Looking forward to some rare Spica SC-50 speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ghostworld, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    US
    I am a long time fan of John Bau’s Spica speakers. I had a pair of his famous TC-50 speakers which I loved. Incredible detail and sound staging from a small speaker. I think some of my best listening ever was done with my TC 50s. I recently was reading about his first speakers that he sold which he designed as portable monitors. John Bau was a musician and he wanted portable speaker he could carry that he could depend on as mini monitors. So using a few measuring tools and largely his EARS he created the SC-50. They’re neat because there is cylindrical speaker kind of like Jim Rogers JR 149 speaker which the SC 50 is supposed to be reminiscent of sound wise. Anyway, I just scored pair off of eBay and I can’t wait for them to show up they look extremely clean, I’ve never seen a cleaner pair. All for the princely sum of $99. When I get them I will right a full report. I’ve been missing my TC 50s which I sold because I started moving into bigger speakers. Now I want to set up a little Desktop recording studio and I think I’m going to give the SC 50s a whirl.


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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  2. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    US
  3. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Wow. I remember the TC 50 and hearing them paired with Rotel integrateds back in the late 80s. Nice sounding speakers. Never heard the SC 50s. Look forward to reading about your experience with them when they arrive.
     
  4. Hendertuckie

    Hendertuckie Active Member

    Location:
    Henderson, Nevada
    As I type this I'm listening Spica TC-50's. They are regulated to my bedroom system but they bring out the best in my little Pioneer VSX-522 AV Receiver. Also I still have the Kinergentics SW-200 subwoofer system, It's in the garage collecting dusk.
     
  5. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Location:
    Deep Maryland
    Were the TC-50's the odd-shaped, triangular speakers? I remember them being all the rage when I first started reading audiophile mags, sorta like the KEF LS-50's are now.
     
  6. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I owned tc-50 speakers off and on for over 20 years. It never mattered HOW MUCH I spent on other speakers (Maggie’s, Naim, Rega, Linn, Alon, Dalquist, Proac, Proac, Proac) I always came back to the TC-50’s. As someone said above, I did my “best listening” with TC-50’s (funny enough, just like someone else wrote above, I had Rotel when I first got them).

    They did SOMETHING that no other speaker could quite do in terms of midrange and transparency and imaging that I never seemed to care they had very little bass not a great deal of upper end extension. I suspect it had a lot to do with the time alignment of the drivers. Though, the TC-60 was NOT as good. That speaker never retailed for now than $550 dollars, and I had them on the end of $20,000 worth of electronics and source, where they showed speakers up to $5000 the door in the critical areas they did best.

    I sold my pair about 3 years ago when I went into a much bigger room. But I am waiting for a perfect pair of the latest generation ones to appear (TC-50i) and I will snatch them up. I still have perfect Atlantis stands for them, though would counsider shelling out big $$$ for a pair of Sound Anchors.

    I am always sorely tempted to pick up a pair of the Angeles, that always seem to be available for $1400 a pair (which is slightly more than they ever retailed for), but I worry they won’t have the magic the TC-50’s did.

    Has anybody ever heard the sc-30’s? Conventional box, with foam surrounded paper woofer and paper coned tweater (I **** you not). That was my first introduction to the brand. It sounded AMAZING on the end of some low and Naim gear. The dealer said, “well, if you like these, you should hear the TC-50’s. And that was that. . .

    Judd
     
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  7. Carraway

    Carraway Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Wow. Please give an update when you've listened to them a bit. I first heard Spicas at a hifi shop when I was a struggling student/musician. I thought that someday I'd be able to afford a nice system, and this is what I would get. When that day came, however, neither Spica nor the shop existed. Still, though, I'll occasionally search for Spicas in used listings and wonder if they're as good as I remember.
     
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  8. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    US

    Judd, as one Spica lover to another. let me give you a bit of advice. I've done a lot of research into Spica over the years and the TC-50s you want are the earlier models. As you know, Stereophile loved the TC-50 but at one point, I think it was Atkinson, revisited the speakers a few years later and noticed a certain peak the upper mids he hadn't noticed before. I think the reason is that Jon Bau tells the story of running out of the special Audax woofer at around the 3.000 serial number (it may be 6,000, I'll have to look it up) and so he had to rejigger somethings as he substituted another model woofer. For example, you notice on the later models how the tweeter has a very large rectangular shape cut out in the felt around it. That is one way to tell they are the later model. The original only has a small square cutout in the felt around tweeter. So the holy grail is to get a Spica TC-50 with a serial number less than 3,000 and in good shape! I know they're out there! I think a guy on this forum has several pairs! Ha.
     
  9. bhazen

    bhazen Re: Member

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    I'm always tempted to buy a pair of TC-50s when they show up for sale. A true classic, and a famous 'entry level' device into financially crippling audiophilia. :D

    Wow -- looked these up on the Stereophile site; the TC-50s have more column inches devoted to them than any other speaker there! Cordesman, Holt, Colloms, Atkinson, phew!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  10. plimpington2

    plimpington2 Member

    Location:
    Cleveland
    I think you have this partially backwards - the later models have the square cutout and the early models have the rectangular one. The later models (sometimes called the TC-50i) also have an internal cross-brace to stiffen up the cabinet. I am unsure about the woofer.

    I have owned both models (and for years at the same time), I like the newer version better - but in my opinion there isn’t very much that differentiates them.

    Judd
     
  11. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    US
    Hmmm. Let me check this.
     
  12. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Looking foreward to your impressions, this is the kind of stuff that gets people in the know a leg up putting together a nice system for not a lot of money.
    I remember these ( it’s been a while) in a friends system and they had really nice midrange. Addictive sound as I remember. Cool
     

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