View Full Version : Panasonic Thruster series


Wooferman93
11-04-2009, 06:09 PM
Ok I know these are not the greatest out thier, but I am looking for a pair for my mom and I wan't to know the model #'s, I don't want to buy a pair YET, but they suposedly had 15's in them, now, mom doesn't know sh!t about speakers, so bear with me here. I would also like to see some pics if at all possible. Also, would that giant 15 inch woofer be a woofer or a passive radiator? How many drivers per box, ect.

Thanks, Wooferman93

asoundhound
11-04-2009, 06:10 PM
you can't be serious....

similost
11-04-2009, 06:15 PM
Seriously... soundhound wasn't joking.. .

They are way worse than not so good...

Thrusters had 6 or 8" in them.. never any 15"

Buy you're mom something.. anything... anything is better than thrusters.. A Bose radio is a massive improvement..

JohnVF
11-04-2009, 06:18 PM
Just go to any thrift store, you'll see the whole product line.

dkelley
11-04-2009, 06:28 PM
there was a LINE of thrusters? I just assumed it was the one model. so more than one design, all from a great company (panasonic), and they all sucked?

similost
11-04-2009, 06:30 PM
far as I know, only one... and I can't remember if it was an 8 or 6" driver.. but either way.. IT SUCKED!!!! and buzzed, and had no life.. and.. .well.. they just sucked!!!!

Hope the OP is getting the idea here.. you can find much better for a cheap price..

barredowl
11-04-2009, 06:40 PM
Wooferman, dude get her smaller Advents and fix the foam in the woofer so there is something of you in the gift. It will sound so much better and be a more satisfying gift all around. Also possible Dynaco A-25, or Boston Acoustics.

luckyed
11-04-2009, 06:45 PM
I have seen at least 3 different sizes of Thrusters speakers. A small version, (bookshelf?) and two larger versions.

similost
11-04-2009, 06:48 PM
wow.. and actually admitted to that? :D

Fred Sanford
11-04-2009, 07:10 PM
Wow, do you get some really interesting results when you do an internet image search for "Big Thrusters". None of them speaker-related, either!

je

similost
11-04-2009, 07:12 PM
LOL.. you need safe search!

mhardy6647
11-04-2009, 07:20 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign2.jpg

JohnVF
11-04-2009, 07:26 PM
It is never a good idea to buy your mother anything that has anything to do with a 'vibra cone'.

Stuart Pedaso
11-04-2009, 07:30 PM
I recall there being various models of Thrusters. An internet search is conspicuously devoid of much info.

Never seen any larger than dual 10" -- one of course being a passive radiator. All models of Thruster will have a passive radiator. It's the feature that defines that model line. A quick web search turns up SB-1600 and front horn-loaded SB-1800 (ask AK member "sb1800" about those).

Thrusters certainly had their place in audio history. The big shiny aluminum "hubcap" dust covers are great for reflecting swirling points of light from a ceiling mounted mirror ball. Pop some Gloria Gaynor into the 8-track stereo system and relive the glory days of Disco.

juniorJBL
11-04-2009, 07:35 PM
But they have "Enhanced Bass Sound":saywhat:

All I can say is..........:lmao:

33&athird
11-04-2009, 07:46 PM
far as I know, only one... and I can't remember if it was an 8 or 6" driver.. but either way.. IT SUCKED!!!! and buzzed, and had no life.. and.. .well.. they just sucked!!!!

Hope the OP is getting the idea here.. you can find much better for a cheap price..

Nope, I belive the pair in our basement has at least a 10", but it was the top of the line thruster model sb-305 or something? Either way, they came with my moms panasonic all-in-one. Thrusters get a really bad reputation around here, but I still have a small place in my heart for them, would I buy another set?, well no, not after hearing my epi's...But there are worse speakers out there. I will not lie and say they are great speakers, they aren't...but the set we have doesn't buzz too much, and is a little lively. With the loudness switch on they sound decent, and they are perfect for disco (my meco albums rock on it).

I really don't understand why these are so despised, they sound phenominally better than my sisters ipod cube, at least.

Oh, and say all you want about "vibra cones" because...well...its hilarious:D

Fred Sanford
11-04-2009, 08:38 PM
Nope, I belive the pair in our basement has at least a 10", but it was the top of the line thruster model sb-305 or something? Either way, they came with my moms panasonic all-in-one. Thrusters get a really bad reputation around here, but I still have a small place in my heart for them, would I buy another set?, well no, not after hearing my epi's...But there are worse speakers out there. I will not lie and say they are great speakers, they aren't...but the set we have doesn't buzz too much, and is a little lively. With the loudness switch on they sound decent, and they are perfect for disco (my meco albums rock on it).

I really don't understand why these are so despised, they sound phenominally better than my sisters ipod cube, at least.

Oh, and say all you want about "vibra cones" because...well...its hilarious:D

I think if it has a 10" then it was a passive radiator, with an ~8" woofer/fullrange/whizzer-coned thing.

je

Spikedart
11-04-2009, 09:59 PM
A friend of mine had the dual 10". One was a passive radiator and the tweeter was mounted offset, on top, in an effort to be time aligned. They honestly did not sound bad. If you can get them for cheap, I am sure she will be pleased. They are quite efficient.

25 years later he still has these...

kermit z
11-04-2009, 10:08 PM
i had a set when I was 13, so mid to late 1970's. Even at that age, I knew they sounded bad. So, even in the interest of nostalgia, I would pass them up. Somethings are best left in the past.

Zilch
11-04-2009, 10:27 PM
With passage radiators, these bad boys produce mad bass. Anyway, these are cool-ass speakers, and I hope you guys enjoy this vid.Alas, YouTube removed the video "for terms of use violations...." :tongue:

JohnVF
11-04-2009, 10:33 PM
As much as we always make fun of them, they must have really sold well. I was only half joking when I said to go see the lineup at the thrift store...they really are ALWAYS there, at almost every one. Sometimes there are multiples of them. It's almost like they're Salvation Army's own house brand.

Anyway...I only heard them once and I'll just say they put the sh*t in Matsushita.

Spikedart
11-04-2009, 11:53 PM
I want sum a dose passage radiata thingz on my speakas too for dat mad base. Any a youse guyz knows wheres I can get sum a dese thingz?

Gang-Twanger
11-05-2009, 12:10 AM
"Vibra-cone"! :lmao:

I want a pair with spinning dustcaps.

Zilch
11-05-2009, 12:12 AM
It was the Thruster sub in the video.

[Been lookin' for one ever since.... ;) ]

Gang-Twanger
11-05-2009, 12:15 AM
These don't really qualify as a "white van" speaker, do they? Maybe it's the other white van - for the people who were crazy enough to buy them.

"THRUSTERS!!!!!" - Ted Nugent could have done advertising for them. His music really could have used that extra "enhanced bass".

I love that magazing ad that some one put up. I like the diagram. "Let's see. So, the "enhanced bass" is down here, right? Well, what if I'm up here... right up in THIS area? Will I still be getting the same "enhanced bass"?"

Zilch
11-05-2009, 12:19 AM
White Van version would be "Thursters...." :yes:

Gibsonian
11-05-2009, 06:15 AM
Compared to what I had as a kid, I thought they sounded great. I had a GE stereo that you could snap all together for portability and a all in one unit with one way speakers, a brand called ERC (with a BSR TT). My buddy had a Juliette but his brother had a Panasonic stereo with Thrusters that kicked the poop out of our stuff. I even think the TT had a magnetic cartridge! I wanted one of those pretty bad.

kermit z
11-05-2009, 06:24 AM
The reason there are so many today is that they generally came with low end All-In-One systems from Panasonic. There were different levels but the lower end had Thrusters. They did look cool, and they were not the worse I had ever owned (Had some Soundesign's with the painted on drivers :sigh: ) but they were pretty bad.

Bstable
11-05-2009, 06:38 AM
I saw them in a thrift for the first time a month ago. (I guess I am not going to the right thrifts :D)

I never owned a pair, but my friend did. His had 2 (5'' ?) drivers on the top with whizzer cones, and a (8" ?) Passive on the bottom. I remember them to sound very good (as a 12 year old)

Seriously folks, at the time they were better than what other manufacturers were putting in their "all in one systems"... by far. I was not aware that they were sold outside of these types of systems. In that case AR 4x, EPI, etc...were better speakers, but they also cost much more. Most "all in one systems" had a single full range driver in their (huge) cabinets. Panasonic at least filled the space in the thruster cabinets

I think they were just popular enough to be bashed here. I am NOT suggesting they were HI FI, but good for what they were supposed to be.

just saying

vinyldavid
11-05-2009, 06:50 AM
A friend of mine had the dual 10". One was a passive radiator and the tweeter was mounted offset, on top, in an effort to be time aligned. They honestly did not sound bad. If you can get them for cheap, I am sure she will be pleased. They are quite efficient.

25 years later he still has these...

This is what I had for a couple years.....and I agree that they were crappy, but much better than a lot of what's out there in terms of rack system speakers, etc. Mine now live with a friend who is grateful to just have a pair of speakers to listen to. :yes:

I believe that the model was SB-1600.

juniorJBL
11-05-2009, 07:01 AM
You Guys SUCK!!!:D

I had dreams about having to have Thrusters because my JBLs got stolen.:no:

:lmao:

That is just not right.

classic carl
11-05-2009, 08:15 AM
My wife and I attend a party almost every year on Labor Day. They are friends of my wife's family and the guy uses a pair of Thrusters for his outdoor party system. The sound that comes from these turn my stomach. I know I'm spoiled because I have several systems in my house and they all sound much better than this one. The other thing is that the music he plays is like listening to classic rock radio where you hear the same songs over and over again. If he played the entire CD it wouldn't be so bad, but he runs an ipod thru the system with only the songs that we've all heard a million times. I think he uses the same playlist year after year.
Fortunately, we didn't attend this year because we had a better party to go to.

dkelley
11-05-2009, 10:59 AM
I have to say, the phillips stereo my family had when I Was a kid in the 70s had single driver full range speakers, weren't even properly closed cabinets or ported, just had holes in the back, probably just because it seemed like a good idea at the time by the designers. When you put them facing each other and lay down on your front on your elbows, they were GREAT headphones though. but no true high frequency content, and the bass was pretty limited, although they lasted for a long time and were a huge upgrade over what we had before (portable ancient mono record player with heavy tonearm, all tubes inside, but not in a good way).

So thrusters would have been a HUGE improvement on those philips speakers. (yes, I know, I don't recall if there's one or two Ls in phillips so I spell it differently every time ;-)

von.ah
11-05-2009, 11:46 AM
I love how the speaker in the promotional photo looks like all its dust caps are pushed in. :D

bakes
11-05-2009, 01:45 PM
I have a friend on Long Island who spent three years swearing up and down that Thrusters were the best speakers ever.

Go figure.

jayczar
11-05-2009, 02:06 PM
mmmm..... bangin' SB1800's :rockon:

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/4429/sb1800.jpg (http://img29.imageshack.us/i/sb1800.jpg/) http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/sb1800.jpg/1/w918.png (http://g.imageshack.us/img29/sb1800.jpg/1/)

JaxJim
11-05-2009, 03:36 PM
Hell yea. I loved those Thruster speakers when I was in middle school. I had the Panasonic unit with the AM/FM, eight track and phono all in one- and the Thrusters! That thing rocked harder than anything the other 8th graders had. That turned me on to the Technics brand later in high school when I ended up with all Technics seperates - with the SA300 powering a set of EPI 100V's. And though that SA300 is not considered a "desirable" vintage unit, it also rocked harder than the crap most other kids had. Now, my only vintage equipment is a set of Pioneer HPM 900's and Cerwin Vega AT-12's. I still like it loud.

JohnVF
11-05-2009, 04:11 PM
I think we scared off Wooferman.

We're just joking around. AK's love affair with making fun of Thrusters goes way back.

dkelley
11-05-2009, 04:33 PM
And though that SA300 is not considered a "desirable" vintage unit, it also rocked harder than the crap most other kids had. Now, my only vintage equipment is a set of Pioneer HPM 900's and Cerwin Vega AT-12's. I still like it loud.

hmm, I absolutely adore my sa-300 (well it's an sa-337 or something which is the black version of the sa-300). It's an exceptional receiver for a relatively low wattage unit, the best performing built in tuners I've ever personally encountered, and the preamp and power amps are clean, punchy, very detailed and accurate and, dare I say, modern sounding (in a good way), far ahead of their time sonically, again in a good way. very similar to sony and yamaha sound overall, again which I consider to be a good thing.

Not desirable? I desire it plenty, and the rest of the sa-X00 analog-tuner series.

But back to thrusters. I have to say, those are really ugly and cheap looking, but vastly superior to what I listened to at the same stage in my life :-)

cheers,
Don

Caseworker
11-05-2009, 04:48 PM
I had some Panaphonic Phisters that sounded great!

They had 3 15" Passive radiators, 2 4 inch mids and a couple of crystal clear shiny tweets.

Keep an eye out for them, very rare.

butch4695
11-05-2009, 04:55 PM
mmmm..... bangin' SB1800's :rockon:

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/4429/sb1800.jpg (http://img29.imageshack.us/i/sb1800.jpg/) http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/sb1800.jpg/1/w918.png (http://g.imageshack.us/img29/sb1800.jpg/1/)

Damn , those are the high end Thrusters . When I was 13 or 14 I asked my parents foe a stereo for christmas and I got the all in one Panasonic system with some Thrusters but they were not that nice . It did have a TT and they gave me some Led Zep and Elton John and I was happy , best christmas ever .

Wooferman93
11-05-2009, 05:14 PM
Don't worrie guys, I hate these damn things myself. Thrusters do anything but thrust.

vinyldavid
11-05-2009, 05:27 PM
Don't worrie guys, I hate these damn things myself. Thrusters do anything but thrust.

giggity.

JaxJim
11-05-2009, 06:22 PM
Didn't mean to offend any SA300 owners! I loved mine. I should have said that it's not "high end". (That'll get me in trouble too.) But, it did sound good, and took plenty of abuse at the hands of a teenager. I think it was about 30-35 watts. Sounded good with the EPI's. Long live the SA300.

classic carl
11-05-2009, 07:36 PM
I have a friend on Long Island who spent three years swearing up and down that Thrusters were the best speakers ever.

Go figure.

Was he deaf? :D

RebelKat
11-05-2009, 10:35 PM
My Mom got a panasonic "All in one" system back years ago, complete with 8track, cassette, and an all-plastic BSR turntable that would leave wear rings on your albums to match where it would slip on the plastic platter. I remember being quite expensive as compared to other systems in the shop, but also a nicer unit. It used the thrusters with dual 16-ohm 6 1/2" speakers with wizzer cones, and a 10" passive radiator. It didn't sound bad at all, for what it was. For classic rock, it was pretty good. Later, after the main unit went bad, I tried the speakers on my kenwood receiver, and yeah, it was disappointing.....but paired with the original stereo it wasn't bad at all.

33&athird
11-05-2009, 10:49 PM
mmmm..... bangin' SB1800's :rockon:

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/4429/sb1800.jpg (http://img29.imageshack.us/i/sb1800.jpg/) http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/sb1800.jpg/1/w918.png (http://g.imageshack.us/img29/sb1800.jpg/1/)

WOW! that particle board may even be an inch thick!...just checked the pair in the basement...from the sticker (stapled on, of course):

Panasonic Thrusters
Sb-350
2 5 1/4" Woofers
1 2 1/2" tweeter
1 8" Passive radiator

I think they sound okay, but not great. The worst part is looking at them, minutes ago, they are really ,really thin, about 1/4" at most. They weight less than some cardboard boxes, and they are so very hollow. I tapped on the side, and I swear there was an echo.

Has anyone thought about taking the basic idea of thrusters, and improving them? Put in some acoustic foam, thicker walls, and a crossover, and you could really have something...I think:D

Also nice to know that people know there are worse speakers, and relize that for what they were they are not too bad. That doesn't mean there exempt though, and as much as I appreciate my mothers panasonic system, I love the comments about the thrusters. It seems that they are the only very cheap old speaker everyone has a connection to, which is saying something, maybe just the name :dunno:, either way stand-up hour on the board is great:yes:.

I love how the speaker in the promotional photo looks like all its dust caps are pushed in.

Have you ever seen a thruster without a dented dust-cap?...that was just truth in advertising.

Freezer7Pro
11-05-2009, 11:25 PM
If you think Thrusters are bad, you should have heard the 2-way 8" Panasonics I got with an ultra-cheap all-in-one TT/Tuner/Tape abomination before I burned them. I have never before heard 8" woofers that roll off at 100Hz. Didn't help that the port was tuned to about 200, nor that the cabinets were made out of really thin, really cheap particle board.

Now, I'm not gonna go into the head unit, let's just leave it at a 20WPC STK with 2x1800F as main caps :scratch2:

Ohighway
11-05-2009, 11:57 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign2.jpg



Wow, the bass, midrange, and treble from my speakers don't look anything like that.....:no:

What am I doing wrong ? :scratch2:

AnalogDigit
11-06-2009, 12:08 AM
Thrusters were okay only for the all-in-one stereo's they came with.

Squidward
11-06-2009, 12:12 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign2.jpg

The Polk 10 is a redesigned Thruster?!?!

ke4mcl
11-06-2009, 12:50 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign2.jpg

as the vicious rings of sound attack your hearing...

Zilch
11-06-2009, 02:27 AM
The Polk 10 is a redesigned Thruster?!?!10A or 10B? :tongue:

Spikedart
11-06-2009, 11:34 AM
Has anyone thought about taking the basic idea of thrusters, and improving them? Put in some acoustic foam, thicker walls, and a crossover, and you could really have something...I think:D


Lots of companies have used PR's in their products, I built a pair similar to MHardy's ad which featured 2 x 5 1/4" RS mid bass speakers and a 10" woofer from the ESS tower series that I killed the VC and knocked the magnet off and sealed the hole with a plastic cap. Tuned by ear with some washers and hot glue. Tweeters were the Phillips mylar domes used in countless systems, with the screen over the dome and the dot. Sounded pretty good. Threw them in the back seat of my '64 Chevy II Nova and had the most kickass sound coming and going.

Note in the ad how the vibra cone bass is out of focus and fuzzy.

cbottorff
03-08-2010, 10:32 PM
When I was in my mid teens, a friend of mine had a set of Panasonic Thrusters that I would borrow from him every now and then. The particular Thrusters I borrowed are the ones pictured with all the waves radiating around inside and out of them in different colors that are the subject of various and sundry joy and mirth. <chuckle> <chuckle> They had a small dynamic cone tweeter (didn't they all?) and two 5 or so inch midranges and a flat white plastic 8 inch passive radiator.

Even though at the time, I was already exposed to the likes of a Hafler DH-500 mated with Vandersteen 2C speakers and a Janis sub, which became my personal reference for some years, I still liked how efficient the Thrusters were. On the negative side of the coin, these Thrusters bass performance was terrible at anything above average listening levels. You couldn't "rock" real hard on them. After all, what can you expect from a tiny pair of 5 inch drivers anyway?

As many of the other posters in this thread have been clear to point out, Thrusters are by no means a high fidelity speaker, but what they do, they do rather well. I have a fond memory of them.

And with that... Can anyone identify the particular model and specs for this unknown pair of Panasonic Thruster Speakers? Judging from the size of the drivers in relation to each other, namely the tweeter to the woofer / passive radiator, I would say these are either 10 inch or 12 inch. I don't own these particular speakers, I was looking on the Internet for various Thruster models and found this pic of a particular model I hadn't seen before.

http://i47.tinypic.com/2582us4.jpg

Harvey/ Ga
03-08-2010, 10:59 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/panasign2.jpg

Hmmmm..they look like copies of Polk Monitor 10's.

audiomagnate
03-09-2010, 08:30 AM
How many people have a story about Thrusters that involves Mark Levinson? I was at a CES show in Chicago many years ago where Mark Levinson was showing off his electronics paired with Double Quads/Decca Ribbons/24 inch Hartleys at a hotel near the show. The sound was delightful, but I happened to notice there was another speaker system in the room, Thrusters! A small pair were permanently mounted to a wall in the suite, part of a sound system that came with the room,just inches away from the double Quads. Talk about yin and yang.

Coytee
03-09-2010, 09:51 AM
I was probalby 19 years old and had a girl over to the house. She was a pretty cool chick, had a cool car, liked sports, stereos...blonde hair, blue eyes....

Had her over and turned on some music. If memory serves me, she wanted to hear some Van Halen as she loved that group.

Que'd up some Van Halen on my linear tracking turntable. Signal then went through my Yamaha CR-2040, being further processed by a dbx 3bx, Audio Control C-101 and a dbx "boom box" (the original sub harmonic synth). I did not use my Akai GX-747 RTR for anything so it sat quiet. The signal then went to my two LaScalas AND my two Electrovoice Interface "D" speakers. Frankly, at age 19, I probalby turned it up louder than needed for the intro to "Erruption".

When it was over, she started to talk about HER stereo and how great it was. (I later concluded she was sort of Tom-boyish and wanted to keep up with the guys in the world of cars, sports....anything)

All I remember from her conversation was that she had a pair of Panasonic Thrusters and she thought they sounded similar to what she just experienced.

I wasn't too familar with them but I figured with Panasonic name in front of them that they were more along the lines of intro speakers.

I later found a pair to see. I don't even remember if I listened to them. I just remember scratching my head at how she could put the sound of those Thrusters next to a pair LaScalas and EV's in the same sentence.

I do not recall seeing her too much after that.

cbottorff
03-09-2010, 10:40 AM
In post #56 Harvey/ Ga says:

"Hmmmm..they look like copies of Polk Monitor 10's."

Yes, they do. I'm sure the Polks cost 5 to 10 or more times as much or even more and the Polks deliver a correspondingly higher level of performance as well. Incidentally, what is / was the MSRP on Polk Monitor 10s?

In post #58 Coytee says:

"I was probalby 19 years old and had a girl over to the house. She was a pretty cool chick, had a cool car, liked sports, stereos...blonde hair, blue eyes.... ... she had a pair of Panasonic Thrusters and she thought they sounded similar to what she just experienced...."

And thus giving some validity to so called "blond jokes."

Also, truth be known, the Thrusters in picture I posted in post #55 are a current craigslist sale about 120 miles west of me for 30 bux. I contacted the seller and the seller has verified the driver size as 12 inches but the speaker enclosures have no other indentification information as to model, frequency response or wattage capacity on them. The seller has also, without my suggestion, reduced the price to 15 bux and offered them to me with a money back guarantee as well. Such a deal!

The total cost to me would be 35 to 45 bux including gas and tolls. "Go west young man." I hate to say it, but I'm very tempted to take a road trip...

Vintage_Hi-F
03-09-2010, 10:56 AM
LOL.. you need safe search!

real men don't use filters, both for searches or cigarettes. :D

cbottorff
03-09-2010, 05:20 PM
I'm sure someone will like this different use of Thrusters...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/murrentim/3568180589/sizes/l/in/set-72157618760876053/
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3379/3568180589_cec4baaa96_b.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/murrentim/3568181271/sizes/l/in/set-72157618760876053/
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3336/3568181271_188fe73f9c_b.jpg

theebadone
03-09-2010, 06:05 PM
Ok I know these are not the greatest out thier, but I am looking for a pair for my mom and I wan't to know the model #'s, I don't want to buy a pair YET, but they suposedly had 15's in them, now, mom doesn't know sh!t about speakers, so bear with me here. I would also like to see some pics if at all possible. Also, would that giant 15 inch woofer be a woofer or a passive radiator? How many drivers per box, ect.

Thanks, Wooferman93

Just because mom doesn't know much about sound, doesnt mean you should buy her cheap crap, remember she's the one that changed your poopy drawers when no one else would. She deserves some decent tunes, so don't cheap out on her. lol

Wooferman93
03-09-2010, 06:15 PM
Jesus....Frack. Why dont I just get her some Acustic Audios or Davincis?

kfa888
03-09-2010, 06:32 PM
In your face...

http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/po/091106/517r1/28896j_27.jpeg

nclh77
03-09-2010, 06:36 PM
Panasonic and the Thruster speakers, take me back 35 years to Ft. Polk, LA. Sold in the PX so everyones parents had them. We as kids rocked out with them.
Very good memories.

chicknman72
03-09-2010, 06:51 PM
funny, I just saw a pair of these on CL the other day and I thought about this thread, and then here it is again :lmao:

cbottorff, brilliant use of a speaker cabinet.......gives me an idea on what to do with some junk speaker cabs I have laying around...sweet!!:thmbsp:

cbottorff
03-10-2010, 01:29 AM
As if the term "Thrusters" isn't a "tall" enough term when applied to speakers, now we have "Turbo Thrusters"?... Man oh man...

This "Turbo Thruster" configuration appears to be a 2 1/2" tweeter, a 12" woofer and a 6 1/2" passive radiator. I've been doing research on the Thruster line and have found that it appears there are Panasonic service manuals for the entire line of Thruster speakers. One model that I can't place yet is the model SB-2480. Perhaps this Turbo Thruster is the SB-2480. My Thruster research is still ongoing.

Here is a list of Panasonic Thruster service manuals that I've found on the Internet thus far:

Panasonic SB-30, SB-310, SB-510 (may not be Thruster type models)
Panasonic SB-170, SB-270, SB-300
Panasonic SB-400 (may not be Thruster type models)
Panasonic SB-550, SB-750 (may not be Thruster type models)
Panasonic SB-600, SB- 700, SB- 800, SB-950 (may not be Thruster type models)
Panasonic SB-1100
Panasonic SB-1600
Panasonic SB-1800
Panasonic SB-2480

This list is not complete. For instance, I have yet to locate the manual for model SB-180 Thruster that kfa888 posted in post #64. Judging by the number of Thrusters I see advertised for sale, Panasonic must have sold Thrusters by the boat loads.

Teradacto58
03-10-2010, 02:51 AM
I actualy have a 6" Thruster dual cone driver....found it while stopping to pick up a "Mint" Rocking Chair beside a dumpster....last year!! Sounds like crap! I use it to test half dead receivers and amps. I am always worried I might screw up good speakers...while testing some of these!

kermit z
03-10-2010, 01:34 PM
It looks like I had the SB-300's according to the description. It had dual 5 1/4" cone drivers and an 8" passive radiator. It came with my all in one Panasonic system.At age 13 I new it sucked :yes:

Teradacto58
03-11-2010, 03:28 AM
Here's a picture of the 6" Thruster driver I still have...
EAS-16P24EP 8 Ohms Japan 152K
It was Twinned with a 6" Passive....I don't have the model # of the box.

AnalogDigit
03-11-2010, 07:52 AM
Never seen Turbo Thrusters. Wonder how they sound?

Panasonic must have sold quite a lot of them. I always run into them when I visited a thrift store.

Vintage_Hi-F
03-11-2010, 09:01 AM
In your face...

http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/po/091106/517r1/28896j_27.jpeg

OMG!!!!! A Passive radiator AND 10 watts of power max, look out AR. :D

cbottorff
03-11-2010, 10:15 AM
In post #70 Teradacto58 said:

> Here's a picture of the 6" Thruster driver I still have...
> EAS-16P24EP 8 Ohms Japan 152K
> It was Twinned with a 6" Passive....I don't have the model # of the box.

Au contraire sir, that full range driver appears to be a labeled as 6 ohm impedance and not 8 ohms. Just another move by the manufacturers to gain more wattage from weak anemic amplifiers. I've seen drivers labeled as low as 2.7 ohms, mainly in cassette / CD portable radios.

Thanks for posting the pics. Every piece of information is helpful.

PioneerGuy75
03-14-2010, 02:36 PM
Has anyone thought about taking the basic idea of thrusters, and improving them? Put in some acoustic foam, thicker walls, and a crossover, and you could really have something...I think:D


OK....New Drivers, new crossover, new cabinet and new acoustic foam....

What is left of the original?

cbottorff
03-16-2010, 04:06 PM
Panasonic Thruster model SB-800 with Panasonic RA-7700 Cassiever. 1979 ad.

1" soft dome tweeter, dual 8" inch drivers and a 12" passive radiator.

In post #47 33&athird said:

> Has anyone thought about taking the basic idea of thrusters, and improving them?
> Put in some acoustic foam, thicker walls, and a crossover, and you could really
> have something...I think

And in post #74 PioneerGuy75 said:

> OK....New Drivers, new crossover, new cabinet and new acoustic foam....
>
> What is left of the original?

Exactly, Matthew Polk has I should think. Setting the side to side cross phasing aside, wouldn't the Polk SDA-SRA 1.2TL represent the pinnacle of Panasonic "Truster" type design? Is it possible the Matthew Polk got some of his design ideas from Panasonic Thrusters?

http://i42.tinypic.com/16jq8oo.jpg

33&athird
03-16-2010, 04:14 PM
OK....New Drivers, new crossover, new cabinet and new acoustic foam....

What is left of the original?

Heh...good point:D, you can make the worst speaker in the world better with everything replaced.

Nice advert,cbottorff...man-that's something else. It seems like an alright idea, but from what i've heard, polk really did it better- then again, they probably researched it. Maybe they had a pair, gave them a listen then thought "how can we make this sound good?":D.

deeter
03-16-2010, 07:12 PM
I never owned a pair, but my friend did.

Sure you did.... LOL!

This is the funniest thread I have ever read! I must admit though, my brother had a pair when I was like... 12... And I thought they were bad as hell!!!
Now that am grown I KNOW they really are BAD! AS HELL! LOL....

RadShak1251
03-17-2010, 04:30 PM
Has anyone thought about taking the basic idea of thrusters, and improving them? Put in some acoustic foam, thicker walls, and a crossover, and you could really have something...I think:DI've always enjoyed trying to get the "cheap" stuff to perform better, so I'm glad someone asked. :D

If the enclosure didn't include any damping material, adding some on at least one long side and a portion of the rear panel directly behind the dual woofers/full range drivers*, should help eliminate a good chunk of boominess.

As far as an improved crossover, if *I* was going to build one: if there wasn't one already present, an inductor on the woofers (in the 2-way version) would help reduce intermodulation distortion, which is created when the shared output of the woofer and the tweeter - which happens in their crossover region - interfere with each other, a little bit like mixing vinegar and baking soda. :) FYI: using an inductor will create a 6dB per octave roll-off, the "gentle-ist" you can get with conventional components. Anyway....but if the woofers were designed carefully enough, their natural rolloff will act like a built-in crossover (usually called a "mechanical crossover") and an inductor isn't really needed. Many speakers from respectable manufacturers over the years have used, and still use, a 6dB/octave xover, though they might also include some extra components to reduce the driver's output to match the other drivers' output level or "shape" a driver's response to better fit the overall system's desired sonic personality, but it will still cause a 6dB roll-off.

A more sophisticated xover can create a 12dB/octave slope for the tweeter, which should increase its power handling capacity and lower its distortion at the same time.

Bracing the cabinet is a good idea, though I wouldn't overdo it because the volume taken up by the brace(s) in turn changes the volume of the enclosure and that directly affects the operating characteristics of the woofer+passive radiator system. Personally I would stick to just one front-to-back brace (between the front baffle and rear panel) consisting of a skinny wooden dowel, say around 1/2" in diameter.




* Note!! With a bass-reflex design - and a passive radiator-equipped speaker is included in that category - it is generally not advisable to cover every interior wall of the enclosure with damping material. Otherwise the port/PR system will not work as well as it should.

cbottorff
03-23-2010, 04:07 AM
I've been researching the matching head units that came with Thrusters and have turned up some more pics.

Panasonic Thrusters SB-350 Speakers

http://i39.tinypic.com/29wy39.jpg

Panasonic Cassette Receiver SE-5508 10 Watts RMS with SB-350 Thrusters

http://i42.tinypic.com/2hdruwj.jpg

Panasonic Cassette Receiver RA-7700 25 Watts RMS with SB-800 Thrusters

http://i39.tinypic.com/zxjwk0.jpg

Panasonic Cassette Receiver RA-6700 25.0 Watts RMS with SB-1800 Thrusters

http://i40.tinypic.com/17uvrc.jpg

33&athird
03-23-2010, 04:38 AM
I've always enjoyed trying to get the "cheap" stuff to perform better, so I'm glad someone asked. :D

Oh man, that's a great write-up. Didn't think much of the acoustic foam stuff blocking the bass-reflex's "abilites". When I find a thrift pair, I'll have to try what you describe and see what happens:D

I've been researching the matching head units that came with Thrusters and have turned up some more pics.

Panasonic Cassette Receiver SE-5508 10 Watts RMS with SB-350 Thrusters
http://i42.tinypic.com/2hdruwj.jpg


Dude, no freakin' way. Just made my day, that the exact unit my mom has- i've never seen any refrence to it anywhere, or any mention. Unbelivable, really fantastic. That thing is still in the basement, I fixed the turntable, and the cassette player is off, but other than that, it's perfect.

Believe it or not, even in the basement, that receiver can pull in FM like no-ones buisness, even without the AFC off:yes:. Cool unit too, i'll have to take a picture inside next time i'm in there (have to reconnect the turntable).

cbottorff
03-23-2010, 06:09 AM
In post #76 33&athird says:

> Dude, no freakin' way. Just made my day...

I'm sure there are other people who are interested in these Panasonic systems as well, but they just don't want to admit it. I started out my audio experience with AM pocket radios and AM car radios at the age of 11 and 12 years old and then worked my way up in fidelity from there. Having a Panasonic system like these units shown here is a huge upgrade from an AM transistor radio running on 2 AA batteries. Just having the ability to record high fidelity cassettes when I was 15, 16 and 17 years old with a 3 head cassette deck put me way ahead of all my friends. They would say, "You are recording better cassettes than I can buy!" And it was true, too. The Panasonics here are a very favorable milestone in a long journey in high fidelity.

>> ...that the exact unit my mom has...

Take some quality pictures and post them won't you?

As far as this thread, what I'm generally looking for are the better versions of the Thrusters and their matching head units, primarily the SB-800, SB-1000, SB-1100, SB-1600 and SB-1800 Thrusters and the cassette receiver head units. If I find quality pictures of anything relevant along the way, I will most likely post them as well.

For instance:

Panasonic RA-6600 8-Track Stereo Receiver 12 watts RMS with SB-1600 Thruster Speakers

Also, these low res pics are clickable for the high res 2816x2112 "heart attack" versions for addicts who enjoy such things.

http://i43.tinypic.com/246qs5j.jpg (http://www.ephotobay.com/image/dscn0617.jpg)

http://i40.tinypic.com/mx2eyx.jpg (http://www.ephotobay.com/image/dscn0618.jpg)

zebra03
03-23-2010, 10:37 AM
That is truly nice . thanks for sharing!

eyg2181
03-23-2010, 12:09 PM
In post #76 33&athird says:

> Dude, no freakin' way. Just made my day...

I'm sure there are other people who are interested in these Panasonic systems as well, but they just don't want to admit it. I started out my audio experience with AM pocket radios and AM car radios at the age of 11 and 12 years old and then worked my way up in fidelity from there. Having a Panasonic system like these units shown here is a huge upgrade from an AM transistor radio running on 2 AA batteries. Just having the ability to record high fidelity cassettes when I was 15, 16 and 17 years old with a 3 head cassette deck put me way ahead of all my friends. They would say, "You are recording better cassettes than I can buy!" And it was true, too. The Panasonics here are a very favorable milestone in a long journey in high fidelity.

>> ...that the exact unit my mom has...

Take some quality pictures and post them won't you?

As far as this thread, what I'm generally looking for are the better versions of the Thrusters and their matching head units, primarily the SB-800, SB-1000, SB-1100, SB-1600 and SB-1800 Thrusters and the cassette receiver head units. If I find quality pictures of anything relevant along the way, I will most likely post them as well.

For instance:

Panasonic RA-6600 8-Track Stereo Receiver 12 watts RMS with SB-1600 Thruster Speakers

Also, these low res pics are clickable for the high res 2816x2112 "heart attack" versions for addicts who enjoy such things.

http://i43.tinypic.com/246qs5j.jpg (http://www.ephotobay.com/image/dscn0617.jpg)

http://i40.tinypic.com/mx2eyx.jpg (http://www.ephotobay.com/image/dscn0618.jpg)

This is the exact unit i have. the recordings from the RA-6600 are exceptional. i do not have the matching speakers, but im not gonna lie... if i find them for a cheap price, i will buy just to have the complete system. This unit is all around great. Great sound (even/especially on 8 Track), great reception on the radio, this unit is also very loud for only 12 WPC. i have the original manual as well.

Tim 700
01-13-2014, 05:14 PM
Just picked up a vintage pair from a town's electronic recycling pile.

Any speaker with the name Thruster has to be awesome. :no::no::no::no::no::no::no::no::

Will go on sale at my next garage sale in the spring. I'd imagine the same demographic that buys those 1,000,000,000 watt boom boxes would love these.

:thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp:

mhardy6647
01-13-2014, 05:18 PM
Those are great ads - finally Thrusters can get the high-end respect they've always deserved.

toxcrusadr
01-13-2014, 05:30 PM
They are like Polk Monitor 10's in the same way that...oh, let's see.
The same way...
...a Yugo is like a real car
...Bac-o-Bits are like bacon
...Cheez Whiz is like Vermont Cheddar
...those flexible records you'd get inside National Geographic were like real records

You get the idea.

kermit z
01-13-2014, 06:08 PM
Well, my Thrusters from when I was a preteen and teen, where the dual 5 1/2 inch drivers, but no tweeter....Not that tweeters would have helped them at all....but.

mhardy6647
01-14-2014, 08:15 AM
the ol' double-barreled thrust of midrange...

http://i39.tinypic.com/29wy39.jpg
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/9606201717_d3fb6c6688.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42750692@N07/9606201717/)
earlypolkfamilyportrait (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42750692@N07/9606201717/) by mhardy6647 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42750692@N07/), on Flickr

Personally, I always got more of a Dagmar vibe from the Polk Monitor 10 (and the double-barreled Thrusters, too, I guess)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagmar_bumpers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagmar_(American_actress)

CopperWizard
04-16-2014, 05:39 PM
Quote:
"* Note!! With a bass-reflex design - and a passive radiator-equipped speaker is included in that category - it is generally not advisable to cover every interior wall of the enclosure with damping material. Otherwise the port/PR system will not work as well as it should."

When I read this it made sense but my two sets of bass reflex (ported) speakers I own have padding on all sides except the front baffle. The Marantz Imperial 6 has some of the eggcrate foam intentionally over the port so it separates it from the rest of the inside space. Are you saying this because of reflections? References?
I got to this thread from looking up the "Thrusters." At the bakery where I work, it's basically a small warehouse, the Thrusters do well because it is a large space. I tried putting up a "better" pair but they just didn't have the warehouse filling sound.

Tube Radio
06-22-2014, 03:10 AM
If I just had to have a pair I'd want the pair with dual 8" speakers, 12" passive radiator and dome tweeter as those to me would seem like they would be most likely to sound the best out of all the Thrusters.

One could easily take a pair of two way Thrusters with the tweeter 2 5" speakers and 1 8" passive radiator and make a nice speaker system out of them.

One Dayton Audio 8" classic series woofer two 4 ohm 5" sealed back midranges or one 8 ohm sealed back midrange with the other hole sealed up, a dome tweeter a proper crossover and the right amount of dampening material.

BillyTheKid
06-22-2014, 08:44 AM
Ok I know these are not the greatest out thier, but I am looking for a pair for my mom and I wan't to know the model #'s, I don't want to buy a pair YET, but they suposedly had 15's in them, now, mom doesn't know sh!t about speakers, so bear with me here. I would also like to see some pics if at all possible. Also, would that giant 15 inch woofer be a woofer or a passive radiator? How many drivers per box, ect.

Thanks, Wooferman93

I don't know how old your mom is, or her skills with stereo equipment. But what i did for my mom ( 81 years old) is get her a dvd player and hooked it up to a pair of HK computer speakers with sub-woofer. The power stays on all the time to both components, and all she has to do is hit Eject, put in the next CD (which she calls a 'record') she wants to hear, and it starts playing automatically. Then she can eject when finished and play the next 'record'.

It's easy , takes up very little space, and the sound is quite acceptable.
It can all be had for next to nothing at yardsales.

Just my 2 cents when it comes to a 'mom' system.

rudedogg
06-22-2014, 12:40 PM
The Polk 10 is a redesigned Thruster?!?!

OMG!!M laughing sooo hard....belly hurts! It really does look like Thrusters were the inspiration for the beloved polk monitors!