After looking at the cheap and very poorly made Divinci speakers a few days ago, we are now going to have a look at the completely opposite end of the spectrum Bozak Speakers. These speakers were top of the line when they came out, designed for pure audio enthusiasts who only wanted the absolute best money could buy. Sadly Bozak speakers dissolved as a business in the 1980’s, but their range of speakers can still be found for sale second hand. In this article we are going to talk about what happened to the company, and looking at some of the more popular models that they sold over the years.
Are Bozak speakers any good?
Even though Bozak ceased trading over 30 years ago, their speakers are still considered to be some of the best ever made. Market demand is still high for used sets in good working order, and these sets are snapped up fast. This is a good indication of how good they are. Let’s have a look at their history below, to give you a better idea why they are held in such high regard.
A brief history of Bozak
Bozak as a company was formed in the early 1950s by Rudy Bozak. As an electronic designer, he created several distinctive speaker designs over the years. In 1950 he was hired by a company called Mcintosh Laboratory to develop a driver for their speakers. Over the next two years he made a variety of different driver designs, including one that was the core of the McIntosh F100 speaker system which ended up selling quite well. Unfortunately Mcintosh decided not to take his designs any further, which frustrated Mr Bozak as there was clearly a market for this kind of upmarket audio technology. This lead him to found his own company, so he could focus on making high quality audio equipment under the Bozak Speakers brand.
Over the next few decades, Mr Bozak put out a variety of unique and creative audio products, many of which are still very highly rated today. In 1977 Rudy Bozak sold the company, although he was kept on in a consultant role to oversee the production of new products. Rudy Bozak passed away in 1982, and the company was re-organised by his wife and son in law the following year. The company enjoyed a brief bit of renewed success thanks to this move, but after a series of disastrous decisions the company finally met an end in 1986. The name was then bought up by Chinese buyers, who wanted to use the name to produce their own range of speakers. It was a sad end to what had been a very innovative company, but their products do still live on through their very good reputation.
Now let’s take a look at some of their more popular models that they produced.
Bozak Concert Grand Speakers
Bozak B4000 Symphony Speakers
Bozak B302A Speakers
Bozak CMA 10 2DL Mixer
Speakers weren’t the only product that the company made, as they also started producing Bozak rotary mixers in the early 1960s. This culminated in their best selling Bozak CMA 10 2DL mixer being released, which quickly grew in reputation due to the fantastic quality it offered. High quality Allen-Bradley components were used in the production of these units, and all the transistors were hand picked to ensure their quality.
The were also made using a modular kind of design, which helped to ensure easy servicing and expansion. These Bozak mixer models were hugely popular with the rise of discotheques, and the company continued to make and sell them after the death of Rudy Bozak. Even today these models are still sought after, which goes to show how great their workmanship really was.
So that is a look at some of the more popular Bozak speakers and mixers they sold over the years. If you are lucky enough to get hold of one of these items in good condition, make sure you hang onto it as these are collectors items now. They are part of a bygone era were quality was considered first, and built to last. The Bozak company may be long gone, but their products will likely be around for a very long time.
So where can you find them for sale? Ebay is often a good starting point, as you will occasionally find a decent quality model on there. Otherwise if you know of any audio stores near you that sell second hand speakers, it is worth asking them if they can keep an eye out for some. Keep in mind though that some of these speaker systems are very big and heavy, so you will a suitable form of transport, and something like a platform trolley to help move them around. It is worth the effort though, as the sound quality will blow you away!
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Bozak also had a speaker kit where you assembled the cabinet and wired the speaker yourself. You got 2 speakers. My dad bought one of these sets and “built it himself”, and Mom still has it. When completed the cabinets were about the height of a dining room table coming from the floor. This was either the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. Coupled with a Garrard record player and Maranatz receiver, you didn’t dare set the volume past 2 or 3 in your home. if you did, something would blow out, and it would not be the cones of the Bozaks either. It’d be either the windows in the building or even worse your eardrums that would blow out. Just as the kitchen range was the heart of the rural country home in the U.S.A. up to the 1940’s, the Bozaks were the heart of ours.
Mom and Dad never moved to a different home without ’em. Many of times these speakers played Simon and Garfunkel, Minnie Rippleton, Jim Croce, Richie Havens, Carol King, and others along with a lot of Jazz, Soft Rock and EZ Listening. Lord knows what might have happened if we played Rush, Quiet Riot or especially AC/DC’s song Thunderstruck through this [way beyond] Hi Fidelity speaker system.
The difference between the Bozaks and other speakers, including most of the most high ones, was that they sounded so good, you’d swear it was live unless it was on vinyl. It was beyond “is it live or is it Memorex?”! You’d feel not as if you got front row seats at a concert, but instead as if you were right next to the performer/speaker either on stage or in the recording studio. Old Bozaks from the 60’s and 70’s often sound better than BRAND NEW Polk Audio,
JBLs, & Harman Kardon,offerings today. The sound was clearer than even some of the BEST Bluetooth speakers today. The only way to get better is to switch to Marshall Amplifiers or the [‘old school’] Peavey ones [not the junk they sell today], and those two brands are generally sold only to Rock and Rap bands, not the home stereo market. If I remember right he bought his pair from Beatty Stereo, a now defunct dealer that sold NOTHING BUT the best in stereo.
If I understand right Beatty Stereo (based in Kansas City) was the only place you could buy Bozaks in Missouri or Kansas for many years.
If Mom decides to get rid of them or dies, I intended to get these, even if I have to buy ’em at an estate auction or something! It doesn’t matter to me if I get little else.
Thank you very much for your detailed post. Bozak Speakers were very special products, and tales like yours make us sad that these fine products are no longer around. We haven’t heard about the self assembly kits before though – do you perhaps have any pictures of the speakers, or have an idea what the model name or numbers are? We would love to get some more info on this if you have any to share!
My dad build one before I was born. He died recently and now we don’t know what to do with it!!! If anyone could make use of it send me an email soon.
I own a pair of bozak speaker and love them. The outside is in bad condition, but the speakers sound good. I believe they are called legacy model. Which model did your dad build ? Are they in good shape ? Are they still around, Laura. Take care.
Just came across a pair of Bozak, LS250’s in a house clean out job. Cleaned off the dust and hooked up to my Yamaha receiver and wow! That’s sound! I haven’t just sat and listened to music in a long time. Now I can’t stop. Can’t find any info on the LS250’s though. Why not? When were they produced? What are they worth? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for getting in touch. I’ve never heard of the LS250 series – do you perhaps have a photo of these speakers? Does anyone else have any info on these speakers?
LS 250 was built in the late 70’s- early 80’s- it was mid range in the Listener Series (LS) 400 being the top and 200 the bottom- all sound good compared to anything today.
The 250 has a 12” woofer and they really sound great. Many Bozak purists don’t like these because they were made after Rudy sold – but before he passed so I believe he still had an impact on the design.
I built a pair of B-4000’s from plans in the late 70’s. I first heard them in a recording studio in Milwaukee Wisconsin. They were used as studio monitors! My midrange drivers are on their third set of cones. The first rebuild was done by Bill Kytekel (?) of N.E.A.R. (New England Audio Research) He used to work for Bozak and was able to take all of the tooling and materials knowledge for the woofers, midranges, and tweeters when Bozak folded. This was back in the 90’s. He could have rebuilt the tweeters to extend their range out to about 19 to 20k. Even the Z tweeters rolled off pretty steeply after about 16k. These aluminum cones in the midrange’s lasted until 2005 when one of the cones cracked. Bill by this time was consulting engineering for Bogen and couldn’t do anything for me. I finally found a place in Michigan called Circuit Service just south of Grand Rapids. All they pretty much do is recone drivers. They put in a special reinforced polypropylene cone material. I have a Soundcraftsmen pink noise generator and calibrated microphone and have done a scan and there is no measurable difference! I wouldn’t give up my Bozak’s for anything!
Hi Phil, thanks for your response. Those B-4000’s are indeed something special. Hopefully your info helps anyone else in that area who needs their cones replaced.
When deciding to go from Stromberg-Carlson stereo to different system in 1963, stereo shop where I purchased my console gave me excellent advice and first living room purchase was an eight foot three piece solid wood hand crafted cabinet with Macintosh pre amp and amp complete with Bozak Speakers. Tho price seemed high to my husband I assured him the only thing we would ever replace might be turn table, tape player or radio. We did upgrade amps from tube to solid state transistors a few years later and when kids came along we moved stereo components to closet in den leaving speakers in LR and adding Bozak speakers in den. Here we are in same house in 2021 still enjoying this wonderful system having added only a CD player. Albums and CDs sound as good if not better than ever.
Hi Ruby, thank you for taking the time to add your story. Clearly you made the right choice in buying Bozak speakers all those years ago. It is fantastic to hear they are still going strong, a testament to how good they are!
My neighbor (1970’s) had Bozak spkrs. Model? I don’t remember. And a tube stereo console. Model?? Boy let me tell U that Stereo system, volume at about 1/4, would have the whole block Bouncing-literally. He never blasted it. Didn’t need to. Just walking by his house U could feel the force. He listened to Jazz. As a kid we would take our albums (funk/r&b) to him to play. Grudgingly he would. Man what an experience.
Nice to find this thread about Bozak speakers. I have owned Bozaks since high school days in the 1950’s starting with the base model and ending up with a pair of B305’s which unfortunately are in storage since I don’t have enough space to use them. I see a sold price of $500 for one unit and I wonder if this is realistic If so, I will get them out, have them tested, and probably sell them. Any comments would be appreciated.
I was lucky enough to find Bozak model B-301A tempo II speakers in great condition, hooked them to an old school Marantz 2230 and it was music to my ears. Close my eyes and would swear there were musicians right in the room with me. Born and raised in the town where they were built which is an added bonus.
was given a set of b-305 contemporary speakers 10 or so years ago that belonged to a friends parents. one woofer was chuffing so i bought a set of 2 on fleebay. need to recap and mod xovers but sound is awesome as they are.
I know this is an old thread, but I want to contribute my experience with my Bozak B4000 Classics from 69/8. As we don’t usually do in Idaho, I got these by trading a Mossberg 12 ga. pump shotgun. I was grateful and relieved that the drivers remained undisturbed, though the cabinets were big, stinky, and disgusting to my wife. I was in correspondence with Pat Tobin around 2010, trying to learn as much as I could about Bozak. I was saddened to learn of his passing. I got with my woodworking neighbor and re-finished the cabinets with oak veneer while re-creating the plinths and front panels from solid oak. I replaced the linen grill cloth with brown polyester over textured foam toolbox liner (again, Idaho), while retaining the oiled bronze lattice screens. I found a shop to replace the capacitors. I hedged for a long time on whether or not to employ the “Tobin Mod” to the crossovers but decided to keep them original. I also found that the midrange polarity had not been reversed at the factory as had been discussed. I’m a Heresy guy so I’m not afraid if things get a bit shrill or zizzy as also discussed. I was very careful to return all of the nasty original batting back inside the cabinets. I wasn’t about to let any of the “smoke” out. I run an Adcom 5500, Carver C-1 preamp, Yamaha 5.1 surround, and an amplified subwoofer switched to the OFF position. I do not consider myself an audiophile. This was actually my first system upgrade in 30 years. I’ll stop by saying that these speakers great!