Kabuki Speakers! (The worst Japanese atroicities of the 20th century)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by harby, Jun 21, 2022.

  1. harby

    harby Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    I didn't know they were still doing these in 1986, but here's a Pioneer brochure (with military exchange into) proving me!

    [​IMG]

    (have a look at the depth of the speakers)

    Kabuki: all show and flash, the dumb GI model as large as they were allowed to ship back, a bunch of speakers jammed in a box. This one even has LED power meters in the speaker! And 99dB sensitivity + 400W power handling? Theater.
     
  2. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Not Kabuki, but Sony did a pair of speakers in Bongo drums.
    (I had a friend back then who collected Sony, went to work for Sony and thereafter consulted Sony).
    The stuff some of the guys in 'Nam brought back from the PX were sometimes like what you were calling Kabuki-- big boxes with lots of drivers. I didn't have the heart to criticize.
     
  3. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    south florida, usa
    Some Kabukis sound pretty darn good. AlNiCo magnets.
     
    jusbe, 33na3rd, hi_watt and 1 other person like this.
  4. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Location:
    Washington DC
    I know nothing about Kabuki speakers but those look kinda cool, that's an awful lot of tweeter though.
     
    Uglyversal, 33na3rd and hi_watt like this.
  5. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    south florida, usa
    The only problem with Kabukies is the restoration of the Crossovers! Those big caps just don't want to 'fit' on the boards. But it's not impossible.
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  6. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well the woofers are "extra-large."

    I've wondered whether the Japanese manufacturers had any concerns about damaging their brands with that sort of garbage. Apparently not.
     
    Tim 2 likes this.
  7. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ct.
    Early in this hobby when one could pick up these aberrations for pocket change I brought home several pair of kabukis. They were beautiful looking vintage pieces of furniture but their sound was pretty bad if not terrible. I recapped one pair (sansui sp3500's) which helped a small amount but not enough to actually want to listen to them even for background noise.
     
    Tim 2 and jonwoody like this.
  8. woodpigeon

    woodpigeon Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    It’s a shame. They look so badass. You can practically hear your misspent youth just looking at the pictures of them.
     
    Pondoro, Ste_S, 33na3rd and 4 others like this.
  9. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ct.
    Indeed; I brought home a pair of Coral bx1500's one time based mostly on that line of thinking. In spite of their bad ass looks they truly were terrible sounding speakers.
     
    woodpigeon likes this.
  10. Archimago

    Archimago Forum Resident

    Speaking of speakers of all sorts thrown together (non-Japanese)...

    Here's the Wilson WAMM circa early 1980s:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Apparently audiophiles still loved these anyways. Would love to see what kind of frequency response speakers like these achieved in-room and also the likely wild dispersion patterns!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
    Tim 2, 33na3rd, Uglyversal and 2 others like this.
  11. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    I heard a pair, with a fleet of Jadis tube amps that gave you that warm sweaty feeling. The speakers did not sound good, maybe it was set-up (they were in a shop in Westchester, NY), but the heat was what drove me from the room. At the time, I was using a pair of Quad Loudspeakers (aka the '57-electrostat) and supplementing with subwoofer and ribbon tweets, so I didn't reject the concept but it was hard to get those pieces to cohere.
     
    jonwoody likes this.
  12. The king of Kabuki had to be Sansui.
     
    Sax-son, Tim 2, bluesky and 1 other person like this.
  13. Davey

    Davey NP: Carmen Villain ~ Only Love From Now On (2022)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, in that 1980 time frame, hard to think of anyone more deserving the title than Sansui ...


    [​IMG]
     
    BrentB, jonwoody, theflattire and 2 others like this.
  14. Ahem..I actually bought a new pair of Sansui SP-X7700 back in the day. My first new loudspeaker purchase back in 1979. As mentioned upthread..signs of a misspent youth.
    :hide:
     
  15. hifisoup

    hifisoup @hearmoremusic

    Location:
    USA
    This advertising is why customers would come into our store and ask, “how many watts are them speakers?”
     
    Sneaky Pete, jfeldt and jonwoody like this.
  16. theflattire

    theflattire Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Ah the age of 'more is better.'
    Sometimes it's more important to just look good!
    "Dudes, check out how loud these mofos are!"
    Guilty.
     
    Uglyversal likes this.
  17. BrentB

    BrentB Urban Angler

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    I like they are described as "bookshelf speaker system". Then again the cabinets are probably only 9" deep and each box probably weigh less that 25lb.
     
    Tim 2 and Uglyversal like this.
  18. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    They would have suited me, can't you see the frequency response graph at the top? But I like more the design on the Sansui and Kenwood of the 80's .

    Those are very shallow but I still can't really picture them as bookshelf's.
     
    Tim 2 and jonwoody like this.
  19. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I want a pair of these Kenwood for my collection, someday, someday...

    [​IMG]
     
    bluemooze, ronm, jfeldt and 4 others like this.
  20. Duke Fame

    Duke Fame Sold out the Enormodome

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Never in a million years would I put those in my home. I'd seriously take the Pioneers over these just on aesthetics alone.
     
  21. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    A few years ago my nephew was looking for a pair of speakers. He was considering Tannoy - since his father had owned a great big pair of them at one time.

    I happened to be doing a tour of thrift stores and came across a pair of Sansui SP-1700. Drivers looked to be in very good condition; cabinets and grilles were maybe 5/10. I bought the pair for less than $20CDN.

    Took them home and cleaned things up; hooked them up in my garage and they sounded ok - actually better than ok.

    Gave them to my nephew and he liked them - and is still using them.

    (Plus, their mid century modern style can be appealing to some folks. Place them at opposite ends of a walnut sideboard and they fit right in!)

    Jeff
     
    seikosha, jonwoody and Duke Fame like this.
  22. Drew769

    Drew769 Buyer of s*** I never knew I lacked

    Location:
    NJ
    Daedalus speakers are 96-97 db efficient, and I believe can handle 400w (or 20w). Not saying the Kabukis can do it, but…
     
  23. kundryishot

    kundryishot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wales
    I rather think that The worst Japanese atrocities of the 20th century occurred on the Burma railway
     
  24. I can't say which came first but I'd put my money on the Sansui. Check this out for startling resemblances. No affiliation.

    Very Rare Sansui SP X11000
     
    ronm likes this.
  25. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I've just wanted to post those because they are quite excessive but I agree, I think if Sansui were the first. If not, they were at least the most prolific selling that type of speakers. I remember a few Kenwood and Pioneer but also JVC made a couple earlier on, I am not sure but Technics might have made some too. I didn't think they were all that terrible but they were what was in vogue in those days.
     
    jonwoody likes this.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine