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Impressed with Rigonda loudspeakers

Discussion in 'classic' started by cupples, Jan 1, 2022.

  1. cupples

    cupples pfm Member

    I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. I picked up a pair of Rigonda loudspeakers in a local auction for £25 because they looked nice and thought they might be worth a punt.

    I opened them up, cleaned the old sealing foam out, treated the woodworm, took the scratch remover and the teak oil to them, resealed them, wired in some speaker sockets. The drive units are intact and the caps look intact, so I've left them alone for now.

    So far I've tried them with an old EMI RS101b valve amp (a whole 8W of push pull ECL83 goodness), a Marantz PM44, and tonight a Musical Fidelity A1, and I can't believe how good they sound! Especially with the MF A1. Midrange is awesome, bass is tuneful but certainly doesn't go deep, and slightly toed-in the highs are civilised. There's just something 'right' about them. Listened to Tom Waits' Alice tonight, sounding smooth, but put on a recording of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances and turned the wick up, and was impressed at the imaging and the scale of the music, transients are clean. You can hear the cabinet singing along a bit, but not in a bad way.

    Just really impressed with how these are put together and how tuneful they sound. They're not going to supplant my Proac Studio 15s, and they're nothing like the ESL 57s sitting behind them in one of the pictures, but I wouldn't feel hard done by if I had to use the Rigondas alone.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    eastone and Niel Blackwood like this.
  2. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Yeah Rigonda (USSR) gear can be surprisingly good! A mate had a early seventies Rigonda set up when I knew him around '85 ish which had similarly proportioned speakers but IIRC they were more subdued brown or black grille cloth and it gave good results. I have fond memories of a room full of us listening to a live performance of Graceland on FM radio through it:)
     
    Johnjo likes this.
  3. cupples

    cupples pfm Member

    Mmm, a bit of Graceland sounds like a plan... these'll be going to the friend who spotted them first, lucky beggar! But I'll warm them up for him first!
     
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  4. ansis

    ansis pfm Member

    Those are Simfonija 2 speakers, Rigonda are different, older and not so good. Also change those old elcaps in filters as originals long lost their values.
     
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Old speakers can surprise you.
    I have a pair of old Heathkit SSU-1 speakers I’ve refurbished.
    A 8” dia. Goodmans bass/mid. and Elac cone tweeters.
    Slot reflex loading.

    I damped the cabinets walls, fitted foam lining and some wadding.
    The bass is surprisingly deep and not ‘over warm’, the mids smooth and quite ‘open’ sounding.
    What surprised me is the top end, which is open and smooth.
    Cone tweeters can be excellent.
     
    cupples likes this.
  6. cupples

    cupples pfm Member

    It's definitely badged Rigonda, but I agree it resembles the Simphonija 2 models. Any suggestions for suitable caps? 50uF+50uF X2 in each, and a 1uF cap. Probably cost more than what I paid for the speaker, but still... Would probably merit more than cheap mains flex for wiring it too!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Not really. Same Soviet company. Those speakers are badged Rigonda if you enlarge and look closely.

    EDIT: Beat me to it!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
  8. cupples

    cupples pfm Member

    Hmm, nice. I've got a pair of wharfedale super 8s and super 3s which are crying out for some open baffle action...
     
  9. ansis

    ansis pfm Member

    Hmm then maybe that's export version name. Replace double 50uF caps with one 47uF 63V bipolar and leave 1uF as it is, it's decent paper in oil one. Good snatch, here where they were produced they go for 150-200 euros in good nick.
     
    cupples likes this.
  10. IVELIN

    IVELIN pfm Member

    I believe Radiotehnika made some great speakers together with some other Soviet manufacturers such as Elektronika.
    Anyone heard the newer RRR models?
     
  11. cupples

    cupples pfm Member

    so, just to clarify, replace both double caps with a single 47uF, or replace each one with a 47uF? Definitely a cheaper route than the available 50+50uF caps. Ansis, are you in Latvia?
     
  12. ansis

    ansis pfm Member

    There is only one decent new speaker from them - Giant FS100 (well, maybe Gold also, never seen or heard them), but it demands juicy amp to sound good enough, I would say at average 100-120W, all others are more or less firewood. And now Giant costs almost twice as originally released, imho not that good deal anymore. Another worthy Soviet manucturer is Estonia, now they make quite decent speakers under Audes brand but I believe they mostly export to America and far East (might be wrong tho, not followed them for some time).

    Both double caps with one bipolar, connect it where old caps "+" terminals are (I think in those times most likely there were no bipolar caps in production that's why 4 unipolar are connected as one). Yes, I'm in Latvia.
     
    IVELIN likes this.
  13. Darmok

    Darmok "cur tali Incustodito dedistis amori"

    Rigonda Bolshoi...

    http://www.rw6ase.narod.ru/00/rl_l_/simfonija003.html

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Rig...=2ahUKEwj1zvmPh5b1AhXN1qQKHRg1AEkQ9QF6BAgKEAE

    Radiola network lamp "Symphony-003" since 1971 has been produced by the Riga plant "Radiotekhnika". The top-class stereo radio "Symphony 003" is developed on the basis of the "Symphony-2" radio, but differs from it. The electrical circuit has been improved, new finishing materials have been applied, a push-button range switch, a more advanced EPU type II-EPU-52S with hitchhiking has been used. The radio receiver has the ranges DV, SV, KV 1, 2, 3, 4 and VHF. Sensitivity in AM ranges 30 µV, FM 2.5 µV. Selectivity 60 dB. The band of reproducible frequencies in the AM ranges - 40 ... 7000 Hz, FM and when playing gramophone records - 40 ... 15000 Hz. The power amplifier is made on 6P14P lamps, switched on according to an ultra-linear circuit with auto-bias, and has an output power of 2x4 W. Speakers three-way, closed type, each has three loudspeakers 6GD-2, 3GD-1 and 1GD-3. The dimensions of the speakers are reduced in comparison with those used in the Symphony 2 radio. Due to the high sensitivity of the speaker heads, it develops a sound pressure of 112 dB at a distance of 1 m, with a power input of 4 W. Power consumption with EPU 130 W. The dimensions of the radio are 795x525x375 mm, weight 37 kg. Dimensions of one speaker 790x350x285 mm, weight 14.5 kg. In 1976, a small series of "Symphony-003M" radiolabels was released, which almost did not differ from the basic one. The export radio, produced since 1971, was called `` Rigonda-Bolshoi '', it had other frequencies in the VHF range and HF subbands, and all the inscriptions were in English. Symphony 2 ''. Due to the high sensitivity of the speaker heads, it develops a sound pressure of 112 dB at a distance of 1 m, with a power input of 4 W. Power consumption with EPU 130 W. The dimensions of the radio are 795x525x375 mm, weight 37 kg. Dimensions of one speaker 790x350x285 mm, weight 14.5 kg. In 1976, a small series of "Symphony-003M" radiolabels was released, which almost did not differ from the basic one. The export radio, produced since 1971, was called `` Rigonda-Bolshoi '', it had other frequencies in the VHF range and HF subbands, and all the inscriptions were in English. Symphony 2 ''. Due to the high sensitivity of the speaker heads, it develops a sound pressure of 112 dB at a distance of 1 m, with a power input of 4 W. Power consumption with EPU 130 W. The dimensions of the radio are 795x525x375 mm, weight 37 kg. Dimensions of one speaker 790x350x285 mm, weight 14.5 kg. In 1976, a small series of "Symphony-003M" radiolabels was released, which almost did not differ from the basic one. The export radio, produced since 1971, was called `` Rigonda-Bolshoi '', it had other frequencies in the VHF range and HF subbands, and all the inscriptions were in English. weight 14.5 kg. In 1976, a small series of "Symphony-003M" radiolabels was released, which almost did not differ from the basic one. The export radio, produced since 1971, was called `` Rigonda-Bolshoi '', it had other frequencies in the VHF range and HF subbands, and all the inscriptions were in English. weight 14.5 kg. In 1976, a small series of "Symphony-003M" radiolabels was released, which almost did not differ from the basic one. The export radio, produced since 1971, was called `` Rigonda-Bolshoi '', it had other frequencies in the VHF range and HF subbands, and all the inscriptions were in English.
     
  14. ansis

    ansis pfm Member

    That's newer model, Simfonija 3, also not bad if you're able to get them - same drivers, little bit different crossover and acoustical construction but still closed box, not much bass same as predecessor unfortunately (but cuppies impressions are quite similar to mine, very good midband and imaging with proper amplification). I searched a little bit and seems that this was produced for export market under "Rigonda-Symphony" name.
     
  15. Darmok

    Darmok "cur tali Incustodito dedistis amori"

    Found in a skip in Souf Landon mid 80s...

     
    Snufkin likes this.
  16. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    Yes, I reviewed the FS100s when they briefly had a UK distributor and they were magnificent. One of the best speakers I’ve ever reviewed with bass to die for and an utter steal at their £1100 asking price! As an RRR makes everything for the speakers in-house, but also components for other speaker manufacturers. The review samples were delayed as the production line was busy making drive units for a well known premium European maker!

    I also bought a pair of the speakers the OP has from a mate at university and they were my main speakers for a number of years. Very impressive.

    I’ve also owned a Symphony radiogram, a Bolshoi radiogram and the Party Time record players. The weak link of all these is the turntable, which is quite basic and has a ceramic cartridge. I’d love to try the posher Victoria radiogram that has a proper transcription deck with MM cartridge but I’ve never seen one. There was also a record player with the same deck that would make more SWMBO sense but I’ve never seen one of those either!
     
    IVELIN likes this.
  17. 337alant

    337alant Negatively Biased

    My Father also owned the Rigonda Bolshoi and it sounded wonderful in his huge lounge

    Alan
     
  18. Steve 57

    Steve 57 pfm Member

    I had a party time in the early 70s
    I used the speakers for about 15 years with various solid state amps, but the original amplifier seemed to sound better with them
    I've still got a set of drivers from a pair of rigonda radiogram loudspeakers somewhere.
     
  19. Pine Marten

    Pine Marten pfm Member

    A Party Time bought for me for Christmas 50 years ago is what got me started. It got used for hours most days, never broke down. I made up cables so I could use my ITT KB radio that had a din socket as a tuner and was given a Fidelity Braemar tape recorder. First system, hardly hi-fi. When Dad bought some new gear I got his old Garrard AP 76 with Decca Derram cartridge, removed the Rigonda turntable and made a matching wooden lid for the amp section. A trip to the surplus electronic gear shop and the Rigonda speaker drivers were swapped out for some 8" full range Richard Allen units. I made new backs for the Rigonda boxes and stuffed them full of shredded carpet underlay. Some blue cloth was fitted to the plastic original grilles to finish the job. Stood on their shorter sides they looked like mini clones of the then Tannoy Cheviots of the mid 70's.
     
    eastone likes this.
  20. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    Funny thing; my uncle died just before Christmas and we've been asked to recall any music he might have liked for the funeral. My mind's been back in my grandparents living room at Christmas in the late sixties/early 70s and the records that were being played.

    In my experience your mind plays tricks on you with memories from even 10 years ago. However this video shows that it was able to recall their Rigonda Symphony perfectly. I'm fairly sure too that the speakers pictured above are the ones that came with it
     

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