Review: Realistic Minimus 7 Monitor


Category: Speakers

During my annual visit to Palm Beach for the St. Edwards Church bazaar came across these Realistic Minimus 7 speakers. Have heard years upon years how good these little mini speakers were. So for $5.00 picked up a pair of these. At that price can't go wrong, can always resell or keep or give away if they do not impress, plus the few dollars spent went to a good cause. Although during the day spent far more than the $5.00 on other items.

The Realistic Minimus 7 speakers have been around in one brand or another for the past 30 years or so. Some Radio Shack stores may have stock left under the RCA badge.

This reminds me of another product from that era, the NAD 3020 integrated amp, another over achiever, that continues to impress to this day.

Although this is my first pair of the Minimus 7, I can hear what the fuss is all about. I wasn't prepared to hear what came from these mini monitors. They can clearly hold thier own with speakers that cost considerably more and deliver far less performance than the Minimus 7. As jaded as I am now some 50 years into this hobby, I am mightily impressed with the Minimus 7. At their price point when new they were in my opinion an outright steal. To bad I snubbed these for years only to find them many years down the road.

They do so may things well, that it is hard to fault them for the minor short comings they have. Certainly this pair have the depth and sound stage and overall signature that most audiophiles are searching for. Did find the floor stands as well for these as well. Been told that these stands are quite rare and a difficult find today.

Lately ordered the upgrade kit from a vendor on another auction site, as the reviews on the upgrade are very positive. The upgrade crossover kit has been installed on these and have made a considerable sonic improvement of an already superior speaker. The upgrade kit is $21.95 and I highly recommend getting it. The definition between the woofer and tweeter is greatly enhanced, and reduces some of the directness the Minimus 7 have. It's a breeze to install and worth every penny.

No the Minimus 7 will not fill a large room with thunderous bass. But given a size of a bedroom or average den/library these little guys will deliver the music big time, fit damn near anywhere and one will certainly never have to make an excuse for them.

I have tested them on a 50 watt Reciever as well as separates and the better the front end the better they deliver the music, full and rich with style and definition.

The originial designer of these can take a deep bow, as this person definitley knew what they were doing. To deliver this can of performance in such a small package was no mean feat.

At their price point in the used market, they are a no brainer to grab. Further research tells me that those that were produced in Japan are the ones to get and to avoid the Korea made units. Why I have no idea. They came in a variety of finishes Black, Silver, White metal and Walnut Wood Veneer cabinents. The most common is the black metal finish.

I am not crazy about the speaker connections on the back as they are of the spring loaded variety and limit one to about 16 gauge speaker wire and doesn't appear to be an upgrade for that. In all honesty thats about my only quibble with the Minimus 7.

Am I having a blast with these - You bet I am. And I am sure other members here have their own story about these over achievers, with points and tips to get even more out of them. So chime in and post your comments. For me a great find that put a silly grin on my face and that's hard to do for as long as I have been in this hobby.

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ferrari
What a coincidence.Here is a post I just left on another thread.

I've had a pair of Radio Shack Minimus 7's on my back porch for 20+ years.After several hurricanes and no telling how man backyard parties,they are still going strong.I can't explain why they have lasted so long and frankly,I don't really care,as long as they continue to do so.
I agree with you completely. Pairs of them with the upgraded crossovers accompanied my two daughters all the way through graduate and law schools, and a girlfriend through a wonderful romance with me, from my point of view at least, a tragic breakup and a reconciliation with her ex-husband.

All are still going strong and sounding wonderful. I have a fourth pair in the basement, just in case.
I had used mine mostly for car speakers. They were great until they got stolen. Since then (early 70's) I have never added any aftermarket audio in any of my cars. Several friends bought them after hearing mine. Ahhh the good old days. It is amazing that they are still going good. Not sure when the crossover upgrade became available but it sure sounds interesting.

Congrats on your find. BTW I paid $19 for mine in the mid 70's
Interesting review. I owned a pair of those years ago; had them suspended on a wall in my bedroom. They served very well in that regard. Can't recall where they went.
Great little speakers. So are the Model 77s, same shape and appearance but slightly larger.
I also think they sound great. I've had a pair which I purchased thirty years ago. I use them as computer speakers now, but did use them as rear surrounds for a while. When I purchased them I had not idea how I would use them but they sounded so great, I just had to have them as a collectors item.
WHere did you get the crossover upgrade kit? Is it a DIY project?
Thanks.
Here's a link to the ebay auction for one of the crossover kits.

If the auction has expired you can search for another by 'minimus 7' or by the seller, 'litekeys.' He's been selling them there for years.
I have a white and black pair, very nice.

Try them with the metal grills off (they're held on with a sticky type of putty)
I sold many a pair years ago working at Radio Shack! These and the $50 Realistic version of the Shure V15 type 4 MM cart were two audio gold standards at RS that I dished out to many for years!

I have had a pair of wood cased Minimus 7s out on my deck now for 12 years with just a small overhang to protect them from direct elements. The veneer is pretty worn and the grille cloth has taken on a lovely olive green color, but they are still going strong and for their size are quite competitive with all my other much more expensive speaks on the same system.
I miss the OLD Radio Shack, they had a great selection of good sounding speakers, driver replacements, etc, all for cheap.

Now, I walk in and ask for a tuning knob or resistor, I get a cross-eyed look and they ask me if I want to buy a damn cell phone or Ipod crap.
Amen to that Rx8man. Fortunately here there is one RS store left from that period of time. Been a RS store from 1955. He still has a lot of that great old inventory, plus he has great advice and help on anything you buy. But you are quite right the RS stores of today are a mere shell of what they once were. I also remember the Lafayette, Olson, Allied and Heathkit stores of long ago. Spent many long days in these stores as a novice starting in this hobby in 1957. Great memories.
Ferrari,
I was born in 57 and remember ALL those place so well, including Tokoyo Shapiro and a couple others, the fun days turned into the internet, a good thing and bad at the same time.
BTW, I deliver Lexus and high-end exotics including Ferraris !
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Minimus 7's can be located here -

Audiokarma
After reading all this I was motivated to get the Minimus 7's out of the box in the basement and hook them up to the Jolida FX10 EL-84 amp I recently bought for my office.

What an amazing sound for such a small package! I added an 8" Mirage subwoofer and that really made things sound complete. I used an iPod with Apple Lossless files in a dock with a line out connection. Very, very cool setup.
Can anyone compare the sound of the Minimus 7 to the a/d/s L200 or L300?

Thanks.
Can anyone compare the sound of the Minimus 7 to the a/d/s L200 or L300?
During the early 1980's I had a pair of Minimus 7's and a pair of L300's, each used at various times in a second or third system. I preferred the ADS's, although I can't recall the differences too specifically. I still have the ADS's, in a third system, and they produce gorgeous, lush sound in conjunction with a 1952 Radiocraftsmen 10 mono tuner and a 1961 H. H. Scott 299C integrated amp.

Happy holidays!

-- Al
Thanks Al, Happy Holidays! I think I would lean more towards the A/D/S also. Happy Holidays To All!

Bruce
I was managing a Radio Shack store when they first came out, about '79. I couldn't understand why such a small speaker would cost $49. Then I hooked one up.

I remember them as one of the very early for-runners to the small big sounding bookshelf speakers. I wasn't always proud when folks listened to the RS speakers, but I was when they listened to these. People who had very fine equipment would buy these and make my day. I sold a ton of these things, and after all these years it still makes me feel good to hear nice things about them from people I respect.
I own both the Minimus 7s and Braun L200s, the predecessor to the ADS version. I still use the L200s in my office, and have just refoamed the woofer surrounds.

The L200 was a more expensive speaker, the only thing they have in common with the Minimus 7s is a cast metal cabinet. I recall seeing response curves showing the L200 frequency response is more even. Subjectively, the L200s are less bright than the M7s, and the bass is more honest, though neither of these speakers will produce serious bass. It's the midrange of the L200s that is most seductive.

The Minimus 7s have always sounded bright to me. Personally I like that punchy, bright sound better in a HT setup, but not in a serious listening or office/background music setting. They are certainly an impressive speaker for the price, and mine have aged well. In fact, I'm looking to pair them with a powered woofer unit and cross them over at +/- 200hz. I'm not looking for deep low end, just a powered woofer design to fill out the bottom of the Minimus 7s. Anyone have any suggestions?
I found my little 7w beauties at an estate sale along with a miller kreisel dx-70 that needed refoaming. Total cost including refoaming kit...$30!!! I live in a "not so big" house, and this system totally fills it with great sound (especially since I did the M7 upgrade kit)! Best sounding small system I have had.
Categorically speaking, there are very few speakers that make my heart skip a beat when I see them up for sale at a thrift store or yard sale. The Minimus 7s are in that category. They are that good. Last week I was at the local Goodwill store and I saw four (4) white Minimus 7s and one pair of white Minimus 77s, all bunched together on a rolling cart, getting ready to be placed on a shelf. Uh uh...no way, grabbed all of them (the 77s were heavy as heck, had to run to get a cart). I put them all in a shopping cart before I even bothered to look at the price. $4.99 each for the 7s AND the 77s!! $35 for the lot. No testing in the store but fully refundable within 7 days...(lots of "7s" in this deal). Scurried home and hooked them up through my Yamaha HTR-5940 and slowly cranked the volume on the 77s first. Bummer. Crackling, intermittent buzzing and sound told me they were shot. Hooked up the 7s and managed to score two nearly perfect speakers. After more than enough time spent disassembling all the rest, checking the wiring, cones, etc I decided to be content with two great little 7s and took the rest back. I figured some other person could deal with the issues. Not me. Too impatient. You see, I'm retired...been an audiophile my whole life and now I buy and sell stereo gear as a hobby. I still like the thrill of the hunt. This find was a good one. There's more out there...waiting. Cheers.
Bought a pair many years ago for the garage workbench. I used them with a nice vintage Marantz integrated. I was never impressed at all, although they were solid and pretty durable. I eventually threw them away.
I have a pair out on my deck that I run off my main system with 500w/ch Class D amps.

The veneer has weathered a lot over the last 16 or so summers they've been out there (no direct exposure to elements due to an overhang aboove them) but I still enjoy them a lot out there.