View Full Version : East Coast Speakers -- Opinions


CharlieBee
10-17-2006, 11:22 PM
From reading AK and around, it seams the bookshelf like 12" 3 or 4 way JBL L100 Century or monitor equivalent and the Pioneer HPM 100 are on everyone’s lists as two of the West Coast Sound speakers "Best of Breed". I have them both and agree. I have not been able to identify which East Coast style speakers receive similar status.

I want to get a representative or two of the similar size and quality East Coast Sound speakers and would appreciate AK forums suggestions.

Please list favorite make and model number. I have 125 w/ch @8 ohms Sansui 9090db Receiver to drive'um.

List your 1st, 2nd and 3rd and 4th, if you have that many, “Best of Breed” East Coast Speakers. :thmbsp: :thmbsp: :thmbsp:

Thanks for your input

Charlie

Urizen
10-17-2006, 11:28 PM
So far? All two ways:

5. EPI 100
4. Fried Q/3
3. KLH Seventeen
2. Dynaco A-25
1. KLH Six

:music:

Brian
10-17-2006, 11:34 PM
The obvious:
KLH 5
AR3a
AR5ax

East Coast also did a lot of work with 2-ways:
KLH 6
The Advent Loudspeaker
The Smaller Advent Loudspeaker

No particular order.

ozmoid
10-17-2006, 11:41 PM
AR 2ax
AR 3
Advent II

(I think Brian probably meant AR 2ax above. I don't think they did an "ax" version on the AR 5.)

Eunomians
10-17-2006, 11:47 PM
1. AR-3a
2. AR-5
3. KLH 6
4. Advent II
5. Boston A-200

joelongwood
10-17-2006, 11:50 PM
AR3a
AR5
KLH 5
Large Advent

No particular order, but I find the AR5 to be the most balanced of the bunch (to my ears, of course).

thedelihaus
10-18-2006, 02:53 AM
Crapola.

I'd written a very long reponse, very detailed, model specific to the "T", then the power went out on the 'puter. I lost it all.

I'm too tired to re-do it all.

But I'll give my best effort, my best crash-course, abbreviated answer.

And, for what it's worth, I like West coast speakers too. I prefer the East coast sound and design, but still love my JBL L46 speakers for a good night of fun, and a good night of rocking and rolling.

I have, however, recently given away my Pioneer CS201 IIs and Cerwin Vega HED CV3000 speakers. The CV-3000s were a wild, lovely pair- but as fellow AKer Birddog has a pair already, I figured they'd make a nice stack, so he's getting them tomorrow.

Back to east coasters-

AR- AR did something very right with many of their models- their overall viewpoint was to make all their speakers sound neutral, natural, closely similar. And they often succeeded, in spades.

KLH- A grand-daddy to the sound. Best models? Arguably the most famous, the KLH 6s and KLH 17s. Henry Kloss was involved in this company.

Advent- It's hard to find fault with the original, the Large Advent, or it's close brethren, the New Advent, or the almost identically the same 5002/5012 or the 25th anniversary models. That said, the Small Advent is well regarded too. Designed by Henry Kloss, and others.

EPI/Epicure/Genesis speakers- the EPI 100 is Winslow Burhoe's darling- a perfectly matched 8" woofer and infamous inverted-dome tweeter. The sound is polite, yet strong and incredibly accurate. The 150 is a larger cabinet, same drivers, and produces more bass. Genesis speakers used a version of that excellent mellow but accurate as hell tweeter and that unimpressive looking but over-delivering and suprisingly impressive woofer, and usually a passive radiator, in the design.

Another, underrated speaker is the line from manufacturer Boston Acoustics. Their 2 way, the A70, is a legend- flat response, small in depth and overall stature, and very impressive. comes in two series- series 1, a 6 ohm model, and series 2, an 8 ohm model. A very pleasant dome tweeter, and an 8" woofer. Kicks the poop out of the smaller A60 (but the diminutive A40 is a darling). Then there's what BA calls its first "no-nonsense speaker", the A100. It's a 2-way, the last "real" 2-way in the series. Following this is the pretty rare and lesser-known 2-way with passive radiator A120 (so I can't give much of an impression on this one, other than indicating it's sucess is questionable), then the A150 and A200, both serious powerhouse big-boy 3-way songbirds. Lastly, the A400, a bi-ampable 3-way macho heavy-hitter from the company. The BA line often sells for cheap, though they shouldn't. They are true diamonds i the rough- a delight to own. Ask anyone (well, 99%) who's ever owned them. Delightful.

Other speakers that are kind of a "grey area" "East coast" speaker?

Early Polk Monitor series. 5s. 7s. 10s.

ADS speakers. German speakers, in my opinion, a mix of English speakers and East coast american speakers, although of purely German heritage (braun), though marketed by ADS of New England.

Dynaco speakers. I believe of Scandanavian design, nonetheless, they have the "sound" associated with "East coast".

There's others, too. But here's a start.

My list, so far, in order-

Boston Acoustics A200 (I own)
Boston Acoustics A150 (I own)
ADS L810/L830/L880, ect...
ADS L630 (I own)
ADS L570 II (I own)
Advent 5012 (soon to own)
dynaco A25 (waiting for delivery)
New Large Advent (I will soon own 2 pair)
Large Advent original (own one pair)
Genesis II (I own)
EPI 150
Boston Acoustics A70 (I own two of them)
Polk Monitor 7 (I own)
EPI 100 ( I own)
Polk Monitor 10
Polk Monitor 5

I'd surely re-list these if I owned either the KLH 6 or the KLH 17, and an AR model. I'm sure they'd be near the top of my list.

I'd say the KLH, AR, and Advent line are the purest, most definitive "east coast" line, though all the rest are stunning examples as well.

westend
10-18-2006, 04:34 AM
Wow, that is a great breakdown, Deli. I'm sure it will be linked to many times in the future. IMO,vintage East Coast= Advent, AR, KLH, Polk.

pbda
10-18-2006, 09:46 AM
Preaching to the converted here:

AR 3a
KLH 5
A/D/S L810

I own 'em all, love 'em all.

Oh, and I have a pair of JBL L-100s as well (my West Coast fling).

pmsummer
10-18-2006, 10:00 AM
Don't HPM-100s come from the East Coast of Japan?

;)

anumber1
10-18-2006, 10:04 AM
My Primary system is based on a pair of ALtec 848a Flemencos...The ultimate in West Coast sound, but my secondary system uses East Coast speakers exclusively.

Of the models I own this is my order of preference:

EPI 100
AR2ax
Advent Loudspeaker
Dynaco A25

JMHO and all that...

pmsummer
10-18-2006, 10:11 AM
AR-2ax or AR-5 (AR-3a is too up-market).

EPI 150 (EPI 100 is too small... a GREAT little speaker, but too small for this compo).

KLH 6 or 17.

Boston Acoustics BA-150.

As you know, you can't really do an A/B test. You have to listen for extended periods. In a simple A/B test (like stereo stores did), the JBL and Pioneer will really stand out. Over longer periods of time (IMHO, and with the full range of music from jazz/rock/folk/blues/classical/vocals), the "East Coast" speakers will come into their own and sound much more natural.

You may not like "natural"... many don't, and it's all about what YOU like.

FalconEddy
10-18-2006, 10:30 AM
Let's not forget about the 'usually neglected', yet incredible stereo field (in width and depth) drivers designed by Ohm Acoustics. In particular, the Walsh Series and some of the Sound Cylinder Series. Originally based in New England. I also see that the W5-S3's are back in production. :thmbsp:

Plus, the Allison Acoustics company made some very memorable designs (and still make some excellent drivers); two which I own, and really enjoy the East Coast sound they produce.

Also, thumb your nose at them if you will, but the Bose corporation has been one of the most successful speaker/technology producers in the past 40 years. Initially working with how we perceive sound (psychoacoustic principles), to developing software/hardware for large venue sound design, to theater sound, to pro sound application systems. Still based in Framingham, MA.

. . Falcon

kfa888
10-18-2006, 11:02 AM
Add the KLH23 to your list, much better sounding than the KLH17 and more in line with the good large Advents.

ARRAY
10-18-2006, 11:12 AM
The Teledyne Acoustic Research AR-9 originals. Look no further.

They are an oddball load to drive so I do hope your receiver is up to it (125 old timey WPC should do).

kfa888
10-18-2006, 11:32 AM
The Teledyne Acoustic Research AR-9 originals. Look no further.

They are an oddball load to drive so I do hope your receiver is up to it (125 old timey WPC should do).

I have AR90's (little bro to the 9's) and have heard AR9's, I don't think i would call this the East coast signature sound. Actually i would not call them west coast sound ether. Just very well balanced and neutral, Somewhere in the middle. They are for sure not rolled off on top like typical East coast but also no big upper bass hump and in your face exaggerated mids/lower highs like the typical west coast. Some of the better speaker I have ever heard due to them being good at everything and lacking almost no where.

ARRAY
10-18-2006, 12:13 PM
I have AR90's (little bro to the 9's) and have heard AR9's, I don't think i would call this the East coast signature sound. Actually i would not call them west coast sound ether. Just very well balanced and neutral, Somewhere in the middle. They are for sure not rolled off on top like typical East coast but also no big upper bass hump and in your face exaggerated mids/lower highs like the typical west coast. Some of the better speaker I have ever heard due to them being good at everything and lacking almost no where.

Ah yes, we are talking the sound of the east coast, not east coast manufacturers specifically. In that case I'd better append my previous post.
The "east coast sound" has a lot of British influence sonically. British loudspeakers tend to use highly damped drivers and equally damped cabinets (sound absorbtion material) resulting in a sound that is "polite", a trait for which the Brits are regarded.
I'd say the AR9 might not be the politest loudspeaker on the east coast and like KFA said, they do most all things very well but perhaps it is more the loudspeaker equivalent of "surf and turf" where both East & West coast sounds are represented in one loudspeaker. Acoustic Research tried to make a better sounding loudspeaker in the AR9 than their other models and I think they succeeded.

In summary, I couldn't say which loudspeaker was clearly the ultimate representative of all things east coast sonics.

Fernzee
10-18-2006, 01:10 PM
Would Vandersteen 2c's be an "east-coast" sound? They are made in Connecticut.
I own a pair, as well as some HPM-60's. Finally borrowed a camera this last weekend so an indepth description is coming up. (looking at you, Retro!)
But compairing the two, the Vandee is more "polite" sounding, but brings out the high's and mid's very, very well, while producing a wonderful soundstage. It also require's a bit more power from the receiver, but that works out great because it places the receiver's volumn control right in the "sweet spot" of power usage.
I would also vote for the Ohlm Walshes as well. Retro Stereo owns a pair and they blanket a room with very pleasent music no matter where one stands.

cubdog
10-18-2006, 01:12 PM
I like the southern sound of my Klipsch Cornwalls. :music:

cubdog

Axcel
10-19-2006, 09:29 PM
Love the East coast sound have a pair of BA 100-150 and the big A400's Have the 400's hooked with an Accuphase E 202 int amp and it's stellar. Also a vintage cd player a Technic's SL P1300 have had $600 -$800 player this was $125 of Ebay sounds great

jimfet
10-19-2006, 10:26 PM
The east coast sound is where you are at right before you cross over into high end.

DaveElton
10-20-2006, 06:20 AM
IMHO Large Advents, KLH 17's KLH 6's, the old AR's did so many things well, but were/are much-more 'Room-size and power-requirement finicky " than the others

bozak ron
10-20-2006, 08:40 AM
Let's not forget Bozak speakers. B-301's and B-401's still sell for a reasonable price and are light enough weight-wise to ship. The B302a is a great speaker. Unfortunately, given its size and weight, most likely it would be local pick-up only. The majority of Bozak models are wonderful speakers that reproduce sound exactly as recorded by the engineer. Hooked up to a good system, they are a complete aural delight.

Nat
10-20-2006, 10:55 AM
I second the Bozak recommendation (and NEAR which was their descendent), and Vandersteen also (though I don't think they were a connecticut company. I'd also add Snell, and JSE/Infinite Slopes. All excellent speakers.

kfa888
10-20-2006, 11:35 AM
Well since you mentioned Bozak I'm compelled to throw vintage Wharedales out there. I find them very easy cost sounding and smooth and fat. A real nice polite speaker. I like my W90 / W60's a lot. You can listen to them forever as they are very musical but NEVER fatiguing.

gogofast
10-20-2006, 12:44 PM
Unfortunately, given its size and weight, most likely it would be local pick-up only.

i've never thought about that. i guess the bozaks being not the highest-end speakers yet so heavy, their selling prices on ebay would be somewhat low. i've always thought that the bozaks sounded incredibly natural and true - more so than ARs and advents, and was wondering why they are so cheap compared to other vintage speakers.

onplane
10-20-2006, 12:49 PM
If I were in the market for "East Coast" speakers, my list would be:

1. AR-LST (Laboratory Standard Transducer) - WITH ORIGINAL drivers
2. AR-3a - again only with Original drivers
3. AR-9LSi – works in a smaller room than the AR9 – all drivers front fire

The key to all of these speakers is the drivers, as that’s what gives them their distinctive sound. Many of the drivers AR built themselves. Replacement drivers while OK, just don’t preserve that original voice.

You’ll notice that none of my choices is a 2-way. In my opinion for the ultimate in sound, we need to divide the task at a minimum into 3 frequency ranges. This allows us to choose drivers that aren’t compromised. If you look at modern systems, just about all do this. They have 2-way satellites and then subwoofers to handle deep base.

Regards,
Jerry

anumber1
10-20-2006, 10:36 PM
I bought a pair of Bozak 300 Centuries for $100 (local Pickup only) form that famous Internet auction house last year. They were as new from a little old lady who enlisted her Grandson to sell them for her as she moved into an assisted living facility. A month later I bought a really thrashed pair of 302 Urban's in a garage sale for $25.

I assembled a 302 Century setup and have been enjoying them in my 20'x40' Living room/Dining room system ever since.

The Bozak sound needs wide open spaces to bloom. No 12'x12' room will do!