My Uncle Corky’s Stereo

By: Rich “Speakerboy” Brown



In the 1970’s, my uncle decided he wanted better sound and came to ask my advice… I then worked at Burstein Applelbee. We had to work up slowly to what became the ridiculous level to which I had become accoustomed.

In these days known to some as the power wars era, it was not uncommon to see 200 w/pc receivers that were nearly two feet wide and weighed close to 60 lbs I set Corky up with a 160 watt per channel Pioneer receiver and a pair or JBL Lancer 166 semi-bookshelf speakers. The speakers were a departure from standard JBL of the era and used a 12” doped paper woofer, a 5 `1/4” mid-range and an aluminum impregnated cloth dome tweeter. It wasn’t enough!

Okay. We added a Sound Craftsman Equalizer.  Ten Full Octaves per channel. Still not enough. (Be aware that the latest review in TAS said that this would all end the solid state vs. tube debate). Quote Mathew Polk…” There two kinds of people on the world. Those who are searching for God and those who want more f!@#ing BASS!”

I pulled out all the stops! Here’s what we ended up with. (I had upgraded my speakers and sold Corky my old ones). His new speakers featured a hand fashioned Tutor cabinet in black forest walnut. 1. 5/” MDF cabinet. Reflex enclosure using two Altec Lansing 515B’s (these are 15” LF for those uninitiated) per side along with a 24” x 24” ‘Voice of the Theater’ Altec multi-cell aluminum horn/compression driver configuration and an Electro-voice T-35 horn tweeter per side!

How were these powered? Funny you should ask. The system was tri-amped! I had learned through many trials the benefits of multi-amping, and knew this would suit the purpose and Corky’s hopes. We used three Pioneer SPEC 2 amps (250 watts per channel) driven by s SPEC One Preamp! A Pioneer electronic crossover handled the duty of dividing the frequencies.

Enough…NOOOOOOOOOO! We needed to be able to record! So…Not one, but two TEAC A6300S Auto reverse, 10 ½” reel to reel to decks were employed. This along with a Teac 400S cassette deck were used.

Due to the complexity of the switching issues, a custom designed multi switcher was employed. This was built by my former ‘parts guy’ Jim Gotch. Jim also constructed a full set of RG58 cables to accommodate the system. (These were the pre Audio quest days).

We had arrived! Favorite record? Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. Corky had a MO Fi copy which he played to death!  (My beloved uncle forgave the $1500 he lent me to fix my blown Impala engine because of this!) Speakerboy Out!