View Full Version : Early Passive Radiator Speakers?


targeteye
07-26-2010, 08:48 AM
Just because I like to clutter my brain with useless trivia I got to thinking about speaker with passive radiators from a historical perspective. The earliest model I can think of is the Altec Bolero 890A.

Are there others earlier?

Steve

Tom Brennan
07-26-2010, 08:59 AM
The 1964 JBL catalog shown at the Lansing Heritage site doesn't show the use or availibility passive radiators but the 1966 catalog does.

When was the Altec 890A made? Mid 1960s? The C was from the early 70s.

mhardy6647
07-26-2010, 09:01 AM
I was going to say JBL as well. '66, eh, Tom? I thought maybe even a little earlier.

Might be worth perusing www.lansingheritage.org docs and/or www.radioshackcatalogs.com in the late 1950s/early '60s (R/S sold Altec and JBL in those days...)

targeteye
07-26-2010, 09:12 AM
Only information I found was this posting by Bolly about the 890a/b wich states 1968. I do not know where the information came from. Because of the "used value" shown it must be a blue book entry.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showpost.php?p=299416&postcount=4

ALTEC SPK, 890A/B BOLERO
Description:
Manufacture Years: 1968 - 1973
Additional Information:
Retail
MSRP: $350.00
USED: $210.00

ALTEC SPK, 890C BOLERO
Description:
Manufacture Years: 1971 - 1976
Additional Information:
Retail
MSRP: $350.00
USED: $130.00

1966 - lancer 77 and Olympus JBLs definately earlier than the bolero and comparing the Bolero and Lancer 77 it appears the Bolero is a "knockoff".

boreas
07-26-2010, 12:14 PM
I was going to say JBL as well. '66, eh, Tom? I thought maybe even a little earlier.

Might be worth perusing www.lansingheritage.org docs and/or www.radioshackcatalogs.com in the late 1950s/early '60s (R/S sold Altec and JBL in those days...)

Radio Shack also sold their own. I think they sold several models like the Mach One and Mach Two. I know they sold the Nova-10 with 8" woofer, 8" PR and 2" tweeter 'cuz I have a pair. I think these arrived fairly late in the game so wouldn't actually meet the OP's criteria.

John

GordonW
07-26-2010, 06:18 PM
I have seen a JBL L54 Trimline (LE8 and PR8) with an original purchase receipt, IIRC, where someone bought them in 1964. That's about the earliest I've ever encountered. They had the early LE8 design (whizzer cone and black woofer cone).

Ah, here it is... L54, from the 1964 JBL catalog:

http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/jbl/catalogs/1964/page32.jpg

The ones I saw, looked even older than the ones in the pic. JBL had gone to the Aquaplas-covered LE8 by the time that '64 catalog was printed...

Regards,
Gordon.

jimfet
07-26-2010, 06:30 PM
In the mid to late 70's Genesis and EV had passives.

Copa1934
07-26-2010, 06:44 PM
Mach speakers used 15" drivers, eliminating any need for passives. This is an interesting thread.

GordonW
07-26-2010, 07:02 PM
Mach speakers used 15" drivers, eliminating any need for passives. This is an interesting thread.

Hah! I once built (I designed the cabinet, and he built it, I built and/or tuned the other parts) a subwoofer for a client, using a JBL 2245 EIGHTEEN inch woofer, with a custom-built (by me) eighteen inch passive radiator, and a 500w Dayton sub amp. This was built into a cube shaped enclosure, 2 feet on each side. About 7 cubic feet, tuned to about 22 Hz by the PR, with the EQ on the amp set to make it ruler flat (i.e, not even starting to roll off) to below 25 Hz. F3, depending on how it was placed in the room, was somewhere between 16 and 20 Hz...

It could do ULF SPL levels that would bounce the pictures off the walls. :D I measured in excess of 120dB @ 1M from the cabinet at 25 Hz, in-room.

Regards,
Gordon.

kfa888
07-26-2010, 07:09 PM
Mach speakers used 15" drivers, eliminating any need for passives. This is an interesting thread.

It has a port instead. Same difference.

I would have thought Wafedale or other European makers would have done that near the turn of the century.

Copa1934
07-26-2010, 07:11 PM
Mach One's don't have a port, they're air suspension (acoustic suspension for the audiophile types).

Tom Brennan
07-26-2010, 07:13 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if Harry Olson at RCA built one or at least described the practice before anyone used them commercially.

Copa1934
07-26-2010, 07:14 PM
:banana: So like a waterbed, except in this case we're using walls rather than water, we get two waves free eh? Not sure I'd want to be in the same room with those bad boys. :lmao::lmao::lmao: Mommy!

Tom Brennan
07-26-2010, 07:18 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if Harry Olson at RCA built one or at least described the practice before anyone used them commercially.


Damned if he didn't. A quick google just showed that Olson patented a PR system in 1935 and presented more work in an AES paper in 1954.

Olson knew everything.

Copa1934
07-26-2010, 07:34 PM
Nice brief synopsis http://books.nap.edu/html/biomems/holson.pdf

Nice catch Tom! Actually coming up with the person who conceived the whole idea.

GordonW
07-28-2010, 08:14 AM
Damned if he didn't. A quick google just showed that Olson patented a PR system in 1935 and presented more work in an AES paper in 1954.

Olson knew everything.

Yep. And if he didn't know everything, Hilliard or G.A. Briggs probably knew what he didn't. :D

Between them, there was an immense breadth and depth of knowledge...

But, as far as a commercial product with passive radiators, I don't know of one earlier than the JBL Trimline...

Regards,
Gordon.

Harvey Gerst
07-31-2010, 10:36 AM
When Ed May joined JBL in the early 60's, he brought the idea of passive radiators with him. I believe the Trimline 54 was the first use of a passive radiator at JBL.