Anyone remember the Rectilinear 5?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by hiphi, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. hiphi

    hiphi Member

    Thought I'd go ahead and post some info on the Rectilinear 5 as there is very little trace of them at this point.

    I've had a pair since about 1979 and still think they look and sound great. 12" woofer (with yellow surround foam!), 6" midrange, two tweeters. Foam just failed this year (the speakers were already a couple of years old when I got them!).

    Anyone else remember them?
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  2. hiphi

    hiphi Member

    Grille off...

    With the grille off. EPI 70's in the background.
  3. Celt

    Celt Space Doggy Super Mod Subscriber

    We had a pair of large Rectilinears in our FM station's control room back in the early seventies. My brother just told me that ours had phenolic tweeters that died on a monthly basis. I wonder if they crossed them too low?
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2004
  4. bully

    bully member

    Guy in college had a pair of III's (they were bigger than yours, may not have the model right) driven by a Phase Linear 700B amp. Very nice system. Ahhhh, yeah, he had a rich daddy ... :p:
  5. hiphi

    hiphi Member

  6. Markw

    Markw Banned

    Aah, yep! Loved 'em but could not afford 'em.

    I believe theywere made rat cheer in Joisey. East Newark, Harrison or Kearny or somewhere in that little corner, I believe
  7. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    No, but...

    ... based on the photo of the drivers the potential is good. I cannot vouch for the woofer, but the other three drivers all appear to be Philips, including the excellent (and popular) polycarbonate dome tweeter (top left) and a 6" Philips fullrange driver (complete with whizzer). In practice, this speaker system may be an "enhanced fullrange" with the tweeters and woofer augmenting the frequency extremes of an excellent fullrange driver. I'll bet they do sound good!

    The much earlier (late-1950's) EV Esquire used a similar philosophy, with a 12" EV 12BW woofer and T-35 horn tweeter augmenting the 8" AlNiCo EV "Wolverine" LS-8 fullrange driver.
  8. soundmind

    soundmind Banned

    Rectilinear III was an outstanding reproducer which was reviewed by several respected critics as sounding very similar to Quad ESL 63 except that it had better bass. It was featured in Popular Science Magazine as the speaker in "The Sound System I wish I owned." It was originally offered in a highboy version but later as a lowboy as well. It was one of my favorite speakers of the era, which was the mid 1960s to early 1970s.

    Rectilinear V was desigend by Dick Shahanian and introduced around 1976. Frankly, it was not my cup of tea. He was very proud of having crossed over the tweeter at about 11 or 12 Khz and that he had Audax modify their design to extend the response to 30 Khz. They sold a stand which tilted it back a whopping four degrees. He told me this "time aligned" it. It was demoed at a New York Trade Show being driven by a Dynaco 400 amplifier. For some reason, even at the show, something about it sounded wrong to me.

    It wasn't long after that as I recall that Rectilinear Research which I believe was located in the Bronx went out of business. I wonder if Dick Shahanian had anything to do with that. I only say this because I had heard that about a decade earlier, Dick Sequerra had nearly bankrupted Saul Marantz over the model 10B tuner. Both Dicks went on to form their own companies. Shahanian built his Obelisk, Bombarde, and Contra Bombarde while Sequerra built his Metranome. Sequerra also later built very expensive speakers and sold midrange and tweeter drivers which he advertised in the classifed merchandise offerings of the Sunday New York Times. I've met both of these people and instinctively I didn't like either of them.
  9. Celt

    Celt Space Doggy Super Mod Subscriber

    :yes: Some interesting history!
  10. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    The Shahanian (Shahinian?) company is still alive and comparatively well, BTW. Stereophile looked at one or two of their current speakers in the current issue.
  11. Nat

    Nat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I think Dick Sequerra is also around, somewhere in western CT. Apparently he still sells and repairs his speakers. I thought his Metronome 7 was wonderful, but couldn't afford a pair, alas. I am slightly surprised at the negative impression that the previous writer had of Sequrra and Shahinian -- the scuttlebutt I've seen is much more positive.
    If you want more history of Rectilinear (and more crankiness), there is a fairly lengthy post about the company by Jim Bongiorno, who apparently worked there before founding GAS (of Ampzilla fame). I don't recall the site name, but I googled Rectillinear and found it.
    I have heard that there were two iterations of the Rectillinear III, and that the first one is the one that garnerd all the praise. The second was redesigned to appeal to consumers who wanted value for their money and space, so it sounded 'big' -- slow, bloated bass mostly. I had a lowboy which must have been the second version because it really was pretty flabby, though I will say that this was somewhat amplifier dependent.
  12. soundmind

    soundmind Banned

    The Lowboy version of Rectilinear III was built to appeal to some people who preferred that furniture style. Rectilinear claimed that it was acoustically identical to the highboy version. I don't think anybody in the press tested it to verify that claim.

    My opinions of Shahanian and Sequerra are based on my own meeting of them on one brief occasion (less than an hour) each and of other people who knew them much better than I did. In fact people who knew them fairly well. But these are just opinions, so take it for what it's worth.
  13. hiphi

    hiphi Member

    I have heard lukewarm reviews of the Rectilinear V before and they obviously weren't a marketing success. Fact is, I just plain like the buggers. The build quality is superb and the aesthetics (pardon me, but I actually like the stands!) including the yellow woofer surround, black edge treatment and the die cut trim panel for the face of the cabinet.

    So I suppose I'm confessing that I'm as swayed by construction and aesthetics as I am by sound quality (although I think they sound great to boot)!

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  14. BrianB

    BrianB AK Vendor Emeritus Moderator

    It's Shahinian - and yes, they are indeed alive and well. Currently, 95% of their sales go to Europe and Asia, which is probably the main reason why this company seems so invisible over here. However, I recently became an authorized Shahinian dealer (there are only two in the States, including myself), and I couldn't be happier!
  15. BrianB

    BrianB AK Vendor Emeritus Moderator

    Actually, Dick Shahinian is one of my very favorite high-end audio personalities. Yes, he's both earthy and incredibly opinionated, but he's also the only manufacturer I've worked with who begins every conversation by asking about my kids - and who truly wants to hear how they're doing! I'd be hard pressed to name a more genuine human being in this crazy industry...
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2004
  16. soundmind

    soundmind Banned

    You're lucky....if he can make it through the door. Last time I met him, he looked like he swallowed an elephant.
  17. BrianB

    BrianB AK Vendor Emeritus Moderator

    Uh, what's your point? :dunno:
  18. soundmind

    soundmind Banned

    Just that you have no sense of humor.

    (Don't worry, it's not fatal. In the same realm as color blindness or tone deafness.)
  19. Dave918

    Dave918 Banned

    I have a very good sense of humor and not only is what your saying not funny - it makes no sense to begin with.

  20. soundmind

    soundmind Banned

    See, you don't have any sense of humor either. The worst part about people who don't have a sense of humor is that they usually don't even know it.

Share This Page