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vintageaxeman

Celef RT-1 speakers

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Super Wammer
On 31/03/2017 at 18:35, hydie said:

They might have been 19+20, can't remember now.

Yes, Hydie, you're right. Here is the box label!

IMG_1865.jpg

Edited by vintageaxeman

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Super Wammer
On 31/03/2017 at 18:35, hydie said:

They might have been 19+20, can't remember now.

Still sounding wonderful!

Edited by vintageaxeman

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Super Wammer
On 02/04/2017 at 22:03, TheFlash said:

I posted this a few months back: the Celef brand briefly reborn! The pedant in me can't resist pointing out that it's Stewart not Stuart.

These speakers are really coming on song now, fantastic things. A Celef bake-off might be a bit ambitious but it's a nice thought to retire on… g'night!

Thank you for the two reps, Flash! Cheers, David

On 30/03/2017 at 13:30, eddie-baby said:

it's quite obvious now after you've mentioned it, but I didn't realise that!

And if Stuart Tyler made it I don't doubt its good.

Thank you for the rep, Eddie! Cheers, David

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On 03/04/2017 at 18:04, vintageaxeman said:

My bad.

Stewart. I'll remember that now....

:-)

Celef & ProAc inn the same building...

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 09.42.43.png

 

is that their current place of business?

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Super Wammer

Well I took the pic when I was returning from the south of the UK and stopped off in Brackley for a break, a few years ago. The address on the website is still the same, so I presume   they're still in this building.

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Then it is a sacred shrine ! A shrine where only a few know what magic goes on behind the doors :D

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Hey guys - newbie from across the pond here. I have my sights on what I think is a pair of RT-1s . What is interesting is they have a black piano finish. Did Celef ever make this model with that finish or might it be a custom pair. The owner is not even sure of the model as it's at a different location but she says they're Celefs and  the one photo seems to indicate they are in fact RT-1's. You can just see the large horn tweeter in the middle . Hopefully all the drivers work as I know the tweets would be hard to source. Check out the pic and see if you agree that they must be RT-1's. Cheers, Mike.

$_59.JPG

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Hi Mike,

Welcome to the 'Wam.

You might be interested in this thread.

Your 'speakers certainly look like the RT-1, but can't be any more definite.

As to the tweeters, they were the Decca DK-30 which isn't particularly difficult to repair. The ribbon is replaceable if damaged and there are sources for spares http://shackman.reromanus.net/Decca.htm

The transformer may be more of an issue if that's burnt out, but it's a pretty rugged affair, so unlikely. It could be rewound, I suppose, if it is damaged.

Nice 'speakers.

S.

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2 hours ago, SergeAuckland said:

Hi Mike,

Welcome to the 'Wam.

You might be interested in this thread.

Your 'speakers certainly look like the RT-1, but can't be any more definite.

As to the tweeters, they were the Decca DK-30 which isn't particularly difficult to repair. The ribbon is replaceable if damaged and there are sources for spares http://shackman.reromanus.net/Decca.htm

The transformer may be more of an issue if that's burnt out, but it's a pretty rugged affair, so unlikely. It could be rewound, I suppose, if it is damaged.

Nice 'speakers.

S.

Thanks Serge - yes I was replying in that thread. From google I did find that kits are available to repair the ribbons. I'll find out what's what on Saturday morning as to the real identity and condition of the Celefs. I guess even if all the drivers aren't working they're still worth the $100 Canadian even for parts or if not too bad to resurrect. They seem to be quite rare, especially over here. Cheers, Mike.

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Yes - I saw the label in vintageaxeman's reply but it does say 'other' as an option which leads me to believe it might be a custom finish. All will be revealed tomorrow morning! 

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Super Wammer

Hi Mike....

Serge has given you all the right advice, as I would expect!!!

Yes, I can tell already from the split grilles and the proportions of the cabs, and the faint shadow of the drivers, that those ARE genuine CELEF RT-1s.

Back in the early 1980s I paid £600 (around $1,000USD) for a pair of ex-demonstration RT-1s. They were reduced to half price, having been DOUBLE that originally. The retail price was officially £1200 (around $2,000USD).  That was at a time when, as a young professional, I was earning around £400 take-home pay each month. So this was a VERY expensive pair of speakers.

I kept them for years, and eventually replaced them with a second pair. Not many people know of these speakers, so they tend to go for a very low price. I am not exactly sure how many pairs were made but I think it was less than 20 pairs, probably as low as 12-15.

YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED in these wonderful speakers.

Construction and component wise, the bass units are ATC studio bass units. They are wonderful. The midrange units are actually KEF B200 units, the ones with the heaviest magnet. This might seem odd for a midrange, but they are in open backed cabinets so they work in virtually 'free air'. And as a consequence, voices in particular sound very, very realistic. The Decca horn tweeter is a ribbon tweeter which goes VERY high. But the most important thing about the ribbon tweeter is the realism that it gives to the sound. Transients are VERY fast. And anything metallic, such as a metal guitar or bass string, or a brass brush touching a cymbal, sound absolutely accurate. In fact sounds like these just shimmer and snap the whole sound into focus.

Things to look out for:

  • 1. Check the cones of the bass and midrange speakers and the surrounds. They should be undamaged. Both the surrounds, to the bass AND the mid, are rubber,not foam. Rubber is far less likely to have rotted into holes, but if there is any damage, you may be able to negotiate a discount.
  • 2. The ribbon of the Decca horn ribbon tweeter  (visible from the front of the cabinet, but at the back of the horn's throat) will almost certainly look ragged if it has been used a lot. It should look like a bit of tinfoil that has been neatly corrugated (folded) about 20 times. If it looks like it has scorch marks or raggedness to it, then it may still work but will need replacing.
  • 3. If you try the speakers out, do not try them loud until you are confident that they are ok. The reason is that the capacitors in the internal crossover may well have deteriorated (age) and if you put too much power into them, they could blow, damaging your Decca horn in the process.
  • 4. Three out of four of the cabinets I have had, have had a crack where the front baffle is inserted into the main cabinet frame. These are not removable (everything is glued in position) and is not an insurmountable problem (I can advise you about repairing it). The problem will show as a short crack running vertically, adjacent to the bass driver on the front veneer.
  • Are the proper base stands available. These came with the RT-1s, and I have one pair. If they are not available, I can advise you about how to make your own of the correct height.

I still have my second pair in use, and they are not hugely embarrassed by my active ATC SCM150ASLT speakers.

I also have some spares if you need anything. I have three spare pairs of Decca DK30 ribbon horn tweeters in stock.  I have 2 pairs of the correct KEF midrange units. And I have one pair of the original crossovers, fitted with a couple of component upgrades. I also manufacture the ribbon assemblies to order, and have enough parts to manufacture 8 pairs in stock right now. They take a couple of hours each, and when made, they are very vulnerable to damage so I don't make then up until I get an order in.

Go ahead and buy them. They're a steal at that price, even if you have to do some work on them. They will perform comparably to some very respectable modern day speakers.

As regards the finish, I have never seen black RT-1s, and I have the original brochure which doesn't seem to mention black. Both of my pairs AND the three other pairs I have seen were all mid coloured woods, which I am pretty confident were teak or walnut veneer.  My last pair are teak.  The finish doesn't matter as much, if you're getting such a bargain. There are a multitude of ways to refinish them, including reveneering, or much cheaper, using modern high quality photo printed self-adhesive vinyl such as burr elm pattern. It sounds cheesy but works incredibly effectively and nowadays the stuff is very realistic. I can advise you where to buy the best stuff from.  Or you could repaint them if necessary. (removing / masking the drivers first.) Likewise it is very easy to replace the grille cloth if it is dusty/old/damaged.

I hope that all helps.

Any more questions, please let me know.

Cheers, David

Edited by vintageaxeman
  • Upvote 1

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That's great Dave - hopefully they have already been serviced some time in the past. The seller knows nothing about them so I suspect they are an ex- husbands or maybe  fathers speakers. If they are a piano finish ( and it appears they are - it would be interesting to contact Stuart Tyler and see if he remembers a piano finish pair ) they may be the only ones on the planet! Plus as you say you can service the tweets even if they don't work so I should still grab them. I'm quite proficient at refoaming speakers but like you say they are butyl rubber surrounds (assuming the B200's are the 1039's which I've had in the past) they may only need to be turned 180 degrees if they're sagging . Plus I'll definitely recap anyways with some decent auricaps or the like. Cheers, Mike.

Edited by Mike H

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BTW does the Emblem on the grills look right? From the pic I can't quite see it and the only pic and can find doesn't show the grill.

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10 hours ago, Mike H said:

t would be interesting to contact Stuart Tyler and see if he remembers a piano finish pair ) they may be the only ones on the planet!

They didn’t leave the factory black. 

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