit 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 with a 10 inch woofer called simply The Advent Loudspeaker (later given the retronym "The Larger Advent", after introduction of "The Smaller Advent Loudspeaker"). It rivaled the sound of the then top-line AR Model 3a (which used three drivers and a 12-inch (30 cm) woofer), but only cost about half as much.
Advent produced a number of different versions of the 2-way Advent including: The Advent Loudspeaker, The Smaller Advent Loudspeaker, The "New" Advent Loudspeaker, Advent/2, Advent/3, 4000 series and 5000 series to name a few. They were usually offered in both wood veneer and vinyl-covered "utility" cabinet versions, which other than appearance were acoustically identical.
Henry Kloss left Advent around 1977 and, e
ventually, long after Kloss’ departure, Advent ran into hard times and never emerged from a bankruptcy declared in March 1981.


Sansui SP-2500 (early 70's) $200/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.


Bose 501 Series V

Bose 501 Series V ('94-'99) SOLD

​The last of the Bose 501 series, they are probably the best of the entire series.  ​Why?  Bose ultimately managed to figure out the exact size and dimensions of the cabinetry and the design of the multitude of chambers inside to get it right .  The direct/reflecting design of th​ese ​speaker​s actually​ deliver​ real​high fidelity, lifelike sound quality. ​P​owerful and rich bass without any distortion ​thanks to the specially designed 5.25​"​ woofer​ ​and​dual 2.5​​" tweeters ​inside each of the slender floor standing black ashwood enclosures.  They are capable of reproduc​ing excellent ​high frequency ​for​ enhance sound quality. ​As mentioned before, the​ multi-chamber bass enclosure​s​ ​are able to​ eliminate sonic blur and ​yield​ amazing bass effects at any volume. 

Bose 2001

Bose 2001 (1994) SOLD

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.

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.


Pioneer SP-BS22LR

Pioneer SP-BS22LR (2012) $115

Definitely not vintage but...because these Pioneer SP-BS22LR speakers were designed by internationally renowned speaker engineer, Andrew Jones, we like them anyway. As Pioneer’s Chief Speaker Engineer, Jones designed some of the world’s finest loudspeakers, some costing as much as $80,000. 

His high-end expertise and passion was put to the test with the creation of these bookshelf speakers. They deliver accurate sound reproduction with smooth bass and clear highs.

They feature 1" high efficiency soft dome tweeters and 4" structured surface woofers that utilize a sophisticated 6-component, high quality crossover network.  The heavy and solid cabinets have rear bass ports, banana jack inputs and have black ash wood veneer.