Non Polk Polks....(sorta)

FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,863
edited June 13 in Vintage Speakers
I have the opportunity to aquire a pair of Optimus 27s (think thin and wide monitor 5s). Owned by my childhood priest (no jokes, this guy is awesome), so they're pristine.

Anyone have any experience with them? Thoughts?

The only reason I'm considering nabbing them is that they are laid out like a Polk, so I thought it might be fun to compare and contrast.

Comments

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,341
    edited June 13
    I've never heard a pair, but I do like the looks of 'em.

    2bjia9s7ako2.png
    source: www.radioshackcatalogs.com (1980) "New for '80" :)

    PRs really were, briefly, a thing in the mass-market. R/S, as usual, was late to the party but they did throw themselves at it with gusto.

    I have a pair (dump find, of course!) of the cheaper (in every sense of the word) but somewhat similar R/S "Nova 10" speakers. They look -- well, kinda sketchy; really cheezy, cheap cone tweeter and all -- but they sound, no kidding, very pleasant. Not impressive in any way, but honest and easy to listen to, with a surprisingly clean midrange.

    oo1xueh7h0jx.png
    source: www.radioshackcatalogs.com (1981) "New for '81" :)

    So, get 'em and try 'em -- and report back to the class. I've always wondered how they'd compare to Monitor 7s, too! :)


    The R/S monkey coffins of the 1970s tended to skip the reproduction of midrange more or less entirely to concentrate on boom and sizzle ;)


  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 11,098
    All i can add is those 19.95 super tweeters of which i had 2pr. now go for LARGE dollars on eBay. I wish i had 3 cases of them to list on eBay... They actually to my ears sounded pretty good.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,341
    edited June 14
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    All i can add is those 19.95 super tweeters of which i had 2pr. now go for LARGE dollars on eBay. I wish i had 3 cases of them to list on eBay... They actually to my ears sounded pretty good.

    Yeah, they do -- somewhat inexplicably. Not that they're bad tweeters (they're not bad at all)... but, still, kinda crazy. The earlier, Japanese-made morphs go for more $$ than the later morphs (made in various other Asian territories) :| I have a pair, or two, but they're all pretty late production (bought on closeout for, like $5 a pop when R/S... umm... closed 'em out).

    The eBAY prices of the R/S supertweeters is particularly remarkable to me... given that Fostex still sells a modern version of it. :)


    https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/bullet-tweeters/fostex-ft17h-horn-super-tweeter/

    7c9629djwc6c.png

    EDIT: For best results, the original R/S versions (IMO, of course) should have their on-board crossovers superseded with a first order, high frequency XO (e.g., a good quality 1 uF capacitor, nominal XO = 20 kHz -- or 1 uF, XO = 10 kH -- with 6 dB per octave slope).


  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,341
    For the OP:
    Get the Optimus 27s, take lots of photos and tell us how they sound :)
    Just don't tell your priest about the peer pressure.

    ;)
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,863
    That's the plan. Should be visiting him next week. Will update as requested
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,341
    :)

    I am really curious about those (as you can probably tell) -- having never heard a pair.
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,230
    Realistic (Radio Shack, right?) made some decent stuff. My grandpa has some Realistic speakers, Minimus 7s I think? They are small satellites, but they are literally made out of solid steel. They don’t sound terrible either. 1” dome (polymer I think) and a 4.5ish” midbass driver.
    Main system: Technics SL3200, Shure M97xE, Lafayette LR1100 for phono and tuner, NAD C352, Boston Acoustics VR 2, Velodyne VA-907, generic ICs, and BJC Belden speaker cables.

    Desktop: Dell Precision 690 running iTunes, Yamaha RX-v665, Monitor Audio R90s, Boston PV500, generic ICs and speaker cables.
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,341
    mlistens03 wrote: »
    Realistic (Radio Shack, right?) made some decent stuff. My grandpa has some Realistic speakers, Minimus 7s I think? They are small satellites, but they are literally made out of solid steel. They don’t sound terrible either. 1” dome (polymer I think) and a 4.5ish” midbass driver.

    The Minimus 7 enclosure is cast aluminum, and they sound OK. The speakers after which they were modeled (Visonik Davids, and the smaller ads of the era like the L-200) sound much better though.

    That said, everyone should have a pair or two of Minimus 7s. I think everyone does. :)

    The 7s certainly benefit from a little crossover work -- or even, perhaps, a lot.

    More stuff for you to read when you get bored.

    http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/minimus-7-loudspeakers-measurements.199790/

    (unfortunately, some of the graphics may be lost to the ages due to multiple server migrations over the years @ AK)

  • Tony MTony M Posts: 6,261
    I was a proud owner of minumus 7's ( walnut veneer) there in the old days. Heck, I might still own them along with a few pair of the aluminum ones and even minumus 10's. Talk about great sound, if they have those silk or polymer domes. ;)

    Everybody was impressed by their sound output from such a small box. Most of us never heard of ADS back then. :#
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • lawdogglawdogg Posts: 287
    edited June 15
    Yeah I run a pair in the garage, and have a pair of slightly bigger ADS L300C to rotate in occasionally.

    Anyway, those speakers above look as much like Polks as Thrusters. :smiley:
    <3 my 3.1TLs

    I will fix your shifted magnets for free. :)
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,230
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    cast aluminum

    Same difference :wink:

    My grandpa has at least 4 pairs. 3 white ones, two black ones, and 3 wood ones. Why they are in sets of 3 I have no clue.
    He also gave me some Realistic somethin-or-others which were just a ~3” driver in a small sealed cabinet. I gave them two my friend, who proceeded to destroy them. They sounded pretty bad, and back then our bar was set incredibly low, so I probably wouldn’t even be willing to listen to them. “Oh man, now I have to go home and listen to my Realistic somethin-or-others” :tongue:
    Main system: Technics SL3200, Shure M97xE, Lafayette LR1100 for phono and tuner, NAD C352, Boston Acoustics VR 2, Velodyne VA-907, generic ICs, and BJC Belden speaker cables.

    Desktop: Dell Precision 690 running iTunes, Yamaha RX-v665, Monitor Audio R90s, Boston PV500, generic ICs and speaker cables.
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,341
    edited June 15
    oh some of those little "fullrange" drivers sold by Radio Shack, in proper enclosures, just might surprise you.

    Besides the well-known 40-1197 (which was a variant of the Fostex FE-103, which is still in production), there were other sweet spots in their component loudspeakers.

    Sort of a random walk, monkeys-and-typewriters thing, but, as awful as most of R/S's loudspeaker systems were -- some of their drivers were not bad at all.

    The 40-1354 5-1/4" twincone "fullrange" is a personal fave. These are slightly modified (dustcaps removed and replaced with phase plugs made by Dave Dlugos), but even unmodified, they -- as Doc Bottlehead noted many years ago -- get the midrange right.

    12289315386_cf252f4e11_b.jpgDSCN5289 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    In mass-loaded folded, tapered quarter wave tube enclosures, they get pretty much everything pretty right, IMO.

    9599007591_1f3e441faf_b.jpgDSC_6399 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,230
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    oh some of those little "fullrange" drivers sold by Radio Shack, in proper enclosures, just might surprise you.

    Besides the well-known 40-1197 (which was a variant of the Fostex FE-103, which is still in production), there were other sweet spots in their component loudspeakers.

    Sort of a random walk, monkeys-and-typewriters thing, but, as awful as most of R/S's loudspeaker systems were -- some of their drivers were not bad at all.

    The 40-1354 5-1/4" twincone "fullrange" is a personal fave. These are slightly modified (dustcaps removed and replaced with phase plugs made by Dave Dlugos), but even unmodified, they -- as Doc Bottlehead noted many years ago -- get the midrange right.

    12289315386_cf252f4e11_b.jpgDSCN5289 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    In mass-loaded folded, tapered quarter wave tube enclosures, they get pretty much everything pretty right, IMO.

    9599007591_1f3e441faf_b.jpgDSC_6399 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    These ones were cheapest of cheap. They had a power handling of about 5 Watts, and they were really inefficient. The drivers, when we removed them, were about 3/4 inch thick, and on of them collapsed in on itself after accidentally being dropped on carpet.
    I have no doubt that some of them would surprise me, but those ones wouldn’t.
    Micah
    Main system: Technics SL3200, Shure M97xE, Lafayette LR1100 for phono and tuner, NAD C352, Boston Acoustics VR 2, Velodyne VA-907, generic ICs, and BJC Belden speaker cables.

    Desktop: Dell Precision 690 running iTunes, Yamaha RX-v665, Monitor Audio R90s, Boston PV500, generic ICs and speaker cables.
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • I was an RS manager when they came out. Great looking and sound nice but bass disappoints.
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,863
    I was an RS manager when they came out. Great looking and sound nice but bass disappoints.

    Which model are you referring to?
  • The ones the OP mentioned: Optimus 27

    Wes
  • Oh and you're the OP. Still get them they are cool.

    Wes
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    mlistens03 wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    cast aluminum
    Same difference :wink:
    Yes, exactly the same, except one is aluminum.

    And quit quotin' entire photo posts. Strip the images out, man, it's easy. You're gonna run the innernet outta space. Someone's gotta pay for that.
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,230
    msg wrote: »
    mlistens03 wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    cast aluminum
    Same difference :wink:
    Yes, exactly the same, except one is aluminum.

    And quit quotin' entire photo posts. Strip the images out, man, it's easy. You're gonna run the innernet outta space. Someone's gotta pay for that.

    Sorry this thread disappeared while I was gone. I will remember that for the future. (Actually, I probably won't, but I'll do my best :tongue: )
    Main system: Technics SL3200, Shure M97xE, Lafayette LR1100 for phono and tuner, NAD C352, Boston Acoustics VR 2, Velodyne VA-907, generic ICs, and BJC Belden speaker cables.

    Desktop: Dell Precision 690 running iTunes, Yamaha RX-v665, Monitor Audio R90s, Boston PV500, generic ICs and speaker cables.
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
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