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Ancient ADS/NAD system - still any good?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   mark.wo--

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Posted June 04 2003 - 11:26 AM

I have a pair of 2-way ADS Model 400 speakers (8" woofer, 1' dome tweeter) that I bought back in high school 23 years ago (!). I'm running them off my 20 year old NAD 7100 receiver (50w/ch, 200 w/ch 'peak power').

Having lived overseas for several years, I recently hooked up this system again and it still sounds good. I just ordered a Sony M500 150w 12" subwoofer for the lower end, which the ADS's could use some help on. I'm also using this as a makeshift home theater system (with my Sony NC-665P dvd/cd changer).

My questions are:

Do speakers ever 'wear out' or lose sound quality from aging? Although they still sound great to my ears, perhaps a new setup would sound considerably better, if I could compare them side-by-side.

Is current speaker and receiver/amp technology much better than the stuff I have? I guess I would be looking at an integrated surround sound 5.1 package (satellites, sw and receiver). How much would I need to spend to get a setup that would sound *significantly* better than what I have?

Also, is there a way to add a center speaker to my stereo receiver? Perhaps somehow bridging the Speaker B outputs so that the signal would be monoraul?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Jason.Soko

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Posted June 04 2003 - 12:09 PM

My fathers 27 yr old ESS Model 5's with the Heil Air Motion Transformers on them just totally disintegrated at the driver rims Posted Image I want to get them fixed somehow. I still loved the way they sounded.
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#3 of 5 OFFLINE   James Edward

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Posted June 04 2003 - 03:16 PM

Ah, a/d/s and NAD. NAD still carrying on. What ever happened to a/d/s? They are still my favorite sounding speaker. I had 3 different pair between 1979 and 1996.

In my experience, a lot of what newer speakers bring to the table is the ability to play louder than their older counterparts. Pound for pound(or in this case woofer size), today's models can really crank out the decibels. Not necessarily sounding better, though.

I can make somewhat of a direct comparison in your case. Several years ago, I sold my '83 vintage a/d/s model 810's? to my brother in law after beginning my 5 channel quest. I also sold him an NAD 65 wpc integrated amp circa 1987. Whenever I go over to his home, I make it a point to listen to the old system for a little while. As I say, it won't play as loudly as my PSB 4T's and NAD T752 setup, but it certainly sounds as good. So yes, 20 year old gear can sound quite good.

Don't be surprised if your system compares favorably with a lot of other systems you may compare it to.

The A/D/S speakers I had have a rubber surround, and it is still pliable and not eaten away at all. I don't think foam surrounds generally last this long. I've never heard of voice coils being a problem just because of age, so you're probably fine. Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that newer must be better.

As for the center channel question- a lot of people will tell you that you don't need a center channel with speakers that image well. So it might not even be worth it to Rube Goldberg something on your 2 channel system.
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#4 of 5 OFFLINE   jeff morris

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Posted June 05 2003 - 04:14 AM

check out audiokarma.org

lots of useful information for vintage equipment like yours!Posted Image
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#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted June 05 2003 - 08:12 AM

Jason.Soko- Refoaming baffles is a common repair as long as the driver hasn't been damaged. Ask your local hifi store about it or go to the DIY threads and find out if it is something you can do yourself.