Behold the Baltic 50 made in Latvia...

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by kfa888, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. kfa888

    kfa888 Addicted Member

    I saw these on CL for 30 clams. WTH are they? Dome tweet three way. Search that there interwebs and find nearly nothing expect our man thedelilas, and he had Baltic 30's (small 2 ways) has said had great build quality and sound. Also ready there were very nice drivers under these cheap looking trim rings. Drive through rush hour traffic and check them out. Hum smaller than i thought. Cones and surrounds look very quality as does the tweeter. interesting. Heavy, nice looking drivers, slot port on upper back, nice looking port trim and connector plate with attenuators. He said he had nothing to hook them up to but would take them back if not 100% functional. Some cab water swelling issues but all the drivers look new. Cheap gamble, I'm in. WOW I'm glad I took the chance. I hooked them up and liked them very much instantly. Refined deep bass (says 30-20000), tight and quick sounding. Nice and balanced but notice they were a little off and veiled sounding on the top end. Driver check and crap one unobtainable tweeter is working but quiet. Checked the L-pad, seems fine, traced the wires, tested good. Pulled the tweet has continuity, Tried another known good tweet and it was quiet too. So I think it is a bad cap or something wiring related. Tweet tests fine. Dodged a bullet there. I'm pretty stoked about these. Very rare as far as i can tell, super nice drivers, great sound just setup quick on a crap amp. these are going to be nice. Medium efficient and like a little throttle.

    Very unassuming looking...





    Almost looks like cheap component stuff until you pop the hood and WOW...




    Heavy bass driver


    Mid in a purpose built chamber...


    the stuffing in the mid chamber is contained in a hair net looking thing. Look at that driver.

    - BTW none of the drivers have any markings at all.


    Nicely built little tweet...


    I am amazed at the cast mid chamber, jack plate, trim panels, choke reels, the tight routing of the driver recesses, twisted wires, screw inserts, etc the whole speaker shouts quality. Reminds me of KEF, B&W, Celestion type speakers.

    OX is has a thoughtful and clean layout




    BTW I am sure this is the first time these have been apart and look new inside.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  2. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Questionable Morels Subscriber

    Great grab, Kelly!

    My buddy and AKer HepcatWilly now has my two pair of Baltic 30s. Tweets can sound a bit "hot" on most SS, he runs his on tubes and it's a big, meaty, accurate sound, with the tubes smoothing out the top just the right amount.

    The only markings on the drivers are the small stamped initials/symbol on the cones. But like I said, quality build to them.

    Keep us posted on progress!
  3. Sir.Byrd

    Sir.Byrd Lunatic Member

    Cool, and plywood too!
  4. Quadrant4

    Quadrant4 New Member

    Heres a site that sells a "Baltic" line of speakers with a Baltic 90 model thats a three way like your 50. Hasn't been updated since 96 though. Maybe theres a chance the email still works. Worth a shot.
  5. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

    I had some Lithuanian speakers that were stuffed with kugelis, zeppelins and rye bread.
  6. audiozaz

    audiozaz rtfm!? - tl;dr

    Unassuming looking at first view, but it's a good thing you poped'em open to let us see the build quality!

    I can spy plywood, not particle board. Real wood veneer, on all sides? :) Nice!

    Crossover seems to use good capacitors that won't age badly like electros. Drivers seem to have a nice build as well.


  7. MunkeyQ

    MunkeyQ Super Member

    Would not expect that sort of build quality from looking at the trim rings! Very nice find, and those seem like some very well made drivers.

    The capacitor look like Russian paper-in-oil ones, which are very highly prized in the audio circles for their sound and longevity.
  8. kfa888

    kfa888 Addicted Member

    I'm glad i did some research and found out under the plastic trim rings are heavy cast drivers or I might have passed. Kinda the opposite of what you usually see, crappy stamped drivers under Aluminum trim rings. I gave them a long listen in way less than idea setup and am amazed by the sound despite the low output tweeter. I need to sort that out. I'm 90% sure it is not the tweeter itself.

    There does seem an oily substance has leaked from the green cap standing on end in the middle of the OX, wonder if thats the issue. I don't know enough about XO's
  9. MunkeyQ

    MunkeyQ Super Member

    Could you post a pic of the capacitors, side on? Pretty sure the two rectangular cans paper in oil, which means they'll still be good in a hundred years or so...providing they don't leak! I personally have never seen "ordinary" looking bookshelf speakers like that with oil caps...they're normally reserved for exotic Altec horns and the like! Hold onto those speakers!

    The little leaky one looks like a nonpolarised electrolytic...very good chance that's part of the tweeter's filter given its physical size. It may have a low enough capacitance that the crossover point is now much higher than it should be, accounting for the reduced output.

    Otherwise, it's a good idea to check the solder joints and clean/bypass the L-pads just to be sure. Posting a rough scribbled schematic would help too. :thmbsp:
  10. voltcontrol

    voltcontrol Fizheuer Zieheuer

    A wolf in sheep's clothes! Cool . :)
  11. dc270

    dc270 Now Off The Reservation..... Subscriber

    Did very good there Kelly!! Get the problems sorted out and you'll have some keepers I think!!
  12. kfa888

    kfa888 Addicted Member

    Yep, these speakers look cheap on first glance but are some of the best built speakers i have seen. Even the way the drivers fit in the perfectly routed holes, the attention to details etc. Amazing. Yeah, these are going no where, I already love the sound from them and can hardly wait to get that tweeter 100% tweeting.

    I did all that to no avail. I bet it is a cap near the end.

    I think these are made in the late 70's early 80's from info I can find.
  13. bakes

    bakes Super Member

    Very cool - I would have found those irresistable. My guess is that the leaky NPE cap is the source of your tweeter worries. Measure the other and order something similar - maybe a Solen - for each of them as if one goes, the other might not be far behind.

    Again, very, very cool!
  14. coonmanx

    coonmanx Super Member

    Did you try to contact Baltlines Audio yet to see if they are still around?
  15. kfa888

    kfa888 Addicted Member

    No, for what? Schematic? I think the tweet is fine. Tested good. replacement sounds the same (low output)
  16. kfa888

    kfa888 Addicted Member

    Been listening some this morning while I work from home, man the bass is fast deep and effortless on these. Great sounding speakers. Got to sort that tweet ASAP.
  17. frperdurabo

    frperdurabo AK Member Subscriber

    I think these were made in the 90s; post USSR break-up. I just pinged my Latvian friend over to this thread; hopefully he'll sign-up and join in.

    The old Soviet Union made some pretty interesting cameras - mainly Leica, Contax I've always wondered if there was a factory in Siberia turning out perfect copies of say, the Altec 604. Does anyone know?
  18. marcusekner

    marcusekner Racer

    Not that the're an ex-USSR country, I think, but Bulgaria turns out some pretty nice speaker drivers aswell. There's a speaker store here in Sweden who have been selling the Bulgarian speakers for ages, and they have quite a reputation. They're really ambitious, making midrange drivers with AlNiCo magnets and very nice horn loaded ribbon tweeters. And I shoot most of my pictures with an old Leica copy with a Zeiss copy-lens. Excellent camera.

    These speakers look really well designed. They even used proper PIO capacitors. I'm impressed.
  19. mashaffer

    mashaffer Super Member

    Those are neat. My first thought was that the tweeter looked a little suspect (hard dome?). Glad that they sound good. I like the solid look to them.

  20. barredowl

    barredowl Before and after Science

    Those aren't trim rings Munkey but the edge of cast woofer and mid frames if you look closely you can almost always tell the difference between machined solid metal and hollow plastic or stamped trim rings. Those look like nice build quality, good pick up!

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