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I was at a garage sale over the weekend and found a pair of Fisher XP-1A speakers for 10 bucks - very solid heavy cabinets. Anybody know when these were made? I've only heard some slightly negative things about Fisher speakers, but when I got them home and hooked them up (had to fiddle with the tweeter pot on the back - both had some dead spots), they actually sounded very, very good to me - a pleasant surprise.
My 1963 Allied Radio Catalogue lists them at $110.10 each, and they came in a cabinet approximately the same size as the later, and more expensive, XP-7 and XP-9 models. They were reasonably expensive for the time - if you use an inflation factor, they would cost around $800 each today.
While I do not have this model, I do have the XP-5, XP-9, and XP-15 models. They all have a similar sound: muted highs, warm, expansive midrange, and deep but restrained bass. My daughter, who plays the cello, says the Fisher speakers, especially when paired with tube electronics, make symphonic music sound the way she hears it when she plays in her orchestras. Apparently, Avery Fisher, who played the violin, had NY Philharmonic musicians listen to his speakers and critique them. He then incorporated their thoughts in the final speaker design.
They do not sound like modern speakers, with their usual transparent clarity in the upper ranges. But, to some people, they sound like an orchestra should.
I connected these to a Bell 2425 (6V6 PP) and they sound just the way they've been described on this thread. I had a pair of modern cheapo 3 way Jensens connected to this amp and it always sounded like the equalization was shifted too much toward the mid and high - not enough bass (always had to crank the bass control up), and what bass was there was too boomy, but the Fisher speakers sound much more "balanced" with deeper and more defined bass - I need to replace the crossovers and clean the attenuator control on the back, but these seem to be a great match to this amp.
I've not experienced the XP-1's. However, I'm very familiar with the Xp-7, 7B,...9,9B,9C..the 10, and the Xp-18. I own most of these and have auditioned the others. Fisher made some crap stuff for sure, but the XP-series at least through Xp-18, were good stuff. They aren't to everyones taste because they were built to reproduce the acoustic Symphonic concert hall experience. That was the goal of all the Fisher equipment. Avery was after all, a devotee of the classical genre. Pair any of these speakers with a good tube amp/preamp and they'll just knock your socks off. I've tried any number of different combinations of amps and speakers and always come back the Fishers. For now, I'm running a 680-A power amp with a 202-T preamp/tuner through 2 sets of XP-9's. Can't afford the TT of my dreams right now, but I've got a good Yamaha. For CD's, I use a Denon DVD-2800 deck. I've auditioned a bunch of Cd decks including several of the Denon models and none of them come close to the quality I get from the DVD 2800.
You will undoubtedly hear a lot of negative stuff about fisher speakers, There's plenty of it in the archives here...and no small part of from folks who've never even actually heard a set of them! In the end, trust your ears! If you like them, enjoy them...:)! Walt
I'm with Tuubvac on this one. I've never heard the Fishers you got, but I've had the XP-7B and XP-55B and both were very fine speakers paired with the right source. If you listen to a lot of classical and jazz as I do early Fisher speakers are hard to beat!
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