These are my favorite "cheap" speakers. I purchased them in 1986 through the company's (Fanfare Acoustics) "direct audition" program. I was quite surprised and impressed by the sound they produced, especially considering the price: $171 inclusive of shipping. These are the only vintage speakers, other than my SDA's, that I have held on to over the years.
I might be one of only a handful of people that actually bought a pair of these speakers as I have never run across a pair on the used market. The company was in business for about five years and then seemingly vanished without a trace. They received several favorable reviews in the Hi-Fi press. I first saw them in an ad in Audio magazine.
The following is taken from a Fanfare brochure:
"THE FANFARE STORY
Founded in 1983 with the goal of building state of the art speakers at reasonable prices, Fanfare has earned an enviable reputation with music lovers, audiophiles and critics. With products offering great value at the retail prices set by conventional distribution through high-end audio retailers, Fanfare is now taking the bold step to offer even better value and service to audiophiles and music lovers. With DIRECT AUDITION the customer enjoys wholesale level pricing, plus the advantage of being able to audition the Fanfare speakers in the actual listening environment where they will be used, including both the room and equipment.
There are two critically acclaimed models in the Fanfare line: the Tempo II and the Prelude. Both speakers feature wrap around black doubleknit grills, with solid oak end caps on the top and bottom. They feature heavy duty gold binding post terminals, European dome tweeters, custom built and designed woofers with polypropylene cones, plus the advantages of minimum diffraction, minimum phase error design. Both models are known for extraordinary imaging, matural balance and high definition.
The Prelude is a two way system with a 19mm dome tweeter and a high linearity 6-1/2" polypropylene woofer. The Prelude offers surprisingly good bass from a compact enclosure. At its retail price of $285 a pair it was called "Superb value" by Hi-Fi Heretic magazine. At its new Direct Audition price of $171 per pair, the Fanfare Prelude invites direct comparison with such small speakers as the Spica TC-50 and the Celestion SL-6 in every aspect except price.
Under the terms of the "Direct Audition" plan, the customer has 30 days from the date of shipment to audition the speakers. If the customer should decide for any reason not to keep the speakers, he (or she) can call the toll-free number and Fanfare will arrange to have UPS pick them up. Once the speakers arrive at the factory in good shape, a full refund will be issued to the customer, paid by company check.
Size: 14-1/2" H x 9-1/2" W x 9-1/2" D
Nominal impedance: 6 ohms
Minimum impedance: 3 ohms
Efficiency: 90 dB/1w/1m
Frequency response: 55 to 22,000 Hz +/- 2 dB
Minimum Power: 20 watts
Weight: 16 pounds
System type: Minimum diffraction two-way, with Thile QB3 bass."
The little black rectangles in front of the speakers are metal badges with the name "Fanfare" engraved on them. Those of you who have been reading me for a while know that I do not like badges of any kind on my speakers.