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 Post subject: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 2:27 am 
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Continuing with my project to put together a late 50's style Hi-Fi (mono) component style rig, I bought this speaker at the MARC swap meet Saturday. I don't see any identification except for the "Lafayette High Fidelity Speaker" sticker on the magnet. So my first question is, does the cabinet and grill style look familiar to anyone? The red tag above the speaker is instructions for installing Electro-Voice speakers and a crossover for a "multiple 2-way system". As can be seen, the holes for those optional drivers have been cut into the baffle, and then covered with bolted on masks. On the back of the cabinet are 2 small holes with decals reading Presence and Brilliance. None of these holes show any evidence of use at all. Was this a common ploy with manufacturers of this era? Considering the red tag giving EV model numbers for the drivers and crossover, is it safe to assume this was an EV speaker that someone put a Lafayette speaker into? I have a vintage Olson S-599 tweeter that I am contemplating installing. Comments?


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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 2:54 am 
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Electro Voice or Jensen?

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 3:05 am 
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Quote:
Electro Voice or Jensen?


I don't understand your question, Don.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 4:16 am 
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Looks like a speaker where one could buy it with just the woofer for one price then if desired to spend the money one could get a midrange and/or tweeter.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 4:24 am 
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Quote:
Looks like a speaker where one could buy it with just the woofer for one price then if desired to spend the money one could get a midrange and/or tweeter.



Agreed, but I would also assume that if purchased with only one speaker that the DIY add on would have been mentioned as a future upgrade.

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Last edited by 1968rt on Jan Tue 30, 2018 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 4:27 am 
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Back in the 50s there were a number of compani8es that sold empty cabinets that you could use with your choice of speaker. Many companies also sold loose speakers. The idea of matching the cabinet to the speaker was only poorly understood, at least by the people reading the magazines and buying these products. "Step-Up" type enclosures like yours were common.

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 4:52 am 
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Thanks for that info, Jim. I was born in 1954, so when I was old enough to afford to buy a good stereo, the speaker war was in full bloom. I remember the seemingly endless advertising for the latest line of speakers with acoustic suspension, porting, exotic drivers, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 5:10 am 
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those were the days, kits and parts of all kinds, only limited by the budget your wife gave you.
(you of course had a wife, job, kids, house, 1 maybe 2 cars if practical, and a TV antenna you and your neighbor put up.)

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 3:55 pm 
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That does look like one of the standard 'hifi' speaker cabinets companies like Electrovoice and Jenson put out at the time. That grill definitely looks like Electrovoices style to me, and the branding nails it.

And yes, that was a common marketing ploy at the time. A cabinet was purchased, or plans were made readily available to build your own. Then drivers were bought, often one at a time, until a complete speaker was assembled. People often moved into stereo the same way, starting with a single speaker mono system and building it up as they could afford it.

For example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-Print-Ad-of-Electro-Voice-KD-Kits-The-Aristocrat-Kit-Speaker-Enclosures/173116871236?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150817211856%26meid%3De45a58734a06470190ffe1d220e4f692%26pid%3D100508%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26%26itm%3D173116871236&_trksid=p2045573.c100508.m3226


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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 5:55 pm 
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I'm 99% sure that is an original Electro-voice "Aristocrat" cabinet.

You could buy it empty, with a full range speaker, 2 way or 3 way. Or you could even build it from free plans.

Good score.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 8:23 pm 
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I think you are correct, 8417 and Sol. Great ad, Sol. That ad has the zoom capability, so I was able to read the description of the Aristocrat. Measuring my speaker shows the same dimensions as called out in the ad. I think that solves the question of manufacturer.

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 9:06 pm 
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I wonder if yours was the kit or premade? I guess it doesn't really matter. You've got a great start on your original 50's mono speaker. I am trying to build a 50's mono speaker myself but with modern drivers. It will be my take on the Altec Laguna. I also have a University 312 I will be doing something with shortly. I intend to make a full thread about it.

Looking through my stuff I find I actually have another full page ad on the Aristocrat speaker which lists the driver and crossover options. There is a picture which shows your configuration and it says:

"This is the Electro-Voice 108A direct radiator speaker system shown in the ARISTOCRAT enclosure above. It's an economy 3-way system employing (a) 12BW low-frequency bass driver; (b) T10A treble driver with 8HD horn for midrange reproduction; (c) T35B very-high-frequency driver for silky highs; (d) X825 crossover; (e) X36 crossover; (f) two AT37 level controls plus wiring harness and baffle board. Crossovers are at 800 cps and 3500 cps, lowering intermodulation distortion an assuring optimum operation of each element in the system. Complete, ready to install, Net $168."

Original price for cabinet in Mahogany, $240. In Blonde, $247. In Walnut, $247.

An illustration shows the proper placement is a few inches from the walls in the corner of the listening room.

I'd just post a picture but I haven't quite sorted that out since Photobucket went south.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Feb Thu 01, 2018 8:10 am 
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Are there numbers printed on the speaker frame or in the magnet label where it says" Lafayette high fidelity" ?
Although it looks like an EV speaker frame of that era, it would be good to ascertain woofer is indeed made by EV for Lafayette.
Just to find proper specs when adding tweeters , horns, etc, if you'll use existing speaker...
Yes, that is a Aristocrat cab, I've seen a pair once that had a city of mice living in them that were in shed storage.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Feb Thu 01, 2018 3:12 pm 
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1968rt wrote:
Quote:
Electro Voice or Jensen?


I don't understand your question, Don.

Mike

Sorry Mike, I was asking if the brand of speaker was Electro Voice or Jensen. It may be moot...

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Feb Thu 01, 2018 9:56 pm 
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Don, I realized that was what your reply meant after I posted my reply. I looked very closely again, ampstamp88, and I don't see any markings. The Lafayette label is a stick-on gold label. Seems like the kind of thing that would be used if a speaker was labeled for several different companies. The speaker measures 6.2 ohms with my meter, so I am assuming the impedence is 8 ohms.

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: Feb Fri 02, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Makes sense Mike. Thanks for the response.

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 Post subject: Re: Hi Fi speaker
PostPosted: May Thu 10, 2018 12:23 am 
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Those EV Aristrocrats sound awesome! I had a pair of them tears ago along with a Fisher stereo...those things rock!


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