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Second hand speakers ? Don't laugh - Toshiba SS33 Mk2. Made in England 1980's. RRPrice back then £120. Although budget given fine recommendations.

robroy

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Jan 28, 2013
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Two way system, quality build, excellent sound, tight bass, nice midrange, clear and accurate treble. All round bargain buy. Can see off much of the opposition. Still using mine every day and never heard better. I bought these new via a Toshiba Rep I knew personally after reading Mag reviews. Never regretted this purchase. RobRoy.
 
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gel

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Two way system, quality build, excellent sound, tight bass, nice midrange, clear and accurate treble. All round bargain buy. Can see off much of the opposition. Still using mine every day and never heard better. I bought these new via a Toshiba Rep I knew personally after reading Mag reviews. Never regretted this purchase. RobRoy.
All the best purchases are the bargain ones! (y)
 

Hifi Hammer

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Mar 26, 2020
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I had a set of Toshiba SS33 speakers back in the 80's. My first proper hi fi speakers. Paired with a Dual turntable and a NAD amplifier. Great speakers 👍
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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I appreciate vintage speakers. Never had better... sure. Never heard better... really?
I think you have to be careful saying things like 'Can see off much of the opposition' - I love my gear, but have heard very little else that might be deemed competition and suspect this is true of most of us.

Someone used a line about '99.99% of people would disagree' in a thread a little while ago, meaning that the poster must have secretly canvassed at least 10,000 people. I doubted that, frankly!
 

robroy

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2013
10
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18,525
I think you have to be careful saying things like 'Can see off much of the opposition' - I love my gear, but have heard very little else that might be deemed competition and suspect this is true of most of us.

Someone used a line about '99.99% of people would disagree' in a thread a little while ago, meaning that the poster must have secretly canvassed at least 10,000 people. I doubted that, frankly!
Not heard better for the sixty quid (Trade price) I paid for these back then. It's very personal is music. Money was very tight for me back then. Wish I could have afforded high-end stuff but "you pays your money and ..."
In 2020 I'm still listening to the music rather than the stuff it's played on ! No one can deny me or you that choice or situation. A mate of mine is still listening to his Quad Electrostatics he bought in 1957 ? And his Garrard 401 and SME arm and Decca cartridge. But he was far richer than I'll ever be !
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Glad you're happy Robroy.
I liked all the speakers I've owned.
Current ones let me hear things I was missing.
If I'm lucky, future pairs will show me some of what I'm currrently missing.
But, like everyone else, I know that (soundwise) there's no such thing as perfect speakers.
 
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RBinDC

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Aug 21, 2020
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Regarding vintage speakers, I have a pair of KEF 104a/b speakers that I bought in 1979. They still sound good although I have replaced them with KEF LS50s.

I can’t bring myself to let them go even though I am not using them.
 
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_Mike

Active member
Nov 11, 2020
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So, the SS-33 II retailed for £80, which I think might have been £10 more than the original model. I think the driver units were the same, but the box was slightly smaller and supposedly better braced. I bought my Mk IIs for £68 from one of those shops in Tottenham Court Road, in the summer of 1986. They were very good speakers for the time, and sold for between half and two-thirds of the price of similar quality speakers with famous hi-fi names on them. Mine replaced a pair of 1974 Wharfedale Linton 2's which they of course totally blew away. Obviously there were many better speakers on the market, (at the time I would have loved to have got my hands on a pair of Wharfedale 708's) but I listened to many, many pairs of cheap stand-mount speakers in the late 80's without finding anything at the £130 price point that I preferred to my Toshibas.

In the early 90's, I bought a secondhand pair of floor-standing B&W 220i from a dealer and sold my Toshibas to a friend.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I bought a pair of what are effectively Mk III SS-33s for very little via a local free ads site. I think someone had found them in a loft. These were called the SS-33M and probably came out in 1988 or 89, I think at the £90 or £100 price point. They use a different and, I think more expensive tweeter than the MkI and II and have a smaller and presumably stiffer box than both earlier versions. They have ended up in my kitchen system, on the end of my Arcam Solo Mini and I listen to them several times a week. I consider SS-33s to be amongst the most unsung heros of the hi-fi world, because we live in a brand-obsessed age...even though all three version were well-reviewed at the time in What Hi-Fi. I don't think most other magazines bothered with them.

All three version were manufactured in Yorkshire by what I think was an established OEM maker called Inghams. I don't know which other speakers they made, and I don't know who made the drive units in these.

The last version, the SS-33M disappeared from the market at some point in the early 90's, I think.

And here endeth the story.
 
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robroy

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2013
10
2
18,525
So, the SS-33 II retailed for £80, which I think might have been £10 more than the original model. I think the driver units were the same, but the box was slightly smaller and supposedly better braced. I bought my Mk IIs for £68 from one of those shops in Tottenham Court Road, in the summer of 1986. They were very good speakers for the time, and sold for between half and two-thirds of the price of similar quality speakers with famous hi-fi names on them. Mine replaced a pair of 1974 Wharfedale Linton 2's which they of course totally blew away. Obviously there were many better speakers on the market, (at the time I would have loved to have got my hands on a pair of Wharfedale 708's) but I listened to many, many pairs of cheap stand-mount speakers in the late 80's without finding anything at the £130 price point that I preferred to my Toshibas.

In the early 90's, I bought a secondhand pair of floor-standing B&W 220i from a dealer and sold my Toshibas to a friend.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I bought a pair of what are effectively Mk III SS-33s for very little via a local free ads site. I think someone had found them in a loft. These were called the SS-33M and probably came out in 1988 or 89, I think at the £90 or £100 price point. They use a different and, I think more expensive tweeter than the MkI and II and have a smaller and presumably stiffer box than both earlier versions. They have ended up in my kitchen system, on the end of my Arcam Solo Mini and I listen to them several times a week. I consider SS-33s to be amongst the most unsung heros of the hi-fi world, because we live in a brand-obsessed age...even though all three version were well-reviewed at the time in What Hi-Fi. I don't think most other magazines bothered with them.

All three version were manufactured in Yorkshire by what I think was an established OEM maker called Inghams. I don't know which other speakers they made, and I don't know who made the drive units in these.

The last version, the SS-33M disappeared from the market at some point in the early 90's, I think.

And here endeth the story.
 

robroy

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2013
10
2
18,525
Thanks for the info, Mike. I try to keep all instruction manuals etc for all my tech purchases for ever and a day ! Even receipts from where I bought them in some cases. I've still got here Tannoy's original first ever stereo pickup cartridge and its Press Handout and review in my Archives, which was made in 1958 ! Together with a Garrard 4HF turntable and TPA12 tone arm. Antiques Roadshow here I come. Pretty well worthless but full of memories.
I've been trying to find What HiFi mag's review of these Toshibas but it's buried somewhere up in my loft space. That review backs up what you said about these speakers being of far better quality than their 'humble' origins would suggest !
 

_Mike

Active member
Nov 11, 2020
2
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Thanks for the info, Mike. I try to keep all instruction manuals etc for all my tech purchases for ever and a day ! Even receipts from where I bought them in some cases. I've still got here Tannoy's original first ever stereo pickup cartridge and its Press Handout and review in my Archives, which was made in 1958 ! Together with a Garrard 4HF turntable and TPA12 tone arm. Antiques Roadshow here I come. Pretty well worthless but full of memories.
I've been trying to find What HiFi mag's review of these Toshibas but it's buried somewhere up in my loft space. That review backs up what you said about these speakers being of far better quality than their 'humble' origins would suggest !
The SS33 ii came with a single A4 printed sheet, which I think used a typewriter sort of font. It is a document I haven't seen since selling my SS33 ii speakers around 30 years ago. I think the review you remember was from early 1986, probably February. I had that issue for years.

See if you can track down a pair of SS33-M speakers - I love mine!
 
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robroy

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2013
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The SS33 ii came with a single A4 printed sheet, which I think used a typewriter sort of font. It is a document I haven't seen since selling my SS33 ii speakers around 30 years ago. I think the review you remember was from early 1986, probably February. I had that issue for years.

See if you can track down a pair of SS33-M speakers - I love mine!
 

robroy

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2013
10
2
18,525
I have that self-same piece of paper you mention right now, here in front of me, Mike ! Talk about being a hoarder - I rarely throw anything away. I have stuff going back to the early 1900's and even earlier up in my loft. Can't find my Dad's 1920's wind up gramophone though. HE must have slung it.
 
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insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Auditioning a great deal then.... :)
however, I must say, it took me a long time to find something better than my original Heybrook HB1's
Wasn't trying to knock vintage gear, Al. It was a more general point about how we perceive preference for quality. By the way my hi-fi consists of 30+ year old Japanese gems for a couple of years now and I love it.
 
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robroy

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2013
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Auditioning a great deal then.... :)
however, I must say, it took me a long time to find something better than my original Heybrook HB1's
Auditioning a great deal then.... :)
however, I must say, it took me a long time to find something better than my original Heybrook HB1's
A friend of mine, who later became my best man at my wedding, bought the original Quad Electrostatics at the very time when they were first made in the 1950's. The first 'real stereo' I'd ever heard. The Dynatron power amp he was using only delivered 10 watts per channel at that time. But the acoustic watts those mains powered speakers produced blew your brains out ! The house he was living in with his parents was built in the late 1930's. The mains wiring of the house was very old fashioned in those days. He was forever mending the mains power fuses when the speakers drew more Amps in current than the electricity supply could handle ! Although very expensive I didn't much like the sound the Quads produced, although the volume and 'presence' was tremendous. They sounded far too harsh and tinny to my ears. Not subtle nor musical at all !
Auditioning a great deal then.... :)
however, I must say, it took me a long time to find something better than my original Heybrook HB1's
 

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