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Thread: Mystery Large Format Monitors

  1. #16
    Senior Member Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancing-dave
    Check out:

    http://www.fostexinternational.com/d...ec_enc_1.shtml

    and look at:
    They show the modern equivalents of those early monitor systems including cabinet dimensions, port size, lining, and crossover networks.
    Thanks!
    Although I'm always into vintage stuff this is very interesting.

  2. #17
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don McRitchie

    In mid writing, I just looked at the spec sheets Widget posted and just saw the address for Interlake Audio. It is the same address where Oakwood/Century 21 was located at that time. They were obviously one in the same. Even more reason to try and contact Ron Paley.
    OAKWOOD AUDIO was NOT, NOT, Interlake Audio International. While they were on the same street they were not the same address. Oakwood was 652-654 KingEdward St and Interlake was 610 or 640 King Edward . They were two buildings apart. if you get hold of Ron say hello and ask him if "Boxton" is available on CD. I worked for a short time at Century 21. John Hildebrand was managing it then and one of the girls from Sugar and Spice was the receptionist (Marylyn maybe?) or Maureen? John Smith was chief engineer.

    Thanks Don


    Ken

  3. #18
    Member michaelg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Does anyone remember the Fostex monitors from Interlake Audio in the early 80's? They were based in Winnipeg... go figure.

    [...]

    Does anyone know anything about them?
    I designed those monitors in 1978/9 and was the president of Interlake Audio. We were the original Fostex presence in North America.

    What would you like to know about them?
    Michael Gillespie.
    204.943.9000


  4. #19
    Member michaelg's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I am sorry that I am late to this party. I was not aware of this site until someone on AVS Forum brought it to my attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don McRitchie View Post
    These systems were sold through a local retail store in Winnipeg called Oakwood Audio [...] I just looked at the spec sheets Widget posted and just saw the address for Interlake Audio. It is the same address where Oakwood/Century 21 was located at that time. They were obviously one in the same.
    Oakwood and Interlake were not the same!

    Interlake Audio was founded by me, Bob Oliver and Ted Telesky for the purposes of developing, introducing and marketing Fostex products in North America.

    Our focus was professional audio. Our initial products were our three monitors (shown above), four headphones, five microphones and two power amplifiers.

    We were based in Winnipeg Canada but our major market was in the USA. Our sales office was in the Wharfside Building on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

    Our monitors and headsets, in particular, became very popular in the early 80's. Many of the finest and largest studios of the day used our monitors. The LS/3 was by far the biggest seller, followed by the LS/2 which became a standard in mobiles. A limited number of the large LS/4s were installed but featured clients included Criteria Recording in Miami (BeeGees/Streisand), John Cougar Mellencamp's studio, Rhumba Recording (The Captain & Tenille) in LA, the JVC Cutting Centre in LA, etc., etc. Most of the Laboratory Series monitors are still in use after almost 30 years. I still have a pair of LS/4s in my home. These monitors very rarely show up in the used marketplace and are swallowed up when they do.

    Oakwood Audio was just one of our 100+ dealers. And yes, our administrative and development offices and warehouse were located just a couple hundred feet up the street from Oakwood. (Century 21 studios were on Leila Ave at that time.) Our manufacturing plant was located in East Kildonan.
    My initial visual impression was that they were a Japanese rip-off of a JBL monitor, or at least the drivers appeared to be.
    Our drivers were proprietary, handmade by a staff of 18 Fostex engineers.

    Fostex was founded in 1977 as the crme de la crme division of Foster Electric, the second largest electro-acoustic manufacturer in the world, after Pioneer.

    Until that time, Foster had exclusively been an OEM, building drivers for every manufacturer that you can think of, including Sony, Altec, JBL, Cerwin-Vega, etc., but had never put their own name on a product. It was said, at the time, that every household in North America had seven Foster devices imbedded in products bearing other logos.
    I'm pretty sure the same company later produced a bizarre ribbon/dynamic hybrid that used a large ribbon panel on top of a Fostex bass driver.
    Yes, we toyed with "audiophile" products but decided to concentrate on the pro audio market. The product you refer to was a series of two- to four-way loudspeakers (See below) which featured "printed ribbon" HF and MF drivers coupled with an "edgeless" woofer which featured a double spider and no surround. This edgeless technology resulted in extremely low THD. Although a very limited number of these speakers exist in North America (mostly in Canada) they became very popular in Japan, Asia and Europe. (I have several pairs of these "audiophile" speakers in my home and theatre.)

    The patented printed ribbon technology, known as "RP" or "Regular Phase", was also used in our headphones and microphones. Our T-20 headsets remain the standard in professional recording studios to this day.

    When Dr. Abe brought his engineering team from Teac to Fostex and we introduced the Fostex "Personal Multitrack" products, business exploded in the USA and maxed out our resources so Ted and I assisted Abesan and Fred Huang in setting up Fostex USA in Norwalk CA which then assumed distribution in the USA.

    Ted ultimately moved to California to work with Fostex USA and later became an engineering VP with JBL and Aurasystems.

    John Eargle's recent passing brings back a special memory of him. During our infamous AES "shoot-out" with UREI at the Waldorf Astoria, John came into the demo suite and just stood and listened for about half an hour. As he left, he nodded at me and said "Very nice!". He was a real gentleman and will be missed!

    (The guys from UREI, on the other hand, were frothing at the mouth! They accused us of rigging the demo. We invited the UREI guys to come to the suite after the show closed that first day and inspect the setup to their heart's content, which they did. We had purchased a brand new pair of 813s from UREI directly at retail and had UREI deliver them to us at the hotel. After several of their engineers and marketing people inspected the setup and found nothing awry, they huffed out of our suite and retreated back to their room without another word.)
    Michael Gillespie.
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  5. #20
    Member michaelg's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Pachkowsky View Post
    John Hildebrand was managing it then and one of the girls from Sugar and Spice was the receptionist (Marylyn maybe?) or Maureen?
    It was Maureen Murphy. I was the original manager of Sugar & Spice.

    I saw Ron recently at the Clapton concert. We spoke about getting the Eternals and the Sugar & Spice together again for a 40th reunion gig at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on September 28. The Gettysburg Address, Mongrels, Fifth, Shags, Syndicate, Satan & D-Men and others are all in as well!
    Michael Gillespie.
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  6. #21
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    Cool FWIW

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    even with the rather crappy auxiliary woofer the 813 was the hands down favorite
    We understood, on good authority, that the auxiliary woofer used in the 813 was a low end guitar speaker, individually selected for non-linear voice-coil throw (the resting state of the voice coil was forward or back of the centre of the magnetic field).

    The resulting asymmetrical movement of the cone generated low frequency even-harmonics which produced a solid 'thick' bass. Much like the Aphex Aural Exciter did for presence frequencies.
    Michael Gillespie.
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  7. #22
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by dancing-dave View Post
    They show the modern equivalents of those early monitor systems
    Actually, they don't!

    The systems listed on those links are sound reinforcement designs, not studio monitors. They use a different family of drivers.
    Michael Gillespie.
    204.943.9000


  8. #23
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    Hi Michael,

    Welcome to LH! Thanks for your very interesting posts on these unique monitors. I'll have to try to get to the studios you listed to see if they are still there.

    Do you know of anyone who has replacement diaphragms for the Fostex Slot tweeter that is shown for the LS series monitors? I have 4 of those units, and two are dead. I tried Fostex USA and they queried Japan and said, sadly NLA.

    I have corresponded with a European contact who was selling other Fostex replacement diaphragms but he did not have that particular one.

    Any thoughts or leads?

    Could you also provide some information and background on the Fostex Wood Horns? They looked beautifully executed.


    Regards,

    Bart
    When faced with another JBL find, Good mech986 says , JBL Fan mech986 says

  9. #24
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    Fostex GZ Series "Audiophile" Speakers

    Click on image for full size
    Michael Gillespie.
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  10. #25
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    Fostex GZ Series "Audiophile" Speakers

    Click on image for full size
    Michael Gillespie.
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  11. #26
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    Fostex GZ Series "Audiophile" Speakers

    Click on image for full size
    Michael Gillespie.
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  12. #27
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by mech986 View Post
    Do you know of anyone who has replacement diaphragms for the Fostex Slot tweeter that is shown for the LS series monitors?
    This unit is the T825 "Super Tweeter". It is an 8-ohm, 50W driver with a 2.0cm aluminum voice coil. It has a 240g Alnico magnet and the unit weighs 2.1kg. The performance is 2K-20k, 102dB efficiency with a crossover at 4K or higher. It has an unprecedented 180-degree dispersion and was designed specifically for studio monitoring.

    I have seen a few T825 drivers sold on eBay recently ... but not cheap!

    You might check with your sources about diaphragms for the T705 or T725 units as they are the same size, material and ratings. I don't know for a fact that they will fit but suspect so.

    There was a fellow in Australia who told me recently that he knew where there was a supply of compatible diaphragms. I will email him and get back to you. Send your email to me at michaelg at gray dot mb dot ca or by PM.
    Michael Gillespie.
    204.943.9000


  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mech986 View Post
    Could you also provide some information and background on the Fostex Wood Horns? They looked beautifully executed.
    I'm not sure what more I can tell you that isn't stated in the brochure ... our horns were milled from solid Eurasian teak, a very dense wood, to move the resonance out of the pass-band.

    It is an H420 radial horn, 444Wx90Hx292.5D and has a 1" throat adapter. The cut-off frequency is 420Hz and it has 140-degree dispersion.

    We coupled it to the D252 driver. This is an 8-ohm, 50W driver with a 4.0cm aluminum voice coil. It has a 650g Alnico magnet and the unit weighs 3.3kg. The performance is 500-20k, 104dB efficiency with a crossover at 600Hz or higher. This driver, too, was specifically designed for studio monitoring. We drove it from 800-7K.

    I believe that, in Japan, Fostex still offers the H420 in birch for about 56-70,000Yen (~US$460-575) each.

    Teak horns are unobtainium! We had difficulty 30-ish years ago sourcing sufficient teak and the price of teak has sky-rocketed since.

    They may also have a few other 140-degree wooden radial horns available in plywood or pine. Google the following part numbers (the P/N is the cut-off freq):
    • H200 Laminate
    • H220 Laminate
    • H300 Laminate
    • H320 Birch
    • H325 Pine
    • H400 Laminate
    • H425 Pine
    Michael Gillespie.
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  14. #29
    Senior Member jim campbell's Avatar
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    ive got the 89 oakwood catalog .............crown dc 300 a pro user net....$1560 cdn. misprint a i guess cause its rated at 20 watts per channel into 8 ohms,bose 802 series ll...................pro user net $1020............interesting walk down memory lane.............none of the aforementioned fostex units seem to be in here though.i seem to remember oakwood selling a buddy his altec 19,s

  15. #30
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by jim campbell View Post
    i seem to remember oakwood selling a buddy his altec 19,s
    I started as Assistant Chief Engineer at CKY AM/FM in 1969 and spent my first couple paychecks on a pair of 19s from Ron at Oakwood along with an original Phase Linear 700.

    I only kept the speakers for a couple of weeks and it was a couple more before my head stopped ringing!

    Edit: It turns out they were "Valencias", not 19s. Sorry 'bout that! They say the memory is the second thing to go.
    Michael Gillespie.
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