Stereo Speaker Systems #2

M&K Satellite 1

M&K Miller & Kreisel Satellite S-1 (1978)  $325 (on hold)

These beautiful speakers are in excellent cosmetic and working condition.  Gorgeous walnut and pristine grills, they are stunning...thanks to Steely Dan, the famous high-end M&K Satellite speaker system was born!
Utilizing ALL Peerless drivers (woofers and tweeters), M&K designed these original Satellite S-1 in 1977, as a speaker system with a unique design goal: controlled vertical dispersion.  The unique crossover design gives you six different wiring connections to choose from, either British or American "sound" to bright, subdued, etc...very cool.

Unique to the S-1 was the adjustable spectral balance (now known as timbre-matching) that was an integral part of the sound.  It wasn't until 1978 until they released the consumer audio version 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 Real Time 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.  

Striking in both in design and shape, the stacked components are as much beautiful woodwork sculpture as they are a magnificent sound experience.

In the beginning, M&K's basic design goals for stand-alone satellite speakers (*with or without subwoofers) remains today, as always, a noble assembly of values:  Low Distortion, Flat Frequency Response (across a wide window), decent Transient Response, and healthy Dynamic Range.

Also included is the owner's operational manual and technical spec sheet. 

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...



Optimus 6 nudie
Optimus 6 rear view
Optimus 6 speaker terminals are located underneath the bottom of the enclosures
Realistic Optimus 6 (wood is the same, background light affects the color)

Realistic Optimus 6 (1972) $285 (pristine and very rare)

Back when the idea of speakers being considered as fine furniture and not just, well...speakers, Radio Shack contracted with some of their Japanese suppliers and commissioned the design of the Optimus 6.  

Very rarely seen for sale, this absolutely gorgeous pair was obviously well taken care of.  

After our inspection, cleaning and testing, we refinished the wood and they are now in excellent condition.

The Optimus 6 are constructed of real walnut veneer with tasteful Mediterranean styling and classic octagonal sound column enclosures featuring circular walnut tops.  

The real timberwood lattice grills were hand made in Japan and have a fabric screen cloth behind them with an additional protective "screen" between the cloth and the drivers.

Inside are front-firing 10" woofers (with treated cloth surrounds) and twin 3" enclosed tweeters.  The fully operational system has electronic crossovers with Elna caps and they perform perfectly.  

Since the design of this system is a different type of bass-reflex design (very open), the original design included thin white foam sheets attached to the rear of the woofer baskets to help dampen the acoustics.  We also added some additional baffling to tone down the inherent "boominess" of this "open" design.

Rated at 8 ohms with a frequency response of 20-20,000Hz, they are incredibly efficient when driven with just 12 watts each.  

We disassembled the enclosures to thoroughly clean, refresh and inspect the interiors.  

At 24" tall and 19" in diameter, they are perfectly sized to fit into just about any room long as you like mid-century vintage styling.

Realistic Optimus T-70

Realistic Optimus T-70 ('81-'82)   $145

Designed by famed Tandy Corp. lead designer *Chris Kline in the early 80's, the T-70 and T-300 were unique among all the speakers from Radio Shack due to the "Tuned Labyrinth System" inside....basically the cabinets are similar to slot tuned Helmholtz-type for comparison.

The interior of the cabinets have vertical chambers forcing the bass signal to travel as much as possible before venting into the rear bottom slots.  This provides for excellent transient response.

The 1" SEAS dome tweeters and 8" long throw woofers packed inside are an a great combination, an unusual design for Radio Shack...specs from the catalog state: 55-20,000 Hz,  90db, 75 watts at 8 ohms

The gorgeous real walnut veneer enclosures (only 30" tall) and original speckled dark brown fabric weave grills are pristine.

*Copied from Audiokarma website:

"I was the design manager for Tandy Speakers. The T-70s were my conception. I wanted to design a slot loaded system. The T-70 was one of my favorite speakers we designed. The tweeter was a Seas because we made a special purchase. Generally we wouldn't be able to afford a Seas in our price range.  The woofer was designed by my team and built in our speaker plan in Fort Worth.  I have always thought the T-70 and T-300 were the best speakers ever sold by Radio Shack. The T-70 only lasted two catalogs: 1981 and 1982"  

~Chris Kline (lead speaker designer, Tandy Corp/Radio Shack)

Realistic Nova 8B

Realistic Nova 8B (1976)  $200/pr (pristine)

These pristine condition Realistic Nova 8B speakers have an impressive sound that rivals higher priced speakers from much more famous companies. Often overlooked because they came from Radio Shack...a big mistake.  You will be amazed just how good these sound.

Specs are accurate when they claim 20-20,000 Hz, seriously deep bass...

"Realistic" branded electronics at Radio Shack were as good as (sometimes better than) a lot of the competitors' much higher priced models while being essentially the same design as the well known brands of the time. 
Built in Japan for Radio Shack in 1976, each of the heavy, oil rubbed walnut veneer cabinets have 12" woofers (that yield some deep bass), one extended range high-compliance tweeter and two mid-range speakers.  The original crossovers are working fine although some prefer to modify them.  

Variable mid-range and hi-frequency controls are on the rear for personal fine tune tweaking.

The original faux wood lattice grills are perfect.

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.  



Tall Boys & Small Boys
The Watson
Different heights available from tall to short...
The Clayton

Crocker© "Steampunk" custom speaker stands (call for pricing)

Did you know that most speakers sound much better when they are placed on the correct size speaker stands?  The improvement in the sound is sometimes astounding!

We are currently stocking custom speaker stands made by the Crocker© Company.  The Crocker© "Steampunk" stands are custom-built, heavy duty and built one pair at a time to YOUR specs.  

"The Clayton" $225/pr

A detailed, well constructed, labor intensive pair with a mix of poplar, cherry and pine woods with a heavy dose of industrial design iron bolts and caps

"The Watson"  $225/pr

Another detailed, well constructed, labor intensive pair with a mix of poplar, cherry and pine woods with a layered "sandwiched" curved design.

"Tall Boy" $125/pr

stands made of poplar, cherry or stained pine and come with either slate anodized pipe or satin black anodized pipe.  (Different heights and woods are available) 

"Small Boy" $75/pr

angled (9 degrees) floor stands made of polar and cherry wood with glue-welded joints.  

All stands are custom made with your choice of woods and colors...the Crocker© stands are made to last a lifetime. 

They are on display and available for purchase at our Greenville store... 

All the stands are built to hold the heaviest of speakers with no worries...ever!

There are NO middleman fees, you will be dealing directly with the designer.  

Contact us for further information.

About Crocker©...

Based in Easley SC, Crocker© woodworking has many years of experience in design and construction of beautiful wood and metal creations.  A love of all things relating to vintage stereo equipment has convinced Crocker© to now offer these unique speaker stands.  They will listen to your input and deliver a finished pair of stands that will allow your speakers to perform the way they were meant to.



NHT Zero

NHT Zero (1994) $80/pr

These amazing (tiny) compact monitors sound surprisingly spacious, with true-to-life sound reproduction and imaging.  The Zero was called “...not just great for the money, but great period.”, and hailed as “a $250 speaker that compares with high-end speakers costing $3000…” (by Corey Greenberg in the January 1994 issue of Stereophile), the Zero established NHT as a force in the world of high-value, high-performance audio.  Piano gloss black cabinets.  

About NHT (Now Hear This)
NHT Loudspeakers (Now Hear This 1986-2009) The original NHT was a speaker and audio component company founded by Chris Byrne and Ken Kantor in December 1986. Byrne primarily handled sales and marketing, while Kantor was responsible for design and engineering. NHT shipped its first product, the Model 1 loudspeaker, in 1987.  After the release of the now famous "SuperZero" in 1994, the company really took off.  However, as is typical with so many great audio companies, in February, 2009, NHT announced they were "going quiet".



Fisher XP-55B

Fisher XP-55B  (1968)  $120

We can best describe these all-original XP-55B speakers as being very smooth, laid back...polite even.  Like most of the better models in the XP Series, the 55B also have the reputation of great midrange and bass.  The highs are there as well, just more subtle...but considering this is a 2-way system, not bad at all.  Of course, the vintage multi-colored grill cloth, in excellent condition, is the hallmark of true vintage styling.  The original badges are clean and clear.

Fortunately, the XP-55B was designed in the era before Fisher was sold off to Emerson Corp (then later to Sanyo), these are "genuine" Fishers, from the "still good" era.   These would be great for long listening sessions or background fatigue.  Period.


Avery Fisher was quite particular (being a musician himself) about the sounds of his speakers, and insisted upon listening to each prototype and "voicing" it to his personal tastes. He liked 'em smooooooth. Drove his engineers nuts!

In 1968, Fisher wrote these words in their marketing flyer: 

"The Fisher XP-55B is a perfect example of how it is possible to attain fine sound throughout the audible spectrum with an acoustic suspension speaker. This system is significantly better than any speaker of comparable size, delivering the full range of the audible spectrum without a trace of distortion. The massive 8-inch bass speaker incorporates a two-pound magnet structure and totally new suspension system that achieves extra-wide excursion.

The three-inch treble speaker reproduces frequencies from 1500 Hz to beyond audibility. It features a new low-mass cone made of a combination of special fibrous materials. This results in peak-free response out to 20,000 Hz without coloration. Never before has a speaker of such modest size — only 10" x 20" x 7 1/2" deep — been capable of performing to the high-compliance and high-efficiency standards of a professional quality enclosure. For those who seek Fisher quality at a relatively minimal cost, the XP-55B warrants serious consideration, and may well be a rare value that affords the music lover years of listening pleasure."


Frequency response: 37 to 20,000 Hz @ 8 ohms. 10"H x 20"W x 7.5"D.
Weight: 18 pounds (each) Enclosure: walnut veneer. For best sound dispersion it's suggested they be used horizontally (or vertically if desired).

More about Avery Fisher...

It's not commonly known, but Mr Fisher was an amateur violinist.  He began a notable career by building radios to improve sound quality for his own enjoyment. His achievements include the first transistorized amplifier and the stereo radio-phonograph combination. Fisher sold his HiFi components at premium prices, earning them a reputation as the Rolls Royce of sound equipment. 
Fisher graduated in 1929 from New York University. He worked for two publishing firms, G. P. Putnam's Sons and Dodd, Mead & Company during which he began his endeavors in audio design. He constructed his radios to obtain better sound than available models delivered. By 1937 he had made significant improvements in the design of amplifiers, tuners and speakers and established his first company, Philharmonic Radio. 
In 1945 Fisher sold Philharmonic Radio and started a second audio company, Fisher Radio, which produced high-fidelity components from a factory on the site now occupied by Lincoln Center. His engineering staff was comprised of the brightest audio technicians lured away from European companies. 
In 1956 Fisher produced the first transistorized amplifier. Two years later the company developed the first stereo radio and phonograph combination. From 1959 to 1961, the company made important improvements in AM-FM stereo tuner design, and it increased the power and improved the sensitivity of its components. 
When the audio market veered toward mass merchandising in 1969, Fisher sold the company to Emerson for $31 million!!  Emerson later sold it to Sanyo of Japan. Fisher consulted for both Emerson and Sanyo. 
As a philanthropist, Fisher was very influential, sitting on the boards of the New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Marlboro Festival. Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall was renamed Avery Fisher Hall in 1973 after he donated $10.5 million. Fisher was born in Brooklyn on March 4, 1906 and died in 1994.



Bose 601 Series II
Bose 601 Series II
Bose 601 Series II
Bose 601 Series II

Bose 601 Series II ('82-'84)  $500 (refoamed)

Handsome and unique in design, the Bose 601 Series II speakers are highly respected...even by some of those who love to hate Bose products.  

Externally, the Model 601 Series II resemble conventional floor-standing speakers except for the split top design. 

Its front and top are covered by an attractive dark-brown textured grille cloth. 

The top section is surrounded on the top and three sides by the grille and louvered plastic panels and is open to the rear. The top grills are hinged at the front and when lifted reveals an 8-inch (refoamed) woofer, tilted about 30 degrees forward of the vertical, and four unbaffled 3-inch cone tweeters angled to the sides and rear. 

Pulling off the front grill, which is integral with the top grill and is retained by sturdy plastic pins, reveals a second 8-inch forward-facing (also refoamed) woofer on the front of the speaker cabinet.
The two rear-facing tweeters are angled slightly upward, radiating across the front of the top woofer and outward toward the wall behind the speaker at a horizontal angle of about 30 degrees.
The front tweeters are angled outward at almost 45 degrees and are nearly horizontal. The woofers are in separate internal sub-enclosures, which are ported individually into the main volume of the cabinet and from there to the outside through a single opening on the top.
Although they are (nominally) rated at 8 ohms, we discovered that by measuring resistance at the speaker connection terminals, they both read exactly 11.2 ohms.  The crossovers do their job with all 6 drivers (per cabinet) and, in the end...8 ohms.  

These beautiful speakers do just fine with amplifiers rated from 20 to more than 150 watts output.  However, we feel that minimum 60 watts (and up) each brings out their true form.

NOTE: 601 vs 901

Some have found the spatial properties (or the physical appearance) of the Bose 901 speakers were just too unconventional for their tastes so we strongly advise them to investigate the 601 Series II.  These are clearly close relatives of the 901 series but with considerable refinement in ease of installation and use, and a greater adaptability to different listening environments.

In our humble opinion, The Bose 601 Series II speakers are some of the best models to come out of Bose laboratories.

In 1982, Hi Fi Classic magazine did an extensive review (and thorough test) of the "radical" Bose 601 Series II. 
Without going into lengthy details of their review, the summary stated:  

"Our initial reaction to hearing the Bose Model 601 Series II in our familiar surroundings was that it had a superbly balanced octave-to-octave response, with an effortless smoothness that ranked with some of the finest speakers we have ever used. The bass was very powerful, yet without boom or any undue emphasis in the upper bass or lower midrange, where so many dynamic speakers suffer from coloration. The highs were silky and free from brightness or harshness. The midrange smoothly connected the two ends of the spectrum."

Bose 201 Series IV

Bose 201 Series IV ('96-'00) SOLD

Probably the most popular of all the Bose 201 series because of their nice rosewood cabinets and side firing design, they have additional mesh protective covering over the voice coils.  
Being very efficient, as little as 15 watts per channel will get these to fill a small room with warm and clear sound. The drivers, cabinets and grills are in excellent condition.
The luxurious rosewood veneer cabinets (left and right) feature 6” forward-facing woofers and 2” free field side-firing tweeters with a nominal impedance 8 ohms...power rating is 5 watts minimum and 60 watts RMS maximum. 

  • High-sensitivity, magnetic fluid-cooled 2" Stereo Targeting tweeter
  • Long-excursion 6 1/2" woofer
  • Radiused slot-port design cabinets
Bose designed and built these with a dual frequency crossover network and automatic system protection circuitry.

About Bose...

There's nothing 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.



Criterion 77 by Lafayette

Criterion 77 by Lafayette (1977) $120/pr

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 are nearly 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.