There’s always something interesting for sale on Craigslist, especially in Seattle. Here’s a selection of especially notable vintage speakers and other audio products for sale on the local Craigslist. I’m not affiliated with any of these sales, but if you’re interested, you should contact the seller through the respective Craigslist page! Do click through each of the titles – the original postings contain a lot more information and many more photos, along with the seller’s contact information to request more information. If the ads are removed, the speaker probably sold, so don’t be alarmed if some links don’t work.
This issue of the Speaker Spotter covers both interesting finds in Seattle and Portland since last week. And so:
I bet these have a very wide sound stage from the bipolar angled design.
Bose 601 Direct/Reflecting speakers produce a very wide, warm, rich sound that’s very life-like. The 601 speakers feature a pair of 8″ woofers and 4 tweeters arranged in a reflecting pattern. When properly set up in a room they sound excellent.
These speakers started out as the flat-pack kit Speakerlab K-Horns, but the builder took some liberty with the designs. Instead of the same driver compliment usually found on the Klipschorns, with the pair of Electro-Voice mid and high horn drivers, they seem to have elected to build the bass cabinets and use alternate mid and high frequency drivers in separate enclosures. This would make the base of an interesting frankenhorn system, perhaps paired with an Altec or JBL multicell horn on top?
From before Fisher went a bit downmarket, these look pretty interesting and might perform well. The seller reports the woofers (12″ or 15″) have been refoamed, and the phenolic ring tweeters typically appeared on higher end equipment, including speakers made by Altec Lansing and Marantz.
Vintage Infinity speakers aren’t especially common in my experience. These are shallow 4-way designs featuring a pair of Emit planar tweeters (one in front, one on the rear) with dome midrange drivers. The Emit tweeters are bright and crisp, I bet these have a lot of definition in the high end.
With what looks to be 8″ woofers and horizontally mounted Emit planar tweeters, these vintage Infinity bookshelf speakers probably sound great for near-field listening.
I rather like the vintage wood lattice grille Kenwood speakers. In this case, this is a pair of KL-777As, 4-way/6-driver, and a pair of 333D 3-way/3-driver speakers. These are known for being very lively and musical and would make an excellent, affordable vintage quad system.
I don’t run into Marantz speakers very often and haven’t heard a set myself, but I know they have a reputation for being able to thump and in general sounding excellent. These look like they’re from the ’80s, a bit flashy, but worth checking out!
These are pretty rare vintage hi-fi speakers from Sweden. They have an interesting reflecting design that reminds me a bit of the Bose 601, with angled upward-firing woofers and four tweeters. It’s a very interesting design, I’m curious how they sound!
These have been on Craigslist a few times in the local area in the last year. It looks like they’ve changed hands since the last time, and the price is considerably higher. These have the 15″ woofer inside the folded horn and an Electro-Voice tweeter, but feature a 6.5″ midrange driver instead of a midrange horn. I believe this was the last year Speakerlab sold the corner horn design, which had moved away from the Klipsch-inspired design of the Speakerlab K.
You don’t see these very often, the Speakerlab Six is one size down from the Super 7s. The main difference is the Six lacks the 10″ passive radiator found on the Seven, and accordingly different driver placement.
If one of these speakers looks interesting, click through to Craigslist and contact the seller!
If you’re reading this, I can really use your help! I’m entering Intuit’s Small Business Local Buzz contest for marketing funds for Rain City Audio to spread the word about high-quality, transparent antique radio and vintage hi-fi repair. Please – visit the web site and vote by clicking! No registration or sign-up of any kind required. Vote once per day!
This Bose 901 Series I Active Equalizer came to me from North Carolina, where it had been stored in original packaging for many years. Unfortunately even with careful storage the equalizer wasn’t in running condition and it looks like the years hadn’t been great to it.
This one has an engraving on the back from a previous owner. These equalizers have been around a long time and many have had several owners.
The plating had experienced pretty serious corrosion. The board itself wasn’t in much better shape – corrosion was growing up the component legs through the board and was degrading the copper traces and the board material itself.
This one was tough because the traces were damaged around many pads and required very careful soldering to make solid connections.
The original transistors all had very bad corrosion on their legs so they all were replaced. The 22 mH inductors in the low frequency circuit also were replaced with new precision models as the ultrafine wire had failed from internal corrosion.
The owner of this equalizer requested I install some pigtail jacks to help them connect thicker interconnect cables to their equalizer. The narrow pitch of the RCA jacks from the early 1970s isn’t wide enough to accommodate today’s highest quality interconnects and these are a great solution to adapt to the last few inches of cable run. It’s also a fully reversible modification.
This equalizer got an upgrade to the output capacitors to audiophile-grade film capacitors. These really bring out the fine detail in the music in a way that’s just not possible with the original electrolytic capacitors, and this is a great way to bring some of the advances in materials science over the last 45 years to these classic speakers.
This equalizer sounded great in testing and really delivered on the wide, powerful sound the Bose 901 speakers are known for!
These Active Equalizers are key to the system’s performance and it’s important to have them working in top condition. If you need yours repaired, I can help.
There’s always something interesting for sale on Craigslist, especially in Seattle. Here’s a selection of especially notable vintage speakers and other audio products for sale on the local Craigslist. I’m not affiliated with any of these sales, but if you’re interested, you should contact the seller through the respective Craigslist page!
Do click through each of the titles – each of the postings contains a lot more information and many more photos, along with the seller’s contact information to request more information.
These beautiful hardwood columns from the early 1970s have an interesting baffling and porting arrangement to give an especially wide sound stage. I’m sure they’d do well as room-fillers on either side of a couch, or as a part of a full vintage system.
It looks like these cabinets are now being reproduced for loading with your own drivers. I’m sure this cabinet sounds incredible when properly loaded – it’s interesting to see another large corner-horn design other than the Klipsch version.
That’s a massive woofer, and a big horn hidden behind that diffuser. I’d love to hear what these sound like paired with a nice amplifier.
These wouldn’t work with every decor, but they sure are interesting looking. I’d love to hear how these sound with the 52″ full-range drivers and 8″ midbass in each enclosure.
Speakerlab speakers always interest me both because they’re local to Seattle and are still in business, and because they seem to design innovative speakers with very interesting driver pattern. These have a 10″ lower woofer and 8″ upper woofer, cone midrange and the ribbon tweeter.
It’s unfortunate that Altec Lansing is known for mediocre computer speakers and iPod docking stations these days; these classic Altec Lansing Santana II are from another lifetime entirely when they were a high-end speaker manufacturer. These are very understated and I’m sure sound great.
These Pioneer speakers have a pretty complex looking 4-way design with a film supertweeter which kicks in from 12 kHz up to the top of its frequency response at a whole 25 kHz. That’s well beyond most people’s hearing ranges.
These vintage coaxial speakers are new in their original boxes from what might be the early 1950s. That can’t be a common find! There used to be a set of Electro-Voice Regency cabinets on Craigslist earlier with room for a 12″ driver; these would’ve gone perfectly with those cabinets.
I’ve never seen Cornwalls with this driver configuration before – typically they’re centered and the horns are horizontal. They’ve got an original Klipsch product tag, though!
There’s some cosmetic damage, but I like to see through minor cosmetic damage to the inner beauty of a pair of vintage speakers. Heresys in particular strike me as a kind of speaker that appreciates being well-loved and builds a little bit of character with every mark.
You sure don’t see these very often. 1958 Shorthorns. Loaded with similar drivers as the Klipschorns, I’d love to listen to a pair from this far back in the history. Did Paul Klipsch inspect this set himself?
Even the full, later version doesn’t turn up on Craigslist very often. I own the Speakerlab clone; I wonder how much better still the original Klipsch sounds!
Follow the linked titles to the original ads! They’re likely to be deleted when they sell or the ad expires, so if you’re interested, contact the sellers!
I just had another Bose 901 Series I equalizer through the shop for the standard service. It didn’t have a visible serial number, but is definitely a very early production version. The Active Equalizer was revised once through the model’s production run, with serial numbers below about 10,000 being a substantially different PCB layout from the Second Production equalizer. I don’t run into these Early Production ones very often, and each one is a little bit different. Towards the end of the first production run, they started to appear with riveted jacks but this early version has screwed down jacks on the rear. It’s always interesting to see what variations there were before they standardized on the later design.
Bose 901 Active Equalizers, along with Bose 800, 402E and 802 controllers often need service these days, with more and more original units failing as they can now be over 45 years old. By replacing all of the leaking capacitors and resistors which have drifted from their nominal values, they can be restored to perform like when they were new!
The Series I Early Production boards have no solder mask and so no component labels on the top side. The circuit has some major differences to the circuit of the Series I Second Production equalizer, but they function the same. Double-checking is the way to go to here. In the Second Production equalizer, there are 2 large and 7 small filter capacitors plus the four output and feedback capacitors arranged on the top row towards the jacks in a line. The layout is more chaotic on this early board; the wiring to the switches also has quite a bit of slack in it.
The Early Production equalizer users 12 transistors, 2N3393, with 10 wired up as amplifiers and 2 wired up as Zener diodes, bypassed by 3.3 uF capacitors. I’ve replaced the 2 extra transistors with discrete Zener diodes and the original leaky package transistors with brand new TO-92s of the same number. In the case of this early version, the original transistor packages seem prone to failure, and I’ve never run into one without dead original 2N3393 so they’re all replaced immediately now. The second production version used 2N5088s, and realistically they’re interchangeable, but I stock both so each can be replaced with the original part number.
This one is in very good physical condition, it looks like it has been stored very well. The switches were a bit sticky, but a careful application of contact cleaner followed by working the switch cleaned it right up so it’s much improved.
Shining a light from beyind the board, it’s easy to see the traces on the back side. The new transistors pinouts are different from the original, so they mount differently in their sockets:
This equalizer received a complete reconditioning, and an upgrade to the output capacitors to audiophile-grade film capacitors – these really help bring out the fine details in the music that aren’t there with the electrolytic output capacitors. This is one major advantage of technology today – and simple upgrades like this at the time of service can bring some modern improvements to these classic speakers.
The Early Production equalizers take a bit more time to recondition because of the board layout, but they’re very enjoyable to work on. The PCB swings up with all the connections on one side, so nothing needs to be de-soldered from the panel to service the board, and the traces tend to be wide and easy to solder to. With these repairs, this equalizer is going to sound fantastic for years to come.
I’m happy to announce Rain City Audio can offer classic speaker refurbishment!
Classic speakers are always a delight to work on, and speakers have capacitors and other parts which require service, too. Over the years those components can fail and result in poor sound and even potential speaker damage.
In this case, the speakers on the bench are the Ohm Acoustics Model D. Ohm is more well-known for the Walsh speakers which produce an interesting omnidirectional sound from a vertically oriented cone; these Model D speakers were a more economical version that still offers warm and rich sound, especially known as being great for rock and roll music.
Ohm is still in business making boutique hi-fi speakers, and these speakers which originally cost $400 a pair in the early 1970s are still worth a $400 trade-in credit towards a new set today. They feature a 10″ woofer and a CTS phenolic ring tweeter packaged in a solid hardwood cabinet with a resistive (aperiodic) port. A resistive port is half-way between an acoustic suspension enclosure and a reflex enclosure, it’s not the most common design. Inside, there’s a 2 uF and a 20 uF crossover capacitor, an inductor, and a rheostat to adjust the tweeter level.
These speakers were used for only a few years in the ’70s, picking up only the tiniest of nicks and dings, before they were put back in their original boxes and stored for the next 40 years. Even with such careful storage, though, the woofer foam had degraded and was due to be replaced – so the first order of business was new foam surrounds.
Then it was to address the crossovers.
Bad capacitors mean bad sound! And this one certainly was bad. It’s supposed to measure 20 uF, but instead is measuring 0.0013 uF. That’s no good at all.
And this one’s showing more ESR than I’d like:
Beautiful classic speakers like this deserve nothing but the best, so I used brand new audiophile grade film crossover capacitors which are exceptionally stable and have a low dissipation factor for unmatched performance.
It was rather interesting – these were purchased as a pair, but inside, used slightly different capacitors. Both of the same value, but one used a single 20 uF bipolar capacitor and the other used a pair of 10 uF in parallel.
Now, it’s time to put the woofers back into the cabinets after cleaning up the gaskets:
Finally, time to package it all back up!
These speakers are for sale! $225. Please contact me for more information.
A local client brought me a radio which was in the family for many years, a cute little “fridge radio” made by Westinghouse from 1945-1947. The same year Westinghouse released this new model of home refrigerator, they also released this Little Jewel radio in the same style as a companion. Many examples of this radio found their way into homes and kitchens over the years and are a great little collectible from the post-war era.
This little radio is a 6-tube AC/DC radio with a series-string tube line-up, 12SK7 12SA7 12SF7 12SJ7 35L6 35Z5. It has an integral tuned loop antenna and an RF Amplifier for great performance.
They sure packed it into here, too. The radio is held in place by two chassis bolts, one in each side and a rod which stabilizes it in place.
The dial scale has badly warped with age, but the grille cloth is nicely intact.
This radio’s owner mentioned that it had been playing but recently cut out. No surprise why – the original parts under the chassis looked to be in pretty bad shape!
Melted, leaking and blown capacitors will cause all sorts of issues – no wonder it wasn’t running like it used to! This radio was pretty cramped underneath the chassis, but there was enough room to install both electrolytic filter capacitors and the cathode bypass capacitor on the output tube under the chassis instead of needing to re-stuff the can on top.
I had a reproduction dial scale made up to replace the warped original, and replaced some tubes which were testing weak.
Finally, it was time to test it out and tweak the alignment trimmers, then back together! It sounds a lot better than I’d expect with such a small radio – the case makes an interesting vented enclosure. On 880 KIXI, you can really hear the low notes, and the vent on the top seems to serve as a port for the speaker.
After being refurbished electrically, this radio is going to perform beautifully for many years. It’s got a rich tone and great audio clarity even more than you might think from such a small speaker.