Survey: Would you drive 10 miles to an estate sale for XP-7B speakers?

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by KiM3Ce, Jul 4, 2018.

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Would you drive 10 miles to an estate sale for a pair of Fisher XP-7B speakers?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    75.0%
  1. KiM3Ce

    KiM3Ce AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,740
    Location:
    Arizona
    I see a fair number of these; I don't know whether anyone is interested or not. There's lots of love for older Fisher gear, but loudspeakers have come a long way in 50 years and many can have age-related failures. So am I wasting time and energy or saving a good thing from the landfill? Lots of folks would drive 10 miles for AR 3A speakers; how about these?
     

     

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  2. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    929
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I've got two pairs of Fisher XP-7B's. The cabinets are terrific quality. I think Fisher had a coffin maker build them. As a speaker they only slightly better than meh. I wouldn't pay a lot of money for a set but if they are cheap, they are pretty cool to have.
     
  3. audmod01

    audmod01 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Tioga, TX
    Considering the age, repairs would likely be in order. Woofer surrounds often go bad and have to be replaced. Even tweeters sometimes have damaged surrounds and in their case new tweeters are usually installed that have equivalent or slightly better performance. Cross-over networks develop problems with variable resistor controls, deteriorated non-polarized electrolytic capacitors. Inductors seldom go bad though. If you know the performance they were capable of originally and like them, then you might want to undertake restoration. If not, you would likely be disappointed.

    I restored my AR-2Ax speakers a few years ago and it included many items that had to be done including re-gluing the surrounds of the woofers to their masonite rims, rebuilding the cross-over networks and replacing the original dome tweeters with newer Hi-Vi tweeters per information from http://classicspeakerpages.net/ which is a group specializing in restoration information on a few models and brands of speakers. I am not aware of anyone pursuing restoration of Fisher speakers to original specifications, although there could be a few who have done so. The issue for a restorer would be finding the information needed to restore a given model. It would require some good calibrated microphone(s) and a computer to analyze the performance of any replacement drivers or properly evaluating performance of repaired existing drivers etc.

    Joe
     
  4. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    929
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    Some specifics regarding the XP-7B.....

    Both of my pairs had no problems with the surrounds. The surrounds are not made of the usual foam that disintegrates after a decade or two. For one of my sets I did have to find original replacements for a couple of midrange drivers from the big auction site. They weren't hard to locate. I'd recommend that if you don't get them super cheap that you test drive them and check each driver is working to save money on parts later.

    The cross-over is a bit complex, so be prepared to order a few caps when you go to refurb them. The cross-overs are on an internal point-to-point circuit board stapled to the inside of the cabinet. First time I saw a cross-over board like that. I have a thread on AK about doing the cross-over for the 7B. It includes a hand-drawn circuit diagram that I created because I couldn't find a diagram on the internet.

    The XP-7B has a 3 position switch on the back panel for the cross-over instead of a pot. I have had no problems with the switch on my two pairs. I've had to refurb AR's before and yes I've had to replace the pots on AR's. The Fishers aren't going to be known for that type of problem. Could it happen? Yes, but it is much less likely with the design and parts that Fisher used.

    I started another thread here on AK for a Fisher KS-2 Kit speaker. I'm still working on those - slowly. The KS-2 speaker cabinets were made from solid wood and the ones I have cupped. I'm spending a lot of time trying to straighten the sides. The KS-2's are rare and were intended to be hung on the wall.

    There are some that like the Fishers - I suspect because of the history and quality of the build and not for world class sound. That's why I have mine. I am not really a Fisher speaker collector persay, but if one comes along cheap and the build quality is good I'll grab and refurb them for the fun in doing the work. Again they aren't terrible sounding, but there are better out there if you are only interested in the best sounding speakers.
     
  5. walyfd

    walyfd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    696
    Location:
    Northeastern PA
    I never understood why Fisher speakers are so poorly rated when the app and tuners are world-renowned. Why didn't they concentrate on the total package and also make top-rated speakers to pair with the rest of their products?
     
  6. likebike23

    likebike23 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,154
    Location:
    Western MA
    Sure, 10 miles away puts me in the next town, it's nothing. While I was at it I would hit a couple other sales on a predetermined route near the speakers.
     

     

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  7. calman46

    calman46 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,709
    Location:
    MA
    I just happened to have the Feb. 1970 issue of High Fidelity handy and there is a two page Fisher speaker add.They were $149.50 with one 12' woofer , two 5.75 mids . two 3" tweeters , 10 miles is nothing , recap a must .
     
  8. thornev

    thornev Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    I found a pair of old, large Wharfdale speakers in great condition about 2 hours away. If I had the room, I'd buy them in a second. But then I'm using a pair of AR-2Ax that sound great. I'd have to decide which speakers sit in the basement which would be a crime !
     
  9. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    929
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    There is a thread somewhere about how Avery Fisher liked to "voice" the speakers himself and it apparently frustrated his engineers to no end. I can't say that is the only reason for the less than stellar performance of Fisher speakers, but it is implied that could be a big part of the reason. Personally, I think that having 5 drivers in the cabinet for the 7B's can't help. With all those point sources you get interference patterns (combing) between drivers that will hurt imaging and the audio experience. I think that is part of the problem too. I can't say about the other Fisher models.

    I don't want to drive anyone away from the 7B's. There are quite a few out there and they typically go fairly cheap. I agree that the components are generally thought of as better than the speakers. They aren't terrible speakers either. If someone wants to put together a "decent" sounding vintage system they could do worse. They do have decent bass too and I think they are somewhat efficient (but I don't know how efficient). Here is the Fisher stuff I have on hand....

    KX-100 Tube Amp - It runs about 18wpc and I just finished refurbing it earlier this year. Sounds terrific. Fisher made these for several years in the mid-1960's. The "K" means kit and they were 98% identical to the factory built Fisher X-100-B amps sold already assembled. They are thought of as nice amps and I am satisfied with mine. When I bought this unit it was a total wreck with rust all over, one output transformer was bad and it was missing all of the tubes and missing some switches and other parts. It took over a year to rebuild. I eventually found an original cabinet that didn't need any restoration and it is in my main rotation now. I have a thread on the restoration that is done. While it looks nice in the cabinet and there is no rust on the chassis, the chassis is pitted and the stenciling is partially gone so it isn't a mint looking unit if you look inside. Sounds great though....

    KM-60 Tube Tuner - I'm rebuilding this one now and it came with the KX-100 in a package deal that I bought locally off CL. It was even more rusty and without tubes. I'm only about 20% into the restoration and it's going to take a long time to finish. I'm still removing the rust. I have a cabinet and most of the new caps and other parts I need to finish the project. The KM-60 came as a kit too.

    500B Tube Receiver - This is the last of my Fisher components in my current queue. This too came in the package from CL. I actually bought all 3 units together. This one has some of the tubes, but all of these units were so dirty and rusty that most would have either scrapped or parted them out. I decided to take the time to clean them up and get them working. I'm calling them survivors - well at least I'll call them that when I'm done with them.

    Fisher XP-7B (2 pairs) - First pair was rough and needed replacement drivers. I've restored it electrically but haven't done the cabinet. It came in a package deal with Realistic 7B speakers. I think I got both pairs for $40 at the time. My thread for the Fisher 7B was in regards to the first pair. The second pair I received from the original owner and it is nearly mint condition, but needs to be recapped as I believe it has never been done before.

    Fisher KS-2 Speakers - I got these off of CL about a year ago for $20. I'm interested in these because they came as kits. All of the drivers were good. I'm hoping to put together a complete Fisher Kit system (excepting for TT). It's been a difficult project since the speakers were made with solid wood and the boards all cupped/warped. I'm straightening the sides with a heat gun. Mine came in Scandinavian Birch. Some came in walnut. I found an original assembly manual for the Fisher KS-1's, but I haven't found the assembly manual for the KS-2's yet. Having the assembly manual for the speakers is just to have a bit of history to go along with them. The manual for the KS-1 is kinda cool.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  10. mrphilco

    mrphilco AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    445
    Location:
    Ferdinand, IN
    Since I live out in the middle of nowhere, I would think nothing of driving 100 miles for something I really wanted.

    Of course the reverse is not true. When I want to sell something I have a lot of trouble doing so as I have observed that most people will scarcely drive to the next block for something they "want", let alone 10 or more miles.

    In fairness, I've never heard a pair of XP-7B speakers. I did have a chance at a pair once, but the seller and I could not connect, unfortunately. Or perhaps fortunately, based upon some of the comments here.
     
  11. fred soop

    fred soop Super Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    XP-9s were good in a "live" room (lots of hard surfaces). But a normal room with carpet and an acoustic ceiling required quite a treble boost. XP-7s were the same but a lighter weight woofer and one less midrange.
     

     

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  12. KiM3Ce

    KiM3Ce AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,740
    Location:
    Arizona
    Thanks all! It sounds like they are worth reporting.
     
  13. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,936
    Location:
    West coast
    sounds like a lottery busting epiphany for flippers. especially when 73% of us wont drive 10 miles.

    buy them cheap, take them off the market, refinish/refoam/refresh-crossover/etc then post pictures
    and magnificient description of the magnificient sound and drive demand for these puppies
    (just like TOTL Pioneer/Marantz receivers nobody wanted 20 years ago that now go for 5-10K)
    and stock drivers, cabs, crossovers, "original" crossovers, modified stage1-2-3-4-5 crossovers,
    updated schematics and step-by-step how-to's, foam kits, refoamed drivers, etc.
     

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