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...and early 70s...
I just read an interview with ATC's engineers and they said when the co. was founded ('74), they tried to blend the high dynamic-range of U.S speakers ("often horns") with the "better fidelity" of the U.K.
I know about Klipsch and Altec, but I thought most audiophile-choices in the 60s were ESLs -Quad, Janzen, KLH, Infinity. It appears Acoustat, Beveridge and Dayton-Wright came out in the 70s.
My late Father had big sand-filled Wharfedale W-60 speakers.
There was a lot of DIY going on in the 60s (still is, of course). I mounted a pair of University 6201 coax types in Rockford cabinets. Made no attempt to optimize the "stuffing." Looked way better than they sounded. My first "real" stereo speakers were KLH 6.
But you had better choices ! Like the 604, Jensen, Tannoy or Stephens kits -but these were in the 50s. (gone by the 60s ?)
High End speakers of the 60's were derivatives of designs from the 50's. Large horns, and AR. Very little innovation or real change until the 70's.
To your question:
Altec A7 and domestic enclosure models
JBL Ranger Paragon
Bozak Concert Grand
Electro Voice Patrician
If there is a common element, it would be that all were BIG (AR is the exception), and required a large room to perform at their best.
All of the above had limitations. BUT there remains a very loyal group of listeners who feel that the above models, when properly restored, can still outperform many more current speakers.
Food for thought.
I didn't know the VOTT's had domestic sizes. I knew J. Gordon Holt reviewed the A7 in 1968.
Late 60s/early 70s -(other) Altec's were out -Valencia, etc. The Klipsch La Scalla was reviewed in '71 in High Fidelity -a major magazine.
Horns could have been BIG with audiophiles in the 70s and 80s. But solid-state circuits, in my view, hurt their sound. So revealing a horn is. Then the ESL -by the 70s anyway, blew right past the horn in transparency.
Don't know about the top end models but KLH and AR likely dominated the market because they were significantly smaller and less expensive than the Bozaks, EVs,Altec-Lansings, Tannoys, Hartleys and JBLs of the 50s, especially with stereo - people were more likely to have room for two relatively small boxes than two big boxes. Quad and KLH Nines were likely a minority because they were large and needed a fair amount of space around them, but didn't have enough output for a really big room. Advent came out in the late 60s and were very popular because it was good sound at a low price, and the Rectilinear III also made an impact at the tail end of the 60s and early 70s.
A look at the Stereophile Class A speakers in 1964 shows:
KLH 9, Bozak B310, EV Patrician 800, Altec A7
Class B: Dynamo A-25, Janszen Z600 and Z960, Quad Electrostatic
In 1971, Class A: KLH9 4 panels, Inifinity Servo-Static 1, Hartley Concertmaster
Class B: Advent, Janszen Z600, Quad ESL, Gartley 220MS/Holton, KLH9 2 panels
Family and I started in 1968, owned AR 3 (family system), AR 2ax, AR 4, then McIntosh ML 1, followed by real high end stuff. The competition was KLH and JBL and Altec, etc.
When I moved to another town in the 70's, I bought a pair of used ESS Transtatic I, not Heil. These had Brit pancake woofs (KEF), KEF B 200 and 2 blue panels of stat's. The panels blew spontaneously with no music playing, plugged into the wall. So I had to fashion another way, replacing with KEF T 27.
Lets not forget the war brides from Sansui, Pioneer, JVC and Kenwood. Some were quite good. I had Sansui SP2000's in my main system for quite a while.
I Had different versions of AR's. They were great
Hartley Luth, Best speakers ever made.
Perhaps, but I don't know of anyone who had one.
Well, not many people driving Ferrari GTO's either but it wouldn't stop me from picking one as the car auto enthusiasts wanted in the 60's. All kidding aside. i was lucky enough to get an original set, and after working my way through most of the best speakers from sixties, I can honestly say that to me, these are the best speakers I ever head in my space. they are damn near perfect.
Royal Grenadier 9000
dismal sounding loudspeakers (relative to my tastes, at least).
all the best,
...by today's standards. Just to have stereo was great -then the furniture-grade look.
A popular approach back then, even the Bose 901 looked like a coffee table.
Wow - a beautiful set !
A cone-design that early ? For the perfectionist ? Very interesting...
End table perfectionist. :)
1964 Empire Catalog
You can't leave this off the list!
From same 1971 review:
"Instead, improving its start-up speed is more likely to make its stopping ability worse by causing it to overshoot the mark. We could not determine just how much of the Bose 901's high-end performance was the result of this and how much was the result of smearing due to the prolonged room reflections, but the fact remains that all of our listening panelists gave the 901 rather poor marks for detail and definition. "
I've never listened to one,but it sure was the cat's meow back in the day!
You really should hear a pair to uh, *appreciate* it's character.
... it sure was the cat's meow back in the day!
To the Julian Hirsch set, yes. :)
Bose's success could largely be attributed to a very able marketing department. It was practically impossible to pick up a magazine like Playboy, Esquire, or any of the other magazines aimed at men, without seeing a Bose ad.
"That was some weird shit".- George Bush
There was also a huge DIY market - and many speakers were sold by larger MFGs w/o cabinet - or to Cabinet makers - like Brazilay on the west coast-
I am talking about companies like University, EV, Heathkit and the like-
If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
Stephens Tru-Sonic, for one - another West Coast mfr that has enjoyed a very good rep for decades and now has gotten very pricey. There was apparently a LOT more DIY, so the builder/constructor had a very wide variety of enclosure and driver choices.
Field-coil speakers were used in some circles.
And there's always the Western Electric stuff, which was actually still in production then - esp things like the WE 455 variants. It was still widely used as a PA speaker, too.
Also had a line of speakers and drivers similar to Altec or JBL. The flagship was the Patrician, and the raw drivers (including horns) were used by many home constructors.
I see Bozak listed here. Thought this was a cone speaker, not horn.
Then, I didn't know you could construct a corner horn ! I knew about the kits, but I thought these were for the 2-chan type.
I thought the only horns (not corner) from the 60s were Klipsch and Altec. Did EV and others make them ?
And JBL..C-34 cab, Fisher H-50, University, Jensen too.
IIRC PWK designed some of the E-V speakers that were produced both as kits and factory-made (e.g., the Aristocrat), and Klipsch used E-V drivers (horns and radiators) in their line.
second tier, stuff like Wharfedale, AR, KLH.
-- the usual suspects.
all the best,
In the mid 60s the east coast Boston sound dominated the market. In 1966 I think I recall Acoustic Research alone owned 1/3 of the market and off shoots of Acoustic Research like KLH were doing well also.
One of the next huge sellers just a few years later was the Advent speakers, also acoustic suspension. They were designed by Henry Kloss, the K of KLH and also the designer of the 1st Acoustic Research though Edgar Vilchur developed the concept.
And the best seller of all was the Dynaco A25 using what is now often called the variovent(stuffed port)design. And the other Dynaco models didn't do badly sales wise also.
The Dynaco A23 is still a viable choice today. They do an awful lot well!
Naturally, I suspect that I would have chosen what one of my friends used before getting Dayton-Wrights - double KLH9s designed by Arthur Janszen. Here's a three channel flavor:)
ESLs were used in the '60s but were - from what I remember - not that widespread due to cost (and durability issues).
The US market was dominated by AR, and later, KLH and Advent sealed dynamic speakers, along with Klipsch, Altec Lansing and JBL horns. The 3 former being known as representing the "East Coast" sound and the latter the "West Coast" sound. The former companies probably sold a lot more units as they were smaller in size and, I think, significantly less expensive.
Ah...so, for the up-scale market, it was horns first, followed by ESLs.
In addition, I over-looked the corner-horns of the 50s (Hartsfield, Patrician, etc.), which were still used in the 60s.
Depended on the type of sound you liked: acoustic suspension vs. horns (I still usually prefer the former and its descendants). The big AR & KLHs were highly regarded.
When I read your question and it said it's founding was in 74 and they were looking for the addition of the UK sound maybe they were talking about the English monitors LS3/5a which Rogers and Chartwell and other English companies had to pay for the rights to build. Your question was about the 60's and the info you gave said the start of this company to design a speaker was 1974.
Thats what they may be talking about when they mention the English sound at 1974. I was a senior in high school and just getting in the mad hobby......Mark Korda....just a guess....take care.
They were indicating that U.S. audiophile speakers were (mostly) horns in the 60s. I thought ESLs were the most common type, but doing some research, they could be right. ESLs were still coming in during the 70s -and even 80s with Sound Lab and Martin-Logan.
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