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AKAI 3-Way Speakers

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Piaf
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Piaf posted on Fri, Aug 3 2018 7:55 AM

Yes I know, not a B&O product, but today I was (surprise) gifted with a reasonably nice pair of AKAI 3-Way Speakers.

Everything looks pretty good, except the 8" woofers need re-foaming. But are they worth re-foaming?

AKAI made some amazing equipment in the sixties and seventies..... I know as I have one of their bullet-proof 8-Track Recorders, but these speakers are studio monitors in black.

All my available gear has DIN connections and these speakers require hard wire, so I need to improvise.

That said, I have no speakers for my restored Beomaster 1000, so this "could" be a nice solution.All identification is missing, so I have no idea which model these are or how great a demand they impose on the amp.

Again, this was a surprise gift , but I am trying to plan ahead as I want to bring my Beolab 5000, Beogram 4000, Beocord 5000, and M100 speakers downstairs for a dramatic focus in the living room.

Any thoughts?

Jeff

If these speakers are worth being re-foamed, I can include the Beomaster 1000 in the collection for visual and audio enhancement. .

Beogram 4000, Beogram 4002, Beogram 4004, Beogram 8000, Beogram 8002, Beogram 1602. Beogram 4500 CD player, B&O CDX player, Beocord 4500, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 8004, Beocord 9000, Beomaster 1000, Beomaster 1600, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 4400, Beomaster 4500, Beolab 5000, Beomaster 5000, BeoCenter 9000. BeoSound Century,  S-45.2, S-45.2, S-75, S-75, M-75, M-100, MC 120.2 speakers; B&O Illuminated Sign (with crown & red logo). B&O grey & black Illuminated Sign, B&O black Plexiglas dealer sign, B&O ash tray, B&O (Orrefors) dealer award vase,  B&O Beotime Clock. Navy blue B&O baseball cap, B&O T-shirt X2, B&O black ball point pen, B&O Retail Management Binder

 

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Stereomensch
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I know that there are vintage Akai Hifi fans out there.

Do you know the name of your speakers?

Maybe you can post a foto of the speakers?

Piaf
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Piaf replied on Fri, Aug 3 2018 9:21 PM

There were tags to the rear of the speakers with model information, but they are long gone.

The frets have nothing on them, and the front only says AKAI.

I can post a photo, no problem, but these are PLAIN bookshelf speakers, covered in flat black vinyl, about 2' tall, with 3 speakers vertically center balanced: Tweeter, Mid-Range, and 8" Woofer.

The frets sit suspended in front of the speakers. A questionable styling touch, but inoffensive.

Somewhere around here I have DIN speaker cables with the speaker end cut off. As soon as I find them, I can plug them into my handy Beomaster 4500. Then I will know if they sound good enough for re-foaming the Woofers.

My guy does GREAT work, but charges according to mood and the cash-flow of the day. Usually about $130. I didn't think twice about my M75 and M100 speakers, but these AKAI's are..... well sort of ugly.

Jeff

Beogram 4000, Beogram 4002, Beogram 4004, Beogram 8000, Beogram 8002, Beogram 1602. Beogram 4500 CD player, B&O CDX player, Beocord 4500, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 5000 T4716, Beocord 8004, Beocord 9000, Beomaster 1000, Beomaster 1600, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 2400.2, Beomaster 4400, Beomaster 4500, Beolab 5000, Beomaster 5000, BeoCenter 9000. BeoSound Century,  S-45.2, S-45.2, S-75, S-75, M-75, M-100, MC 120.2 speakers; B&O Illuminated Sign (with crown & red logo). B&O grey & black Illuminated Sign, B&O black Plexiglas dealer sign, B&O ash tray, B&O (Orrefors) dealer award vase,  B&O Beotime Clock. Navy blue B&O baseball cap, B&O T-shirt X2, B&O black ball point pen, B&O Retail Management Binder

 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Fri, Aug 3 2018 10:20 PM

Back during that time frame, Akai,like most Japanese companies, were not noted for making good speakers. Even the HPM Pioneers were voiced a bit forward and bright for most people in the US and Europe. We even had a pair of the supposedly desirable Yamaha NS-1000s in the shop for a while, and to most of our ears they were dreadful, bright, shrill, harsh sounding. Not surprising as they were one of the first speakers to use metal diaphragms for mid and tweeter and the problems associated with such drivers were not well understood.

Now Akai tape decks were very good to quite good and that's mainly what got them their reputation. I used an Akai cassette deck for many years with good results. Their amps were typical of many Japanese amps of the day, spec'd good but couldn't push much current into a complex and inefficient speaker load. I had a customer who bought the small Koss Electrostat speakers and tried to drive them with a 100 watt Akai integrated amp and it sounded dreadful.

Worth playing with, but if you can't refoam them yourself probably not worth spending a lot of money on. Would make good garage speakers though.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

sonavor
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Jeff:

We even had a pair of the supposedly desirable Yamaha NS-1000s in the shop for a while, and to most of our ears they were dreadful, bright, shrill, harsh sounding. Not surprising as they were one of the first speakers to use metal diaphragms for mid and tweeter and the problems associated with such drivers were not well understood.

This is off topic for Beoworld but I am surprised you didn't like the Yamaha NS-1000's.  I have the NS-670, NS-690, NS-500M, NS-1000M and NS-2000 speakers and like all of them. I don't like comparing speakers though because they are so subjective (that's why there are so many different types). If I had to choose one of the Yamahas I would have to go with the NS-2000's though. Interestingly, those came out in the early 80's and have foam surrounds on the woofers like Bang & Olufsen engineers were using. So those surrounds need replacing every ten or fifteen years like the Beovox. My first speakers as a teenager were some Sansui SP-2500s. They were a bass reflex (ported) speaker and very bass heavy I thought. I liked them but later moved on the the Yamaha NS series (acoustic suspension type speakers) which I still love. In the past few years I have been focusing on Bang & Olufsen products the most so I started collecting various Beovox speakers. I have a thread here on Beoworld about my MS-150 collection but I also have the M100.2, MC120.2, S75, S55, S45-2, CX-100, RL60.2 and RL140.  If I am asked to compare and rate them it is also very difficult as they all have their place and use. Appropriate room size and speaker placement make all the difference. For example I have the RL60.2 on their wall mounts and powered by a Beocenter 9500 in a 12 foot x 15 foot bedroom. Those speakers sound great to me with that setup. 

Sorry for getting off track.

 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Aug 4 2018 2:39 PM

You're quite right, it's a very subjective thing. You can define what "good" looks like with measurements and such, some of them even have validity! But it's in the ears of the beholder in the final analysis.

It wasn't just me either, everyone else in the shop felt the same way. We had taken them in on trade and had them setup with some mostly equal sized a/d/s stuff in one room. People would say wow, you have the Yamahas, ask to listen to them, switch back and forth with say a/d/s 810s or 710s, and then wrinkle their noses up at them for the most part. I always suspected what I found unpleasant about them was similar to what I find unpleasant about most metal drivers, poorly damped breakup modes and subharmonics, internal driver noise, etc. To my ears the doped, soft fabric domes sound best.

But then I'm not overly fond of the approach used in many audiophile brands, including many B&Ws, of a, to my ears, overly "detailed" upper mid/lower treble voicing, which I find interesting for 10 min and then fatiguing. But it's very popular.

Since I was a poor college student back then I had a pair of Sansui LM110 speakers, the LM series were arguably the best Sansui speakers of the era. Good drivers, etc. But I bought a pair from eBay a while back to see if how I remember them is right. Either these have something bad in the crossover (I still need to replace the caps) or I was deaf when I was young! Way too bright and harsh even with the tweeters turned down.

So, as you say, opinions will vary, but that's what makes speakers the most interesting aspect of the hobby I think, at least to me. Many ways to skin a cat as it were, and a following for most of them.

We now return control of the thread to you, until the next time on The Audiophile Limits. Smile

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Aug 4 2018 2:42 PM

P.S. It would be interesting to me to hear the Yamaha monitor series again now to see if my opinions had changed, as they have on so many other things.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

MediaBobNY
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Jeff:

We now return control of the thread to you, until the next time on The Audiophile Limits. Smile

.. in your best Vic Perrin impersonation..  Wink

 

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