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Older Advent Floor Standing Speakers...


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#1 of 31 Matt_Smi

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Posted April 30 2004 - 12:09 PM

I am currently using a pair of older Advent floor standing speakers (no model numer but says "The Advent Loudspeaker" on the back) that my Uncle gave them to me a while back for the front speakers in my setup. They must be around 15-20 or so years old, but they have each had their 12” woofers replaced with new ones. So they are in pretty good condition. I think that they sound great for their age, and the cabinets on them are very high quality, much better than most of the cheap materials you see used today, and they where made in Cambridge U.S.A. They honestly sound better than a lot of the speakers I have listened to today. My question is, was Advent once a respectable company when it came to speakers? It seems like all they make now are smaller speakers. Is anyone using an older pair of Advents? I would like to upgrade my speakers, but I don’t really have the money, and don’t really know much about these speakers that I have. Thanks for any input you can give on Advent! BTW I found a few pictures of my same exact Advents (link below) so you can get an idea of which ones they are.


http://fisherdoctor.com/nadvent.html

#2 of 31 Michael R Price

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Posted April 30 2004 - 01:25 PM

They're pretty good as you say, one of my friends got some from his grandparents. They do have an impressive bass, not as quick or clean as some newer speakers but good fun to listen to. The original orange tweeters on his went bad, but he got a pair of replacements, metal dome type I think, which work fine (I haven't listened to those much). I think the midrange on these speakers is a bit hoarse or hollow sounding, which is fine but maybe the crossover could be improved to fix it. Heck my speakers have that kind of problem in the midrange too and I'm plenty happy with them.

Of course Advent used to be respected (in the 1970s?), I wish I knew what happened to them. I'll ask my friend if he knows.

#3 of 31 TimMc

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Posted April 30 2004 - 02:27 PM

Matt -
The original Large Advent was really a classic in its time - and that's probably what you have? Depending on which model you actually have (shiny finish like that eBay link or original walnut, etc.) they are fairly big, solid, bookshelf speakers (honestly - that's how they were sold way back then) and they could last forever. The woofers usually need surrounds replaced (yup, mine did, too) but other than that the vast majority last and last. There were all sorts of "polite discussions" about whether 2- or 3-way systems & crossovers were superior and those Advents were often one of the main "exhibit A's" for the 2-way camp.

As much as technology marches forward, there will still be examples like those Advents of how much things really haven't changed all that much. Heck - the cabinets on those things are probably more substantial and solid than 90+% of anything you could buy new today. Advent was a very respectable company when those things were first sold.

#4 of 31 Matt_Smi

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Posted April 30 2004 - 02:46 PM

I found a few pictures of my exact same Advents! I guess they are called "The New Advent"


http://fisherdoctor.com/nadvent.html

#5 of 31 Arthur S

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Posted April 30 2004 - 02:47 PM

Advent was another company in which Henry Kloss (the K in KLH) was a lot of the brain power. Something curious. Advent is the legal name of a new business before a real name is given. In this case, they just kept the name. Perhaps a tribute to new thinking.

The original Advent was a very handsome, substantial "book shelf" speaker, though at about 25 inches high could be used on the floor. I agree with Michael on the bass. It was quite extended, but not quite as quick or clean as some others of that time. As I recall, the woofer cone was closer to a 10 inch (or smaller) in a 12 inch spider, but made up for it with a very flexible foam surround. This was also significant as the Advent was a sealed box, not vented. By making the surround pliant, with a free air resonance of maybe 15 Hz, you were able to generate a lot of bass. These sealed boxes were known as "acoustic suspension".

The other major innovation was the tweeter/midrange. The Advent tweeter was made of one piece of treated paper with a dome in the center and a wide "surround". What this meant was that the crossover from the woofer to the tweeter could take place at a much lower frequency.

The ideal speaker would be a single point source, i.e., one driver for the whole spectrum. The Advent made the most of a 2-way design.

The Advents (and then later the Smaller Advent) were very popular in the 70's: competing both with KLH and Acoustic Research. Henry Kloss went on to bigger things including perhaps the first front projector system of moderate price.

The one weakness of the Advents was the foam woofer surround. As other companies have found out, foam is good when it is new but deteriorates badly over time, turning to dust.

I know a guy who still has his original Advents. He too had to replace the woofers.

In the 70's the Advents were the speaker to beat.

Hang on to 'em.

Artie

#6 of 31 Michael R Price

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Posted April 30 2004 - 03:07 PM

So that could explain why I remember the midrange sounding hoarse, if the crossover is at something like 1KHz. Most 1" dome tweeters are hard pressed to go below 2KHz without significant distortion.

#7 of 31 Arthur S

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Posted April 30 2004 - 03:19 PM

Michael

Yes, most 1 inch metal domes can't handle down to 1,000 Hz.

#8 of 31 Danny Tse

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Posted April 30 2004 - 06:59 PM

I think Advent still made some very respectable speakers well into the early 90s....the Baby Advents, the Graduate, the Prodigy, etc.... By that time, Advent also updated and reissued a new version of the Large Advent. During the 80s and the 90s, Advent was one of the brands under Recoton Corp.; Recoton also owns Acoustic Research (AR) and NHT. Last year, NHT was sold to Rockford. Shortly after that, Recoton went belly-up. AR, the speaker division, was purchased by Audiovox; the cable or accessories division went to Gemini Industries. Advent? Don't know.

I hope someone revive this once respected name in loudspeakers.
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#9 of 31 Greg Bright

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Posted April 30 2004 - 11:35 PM

I'm still using my vintage Large Advents that I bought in 1971 for $250/pair in walnut. I've had to replace the woofer surrounds twice in that time. The woofers are 6 1/2 in. in a twelve in. spider. The crossover to the tweeter was 1500 Hz. The reissued design that came out a few years ago used a completely different woofer. To me they have always sounded like they were playing though a veil. One popular approach in the seventies was stacked Advents - two per side. I'll never get rid of them.

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#10 of 31 Matt_Smi

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Posted May 01 2004 - 03:54 AM

After reading these posts and reviews on audioreview.com, it sounds like these speakers where just about top of the line back when they came out. And they can still hold their own today. Makes me feel better about them! The only problem is how would I match a center to them? (Right now I am just not using a center) Same with matching surrounds, I am currently using some cheap Sony floor standing speakers as my surrounds. But if I upgraded I would not know what to do with. Also I wonder what the power handling of the Advents is? I would guess a lot, I have had them up very loud with my Sony receiver which (supposedly) put out 100 watts per channel, and I have never heard any distortion or cracking from them. But I would hate to blow them.

#11 of 31 Jack Briggs

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Posted May 01 2004 - 04:46 AM

All this talk of "respectable" — good grief, guys, the original Larger Advent Speaker was a freaking classic, one of the best acoustic-suspension bookshelf speaker systems on the market in the mid-seventies.

One of the most impressive affordable setups audiophiles concocted circa 1975 was the so-called "Double Advent System." Basically, two Larger Advents per side in a two-channel music system. One such system I heard at the time featured Double Advents being run by a Crown DC-300 power amp being fed by a Crown IC-150 preamp.

The openness and transparency of the sound was more akin to a good electrostatic, albeit one with good "oomph" in the bass, along with impressive dynamic range — all courtesy of dynamic drivers.

Also impressive was the second model of the era, the Smaller Advent Speaker.

#12 of 31 Edward J M

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Posted May 01 2004 - 06:08 AM

Still running my "New Advent Large" circa 1978 in the upstairs rig. The woofers have been refoamed once, and still look good today.

The "tweeter" is actually a combination mid-range and tweeter, with a doughnut shaped outer surface, and a parabolic inner dome (almost like a Vifa ring tweeter).

The large radiating surface area of this driver, combined with ferrofluid cooling (big back then), easily allowed a 1,500 Hz xo. This driver exhibits an effortless midrange (reminds me of a horn at times), bringing snap and life to snare drum, brass, and vocals that even today is still hard to match.

The Advents far fall short of today's offerings in terms of imaging, depth of soundstage, and inner detail. But for casual listening, they still bring a smile with excellent overall balance and that famous Advent bass.
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#13 of 31 Craig Chase

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Posted May 01 2004 - 08:15 AM

I bought a pair of powered Advents in 1979 ... They were bi-amped with some very powerful 80 watt amps... and were an amazing loudspeaker...

The Stacked Advents with the right amp was also a wonderful system... Sold a lot of those in the late 70's...

good memories... now if somone wants to talk the Old Electrovoice Interface series...
Craig Chase

#14 of 31 Michael R Price

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Posted May 01 2004 - 08:59 AM

Aren't the woofers actually somewhere between 8 and 10 inches in size?

#15 of 31 Edward J M

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Posted May 01 2004 - 09:04 AM

Quote:
Aren't the woofers actually somewhere between 8 and 10 inches in size?


Yes, it's an odd size, like 9" nominal, IIRC. They offer really decent SPL (for their time), and get down to around 30 Hz strong.
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#16 of 31 Alex F.

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Posted May 02 2004 - 08:43 AM

Craig:

I recall the old Electro-Voice Interface speakers. E-V introduced them at the hi-fi show in NYC (1972?). I clearly recall the marketing effort--small box, yet big bass and wide dynamic range. The Interface used some then-untapped Thiel (not Thiel, the manufacturer) theories, if I recall correctly. I'm sure I still have the E-V brochure buried in a box with other product literature from the period.

They sounded stunning at the show, but I never once saw them again anywhere.

I would love to hear more about them, the good and the bad.

#17 of 31 Andy Goldstein

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Posted May 02 2004 - 12:31 PM

advents are wonderful speakers! i bought a pair, new, in 1978. refoamed about 10 years ago. last year i bought a bunch of parts on ebay, and i now have a pair of doubles in the front, along with a double for the center channel. sides and rear are r-s minimus 7s, which sound very similar to the advents, except no deep bass. rears are going to be custom-made smaller advents, once i get the new bookcases installed in the back of the room.

i picked up a pair in walnut for 50 bux last year, and foamed them for 25. well worth 75 bux!!!

enjoy them, they are hard to beat!

btw, mine were rated at 15 watts MINIMUM, no maximum in home use with musical material. you might try a 3 amp fuse in series with the input lead, per advents recommendation.


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#18 of 31 NickSo

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Posted May 02 2004 - 02:37 PM

Heh, funny this thread came up.

I was over at my dad's friends house fixing his computer, and he's a real avid collector of vintage audio stuff, he has A LOT of audio equipment, amps, speakers, turntables, etc. Anyways, we were talking, and i mentioned that I was planning on building a small (ie. Cheap!) sound system in my room consisting of a CD player, a vintage amp, and some cheap bookshelves. after hearing this, and he offered to GIVE (though my dad suggested i should pay him what i could afford) to me a vintage kenwood reciever + intergrated amp, as well as a pair of speakers. One of the speakers he had were those vintage advents, the other pair were a vintage pair of bose (they're pretty big as well, but how do they sound?).

They (the advents) were pretty huge for what I was looking for though, but after hearing all your feedback, i might try to adjust the flexy rack im gonna be building and try to accomadate a pair of advents. If not, ill bring home the bose and give those a whirl.

Addendum: can anybody do me a favor and gimme the dimensions of the 'new advent's? thanks


#19 of 31 Matt_Smi

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Posted May 03 2004 - 03:52 AM

Nick,

If the Advents you are getting are the same ones in the link below then they are 26" high, 11 1/2" deep and just about 14 1/2" wide.


http://fisherdoctor.com/nadvent.html

#20 of 31 Jack Briggs

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Posted May 03 2004 - 03:54 AM

FYI, to all those thinking of using these classic speakers in a home-theater system: Remember, they are not magnetically shielded. That wasn't even an issue when the Advents were so popular.