If you are a retro speaker enthusiast, chances are you have heard of the Large Advent Speaker, but have you ever heard of the Small Advent Loudspeaker? For audiophiles looking for that classic uncolored Advent sound without the huge footprint of the large advent speaker, the smaller advent speaker was the perfect solution. It reallt is a testament to the smaller advent speaker that even today, a pair of these bought in 1972 holds up against the current speaker technology of the day. This really can’t be said of the large advent speakers or speakers from similar brands like Bose and JBL from that era.
You could call the early 1970’s approach of advent speakers as groundbreaking. They were the consummate innovators led by Kloss and his team of mad audio geniuses. Since Kloss’s goal when he founded advent in 1967 was to develop a commercially viable large screen TV, the Advent Loudspeaker was something he arrived to somewhat circuitously. Lucky for us, he did! The Large Advent Speaker as we all know was the state of the art method of acoustic suspension “book shelf” speaker of the day. Featuring a smaller hard domed tweeter and a 1 foot air suspended woofer, this speaker packed a reasonable punch in a small package. The cabinet of the large advent loudspeaker was made out of wood or MDF (customer choice). It included 1 tweeter control.
So anyhow, come 1972 Kloss fresh off the success of the large advent loudspeaker decided he needed to design a smaller model. The smaller advent loudspeaker was very similar to the original advent speaker though with an 8 and a half-inch woofer and a nine and a half inch diaphragm in its smaller cabinet. The crossover and tweeter frequencies were actually the same as the large advent loudspeaker but they lacked the control that was standard with the original advent loudspeaker. It also lacked the option for a real wood cabinet. That said, the price was about 30% cheaper at about $140 a pair at product release.
To found the smaller advent speaker team, Kloss brought in respected colleague Andy Kostatos (who went on to found Boston Acoustics later), and he offered his expert talents to the speaker, specifically in the fine tuning of the cross over. Eventually Kostatos left advent in 1974 after a recapitalization effort shook up the company.
The stock Small Advent Loudspeaker was a real beauty and due to its more compact components, when shopping for these speakers now on the used market, there is a great chance that you will find a loudspeaker that is like new or at wost with only some minor refurbishments such as the rubber gaskets or the cones.
There are a few interesting things to take note of when dealing with the Small Advent monitor. The first thing is that they really aren’t that “small”. Truthfully, the smaller advent cabinet is actually larger than 90% of what would be considered bookshelf speakers today. Secondly, the construction quality was pretty rough and not as slick or glossed as current day speaker / cabinet builds are. That said, the smaller advent loudspeaker bindings were in particular were actually pretty sophisticated for the time and remain so today. Finally, if you are shopping for smaller advent loudspeakers, do your best to find a pair with the original documents – the manual that came with these bad boy’s was awesome! It was clear even back then that the Small Advent Loudspeaker was directed towards and manufactured for serious audiophiles – the same folks who covet these loudspeakers even today. The smaller advent loudspeaker is a great introduction to advent monitor and a time-tested loudspeaker in the world of audio!