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Acoustat MK-121-B



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 15th 08, 04:09 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
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Default Acoustat MK-121-B

Hello, I have acquired a pair of Acoustat tower speakers, they are the
MK-121-B model. I was hoping that someone on this list could let me
know if these are a rare find or just old junk!

Also, any advice for setting them up, or what they would be worth to
the right buyer.

Thanks in advance!

Chad
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  #2  
Old August 15th 08, 10:37 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Sonnova
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Posts: 1,337
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

On Thu, 14 Aug 2008 20:09:32 -0700, wrote
(in article >):

> Hello, I have acquired a pair of Acoustat tower speakers, they are the
> MK-121-B model. I was hoping that someone on this list could let me
> know if these are a rare find or just old junk!
>
> Also, any advice for setting them up, or what they would be worth to
> the right buyer.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Chad


These are full-range electrostatic speakers made from the late 80's until
sometime in the 90's. When new, they were NOT cheap and were available in
single-panel, double-panel 4-panel, 6-panel, and 8-panel arrays. You don't
say how big they are, but the single panels are about 6-ft tall and skinny
and the double panels are wider and the 8 panels are almost 8 ft tall. The
single panel units are bar far the most plentiful and don't have much in the
way of bass, Even the 8-panel models don't go much below about 40 Hz.

If these speakers work, they can sound very good. They have most of the
electrostatic loudspeaker's advantages (fast, low coloration, di-polar
radiation pattern) and do some things very well. They al;so tend to exhibit
most of the electrostatic's drawbacks (narrow dispersion, limited low-end,
limited playback volume, a tendency to compress sound on loud passages and
funny impedance curves that not all amplifiers like.).

As Acoustat is out of business, you might have trouble getting them repaired
or getting parts for them. Today, Martin-Logan is the main carrier of the
electrostatic speaker "torch" and even modest Martin-Logans are FAR better
than the best Acoustats. But Acoustats still have their champions, and these
speakers are far from junk.

As to value, since I don't know what version you have I can't tell you what
they might be worth. From what I can glean, The MK-121-B designation is not a
model, but rather is a panel type. Models are designated by names such as
1+1, 2, 2+2, 3, 4, 6, and 8. 1+1s are two Mk-121-B panels stacked one atop
the other to make a tall, narrow tower, the 2s are two Mk-121-B panels side
by side and are relatively short and wide (almost square), the 2+2 s are two
Mk-121-B panels wide and two high (total of 4 panels). The 3s are three
Mk-121-B panels side by side etc. The 8's seem to be 4 Mk-121-B panels wide
and two high making them almost 8 ft tall.
  #3  
Old August 20th 08, 02:19 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
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Default Acoustat MK-121-B

Sonnova wrote:

> As Acoustat is out of business...


Acoustat, like everything else, is now made in China. Whether they support
the old gear is, however, another story.

Michael

http://www.acoustat.com.cn/en/index.asp
  #4  
Old August 20th 08, 11:25 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Sonnova
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Posts: 1,337
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

On Wed, 20 Aug 2008 06:19:28 -0700, wrote
(in article >):

> Sonnova wrote:
>
>> As Acoustat is out of business...

>
> Acoustat, like everything else, is now made in China. Whether they support
> the old gear is, however, another story.
>
> Michael
>
>
http://www.acoustat.com.cn/en/index.asp

I'll be damned! I figured that when Rockford corporation divested themselves
of Acoustat to concentrate on Hafler electronics (and to eventually change
their name to Hafler) and Acoustat electrostatic speaker products fell off
the map, that was the end of them. I had no idea that they had, in the
interim, moved to Italy and finally to China. It used to be that prestigious
(and discarded) US Hi-Fi names ended up in Japan where the brands were
slapped on generic goods and sold to an unsuspecting public - anyone remember
the Japanese Fisher stuff? It was junk. I believe the Pilot name went the
same way as did Sherwood.

I suspect (although I do not know for sure) that Acoustat of China does not
support older Rockford or James Strickland made Acoustat products. I wonder
if they have a US distributor? Looking over their site, it doesn't seem
so....
  #5  
Old August 21st 08, 01:38 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
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Posts: 102
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

Sonnova wrote:

> I suspect (although I do not know for sure) that Acoustat of China does
> not support older Rockford or James Strickland made Acoustat products. I
> wonder if they have a US distributor? Looking over their site, it doesn't
> seem so....


Does any company support a 25 year old product? And would anyone really
want to refurbish a 25 year old speaker? Some would, but probably not
many. The Acoustats were OK at the time, for what they were. However,
time marches on, and when I sold mine I never really missed them.

I thought the amplifier was a good product, but after many years I sold it,
too (I read somewhere that the Hitachi mos-fets were a discontinued item).
I didn't want the thing to die on me, and then not be able to get it
repaired. One cannot be too sentimental about these things.

Acoustat is now made in Gaungzhou, a city where the midday sun appears as
the moon to the naked eye. There are rich people in tri-city area of GZ,
Shenzhen, and HK (across the bay), but the average Chinese cannot afford
much of a hi fi system, and they are probably not interested in any case.
It's all television and iPod knock offs. I wonder where they are exporting
the panels, since there is currently no US presence?

Michael

  #6  
Old August 21st 08, 04:39 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Sonnova
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Posts: 1,337
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

On Wed, 20 Aug 2008 17:38:15 -0700, wrote
(in article >):

> Sonnova wrote:
>
>> I suspect (although I do not know for sure) that Acoustat of China does
>> not support older Rockford or James Strickland made Acoustat products. I
>> wonder if they have a US distributor? Looking over their site, it doesn't
>> seem so....

>
> Does any company support a 25 year old product? And would anyone really
> want to refurbish a 25 year old speaker? Some would, but probably not
> many. The Acoustats were OK at the time, for what they were. However,
> time marches on, and when I sold mine I never really missed them.


I have a friend who just sent a pair of Tympani 1D (circa 1980) speakers back
to Magnepan in White Bear lake Minnesota and for $1900 including two-way
shipping and new cartons they completely re-furbished them using the latest
technology. New magnets, new mylar diaphragms, new voice grids and crossover
components, new "socks", the works. He says they sound much better than they
did when he sent them in and in fact, sound much better than they did when
new. They have better bass and are more extended on the top while maintaining
the Maggie midrange that he said he fell in love with more than a quarter of
a century ago. While I cannot comment on how the speakers sounded BEFORE he
sent them back to Magnepan, I can attest that they sound very good now. As a
former owner of a pair of Tympani 3Cs with it's EIGHT panels, I can say that
for $1900, he certainly got a bargain.

> I thought the amplifier was a good product, but after many years I sold it,
> too (I read somewhere that the Hitachi mos-fets were a discontinued item).
> I didn't want the thing to die on me, and then not be able to get it
> repaired. One cannot be too sentimental about these things.
>
> Acoustat is now made in Gaungzhou, a city where the midday sun appears as
> the moon to the naked eye. There are rich people in tri-city area of GZ,
> Shenzhen, and HK (across the bay), but the average Chinese cannot afford
> much of a hi fi system, and they are probably not interested in any case.
> It's all television and iPod knock offs. I wonder where they are exporting
> the panels, since there is currently no US presence?


Looking at their press releases, I thought I saw something about them having
a substantial European presence.
  #7  
Old August 21st 08, 04:40 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Harry Lavo
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Posts: 1,243
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

> wrote in message
...
> Sonnova wrote:
>
>> I suspect (although I do not know for sure) that Acoustat of China does
>> not support older Rockford or James Strickland made Acoustat products. I
>> wonder if they have a US distributor? Looking over their site, it doesn't
>> seem so....

>
> Does any company support a 25 year old product? And would anyone really
> want to refurbish a 25 year old speaker? Some would, but probably not
> many. The Acoustats were OK at the time, for what they were. However,
> time marches on, and when I sold mine I never really missed them.
>
> I thought the amplifier was a good product, but after many years I sold
> it,
> too (I read somewhere that the Hitachi mos-fets were a discontinued item).
> I didn't want the thing to die on me, and then not be able to get it
> repaired. One cannot be too sentimental about these things.
>
> Acoustat is now made in Gaungzhou, a city where the midday sun appears as
> the moon to the naked eye. There are rich people in tri-city area of GZ,
> Shenzhen, and HK (across the bay), but the average Chinese cannot afford
> much of a hi fi system, and they are probably not interested in any case.
> It's all television and iPod knock offs. I wonder where they are
> exporting
> the panels, since there is currently no US presence?
>
> Michael


One of the reasons to support Thiel....they make great speakers and they
still care about their 25 year old speakers.

  #8  
Old August 21st 08, 10:38 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Norman M. Schwartz
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Posts: 146
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

wrote:
> Sonnova wrote:
>
>> I suspect (although I do not know for sure) that Acoustat of China
>> does not support older Rockford or James Strickland made Acoustat
>> products. I wonder if they have a US distributor? Looking over their
>> site, it doesn't seem so....

>
> Does any company support a 25 year old product? And would anyone
> really want to refurbish a 25 year old speaker? Some would, but
> probably not many. >


Sure, my fav and one of the best of them does:
www.magnepan.com



> I thought the amplifier was a good product, but after many years I
> sold it, too (I read somewhere that the Hitachi mos-fets were a
> discontinued item). I didn't want the thing to die on me, and then
> not be able to get it repaired. One cannot be too sentimental about
> these things.
>
> Acoustat is now made in Gaungzhou, a city where the midday sun
> appears as the moon to the naked eye. There are rich people in
> tri-city area of GZ, Shenzhen, and HK (across the bay), but the
> average Chinese cannot afford much of a hi fi system, and they are
> probably not interested in any case. It's all television and iPod
> knock offs. I wonder where they are exporting the panels, since
> there is currently no US presence?
>
> Michael



  #9  
Old August 21st 08, 11:30 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
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Posts: 102
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

Harry Lavo wrote:

> One of the reasons to support Thiel....they make great speakers and they
> still care about their 25 year old speakers.


There are those with classic horn speakers from the 50s and 60s who
appreciate the dynamic range and low distortion. Perhaps those are worth
taking care of if, you like the sound. Yet, I wonder if any 25 year old
box speaker can match what is made today? Obviously, the cost of repair
might be significantly less than purchasing anything new. Budget is always
a consideration, and it is much easier to re-foam a woofer, or replace a
tweeter, than an electrostatic panel, even if you can find a replacement.

I'm guessing that a company like McIntosh will support older products.
Pride of ownership cannot be discounted for that type of gear--an old
McIntosh amp or tuner is something you might actually want to own. A 30
year old Mac speaker is altogether different. If I owned one I would
probably keep it. First, who today would want it? Secondly, if you found
someone that did, they would proably not give you much for it--considering
what they cost new. If I were looking to buy, I'd never consider such a
thing.

I recently had a chance to live with a set of Acoustat model 3s for a few
weeks (before a friend sold them). I let him "store" them in my living
room, as I wanted to relive the experience, and he didn't mind. The sound
was as I remembered...OK in the context of an 80s speaker, but given their
limitations (size, problematic room requirements, limited listening
position, and overall weird look) I didn't much see the point.

Michael

  #10  
Old August 22nd 08, 02:26 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
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Posts: 1
Default Acoustat MK-121-B

Just to throw this out for a 25 + year old speaker. I have Acoust
model X with the servo amps. I have had (myself) the amps refurbished
with all modern parts. The frames and panels are original with the
exception of modern dampening and other tech. I go to homes with $30K
plus newer systems. I do not come home wanting more. My sound stage
is as good if not better, bass, and high frequencies are right there.
Any one reading these threads who has Acoustats, do not let them
divert your attention. They are worth the effort.

 




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