Jump to content
The Classic Speaker Pages Discussion Forums

Recommended Posts

With the sad current news story about the bankruptcy of Radio Shack, it occurred to me that maybe some of you may be interested in this relatively rare speaker product that debuted in 1967. While some might feel this is a stretch for a New England speaker forum, Radio Shack started in Boston in 1921, listed on the NYSE 80 years ago in 1935, and opened their first showroom in 1947 in downtown Boston.
 
Everyone knows about the popular Realistic Minimus-7 speaker, but this is about the much earlier Minimus-1. I really love these tiny speakers - - - they pack a huge punch from a very small package; they are totally gorgeous; they have an exceptionally high build quality; and the drivers are massive. And for a mini speaker, the crossovers seem rather sophisticated, tho' I haven't quite figured it all out yet.
 
The cabinets are beautiful and the grille cloth is unique. Grilles are held in place with copper brads, and the badges even employ a threaded stud and nut. All interior seams are reinforced, and the cabinet width is braced with a dadoed strut. Drivers are puttied in-place, and woofer has an inverted cloth surround. Tweeter with pleated surround may look weak at first glance, but both drivers have large alnico magnets and my initial audition resulted in very positive impressions.
 
If anyone has additional thoughts about these speakers, I'd love to hear some feedback.
 
R.I.P., Radio Shack.
 
minimus-1.3.jpg frontal.jpg nudes.jpg rear label.jpg minimus-1 RS ad.jpg minimus-1 ad Lima.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They used to put "all speakers on sale" periodically.

Who could resist buying more speakers?

Plus....most of their speakers were available singly. I remember when I was in my first apartment, living alone, long, long before I got married.

I had this very nice Panasonic mono boom box (radio/cassette) siting on my bureau. Like all Panas of that timeframe (late 1970's/early1980's), the radio section was truly great--wide frequency range FR, very sensitive, just great. I used to listen to the local morning college jazz program as I got dressed for work each day.

Anyway, this particular Panasonic had an "Ext Spkr" jack. Not a padded-down 'Headphone' jack (it had one of those too), but a real speaker output jack. Just begging for an external upgraded speaker. Probably all of 2 watts RMS, but no doubt 2 very clean watts.

Radio Shack. All Speakers on Sale.

I'm there in a flash.

I forget the model number, but it was a small sealed speaker with a 5" woofer and a small cone tweeter--probably around 2." The cabinet was real walnut veneer. Not vinyl--real wood.

It sounded great, really great. At this time my main system was comprised of a TOTL Kenwood integrated amp and matching tuner with AR-91s, Dual 701 and a Shure V15 V. Not too shabby-sounding, to say the least.

But that Pana boom box and my Radio Shack 5-incher (for what--$29.95 at half price, IIRC?) was the over-achiever of all time.

Steve F.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, thanks for the photo album. Made in Japan? Interesting feature for room compensation.

RS will always have a warm spot in my heart for the good memories. i bought a pair of Nova 7's back in the day that served me very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really have much experience with old-time Radio Shack, but I remain very impressed with these tiny speakers. Possibly not too different from what Steve describes, altho' this pair uses a 4.5" woofer and a 3" tweeter (see profile pic). Clearly the drivers were manufactured in Japan, but I'd be surprised if the entire product fabrication took place overseas.

No longer New England based (the labeling notes Ft. Worth, TX and mfr'd in Korea), but the R-S component I have in daily use is this 1980 slimline 10 watt Realistic receiver which provides very decent FM reception in my kitchen - - it is usually paired with either Minimus-11's or a/d/s 300's.

If you have not seen this archive of over 60 years of R-S catalogs, you may find this of interest, or you may even find your very first stereo components. Truly impressive how much merchandise they once offered.

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalog_directory.html

post-112624-0-38288700-1423624558_thumb. post-112624-0-14882700-1423624625_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A current post on AA Vintage Asylum caused me to Google RS Minimus 1, and thus found this post.

I still have a pair of Minimus 1s, purchased new in the late '60s.  Living just outside Philly at the time I had taken my Dynakit components in to the factory for a check up.  They had a system set up in their lobby playing a pair of Minimus 1s, likely with their SCA-35 and FM-3.  I was impressed enough to buy a pair as secondary speakers.  

Their slogan was "The Mouse That Roared", adapted from a Peter Sellers film but appropriate of home audio.  Now reading this site I have even more appreciation for them.  But they have been boxed (original) and in a closet for years.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello pryso, and that's a great first post. Now, pull those speakers out of the closet and get them hooked up again! :P

Just thought I'd post a little info on the original Goodmans Maximus-1 that the Minimus-1 was purportedly modeled after.

 

Maximus-1.jpg

Goodmans Maximus.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks ra.ra.  The Goodmans are not familiar to me.  Their drivers appear to be more "complex" than those in the Minimus 1 so only the box looks similar.

I had AR-4s with my Dynakit electronics at the time I bought the Minimus 1s and always had larger, more full range speakers in subsequent years.  So my little Mouse (Mice?) speakers only had limited use in a bedroom and later garage systems.

In the '70s I moved to San Diego where I hung out at a high end store, Audio Directions.  They offered "how to" clinics from time to time for their customers.  At one of those I upgraded the cap in the crossover and applied rubber cement to the woofer cone.  The woofer mod was not successful so I removed that.  It might be fun to hear them again so I should set them up once more.  If I find the time for that I'll report back with impressions.

 

Edited by pryso
misspelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Goodmans are rare and I've never seen or heard a pair - - - just thought I'd attach that info here in this thread to share with future readers as well. My little Mice haven't been getting that much play time either, but I may move them back into the kitchen where many of my favorite tools and gadgets are located.

You got a bum steer with that "how-(not)-to" course, but it's good to hear that the goop was removable. And when you say you replaced the cap, was your crossover different from the pics of the one I posted which has three caps?

AR-4's and Dynakit - - that's sounds similar to my earliest system, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ra.ra, the mod work on my Minimus 1s was several decades ago and the memory fades.  I thought it was a single cap -- same value but better quality.  If I have time to get them out again I'll pull a woofer and check.  And yes, rubber cement is easy to peal off once it dries.  The paper cones may have absorbed a tiny bit from the liquid carrier but I didn't believe enough that I could hear the difference from original.  Adding mass to a driver cone is not recommended for amateurs not knowledgeable in speaker building.

Yes, the Dyna/AR was my first stereo system, replacing a Steelman portable I got in the 8th grade.  Just before release from the Navy to finish college I ordered the Dynakits, ARs, and a Dual 1009 with Empire cartridge from an East Coast discount house.  I knew little about electronics but once I returned home I built a ST-70, PAS-3, and FM-3 after a little practice to learn to solder.  To my satisfaction everything worked.  I was content for a few years but then exposure to Stereophile and local high end retailers started me on the merry-go-round of component upgrades.  At least it has been a healthier hobby than drinking. ;^)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's only been a couple of years, but hopefully ra.ra you check or see notices of posts here.

Out of the blue I just stumbled across this ad for a pair of Minimus-1s for $75.  No affiliation with seller, just FYI.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nice-Vintage-Radio-Shack-Realistic-Minimus-1-40-1966A-Speakers-Circa-1969-71/163036761664?hash=item25f5bf8e40:g:f7sAAOSwjS9a8IYn:sc:USPSPriority!92037!US!-1

I never did check my crossovers to see what I replaced.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, pryso said:

...this ad for a pair of Minimus-1s....

Hey, thanks pryso, for the heads-up. I've seen a few pairs of these pop up for sale over the years but not very often. The pair in that auction is the original and best version, but the seller has them incorrectly titled as the "A" version when the labels and drivers clearly show otherwise. By the way, the 1966 designation is the model number and not the year of manufacturer, although they were made from roughly 1967 to about 69.

Interesting to see this pair in real walnut veneer (last pic here) - - - very different from the veneer species on my pair which seems more like cherry or maybe even mahogany (?). 

min-1 cabinets.jpg

minimus-1 walnut.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine look like your top two photos.

Maybe I can find time this week to pull mine down, take them out of the boxes, and examine them.  Now I'm curious to check the cabinet veneer, pull the drivers to verify version, and also look at my crossover cap upgrade.  I'm quite certain I bought mine in 1969.

Anyway, if I discover anything interesting I will report back.  You and I may be the only ones interested, but so what? ;^)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a slightly better pic of the original crossover, but I'm still not quite sure how this circuit works. Two coils, two resistors, and three caps on a printed circuit board. I still have not changed anything from original. Two of the cap values are 2uF 50V and 4uF 20V, but I've been unable to read the third cap value. Only recently did I realize that the caps show the same insignia that is shown on the driver backside, so I suspect these capacitors were manufactured by or for Matsushita.

Will be curious to see if yours turn up any additional information.  

crossover PCB.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×