View Full Version : XP Series Speakers 1959-1973


TheRed1
11-03-2012, 01:30 PM
Part 1 of 5 (1959-1964)

High Fidelity, Oct. 1962
Until the late 1950s, Fisher made electronic equipment almost exclusively, regarding other components as “machine-shop work”. The one exception to the rule was a “universal” speaker enclosure, the product of Fisher’s close contact with the concerns of the audio hobbyist. Though the enclosure was allegedly universal, people kept asking Fisher what speaker to put in it - and customers for the electronics parts had always requested recommendations of loudspeakers. “I began to feel,” Fisher says, “that we were sending other people a lot of business.”

Small-box speaker systems were already on the market and selling handsomely, and Fisher believed that the speakers of the future would have to fit into small enclosures - particularly since stereo was on the way. (Fisher likes stereo, incidentally, mostly because he feels it has forced record pressers and pickup makers to get on the ball.) As for Fisher’s consoles, these units required relatively high-efficiency speaker systems - also suitable for small enclosures. In 1959, Fisher brought out the “free-piston” design, for the better consoles and as a separate component item. The recent XP4-A actually is a fifth improvement of this product (though its basic principle, the woofer cone attached directly to the enclosure rather to its own basket, has remained unchanged). Fisher gives no figures on sales, but says the speakers are now a “substantial fraction” of his total business.To be able to quickly enter into the rapidly expanding small-box component speaker market of the late 1950s, Fisher contracted with Bill Hecht's United Speaker Systems, Inc. of East Orange, NJ. That exclusive relationship lasted until Avery Fisher sold his company to Emerson in 1969. The first product of this partnership was the XP-1 which sold for $129.50. Introduced in 1959 for the 1960 model year, early versions are shown with an "egg crate" style grill and the classic script 'TheFisher' badge. Later version are shown with a standard cloth grill.

1960

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1959FisherXP-1.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1960XP-1.jpg

1961

In 1961 Fisher added the lower-cost XP-2 ($84.50) and the premium XP-3 ($224.50) while continuing to offer the XP-1 as a mid-line model at the same price ($129.50). The XP-3 appears to have only been available for short time early in the model year and was replaced mid-season by the slightly less expensive XP-4 ($199.50).

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961XP-2.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961JuneXP-1ampXP-2.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961XP-3.jpg

The XP-2 was offered as part of Fisher's nifty little 'Custom Module' mini-console paired with a TA-600. Despite the scarcity of information on the 'Modules', I have been able to trace them through 1965. The 1962 CM II used a 100-R, X-100, MPX-200 and a pair of XP-2's. The 1964 CM III used the 50B tuner with an X-100-B and XP-2's. The 1965 CM IV used a 400 receiver and XP-5's.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961CustomModuleXP-2A.jpg
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961CustomModuleXP-2B.jpg

1961

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961JuneXP-4.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961XP-4AdCopy.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961XP-4A.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1961XP-4B.jpg

1963

The XP series (XP-1A, XP-2A & XP-4A) were all updated, receiving the new rectangular two-tone badge with the Fisher swallow. It is probable that there were also changes in the speaker design but I don't know the details. Prices remained unchanged.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1963FisherSpeakers.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1963SpeakerSpecs.jpg

1964

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1964FisherSpeakers.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/X1964SpeakerPrices.jpg

Do any of you Fisher collectors have early XP Series Fisher speakers? It would be interesting to get some impressions of the quality and potential desirability of Bill Hecht's creations. Photos would be cool, too.

sipuser
11-03-2012, 03:57 PM
I have the following and like them all but only listen to the XP-10's daily.

XP-1A
XP-10
XP-7B
XP-9C
KS-1
WS-80
WS-1

TheRed1
11-03-2012, 04:58 PM
Wow, that's quite a representation of Fisher/United speakers. I didn't realize there were any collectors of this oft-maligned product category. It looks like you're only an example of the first generation short of a complete collection. A pair of rare XP-3's would round it out nicely. If you were to hook them all up together they'd certainly make a unique home theater set-up.

Coincidentally, I had just started working on part 2 which introduces the XP-10 when I saw your post. That is apparently quite a speaker - I'm not surprised it's your daily driver. Do you have any of the original literature that accompanied your speakers?

larryderouin
11-03-2012, 05:14 PM
I've got a pair of WS-1's. Strictly Mid and high's. More of a filler speaker to kill the dead spots. German driver (4x7 approx). I use them with my Futura or C.E. as extensions in the corners.

Larry

sipuser
11-03-2012, 05:32 PM
I grew up with fisher gear so have always found them to be first rate. I also have Altec's, JBL and Pioneer's speakers to compare with and find the Avery era speakers sound are just as good as others made back in the day in the right sitting IMHO.

I'm not much into the home theater thing so that will never happen :)

I'm not real sure on speaker documentation, I have a 3' stack of fisher information from the 50/60's era but havent gone through it in 10 years. I keep the catalogs handy but owner and service manuals and other fisher information are stored away/buried behind other stuff.

My XP-10's are keepers, just the right size with the right sound pressure for my room size. I sold a pair of XP-18's about 7 years ago to my regret but they needed a larger room to really shine and a friend finally wore me down on the 18's so I sold them.

Wigwam Jones
11-03-2012, 05:48 PM
I have XP-56 and XP-9, as well as a later model called the 102 which is, in fact, an XP-56 with some very minor cosmetic changes. I like them very much. The XP-56, with the replacement of the cone tweeters by some generic domes, are my favorite 2-way speakers, period.

TheRed1
11-03-2012, 07:26 PM
Part 2 of 5 (1965-1967)

From a Dealerscope profile of Bill Hecht by David Dritsas:

Sometimes, great inventions happen by accident. In 1963, William Hecht, the founder and CEO of United Speaker Systems, was running an established OEM that had an exclusive relationship with Avery Fisher, another audio pioneer, building speakers for Fisher’s company, Fisher Electronics.

Hecht was confronted with what seemed a mundane problem: When showing speakers at various audio shows, onlookers often poked at the two-inch dome tweeters of the display models, sometimes cracking them, and that simply didn’t look good. So he set out to make a soft, mock tweeter that wouldn’t crack when prodded.

As with any good inventor worth his medal, curiosity got the better of him. “I brought it back to the lab and I thought it might possibly make a good mid-range if I coated it,” Hecht recalls. “So I coated it with a thin rubber coating and put noise through it with a signal generator. To my absolute surprise, it went beyond 12K; that was quite a shock.” In those days, the belief was that on only a rigid tweeter was capable of producing high frequencies.

Hecht had proven that theory wrong, but it took a personal visit to the United States Patent Office in Washington, DC, to get it off the ground. “We were rejected four times,” he says. “The examiner (at the patent office) said ‘It is a known fact that you cannot produce high frequencies with anything but a very stiff material.’”

So Hecht drove to the Washington, bringing along a tweeter, an amplifier and a signal generator. After a brief demonstration, he got his patent, and from there the soft dome tweeter became an industry standard, licensed almost immediately by manufacturers, including Macintosh, JVC, Yamaha, Pioneer, Kenwood and Shure, to name a few.

It would appear that the XP-10 was the first speaker to incorporate Hecht's soft dome tweeter. However, dating its introduction is a bit tricky. Audio magazine claims it was introduced in late 1963 which would probably place it in the 1964 model year. I can find no mention of the XP-10 actually being for sale prior to the 1965 model year which is when it turns up in Fisher catalogs and price lists. Perhaps Audio is referring to pre-production examples that were made available to the industry press. I don't know.

1965

For 1965 Fisher expanded its speaker selection with two new models: an entry-level model, the XP-5 ($54.50) and, at the other end of the spectrum, the impressive XP-10 ($249.50). The rest of the line-up remained unchanged, including prices.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1965FisherSpeakers.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1965SpeakerPrices.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/HighFidelityMagazineXP-10Review.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/AudioMagazineReviewXP-10.jpg

Note that the Audio review refers to the introduction of an eddy-current damped electrolytic-copper voice coil in the XP-4A. Perhaps the new voice coil was one of the changes made in '63 that the 'A' in the model number signifies.

1966

For 1966 Fisher retired the XP-1A, XP-2A and the XP-4A, introducing three new models to replace them: the XP-6 ($99.50), XP-7 ($139.50) and the XP-9 ($199.50). Also, sometime during the model year the XP-5 became the XP-5A with an increased price of $59.50. It was the only model not using Hecht's new soft-dome tweeter. The XP-10 continued as Fisher's flagship speaker with its price unchanged.

The seemingly odd omission of an XP-8 model might be explained by the pronunciation of the model number sounding like the word expiate. I am sure a keen salesman with a background in publishing, like Avery Fisher, would have appreciated the implications of a speaker with a name that sounded like some sort of atonement might be required.

EDIT: Based on the console catalog, the '66 models would have been the first to have individual ID badges in addition to the rectangular, two-tone 'The Fisher' badge with the swallow. However, there have been instances where Fisher catalogs omit the insignia in their illustrations; so a certain amount of skepticism is warranted. From the '66 Fisher console catalog:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1966SpeakersB.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966XP-10.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966XP-9.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966XP-7.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966XP-6.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966XP-5.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966XP-5A.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966TechnicalSpecs.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1966SpeakerPrices.jpg

1967

1967 retained the previous year's model line-up and prices with one "small" addition. The new XP-33 "Little Giant" became Fisher's least expensive XP speaker at $49.50.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Y1967Speakers.jpg

Ken Boyd
11-03-2012, 08:03 PM
I came across a pair of the X10's they were in great shape, and I really wanted to buy them to go with my Fisher amp, but I have to say, I was not all the impressed with them as far as the sound. I think the hi frequency drivers were dead. When everything is working do they sound any good?

Wigwam Jones
11-03-2012, 08:11 PM
I came across a pair of the X10's they were in great shape, and I really wanted to buy them to go with my Fisher amp, but I have to say, I was not all the impressed with them as far as the sound. I think the hi frequency drivers were dead. When everything is working do they sound any good?

Many think so.

TheRed1
11-03-2012, 08:21 PM
I came across a pair of the X10's they were in great shape, and I really wanted to buy them to go with my Fisher amp, but I have to say, I was not all the impressed with them as far as the sound. I think the hi frequency drivers were dead.It's also possible the controls for setting the tweeter response were either turned down or perhaps corroded and non-functional like those in AR-3 speakers often are.

Wigwam Jones
11-03-2012, 08:33 PM
It's also possible the controls for setting the tweeter response were either turned down or perhaps corroded and non-functional like those in AR-3 speakers often are.

The conventional wisdom is that Avery Fisher preferred a 'rolled off' sound to his speakers and insisted that they sound this way. In my small sample set, this rumor is true. In my case, for my XP56, I replaced the tweeter (and removed a resistor in the simple crossover network that was used to attenuate the tweeter). The dome tweeter in the XP7 speakers I have (I incorrectly said I had XP9 above) is often hardened and non-responsive. I replaced mine with Fostex silk dome tweeters.

Ken Boyd
11-03-2012, 09:08 PM
I checked the pots on the back, they were much more than what one would called rolled off highs, I think they were non existant. If the guy still has them I will probably snag them if I can get him to come down a bit. I would think finding some tweeters to get them going wouldn't be something I couldn't manage.

sipuser
11-03-2012, 09:58 PM
Ken Boyd, from what I have heard and noticed in Fisher speakers that used the orange dome tweeters most need to be rebuilt to bring the XP-10's back to full sound.

In my XP-10 the tweeters did work but I pulled them to save for later and replaced them with a PE Dayton Audio Silk Dome Tweeter with a 4 ohm resistor in series. I also cleaned the Pots and rebuilt the crossovers with new caps. You can see what I did in this thread.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=471760

It took a couple weeks for the new caps to break in and for me to notice a change but once I did I'm glad I went with the new caps.

The High Fidelity XP-10 write up TheRed1 posted above is spot on in my opinion.

Vintage Fisher speakers are excellent and with a little attention are well worth the going price for most of them.

TheRed1, another great Fisher thread, thanks for posting all this information!

TheRed1
11-03-2012, 09:58 PM
The conventional wisdom is that Avery Fisher preferred a 'rolled off' sound to his speakers and insisted that they sound this way.I have always been skeptical about that particular bit of web wisdom. I've certainly never seen any documentation to back that up. Looking at the entire span of Mr. Fisher's involvement in the audio industry and his speaker preferences over that time (1937-1969); it just doesn't make sense. He was one of the pioneers pushing the limits of frequency response at a time when most would have thought such a pursuit pointless given the limitations of 78 records and AM radio.

His home reference system utilized some very exotic Western Electric drivers salvaged from the 1939 World's Fair (and now in the Smithsonian) that were anything but rolled off. After WWII he wrote to all of his old customers advising them to replace the outdated speakers in their Philharmonic consoles (Jensen A-12 field coil w/separate PM-6 tweeter or Cinaudagraph "Magic Magnet" speakers - not too shabby even by today's standards) with the new Altec Duplex speakers - for a "300% improvement." Even as late as 1988, with his aging ears, he was using KEF speakers in his home system. Certainly not the speaker choices of a man who preferred dull, lifeless music.

I think it far more likely that the high frequency drivers and/or the crossovers used on Fisher/United's XP speakers just didn't age well.

EDIT: . . . as confirmed by sipuser above.

Ken Boyd
11-03-2012, 11:35 PM
Thanks to both of you for all the great info, I really like those cabinets and hopefully he still has them, as he knew I want them and I have already purchased a few pieces from him. I had pretty much already planned to just change out the drivers. I was thinking of putting in some Yamaha BE drivers for the hi frequency and possible the mids as well. I liked the Yamaha NS speakers pretty much with my SS amps but I liked them much better when I used the Fisher on them. I also have some spare Audax silk dome tweeters that I purchased as spares for another speaker set that would probably do well. If he still has them and I purchase them I will post some pics of them.

TheRed1
11-04-2012, 02:25 PM
Part 3 of 5 (1968-1969)

1968

A year that produced an explosion of new XP series speakers. For clarity I will subdivide the model year into early and mid-season (1968) groups. The early '68 models might originally have been intended for the '67 model year. There is some evidence that Fisher experienced some sort of production hiccup in 1967 which delayed the introduction of new models. The following is an excerpt from a document clearly labeled "Dealers Confidential Price List - 1968" which is dated effective Aug. 1, 1967. That was an unusually early kick-off for a new model year - most initial price lists have a September or October date.

Discontinued for 1968 was the XP-5A. New models included the XP-55 - a probable replacement for the XP-5A - listed at the same price, $59.50. The XP-6 became the XP-6B with a reduced price of $89.95 - ten dollars cheaper. (I'm not sure if there ever was an XP-6A model.) In counterpoint, the XP-7's price was increased ten dollars to $149.50. The old 3-way XP-9 was significantly redesigned; becoming the 4-way XP-9B without a change in price. Also unchanged in price was the XP-10. Topping out the line-up was the new 4-way XP-15 Consolette at $299.50.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968SpeakerPrices.jpg

Collectors' Note: Below are the models only mentioned in early 1968 Fisher sales literature which were discontinued by mid-season. These would have been produced for only a short time and would be, presumably, somewhat uncommon as a result.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/1968XP-55XP-6B.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/1968XP-15.jpg

1968

Following are the models available mid-season 1968:


The XP-44 "Little Giant, which replaced the XP-33 as the least expensive XP model at $44.50.
The XP-55B, an update of the short-lived XP-55 with a reduced price of $49.95.
The XP-60, a probable replacement for the XP-6B with a lower price of $79.95.
The XP-66, a new, inexpensive ($109.95) 3-way model that filled a gap that existed between the previous 2-ways and the XP-7.
The XP-7, now back at the '67 price of $139.50.
The XP-9B, now twenty dollars less expensive at $179.95 - probably to create a more even price spread across the line.
The XP-12, a new 3-way Consolette at the price point previously occupied by the XP-9B, $199.95.
The XP-15B, an update of the XP-15 with a price reduced by thirty dollars - Now Only $269.95!
The XP-18, a brand new 4-way with a massive 18" woofer and a very hefty price tag of $329.95 - EACH!*

*It's probably a little late to note that ALL of the prices listed are for a single speaker. None of these speakers were what you would have called cheap!

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-18.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-15B.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-12.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-9B.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-7.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-66.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-60.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-55B.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968XP-44.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1968SpeakerSpecs.jpg

1969

The sale of Fisher Radio Corp. to Emerson Electric Co. (a division of National Union Electronics Corp.) was publicly announced in early February of 1969. Perhaps as a result of the impending change in ownership there were no new models. The black background in the catalog says it all - it was the end of an era.

There is an unexplained mismatch between the illustration, which plainly shows three different consolettes, and the descriptions - which only mention the XP-18. As far as I can tell, all three were available in 1969 since they were also listed in 1970 catalogs. That's just sloppy and very un-Fisher-like.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1969SpeakerSystemsA-1.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/Z1969SpeakerSystemsB.jpg

Wigwam Jones
11-04-2012, 03:09 PM
I have always been skeptical about that particular bit of web wisdom. I've certainly never seen any documentation to back that up. Looking at the entire span of Mr. Fisher's involvement in the audio industry and his speaker preferences over that time (1937-1969); it just doesn't make sense. He was one of the pioneers pushing the limits of frequency response at a time when most would have thought such a pursuit pointless given the limitations of 78 records and AM radio.

His home reference system utilized some very exotic Western Electric drivers salvaged from the 1939 World's Fair (and now in the Smithsonian) that were anything but rolled off. After WWII he wrote to all of his old customers advising them to replace the outdated speakers in their Philharmonic consoles (Jensen A-12 field coil w/separate PM-6 tweeter or Cinaudagraph "Magic Magnet" speakers - not too shabby even by today's standards) with the new Altec Duplex speakers - for a "300% improvement." Even as late as 1988, with his aging ears, he was using KEF speakers in his home system. Certainly not the speaker choices of a man who preferred dull, lifeless music.

I think it far more likely that the high frequency drivers and/or the crossovers used on Fisher/United's XP speakers just didn't age well.

EDIT: . . . as confirmed by sipuser above.

I can only say I do not know *why* the Fisher XP series speakers I have had exposure to seem to suffer from rolled-off highs, but it has seemed to be the case, and has been reported on AK by others as well. Recapping did not restore the sparkle, but removing the attenuating resistor did, in the case of the two-way speakers with cone tweeters. In the case of my XP7 speakers, the dome tweeters were simply hardened and non-functional, as appears to often be the case.

I wonder sometimes if the issue is simply that modern tastes are a bit different. In my case, aging ears may also account for some of it.

TheRed1
11-04-2012, 04:38 PM
I can only say I do not know *why* the Fisher XP series speakers I have had exposure to seem to suffer from rolled-off highs, but it has seemed to be the case, and has been reported on AK by others as well. Recapping did not restore the sparkle, but removing the attenuating resistor did, in the case of the two-way speakers with cone tweeters. In the case of my XP7 speakers, the dome tweeters were simply hardened and non-functional, as appears to often be the case.

I wonder sometimes if the issue is simply that modern tastes are a bit different. In my case, aging ears may also account for some of it.

I completely agree that the criteria by which speakers are judged has evolved over time. What sparkled for Mr. Fisher in the late 1930s might not sparkle as brightly for you and me - but I bet it wouldn't sound half bad, either. Perhaps some of Fisher's reputation for lackluster speakers is a question of unrealistic expectations - especially for the longevity of now quite old high frequency drivers.

While I sincerely doubt that Mr. Fisher ever limited the frequency response of any of his products to suit his personal tastes; I'm sure compromises were made - especially at the less-expensive end of the speaker spectrum. Your XP-56s would be a good case in point except that they were produced in 1971 (or later) which was several years after Mr. Fisher had sold out to Emerson.

1971 was also well after Fisher's relationship with United Speaker Systems, Inc had ended. By this time Emerson had shifted all of its production off-shore and had divested itself of all of the older Fisher plants as well. It is unclear exactly by whom or where Fisher-branded speakers of the post-Hecht era would have been produced. It was supposedly quality control problems resulting from all the production facility changes that prompted Emerson to seek help from Sanyo.

I think those old, stiff tweeters you found in your XP-7s are probably typical of what one should expect to find in the classic Avery Fisher/Bill Hecht XPs - and they should be judged accordingly.

Wigwam Jones
11-04-2012, 05:05 PM
1971 was also well after Fisher's relationship with United Speaker Systems, Inc had ended. By this time Emerson had shifted all of its production off-shore and had divested itself of all of the older Fisher plants as well. It is unclear exactly by whom or where Fisher-branded speakers of the post-Hecht era would have been produced. It was supposedly quality control problems resulting from all the production facility changes that prompted Emerson to seek help from Sanyo.


Well, my XP-56 (and identical in nearly all respects 102) are labeled "Fisher Radio, Long Island City, NY." I do not know if they were actually made overseas, but the drivers appear to be CTS or similar, not Japanese.


I think those old, stiff tweeters you found in your XP-7s are probably typical of what one should expect to find in the classic Avery Fisher/Bill Hecht XPs - and they should be judged accordingly.

Mine were completely non-functional; others have reported very weak response from theirs. I'm always surprised when I hear of a pair that still work at all and would tend not to trust them. But it is not a major feat to replace them with modern silk dome tweeters.

Ken Boyd
11-04-2012, 05:16 PM
Maybe a nice replacement would be silk domes made by Phase Tech, since Bill and his son owned that company. I have a few old pairs of their speakers and the dome tweeters in them sound very nice. I heard that Bill died recently but I know his son still is over there at the factory.

I also talked the guy that had the X10's he has sold them but he informed me he just purchased a pair of the X15's I might go look at them if he doesn't think they are worth to much. For the most part I really don't want to pay much for a pair of Fisher Speakers because I beleive when it comes to speakers a person can do much better with his money.

WarrGo
11-04-2012, 05:17 PM
So did Fisher start the relationship with united in the late fifties? Was this for all speakers? I am sure my 61 Electra has Jensen woofers. Not sure what the mid and tweeter speakers are. Did the later speakers and consoles use united? Just seekin clarity on this.

sipuser
11-04-2012, 05:21 PM
United web site states it started with the XP-1.

"It began with the design of the successful Model XP-1 bookshelf loudspeaker for audio industry pioneer Avery Fisher in 1959. "

larryderouin
11-04-2012, 07:17 PM
The speaker in my 51 Coronet is a JENSEN, as are the speakers in my 59 510, 560, and 61 CORONET II. The speakers in my '64 Custom Electra VII, '65 C.E. VIII, and '65 Futura all are FISHER manufactured. Stickers on them state "Manufactured by The FISHER Radio Corporation Speaker Division, Belleville, N.J.

Picture of the FUTURA SPEAKERS in 2010 during restoration.
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=387755&stc=1&d=1352078173

Larry

TheRed1
11-05-2012, 06:07 AM
Well, my XP-56 (and identical in nearly all respects 102) are labeled "Fisher Radio, Long Island City, NY." I do not know if they were actually made overseas, but the drivers appear to be CTS or similar, not Japanese.As long as they are not marked Made In X then you can conclude they were domestically produced. The Long Island City, NY address refers to Fisher's corporate headquarters and not their manufacturing facilities, however. Fisher speakers made after Sanyo took control have the Chatsworth, Ca. address which is also a reference to the location of their corporate headquarters.

I just went back and read through your excellent thread on CTS (http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=4508687#post4508687) and noted that one member confirmed he found their drivers in his Fisher XP-16 speakers. I wonder if anyone has a good photo of a CTS driver from an Emerson era Fisher speaker showing the speaker production code?

I'll be starting work on part 4 soon which covers the early Emerson era models. Hopefully when I pull all my sources together I'll be able to piece together some more of the history.

TheRed1
11-08-2012, 01:46 PM
Part 4 of 5 (1970-1971)

1970

Despite having the same basic models as 1969, there were at least a few updates requiring a new letter suffix for 1971. The 4-way XP-9B became the 3-way XP-9C with a larger 15" woofer and the addition of a second 1" soft-dome tweeter. The long-unchanged 3-way XP-7 finally received an update becoming the 4-way XP-7B. Also newly upgraded to "B" status were the XP-60B and XP-66B. I do not have any pricing information for either 1970 or 1971.

Note: Production of the Emerson era speakers appears to have taken place at Fisher's modern plant in Milroy, Pa. Due to shipping costs and the tariff structure of the early 70s, speaker imports had yet to make major inroads into US markets. Further discussion of this topic here (http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=6210120). Some owners of Fisher speakers of this era report the use of CTS drivers. If you have an XP series speaker it would be interesting to be able to add the specific make of the drivers it contains.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1970SpeakersA.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1970SpeakersB.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1970SpeakersC.jpg

1971

For 1971 Fisher retired the XP-15B and XP-12 consolettes; replacing them with the all-new XP-16. It came in three different (very different) cabinet styles: Contemporary, Country French and Mediterranean. The 1971 XP-9C seems like it should have merited a "D" designation since it was now a 4-way sporting a brand new super-tweeter which replaced one of the previous year's XP-9C's soft-dome "regular" tweeters. There were also two new, seemingly unnecessary, middle-of-the-already-crowded-pack, price point placeholders: the 2-way XP-56 and the 3-way XP-65. Finally, the entry-level XP-44 was updated, becoming the XP-44B.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1971CatalogSpeakers.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1971CatalogSpeakersA.jpg

The following excerpts from Fisher's "Technical Analysis . . ." brochure (copyright 1970) are courtesy the Smithsonian Museum of American History. This was part of a packet donated personally by Mr. Fisher in 1971 along with a 4-Channel Fisher 701 receiver and a set of 4 WS-80 speakers.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971XP-18Detail.jpg
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971XP-18Photo.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971XP-16Detail.jpg
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971XP-16Photo.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971XP-7BXP-9C.jpg
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971XP-7BXP-9CPhoto.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1971XP-66BXP-60B.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1971XP-56XP-65.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZ1971XP-44BXP-55B.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971SpeakerSpecs.jpg

Wigwam Jones
11-08-2012, 02:06 PM
If you have an XP series speaker it would be interesting to be able to add the specific make of the drivers it contains.

Thanks for posting all this great information!

To answer your question...

My XP-56 and "The Fisher 102" which appears to be a clone of the XP-56 both have 8 inch woofers, which are marked clearly with manufacturer code 137, which is CTS. Square magnets, doped cloth surrounds. They have slightly different other numbers on them, but they appear absolutely identical in every respect, and both are clearly manufacturer code 137. The tweeters are unmarked in both sets of speakers. I just went down to my basement and verified this just now, so I am not relying on memory.

I would have to pull the drivers in my XP-7 to tell you what the driver manufacturer codes are, and that's a bit of a pain, so it may be awhile before I can do it, but when I can I will update to this thread.

Also, contrary to the images you posted, both my XP-56 and 102 do NOT have finished baffleboards. They are black particle board, unfinished, with some chalk writing on them. They did not have the wood-grain veneer that is pictured. The model 102 speakers had the fancy plastic lattice work shown as optional in your brochures, though. Just plastic, glued directly to the grill cloth. Could hardly be more cheesy.

TheRed1
11-08-2012, 02:32 PM
Thanks for posting all this great information!You're quite welcome. Thanks for your own information regarding the CTS drivers.

Also, contrary to the images you posted, both my XP-56 and 102 do NOT have finished baffleboards. They are black particle board, unfinished, with some chalk writing on them. They did not have the wood-grain veneer that is pictured. The model 102 speakers had the fancy plastic lattice work shown as optional in your brochures, though. Just plastic, glued directly to the grill cloth. Could hardly be more cheesy.It's possible that the finished baffleboard was only used on the '71 models. The XP-56 continued through '73 so it's possible yours is a later model. The 102 debuted in '73 so that is certainly a later model. Is there any indication of a production date on the drivers?

Do these illustrations look like CTS drivers to you?

From the Fisher's Technical Analysis . . . brochure - copyright 1970:
(Courtesy the Smithsonian Museum of American History)

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/1971SpeakerDetails.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/1971Mid-RangeCrossover.jpg

Wigwam Jones
11-08-2012, 02:43 PM
It's possible that the finished baffleboard was only used on the '71 models. The XP-56 continued through '73 so it's possible yours is a later model. The 102 debuted in '73 so that is certainly a later model. Is there any indication of a production date on the drivers?

XP-56: code 137 7050
102: code 137 7203

I believe that means the 50th week of 1970, and the 3rd week of 1972, respectively.


Do these illustrations look like CTS drivers to you?


I would say not, with the possible exception of the midrange, which looks vaguely like the 8 inch woofers I have in terms of magnet shape. The woofer frames in your illustration shows the exact same design as I see in some old Fisher 12 inch console speakers I have, as well as in my 12 inch woofers in my XP-7's, as I recall (could be wrong).

Normo
11-08-2012, 03:35 PM
What a great thread. I have had a pair of XP-9c's that I rescued from the landfill some years ago. The high end was very muffled and I never replaced the caps or attenuators. I think I should give them a relook. Thanks for all the great information. Much of this I could never find on line. Norm

TheRed1
11-08-2012, 04:29 PM
Do you know which XP-9C you have, the 1970 3-way or the later 4-way with the super tweeter?

Normo
11-08-2012, 05:58 PM
How can I tell the difference? I read the descriptions and I am not sure. Norm

sipuser
11-08-2012, 06:28 PM
Man I'm jonesing for some XP-16 and XP-18!

Wonder which one sounds better XP-16 with two 12's or the XP-18 with that big arse 18" incher :)

Glad the masses think all Fisher speakers stink, maybe I'll luck on to another pair in the future.

TheRed1
11-08-2012, 09:27 PM
So did Fisher start the relationship with united in the late fifties? Was this for all speakers? I am sure my 61 Electra has Jensen woofers. Not sure what the mid and tweeter speakers are. Did the later speakers and consoles use united? Just seekin clarity on this.Fisher's relationship with Bill Hecht's United Speaker Systems, Inc. did indeed start in the late '50s with their first product, the XP-1, being introduced in 1959. The transition from Jensen (and a few other suppliers such as Coral) to United in Fisher consoles was gradual, starting with the top-of-the-line President, Regent and Executive models and progressing down the model line-up. I haven't worked out a definitive chronology for the changeover.

Based on the similarity of terms used in the descriptions - console vs. component - it looks like the transition started in 1961 with "high compliance and high efficiency" woofers on the Executive model. The '62 President had "hemispherical high frequency units"; the '63 had "hemispherical high frequency dome-type tweeters" which were undoubtedly Hecht's. By 1966, Fisher was emphasizing that that year's President used the same driver array as the XP-10.

Fisher's descriptions of the speaker systems used in their low and mid-line models are generally lacking in detail. It might be possible to pin down the transition model year(s) by reviewing the Fisher Consoles "Compendium" sticky Fisherdude created at my request.

Kingfisher
11-09-2012, 12:50 AM
Thank you Carter, this is a fantastic thread! I acquired a pair of XP-66k's last year from an estate sale. They need a lot of work and are in line with lots of other projects I have. I didn't know the 66k was a 66B with a fancy plastic grille on it. I also didn't know the 66 and 66B were different specs. As usual, your threads are very informative.

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=391292

Normo
11-09-2012, 04:11 PM
I think I have the earlier XP9-c, with the two tweeters. Their serial numbers are 65177 and 65178, Perhaps that will narrow it down. Norm

larryderouin
11-09-2012, 06:16 PM
Normo; Take a picture, kind of close, which will give us a better idea.

Larry

TheRed1
11-17-2012, 08:47 AM
Part 4 of 5 Addendum

1971 Radio Shack Prices

I found these on the radioshackcatalogs.com website. Interesting that the description of the XP-15C closely matches that of the XP-16. Perhaps the XP-16 was originally called the XP-15C. Note that the XP-7 was still available at a somewhat reduced cost. Not available at Radio Shack at this time were the XP-56 and XP-65, the two new mid-line models. They may have been mid-season introductions like the XP-16 appears to have been.


XP-15C 12" (2) / 8" / 1" / " super tweeter; 4-way; 28-24,000 Hz; 60 watts; 90 lbs; $199.95

XP-9C 15" / 5" (2) / 1" / 1" super tweeter; 4-way; 28-22,000 Hz; 60 watts; 60 lbs; $199.95

XP-7B 12" / 5" / 5" / 3" (2); 4-way; 30-20,000 Hz; 50 watts; 47 lbs; $149.95

XP-7 12" / 5" (2) / soft-dome tweeter; 3-way; 30-20,000 Hz; 50 watts; 47 lbs; $109.95

XP-66B 12" / 5" / 3"; 3-way; 35-20,000 Hz; 40 watts; 40 lbs; $99.95

XP-60B 10" / 3"; 2-way; 35-20,000 Hz; 30 watts; 30 lbs; $79.95

XP-55B 8" / 3"; 2-way; 37-20,000 Hz; 25 watts; 18 lbs; $49.95

XP-44B 6" / 2"; 2-way; 39-19,000 Hz; 25 watts; 15 lbs; $44.50

TheRed1
11-19-2012, 09:44 AM
Part 5 of 5 (1972-1973)

1972

All I have to go on for 1972 is a price list. It is, however, a comprehensive list of all of Fisher's speaker models giving a brief description and listing all their various grill permutations. Unfortunately, Fisher's emphasis appears to have shifted more toward style and away from performance and innovation during these years. While your choices in speaker grills expanded, specs stagnated and in some cases began to slip slightly.

The higher-end models - XP-18, XP-16 and the XP-9C - carried on unchanged for 1972. Prices were up, though, with the XP-9C increasing $20. (Note the previous post with 1971 prices from the Radio Shack Catalogs website.) 1971's XP-7B became 1972's XP-7C, also increasing in price by $20 . The XP-66C got a new lighter-weight woofer, a heavier mid-range and a was $30 more expensive than the previous year's 'B' model.

1972's XP-65 appears to be a 'B' model which is supported by downward trends in its woofer specs (see the 1973 speaker specs versus 1971). The XP-60B had similar changes becoming the XP-60C with a $20 price increase. It is unclear exactly what was going on with the XP-56 since it was available in a plain version or a 'B' version - each $79.95 - AS WELL AS the extra cost 'K' fretwork grill and 'S' sculptured grill versions - each for $10 more. Fisher's confusing change in their use of a letter suffix to denote the grill style as well as the model generation makes it difficult to determine when new a version was being introduced.

Another case in point: the 1972 XP-55 was available in both 'B' and 'C' versions with the latter denoting an extra-cost fretwork grill option which was usually indicated by a 'K'. Typo? Judging by the '73 catalog entry below - apparently not. It was also available in an 'S' version. Mercifully, the XP-44B remained unchanged.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZZ1972SpeakerSystems.jpg

1973

Not much of interest here - just some illustrations of Fisher's vast assortment of grills. The technical specs mostly show only incremental changes when compared with 1971 (often in the wrong direction). There was a definite sense of stagnation at Fisher in the early 1970s. 1973 marks the end of Donald J. Harper’s tenure as the president of Emerson’s Fisher division. I’m not sure how much significance to read into his departure but it does coincide with the beginning of Emerson’s partnership with Sanyo.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZZ1973XP-44CXP-55BampCXP-56XP-65XP-9C.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZZ1973XP-55XP-56XP-65.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/ZZZ1973XP-60CXP-66CXP-7C.jpg

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/73SpeakerSpecs.jpg

1973 was perhaps notable for the introduction of Fisher’s ‘100’ series of speakers. I really don’t know what to make of these. The 101 through 105 models appear to be identical to existing XP models (see the equivalency bar I added at the top of the following chart). I have not been able to find any pricing data on the 100 series so I don’t know how they fitted into Fisher’s overall speaker hierarchy. Were they meant to replace the XP series? If so, I haven’t found any evidence of that. In fact, they seem to have disappeared after 1973 but that is not conclusive (I only have newspaper ads to go on after 1973). I did find one advertisement from 1974 for one of Fisher’s all-in-one stereo system deals which listed a pair of ‘100’ speakers as part of the package. Beyond that, it appears the 100 speaker series was abandoned in favor of the first ‘MS’ series Fisher speakers which appeared around 1975.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/73100SeriesSpeakers.jpg

The only two 100 series speakers that didn't have XP equivalents were the 110S and 111K. They were the only unique 100 series speakers featured in the ‘73 catalog.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/110-S.jpg

Beyond 1973

The XP series continued well after 1973 - at least in name. The period from 1974 through 1975 was dominated by sculptured grill XP ‘S’ models. Not much is known about the quality of Fisher speakers of this era. However, Fisher had gone mass market by this time and was competing on price. Their advertisements tended to focus on their past accomplishments and storied history. I can confirm the existence of the following models through 1975:


XP-9S $219.95
XP-7S $169.95
XP-65S $109.95
XP-56S $89.95
XP-55S $69.95


Starting in 1976 there were numerous new XP models such as the XP-48, XP-55X, XP-57, XP-62, XP-66KC, XP-68A etc. For the most part these were very cheap speakers with much smaller woofers than previous XPs. These are almost certainly not in the same class as previous speakers of the XP series.

The 1980s

By the early 1980s the number of Fisher speaker series had exploded. In addition to the ‘MS’ speakers there were now ‘DS’, ‘ST’, ‘STEC’, ‘MSM’, ‘SME’ and ‘STE’. And there was still an XP, too. Though it does appear that Fisher/Sanyo was making an effort to reclaim the XP’s former status as a high-end speaker. Witness the 1982 XP-95C:

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/Fisher%20XP%20Series%20Speakers/82XP-95C.jpg

I encourage corrections of any mistakes I may have made. I suspect there are several AK members out there with their own collections of Fisher sales literature who could possibly flesh out this thread with more details. Those with XP series speakers are also encouraged to post photos, ID their drivers and comment on the quality (or lack thereof) of their speakers.

thorenstd124
11-21-2012, 11:15 PM
I came across a pair of the X10's they were in great shape, and I really wanted to buy them to go with my Fisher amp, but I have to say, I was not all the impressed with them as far as the sound. I think the hi frequency drivers were dead. When everything is working do they sound any good?

I love my X-101.I use it almost every day.I am currently using a pair of HeresyIIs I bought off CraigsList with them,but I also have a pair of Fisher X/XP speakers that I think are X-9s,I bought at Goodwill for a whole $6.99.They have no model number,and are a couple inches bigger all around than the X-9s shown here.They are definitely late 60s.I was not all that impressed with them either.There is a harsh quality to them,and something else I can't quite put my finger on.

thorenstd124
11-21-2012, 11:26 PM
XP-56: code 137 7050
102: code 137 7203

I believe that means the 50th week of 1970, and the 3rd week of 1972, respectively.



I would say not, with the possible exception of the midrange, which looks vaguely like the 8 inch woofers I have in terms of magnet shape. The woofer frames in your illustration shows the exact same design as I see in some old Fisher 12 inch console speakers I have, as well as in my 12 inch woofers in my XP-7's, as I recall (could be wrong).

Where are the date codes?

TheRed1
11-22-2012, 07:00 AM
Where are the date codes?Those I have seen have been stamped on the back side of the rim of the speaker baskets. You have to either open up the back of the enclosure or remove the drivers from the front - depending on how the speaker is constructed.

When you say XP-9s, I assume that is the plural of XP-9 and not XP-9'S' as in 'sculptured grill'. What sort of grill does it have? Its dimensions make me wonder if it isn't, in fact, an XP-9S from '74-'75. I don't have information on the XP-9S but other 'S' models from the mid 70s are significantly different from their earlier versions.

TheRed1
12-02-2012, 03:57 PM
Periodic Table of XP Speakers

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb275/irwinbay/PeriodicTableXP.jpg

Distilled from the preceding 5-part series, this chart is an attempt to show the chronology and model hierarchy at a glance. I'm currently working on a much more ambitious table showing all of Fisher's components (tuners, preamps, amps, etc.) 1953 through 1969 or so. It will be interesting trying to cram all those models onto one grid.

Wigwam Jones
12-02-2012, 05:08 PM
That is BRILLIANT! WOW! Thanks!

sipuser
12-02-2012, 05:12 PM
Excellent, thanks so much!

thunderroad
12-04-2012, 04:42 PM
:lurk:

R-2-R
01-14-2013, 11:11 AM
I would just like to say, for the record....."THANK YOU"..:thmbsp:..to all the fellow AK'ers who have contributed by posting such detailed and informative valuable information to this thread on 'vintage' Fisher speakers. :yes:
Never knew that Fisher was so deep into speakers at one time, back in the day. :scratch2:

Again, thank you everyone! :D

michigannick
03-28-2013, 10:42 PM
I would just like to say, for the record....."THANK YOU"..:thmbsp:..to all the fellow AK'ers who have contributed by posting such detailed and informative valuable information to this thread on 'vintage' Fisher speakers. :yes:
Never knew that Fisher was so deep into speakers at one time, back in the day. :scratch2:

Again, thank you everyone! :D

I second that, three cheers! I am in the process of finishing a restore on xp-16's right now, all original drivers (of course not original foam) .. I am down to what to do with the front grills. I was fortunate to pick them up from a fellow AK'er that was running out of room, (and wifely patience) so i took them on and need to finish the grills but all the original material is gone so i am contemplating options. the cabs are GORGEOUS!... not perfect but very well finished

Dswankey
04-17-2013, 09:58 AM
Bravo sir!!!, Bravo. What a great thread and thanks for sharing.

mtlmn1971
06-19-2013, 12:31 PM
I just found a pair of 111K speakers fully intact and working left out by a dumpster. One of the speaker terminals is broken off and the cabs are slightly beat up but still look amazing. I always heard to avoid Fisher speakers so I almost didn't grab these. After hooking them up, I was in shock. The bass produced by those 12 inch woofers was amazing. I have these connected to a Luxman 115. The only thing that set me back were the highs. These have more relaxed highs and I would agree (rolled off). I still prefer my KLH 17 and 23. I think I may replace the caps and try a few different tweeters or maybe even mod these a bit more but I couldn't be happier. I'll add them to the list of my speaker projects. Right now they will serve as my workshop speakers.

michigannick
06-19-2013, 01:10 PM
Mtlmn1971 ... i sould bet ... its not just me that is chomping at the bit to see some pic's of that score I know i have not seen a pair of 111K's

mtlmn1971
06-19-2013, 09:30 PM
michigannick, Here are some pics. The cabs are a bit more beat up then I thought but I'll get them back in shape. One speaker is missing the badge.

michigannick
06-19-2013, 09:41 PM
That is a LOT of drivers! lol I suspect the cross over will be a joy to re-cap... pretty cool vintage for sure! That looks like a nice find!

Bach_Vinyl
08-05-2013, 02:41 AM
Hi, interesting thread about vintage Fisher speakes!

I am Fisher enthusiast from Germany, aso publisher - I wonder if there was ever any attempt to make a biography of Avery Fisher?
It could be done in two volumes:

Vol. I: AVery Fisher's life
Vol II: Fisher Audio Equipment until 1969.

Greetings to all of you from Matthias in Germany

sipuser
08-05-2013, 10:04 AM
Well if there was I've never seen it and would have certainly purchased a copy.

TheRed1 and others have posted a lot of great information about Fisher here on AK making it about the best source to be found.

EDIT: Just remembered that there was an article in Fortune magazine some time ago about Mr. Fisher, I believe 1946 was the year.

Pennytobi
02-01-2014, 07:26 AM
I just finished an article on the Fisher XP-7 (including a little info on the XP-7b and XP-7c). As I got a lot of the information from this thread I thought it might be worth sharing it here. Any productive feedback is very welcome.

Fisher XP-7, XP-7b and XP-7c review (http://www.vintage-speaker-review.com/2014/01/fisher-xp-7-speaker-review-and-price.html)

larryderouin
02-01-2014, 07:55 AM
Other than what I would classify as a couple of small grammatical errors, pretty good. There is one glaring omission, however. I copied the last 2-3 sentences of the article, one of which is not complete and leaves the reader hanging, and wondering "what the H---"?

If you enjoy spending a little work on an old pair of speakers, the XP-7 can be a nice project. As the model has been sold for a number of years, there is a (what???) The main benefit to this is that there is a large arena for getting parts as well as for asking for help on repairs.

Pennytobi
02-01-2014, 08:05 AM
oops, thanks. Ill correct those issues right away.
I am German, so my grammar might be not 100% correct.

quadaptor
02-01-2014, 02:14 PM
That's okay, I'm from the states and my grammar is atrocious! Thanks for the posting.

larryderouin
02-01-2014, 05:39 PM
Nice recovery! It's the Catholic School upbringing. And my German is non existant except for Nein, and Achtung.

Brian
03-24-2014, 07:30 PM
Years ago I spoke with Bill about rebuilding his tweeters. I had been given a set of XP-18s that an AK'er was holding for me at his warehouse in the US for pickup. He was amazed persons would even consider rebuilding them or using them today. The are rubber pieces in them he said would have hardened within a decade or so and doubted any at the time would work at all and if working would not be anywhere near original specifications.

He no longer had the dies to cut replacement pieces nor any good replacements to us or from which specifications or dies could be made. He also said that almost any softdome tweeter today of decent quality would outperform what he had designed and recommended anyone wanting to use the Fisher speakers replace the tweeters with a newer one that would go higher in the upper frequency register than his which were designed when 14-16 khz was sufficient and beneficial due to the high frequency limitations of the time and above that there was only hiss. He did not mention any particular brand or model but said almost any good one should work.

Removing the resistor from the original circuit and tweeter removed the efficiency matching and hence the increase if the perceived high end but likely also, it would be more tilted and less flat.

I first got sick not long after and lost track of the AK'er holding them. Hopefully he decided to save and get them working and they are not still sitting in a warehouse.

michigannick
03-24-2014, 07:52 PM
Brian, great story how did you lose track of them? (sorry to hear you had fallen ill) the 18s were massive

I have a pair of the xp 16s almost fully restored at this point and I would have to agree they with a little more highs they would be a nice step in the right direction. I would love to get a tube amp and hook them up, they have a very warm and musical sound to them. The piezo tweeter goes pretty high but it could for sure use some smoothing out that you would find from a good soft dome. They are gorgeous cherry boxes and about 105 lbs a piece lol

Brian
03-25-2014, 08:48 AM
Brian, great story how did you lose track of them? (sorry to hear you had fallen ill) the 18s were massive

I have a pair of the xp 16s almost fully restored at this point and I would have to agree they with a little more highs they would be a nice step in the right direction. I would love to get a tube amp and hook them up, they have a very warm and musical sound to them. The piezo tweeter goes pretty high but it could for sure use some smoothing out that you would find from a good soft dome. They are gorgeous cherry boxes and about 105 lbs a piece lol

They were offered as freebies or the owner was going to junk them in a short time. They were in the US and I at the time had 3 Fisher units that they would have gone nice with. So, I laid claim and an AK'er then offered to put them in his warehouse until I could make arrangements to have them hauled. I made arrangements to have them backended on a moving van but, then then got my 1st bout. Somehow the thread of messages was wiped and because of the illness and work it was almost 9 months before I even thought about them. Went looking for the thread but it was gone and I do not remember who stored them. I hope the AK'er decided after not hearing from me to bring them back and use them. This was definitely my screwup but, hopefully it did save them from destruction.

I had heard a pair of 18s way back when driven by a Marantz setup and at the time felt it had to be one of the finest systems I had heard. The owner was into organ music and the 18" woofer could to head to head with a set of Symphonys that at the time I felt was one of the best speakers under the sun. I had the Symphonys here and if I had gotten the XP-18s, it would have been one heck of a time in comparing them. Well, mayby not for my wife.

Just a wag but, since oil caps tend to tame the Wharfedale SuperTweeter 3 possibly subbing in one for the stock tweeter going to the piezo tweeter would have a similar effect. I would suspect the piezo though would need to be padded down a bit to match the efficiency of the other drivers and if not may also be contributing to what you are hearing.

larryderouin
05-14-2014, 04:47 PM
Fisher's relationship with Bill Hecht's United Speaker Systems, Inc. did indeed start in the late '50s with their first product, the XP-1, being introduced in 1959. The transition from Jensen (and a few other suppliers such as Coral) to United in Fisher consoles was gradual, starting with the top-of-the-line President, Regent and Executive models and progressing down the model line-up. I haven't worked out a definitive chronology for the changeover.

Based on the similarity of terms used in the descriptions - console vs. component - it looks like the transition started in 1961 with "high compliance and high efficiency" woofers on the Executive model. The '62 President had "hemispherical high frequency units"; the '63 had "hemispherical high frequency dome-type tweeters" which were undoubtedly Hecht's. By 1966, Fisher was emphasizing that that year's President used the same driver array as the XP-10.

Fisher's descriptions of the speaker systems used in their low and mid-line models are generally lacking in detail. It might be possible to pin down the transition model year(s) by reviewing the Fisher Consoles "Compendium" sticky Fisherdude created at my request.

Red: The drivers in my '63 Exec has ALL JENSEN drivers. "Jensen Special Design" drivers on the stickers. And the tweeters are thrashed. I'll probably get some silk soft dones from P.E. later this year. Right now I have the ws-1's connected to provide the mids and highs'.

It's not the 800-C. I put other speakers to it and it sounds fine on the mids and highs. Crossovers have new resistors and caps.

Larry

tylerdurden
06-03-2014, 01:51 PM
Red1.. I own a pair of XP-15's that my father purchased new. I am not sure exactly when he bought them, I have the original sales reciept with the speakers at my moms. The next time I go over I will open up one of the cabs and confirm the manufacturer of the drivers and date codes, as well as when he bought them.
I also have my dads original copy of "The Fisher Handbook 1967" that lists the same xp-15 consolette that he purchased.
I only mention this because in the periodic table it shows the XP-15's being first available in 1968. And in your "part 3" for years 1968-69 is when the XP-15 was first released.
Could this be because of the production problems Fisher may have had in 1967?
It will be interesting to see when my dad purchased these. As soon as I can I will update. As well as post some pictures.
FYI...I also have "The Fisher Handbook" for years 1970 and 71.

Cheers!
Bobby

TheRed1
06-04-2014, 07:27 AM
Thanks, Bobby - great information! I based my '67 speaker lineup off of the limited information I had at the time I posted this, namely: the '67 Console Catalog (copyright 1966). I have since acquired many new sources.

You are, indeed, correct that the XP-15 was part of the '67 speaker lineup as is confirmed by both the '67 Handbook (copyright 1966) and a price list I have dated Jan. 1, 1967. It is possible - perhaps probable - the XP-15 was not quite ready for the 1967 model year kickoff in September 1966 and thus was not listed in the console catalog. Fisher often added products to their lineup just in time for Christmas which would be considered a mid-season introduction.

I am looking forward to photos and also very curious as to the date on the receipt. What did your dad power those monsters with?

nelsress
06-04-2014, 11:33 AM
I've got a pair of Fisher XP-1A and a pair of XP-2A speakers but the XP-1As look like the XP-1s pictured in the opening page. I got them both in other deals, tested them and found them both in need of something, I'm guessing capacitor replacements in their crossovers and pot cleaning but never got around to it. They're nice looking, well made speakers though. I'll see if I've got some pics to share.

michigannick
06-04-2014, 11:39 AM
I'll see if I've got some pics to share.

I am sure its not just me :-)

We cant wait!!!

nelsress
06-04-2014, 11:42 AM
Here's some photos of my early Fisher XP series bookshelf speakers.

tylerdurden
06-04-2014, 06:41 PM
I am looking forward to photos and also very curious as to the date on the receipt. What did your dad power those monsters with?

He purchased the 700t at the same time as well as a Garrard TT. Both have been sold since. The 700 had developed some issues, ie: random power loss/protection circuit if memory serves. I had a local guy look at it, he claimed it was fixed but it soon started acting up again. We ended up selling it to a collector as we just wanted a good home for it and someone to get enjoyment out of it.

It was Pop's pride and joy for many years. We have home movies of me at about 5/6 yrs old dancing to probably either the Beatles, Doors, Spirit, or the like,...with the Fisher gear in the background.

We will never let go of the 15's. They are in pristine condition outside of the cloth on the grill fading. Mom and Dad treated them as a fine piece of furniture, keeping the wood fresh and never stacking any thing on top. They have sat idle, unused for the last 20 years or so. With just a few months use after we had the 700 serviced 6/7 yrs ago
I want to Recap the XO soon, and may solicit some advice in that area.

I should be able to update with pic's and info in the next couple of days.

tylerdurden
06-04-2014, 07:47 PM
I also have a pair of XP-9C's that I picked up at the local GW a couple years back. They are missing the grills, the woofers surrounds are rotten, each speaker is missing a tweeter, one is missing a 5" mid, and someone had scavenged parts of the XO's.
I believe they are from 1970, as the code on each driver says 7039. That is the 39th week of 1970 correct??
I am not sure what I am going to do with them, I thought I might repair the woofers and try to source another mid range and mod the cabinets to use a single tweeter.
I have a pair of Phillips Belgium made AD 0163 T8 1" soft dome's that I have used in other home brew speakers.
I also have a pair of Dayton Classic "silkies" that may be the way to go since I have the TS parameters for them. Not sure where to find them for the Phillips tweets.

fred soop
06-04-2014, 09:37 PM
I also have a pair of XP-9C's that I picked up at the local GW a couple years back.
.....


What is the difference between the XP-9, XP-9A, XP-9B, etc.? I have a pair of XP-9 (no suffix), purchased new in 1967. Looks like a butyl woofer surround (not rotted, but may be leaking air), 3 5 inch midrange speakers, 1.5 inch dome tweeter.

tylerdurden
06-05-2014, 02:34 AM
Fred....The XP-9 was considered a 3 way system utilizing one 1 1/2" tweeter, three 5" mid range drivers, and a single 12" woofer. Production years 1966/67.....

XP9B moved to a 4 way system using one 1 1/2" treble driver, One 5" upper mid driver, One 6" lower mid driver, and One 12" woofer. Production years 1968/69....

In 1970 the XP-9C moved back to a 3 way system using two 1 1/2" tweeters, two 5" mid range drivers, and a larger 15" woofer.

In 1971 the XP-9C stayed the same as the 1970 version with one exception.... They utilized one 1 1/2" "Super tweeter" in place of one of the "regular" tweeters used in the 1970 XP-9C to produce frequency's above 5000hz.

Hope this helps, and that I am correct in my facts.

thorenstd124
07-06-2014, 06:46 PM
I just found a pair of 111K speakers fully intact and working left out by a dumpster. One of the speaker terminals is broken off and the cabs are slightly beat up but still look amazing. I always heard to avoid Fisher speakers so I almost didn't grab these. After hooking them up, I was in shock. The bass produced by those 12 inch woofers was amazing. I have these connected to a Luxman 115. The only thing that set me back were the highs. These have more relaxed highs and I would agree (rolled off). I still prefer my KLH 17 and 23. I think I may replace the caps and try a few different tweeters or maybe even mod these a bit more but I couldn't be happier. I'll add them to the list of my speaker projects. Right now they will serve as my workshop speakers.

So how does one tell 111K's from XPs? Especially if there are no identifying labels?

I am still not sure what model of speakers I have.They are definitely XP era.They are 27 inches by 17 inches and 13 inches deep,and have the black and silver logo plate.

Even if these "sound good" will they still need work?I have no idea how to work on these things.

larryderouin
09-01-2014, 01:36 PM
bump

fdwrench
09-01-2014, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the bump, I have been away for awhile.

I recently brought home a 500c that gave me a kick start.

I love my Fishers XP55, XP7, XP7B, XP9 and XP10
I recapped them and rebuilt all of the fried egg tweeters five or six years ago and they still seem to be going strong. The original rubber suspension was petrified in every one. I played with different rubber. I believe the the yellow rubber in the photo came from the gloves my wife cleaned house with.

To my old artillery ears they sound great.

Ed