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Fulton FMI-80

47.150.203.194

Posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:46:48
docw
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Location: So. California
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Just curious, doing a survey anticipating using them again.

What is your associated equipment?

I have used a McIntosh MA 5100 and some of my separates in the past.

Room is modest sized, volume modest, sources will be CD, FM, may be bluetooth in the future and DVD.

 

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RE: Fulton FMI-80, posted on January 12, 2017 at 07:16:16
Crazy Dave
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Are you looking for inmates who own Fulton-FMI 80's. I don't think there are many. What did Fulton use?

Dave

 

RE: Fulton FMI-80, posted on January 12, 2017 at 09:27:58
BillH
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My impression is that these are as rare as hens' teeth, or mint JBL Paragons for their original cost.

 

RE: Fulton FMI-80, posted on January 12, 2017 at 10:02:35
Salectric
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I have a pair of FMI-80's although they haven't been used for several years. They definitely like a tube amp and I have had very good results with vintage push-pull amps like a modified Dyna ST-70 or EICO HF-35.

I heard a story many years ago that Bob Fulton was visiting one of his dealers (Pro Musica) and was manning the store alone while the store employees went out to lunch. A customer stopped in and wanted to hear the Fulton J-Modulars but the only amp available was a stock Dyna 70. Fulton said he had no reservations about demonstrating the speakers with the Dyna, and the customer was so impressed he bought the speakers. So if the ST-70 is good enough for a J-Mod setup, I don't think it would be a bad choice for the FMI-80 alone.

 

My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 12, 2017 at 12:25:52
Michael Samra
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I had a friend that worked at GM that had four of them running in his basement and this was in the mid 70s when I was in High School.I was lucky enough to get a pair used and they had bass cabinets with two woofers with one that fired down and the FMI-80s were in the middle and the RTR-6 electrostatic tweeters were on top.I managed to find another pair of RTR-6 tweeters later after I sold the Js and then I inherited a pair of FMI-80s later.
The FMI-80s are fantastic but Bob Fulton could set those up like nobody else could.When I sold the Fulton Js,I bought a pair of IMF TLS-80s. Talk about a step down,that was the dumbest thing I've ever done,up until that point.
Anyway,the FMI-80s do very well 6BQ5 PP amps or 7868 amps.I was running my Js with an original GAS Ampzilla that I built from a kit.I was driving that with a Dynaco Pat5. It sounded very good at the time.
Of course,most everyone was using a little south of the border herbal enhancement in those days so everything sounded good as I recall. LOL.
These were like my Fulton Js and you can see the FMI-80s in the middle.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

I use FMI-100's in my office system..., posted on January 12, 2017 at 12:44:16
midshipman
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Location: Chicago
Joined: February 4, 2007
...their sound is just so smooth and balanced in the midrange. I would love to find a decent pair of J-mods. Still one of the better speakers I have ever heard.

 

Beautiful!, posted on January 12, 2017 at 12:56:47
Salectric
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That photo really brings back memories. I would have given anything to have a pair of J-Mods but just didn't have the funds.

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 12, 2017 at 15:45:14
Crazy Dave
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Did you use the Fulton recommended "jumper cables" for speaker wire? He was one of the first to suggest that cables made a difference.

Dave

 

RE: Fulton FMI-80, posted on January 12, 2017 at 16:05:59
M3 lover
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Hi doc,

When Fultons were current we had a dealer in San Diego, Mission Bay Audio. That was owned by a psychiatrist/music lover who ardently followed Stereophile. He called J Gordon Holt almost weekly asking about latest recommendations. For those too young to know, Holt included the J System as a Class A speaker at that time.

The store offered two different electronics setups with the Fultons. Either ARC tubes with the high end or Harman Kardon with the modestly priced speakers like the 80s. Word had it at that time that Bob Fulton worked with HK on their 430 receiver to insure it matched well with the FMI 80s. There were at least two HK receiver models above that, I think both also offering the "twin power" of mono amps within the receiver chassis like the 430.

I helped a couple of friends put together systems built around the 430/FMI 80.

So I'm sure many current amps in the 25-50 watt range could work well, but an updated (fresh caps, tuner alignment) HK 430 in that suggested system might surprise many people. Good luck.

"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 12, 2017 at 20:07:29
Michael Samra
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In those days I used Monster cable.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 12, 2017 at 20:58:58
hahax@verizon.net
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I used Fulton Golds(given to me by Bob when he was at Holt's in Pa) for years until I noticed they were turning green. Their biggest problem was the highs. But a friend showed me a trick that improved them noticeably.

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 12, 2017 at 21:00:45
hahax@verizon.net
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I recall asking Bob at Chicago CES once what J stood for. It was junior. So I asked if there was an S for senior and he said he knew what he wanted to do but he never built it.

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 13, 2017 at 18:15:19
Crazy Dave
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What was the trick?

Dave

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 13, 2017 at 18:16:09
Crazy Dave
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As most of us did. There wasn't much choice.

Dave

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 13, 2017 at 20:36:07
hahax@verizon.net
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Location: New Jersey
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Wrap the cables in foam pipe insulation partly to minimize vibration affects. Then wrap the two cables together with ties. Then the positive signal goes down one set of cables. The negative down the other. The spacing caused by the insulation reduces inductance improving the top end(Fulton Gold had increasing inductance as frequency increased). Of course you need to use short lengths of other wire at each end to connect to the right and left on the amp and the speakers. That's not a bad idea with Fulton Golds in any format since it was so unwieldy and could be a pain to connect to amps or speakers any way.

Since the oxidation of my Fulton Golds I now use short speaker cables with my amp between the speakers and long interconnects from preamp to amp which is working quite well.

 

When I worked..., posted on January 13, 2017 at 21:19:03
Jim Treanor
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at San Jose's Garland Audio in the late 1970's, Bob Fulton walked in lugging a 28'-long pair of his Golds (not an easy task, given their bulk and weight).

"What do you have there, Bob?" grinned John Garland. "Suspension cables for the Golden Gate Bridge?"

Bob frowned. And then talked antenna theory as we bolted the lug ends into banana-plugs so we could attach the pain-to-maneuver cable to Maggie 1D's and an ARC D-150. We fired up the system, listened...and John didn't laugh at Bob anymore.

Jim
http://jimtranr.com

 

RE: Beautiful!, posted on January 13, 2017 at 22:13:07
Michael Samra
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I was fixing TVs back in the mid 70s when I was in 10th thru 12th grade. Back then,most people still had tube TVs.I would put a classified ad in the paper and charge six dollar service calls when the shops were getting 15 to 20 dollars.I would buy tubes wholesale and in those days,there was a 65% markup and more.I would buy 100 6GH8s for 99 cents each in the summer special in June. Each tube sold for 3.90 cents and the RCA CTC24 had six of them in it.Usually tho,you would be replacing four to five tubes in the RCA and Magnavox TVS. The 6LQ6,the 3A3,the 6CJ3,the 6BK4,and the 6FQ7.I was doing two to three a day at times and it was nothing to have 250 dollars profit in your pocket by the end of the day.That's how I bought all those goodies.It's also how I met my audio mentor. He was director of the maintenance dept of St MARY's hospital in Saginaw,but he also fixed TVS for people at the hospital and others.He got stuck on a TV that he couldn't fix, a Magnavox color flesh tone problem so he called me and he knew much more than I did then.I saw these Klipsch horns tho with EV drivers and he was powering them with a knight KB85 and a Dyna Pat 5.That consumed my interest much more than that TV.We finally figured out what was wrong with that set after 2 weeks of messing with stereo because I told him if we replace every component in the 3.58mc circuit,we would probably fix it.I started changing parts until we fixed it and it turned out to be a pair of 1N60 phasing diodes.Anyway,if it weren't for that Magnavox TV with the color flesh tone problem,,I probably wouldn't be in high end audio.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: My very first high end speaker system was the Fulton Js, posted on January 18, 2017 at 21:45:40
the old school
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My reference speakers are Fulton Js that I bought new over 30 years ago. I am driving them with a Margules U280 SC amp and the sound is fantastic. I have heard only a few speakers that can match what the Fulton Js effortlessly do.

 

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