Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: Spica TC 50's (Improved)  (Read 424 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline raymonda

  • Trade Count: (8)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1470
Spica TC 50's (Improved)
« on: August 29, 2018, 09:47:53 AM »
I was fortunate to pick up a pair of Spica TC-50's (improved) in very good condition recently. For those that know, these are considered to be one of the top 100 (75) most important audio components of all time per Stereophile. They were phase aligned and time coherent design by John Bau. I owned a pair from 1990-1995, and enjoyed them immensely!

The cabinets on these are in perfect order and have the oak wood veneer on the sides. The only thing missing from these are the badges, which I am going to try to pick up when I can find a pair. I will play with these for a little while and then pass them on to someone else to enjoy. By the time I'm done these will be looking and performing as close to new as possible.

https://spicaspeakers.com/

I will report back on them after I get more time to play with them. One thing I know about them is that they do need power to make them dance. I will try them with my Rogue M120's at 120 watts and then with my Crown XLS 2000. I will also post pictures, too.

Let me know if you have any interest and I will put you on the short list when I ready to part with them.

Offline tgos3

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Spica TC 50's (Improved)
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 02:50:37 PM »
Congrats on your good fortune in finding a pair.

I've been using my original TC-50s since 1985.  I drive mine with an NAD C350, which is an integrated amplifier nominally 60/60 RMS and stable into 2 Ohms impedance, with a robust wide dynamic range power supply .  I can play louder than is safe (long term) for my ears, at 6 feet.  I would not use them for loud rock, given their bandwidth and power limitations, but I can play my electric guitar through a Champ 110 along with the Stones or Marty Stuart while listening to them ;-).  I have also used a Quad 303/33 [45/45 RMS] for quite adequate volume in a large bedroom.

As a former user, the OP knows this, but for others: Be aware that at least the originals have a slightly rolled off top end compared to, say QUAD ESL, Stax or Etymotic 'phones.  I find them extremely enjoyable - smooth, non-fatiguing, with great imaging (their forte).  But i would not use them for critical mixing.  I hear upper detail on the above 'speakers' that I don't hear on the SPICAs.  They are limited in low bass output (which I don't care about). They are a bit picky about vertical orientation, needing the tweeter to be at ear height, since the tweeters have a thick felt pad around them as a kind of wave guide.  They do best away from all walls by several feet. The instruction sheets go into this in detail.

This URL has data, and links to multiple reviews, as well as a history of modifications. 
The Stereophile review has multiple authors, and objective measurements as well as subjective impressions.

https://spicaspeakers.com/specifications/spica-tc-50-datasheet.php

"Maximum power handling: 50W continuous, 100W peak"  per data sheet.

 I've never driven mine into audible distortion, since there are no original replacement drivers available.  The mfg paid particular attention to pair matching of original drivers and performance.

I have never heard the 'improved' drivers.  AFAIK replacement drivers are no longer available for those either, although there is a Yahoo user group that may discuss alternatives.

They are certainly a classic small speaker for those who like naturalistic reproduction and especially enjoy good imaging.  Extremely 'musical' for hours of fatigue free listening.

have fun with yours
T.

Offline raymonda

  • Trade Count: (8)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1470
Re: Spica TC 50's (Improved)
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 08:04:33 PM »
I have been listening to them for a bit today powered by my Rogue M120's. They sound smashing! I'm filling in the bottom with two subs but even without them they sound great.

Moving forward I'm going to replace the caps with equal value caps. Some of these are electrolytics so their time is close at hand. Not that I'm hearing anything of concern but I might as well. While I'm in there I'm going to replace the crossover to post wires, as well as the posts.

As I remember, the sound stage from these is incredible and sound as wide and as tall as my Maggie's. Well, almost. The soft dome tweeter is extended so as to give a nice reproduction of upper frequencies without being harsh or too revealing.

Offline raymonda

  • Trade Count: (8)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1470
Re: Spica TC 50's (Improved)
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 10:46:01 AM »
The work on these speakers is almost complete. I'm just waiting on the new speaker binding post to come in and then they will be finished.

Over the past 2 weeks I noticed that one tweeter had been replaced and it seemed a bit down in level then the other. Since one was an older polydax (original) and the other was a (drop in replacement) polydax, I decided to replace them with two new polydax (drop ins). During the process I noticed that whom ever did the repair had reversed the polarity of the new one. No wonder it sounded a bit lower in level. Needless to say, the two new ones sound fabulous.

The other item that required attention was the old vinyl on the bottom and back was peeling off. I removed all the old vinyl and replaced it with faux leather, which looks really sharp and gives the speaker a bit of extra class. Boy do these speakers sound great. Comparing them to my JMLabs Micro Utopia's, a $5,000 speaker is eye opening. These Spica's throw a vast and incredible sound stage. They integrate well with my subs and really kick ars, but they sound really good with out them, too. My Utopias do have more resolution but really, the Spica's are knocking on the door. Here are some shots of one of the speakers.

Offline raymonda

  • Trade Count: (8)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1470
Re: Spica TC 50's (Improved)
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 11:53:46 PM »
The binding post came today and were installed. The speakers are complete and I have been enjoying them. I post final pictures tomorrow and will be sending off to their new owner next week. Until then, I am going to continue to treat my ears with their joyous sound.

I had posted a few shots and a narrative on a Facebook group and before I even indicated that they were for sale I received and accepted an offer. Next week they head out to the Great North. I'm sure the new owner will get years of pleasure out of them.

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.17 seconds with 32 queries.
© 2002-2018 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF