Pioneer CS-05 vintage speaker pair, $4.

Back in the 1970's, pioneer had an entire line of "CS" speakers, most of which were characterized by their wood veneer and wiggly lattice grilles. Models like the CS-99, CS-99A, CS-77 and CS-77 are common sights at yard sales, flea markets and thrift shops all over the place. People aren't clamoring all over the place for these speakers on eBay, but among the lattice style eBay speakers, the CS-99 and CS-99A appear to be the most desirable (by the way, the easiest way to tell the CS-99 from the CS-99A is the fact that the faces under the grilles on the 99 are black, and on the 99A are veneer.)

The CS-05 is a bit different from most speakers you're going to encounter. Three tweeters, mounted 60 degrees apart, face outward to provide sound in every direction. And a driver that's mounted in the base, facing downward, does the same thing. The fact that these speakers literally scatter sound in all directions makes them omni-directional, since you don't have to have them "aimed" in a particular direction to get great sound.

For some reason, people really dig the 1970s look of the Pioneer CS series of speaker. And what I believe to be best profile to keep in mind out of all the CS series is the CS-05 speakers we have here in this example, for a few reasons.

First of all, they're actually out there to be found, always an important consideration. It does you little good to pack your head with information and profiles of things you're never likely to see!

Second, they can often be found really cheap, like $4 a pair. Although some eBay bidders will really go for these speakers, most folks nowadays simply find them, well, homely.

Third, their manageable size makes them relatively easy to pack up for shipment.

And finally, they sell quite well on eBay, bringing in around $150 to $200 a pair on the average.

Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind when you find a pair of these CS-05 speakers.

The lattice woodwork on these speakers is relatively fragile, and it's pretty close to the ground, making it subject to damage from just about everything you can imagine - from shoes to kids' toys to pets. Be sure to inspect the lattice carefully because your bidders don't want busted up speaker lattices.

Notice that the tops of these speakers are just begging to have stuff put on top of them. And most of the people who bought these speakers did just that, which is why it's so common to find these speakers with dents, cigarette burns, stains, water marks and all sorts of other damage to their tops. Your eBay bidders won't want to buy speakers with nasty, gnarly tops.

If you can't hear the speakers operate, don't pay more than a few dollars a pair unless they're in perfect physical condition. Although the CS-05 speakers are nice little scores, they're certainly no goldmines, and aren't worth spending a bunch of time on to track down and repair problems. There's no reason to pay more than a few dollars for something you may have to put out by the trash later in the day.

Something to keep in mind here is that the speaker drivers in the CS-05 used paper surrounds that last for many years, instead of the foam surrounds that were notorious for rotting to pieces and needing replacement. Note that the speaker in our photo above actually has a small rip in the surround, which has no bearing on the sound whatsoever. These speakers sold on eBay for $195.

Photo of Pioneer CS-05 stereo speakers