View Full Version : Criterion speakers- heard of them?


thedelihaus
01-07-2006, 01:54 AM
Seen some pics of Criterion speakers, big 3-way units. Anyone have info on these? I can't decide if they are hi-end or hokey.

Don C
01-07-2006, 02:16 AM
Sold by Laffayette Radio. Most are hokey.

Toasted Almond
01-07-2006, 09:10 AM
Yup, Lafayette's house brand. For some reason, the woofs are always okay. Expect the tweeter and mid level controllers to be inop. Can't handle a lot of power. They are okay for the garage.

Mr Natural
01-07-2006, 01:09 PM
Yeah, Cecil sold alot of those!! :p:

wineslob
01-07-2006, 01:19 PM
Dident these use Herald (sp) drivers?

thedelihaus
01-08-2006, 01:38 AM
The Criterion speakers I mentioned were advertised with little info. By "big" i mean big to me for box speakers which is 12" woofers, or what appear to be 12" woofers, and cabinets that most 3 way units with 12" woofers are sized to. The woofers had text spelling out CRITERION around the woofer cone. Sans-serif font somewhat modern-looking.

thanks AK members for all the neat info you supplied on these.

gonzothegreat
05-30-2007, 09:28 PM
I found a pair of Criterion four ways at GW today. The cabs had wood veneer and the 12" woofer had what looked to be a milled aluminum basket with cork damping around the dustcap.

Unfortunately, I hadn't read this thread so I bought them :(
Fortunately the store has a 7 day return policy :)

The woofer looks like a take on the AR3 woofer with the damping around the dustcover and the aluminum basket. Too bad the 2" voicecoil only has a tiny alnico magnet to play with. I've seen bigger magnets on some cheap 6.5" drivers I pulled out of my Heil Fortura 8s.

At the top of the baffle is a cheap looking cone midrange. On top? Baffling...

The tweeters are where this box goes kabuki. Four, count 'em FOUR tweeters surrounding the woofer. Two are generic cones but the others are some weird silver tweets that I can't tell if they are domes or just cones with a cosmetic grille. This speaker must have been designed by somebody whose ears were down by their ankles. The first speaker for crickets?

Cab is fairly standard - light, no internal bracing, fiberglass filling. Cheap push terminals on the back.

I usually try to give speakers a chance to perform but in this case I'll make an exception - they are JUNK. Don't waste your money. They wouldn't be worth half the $30 I paid for them.

Mike Stehr
05-31-2007, 05:23 AM
Find the Criterion 100B model bookshelf speaker, pull out the ten inch woofers and throw the rest away.

Put the Criterion 100B 10" woofers in about a 4 foot cabinet, tune it to around 35-36Hz. Throw in a bit of polyfil.

I never listened to any of the other Lafayette/Criterion brand crap that is out there, but these little 10" woofers with the stiff cone dig right on down.

They can be run full-range, but do need a helper tweeter. The midrange is a little on the dry side and a bit agressive. Which makes some music sound good, some other recordings not so good.

I paid 10 bucks for the first pair of woofers, and then won a listing for a pair of the 100B bookshelf speakers for 40 bucks.

Cheap enough to find for the DIY'er of a real limited budget.

The bass is the strong suit, in the larger cabinet. They can mosy right along with a 12" or 15" with regards to lower bass.

Mike

http://audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=44532&d=1174868487

gearhound
05-31-2007, 07:52 AM
I have a pair of 10" Criterion Alnico woofers.
I put them in a large AS enclosure, with 6 1/2" E-V Alnico mids, and Foster horn-loaded tweeters.
Came out quite good actually.

Steve

zenith2134
05-31-2007, 10:34 AM
I have a pair of Criterion 30 ' s which only take 30 watts of 'music power', which translates to peak of course. They have a great sound, due to their boxes construction, but work best with low powered tube amps, Guess thats what they were originally intended for . . .

wineslob
05-31-2007, 11:00 AM
Thinking back, my father owned a pair of the 8" woofer models (2-way). Muddy bass and rotten top end (paper cone tweet) Surprisingly, the cabinets were well built.

Jace
10-28-2008, 08:17 PM
I owned a pair of Criterion VI's in the 70's. They were 6 way.
I thought they rocked back then, but what did I know:dunno: I kept them until the early 90's.
I think I paid about $150 for the pair.
That's an old Fisher 1000 amp, Noresco tuner and a Dual 1214 TT.

Jcricket
10-29-2008, 11:34 PM
I picked up a super, dinky, tiny pair of criterions, model 20a. They are really cool looking bookshelfs. So far the best sound I get out of them is when they are turned off. :puke:

Mark

ponderbear
10-29-2008, 11:42 PM
I bought a quad of Criterions that were about the size of AR-4xs (I think the model Wineslob mentioned) because I couldn't resist the sparkly grill cloth. But they sucked, badly. Insufficient bass, unremarkable highs.

But now that I've read the dope on Minimus 2s, I wonder if the woofers were just too old and stiff to extend properly.

zenith2134
10-30-2008, 01:45 AM
Darn, those are some complicated 6-ways! Cool pic though.

Since this thread I found another pair of 30s in the trash but they sound awful. One woofer is rattling, but the surround is fine. IMO, the best part of the Criterions are the cabinets.

jgmacv
10-30-2008, 08:55 AM
I picked up a super, dinky, tiny pair of criterions, model 20a. They are really cool looking bookshelfs. So far the best sound I get out of them is when they are turned off. :puke:

Mark

:lmao: I have a pair of Criterion 60s that I feel the same way about.

foredavid
02-15-2009, 01:30 PM
I bought a pair of Criterion 2001A speakers and compared them to a set of Bose 301 series II. The Crits sounded much better but they don't compare to my Cerwin Vega D5-E. I would say they are the 40 bucks I have invested.

cyro
04-18-2009, 06:38 PM
I scored a nice pair of Criterion 100A's with the killer 10" alnico woofers. Got them home & found that only one tweeter worked, but someone had added an extra vintage Pioneer bullet tweeter to each. The sound was unbalanced, with only one bullet tweeter in one & a bullet & the original in the other. I set them aside. A week later, I was fortunate to receive for free, a vintage pair of JBL Decade 36's. Both woofers were rotten & blown. I remembered the Criterions, pulled the 10's & installed them in the JBL's. WOW!!! Now you JBL freaks may knash your teeth & pull out your hair & mount a lynch mob to my house, but the Criterion woofers are excellent!
FYI: This same woofer worked great in my Fender Super Champ XD.

tubed
04-19-2009, 02:12 AM
Lafayette did offer a nice speaker that was produced by ESS, the Criterion 2005 tower featuring a 10" woofer and a very nice ESS air motion dipole tweeter. Circa 1973?

GiantPanda
02-12-2010, 08:34 PM
I recently picked up a pair of Criterion 77s to give to friend to start his audio-quest. I really didn't expect much, but they do well for what they are. Kinda surprised actually.

hatrack71
02-12-2010, 08:43 PM
Lafayette did offer a nice speaker that was produced by ESS, the Criterion 2005 tower featuring a 10" woofer and a very nice ESS air motion dipole tweeter. Circa 1973?

I have a pair of those and can't get into the cabs to put a new binding post and secure whatever is knocking around in the other. The woofers are glued in solid and need new foam. ESS mini-heils. These will sound sweet as I have listened to them at low volume- all I can say is.....nice!!! Very excellent build quality too- these are Lafayette's diamond in the rough.

Jcricket
02-12-2010, 09:15 PM
:lmao: I have a pair of Criterion 60s that I feel the same way about.

I was going to post ath about the criterions but you beat me to it.
They were really nice looking, stout little guys, but AWFUL sounding. I mean awful - in every way.

nyharvey
09-25-2011, 02:33 PM
Not so fast on the negatives. Lafayette Radio offered an extensive line of audio components. I have a pair of Criterion VI's and they still sound terrific. Thing to consider is that Lafayette did not manufacture or engineer most of what it sold, except for some excellent communication receiver kits. It's main competitor was RS nor harvey radio. I purchased mine a few years before before it went defunct in the early 1970's. My point is that my Criterions still sound great especially with the modern stuff. Mine are 41 years old and never re-coned or required anything. They almost approach my KLH Model 6's.

rromeo
04-15-2012, 08:40 AM
Got a pair of 2001A for $10 in excellent condition. I am planning on selling to a friend of a friend for $20. I set them up to test them out and they sound pretty darn good. Alas, I have too many speakers so these will go. What a great deal "Vintage" speakers are.

janikphoto
06-21-2012, 11:30 PM
I saw a pair of the bookshelf size - I think they were 20a - at a local thrift and thought the cabinets looked nice. They had some pretty cheap looking tweeters in them, though.

Dave1384
03-13-2013, 09:53 PM
Bump.
A deoxit bath got these going. I got 'em cheap, but they aren't cheap sounding.

nexus
03-15-2013, 01:52 AM
Lafayette made some good speakers and a couple really good speakers. the psuedo-ESS 2005 were not their proudest offering. i have said much about these speakers in different threads here. i won't labor the point. the 2005s were crap crap crap. the powering/corona field thingie is no heil. they give ESS a bad name and the REAL heils are fantastic. the tweeter unit is very unreliable and squeaks at only moderate volume. and there really is no bass. the woofer is NOT the same one used in the original AMT as some mis-info states.

well check out my much more detailed experience with this turkey (to use a 70's era expression. these were from 1976. very popular word that year!).

if you were to judge all of Lafayette's speakers on that one then you might feel that radioshack speakers were the Wilsons to their Emersons.

not so.

btw if you are one who likes the 2005s, then good luck to you!

ken kantor
03-15-2013, 07:27 AM
Seen some pics of Criterion speakers, big 3-way units. Anyone have info on these? I can't decide if they are hi-end or hokey.

This was long ago and far away, but...

I remember the TOL 6's as being pretty bad, but the less expensive 4's as being decent. Nothing special, but decent.

Laughyette did pretty well with its branded electronics, but not with it's speakers. Sort of the opposite of Rat Shack.

-k

"Lafayette, we are here!"

Gang-Twanger
09-12-2013, 11:36 PM
Not sure what to make of this thread. I had HEARD the Criterion name, but I couldn't remember what they looked like or how good they were, but a friend of mine asked me about them this morning, so I thought I'd take a look and see what I could find for info (He thought they were VII's, but I'm thinking he meant VI's because I can't find anything on Google in regards to a Criterion VII model When he mentioned the brand and said they had lots of drivers, I instantly-thought of Rectilinear, which makes sense because the driver-configuration is very-similar).

MsJazzMaven
03-06-2014, 04:33 PM
I recently upgraded my system, had these speakers in my bedroom not connected to anything for a long time and was wondering how they would do as surround or center-channel speakers. The woofer appears to be around 6 inches, with a 1-inch tweeter, in an acoustic suspension enclosure. Both look like paper. There is an adjustment knob on the rear for "brilliance." On the label is "30 watts maximum" and the drivers appear to be intact, with the grilles off:scratch2::music:

MsJazzMaven
03-06-2014, 04:51 PM
I recently upgraded my system, had these speakers in my bedroom not connected to anything for a long time and was wondering how they would do as surround or center-channel speakers. The woofer appears to be around 6 inches, with a 1-inch tweeter, in an acoustic suspension enclosure. Both look like paper. On the label is "30 watts maximum" and the drivers appear to be intact, with the grilles off:scratch2::music:

HiFi in WYO
03-20-2014, 11:54 AM
I recently upgraded my system, had these speakers in my bedroom not connected to anything for a long time and was wondering how they would do as surround or center-channel speakers. The woofer appears to be around 6 inches, with a 1-inch tweeter, in an acoustic suspension enclosure. Both look like paper. On the label is "30 watts maximum" and the drivers appear to be intact, with the grilles off:scratch2::music:

Post some pics. I'm off to pick up a pair of 50s, I believe, for the office. And here they are:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/picture.php?albumid=3268&pictureid=23379

janikphoto
03-20-2014, 05:14 PM
Post some pics. I'm off to pick up a pair of 50s, I believe, for the office. And here they are:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/picture.php?albumid=3268&pictureid=23379

They can make decent speakers. Their visual styling is nice, and the sound isn't bad. The drivers could easily be upgraded and the crossovers as well, if you wanted to keep the look and get better sound.

getter365
03-22-2014, 05:40 PM
Good stuff some of them. The 10" three way 2001+ had some nice sound to them. My friend had those in the early 80s I think. We used to have pink pong tournaments in his basement and play lots of Rush. Great bass coming out of those things. Then around 20 years later I bought the 15" version of the same, maybe called the 2002+ or something like that. These had some mileage on them and I did not think they sounded as good as the 10" ones my friend had. But they were old so u can't expect them to sound as if they were new.

Dave1384
03-22-2014, 08:13 PM
I had those 50s. Clean, clear..and little bass. Hello ebay.

HiFi in WYO
03-27-2014, 04:57 PM
I had those 50s. Clean, clear..and little bass. Hello ebay.

Agreed, but given they're at work, I can't really thump out the offices so for their new purpose, they're great. Little more warm sound than those beovox S30s I have.

jmink
03-30-2014, 09:09 PM
Still have a pair of Criterion vi in my basement, still sound good. 44 years old , I know I can't believe it either.


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Chellspecker
04-08-2014, 01:44 AM
I recently picked up a pair of Criterion 77s to give to friend to start his audio-quest. I really didn't expect much, but they do well for what they are. Kinda surprised actually.

These were the first speakers I had that I needed wires to connect (i.e. not a boom box). I had them as computer speakers running through a Marantz amp that I since gave to a friend. Not the worst sound ever, but nothing to rave about either. I now have a Marantz 2250, and recently the woofer surrounds on my Technics SB-T20s went and I've been using the Criterion77s as replacements. Just watched Game of Thrones last night with them connected to my computer. They have a kind of AM radio sound to them. Not a lot of warmth or depth. Like others have said, the cabinets are great, I think they're solid wood, not a veneer. And the fabric covers are this great brown and metallic gold stuff, very vintage-looking.