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 1950s: 'A big screen deserves a Big speaker'
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 4:13:43 AM on 2 July 2020.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 844

Sometime in the 1950s General Electric launched a TV with a 21-inch speaker to match the exciting new 21-inch screens!
This was touted in Ads to bring buyers over to the General Electric brand.
You can see here I have two of these speakers alongside an early 21-inch glass/metal picture tube..
These must be the largest oval speaker ever made!

Television Loudspeakers

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 8:31:51 AM on 2 July 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2047

Does size matter? Probably not in this case !
It's a bit over the top. Just goes to show that the cost of materials must of been much cheaper back then.
There is a good site over your side of the world and I think it's called Retro Ranch or something along those lines ,It's a 50s site with a forum and lots of photo uploads
Worth a look if you can find it....

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 12:45:32 PM on 2 July 2020.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 844

Peeking in the back to look at the spider, I note they only have a one-inch voice coil (probably the same as those much smaller ultra-oval 10x2" TV speakers of the late50s/early60s!)

Also their corrugated surrounds are merely the same pulp pressing as the cone (raising the resonance.)

So out of curiosity I bench test their resonant frequency:
- they test out at 63hz. This means better bass could be had by using an off-the-shelf 10 or 12" round speaker (that could be side mounted in a compact cabinet.)

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 5:21:47 PM on 2 July 2020.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 414

Being such a large cone area with a small voice coil would make the "pistonic mode" quite low in frequency before cone breakup modes start.
A nice 8 inch speaker would probably have sounded much better.
Still it's the largest oval speaker I've ever seen.
Back then bigger was always better.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 2:23:11 AM on 3 July 2020.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 844

Picture of 1958 Ad for this speaker/TV in a magazine:


 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 7:01:03 AM on 3 July 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 1039

That would be an absolute miss as far as design for marketing goes!
The front view is terribly unbalanced, the speaker dominates the set.
That word, Asthetics?
The speaker is on the center line and the smaller tube off center, it looks horrible!
I wonder how sales went?

 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 5:07:06 AM on 5 July 2020.
NewVista's avatar
 Location: MilwWI, US
 Member since 10 May 2013
 Member #: 1340
 Postcount: 844

I was wondering why in the Ad they have a small 3" speaker in the middle...until I decipher the fuzzy advertising-copy text: It seems they included a 'tweeter' (no doubt one of their cheap small radio speakers.)

Here's my read of first part of fuzzy photo-copied Ad link's text, with my footnotes added by ( )

"From the laboratories of General Electric television, the new(1) 21 x 9-inch Coaxial(2) speaker system.
It's the biggest Woofer(3) in television, teamed with a high frequency Tweeter(3) to bring you the living range of television sound.
You hear everything, even with volume down low(4). It's(5) sound befitting General Electric's famed crystal-clear picture quality..."

1. This informs us that 1958 was the year this was introduced (and no doubt the year it quickly sank Smile )

2. "Coaxial" being popular in high-end hi-fi speakers in the 50s (Altec, Jensen, Tannoy, University, Stephens Tru-sonic....)

3. Again playing on popular late 1950s hi-fi boom slang.

4. Looks like they added a tapped volume control Loudness compensation - whoopee!

5. Even with using an expensive Madison Avenue Advertising Agency, grammar goofs creep in.

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