Bozak B-305 Century

Bozak is a brand of yesterday that I have a fondness for. In the past I’ve owned the Bozak B199a drivers, beautifully constructed 12 inch woofers with coaxially mounted tweeters. While the tweeters left something to be desired, I found the big woofer to be nearly a wide band driver, capable of a very rich midrange and nice deep bass tone in an open baffle. But Bozak is really famous for huge speakers, with cabinets roughly the size and shape of a refrigerator and weighing 200 pounds or more. I’ve read a number of conflicting accounts of the big league Bozaks, but had never heard a pair.

And one day a restored pair of Bozak B-305 Century speakers came up near me. Arriving at the house I was greeted by a 92-year-old audiophile, who at the spry age of 80 had driven from Maryland to Detroit to pick up these huge old speakers from the estate of a college music director. Getting them home, this gentleman had meticulously built new crossovers based on the famed Tobin mods, and had then enjoyed the speakers for several years. But they had been unused for a long time before I brought them home, and he (and his wife) were happy to see these big speakers go to someone who would use them.

But I have to say, the first few moments were tough. The speakers sounded pretty terrible. I had removed a pair of Lii F15 baffles and replaced them with the B-305, and it was an immediate huge step backwards. I had expected some break in would be needed, but this level of performance was going to be hard to sit through. Had I made a big mistake? I let them run as often as I could, resisting the urge to give up and go back to the Lii panels. And gradually over two weeks or so we all noticed the Bozaks open up and become clear, vibrant and alive once more.

The Bozak B-305 sound extremely good to me in our large open living/dining room/kitchen space! From 20 feet or more away they can sound ridiculously real, and with images so big that on something realistically recorded like a small jazz quartet, it does actually seem like the players are all in the room and preforming in real space. The sound is clean and clear, if perhaps a little thicker than I am normally used to. With some volume behind it the speaker is nicely detailed, but doesn't come close to a good full range driver’s incisiveness. But the Bozak’s strength is a big, bold and richly layered presentation that just feels “right”. Music is very pleasing, and it is easy to just sit and get lost in it. This speaker can make some powerful, room vibrating bass tones and it is excellent at saturating the rest of the house in it’s ambiance when cranked up enough. And with 40 watts of KT88, the B-305 can play pretty damn loud and still be clean. But it isn’t a wide open disturb-the-neighborhood speaker like a big horn would be, its more laid back. I think this must the “east coast” sound I’ve read about.

I don't see too many big Bozak speakers for sale, and when they do come up they seem to span the gamut in price. I like my B-305 very much, and would be hard pressed to part with them, but my pair have been updated with a modern crossover so it may not be very true in performance to the original. That makes its hard to recommend the speaker in its stock form. But souped up a little bit, the B-305 is absolutely worth your time. If you have the space for two small wooden refrigerators in your listening space, that is. Find a pair and save them from the junk heap.

Not quite the behemoth that the Concert Grand is, the B-305 is still a large speaker at 36 inches wide and 145 pounds. For Bozak this is more of a mid-sized speaker.

Overall I have to say that this is my favorite living room system so far.