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nspei's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jan 21 2007 - 10:17am
Nuance Speakers - any info please?

Hi all,
Just acquired (for $100.00) an odd pair of speakers from a pawn shop. I couldn't get to hear them before I bought, but there was something about them.......
They're branded as Nuance (dating, for the looks to the late 80's maybe), 40" tall, 15" deep, and 10" wide. They came with integrated aluminum (perhaps steel) stands, very solid, and I would guess the complete weight of each to be around 70lbs. The cabinets are well braced MDF, and there is a largish rear port. The drivers are surprising, at least to me, as they appear to be very cheap Radio-Shack types, an 8" and 1" dome. Around each driver is a moulded plastic surround, almost horn-like, marked with the impressive moniker "Equalized Dispersion Technology". I assume that these surrounds are an attempt to reduce diffraction effects. They are bi-wireable, and the general effect is one of conservative and very solid design.
Trying to research the history of these speakers has been a bit frustrating: Nuance still apparently exists in Canada, but is one of those furniture-store type of speaker, grossly over-priced, enabling salespeople to slash prices aggressively. They are not well thought of.
But, and this is where it gets a little more interesting, in their early days I believe that it was Winslow Burhoe, a designer with good credentials who was involved with Genesis and EPI, and who currently makes and markets his "Silent Speakers", who was their chief designer.
This makes some sense, as these speakers are surprising to say the least. They throw a wide, tall and deep image, and have an impressive bass extension (down to the low 20's). They are analytical, revealing, and not too demanding of placement - perhaps those plastic rings actually do work.
If anyone has any knowledge on these speakers I'd love to hear the info; the internet has been disappointing, especially the Nuance web-site.
I'm hoping to hear from someone!

jmtjoy's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 16 2007 - 7:46am
Re: Nuance Speakers - any info please?

Hi there. Sounds like you have a pair of Model 330's (91'-92' or so). Do the cabinets have a slight curve to them at the f&r edges?. They are 330's if they do. I know 4 people who actually own these. I believe they came after Nuance's first generation (50, 110, 220 & 440's-89'-90' or so). I have owned the 50's and still have my 440's that I bought in 1990. Winslow had a hand in designing all of these. I think the tweeter is the same in the 330 as in the 1st generation (a custom VIFA soft dome). The woofers are not the same. I still prefer my 440's for the refinement they provide through the midband but the 330's are no slouch and a very enjoyable speaker.I totally agree with your assesment of the sound. They throw a very spacious soundstage with the wave guides. They retailed for about $900-$1000 CDN here in Canada at the time (somewhat less than the 440 of 1st generation). The 7" driver in the 330 looks like it was custom made for Nuance possibly out of paper construction but effectively damped with some sort of coating. There is nothing wrong with this unlike what many will say. Paper has some great properties when it comes to speaker drivers. These early generation Nuance speakers are overlooked great buys on the used market. The 1st generation are extra special IMHO. Enjoy your speakers. $100.00?! Great buy. Winslow Burhoe-one of the greatest speaker designers for sure-lots of experience.

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