Coral 10CX-50 Coaxial drivers

Coaxial drivers are an odd beast. Two drivers in one, the coaxial attempts to be the best of both worlds; potentially offering both good bass energy and tonality but with uncompromised high frequency response that still originates as a point source, so your ear hears all of the information presented from the same precise point in space. The point source is one of the secrets to the amazingly life-like sound of a full range driver, and the antique Coral 10CX-50 driver presented here is the best implementation of the coaxial ideal that I’ve so far had the pleasure of owning.

The Coral 10CX-50 pictured below are one of the very best sounding drivers I have owned so far, bar none. Truly a full range speaker driver, these old beauties really deliver superior sound. What a surprise for me! I’ve owned a few coaixals so far, and while they can be nice, the versions with horn tweeters like this one have always proved fatiguing for me. These Corals break that streak; these sound very natural and full with no shout or harshness at all.

These old drivers make a very big and full sound. Rich with lower bass that many of the wide-band drivers just cant manage, these drivers seem to have been optimized very well by the engineers at Coral. The paper cones fill out the low and mid frequencies with adroitness, while the bullet horn tweeter makes up the top end, in this case with smoothness and finesse that is not what I can remember hearing in a bullet horn tweeter before. The transition is seamless and I can’t hear anything objectionable at all with the presentation of these drivers. At probably close to 100 db/wm these will sing with less than a watt of power. In back to back comparison, I choose these over the Coral Flat 10. The 10CX-50 don't seem to be common drivers, and antique horn tweeters can be problematic with aging diaphragms, etc. But, if you find a pair of these in good working condition, they are a treat and highly recommended.

Update Fall 2022: I’m now on my second pair of Coral 10CX50 drivers; the first pair suffered a blown tweeter and were sold and repaired by the new owner. After almost 2 years of off and on searching another pair popped up on eBay, this one in just pristine condition, and I am back in the coaxial business. This is a very pleasing driver in the Telefunken cabinets, I’m really not able to find anything objectionable, and it excels at filling the room with warmth and emotion like very few drivers do. It can be spooky realistic if that's in the program material’s ability. Bass is deep and controlled. And best of all its perfectly happy to make it magic with just a single watt of power, while the 16 ohm tap on the McIntosh 225 is perfection. Super highly recommended, you’ll be pleased with these.

Very nice looking coaxial drivers.

I guess Coral were going for a condenser microphone look. Maybe in back 1959 or 1961 this looked modern, but 60 years later its gone on to retro-cool.

This driver is all about heavy duty! Look at the massive frames on these. They look like something the US Army would commission for a tank.

Deeply variegated outer cone texture like this is always a sign of good quality in my experience. Rudy Bozak used a similar technique for his woofers, as did a number of Japanese drivers of the same 1950’s-60’s era including Coral, Pioneer, etc. The secret materials and techniques used to make these cones is likely lost to time now.

Fukuyo Sound Company manufactured Coral in the late 1950’s and early 60’s, changing its name to Coral Audio Corp later in the 60’s. This pair of drivers sure has seen some action (how do you beat up speaker drivers this much anyway?), and yet they work flawlessly. These are pushing 60 years old now.

Again, the massive construction of these drivers is impressive. These really look like beefed-up Beta series drivers.

Here they are mounted in the Telefunken open backed cabinets. The Coral 10CX-50 is quite a performer in this setup! Bass is huge and can be felt in the concrete floor, and the in-the-room-presence factor is dialed up to 11.

Nicely crafted drivers. These really remind me of some kind of evil science fiction character, maybe a Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica series.

Just really great looking antique Coral goodness.

One of the best looks I’ve had in this cabinet so far.