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Armstrong 602 Speakers.

Discussion in 'classic' started by Martyn Miles, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    I see there are a couple of pairs of these speakers on eBay. I didn’t realise that Armstrong made
    speakers.
    I looked them up on the Internet and found some info. on their development.
    They were designed by Bill Purkis, formerly of Goodmans, using a 8” doped bass driver with an Seas
    dome midrange driver and an Audax tweeter.
    They are almost the same size as the Spendor BC1, the classic ‘BBC 2 cubic foot cabinet.’
    One pair has an opening bid of £60. I will follow them.
     
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I spotted them (link here, another pair here). They look like they might be rather good. I wonder if Jim knows anything about them?
     
  3. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Blimey, never seen anything like that! They come in bigger stackable ones too (link).
     
  5. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Videos too.
     
  6. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    All very interesting, but can we get back to the 602s please...
     
  7. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Much less interesting!
     
  8. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    In your opinion...
     
  9. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    They were voiced by Bill to be similar to KEF speakers, and Angus McK at the time tended to agree this was the result. The problem was that they were released at the time Armstrong was starting to face up to factory closure and either a move or shutdown. So only a limited number were made before the idea was abandoned. FWIW I still have one pair of the prototypes (differ from the production versions as they don't have the same front appearance). I also have two versions of the crossovers. Bill at a late stage used a tank-cutter and Black and Decker drill to change from an IB to a ported designs. 8-]

    I was quite happy with them until I was able to switch to ESLs.

    FWIW Armstrong had 'made' speakers in earlier years, but usually by buying in and rebranding for their valve chassis products back in the days before the term 'hi fi' was used. Think more 1930s-40s than the 60s on... In effect, some chassis came with the option of "with or without speaker".
     
  10. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I remember them being released - together with their trumpet stands.

    I think the reviews were mixed and they were described as 'dull' - something that I think Jim has commented on that here before (and disagreed with the label).
     
  11. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    I saw a pair on display at Armstrongs London HQ but never heard them... maybe 1989 ish...
     
  12. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    They certainly seem like an interesting model, given their history.
    Would be good to hear a pair on a familiar system.
     
  13. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    FWIW The only reviews I've been able to track down so far are the ones mentioned here:

    http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/reviews/changes/1975-8.html

    Alas, the second is a 'system review' which probably doesn't put the 602 into the intended context. At the time most Armstrong 600 buyers were interested in classical/light/orchestral/etc music and tended to buy KEF or B and W speakers.

    If someone could provide info on any other 602 reviews, please let me know. I suspect there were others, but haven't found any.
     
  14. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    Reading the above reminded me of the practice of speaker manufacturers to employ ‘consultants’ during
    development.
    Martin Colloms designed speakers for Musical Fidelity, whilst being employed by Hi-Fi News.
    To review speakers !
    Martin, in his earlier days, talked a lot of sense about speakers and other audio matters.
    These days he appears to ‘have lost the plot’ somewhat...
     
  15. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    TBH I have wondered if the 'consultancy' lark might have been a hidden factor in some of what came later on, as described on this page...

    http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/reviews/finale/1982.html

    I did hear some things as hearsay at the time, but could not determine if they were gossip or accurate reports.

    But we did get into the crazy situation where:

    A) some reviewers also did (confidential) consultantcy work for some makers.

    B) reveiwers/editors didn't contact makers or designers if some results in a review were 'odd'.

    So rather a lack of checks, balances, and open scrutiny. I know that Barry Fox made a fuss about this, but mostly got sat on for doing so. But there was eventually a general argument about it for a while.
     
  16. df_genius

    df_genius Solder slinger

    If I ever get round to it I would live to build a clone of the 732 power amp to get an idea if what it was like. I have a 625 receiver which I serviced and upgraded
     
  17. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    A pair of 602s I was following on eBay went for about £65.00.
     
  18. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member


    FWIW I have more than once asked Twaleb at the existing 'AHVS' office if he can let me have a couple of spare circuit boards for the power amp. He said to me some years ago that he still had a few boards. But he's never sent me one. If I could get one I could regenerate the PCB layout. (Original layouts are long-lost, and the layout matters - as does the wiring loom.) I don't want to take apart my working examples in case I mess up something. Sadly I'm not as dexterous, etc, as I used to be, and my eyesight is dodgy!
     

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