PDA

View Full Version : 12 Most Significant Speakers of All Time



TroyD
10-11-2010, 02:15 PM
Just got my Sept. Issue of TAS and was intrigued with thier list of most important speakers of all time....pretty good article, no REAL surprises, I guess.

I haven't heard a Magico speaker but they seem to be pretty high on them....

What did you guys think (I know, no SDA....)? I thought that it was pretty cool that I've owned a few of them, at least.

BDT

Ricardo
10-11-2010, 02:18 PM
Dunno. Which are they?

mhardy6647
10-11-2010, 02:39 PM
Folks at AK and AA have had a few kicks at this ball...
Basically no big surprises; most significant does not mean best.

sda2mike
10-11-2010, 02:48 PM
polk sda 2B TL...by matt and ben:D

TroyD
10-11-2010, 02:55 PM
Dunno. Which are they?


FAAK.

12. Klipschorn
11. MBL 101 E
10. Advent
9. KLH Model 9
8. Infinity IRS V
7. Maggie 1-U/1-D
6. Dahlquist DQ-10
5. Magico Mini II
4. Wilson Audio Tiny Tot (WATT)
3. Rogers /BBC LS3/5a
2. AR-3a
1. Quad ESL-57

I haven't heard the Magico Mini....but the high quality, stand mounted speaker isn't a ground breaking design.....

Things I thnk coulda been considered:

B&W 801, love it or hate it....it's a pretty signifcant speaker....

B&W Nautilus which I think started, or at least got into high gear, the whole 'cost-no-object' statement speaker thing

Dynaco A-25 (was on some of the individual lists)...probably the best bang/buck speaker ever.

Quad ESL-63 for obvious reasons....probably the most ubiquitous 'reference' speaker.

Much as I dislike the sound....something from JBL to represent the West Coast sound..

Bose 901....again, signifcant in that Bose has sold a ****load of them.

BDT

fastz28
10-11-2010, 03:12 PM
Dcm timewindows

cstmar01
10-11-2010, 03:33 PM
Infinity IRS V

This is one I would love to hear some day, however would not want to ever have to try and move it. :eek:


I like Wilson stuff a lot, and the WATT/Puppies are a great speaker I think.

I never knew that the Klipsch were never changed after all these years, kinda interesting I think.

heiney9
10-11-2010, 04:50 PM
KEF 107/2's

Mirage M1's

SDA SRS

Maggie Tympani

Just a few off the top of my head that could/should be considered signifcant. These lists always are hit and miss whether it's auto's, musicians, kitchen appliances, etc. Still good discussion fodder.

H9

P.s. Yes, Bose 901 should be on there too as Troy already mentioned.

EPI's and OHM's should be on there perhaps the OHM Walsh or one of the smaller bookies and where's the Allison entry?

Tony M
10-11-2010, 05:16 PM
How about the ESS AMT 1B..?

The Heil Air Motion Transformer.:D

steveinaz
10-11-2010, 05:26 PM
The Ohm Walsh was definitely different. I can't believe JBL's studio monitors aren't listed.

heiney9
10-11-2010, 05:36 PM
How about the ESS AMT 1B..?

The Heil Air Motion Transformer.:D

Yep, Nelson Pass' first job was with ESS designing that transducer.

H9

Bernal
10-11-2010, 05:40 PM
How about the LSi serie..?

Tony M
10-11-2010, 08:09 PM
The Ohm Walsh was definitely different. I can't believe JBL's studio monitors aren't listed.

Oh yea!!! The ohm walsh 2's that I owned were very nice sounding indeed. Holographic.

fastz28 said the DCM Timewindows.
I owned the DCM timeframe 400's and loved their sound-stage also.

hoosier21
10-11-2010, 08:58 PM
Ummm Vandersteen 1 2 or 3

George Grand
10-11-2010, 09:03 PM
AR-3/3a

reeltrouble1
10-11-2010, 09:17 PM
I agree too many great ones to list a dozen.....pickem, hearem, likem.....speakers speakers speakers.

RT1

Dabutcher
10-11-2010, 09:36 PM
Big a/d/s speakers and the best speakers I have owned were the Infinity Quantum 3's.

Tony M
10-11-2010, 11:09 PM
Why not another one or two.

Polk audio monitor 5jr.

Paradigm Studio 20v3...:D

TroyD
10-12-2010, 08:40 AM
Well, in terms of significant....

Yeah, the Vandy 2....probably the best selling high end speaker of the last thirty years...

SDA was, imo, to audiophilism, not all that significant. To ME it is, but at large, eh, not so much.

Again, not thinking in terms of 'best' but in terms of speakers that broke or established a paradigm.

BDT

heiney9
10-12-2010, 08:46 AM
SDA was, imo, to audiophilism, not all that significant. To ME it is, but at large, eh, not so much.

BDT

Well they should have been, but I agree with you when you look at the big picture. I was gaga over them when I sold them, well they most times sold themselves. It was a ground breaking design that never got the recognition or understanding it should have, IMO. I'm sure many her feel the same way, probably not so much on other internet boards, though.

H9

Kenneth Swauger
10-12-2010, 09:03 AM
I bought a pair of KLH 9 speakers from David Bromberg's road manager. They got me hooked on electrostatic speakers. I sold them and took a trip to Ireland with the money. I believe TAS wanted to single out speakers that were a genesis of different styles of successful speaker designs. Today's excellent bookshelf speakers (such as the LSi7 and 9) are descended from the LS35a, for example.

Joe08867
10-12-2010, 09:31 AM
I like the list overall except the Dahlquist's. Just not a fan of there sound.

I also have to agree the Bose 901 should have made it. While not the best speaker in the world it was significant.

shack
10-12-2010, 09:39 AM
It was a ground breaking design that never got the recognition or understanding it should have, IMO.

This is why the audio media and the public at large have never given them the recognition they probably deserve. Certainly a ground breaking design...but one that never spawned any followers outside of Polk. Owners loved them but everyone else labeled them as a "gimmick". To my knowledge ther mfgs. never tried to copy the concept...either because they couldn't or like others felt it was not true audio theory.

On the other hand, along those same lines...maybe one of the early Monitor designs could have made the list...ie: Monitor 7...the speaker that started it all for one of the largest consumer audio companies.

Pycroft
10-12-2010, 09:47 AM
I would love to hear more about what made a lot of these 'significant'. When I think of significant, I think that they changed the way people thought about audio, or revolutionized the way speakers were made. I am familiar with a lot of the names of the speakers listed there, but not the 'significance' of them. Also...why JUST Advent? I had advent speakers and thought they were fine, but they didn't wow me. Was a model left out, or is that supposed to be the company as a whole?

James

shack
10-12-2010, 10:38 AM
Also...why JUST Advent? I had advent speakers and thought they were fine, but they didn't wow me. Was a model left out, or is that supposed to be the company as a whole?

There was no model #. It was The Advent Loudspeaker. IMO it was the speaker that brought HiFi to the masses and is one of the most significant in audio history.

Also, anything after the New Advent Loudspeaker, circa late 70s (which many refer to as the Large Advent - but that was never the official name) were probably middle of the road as Henry Kloss directed his efforts to other ventures and eventually left the company.

steveinaz
10-12-2010, 11:48 AM
Ummm Vandersteen 1 2 or 3

EXACTLY, I was trying to think of the name; they're like audiophile legend aren't they?

cnh
10-12-2010, 12:09 PM
The Ohm Walsh was definitely different. I can't believe JBL's studio monitors aren't listed.

I have to agree with that. I know a LOT of guys here don't like that JBL sound but, hey, it is subjective and there was a time when they where ubiquitous--like BOSE? I have a pair of home versions that are over 20 years old and I still consider them a pretty nice speaker for what they are--they are a bit picky about 'placement' though! A former girlfriend in the 80s had some Ohms which were also nice.

cnh

Fongolio
10-12-2010, 12:22 PM
My garage sale reject Dynaco A-25's made a couple of the individual lists but not the main list. They were significant because millions of them sold and they were very affordable for great sound.

Timothy Smith
10-12-2010, 03:38 PM
I like the list overall except the Dahlquist's. Just not a fan of there sound.

I also have to agree the Bose 901 should have made it. While not the best speaker in the world it was significant.

Prefer Bose 901's to Dahlquist DQ-10's???

That's like preferring Yoko Ono screaming in your ear to Kate Bush whispering in your ear.

(IMHO)

nooshinjohn
10-12-2010, 03:47 PM
That's like preferring Yoko Ono screaming in your ear to Kate Bush whispering in your ear.

(IMHO)

But what about Yoko Ono wispering in your ear?:p

Timothy Smith
10-12-2010, 07:06 PM
But what about Yoko Ono wispering in your ear?:p

That's better....but....it's still Yoko Ono.

Joe08867
10-13-2010, 09:19 AM
Prefer Bose 901's to Dahlquist DQ-10's???

That's like preferring Yoko Ono screaming in your ear to Kate Bush whispering in your ear.

(IMHO)

Hold up everybody, I don't prefer either speaker, I just think the Bose may be more significant. I think they both are overrated.

Personally I would rather have B&O Beolab 1's before the 901's or Dahlquist's.

Timothy Smith
10-13-2010, 02:29 PM
Hold up everybody, I don't prefer either speaker, I just think the Bose may be more significant. I think they both are overrated.

Personally I would rather have B&O Beolab 1's before the 901's or Dahlquist's.

I was just speaking from personal experience and maybe some bias.

I have heard 901's in several friend's systems over the past 30 yrs and never thought they sounded "good" in any way, just loud ear-bleeders(with a lot of power applied). Maybe significant because of the direct/reflecting wall of sound approach? , the cheap drivers? needing a "Bose" equilizer? Always a mystery to me.

I bet almost every demo you heard on 901's was finished at ear-splitting levels so the owner could show you how loud they play.

On the other hand DQ-10', with only decent equipment, and some fiddling on placement, reveal things on recordings I have never heard or realized were even there that I have listened to 100's of times, that includes 12 different sets of polks including SDA-CRS, SDA-3.1, RTA-12 etc. Maggies, Vandersteens, ADS's, Spica's, and other Dahlquist models. I keep coming back to the DQ-10's. I have converted several enthusiast friends and then found DQ-10's for them, and they are delighted.

Pardon my tirade. I will place the foam rubber "dick-shaped" hat on my head now.

Going back to my analogy...when I think about it, if either Yoko Ono or Kate bush were respectively screaming or whispering in my ear, that would be significant to me.

As always, different strokes for different folks. I will have to try some Beolab's though on your recommendation. I have been tempted a few times on Beo speakers Craigslist. Are they all pretty good?, do they have a consistent sound between models?

Thanks

ohskigod
10-14-2010, 01:39 PM
Yeah, the Vandy 2....probably the best selling high end speaker of the last thirty years...




did they sell alot of those? good, warms my heart when an audio product sells well for all the right reasons.

on that note, I loved my old Vandy 2's and do miss them. was one of those "I sold them knowing I was going to regret selling them" speakers.

reeltrouble1
10-14-2010, 02:00 PM
ehh, the 901 and a couple M-80's made for some significant fun.

RT1

Joe08867
10-14-2010, 02:13 PM
On the other hand DQ-10', with only decent equipment, and some fiddling on placement, reveal things on recordings I have never heard or realized were even there that I have listened to 100's of times, that includes 12 different sets of polks including SDA-CRS, SDA-3.1, RTA-12 etc. Maggies, Vandersteens, ADS's, Spica's, and other Dahlquist models. I keep coming back to the DQ-10's. I have converted several enthusiast friends and then found DQ-10's for them, and they are delighted.

As always, different strokes for different folks. I will have to try some Beolab's though on your recommendation. I have been tempted a few times on Beo speakers Craigslist. Are they all pretty good?, do they have a consistent sound between models?

Thanks

As far as DQ-10's go, maybe I should take another listen. Been a long time and maybe I am being harsh about them. There weren't my cup of tea but who knows my listening skills are higher now than back then.

As far as B&O are concerned they have a couple of models that have similar sound if you account for there size differences. I have always liked the warmness the Beo 1's have. I have not heard any of there recent additions. They had a set of bookshelf speaks Beolab 4000's that matched a sliding glass bookshelf stereo. These had a surprising amount of depth and imaging for such a small footprint. Especially for the price. I think you will be impressed.

skipf
10-14-2010, 02:36 PM
Carver ALS. Can't believe they didn't make the list. Quite a departure from standard speaker designs.

Gerald W
10-26-2010, 06:32 PM
The Advent Loudspeaker was $114 each in walnut veneer at a time when the AR3a and KLH 5 were $225-250 each, and the Advent sounded as good or better. Don't know if it's still true; but at one time had the record for sales volume for any single model, over 250,000 pairs.

IMHO you have to have the JBL L-100 on the list. Contemporary to the Advent; but West Coast instead of New England sound. At $275 each (a lot of money in 1970) it didn't sell as many as the Advent; but did hold the record for the highest dollar volume of any speaker at that time. Over 100,000 par sold at $550/pr.

I'd also include the Shearer horn which was the first to time align the woofer and the horn tweeter by recessing the woofer into a short front horn that also had the same dispersion angle as the horn. The Altec A-7 Voice of the Theater was a commercialization of the idea. Talk about significant.

The Magico Mini is good; but most significant of all time? Give me a break. Check back in 10 or 20 years and see if it has had a lasting influence.

However, the BBC monitor LS3/5a does belong. The first good mini-monitor.

The AR-1 was the very first Acoustic Suspension speaker. The AR-3 was the first with a dome mid and dome tweeter and is significant for that; but the AR-1 was more significant.

The list has both the Quad electrostatic and the KLH 9 electrostatic. The Quad came first, so I think it takes the spot, although the KLH 9 was the first to use tall hinged screens. OK, I'll compromise and give them joint ownership of a spot.

I agree with the Tympani Magneplanar for the category of planar magnetic.

I also agree with the Dahlquist DQ-10. Lots of good design ideas in those that lived on long after the speaker was out of production. Got lots of designers thinking.

Infinity IRS V? Maybe not - what influence did it have decades later?

Same thought for the MBL; what is its lasting influence?

How about the KEF 105? A lasting influence? Maybe!

Bose 901? Other than the Bose line; what other company has followed this lead. Patents have long since run out, so copying is not a problem. A number of designs use a rear tweeter for ambience; but 89% reflected sound? Dipoles, of course, existed long before the 901.

Significant? How about the first Transmission Line? Pick a Radford, IMF, or Fried model.

Significant? How about the first coax with the tweeter firing through the pole piece of the woofer? I don't know if Tannoy or Altec was first; but that has to be significant, as it's still used today in the KEF and Thiel lines, over 70 years later.

Jerry

dorokusai
10-26-2010, 07:41 PM
Jerry - I agree 100% on some of those....the Infinity was excessive for the sake of being excessive....MBL? another flash in the pan although the driver design is pretty groundbreaking....Magico Mini, will not be recalled in 20 years. Fried is a missing model.....so is Tannoy. The list is certainly subjective but good points.

mhardy6647
10-26-2010, 08:21 PM
...Significant? How about the first coax with the tweeter firing through the pole piece of the woofer? I don't know if Tannoy or Altec was first; but that has to be significant, as it's still used today in the KEF and Thiel lines, over 70 years later.

Jerry

I'd like to think it was the original 604 Duplex (with electromagnet motors rather than PMs) :-)
(1943, according to http://www.audioheritage.org/html/profiles/altec/duplex.htm)


http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/altec/specs/components/604/page1.jpg

http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/altec/specs/components/604/page1.jpg

But then again, in England, the word Tannoy is used generically for loudspeakers (especially sound reinforcement/PA speakers) as Kleenex is used generically here for tissues :-)

Kenneth Swauger
10-26-2010, 08:26 PM
Hello Jerry,
Very interesting comments. I don't believe the KLH 9 was hinged, just single panels with a dividing vertical piece of wood. Of course the real audiophile, of that era, would have two pairs. Maybe that was where the hinges came from? The IMF speakers were, and still are, excellent sounding. Any body ever meet Irving (call me "Bud") Fried? The Fried "Coffin" woofer was excellent sounding.
Anybody remember the Rectilinear speakers?
Actually if you take two pairs of Bose 901, and have one pair facing forward and the second facing rearward and power them with two hefty amps from the same era, say Crown DC300 and a Crown IC150 preamp. For rock and roll it ain't too bad, believe me.
How about the Infinity 2000A and Servo-statics, back when Arnie "Noodle" owned the company?
Cheers, Ken

orrb_05
10-26-2010, 09:10 PM
Where's the BOZAKs

dorokusai
10-26-2010, 09:57 PM
Where's the BOZAKs

Probably because Bozak simply sucks when compared to some other vintage stalwarts. I was however, VERY surprised at how good Dynaco sounded at the recent Polkfest. It had been a LONG time since I really set some ears on them and perhaps it was the gear....but have to shake that stigma off for now. I'm not saying it changed my life, how could any Dynaco but it turned my head for sure.

mhardy6647
10-27-2010, 09:26 AM
Hello Jerry,
Very interesting comments. I don't believe the KLH 9 was hinged, just single panels with a dividing vertical piece of wood. Of course the real audiophile, of that era, would have two pairs. Maybe that was where the hinges came from? The IMF speakers were, and still are, excellent sounding. Any body ever meet Irving (call me "Bud") Fried? The Fried "Coffin" woofer was excellent sounding.
Anybody remember the Rectilinear speakers?
Actually if you take two pairs of Bose 901, and have one pair facing forward and the second facing rearward and power them with two hefty amps from the same era, say Crown DC300 and a Crown IC150 preamp. For rock and roll it ain't too bad, believe me.
How about the Infinity 2000A and Servo-statics, back when Arnie "Noodle" owned the company?
Cheers, Ken

I thought that the two panels of the KLH 9 could be separated if the end-user wished?

My only ears-on experience with IMF products has been a pair of SuperCompacts that I ahem picked up from the "Yankee swap" pile at our town dump. They are superb; smooth and balanced in that "British monitor" way, with very good LF given their fairly small size. They're also surpsingly sensitive. FWIW, though, I subsequently passed them on to a colleague (a fellow AK member) in exchange for some vintage Nikon 35 mm camera equipment for my son - pretty much a win/win.

xsmi
10-27-2010, 09:44 AM
The Thiel CS 3.6 also could have ben considered.

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 12:10 PM
The KLH 9's two panels could be joined together to improve bass response (by lowering the cancellation frequency from the rear wave) at the considerable reduction of stereo spread. It was a hinged bracket, so that is true.
Actually the Bozak Concert Grand speakers had an interesting twist. You could start off with a "starter set" made up of a big cabinet with a single tweeter and woofer. Then as you saved money you could add the additional tweeters, mid range drivers and add more woofers and change the crossovers to build up the single pair of cabinets to a full speaker. The cabinets had knock out openings for the additional components as they got added. Pretty interesting idea if you think of it. They were of an earlier era where an impressive cabinet and a "HiFi" quality added its own flavor to the music.
Talk about classic designs, anybody old enough to remember the JBL Paragons?
A large, wide credenza style cabinet that contained the left and right channels with a beautiful curved front piece of wood. I remember hearing them at House of Sound on Route 40 in Catonsville. Huge speaker.

megasat16
10-27-2010, 12:28 PM
I think I've seen a minty Pair of JBL Pragon sold for about 10K or more.

The old JBL or Altec fetch a good amount of coins today for whatever reason people are paying for.

I don't see anyone mention Westlake monitors yet. Anyone heard them or have them before?

megasat16
10-27-2010, 12:41 PM
These are a few worthy speakers that didn't get mentioned but build by your average hifi 60s brands.

http://audio-database.com/ONKYO/speaker/grandsceptergs-1-e.html

http://audio-database.com/ONKYO/speaker/grandscepter.JPG

http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EXCLUSIVE/speaker/model2401twin-e.html

http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EXCLUSIVE/speaker/model2401twin.JPG

Amherst
10-27-2010, 01:56 PM
Hello Jerry,
Very interesting comments. I don't believe the KLH 9 was hinged, just single panels with a dividing vertical piece of wood. Of course the real audiophile, of that era, would have two pairs. Maybe that was where the hinges came from? The IMF speakers were, and still are, excellent sounding. Any body ever meet Irving (call me "Bud") Fried? The Fried "Coffin" woofer was excellent sounding.
Anybody remember the Rectilinear speakers?
Actually if you take two pairs of Bose 901, and have one pair facing forward and the second facing rearward and power them with two hefty amps from the same era, say Crown DC300 and a Crown IC150 preamp. For rock and roll it ain't too bad, believe me.
How about the Infinity 2000A and Servo-statics, back when Arnie "Noodle" owned the company?
Cheers, Ken

Have a pair of R3's here, circa 1972. They were purchased by me, used, in 1975. How about some rock 'n roll on those babies? Not the most accurate but still Loved em.

I would like to add Altec Lansing "Voice of the Theater" speakers to the list.

TroyD
10-27-2010, 02:10 PM
The Advent Loudspeaker was $114 each in walnut veneer at a time when the AR3a and KLH 5 were $225-250 each, and the Advent sounded as good or better. Don't know if it's still true; but at one time had the record for sales volume for any single model, over 250,000 pairs.

IMHO you have to have the JBL L-100 on the list. Contemporary to the Advent; but West Coast instead of New England sound. At $275 each (a lot of money in 1970) it didn't sell as many as the Advent; but did hold the record for the highest dollar volume of any speaker at that time. Over 100,000 par sold at $550/pr.

I'd also include the Shearer horn which was the first to time align the woofer and the horn tweeter by recessing the woofer into a short front horn that also had the same dispersion angle as the horn. The Altec A-7 Voice of the Theater was a commercialization of the idea. Talk about significant.

The Magico Mini is good; but most significant of all time? Give me a break. Check back in 10 or 20 years and see if it has had a lasting influence.

However, the BBC monitor LS3/5a does belong. The first good mini-monitor.

The AR-1 was the very first Acoustic Suspension speaker. The AR-3 was the first with a dome mid and dome tweeter and is significant for that; but the AR-1 was more significant.

The list has both the Quad electrostatic and the KLH 9 electrostatic. The Quad came first, so I think it takes the spot, although the KLH 9 was the first to use tall hinged screens. OK, I'll compromise and give them joint ownership of a spot.

I agree with the Tympani Magneplanar for the category of planar magnetic.

I also agree with the Dahlquist DQ-10. Lots of good design ideas in those that lived on long after the speaker was out of production. Got lots of designers thinking.

Infinity IRS V? Maybe not - what influence did it have decades later?

Same thought for the MBL; what is its lasting influence?

How about the KEF 105? A lasting influence? Maybe!

Bose 901? Other than the Bose line; what other company has followed this lead. Patents have long since run out, so copying is not a problem. A number of designs use a rear tweeter for ambience; but 89% reflected sound? Dipoles, of course, existed long before the 901.

Significant? How about the first Transmission Line? Pick a Radford, IMF, or Fried model.

Significant? How about the first coax with the tweeter firing through the pole piece of the woofer? I don't know if Tannoy or Altec was first; but that has to be significant, as it's still used today in the KEF and Thiel lines, over 70 years later.

Jerry

Jesus, Joeseph and Mary...GREAT first post!

One comment, the signifigance of the Infinity IRS....I think that paved the way for the 'statement' speakers that we have today. Sort of the inverse of the Advent or Dynaco A-25.
BDT

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 02:25 PM
Hey Amherst,
I'm glad there are still people listening to the IIIs, are they the "lowboys" or the "highboys"? That company fostered quite a few audio people over the years. Jon Dahlquist, "Bongo" Jim Bongiorno (Ampzilla fame) and others all worked for them. They used Phillips tweeters and Peerless drivers. I went to a sales training at their Brooklyn headquarters in the early '70s. I think one of the jazz greats had their speakers, Count Basie maybe? Or, Buddy Rich?
There's also the speakers from Shahinian that should be remembered for using unusual shapes for very wide dispersion.
Enjoy, Ken

TroyD
10-27-2010, 02:32 PM
I wonder whatever happened to Jon Dahlquist......another thing about the DQ-10's, some talk like they were a flash in the pan but they were on the market for a couple of decades.....much longer than most.

I'd still love to hear a pair of KLH 9's. A pair came up for sale a few years back in Charleston (right after I bought my first pair of Quads, actually)....really would have liked to have had them.

BDT

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 02:47 PM
I remember having the original Quads at the store and some guy came over to me and said, "Ah, I see you're carrying the Dahlquist speakers". I believe it's never a good idea to contradict a potential customer, so I just said, "Take a listen and tell me what you think". After 20 minutes or so he came back to me and said how incredibly smooth the mid range was, how musical. I agreed and thanked him for stopping by and we talked about his system. I just couldn't find the right moment to tell him what he had been listening to.
In general selling the Quad gear was hard, the electronics were not styled the way American enthusiasts expected their preamps and power amps to be. We probably sold more of the superb 404 amp than anything else. I'm glad the company is now more well known. Once my partner and I did a service call on a very nice lady who needed help with her late husband's system. She had an original single channel Quad system, tube preamp power amp and a single Quad. Stupid us, we asked where the second speaker was. She said, "I'm not sure, I think he had only one!". We took the speaker back to the shop and figured out what was wrong with the bias supply and got her back listening.

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 02:54 PM
I'm not familiar with the Westlake Monitors, tell us more!

TroyD
10-27-2010, 02:54 PM
True enough...I hadn't thought of that, the ESL, while it didn't pre-date stereo, mono was far from dead. That's cool.

I've always had a curiosity about Quad electronics but more in a 'because they are odd' as opposed to something I'd really like to experience way. The more I read about Peter Walker, the more I find the guy REALLY interesting.

BDT

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 03:02 PM
Hey Troy,
I was too much of an Audio Research knucklehead to pay the Quad electronics the due they deserved. The tuner looked really "different" kind of what we would call "European" but it certainly sounded excellent. The feed-forward circuit was truly revolutionary and gave their power amps the great sound they have.
It's good to grow up!
Ken

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 03:08 PM
I once asked Mr. Walker where the best place to put his speakers in a room was. He said, "Take a string and attach it to one of the corners of the room, down at the floor. Then run the string across the room to the corner opposite. Do the same with the other two corners. So, now you have two strings intersecting in the middle of the room. Measure these two strings and find the points one third of their lengths and mark them on the string. This would be the ideal places to put your Quads."

TroyD
10-27-2010, 03:09 PM
ARC is a company that I have almost ZERO experience with.

I think for Quad, the big thing that is hard for most to get past is that they don't pretend to build mega-watt, over kill gear. As you say, more European....as in it meets your needs as opposed to over kill.

I listened to the Quad tube amps on a pair of the new 2805's in Raleigh a few times. Man, what a GREAT sounding rig. They sounded even better with the Manley Snapper amps though.....I'm still trying to figure out how to purchase that rig.

Amherst
10-27-2010, 03:11 PM
Hi Ken, I think the set I own are referred to as "highboy's". They stand 3 ft. tall, and are 2 ft. in width. If memory serves me correctly... there are six drivers in the cabinet. The grill is non-removable.

These haven't been powered up in about 15 years. Something screwed up in my rig back then, and the wife was complaining about those monsters in the living room. So everything got packed away. I moved shortly thereafter to my current residence and the R3's have been in my bedroom closet since.

I have on several occasions wanted to brng them down from the second floor for a whirl and after talking about it, this may force me to carry them downstairs.

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 03:23 PM
Audio Research was my real audio breakthrough from really good quality solid state equipment (classic H-K separates) to vacuum tubes. A friend of mine was on good terms with the guys at House of Sound and he borrowed an ARC D75 amp. There was no other company making any audio gear that used tubes at that time. He let me borrow the amp and I flipped out! I couldn't believe how it sounded, just amazed. I sold my H-K Citation preamp and power amp and went completely nuts over the gear.
My two audiophile buddies became believers also, we kept calling the company and telling them how much we loved their stuff. True groupies! Then we started to think about how we could quit our jobs and open a "good stereo store". We had already been selling IMF speakers out of one of the guys houses and had done pretty good. Eventually we became ARC dealers and Bill Johnson, himself, flew his own small cargo plane to Baltimore with our first order. All those wonderful boxes full of lovely gear!

Kenneth Swauger
10-27-2010, 03:27 PM
Yes, the highboys were the better of the two. Those were the ones I would always suggest to people on the phone when I worked for International HiFi.
Pair them up with a good Sherwood receiver, Dual 1019 turntable, ADC phono cartridge and audio bliss!
I hope they're still kicking.

Amherst
10-27-2010, 03:53 PM
HeHe.....Phase Linear seperates with a Technics SL1300MK2. Yes, Bliss! :)

mhardy6647
10-27-2010, 05:48 PM
I remember a place in Baltimore called The Discerning Ear that sold ARC back when I was originally in the hifi hobby (late-1970s). I was very impressed by it then, and still am... but revisionist history hasn't been as kind to their power amps as to some other brands. Their vintage preamps are still held in some esteem.

on topic again (what the heck?)... I forget; were the Altec 604 Duplexes on the 12 "most significant" list? If not, they likely should've been. They're certainly on my list.

Gerald W
10-28-2010, 11:32 AM
Lots and lots to respond to here.

Troy - I thought your comment on "statement speaker" was good for the IRS V. Although such monster speakers as the Klipsch K, the E-V Patrician, JBL Ranger Paragon (especially the Paragon), and the Bozak Concert Grand might also fit into that category.

I gave some thought to Bozak, since my first post, and it dawnwed on me that it was really the first tuely "modular" design. E-V had they building block upgrade approach that had some modularity; but Bozak used the same three drivers in all the models. It really presaged the modular approach of Win Burhoe at EPI, and also the Polk line and a number of others today. So I'd nominate the Bozak B-302 for it's long term contribution to the concept of a modular design approach and also to the design of cone materials that evidenced themselves in KLH, Advent, and EPI speakers and others for many years. (the paper woofer cones, not the aluminum mid and tweeter cones)

There have been lots and lots of excellent speakers over the years; but to qualify for something as lofty as "the 12 most influential of all time" takes more than just good sound - to make that list, the speaker has to have an effect for a sustained period on designs that followed.

To Mark Hardy: Right, Tannoy was so pervasive in sound reinforcement and PA that Brits talked about hearing it on the Tannoy when talking about PA. Also common usage on the British ships. However, I do think the Tannoy coaxial predates the Altec 604; but either way, it's still around today.

Ooooh! Wait! Who first used the Acoustic Lens? Was that influential or what. Was the JBL Hartsfield the first? Lots and lots of use still today, although mostly in pro gear, although Bose uses them on cone tweeters.

One of the more fun threads I've participated in.

shack
10-28-2010, 01:36 PM
Infinity IRS V

This is one I would love to hear some day, however would not want to ever have to try and move it.


Infinity IRS V? Maybe not - what influence did it have decades later?


Jerry - I agree 100% on some of those....the Infinity was excessive for the sake of being excessive....

Yes...the Infinity IRS V was made....because they could.

I don't think we should overlook Infinity. It was a pair of Infinity Q (Quantum Series) speakers that really got me interested in the world of Hi-Fi.

Influence?.... I believe those early Infinity speakers were significant. The Qs were the first to have the EMIT tweeters and Watkins Woofers. The line evolved into the Reference Series that included the industry's first polypropylene woofers, 20 years ahead of their time.

The EMIT tweeter (Electro Magnetic Induction Tweeter) used powerful samarium cobalt magnets covered by a thin diaphragm. It was a ribbon style tweeter that was very light, thin, and super fast. Eventually these EMIT tweeters evolved into ribbon midranges and even upper bass drivers.

A Watkins Woofer (designed and patented by William H. Watkins) had a special dual voice coil to better handle the different frequencies the low end negating the need for a subwoofer!

The Qs and their successors the Reference series were designed in part by Arnie Nudel who also designed the IRS V then later left Infinity to form Genesis Speakers.

mhardy6647
10-28-2010, 02:27 PM
Lots and lots to respond to here.

Troy - I thought your comment on "statement speaker" was good for the IRS V. Although such monster speakers as the Klipsch K, the E-V Patrician, JBL Ranger Paragon (especially the Paragon), and the Bozak Concert Grand might also fit into that category.

I gave some thought to Bozak, since my first post, and it dawnwed on me that it was really the first tuely "modular" design. E-V had they building block upgrade approach that had some modularity; but Bozak used the same three drivers in all the models. It really presaged the modular approach of Win Burhoe at EPI, and also the Polk line and a number of others today. So I'd nominate the Bozak B-302 for it's long term contribution to the concept of a modular design approach and also to the design of cone materials that evidenced themselves in KLH, Advent, and EPI speakers and others for many years. (the paper woofer cones, not the aluminum mid and tweeter cones)

There have been lots and lots of excellent speakers over the years; but to qualify for something as lofty as "the 12 most influential of all time" takes more than just good sound - to make that list, the speaker has to have an effect for a sustained period on designs that followed.

To Mark Hardy: Right, Tannoy was so pervasive in sound reinforcement and PA that Brits talked about hearing it on the Tannoy when talking about PA. Also common usage on the British ships. However, I do think the Tannoy coaxial predates the Altec 604; but either way, it's still around today.

Ooooh! Wait! Who first used the Acoustic Lens? Was that influential or what. Was the JBL Hartsfield the first? Lots and lots of use still today, although mostly in pro gear, although Bose uses them on cone tweeters.

One of the more fun threads I've participated in.

So are the 604 Duplexes... sort of :-) www.greatplainsaudio.com

Speaking of acoustic lenses... the topic came up somewhere (AK, I think... or maybe here!) just yesterday.

mhardy6647
10-28-2010, 03:00 PM
Speaking of acoustic lenses... the topic came up somewhere (AK, I think... or maybe here!) just yesterday.

sorry - here's the reference:
http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/reference/technical/lens.htm

renowilliams
10-29-2010, 12:19 AM
The Ohm Walsh was definitely different. I can't believe JBL's studio monitors aren't listed.

I bought a pair of these (4311's) in 1976 and i remember being very pleased with my choice. In 1991 I moved back from living in Alberta and they were put into storage with some other funiture and they were stolen. A very sad day for me when I found that out. A friend of mine still has a pair and I go over for a listen from time to time.

Gerald W
10-29-2010, 10:41 PM
Shack: I like Infinity stuff, I had a biamped pair of RS2.5's for several years. Great bass; but a VERY difficult load to drive. The Infinity-Watkins woofers in those had a 2 ohm and 4 ohm voice coil in parallel. And because the mids and highs were dipoles, I had to completely redo the sound treatments in my listening room. Unfortunately, we sold the house and moved to a condo and there was no room for them.

I thought maybe the Infinity Servo-Static 1A was a better choice for influential than the IRS V. Motional feedback bass, electroststaic screens, switching power amp on the woofer. A local shop had the IRS at one time, and I was underwhelmed. Still, the question remains; where's the long term influence.

Jerry

sucks2beme
10-30-2010, 07:54 AM
A classic JBL like the L100 has to be on the list, love them or hate them.
The Snell type "E" should be there also. They are still in production
as a tweaked product through Audionote.
How about a top 50? 12 is way too short of a list. You could
do a top ten of each decade and come away with both a more complete
list, and a show of how the hobby progressed. Groundbreaking in
the 60's or 70's wasn't the same as it was in the 80's or the 90's.

shack
10-30-2010, 08:47 AM
Still, the question remains; where's the long term influence.

Jerry

My point was that there was long term influence by Infinity with their designs like the Q and Reference series that pre dated the IRS V. The EMIT tweeter, the polypropylene woofers, the servo driven woofer system, etc (which were influential in the audio world IMO) had all been in other speakers before the IRS V. That technology was simply incorporated en masse with the IRS V. So while the speakers themselves may not have a long term influence...the individual concepts used to create them did.

mhardy6647
10-30-2010, 10:04 AM
As I understand it (and, admittedly, most of this information was gleaned from teh interwebs, so take it "as-is", no warranty expressed or implied) the significance of the JBL L-100 and its studio monitor twins was to pack the sound of an Altec 604 Duplex into a small box. No mean feat, but 1) I still prefer the 604 and 2) does its modified copycat status make it in itself significant? I am on the fence with that one.

The most significant thing about the L-100 may have been that it (and Bart Locanthi) were directly responsible for the abomination in a box known as the Pioneer HPM-100 :-P

apphd
10-30-2010, 11:39 AM
I'm reading this and trying to stay focused on the difference between significant and great, and wonder if something had to be hi-fi to be significant. Looks like many would qualify as both, but I have to bring one up, which surely wasn't great or even a top 12er but I keep thinking of the Minimus 7. I think this packed a lot of sound into a small package and price that was not normal for it's time, and maybe influenced some things (maybe negatively) about the direction audio was moving.

80'sMan
10-31-2010, 12:43 PM
While not a high-end speaker, back in the age of the battle of the monster receivers (late 70's / early 80's) and the explosion of hard rock, the Radio Shack Mach One's were in every early headbanger's dream list. Made a big influence on the youth of the day, d their hearing!

mhardy6647
10-31-2010, 02:41 PM
Relative to my taste (then and now); awful sounding speakers, the Mach Ones.
Significant? Pretty similar in design concept to Klipsch Heresys (which are, actually, also sort of awful, although with excellent electronics and program material can be listenable).

toucanet
10-31-2010, 03:57 PM
I would like to nominate the Wilson Audio Maxx2. Superb sound.

Are any Polkies also owners of these beasts?