Loudspeaker System (1973-74)
Type: 4 way, 4 driver loudspeaker system
Frequency Response: 25Hz to 21kHz
Power Handling: 50W
Bass: 1 x 12" roll edge
Midrange: 1 x 5"
Tweeter: 1 x 2.5"
Super Tweeter: 1 x 2" horn
Dimensions: 406 x 640 x 300mm
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Reviewed Aug 30th, 2014 by Randschmidt
Out of the big three Japanese manufactures of the now famous stereo wars of the seventies these have floated to the top of my must keep speakers for vintage audio sound reproduction. The Sansui's from the era don't hold water to the SW 155 with Bass reproduction there is no comparison in the low frequency drivers. As compared to the Pioneer CS models I observed the over all SW 155 frequency blend balance of sound reproduction. The bass doesn't over power the highs and the high frequency driver mix perfectly together to produce perfect audio bliss that are not to harsh and tiring on your ears. I would take these over the Sansui and Pioneer models just for the superior Bass response compared to other Japanese manufactures of the era. Since Akai isn't considered one of the big three manufactures from the era and they were known for reel to reels as there specialty in the audio wars these are not easy to pick in the field you won't find these easy at swap meets garage sales etc.
Driver appearance - these are very good looking speakers with the grills remove the LF driver have a distinct Tangerine colored paper cone very unusual in appearance and stand out in a crowd. The mid range drivers dust cover has a screen in the middle of the dust cap and gives it an unusual look. The HF drivers are pressed in with rubber dowels no screws here gives it a clean appearance.
Grill appearance - Hands down the best of all Japanese speakers from the seventies. They are a two piece unit. They consist of the lattice grill insert and a panel covered with the grill cloth this panel takes one step further and attaches a wood grid that is done in black. The lattice panel sets into the grid. The contrast of the black grid that houses the wood color lattice is striking in appearance. This combo leaves the edges expose to only display the grill cloth around the edging of the total panel. Akai hit a home run with this look and no other lattice speaker comes close to how these display in you audio room.
A/ B comparison. I had jbl l100 sitting next to the to the Akai speakers the Akai are bigger than the L 100 in cabinet size but surprisingly they sounded very much the same hooked up to a recapped SX 1250 I think it had to be the the bass comparison and I have them studio level four feet off the floor.
I'm always looking for the rare non pedigree sleepers that your normal vintage audio collector doesn't show no interest in the items that don't fetch top dollar on Ebay. These fit the criteria lots of guys hate Japanese speakers but most haven't given these a try because they are not common compared to the big three manufactured. They are true value speakers with real vintage seventies sound.