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4 out of 5 TOTL that I sold now in the house.

Discussion in 'Vintage Gear - Top Performers' started by Blue Shadow, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    When I was selling in a single location store in Knoxville, TN, we had a few different brands of speakers and I enjoyed listening to most of them. The brands and top speaker at the time were Bose 901 Series III, Dahlquist DQ-10 (with a sub or two), DCM Time Window (with the Time Bass subwoofers), Epicure 3.0 and the Magneplanar MG-II. I've written at length about the sonic differences between them, without much discussion of the Epicure because I don't accurately remember its sound, just the fact that it is one of 3 speakers that left a permanent impression of great sound when I first heard it.

    In those discussions, I mentioned why I bought and kept the DCM Time Windows, sans subs, as my main speaker for the ensuing decades until Craigslist came along. In the past number of years I have been lucky enough to find some nice Magneplanar MG-IIIa speakers, Dahlquist DQ-10s (2 separate pair one with electronic crossover and a sub) and recently I answered a CL ad for a pair of unk-series Bose 901 w/stands shown in the ad. I asked about the existence of the crossover and the series. Answer was Series V and yes, with crossover for a great price.

    I grabbed the remaining funds from selling my Paradigm Titan/Atom/C170/PS1000 surround system to a friend and arranged it so I could maybe get a deal just below the hundreds total plus a twenty of the speaker asking price. I had another bill to make up the difference, if I needed to. Got to the location and the speakers were hooked up in the hall with the receiver, non-working CDP, EQ, and timer. We chatted for a while, a couple selling off storage unit stuff to downsize, wanting to motorhome around for a few more years, they have Bose small gear. Great, so you want to sell all of this gear? How much for all of it but I don't think I have the money needed. Marantz timer, Marantz 4400, Pioneer PD-M600 and the speakers. I finally got a price on the 4400 and knew the price of the Bose. I offered everything in my wallet and took those with me and the CDP was thrown in since it did not work. It still does not work, won't spin the CD.

    I'm not a Bose fan but I understand what they are trying to do and I am more than willing to buy them when the price is right. I may even have a friend that needs these in a couple months as he is building a 30 x 40 foot personal auto workshop garage on his property and hanging 901s will be great background listening and some nice party speakers when that time comes. This gear is in great shape, all but the lights on the receiver work just fine. I have the 4400 out for a good going over before I play with it a bit to decide what to do with it. That scope should be fun to mess with and see what the Marantz sound is all about. I have only had a 1030 and 2238B here previously.

    Anyway, back to the speakers. The 901 have a special place in my listening experience. First time I heard Pink Floyd's WYWH was when a friend brought it over and said "This is Intense." I had a pair of 901s, don't know why, maybe swapped for stacked Advents or the pair I got for cheap with Bose points when I sold the speakers. The turntable was a TD-125II/SME 3009S2 Imp/Empire 4000D/III. Amps were I believe a Citation 11 driving my DC-300a. Plenty of power and a nearly square room, 12x12 or something, middle room of a shotgun house, Bose set up right to do the direct/reflecting. The turntable was on a board that was C-clamped to the fireplace mantel in the room. Cleaned the record, dropped the needle and cranked the volume.

    It was Intense, sounded great, will never understand why the tt did not offer any feedback what-so-ever. Amazing. This was the most memorable introduction to an album I have ever heard. I will remember it forever. Unfortunately, my friend died in an unusual car accident a few years later. So being able to hear the 901s/WYWH is going to be something. I'll be unboxing my current Crown amp to do it and raise a glass for him, too.

    I have already cleaned up the speakers, stands, eq and checked the foam. I have seen so many pictures of bad foam in Series V speakers, I was worried. Not these. They are in great shape. Bose apparently changed foams for the Series VI (I've read) and maybe these have those longer lasting surrounds.

    901 Drivers.jpg

    I've made this such a long post, I'll continue.

    The Magneplanars are keepers. They were in the system for years after I got them. Love the sound they produce, need more sound power at times. The DCMs provided that back then and can again if needed, but a pair of ads towers now supply the rock volume needed occasionally. The DQ-10s were a pleasure to rebuild recap and set up as 4 across the front of the room. Thain was surprised with different sounds coming for the two left speakers. He says the imaging was reinforced by that second pair. Interesting for sure. Currently there is a single pair of DQ-10s with the single sub that will give way to the 901s. Then I'll have Chris over to let him get an idea of what they might do in his new shop/garage/storage building.

    I think I have given up on the Epicure 3.0 as there was a pair here for 275 that I didn't respond about a couple years ago. Sure not common and sound great but they are big and heavy, something I don't need in speakers but have some like that already. The Time Windows were a nice speaker to travel around with since they are easy to move and easy to place. They worked great for decades. Glad to be experiencing some of the other top models from back then. Do not think I spent normal prices on these speakers. All were very well bought. When you deduct sales of other gear bought when a pair of speakers were bought and include a set of Time Windows bought new, I have only a couple/few hundred in each pair soon to get even cheaper with more extras sales.

    I see SoCalSam in a target rich environment having put together an amazing collection of amplifiers that he probably has very little in since he has moved a bunch of receivers and other gear. I've been fortunate finding speakers in my area. Sure the deals are harder to find but they are still out there.

    I really need to figure out what speakers to keep, I have too many. Probably would trade em all for a middle of the line current speaker of today like the tens of thousand dollar Magico 3 of some letter. Wow speakers sure have gotten a lot more expensive in the past 20 years or so. But for now, it's like I'm in the soundroom at the store choosing a speaker to play
     
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  2. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio We tried to talk it over but words got in the way Subscriber

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    1,525
    Location:
    Adirondack Mountains NY
    Nice speakers !!, clean also, the series V with the metal sides are cool, I owned and properly set up many many friends 901s in the 80s. had a pair of series 3 that were dark walnut with brown weave speaker grills, the surrounds gave out and this was in the 80s pre internet and i thought i had blown them up. gave them way. Had the VIs also, out of the ones i heard even though they were identical composite driver enclosures, the series III were something special. The design had too many variables for the average person to hook up power correctly and dial in, One of the largest power amps on the planet was built by bose to power the 901s, thats what they love. They were just 1 piece of the puzzle some didnt get, there is a LOT of copper in them babys, and they are always ready for some serious voltage to prove their justice. When i finally got online in the early 90s , i was shocked to see the turn that had taken in the audio world about the 901s, i dont own them now but i had some that did impress. Awsome set you have!
     
  3. danomar

    danomar AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA USA
    That sounds like the old Hi-Fi House, the place where I first heard King Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic: It was cranked up on a set of Bose 901s. That was an experience that I still remember vividly.
     
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  4. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    23,244
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    Hi-Fi House, a superb old shop. Of the TOTL speakers Blue Shadow mentioned, the Epicure is my favorite.
     
  5. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Now you got me looking again, but I have to move some out first. The Absolute Sound (or one of the other rags) does mention the unique sound of the speakers compared to all the others that they had tested. I had a similar experience, they sounded different. Must have been that tweeter.

    One thing that CL has allowed me to do is to investigate some of the brands we didn't sell. I didn't shop the competition back then so really didn't know everything that the other companies offered. This learning about other gear and the ability to buy em cheap and sell em on is the reason I have bought a number of ADS speakers for example, keeping a pair of L710s and L1590/2, at last count. Experiencing the other brands has taught me a lot about these other companies' goods, helping me learn what to actually get to improve the main rig.

    That first listen to Larks' Tongues in Aspic would have been at one of the earlier locations. The one that HFH shared with the studio on 17th Street was where I bought a power amp and the reason the owner of the store knew I had some idea of what gear was when he needed someone to handle the front counter one Christmas season a few years later that turned into a full time job. I only worked at the Montvue Rd. location but talk regularly with a former manager that started a year and a half before I did, talking about the location on the strip and the massive tent sale that kept the company alive. Interesting times.

    Those 901s have a place in audio. When one wants the sound of a rock concert at the arena, I have found little that will do that. But I haven't ventured into the horn world much and think there might be some VOTT or 19s, Klipsch and JBLs that would be able to do that, too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  6. zebra03

    zebra03 All Audio - NO BS

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    I would like to hear a properly set up pair of 901's . I got to hear them in a Bose store a long time ago .
     
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  7. danomar

    danomar AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Actually, it was at the Montvue Rd. location and it was Mike Crunk's personal copy of the album that was playing. He sold it to me a few years later.

    In my experience, Bose 901s perform only as well as their setup and the source material playing through them. I do not recall what Mike was playing the 901s through, but it would have been some seriously clean, high-powered amps.

    I still have my Epicure 1.0s that I bought new at Hi-Fi House. With a subwoofer, few loudspeakers can match their accuracy and imaging. There is a bit of a hole in the midrange that I do not mind, but the "phase plug" version of the EPI/Epicure inverted piston tweeter is still my favorite. I remember listening to the Epicure 2.0 and 3.0 and deciding that I liked the smaller 1.0 best. The 3.0 would be a close second; the 2.0 seemed to lack accuracy and detail if I recall correctly. The 3.0 looks odd but it was a very nicely accurate speaker. I would not mind owning a set of Epicure 3.0s.

    That is part of the difficulty with speakers. My preference is not necessarily the most balanced. I like my ADS L1290s because they are very neutral, and I like my Epicures because they have such nicely detailed high end, and I love my Dahlquist DQ-10s because their imaging is delightful. The L1290s are the best balanced but they are not my favorites.

    I like the Bose 901, but for casual listening they fall a bit short in my opinion. For dynamic input material, they are fantastic at high volume levels—but I rarely listen to anything very loudly. For everyday use, most Bose products lack detail and depth. What is that expression... "No highs, no lows, it's Bose." Not exactly a fair assessment but not totally without merit.

    Everyone should have the opportunity to audition properly set up Bose 901s. As Blue Shadow notes, they definitely have a place in audio.
     
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  8. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    17,076
    Location:
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    We used the Luxman LRS gear most of the time. Silver-face matching stack. Other choices would have been the Crown or Harman Kardon Citation 16 more likely. Other gear in the soundroom might not have had the power to do everything and would not have been selected. We really liked the LRS gear and I finally got my first piece, the tone control unit. Long way to go on that quest. Start small, but I can use it with a preamp I have w/o tone controls.

    I mention this gear because of the time frame of the Epicure speakers. Prior to us having those in the store, well before the Luxman gear, the HK gear was the standard, I think. Before that was before my time. But anything in the store could easily be hooked up for an audition.
     
  9. danomar

    danomar AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Indeed, I still have my Luxman L-5 decades later. Still love it but recently got the itch to bump things up a notch, so I recently found an M-12 and a C-12 that are in the shop at this very moment. They are not a 5C50 and 5M20 but awfully close and aesthetically easier to live with.

    I blame my formative experiences at Hi-Fi House for the Luxman bug. It is a good illness to have but a little difficult to maintain. ;)

    The connection between amplifiers and the speakers is a valid one. I never had an issue driving any speaker with my L-5 and suspect that the vintage Luxman design complements speakers like Epicures and Dahlquists well.
     
  10. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Location:
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    Those 12 units are excellent you will be very happy with them. I liked em when they were new and now they are on the radar. Hans Luxman site thinks they are some of the best vintage gear around along with the LRS gear. That is the Laboratory Standard Series and it sure does look good.
     
  11. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    16,434
    Congrats on your new scores. Great hobby of ours. I've been trading up and up and up. There are few if any duffers hanging around anymore. I used to have a fairly good speaker collection but those are almost all gone. The more interesting models like JBL L300, DQ-32, Maggie IIa, Vandy 2ce, and Bose 901 took to much space so off they went. Then the 12 inch 3-ways started seeing the door. Now, I am into small 2-way speakers with woofers that are run full range. Collecting small speakers is space friendly so the hobby continues.
     
  12. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Location:
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    L-09Ms driving a set of small 2-ways? That could cause a fire. And if it won't some of those big Yamaha almost pro amps will.

    Yes, the big speakers do take up some room but currently the ones not in use that are vertical, TW, MG, ADS pack kind of nicely on the outsides of the stereo cabinet that covers most of the front wall (CWD units) and these act as diffraction columns. The DQs are the ones that take up space, can't stack em without the stacking harness and the do have some size to the bottom of the cabinet. That and needing higher powered amps to drive them, hmmm that downsizing to more efficient speakers and smaller amps sure looks enticing.
     
  13. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    16,434
    Don't want to get too far off the rails as the OP seems genuinely happy to reminisce with his larger speaker collection. I play almost everything on small speakers these days. The sound I like is objective accuracy which is mostly delivered by high powered amps like my L-09M's. Going small does not mean I cannot touch the sky. These no name buggers are rated 65/200 wpc which is greater than NS-1000M and the first version of HPM-100.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Location:
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    Oh I like small speakers, too, just haven't found the ones that sound great like the Dynaudio, but I'm always reminded of the sound of my car system without the subs. Mostly am radio sound. I have had a set of minimus 7 sized speakers with a sub and it was a nice system. The guy with the best hearing in our group uses some Salk Veracity HT1 speakers, no bass but great above that.
     
  15. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

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    7,221
    Location:
    Oak Forest ILL.
    Sorry to hear about your friend,I had a friend who got me into hifi back in the late 70's.He died a few years back but I have the receiver that He played tunes on that got me started into this hobby.
     

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