Estate Sale Archaeology: JVC 5331K

On a rainy Friday in the fall my son and I were headed back from the grocery store when I passed a sign for an estate sale in our neighborhood. Estate sales are great for vintage stereo finds and I dashed right to the basement to see what had been pushed into a corner and forgotten by the former owners.   Sure enough, I found this pair of strange floor speakers staked up in a corner. They were large, heavy and dusty – measuing 14/24/10, and weighing 40lb apiece easily. While intact inside, the grilles had a couple of bumps and there were just a few scrapes on the thick walnut veneer. I walked out with them for $40. Getting home, I took a closer look and hooked them up to my new Pioneer SX-9000 for testing. I of course pulled the grilles off for a proper test. The 5331k was a four-way speaker, with a 12″ woofer, 4″ midrange, tweeter and horn. They had two mid and high range adjustment dials on the face, which were beautifully damped. Rated for 80 watts, they could really crank. They had a nice vintage sound – warm, with balance, and surprisingly good bass.   Their most interesting feature was the special woofer – It was a pressed paper or pulp type, with cone-shaped baffles affixed to the woofer around the circumference. I couldn’t find much information online about these speakers online, or on their strange woofers- from what I’ve been able to gather the rare woofer design dates from pre-WW2 RCA development. The technology must have been transferred from RCA to JVC after the war. I loved having these speakers around. The cabinets polished up beautifully and I was able to glue and repaint the wooden grilles good as new. Eventually they made their way to my basement A/V system, and then on to new happy owners.

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~ by silverfacestereo on November 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “Estate Sale Archaeology: JVC 5331K”

  1. I also have a pair of the same speakers. Any ideas on how much they are worth?

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    • Hey there!

      I unfortunately don’t have a very good understanding. I recall that when I had these and was planning to get rid of them there was almost no information on the internet, and no past sales on eBay to give a reference.

      If they are in good to great condition, with complete veneers and undamaged grilles as well as good operation, I would expect these to go for $80-160. These aren’t very well known and JVC was not a prominent hi-fi brand, which will affect the final price.

      Good luck!

      Like

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