Written by 5:51 am Reference Speakers

How Many Pairs of Speakers Have You Owned?

Steven Stone takes a trip down memory lane as he racks his brain to remember the speakers he’s owned….



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I woke up this morning feeling nostalgic. Why? Must have been
that Chicken Mole’ I ate last night. But regardless of the reason, I thought
I’d write down, in chronological order, how many pairs of speakers I’ve owned
(and kept in a system for a minimum of six months) since I became an
audiophile. Speakers I’ve had solely for reviews won’t be on the list.

EPI 100 – My first speakers. I bought a pair as part of
a Sam Goody system that included a Scott StereoMaster 352 receiver that blew up
after fifteen minutes. It was replaced under store replacement warranty with a
Harman Kardon Nocturne receiver that worked flawlessly for years.

Advent Utility Speakers – I got these after the EPI
100s. I bought them used and they were kinda ugly, but they sounded fine with a
Harman Kardon Artist Award A-500 integrated amp.

Morel MLP-402 – This was the first good “audiophile”
speaker I owned. Purchased from Mikael Shabani, owner of The Audio Studio in
Brookline, Ma, who was also the Morel U.S. distributor. I used these with Revox
and Quad electronics.

Quad ESL-57 – I had a pair of these for over ten years,
and during that time I did a lot of mods including removing the metal grills
and back-stuffing, replacing panels, mounting them on top of Cizak MG-27
subwoofers, and driving them with everything from a Marantz 8B to a Atma-Sphere
MA-1 OTL. When I began reviewing home theater products my inability to fit in a
third ESL-57 for center-channel duties into a small room meant their demise.

Snell A III – I had these during the same time as I had
the Quads. I used them with big solid-state amps as well as tube gear. I blew up
the 12″ down-firing subwoofers more than once. I remember their very
left-brained sound.

Apogee Full Ranges – I used these for over five years and
they were the speaker I carted from Boston to Colorado when I moved in 1991.
Yes, the were hard to drive, needed a big room, required a careful set-up, but
talk about transparency…

Apogee Scintillas – I used to alternate a pair of these
with my Quad 57s in my smaller listening space in my studio in Boston. With
their two-ohm resistance they were perfect for stressing solid-state power
amps. I also wish I had kept them since there are for more amps that could
handle them successfully today than back then…

Dunlavy SC-VI – I got these in 1996 and their still in
my main room (whose dimensions and surfaces were adjusted specifically for the
Dunlavys.) Until the day I downsize they will be my references.

AV123 X-Static and Voce with full Skiing Ninja
modifications – Although I didn’t review this Danny Ritchie designed speaker
for any publication, when I heard them I wanted to use them for my smaller
multi-channel set-up during the summer months. Combined with the X-Omni for
rear channels, the system sounds far better than its price would lead you to
expect.

Genesis 6.1 and 6.1C – Arnie Nudell’s last and most
recent commercial design, I use these in the winter when lightning strikes and
power surges are less likely to roach their sensitive built-in servo amps.
They’re still a great-sounding acoustically flexible semi-open-baffle design.

So, that’s my list, so
far. It would be far longer if I included all the mini-monitors and small
bookshelf speakers I’ve owned used for near-field listening. Perhaps I’ll
compile that list another time. But, if you consider how long I’ve been an
audiophile, my list of speakers that I’ve owned isn’t that long. Of course
during that time, on average, I reviewed three or four more speakers per year
for TAS and Stereophile, which I didn’t include in my list.

My parting question is
simple – how many speakers have you owned since you became an audiophile?

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