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Might never happen, but wouldn't this be a cool retro build?

Nursing a hangover so I was hanging out admiring my driver hoa - I mean collection - and this driver combo jumped out at me from my Radio Shack museum.

Realistic ribbon, wide range, and 8" poly woofer. This seems like it would be a simple build and be a lot of fun. I have no idea what the response of the wide range is (advertised 700-20000 with supplied capacitor), but the ribbon has a supplied response curve and I imagine the woofer with the not too stiff cone and the bread-and-butter motor inductance rise will probably offer a roll-off that lends itself to a simple crossover.

As I said, not sure I would actually build this but all drivers are NIB, the woofer foam is soft and supple, and I think it would be a cool complement with the other Radio Shack 3-way I built several years ago. This would have been a relatively expensive (primarily based on 1993 catalog prices) build when the drivers were fresh from Radio Shack. In 1993 the woofers retailed for $35 and the wide range retailed for $14. The tweeters were considerably older, and the price tag on the box shows a price of $17 - which was the price from somewhere in the mid-80's. The midrange and the tweeter are both actually branded "Realistic", and the woofer is the Radio Shack brand. I believe the transition from Realistic to Radio Shack branding occurred somewhere in the very early 90's. I'll have to dig through the catalogs to be sure, and it doesn't really matter except for certain drivers like the 12" DVC.

Anyways, maybe I'll knock something together.

Anyone else sitting on vintage drivers and have idle thoughts about knocking together a design to see how it compares?

I have a signature.


  • Oh, and I would absolutely build an isobaric subwoofer using the two NIB original 12" DVC. Should see 25hz extension in that application. I even have the Radio Shack choke coil - the one wrapped in yellow plastic. This could be fun but where the hell would I put that subwoofer? Even in an isobaric alignment, I imagine it would be 4 cubic feet to get maximum extension.

    I have a signature.
  • Do you have a set of the old paper cone 10's? Those would be a nice woofer for that combo. Either way, they're just sitting there waiting to be used. I say get on with it! Oiled walnut FTW🤘

  • I do have a pair of those, but the foam on one of them needs to be replaced. They are very early models, possibly the first with half roll instead of accordion surround, so likely 40 years old or so.

    I have a signature.
  • edited January 1

    The 3-way could be a fun build as long as you don't have high expectations for modern HiFi sound quality. I was planning on rebuilding an old Infinity cabinet some years back, had re-foamed the poly cone 10" woofers but then I moved and got rid of everything except the EMIT tweeters. Unfortunately the EMIT tweeters measure like crap so I won't be using them in a build, but they're not taking up much space in the closet either. It was a 10" 2-way that I was going to rebuild as a 3-way, probably with Vifa TG9 for the midrange.

    I have rebuilt a couple Realistic speakers, they're great speakers to pick up used even if the drivers are toast as they usually have real wood walnut veneers. My dads old monkey coffins were the Optimus-5, the dual midrange and tweeter were crap but the woofer was decent. 11" IIRC and cast frame with a large inverted roll surround, fabric with tar goop, not foam so it had withstood the test of time. I redesigned with a Vifa TG9FD10-04 replacing both the midrange and tweeter drivers, and sensitivity there was just enough to not need any padding. It was a vast improvement and using the fullrange driver provided that "vintage" cone tweeter directivity.

    I also rebuilt a Realistic Optimus T-70 which was an 8" 2-way with a cool slot port in the back, looked like a pretty modern design given the age. The woofer was foam surround and was toast, but the tweeter was actually a decent fabric dome from Seas. I re-used the tweeter and redesigned using a Silver Flute 8" which fit the cabinet parameters well enough and was a pretty decent speaker all said and done. Gave them to my gf's sister who I believe is still using them today.

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • I have a set of those Optimus 8" 'pimply cone' woofers, and toyed with maybe the Realistic dome mids and who knows tweeters.
    I like how those woofers sounded back in the day, smooth and easy, but sealed only!

    I also have the Klipsch woofers from ApexJr, and some Phillips dome mids and tweeters and would like to do that build.

  • I think that I still have some Focal 5n412's and Dynaudio d28af's.

  • I think you should build it and then bring it to a future event. I'm finding that there seems to be something very therapeutic about the old time restoration process. When you bring something back to life that was sitting on the shelf for years and years, it just seems very satisfying and uplifting. I suppose you could say the same thing about building with new drivers, but it doesn't seem to be quite the same. :)

  • Huh, don't remember them ever having a cloth surround.

  • @6thplanet said:
    Huh, don't remember them ever having a cloth surround.

    I've only seen them in old catalogs.

    I have a signature.
  • Since you're discussing RS, I have one 40-1022B 4" wide range and one 40-1228B horn tweeter both NIB. Free+shipping to anyone interested.

  • @blue934 said:
    Since you're discussing RS, I have one 40-1022B 4" wide range and one 40-1228B horn tweeter both NIB. Free+shipping to anyone interested.

    Shoot me a shipping estimate to 57106.

    I have a signature.
  • Somewhere in my parts collection I have a bunch of Panasonic ribbon tweeters IIRC. However I moved and all of that remains in storage probably until the spring. If you're still interested then, you could have them jr. I suspect they may be the source for the Realistic ribbons.

  • I have a pair of JVC ribbons I could part with too. They're rated 120W. ;)


  • @jr@mac said:

    @blue934 said:
    Since you're discussing RS, I have one 40-1022B 4" wide range and one 40-1228B horn tweeter both NIB. Free+shipping to anyone interested.

    Shoot me a shipping estimate to 57106.

    You have mail

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