Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!

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Jazzaudio

Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« on: 29 Sep 2015, 03:38 am »
I saw a pair of Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 speakers for sale on CL, bought them, and hooked them up to my Crown XLS1500.  The sound is the same sound I heard with a Spendor 1/2, CJ PV5, CJ MV75 combo I had in the late 90's: Rich, full, warm, beautiful, 3D immersive, natural, and made me listen to music for 6 hours straight overnight!  Everything just sounded right tone-wise.  Not the last word in apparent detail, but then again everything was there in a natural balance. Stellar midrange.  Big rich tuneful bass. These are killer speakers!
 






 


PMAT

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #1 on: 29 Sep 2015, 05:03 am »
 :D They can't possibly sound good. Not enough x-max, no ribbon, woofer is clear, wrong wood on the cabinets, not biamped, crossover is not complex enough. No beryllium, no spikes, need I say more?

Jazzaudio

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #2 on: 1 Oct 2015, 09:24 pm »
PMAT,

You're right LOL  Not enough AC (audiophile correct) attributes to really sound good!  So much so I cant stop listening to them!

Any CJ Synthesis owners out there?

KLH007

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #3 on: 2 Oct 2015, 12:33 am »
My shop in the 80s/90s, Excalibur Audio in Olde Town Alexandria, just a few miles from c-j sold their gear and speakers. They brought in a speaker designer who did a great job , the big 4 piece set was killer good, the LM 260s you have, like the c-j tubes of that era, give up a little detail to give a very pleasing, involving, 3D, and harmonically rich sound. You might ask c-j if they have any crossover cap upgrades. Although they don't have unobtanium drivers, you should enjoy them immensely.

FireGuy

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #4 on: 2 Oct 2015, 01:14 am »
:D They can't possibly sound good. Not enough x-max, no ribbon, woofer is clear, wrong wood on the cabinets, not biamped, crossover is not complex enough. No beryllium, no spikes, need I say more?

Nice!!!!!!!!!!!    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Jazzaudio

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #5 on: 2 Oct 2015, 06:31 pm »
007,
You've nailed the sound description! I've contacted CJ and they responded they had no specs, parts, nor recommendations for the speakers.  I tracked down and emailed the original designer (David Fokos) and am waiting to here back from him.  An AC member restored a smaller pair of LM-20's
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=115681.0

I may do an in depth review of these speakers, and have resisted the urge to open them up and check out the crossovers...simply because they sound so good as is.  The more I listen to music, the more I realize the upper extension is all there, just balanced/emphasized differently.  The overall sound is almost hypnotic, it just envelopes you with a 3D richness. The LM-20 restoration photos show what appear to be CJ's custom capacitors combined with electrolytic capacitors.  I'm sure the elimination of the lytics alone would open up the sound without altering the balance of anything. 

Jazzaudio

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #6 on: 12 Oct 2015, 12:40 am »
So I peeked inside one of the speakers...there are no electrolytic capacitor, unlike the smaller model.  Can someone ID what type/value resistor in the center of the crossover?


chefjeff

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #7 on: 2 Sep 2016, 08:10 pm »
Jazzaudio,
Did you happen to look at the drivers to see which brand / model they were?
I'm looking hard at a pair of these but one of the cabinets needs a woofer and possibly a tweeter. Before I buy the speakers I need to know if the drivers are still available, (or a suitable replacement)?
Cheers,
Jeff

Guy 13

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #8 on: 2 Sep 2016, 09:36 pm »
A warm welcome to AudioCircle Mr. Jeff.

Guy 13
on planet Vietnam.



Jazzaudio

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #9 on: 6 Sep 2016, 12:33 am »
Hello Jeff!
The tweeter is a Vifa D26TG05, and the bass/midrange unit is a Focal 8P511.  I've emailed CJ (no parts or drivers), Focal (no longer available and no replacement made), the designer David Fokos (great conversation about not changing any of the parts), and Bill Thalmann (former Technical Director at CJ for 20 years, another great conversation about not changing any of the parts.) Bottom line...the drivers are no longer available.  A Google of the Vifa unit shows it was used in Snell speakers (with Snell owners also searching for that tweeter!) A check of the site HiFiShark.com shows used Vifa and Focal drivers do occasionally come up for sale online, both internationally and within the US. Just plug in the driver names and search.

I've listed mine for sale and received a number of inquiries. However, shipping costs (proper boxing and cushioning as well as the fees) has been the stumbling block for most.  I have a set modified Klipsch Forte speakers (Crites crossovers, Crites aluminum tweeter diaphragm, Crites polymer midrange diaphragm, Jupiter cloth-covered solid core copper internal wiring, and low-mass copper binding posts).  The Klipsch only outperforms the LM260 in bass impact!

dB Cooper

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #10 on: 6 Sep 2016, 02:43 am »
Jazzaudio,
Did you happen to look at the drivers to see which brand / model they were?
I'm looking hard at a pair of these but one of the cabinets needs a woofer and possibly a tweeter. Before I buy the speakers I need to know if the drivers are still available, (or a suitable replacement)?
Cheers,
Jeff

Deleted after re-reading jazzaudio's post which answered my question

drphoto

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #11 on: 6 Sep 2016, 03:36 am »
I had no idea CJ made speakers. been a fan of their amps for 30 years (although I don't currently own any (did in 80's)

Congrats on you purchase. You description reminds me of ProAc speakers. Lovely sound, but maybe not the most accurate. I wonder if I'm biased to a 'euphonic' speaker, my Merlins are very neutral, but I don't find them engaging.

SteveFord

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #12 on: 6 Sep 2016, 09:16 am »
Jazzaudio,
Did you list them for sale here on this site?

7x57

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #13 on: 25 Dec 2016, 09:53 pm »
So sad that the Sonographe line from C-J went the way of the Dodo Bird. I wonder why they did not promote it more than they did. The wonderful reviews their Premier line always got must have steered them toward the very high end of the market. The Sonographe line was more of an Everyman piece of gear in a huge arena.

The Sonographe line included a lot more than speakers. Turntable, CD player, preamps, power amps. You could have an entire Sonographe system if you wanted one. The later preamps and power amps were the same circuit design as standard line solid state C-J preamps and power amps, with lower specified parts to reduce the cost. Too bad they did not do well in the marketplace and the Sonographe line was dropped by C-J. They bought McCormack instead, and manufacture that line at the C-J plant in Virginia.

With the downturn in the economy, and the fact that the Premier and standard line at C-J are out of reach of the average audiophile, it might be possible for C-J to bring back Sonographe by building the standard line products with less costly components. I own a stack of C-J standard line amps bought back when times were economically better for me, but if I were buying gear today I would have to go look somewhere else beside C-J because even their standard line is out of reach, and their Premier line is no more than a dream.

It might do C-J good to look at something geared more toward the masses since when I go to their website I am seeing not too many new models in the standard and Premier lines. There just are not many people that can pay for such costly products, no matter how good they sound. Raising the volume of sales. lowering the cost, increasing the value for money spent might help them survive. There are too many companies out there selling "me too" products, and most of them are going to fail soon.

I love my C-J amps, but I would probably not buy their new stuff, even if I was in better economic shape. Just too expensive for me. I would be looking at used C-J gear in good shape if I was in the market for C-J gear. There is plenty of it out there for now.

Harry Psara

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #14 on: 27 Feb 2017, 12:43 am »
Hi Guys...I'm new to audio circle.  I picked up a pair of these LM 260 on Gumtree (Australia) for $80.  After reading a bit about them I i decided to restore.  I'm almost finished.  One of the drivers had an open circuit.  These drivers are near impossible to find.  It seems there were 2 versions used in these speakers.  Both were Focal as previously mentioned. Mine were a Focal 8N412T.  I had it repaired.  The veneer on the speaker surrounds is very thin and didn't take too well to even light sanding.  The speakers were in really bad shape so i decided to sand and stain them with brown japan.  I'm waiting on my driver to come back and I will assemble.  I have attached a few images so you can see how they are looking so far.  I painted the section where the speaker grill will go in matt black to disguise the worn veneer.  Looks good in person and it will have a black grill cloth over it too (working on those now!). I decided to leave the crossover alone for now after reading the previous commentary.

On the slim chance...would anyone know where I can get one of those Synthesis badges??? :D






 

Harry Psara

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #15 on: 1 Mar 2017, 01:29 am »
Here is the crossover...


ArthurDent

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #16 on: 1 Mar 2017, 07:25 am »
Nice work Harry, looking good.  :thumb:  Very nice grain in the wood.

GRACE RUBY

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Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #17 on: 20 Mar 2017, 07:11 am »
I saw a pair of Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 speakers for sale on CL, bought them, and hooked them up to my Crown XLS1500.  The sound is the same sound I heard with a Spendor 1/2, CJ PV5, CJ MV75 combo I had in the late 90's: Rich, full, warm, beautiful, 3D immersive, natural, and made me listen to music for 6 hours straight overnight!  Everything just sounded right tone-wise.  Not the last word in apparent detail, but then again everything was there in a natural balance. Stellar midrange.  Big rich tuneful bass. These are killer speakers!

Hi Mr Jazzaudio

very very happy for you, its funny how we find perfection when we stop looking for it.

I love your term "Big Rich Tuneful Bass" in my experience a lot of folks lose that forever in search of
"chilly cold perfect dark imaging"

My late teens was dynaco A 25's, marantz amp and a AT12 needle, mid range, bass, mid range and bass

But most importantly and now almost lost, -Light.

Cheers to you  :thumb:

PS for wood that no one can duplicate, get a can of Kiwi ox blood shoe polish and try on scrap wood,
very beautiful.

Grace Ruby  :dance:

mabrooks12

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #18 on: 18 May 2017, 04:17 pm »
I have a pair of these that have been sitting untouched for over 15 years.  Perfect condition but need to go!  Also have a pair of LM20s the smaller version.  Also have various parts sitting around for these, spare drivers, tweeters, might even have a name badge? 

Please let me know if there is any interest.

Matt

Bob2

Re: Conrad Johnson Synthesis LM-260 Speakers!
« Reply #19 on: 18 May 2017, 06:35 pm »
I have a pair of these that have been sitting untouched for over 15 years.  Perfect condition but need to go!  Also have a pair of LM20s the smaller version.  Also have various parts sitting around for these, spare drivers, tweeters, might even have a name badge? 

Please let me know if there is any interest.

Matt
Post some pictures, a zip code and price.