Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Speakers - Lafayette Criterion 2001+

Lesson learned: When it comes to buying used speakers, solid, well-built cabinets and qualtiy binding posts don't always lend toward a good purchase choice. Such was the case with the Lafayette Criterion 2001+ speakers. I listened to them briefly before purchase, but there was a floor buffing machine fifteen feet away, so critical listening wasn't possible. But hey, these were destined to be garage speakers anyway, so who needs a critical listening test?

All I can think of is that the crossover capacitors have lost value over the years because I couldn't imagine these selling from a showroom floor sounding like they did for me - lifeless is the word that comes to mind. There was bass, midrange, and treble, but every source I tried with them sounded as if music was being played out of a tin can over 100 yards of kite string.

I gave these to my neighbor who, for whatever reason, really liked their sound. Maybe he represented the target demographic back in 1979 for the Criterion 2001+. Sound quality is such a personal thing. I'm glad he's happy with them. Now if I can only get him to take my 1981 Realistic receiver, we'd both be thrilled.

Have anything you'd like to share about your Criterion speakers? Please leave a comment or shoot me an email.

What's it worth?
Good: $85/pair
Fair: $45/pair
As in photo: $45/pair


  1. I have the same speakers and found that you will need an amp / reciever to be matched with this. First I paired with my Pioneer SA-7700 and the sound was very bad. I changed to Nikko STA-9090 and get the same problem. Then I tried Marantz SR-2000 and the sound was totally difference. I have a friend who is top tech in Orange County California and he explained to me that the speakers by itself produce a lot of high frequency, so if the receiver (like Pioneer, Nikko, Kenwood, etc) was build for trebble then the sound will not good. The Marantz was build for midrange and bass, that's the reason why the sound was good. THEY MUSE BE MATCHED. That's my case. Hope you can get the speakers back and test with Marantz

  2. I just picked up a pair of these for $5.00, mainly just for curiousity over how they would sound. In fact, I had read this review prior to purchasing.

    I must say I thought they sounded very decent. I connected them to an Aiwa AV receiver, and after some adjustments, I was very pleased with the sound they put out. Different music of course required tweaks with the compensation and brilliance settings, but I thought they were very clear, with solid bass.

    Though I must add that my wife hates the look of them! "Old looking and ugly" were her exact words. So, I may keep them after a refinishing and redoing the grill cloth. But, for $5.00, I cannot complain!

  3. if yu push nothing but bass threw these spakers they do hit pre hard i have a panisonic sa-ht740 i got it hooked up for just bass then highs and mids n all together they r pre good i had to paint it tho it is pre ugly till yu take the cover off lol

  4. Having mixed and matched many pairs of vintage speakers with many vintage receivers and amps, I can testify that many sound lousy with some receivers and great with others. Before condemning any brand or model of any vintage gear, you need to test it with a variety of mates otherwise you're basically just expressing an ill-informed opinion. I've even had speakers that sounded very nice with a few receivers but absolutely atrocious on the well-regarded Marantz 2270. There are several factors involved, including efficiency, drivers, quality of caps etc.

  5. What could be so different between different power amps/integrated amps/receivers? Could it be the damping factor that the power output circuit presents to the speaker? I remember when this used to be a spec we cared about in the vacuum tube days where the speakers were coupled to hi-fi output transformers. This seems to have changed with the move to output transformerless circuitry which became the norm for direct coupled solid state power amps that have dominated since the 1970's.

  6. Excellent question, but I have no idea. Let's see if someone else chimes in. I might even make a post out of this question... thanks!

  7. I think the biggest difference between the relationship between amps and speaker that would effect sound quality is the amp's output impedance versus the speaker's input impedance. Much distortion may result from a mismatch.



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