View Full Version : Fisher XP-10 Speakers Anyone have them?


alwayslooking
03-13-2006, 07:09 PM
I saw some of these speakers today in excellent condition. I was wandering if anyone has listened to them or has a pair? :scratch2:

drspiff
03-13-2006, 07:49 PM
Not the XP-10's, but I have Fisher 100's, XP-56's, and XP-6's. I love the sound of these speakers. In fact the 100's are in my office hooked up to a Fisher 200 receiver and it is a GREAT combination. Since I do not share my office, I listen to it on loud all day long

Roypercy
03-14-2006, 10:34 PM
Always:

I'd say get 'em if the price is right. I have had XP-55bs and currently have a pair of XP-7b's. Wonderful speakers, very warm and smooth sounding. Build quality is spectacular. I'd love a pair of XP 9's someday when I live in a bigger place; don't know much about the 10's but you can't go wrong with the XP series if you like the East Coast sound (like I do).

kfa888
03-14-2006, 10:43 PM
Funny how different posts get drastically different responces. Everyone here just told me the Fishers were not that great.

http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=63128

What do you guys like about them?

Thanks.

Roypercy
03-14-2006, 10:59 PM
Funny how different posts get drastically different responces. Everyone here just told me the Fishers were not that great.

http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=63128

What do you guys like about them?

Thanks.


yeah, I've noticed that in the past myself. I think it comes down to what vintage you like your speakers to be and what kind of sound you favor. I had a pair of Boston A-60s for quite a while, as well as A400's and found them very unobjectionable speakers with a fairly "modern" sound - clear high-end response, okay bass, etc. etc. But compared to my Fishers the Bostons all sound a tad harsh to me. The Fishers (and I would say the same for vintage KLH speakers, like the 6's I have running now) have a more solid bass floor, smoother highs, and more prominent mids than a lot of speakers from the late 70's and beyond.

A lot of it comes down to what kind of music you listen to; I find for jazz and classical my older acoustic-suspension speakers beat the pants off anything newer I've heard that's within my price range. A lot of more "modern" speakers to me don't have the warmth and presence of my old Fishers and KLH's.

Besides, I like the way the Fishers look.

kfa888
03-14-2006, 11:05 PM
So your saying they are similar to KLH's in sound? I really liked my stack of KLH 23's.

Thanks.

Kencat
03-14-2006, 11:16 PM
Everyone here just told me the Fishers were not that great.

http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=63128

What do you guys like about them?

Thanks.

Maybe "everyone" was wrong.

Fisherdude
03-14-2006, 11:18 PM
Funny how different posts get drastically different responces. Everyone here just told me the Fishers were not that great.

http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=63128

What do you guys like about them?

Thanks.


There are huge differences between early and late Fisher speakers. During the time Avery Fisher owned the company until shortly after he sold it, the better Fisher speakers were very good, indeed. By the mid-'80's, they were typical department store rack stuff.

The XP-10 was one of the totl Fisher speakers from the mid-'60's. 80 pounds each, with a 15" woofer (2" dia vc, 6 lb magnet, free air resonance 18 Hz), 8" mid, 2" soft dome tweeter. Overall response 28-20K, xovers at 200 & 2500 Hz. 8 ohms.

I've never had the chance to hear a pair, but I would certainly snap them up if I had the chance, if the drivers were good.

Roypercy
03-15-2006, 08:37 PM
The sound of the XP speakers I've heard is certainly reminiscent of KLH's; probably a little less bright, more "mellow" (not the most specific description, I know, but there you have it). I think the KLH speakers I've owned have remarkable imaging for their vintage, and the Fisher sound is more "integrated" (another unspecific description) - but they certainly are part of that vintage New England sound. I don't know how to describe them exactly, but if you like KLH 23's I think you'd be impressed by any of the Fisher XP series speakers.

Unfortunately Fisher's quality took a nosedive after the company changed hands, and that was nowhere as true as in their speakers. Thrift shops around here are always full of crappy 70s-era Fisher speakers that make Soundesign look positively high-end. I think that fact makes some folks assume that all Fisher stufff was crap, which is just not true.

ab0ez
08-01-2009, 02:46 AM
Picked up a pair of XP-10's from the original owner who bought them in 1968. Paid $60 for the pair. My experience was typical, rolled off high end, nothing spectacular. I recapped them (50uF and 4uF). Big improvement, but still rolled off. I removed the dome tweeters and replaced them with a pair of EV T-35 tweeters. Wow! Totally transformed the speakers. I am pretty impressed with their sound now. Vocals are totally neutral and natural, no false heaviness. Bass is tight. Highs are very nice without being harsh. Now I am looking for a pair of XP-18's!

sleepyweasel
08-01-2009, 03:05 AM
I'm new to the vintage game, but what got me started was a pair of xp-7(cant remenber the letter designation, but near the end of the xp-7 series...late 60's) anyways, I cant believe how good they sound:thmbsp:, the 12' woofers have rubber surrounds that even after 40+ years are still perfect.the other drivers are treated paper style and all work, and they are very "clear" yet "warm" by clear I mean not-muddy... at least to my ears. I would snatch up a pair of xp-10s in a heartbeat if they showed up locally for under 2 bills.

The bass is just about right, but not breathtaking, and they seem a bit hungry, but they have a sweet spot with about 30-50 rms.


If you do get them update us on their sound!

ab0ez
08-01-2009, 03:17 AM
You can be sure I will. A must for any vintage speakers is to recap them. I have 4 khorns that are 30+ years old and recapping them has made a world of difference. Same thing with a pair of Cornwalls, Altec A7's, University Classics, etc. With the recap job and new tweeters, the XP-10's compare favorably with the Cornwalls. Not as efficient, but maybe just a touch smoother.

It does seem that Avery Fisher liked a rolled off high end on his speakers. I have a vintage review from a magazine on the XP-10's and they stated the response was down 7dB at 20KHz. Jives with what I was hearing. With a recap and new tweeters they sound fabulous. Can't wait to find a pair of XP18's.
Cheers,
Jim, AB0EZ.

ab0ez
08-01-2009, 03:25 AM
BTW, I power my XP-10's with homebrew 20 watt tube monoblocks and it's more than enough power!

Captain Scary
08-01-2009, 09:40 AM
Love to find a pair of XP-10s.
Handsome looking speaker!

I have XP-18s and love them just the way Avery voiced them.
That big 18" cast frame CTS wooger is smooooooth........

audiojones
08-01-2009, 09:56 AM
Funny how different posts get drastically different responces. Everyone here just told me the Fishers were not that great.

http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=63128

What do you guys like about them?

Thanks.

Yeah, people seem to run hot and cold on the Fishers. I think that's because of the really crappy later years that Fisher had - everyone remembers the bad things before they remember the good.
A few years ago I had an absolutely mint pair of Fisher XP-7's in their original boxes with the literature - they looked and sounded like new. I really liked them but I only had so much room, so they had to go. You know I couldn't get anyone even remotely interested in them?! They sounded very much like an AR2ax or a KLH Six - very strong bass and present mids with slightly rolled off highs...nice and warm...a very high quality build like all Fisher components from the 1960's. Nobody cared. I practically gave them away. At least the guy who got them was using a Fisher 400 receiver, so they're matched up with something good.

ab0ez
08-28-2009, 07:20 PM
Capt. Scary, funny that you are looking for a pair of XP-10's and I'm looking for a pair of XP-18'S!

Here's a shot of the crossover of one XP-10 after being recapped and the original wire replaced with silver litz wire.

Saint Johnny
08-28-2009, 07:40 PM
I'm new to the vintage game, but what got me started was a pair of xp-7(cant remenber the letter designation, but near the end of the xp-7 series...late 60's) anyways, I cant believe how good they sound:thmbsp:, the 12' woofers have rubber surrounds that even after 40+ years are still perfect.the other drivers are treated paper style and all work, and they are very "clear" yet "warm" by clear I mean not-muddy... at least to my ears. I would snatch up a pair of xp-10s in a heartbeat if they showed up locally for under 2 bills.

The bass is just about right, but not breathtaking, and they seem a bit hungry, but they have a sweet spot with about 30-50 rms.


If you do get them update us on their sound!

I've said it all over this forum before, but I'll say it again.
My main speakers for 30 years were a pair of second hand XP-7S's that were given to me in the mid 70's. And, I loved them.

They were very similar to Large Advents, in size and bass output, but with muuuch better mids and highs. They are a three driver, 3 way.
I wish I could find another pair locally, but I didn't realize how rare they were, until I started to look.

I've never read a post on this or any other forum, from someone who actually ever owned a pair of 7S's that didn't rave about how good, yet under the radar they were.

I've never heard any of the other multiple variations of the XP-7, the A, B, C, or KC, so I can't comment on them, But the 7-'S' is a true keeper, and a rare bird, to boot.
Just my .02 cents.

OLDisGOLD
08-28-2009, 08:05 PM
I've got a pair of the newer DS-811 8" 3-way speakers. They had a "cheesy" plastic woodgrained base that was stapled on the bottom that I tore off. They're not the greatest sounding speakers I own but not the worst either. I pair them with other of my various pairs in a 2nd system I have on my sun porch. They look good & for $2.99 a pair at GW, I couldn't pass them up.

Ed in SoDak
08-28-2009, 09:44 PM
Back in '04, I dragged out a lone example of the XP7B a friend had given me years earlier. I finally spent some time with it and discovered I really liked it.

So I bought a pair of the original model, the XP7. Disappointing, not like the "B" version at all. It became the star of this thread: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums//showthread.php?t=29787 where I hacked into them and eventually upgraded all the drivers.

While it's generally accepted that Fisher speakers after Avery left are lackluster, I would also call the early, original version of the XP-series "dated." The drivers, while Alnico, are underwhelming. I could do about as well repurposing old table radio or console speakers. They date from the late 50's, when tubes were king, 20 watts was ample and sound preferences were different than today.

Sealed cabinets and dome tweeters were the hot, new tech back then. The original XP speakers were cutting edge in this regards. Today, the parts used to manufacture these vintage drivers have aged and there are often recurring problems. The tweeter "rubbers" have failed and the cloth woofer surrounds have dried and become porous. Speakers operated under these condtions will also exibit voice coil issues and total driver failures. See my thread for the gory details.

But, the "B" model was a different horse altogether. With this iteration, they had significantly upgraded all the components. They changed to CTS drivers with massive magnets and rubber surrounds on the woofer and much better mids. The tweeter in these is not the "fried egg" cloth dome, but rather a common $3 paper-coned tweeter. Avery Fisher did like that mellow-sounding upper register, it seems!

After extensive repairing, listening and comparing, I ended up using the XP7B woofer, found an off-brand match for it for the other cabinet and replaced about everything else in my XP7 pair with more modern drivers. I kept the crossovers, but did make a few minor changes, voicing them strictly by ear. Would Avery mind? :dunno:

The cabinets were winners with excellent WAF, so those were kept with no changes.

To summarize, unless you deal with the age- and abuse-related issues presented in my thread and use tube or low-power amps, the original XP-series is out. The 1980's post-Avery Fishers are also out by general consensus of AK'ers. This leaves a fairly narrow range of the "good" stuff, including the B, C, D, et al to consider as being the "worthy" models.

I haven't seen any "A" models to place them in this ranking, nor any non-XP models. So there may be other winners and losers in the Fisher hierarchy. And I have only these two "7" models to base my own opinions on, but I've sure followed the topic over the years.

With the major driver and crossover differences between these three "eras" of Fisher design philosophy, it's no wonder you'll find someone in one camp or the other, Love or Hate. Someone who only hears examples from just one of the camps will no doubt have a severely skewed impression from people with only limited experiences in another camp.

Just saying you have an "XP-this or XP-that" is not the whole story. There's not much to go by with external appearance, the differences are in the guts.

-Ed

steveh1155
08-28-2009, 10:27 PM
I have a pair of XP-1A's I found a couple years ago & after I recapped the crossovers they were a lot brighter sounding - now I really like the way they sound with my 6V6 pp. A couple weeks ago I found a pair of XP-7's at a yard sale for a couple bucks (hard for me to pass up anything at that price). After I got them home I pulled the fronts off & hooked them up & found both tweets inoperative. Someone long ago had replaced the original Fisher orange cloth dome drivers with Coral cloth dome tweeters which now unfortunately have both open VC's, not sure what I'll replace them with. I didn't realize at first that one of the 12" drivers had been replaced as well - they both looked the same from the front with identical rubber surrounds, but one is a Rola with a big ceramic magnet on it. I agree though that all the XP models I've seen are well built.

Steve

Captain Scary
08-28-2009, 10:49 PM
Here are the X-overs from mine

pilotshelper
02-18-2013, 07:51 PM
got a pair and love them, especially when listening to the 1812 or Phantom of the Opera; wow.
But the 15" has finally given up the ghost. Can't find anyone to recone it so it looks like i have to go with a 12'er.
The guy that is doing the job asked me what the cabinet efficiency is. How do I find that out? I have the original specs for the speakers but nothing that addresses cabinet efficiency. Can you help me out?:dunno:

pilotshelper
02-18-2013, 07:53 PM
got a pair and love them, especially when listening to the 1812 or Phantom of the Opera; wow.
But the 15" has finally given up the ghost. Can't find anyone to recone it so it looks like i have to go with a 12'er.
The guy that is doing the job asked me what the cabinet efficiency is. How do I find that out? I have the original specs for the speakers but nothing that addresses cabinet efficiency. Can you help me out?

Fisherdude
02-18-2013, 08:23 PM
Pilotshelper, where are you located?

jdsalinger
04-24-2013, 09:53 PM
I recall reading somewhere that they are 89dB efficient.

I like mine a lot. Tweeters were DOA, so I replaced them with vintage Fisher alnico tweeters. Recapped the original caps with Daytons (same values), just because.

I don't have much to compare them with, but I don't think they lack anything. Good highs, bass is just right, mids need to be dialed back a tad.

jdsalinger
06-08-2013, 06:55 PM
I just finished a little maintenance project on my XP-10's. I thought I'd share what I've done to shore up and maintain my speakers.

First, when I got them the finish was scratched beyond belief. How this could happen is beyond me. It looked like someone did this on purpose.

jdsalinger
06-08-2013, 07:04 PM
The original orange soft dome tweeters were DOA. Dried up and not working at all. I didn't know as much about freq response back then, so I just figured that vintage Fisher tweeters would work fine. I found a pair of alnico (at least that is what the seller claimed) Fisher tweeters from another XP unit. They sound great, so I dodged a bullet there. They are paper cone tweeters.

Later on, I recapped the Xover with Dayton PP caps (same values). Can't say as I sensed a huge or immediate improvement, but they sound wonderful and I feel better knowing that it has been done. I also had an issue with the L-pad, so I bent the wiper to make better contact with the body of the L-pad and sprayed some de-oxit on them.

I took steel wool to the speaker binding posts too.

jdsalinger
06-08-2013, 07:51 PM
Lastly, I stripped and sanded down the veneer and re-stained with Varthane red chestnut wood stain. I meant to go for the original walnut, but thought the red chestnut might look richer and had it on hand. It has grown on me and I'm really glad I went red. It does look richer.

I spread polyurethane on the insides to bind and seal the particle board and hopefully block out moisture better. I also put silicone caulk on every seam that I could reach.

The 50 yr old particle board doesn't hold screws very well. This is one of the negatives of this speaker. I mean, they were $2000 in 1964 dollars. Particle board, c'mon Avery? I tried to move the screws, but there is not much room to drill the holes into the side panels, so I cut out some cleats and glued them in so I can screw into .75" wide fresh pine cleats, rather than 1/2" of particle board.

I filled the old screw holes in the back panel with wood filler and then painted (black and brown spraypaint) to hide the filler. Now the backs look like they are covered with leather! It was kind of an accident, but it turned out great.

Also put a strip of 1/8" thick weather stripping to seal the back panel better.

Was it all worth it? Well, they are worth preserving. They sound dreamy. Classy, sophisticated, serious, grown-up speakers. Forget all those unbelievers who accuse it of "rolled off" highs and "average" performance. The XP-10 is a high quality speaker. Smooth as butter, rich, articulate, delicate, airy. Listening to them makes me feel like they are giving me a big warm hug. And like most audiophiles, I am a perfectionist, so it makes me feel better knowing that on some level, it is better than original.

jdsalinger
06-09-2013, 08:53 AM
I forgot to add that my listening room is small, and the 10's are currently hooked up to my newly built 10 watt SE amp. The bass is there, depending on the recording. Bass is clean and smooth, but you sometimes have to focus on it. Maybe that is due to no tone controls on my amp. And maybe that is how the recording engineer EQ'd it. I don't think you want any part of the frequency range to "stick out". I'm going to have to try them out in a larger room and see what happens. I'm afraid that I'll have to move on to more efficient speakers some day if I move to a larger room.

pilotshelper
06-14-2013, 12:04 AM
Pilotshelper, where are you located?

I am in Virginia Beach VA, but crew up in Palatine

pilotshelper
06-14-2013, 12:14 AM
Virginia Beach, VA but crew up in Palatine

Gang-Twanger
06-14-2013, 12:19 AM
I am in Virginia Beach VA, but crew up in Palatine

In case Fisherdude doesn't see this, maybe you can send him a PM or something. He might know someone who can recone for you (or help in some other way), being the big Fisher fan he is.

Gang-Twanger
06-14-2013, 12:25 AM
Was it all worth it? Well, they are worth preserving. They sound dreamy. Classy, sophisticated, serious, grown-up speakers. Forget all those unbelievers who accuse it of "rolled off" highs and "average" performance. The XP-10 is a high quality speaker. Smooth as butter, rich, articulate, delicate, airy. Listening to them makes me feel like they are giving me a big warm hug. And like most audiophiles, I am a perfectionist, so it makes me feel better knowing that on some level, it is better than original.

They sound a lot like early Wharfedales to me (the early to mid '60's ones). The way you describe the sound is a lot like what I get from my W60's and W90's (and I LOVE a good "sleeper-speaker"). Ultra-smooth, rich, coherent, and airy.

How is the bass on the XP-10's? The early Wharfs have a really-nice, well-controlled upper-bass that works wonders on '50's, '60's and '70's music, and I have to think the early Fishers have a similar tonality.

stereo1165
06-19-2013, 12:01 PM
I am very new to speaker restoring. I have a pair of fisher xp10's. Great shape all drivers are fine. I want to recap the crossovers. I saw a couple posts of xp10 crossovers that have been recapped and a few that have not. All look completely different then the ones I have. The ones I have are stamped xp10-4 date june 17 1969. They have 2, 25uf caps wrapped together and 2, 2.5uf caps wrapped together. I have already replaced the old wire. I just don't know what is the best caps for these. Any help would be great

jdsalinger
06-19-2013, 08:27 PM
How is the bass on the XP-10's? The early Wharfs have a really-nice, well-controlled upper-bass that works wonders on '50's, '60's and '70's music, and I have to think the early Fishers have a similar tonality.[/QUOTE]

I have yet to hear a Warf, but I am very intrigued. From what I hear, they are preferable. Two woofers, right? Should have great bass. I'm a pretty big Fisher fan, but I also think that a manufacturer should stick to one thing and do it well. Darn good effort by Fisher on the XP10 though.

OK, get ready for a long winded answer....
I just changed from my Denon DL110 (HOMC) to a Shure M91E (MM) and the gain improved SIGNIFICANTLY. The attack and bass are much more satisfying. With the combination of the Denon MC cart, tube phono pre and LM3875 chip amp, the bass was unsatisfying.

Normally, I listen on a 8-15 watt KT88SE amp (depending on mode) and with the Shure MM cartridge. The bass is at a level that blends well and is very satisfying. Some recordings/artists have much more bass than others. I have also begun listening to the amp in Pentode mode vs. Triode. More power = more bass.

Put is this way, I contemplated using subs, but after discovering the MM cart and Pentode mode combo, I think that I'm happy as is.

Now then, using my Marantz 2230 (30 wpc) the bass is PLENTY, but still high quality. I have to dial the bass knob to 12 o'clock on some songs. It sounds well damped and not boomy, smooth, rubbery (?) That is without the "loudness" button engaged. There doesn't seem to be any spikes in freq response. Very smooth.

I listen to pretty mellow music (Jazz, 70's & 80's soft rock) and they are just so right for that. I don't think they are an ideal rock speaker.

jdsalinger
06-19-2013, 08:38 PM
I am very new to speaker restoring. I have a pair of fisher xp10's. Great shape all drivers are fine. I want to recap the crossovers. I saw a couple posts of xp10 crossovers that have been recapped and a few that have not. All look completely different then the ones I have. The ones I have are stamped xp10-4 date june 17 1969. They have 2, 25uf caps wrapped together and 2, 2.5uf caps wrapped together. I have already replaced the old wire. I just don't know what is the best caps for these. Any help would be great

If the caps appear to be original, I would say stick with the same values. Mine are 1964 models. Obviously some things changed over time. Without knowing what value the inductors are, you might screw up the crossover. Especially if they sound fine now. Funny, I have seen several different original crossovers in this speaker. They must have changed components multiple times over the lifespan.

I used:
Tweeter: a 4.0 uF 250V Parts Express #: 027-226
Mid woofer: a 50uF PE# 027-443 & a 1.0uF PE#: 027-410

jdsalinger
06-21-2013, 07:49 PM
I wish I could describe sound and speakers better. I'm relatively new to Hi Fi. Another description of the XP-10 bass just came to me. In some cases, it is like an earthquake (Elton John's Take Me to the Pilot) and other times it is subliminal, but it is there and you sense it in the quality it adds to the music. They are "polite" speakers. Great separation. I can detect the different instruments, even when the volume is down. It is as if I can pick out and isolate each track of the recording (guitar, bass, vocals, etc).