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Videoton Minimax Speakers

Discussion in 'classic' started by cctaylor, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    After moving house I have my system set up in my new study. The ancient Videoton Minmax speakers are proving to be a very pleasant listen with a very good sound. Back in the day they were I well regarded budget speaker. Having looked inside the crossover is very simple. I am driving them with a Naim 12S and NAP 120. In my last study the Minimax speakers were really in a near field situation as the room was very small. The speakers now get a chance to fill a room rather than ears and the amp can get into it's stride.

    This is an interim set up as I am waiting to get my late father's Linn/Naim tri-amp system serviced. The Isobariks are currently doing duty as speaker stands for the Minmax! I remember Ivor doing a demo in an Edinburgh hotel, when the Triamp system was launched, and being blown away by the sound. This lead to my father demo-ing the system and buying DMS serial numbers 13 and 14 the NAXO is 0008.
  2. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    I remember the Minimax speakers being included in a notorious system review in HiFi Answers in the early 70's when they were pushing the idea that every system should include an LP12.

    Their mission was to assemble a system for £500 that included an LP12.
    Said system comprised the LP12 (accounting for 50% of the budget on its own) with a budget arm (Acos Lustre comes to mind) and cartridge.
    I've a feeling an NAD3020 amplifier was in the mix (good electronics in plasitcky case) and they were left with £49 for a pair of speakers.
    Videoton Minimax 2 speakers, from Hungary, were the solution and of course the complete system was highly lauded!

    A few months later the magazine issued a rider that, had they spent another £10 on a pair of Kef Codas, the overall sound quality would have been much better but the Editors required a "LP12 system for less than £500" headline.

    Minimaxes appear on eBay from time to time with high prices since they were, after all, "legendary audiophile speakers"!

    I must admit to never having heard the Minimax speakers so I am not criticising them, merely repeating what was in the Press all those years ago.

    However the use of a Naim 12S/120 reminds me how good some surprisingly modest speakers could sound on the end of my 12S/160 (why did I sell it?!)
  3. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    That is one hell of a system to inherit
  4. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley


    Slagging off a system you never even heard.

    I had that system.

    I also upgraded the minimax speakers as Comeau recommended by replacing the tweeter with a dome tweeter.
  5. DGP

    DGP pfm Member

    As Paul Benson is now dead and can't reply and I was one of the small full-time Hi-Fi Answers team (Paul/Tony/me) who produced and 'promoted' the Linn/NAD/Minimax system I think I need to put the record straight.

    The whole thing sprang from an article called 'Low Finance High Fidelity' I wrote for Answers reviewing the Sansui SR-222/NAD 3030/Celef Domestic II Supers - I'd tried updating this system when the 3030 was replaced by the 3020 to include a Linn/Rega arm front end and initially used ITT 8070 speakers and later Audiomasters. About this time the Editor of Greetings magazine - we shared an office with her - wanted the best quality hi-fi for a very fixed and limited budget. With this in mind I put together a Linn/Rega/Grado FTE front end with an NAD and the cheapest quality speakers we knew - the original Videotone Minimax speakers. The system was real, I used it, I installed it for Terry, editor Benson heard it and we agreed it was important enough to include in his system reviews (more influenced by Russ Andrews and Richard Hey of Nytech than any Glaswegian bogeyman) in the April 1979 issue where the Linn was recommended in 9 out of 10 systems ranging in price from £336.75 to £4303.23 (the odd system out was the cheapest - having a Rega Planar).

    There was no 'rider issued' months later about Codas and no 'Editors' requiring headlines. It would be good if people got their fact straight.
  6. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    ....and yet nowhere in the post is he doing any slagging off.

    Amazing !
    ian r likes this.
  7. smithy

    smithy pfm Member

    I did the Seas soft dome modification on my Videoton as weir and also the sub woofer with two Richard Allen HP8B drivers in a large Sealed box.
  8. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    Videoton also did a slightly larger speaker, which I think was the same price as the Minimax, called the D100. I had a pair, and they replaced Rogers LS3/5As in my system, and I loved them! They restored raw excitement to a system that was accurate, but ultimately boring. The funds released by the sale of the LS3/5As allowed me to buy a better cartridge at a time when funds were very limited. The D100s were eventually replaced by ARC050s but I passed them on to a friend and we did replace the tweeters, and he ran them on the end of a Nait 1, that I also passed on to him, all through his university years. Interestingly the ARC050s were then briefly replaced by some prototype speakers I was working on, and then Tri Amped Isobariks - the same friend bought (and still has) my Isobarik system - though it sits silent in Paris whilst he lives in China.
    ian r likes this.
  9. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    Thank you Joe!
    ian r likes this.
  10. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    Well I read it somewhere - I didn't make up the Kef Coda bit!

    And as Joe kindly mentioned I wasn't slagging anything or anyone off, just repeating things I'd read in one of my favourite magazines.
  11. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

  12. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    I was very much about in that era, and it was very exciting, and magazines seemed to be prepared to challenge beliefs and champion enjoyment of the music. In the end the radical approach turned into the establishment view, and all then fun disappeared. The reality, for me, was that a pair of really cheap, small speakers on the end of a modest, but front end first system, gave the same buzz as attending a live gig did, whereas my 'better' speakers didn't. It was difficult to assemble a good budget system then, nowadays a Raspberry Pi with a power amp hat, and a pair of Q Acoustics cheapest will give you a system that would blow away a 1970s budget system at a fraction of the price in real terms.
  13. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Great info their David, thanks for that.

    I was aware of the Minimax in my teens but never heard a pair. A few years ago I picked up a pair but sadly the drivers don't age well at all. One bass note and the surrounds cracked and fell apart. Given the tiny old drivers these will be really hard to restore today.
  14. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    I remember reading the speaker cable test, swapping the thin single wire for QED 79 strand. Also spending ages trying to put together a system I could afford from the recommended lists.

    First non stack system I heard Rega Planar/3020/Audiomaster had me hooked, playing Sultans of Swing at Holburn HiFi in Aberdeen.
  15. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I used to think Hi Fi Answers was a sort of 'audio comic', not to be taken too seriously.
    I was a Hi Fi News reader.
    Perhaps I should change my opinion of HFA...
  16. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    I used to buy them all, HFA was always my favorite by a long shot. Then Practical HiFi then News. I now sub to News & HiFi World. I work in IT and like the old fashioned mags to sit and read while spinning LPs. PFM and Tidal via iPad is way more convenient though.
  17. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    I read them all at that time and rather liked HFA.

    Paul Benson and David Prakel (DGP) offered a new approach to that of Hi Fi News ("if there's a difference in the sound then we can measure it") as epitomised by Gordon King & Angus McKenzie which led to the "golden ears" breed of reviewers who changed our priorities as JemHayward alludes to above.

    Later reviewers discovered new tools for measuring what the "old school" reviewers didn't know was measurable (remember the "waterfall" 3-D graphs of speaker output decay?) and old school and new were united in magazines like Hi Fi World where listening tests were supplemented by detailed measurements by Noel Keywood.
  18. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    It was HiFi Sound not Practical I was thinking of, getting dottled, it and HFA were easy to read, the USA imports and HFNews mags in WH Smith seemed a bit testy/numbers/figures for a school kid.
  19. Shuggie

    Shuggie pfm Member

    I replaced the foam surrounds of a rotten pair using a kit from a Dutch company, whose name eludes me for the moment.
  20. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    cartman likes this.

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