University Speakers Circa 1963

Download the complete 20pp 1963 University Speaker Systems catalog (in two parts due to file size)

DOWNLOAD PART 1: University_1963_p1

DOWNLOAD PART 2: University_1963_p2

Products covered, with text, specs, and photos, include: University Medallion XII speaker system; Classic Mark II and Classic Dual-12 speaker systems; Companion II, S-80, Companionette, and Mini-Flex, and Mini bookshelf speaker systems; the full range of two-and-three-way coaxial University components including 315, 312, 6201, 200, 308, 200, UC-153, UC-152, UC-123, UC-122, UC0121, and UC-82; and University woofers, midranges, , tweeters, and crossover networks including C-15HC, C-12HC, C-8HC, C-15W, C-8W, HF-206, UXT-5, 4401, C-8M, Sphericon, H-600, Cobreflex, T-30, T-50, N-1 High Pass Filter, N-3 acoustic baton, N-2A and N-2B crossovers, plus more.

Above, the flagship Medallion XII system in a variety of “select-a-style” grilles.  There is a pair of Medallion XII (in French Provincial trim, naturally) on eBay right now for $200.  University Sound was founded in 1936, and became part of the LTV_Ling_Altec family of brands sometime before 1963, and eventually became absorbed into the Telex corporation.

Above, the University Classic Dual-12 system.  These things look serious.  I currently own a University single-12 system; it is a corner unit from the Mono era; its has very nice cabinetwork and it sounds surprisingly good for a full-range 12″ system.

This catalog is obsessively dedicated to selling speakers to a male/female couple.   Nearly every human image consists of a sample couple in the throes of consideration.  Which system to buy for our home?  So much to learn.  Let University help you.  Honestly I can’t read the emotions in these faces.  Perhaps early-1960’s people had a different feeling-set than we experience in the (post-Vietnam/LSD/Civil Rights) era.  Confused by these photos, anyhow.  This series seems to suggest: 1) ‘quiz-show-don’t-know-the-answer’; 2) ‘I’m not really paying attention to you’; 3) (undeserved?) smugness; 4) ‘we’re on a boat, and you’ve been naughty.’

36 thoughts on “University Speakers Circa 1963”

  1. I’ve always thought a good 12″ was the best overall size for a woofer, although many 10″ are fine too. The modern craze for undersized drivers is what doesn’t make sense.

    1. It makes perfect sense! Home theater is all the rage these days. Back in the days of mono, it was tough enough getting the spouse to agree to that K-horn or Bozak in the living room. Then came stereo. Now it’s 5.1, 7.1, even 9.1 surround! Additionally, the culture has simply changed. People are willing – eager in fact – to maker room for a 50″-72″ HDTV, but nowadays, they want their speakers to have a low footprint, even if they are die-hard two-channel listeners. My own wife doesn’t particularly like my “monstrous” KLH Model Sixes which, in their heyday, were considered “compact” speakers for their performance class. People who want small, but also want bass response, get sub-woofers to go with their tiny boxes. Even without subs, I am amazed at the bass end some 6½” woofers provide. Clearly, a lot of research and development has paid off over the years in squeezing more bass out of small enclosures with small woofers. Plus, watts are cheap. Sure, classic vintage speakers did well back in the days when 25 watts (or even less) per channel was the norm and amps like the 60 watt dynaco Mark III monoblocks were considered monsters, but today, we don’t worry about loudspeaker efficiency so much, because decent amplifiers can be had for a relative song that are 100 watts per channel and more. Lastly, there is economics. Even if they could shoehorn five AR-3a’s into their living room or man-cave, in today’s dollars, they would cost nearly two grand EACH! Few can pay that. These days, decent speakers are not only smaller, but in real dollars are cheaper than ever. Yes, there are compromises for this. For example, I for one am not impressed with most satellite/subwoofer setups. Fortunately, if you don’t like this trend, you can still buy big speakers, including the classic Klipsch horn-loaded models, as well as any of a number of high-end, devil-take-the-compromise designs from modern “boutique” makers. If you can afford them.

  2. Nice to find this; I own 3 315-C’s, 3 6303’s, 2 6201’s. I’ve also owned a Jensen G610B and a pair of Altec 605A’s, prefer the 315-C to both of them.

    1. Back in 1965, I was working for a high end audio dealer. At the time I was sharing a house with Bob Carver, founder of Phase Linear Corp, Carver Corp, and Sunfire Corp, who is well known for his audio products and for introducing the world’s “super amp”, the Phase Linear 700 watt amp, back when the most powerful consumer amps were the McIntosh 275 and dual Marantz model 9 amps, which were both about 150 watts RMS stereo. 1965 predated this. At the time Bob owned a pair of JBL LE14C speakers. I brought home a University 312 and, to Bob’s amazement it blew away his far more expensive JBL speakers. This prompted Bob to immediately purchase University’s largest speakers, the 315C speakers, buying four and building two good sized cabinets for them. When Bob and I collaborated on building the world’s first tube superamp in 1966, about 700 watts RMS, he tested the amp with the 315C speakers. This amp produced to much more audio realism than any consumer amp on the market that he decided to build a solid state version, the Phase Linear 700. The University 315C speakers impressed Bob so much that he collected several more, and kept them, and recently had a new cabinet built, using four 315Cs. This evening, December 14, 2014, Bob and I decided to give the 315C speakers our attention. They were driven by Bob’s new dual mono 350 watt RMS custom tube amplifiers. The 315Cs were driven hard, and still impressed us! After reminiscing over the “good old days”, we became inspired to build another tube “super amp”, this time 1000 watts RMS, for our own listening pleasure. The 315Cs will be the first speakers driven by this amp. Cheers Dave Ladely, Snohomish WA

      1. Hey Dave, this is awesome, thanks for sharing. I have 3 of those 12″ univesity coaxials in my basement waiting for enclosures to appear!

        c.

      2. Hey all! I just discovered I jave 2 315-university s. One of them rattles at high volume driven by a 135w digital Panasonic marked 4-8 ohm output. Is this bad for my speakers at lower volumes?
        Signed, audiophile newbie.

      3. Very intressting. Can you please told about the Cabinet.
        Is it Bass reflex, closed or something else? How big is it?
        Because i would like to build my second Enclosure for my precious University 315-C.
        Thank you for your Help.

  3. I enjoy collecting loudspeakers and trying different things in my home theater system. My main speakers are altec 604 C’s. I have a 755 E as as a center channel. The rear sound are two 802 altec drivers on 18″ horns with true sonic 12 woofers. I currently have two altec melodist 804a’s with twin 8″ alnico drivers and 3000 horns. I haven’t tried them yet. Also I have a 15″ E.V. SP15 Sub with a 500Watt Bash plate amp. for power. When I turn it too high I get a little bit of rattle. I’m going to try an 18″ Emmience Down fireing sub to see if it can take more power.
    Needless to say when my wife an I have parties, They always end with everyone dancing to the music and dvd’s. Everything is powered by a yamaha RX-11. I have 3 312-c’s and a 12″ difusecone and several jensens n,othing esoteric such as a g-610, that I’m going to be experimenting with. Lots of fun!

    1. You might try a Sunfire subwoofer. You are evidently overdriving the EV SP15 sub. The Sunfire will not rattle, period, and can handle far more power. And probably produce more base, even the 10″ size. My favorite is the Sunfire 12″ True Subwoofer. I also like the Velodyne 18″ subwoofer, which I owned for several years. Note, almost never mention is the fact tath the more subwoofers, the less the problems with nulls, as multiple subs provide a diffraction of the waves, so that listening position is far less of a problem, and the low bass far more evenly distributed.

  4. Hello, I use only vintage: Altec 846b Valencia and JBL 075 to extend highs, ’58 AR2 ; ’64 AR3 ; ’70 AR3a ; ’70 KLH six; ’74 KLH 31 ; ’73 Yamaha CR 450 receiver used as a pre to drive Altec 9440A power amp. My favourite are ’64 AR3 , i re-capped ’em with electrolytic Sprague caps. Probably the best low-frequencies I’ve ever heard in my life. Best regards to You all, Adriano , Rome, Italy

  5. Buongiorno, sono in posesso di due diffusori “UNIVERSITY SOUND2 mod: “Brillance” funzionanti c’è qualcuno interessato? Quanto può essere il suo valore? A richiesta si invia foto degli stessi.
    Cordiali saluti
    Morello Gian Mario – Italia

  6. I currently own a pair of the Dual Classic 12’s that I got from the original owner, with the instruction manual, for $40 off Craigslist. I can confirm that they are VERY nice-sounding speakers. The concentric tweeter is surprisingly clear and airy, and of course the bass is substantial. Imaging is extremely good and the sound is very detailed, for a speaker of this vintage. After a recap these things sound quite good; I’m into vintage audio and have been through a lot of speakers since I started the hobby. Since getting the Universities, I’ve been pretty content with the sound of my system. The “Brilliance” and “Presence” controls don’t seem to have much effect, but it’s likely that after 50 years the controls have degraded past the point where cleaning will do much good, and good luck finding suitable replacements. Nonetheless, I feel like I can control the sound parameters adequately through my preamp. I would definitely give other University models a listen if I came across them.

  7. I have a pair of 315C’s in some ugly bass reflex boxes…
    The saying that they don’t make them like that any more certaintly applies to these drivers.

    The guy I bought my pair from was only willing to sell as he had 2 sets. He also told me a story where he called Altec as few years back to inquire why they didn’t make speakers of the quality of these 315C’s any more…

    He actually was able to get through to an engineer who was around when they made 315C’s… The engineer told him, “we couldn’t make these speakers today as it would cost far too much to do so…”

    I use them with an Eico HF-81 (another all time great product) and they sound fantastic. Can you get a better set up today… maybe, but one must ask themselves at what cost…

    I’d love to find better cabinets for these speakers… maybe one day…

    1. Yes, the advent of MBAs with their G*dd*mned ratios and margins are a big part of why “you can’t afford to do it right” in manufacturing now. Wally wants big fat margins to go to the CEO. If today’s MBA approved costing was used on a 1957 Fender guitar retailing with an A list mark of $239.00 it would have had to be $599 back then, or more than a decent used car.

      The build cost has been gutted from most products. Only stuff where they can’t like nuclear and aircraft has stayed done right (well, more or less) and that’s why inflation adjusted prices in thiose industries have “Skyrocketed”.

    2. You can replace the old controls with L-pads, which may prove to be better than new performance. The best place to adjust sound is at the speaker, not the preamp. I tend to run the preamp controls flat as they seem to introduce a falseness to the sound.

    3. You might do what Bob Carver, founder of Phase Linear Corp, Carver Corp, and Sunfire Corp did. Bob built his own cabinets for his four University 315C speaker. As I noted above, these speakers are his favorite and have not been fazed by 700 watts RMS, producing prodigious sound at realistic levels of rock concerts. Most speakers nowadays are anemic in comparison. The 315c speakers are in class of their own. Dave Ladely, Snohomish, WA

      1. I had some University Sound 15 dual impedance speakers. They were in a very large horn called the “Classic”. They were only rated to handle 30 watts rms. Almost all the old vintage speakers have sensitivity ratings of 98db up, but don’t handle much power. I just don’t understand the point of using an amp 5 to 10 times the power rating of a speaker.

  8. I just picked up a pair of very very nice Dual 12’s, and I’m pretty impressed with the overall frequency response. Not a fatiguing speaker at all. Naturally, they are being driven by a tube amplifier, which may contribute to the sound they are producing. Pretty happy with these speakers, other than the grille cloth, which has yet to grow on me.

  9. My setup are a pair of altec a7-500 voice of the theater speakers 16ohms 500 hz crossover network powered my a 1960 harmon kardon a260 30 watt tube amp.The other speakers are altec model 19.All i need is 8 watts to piss off the neighbor 4 doors down in my survey.lol!!! They just dont get it that zepplin needs to be listened somewhat loud.Tubes are the way to listen to rock since they put to shame any old solid state crap.

  10. University Sound – Contada circa 1967. I have the specs. 12 8 and 1 and clear and pure. There was a switch in back to adjust variance. Plus Fisher 500-T and Dual 1219 with an Stanton of course. If you need specs I will fax for free> luv

    1. No – All Technical Products purchased nearly bankrupt Lansing Mfg. In 1941, and became Altec Lansing. Jimmy Ling bought Altec Lansing from George Carrington, Sr., and LTV-LING-ALTEC bought University Sound sometime thereafter.

  11. I have a pair of university classic mark 11 speakers. The c-15hc speakers need reckoning having a hard time finding the kits or replacements can someone help. Peter Ewing..

  12. I am looking for c-15hc university speakers and tweeters for university mark 11 speaker system

  13. this is some great material, and I am very happy to have found this information. I have a 60’s Barzilay that has the University 12″ woofers and two horns.

  14. I have a pair of University Sound 312 series 200 I want to put into a pair of Heathkit AE-40 speaker boxes. These boxes are ported and I am looking for specs for the 312 so I can figure out how long the port tube should be.

    These 312 series 200 are very sweet sounding. I love them!
    Hope I can get them settled properly in these HK boxes.

  15. I have a 4′ Barzilay cabinet along with 2-2′ Barzilay speaker cabinets that I built in my garage in the 60’s. I’m not sure what speakers I put in at the time, but the name University rings a bell.
    If I were to take pictures of the speakers, could someone identify them? I have an SAE 2 Amp and Phillips Pre Amp and Tuner in the cabinet as well as a Rheem reel to reel tape player. Most of the equipment works, but I really don’t have a place to set it up at my current location. Anyone interested in any of this equipment?

  16. I have a pair of University corner speaker cabs, green crossover boxes, model N3.
    The 15″ sound fantastic with that horn and tweeter. I don’t want to take it apart as my grandfather built these in the 50s……does anyone know if they would be the 315c ? Where could I get a manual. Pictures available
    19017911943
    Thank you so much !!!

    1. I just inherited two cabinets from my grandparents that sound just like what you described. Do you have any information on yours University speakers. I don’t know much about this vintage stuff.

  17. Sirs, and ladies 🙂
    I stumbled upon this site by chance – my good luck it seems!
    Having just bought one nice and refurbished (if you can say that when components are changed to same NOS) Fisher 20A mono amp. Indeed. I’m going mono on my old days for my second setup!
    Hence I am looking around for a matching speaker outfit, and came upon the University brand. Might anyone in here, with experience, guide me to the best single triax/duo 12″ or maybe 15″ from this brand? The Fisher have speaker posts for 4/8/16 ohms and will output some 20W i hope.
    Anything from you folks will be very welcome!

  18. I have a pairof 315-C for my set up, which I really like a lot. But one needs to bere-coned. I can’t seem to locate anywhere to get that work accomplished. Anyone have any suggestions?

  19. I have a pair of University Phoenix speakers but have not any luck about finding any information about them, thanks Steve.

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