What are the good Realistic Optimus speakers to look out for?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by jeff spicoli, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. jeff spicoli

    jeff spicoli AK Subscriber Subscriber

    When I try and do a search there are tons of different models to choose from and I was mostly interested in the 15" models to look out for?
  2. Coytee

    Coytee Super Member

    Mach One or none!!
  3. premiumplus

    premiumplus Vintage Junkie

    Optimus 7. I managed a RS store in the 70's and spent many hours with all their offerings from that period. In my opinion, the Op-7s are the most detailed and accurate set of the bunch. Large cab, a little over 3 square feet, with a 12" woofer, 6" mid and 1 1/2" dome tweeter. Level controls for the mid and tweets. Unfortunately they were only made from 1973 to 1974 and are kind of rare. They sold for $198.50 each, a pretty pricey speaker back then.
  4. sax6

    sax6 Loudness always ON

    Optimus 5b...

    but look out for those midrange/tweeters that can be dead...

    Nice envelopping bass...
  5. gbroot

    gbroot Super Member

    The 5b was designed and voiced to compete with the KLH Model 5, which in turn competed very well with the AR 3a. Side by side by side in good rehabbed condition there is not one that would stand out heads and shoulders. It would be personal preference. There are some mod threads on the 5b's that would indicate they can be modded to be something very special.
  6. LordOfTRings

    LordOfTRings Be Cool with the Blues

    Optimus Pro LX5 ...5 1/4" woofer though.

    * Just mate them with an SVS sub. ...Or the Hsu Research VTF-15H
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    HTHMAN Super Member

    Optimus 1/1b and Optimus 5/5b or the corresponding Nova models. I had the 5b and it was a fine speaker. I now have a couple pair of Optimus 1's which I think image better than the 5b's did. All have nice veneer cabinets. I really like the woofers in the 1 and 5 models.
  8. -reverb-

    -reverb- Breaking more than fixing Subscriber

    Depends a lot on how you would like to use them and what you will be driving them with.

    For room-rattling volume and a pretty sweet sound, the Mach Ones are the way to go. They can be further enhanced by some crossover mods documented on AK. The Mach Two's are good also, but not in the same league as the One's. The Optimus T-200's were pretty good rock speakers as well.

    I have always been fond of the Optimus 400 too... around 1986 time-frame. It had a leaf tweeter that is quite nice.

    If you are planning to pair it with an older solid-state amp, maybe a Realistic of the era - the older Optimus are sweet. As mentioned by premiumplus, the 7's are special speakers. A little lower on the food chain was the Nova 7b. They had a very nice warmth about them.

    If you want to get into some odd Realistic gear be on the lookout for some of the Electrostats. I have a pair Electrostat 2's and Electrostat 2a's. They are very interesting little speakers. Bass-shy but do they ever have some highs!

    Main thing to keep in mind is don't' underestimate Radio Shack gear. Their 2 or 3 TOTL in each category was as good as most of the era. Not sure why but they never got the respect some of their stuff deserved. Maybe because they made some pure crap as well.

    My two-cents at least. All comes down to what YOUR ears like :yes:
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  9. Pandovski

    Pandovski Banned

  10. -reverb-

    -reverb- Breaking more than fixing Subscriber

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  11. HeezDeadJim

    HeezDeadJim Entrope Weasel

    I don't like them. I'm going to sell mine. They sound too tinny for me and their Linaeum tweeters really aren't magical like they claim to be. And yes, I did run them through a proper receiver/amp. They have depth, but not as wide of a soundstage, which is strange considering you'd think it would be the other way around. I could live with the bipole tweeters, but the deal killer is the woofer. Not the size....the sound of it.

    Well maybe it's the pairing of the woofer with the metal box. It just sounds....tinny. I have a sub, so I don't care that it is a 5 1/4". I just couldn't get to like it even for a few days of listening to it.

    I'd compare it to two plates of spaghetti. One plate has a proper mix of beef and tangy sauce. The other has a blander taste of sauce (like more water added). No matter how much you eat, it still doesn't have a saturated tangy goodness. The slight "boxy" sound was ruining the sound for me.
  12. Copa1934

    Copa1934 My ears are bleeding Subscriber

    Not to show bias, I own currently...
    Mach One (2 pair) one pair full VL mods
    Mach Two
    Optimus 5b (same as Nova 8b) eventually getting full VL mods (another thread)
    Nova 7b (2-pair)
    Realistic LX-5II
    RCA LX-5 twin (2-pair)
    T-120 (2-pair)
    LX Center
    LX-8 (garage duty)

    Man I feel like I've left something out...hmmmm.
  13. LordOfTRings

    LordOfTRings Be Cool with the Blues

    Realistic Optimus Pro LX5

    1. Block the port(s) with 'stereofoam'. ;)
    2. Mate them with a good sub (as I already said).
    3. Position them properly and on solid stands.
    {The enclosure is made of die-cast, not metal.}

    * You can always get a pair of Paradigm Studio monitors. :) ...With a sub of course.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  14. Copa1934

    Copa1934 My ears are bleeding Subscriber

  15. LordOfTRings

    LordOfTRings Be Cool with the Blues

    Seems quite complete to me. :thmbsp:
  16. HeezDeadJim

    HeezDeadJim Entrope Weasel

    1. I'm not sure if I want to continue to experiment with stereofoam because.....

    2. I am/was using a sub, an Energy 10.3 (as I already said).
    3. They are on 36" Bell'O solid metal speaker stands.
    {I couldn't remember if it die-cast. I kept thinking cast-iron, but knew that wasn't it, LOL}

    And yes.....Paradigms have always been on my list for coveted bookshelf speakers (more than even B&W, I'm talking realistic achievements for affordable speakers and not "dream" speakers like their Nautilus line). I'll let someone else enjoy the LX5's since I really don't need another set of speakers sitting around the house. They aren't bad, just not my flavor.
  17. stereofanboy

    stereofanboy Addicted Member

    Mach One, Mach Two, and Mach Three are the ones I know of that have fifteen inch woofers. There are at least a few others. There was a two way with fifteen inch woofer and a horn in 1993 or thereabouts. In the late '80s there was the forgettable Optimus 1000 with a fifteen inch woofer. I think that there were some models that were sold in Canada that weren't available in the US. Of these I have heard (and owned) only the Mach Ones and Mach Twos.

    I don't believe that any of these are generally considered to be within the best sounding three or four Radio Shack speakers. Included among the many Radio Shack speakers I've owned were the Nova 8Bs, Optimus 5s, Optimus 1s, and Optimus 1Bs, all of which I liked better than the fifteen inch models I've had.
  18. stereofanboy

    stereofanboy Addicted Member

    Is die-cast a material? I always thought die-casting was something you did to a material, usually a metal.
  19. LordOfTRings

    LordOfTRings Be Cool with the Blues

    Yep, same process used for some driver's baskets. ...Make solid (rigid) enclosures, and absorb more intensified energy without breaking (cracking) under high pressure. ...Good quality drivers (in particular in subwoofers) used die-cast basket (specially molded metal). ...The exact composition (compound materials, and their percentage) can varied a lot.

    I think that I'm right, and anyone can add to it, or correct me if need to be.
  20. nick12345

    nick12345 Well-Known Member

    I've heard good things about the Optimus T-120. I've even listened to a pair, but they were being driven by a plastic Sony shelf system and the surrounds were rotted off. Obviously not a proper situation for evaluating their sound quality.

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