The Speaker Spotter – February 14th, 2016

Another installment of the occasional series “The Speaker Spotter”, showcasing interesting speakers for sale right now on the local Seattle Craigslist. As always, I am not affiliated with any of these postings. If the linked ad doesn’t load, it’s likely the item already sold. If you like what you see, you should contact the seller by clicking through to the original posting.

Soniphase Fully Horn-Loaded Speakers
$1795 in Kent

The seller describes these as similar to Klipschorns or La Scalas, and indeed they look very similar to a K-Horn except a bit narrower, and with a port at the bottom front. 15″ woofer down to 35 Hz without a corner (and lower in one), and treble to past 20 KHz sounds like a good combination to me.

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RTR DR-1 Electrostatic Hybrid Speakers
$1999 in Kent

“These completely unique speakers were manufactured by RTR in around 1980 or 81. They utilize a cylindrical electrostatic element from 350hz/up and an innovative three-woofer bass section from 350/below.” These speakers look unlike anything I’ve ever seen, but I’d love to listen to a pair. Shared without further comment because I’m unfamiliar with the entire RTR line-up – but I’m fascinated.

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Marantz Imperial 6G Speakers
$160 in Olympia, WA

Solidly designed, no-frills speakers, these are pretty efficient and have a 10″ woofer and a phenolic ring tweeter. I’m a big fan of the way the phenolic ring driver manages to sound both clear and accurate, but without any rough edges; any speaker with the ring tweeter is worth a look anyway. The dust covers on the woofers are pushed in but it looks like the grille cloths are intact. Not a bad set of speakers for a starter vintage system.

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Coral BX 2000 Speakers
$175 in Olympia, WA

I’ve always understood Coral speakers to be a great example of “kabuki” speakers which had their driver selection and placement dictated more by aesthetics than acoustics, although some of them can sound pretty good. I’m not sure where these fit into the line-up, but they have interesting fan-shaped diffusers over the twin mids and twin tweeters, and what looks like a 12″ woofer. I’d guess it probably sounds somewhat similar to a Sansui.

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“Speaker Factory” Speakerlab Speakers
$300 in N. Seattle

Speakerlab built great products down to their entry-level models, both kits and manufactured speakers. They were fond of using components fairly similar to what Klipsch used at the time, and used some really innovative designs. By visiting the Speakerlab web site, I found these are Speakerlab 4s. (Page 23) I’m a fan of the Electrovoice T-35 tweeters used in these and many other Speakerlab speakers, I bet they sound great in a mid-sized system.

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Speakerlab Tower Speakers
$200 in Bonney Lake

These are an alternative driver arrangement of the Speakerlab 7s from the looks of it: tall horn mid, EV T-35 tweeter, and pair of 12″ woofers with one being a passive radiator. With the mid oriented vertically, though, I think these would have a very narrow sweet spot. Great to focus on your hifi chair, maybe not so great if these are going to be paired with a stereo system by a couch. Very interesting!

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Speakerlab 7s
$350 in Everett, WA

Another set of Speakerlab 7s, again in a nontraditional cabinet. These are in rough shape compared with the previous set. The T-35 is mounted vertically in this set, with the midrange horn mounted horizontally along the top. Fortunately, the builder set up the T-35s to be directional so there’s a “Left” and “Right” speaker which will allow for adjusting the sound field a bit more accurately.

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Speakerlab K-Horns
$450 in Marysville, WA

This is a set of the later-generation Speakerlab Ks. The earlier generation was a very close clone of the Klipsch Klipschorn, being fully horn loaded. These have a folded horn with either a 12″ or a 15″ woofer, a front-firing 8″ cone midrange, and vertically mounted EV T-35 tweeter. I bet they sound quite good, and could be used in a room a little smaller than the full-sized K-Horns. The prices vary wildly on them, but this seems to be fair.

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“Large Vintage Speakers, Horns & Woofers” 
$300 in Lakeridge

These look really interesting, like they might be a clone of an Altec Lansing of some kind. The woofers need to be refoamed. The owner doesn’t know what brand the drivers are, either. These do look like they’d be a really good project, and you might get lucky with the drivers.

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Microtower MT-1 Stereo Speakers
$35 in Lakewood, WA

Definitely coming in at the bottom end of the price range, I’ve actually featured these before at a slightly higher price. They’re just kind of novel. These are a pair of enclosures with two 4.5″ drivers mounted in the top and a lengthy cavity and port opening on the bottom. Maybe an early type of waveguide cabinet? I don’t think these would win any awards for sound quality, but they might be interesting to listen to.

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One Response to The Speaker Spotter – February 14th, 2016

  1. Richard says:

    I always find these Speaker Spotter CL posts fascinating and entertaining. I plan to list my JBL 4430’s soon – maybe they’ll make it in.

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