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What's Your Speaker History?


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#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

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Posted November 17 2012 - 02:29 AM

I wanted to start a thread where our members could share a list of what speakers they have owned over the years, how they have enjoyed those speakers, and where they're at today. I firmly believe that half the fun in this hobby is the nostalgia of remembering what you once owned and how it got you where you are today. So, HTF - let's hear it. What speakers have you owned, and what followed each of them? I'll start with my list of speakers I've owned, since the review list is significantly longer ;)
  • 1990-2003 - I didn't really have money, so I enjoyed my Dad's Acoustic Research AR-4X driven by NAD electronics.
  • 2004 - 2007 - I had a terrible Logitech system for a short while, followed by some AV123 X-LS Classics
  • 2007-2008 - AV123 X-LS Encores, X-SLS, and X-Sub
  • 2009-2011 - AV123 Rocket RS550MkII's, Rocket RSS300, MFW-15 (Theater)
  • 2009-2010 - AV123 ELT525M - Desktop system (KingRex DAC/Amp)
  • 2010-Present - Onix Reference 1 - Desktop system to replace ELT525.
  • 2011-Present - Paradigm Studio 100 v.5, CC-690, Axiom QS8 surrounds.


#2 of 24 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted November 17 2012 - 05:36 AM

1) Scott small floor standers my brother gave me :tu: in high school :cool: 2) Fisher 12" 3-way floor standers. Hey, it was 1981. :P 3) 2 pair of cheap towers from a package system bought in the fake auction houe at the San Jose Flea Market circa 1983(?) What was I thinking :confused: 4) Pair of Yamaha A-635's, Radio Shack Minimus 7's and a pair of Infinity 5" car speakers for a center, and an 8" KLH "subwoofer" (not really). All I can do now is :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: About this time I added a second system 5) Onkyo HT-500 htib (the originals). Not bad at all for what they were. :tu: 6) Polk RTi8's, RTi6's, RTi4's and a CSI3 (quickly replaced by a CSi5) :) , and a pair of the original Dayton 10" Mighty Mights :) as they used to call them. RTi's were too bright for me. 7) Swan 5.1's, 2.1's, R2's and a C3 center :yum: :yum: Only sold them 'cause it was time for something new. Highly recommended. 8) Swan D3.2's with matcing center and surrounds. The towers and surrounds were very good :yum: :yum: but the center was no match for the Swan C3. Sold the whole set. 9) Swan F3b's. Unusual but very attractive 24" floor model. Maybe the best speaker I've had yet. But couldn't find the center or surrounds.... until 3 days after I sold them :( Bummer. 10) Revel Concerta F12's, M12's, C12. :yum: Very good speakers but not that much better than their Infinty Beta cousins. 11) 2 pair LSi7's and a well used LSiC. :yum: :yum: :yum: Sold those as well. Should have just added some LSi15's :( 9) Infinity Beta 20's OWS-1's and a C250 center. All for $280 used. :tu: :yum::yum: Dayton HSU10 sub. Not the very best speakers in the world but for the price...outstanding! Been in my "everyday" system for 4-5 years now. I've also had: Beta 50's, Beta 40's, Beta 360, small Jamo 5.1 system, Infinity Cresendo 6's, SVS SB-01's, Energy CC-50's, Mordaunt-Short 902's, Infinty reference Fives, Revel iw80's and iw65's, and some others I've completely forgotten about. Currently looking for used Dynaudio's and Paradigms and anything else that catches my eye (Wharfedale?)..
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#3 of 24 OFFLINE   bigshot

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Posted November 17 2012 - 06:21 AM

I really hate a lot of current speakers. When I was a kid in the early 80s, there was a huge choice of well designed cabinet speakers. But now, it seems that manufacturers are more interested in creating tiny speakers or weird flat shapes or pointy towers. These are all compromises designed to make speakers *look* good, not sound good. When I was in high school, I saved my money and bought a pair of custom made studio monitors. I still use them today. When I installed my projection system, I bit the bullet and went 5:1. I got a pair of JBL towers that are good with midrange, added a top of the line Sunfire sub, and supplemented with a pair of reflected piezo electric super tweeters. For a center channel, I got a nice Klipsch. It took freaking forever to balance the levels between all the channels and equalize each one separately. It was a hundred times more difficult than balancing two speakers. But now I've got it the way I want it. You can cheap out on the bluray player, and as long as the amp is powerful enough, it doesn't matter which one you use. But speakers, room arrangements and equalization are vital. They do 90% of the work.

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted November 17 2012 - 07:43 AM

My speaker history is fairly uncomplicated....


Started in college with a pair of AR-4x but traded those in for a pair of KLH (don't recall model # but they were smaller than the 6) that I found to be more "open".  Later, went to the original "Large" Advents, enjoying those for a decade and a half before moving to the Vandersteen 2C (original C, no "i" or "e") which I still love listening to, both for classical/shows/jazz on vinyl or tape or CD, and as the L/R basis for my surround system.



#5 of 24 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted November 17 2012 - 07:46 AM

Interesting question. In brief these are my set ups over the years. Sorry, but I rarely remember model numbers. (1) Sony Home Theater in a box. Dipping my toe in the water, bought a cheap set to see how things worked out. The stereo sound was awful (but there again, my hi fi at this time was an Arcam & Dynaudio system so the system had a lot to live up to), but surround sound was better than my local movie theater (admittedly, not difficult). In retrospect, the sound was a bit tinny and lacked detail and spatial fidelity was all to pot, but at the time I was happy that there were noises coming from behind me. (2) Panasonic then a Marantz amp, Kef speakers on stands. Way more detail than the first set up, and once the Marantz was in place, a very musical controlled sound, with tight spatial positioning. (3) Budget (under 400 pounds sterling) Panasonic home theater in a box, with Oppo 93 being fed through HDMI. Why the downgrading? Simple - necessary room rearrangements meant that the main TV had to go into a tiny tiny room. The previous system just boomed and sounded horrible. The budget system though is great. and indeed sounds better than my old system, or, indeed, a couple of way more expensive systems I've heard recently in other people's houses. If you have a nice big room to play with, then it's worth shelling out the bucks. But if you have a tiny room (and in my case, we're talking about an area 8 x 10 ft) then get something very tiny that the critics say sounds great but is underpowered. It'll sound wonderful in a tiny space.

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted November 17 2012 - 09:14 AM

1997-2009 First ever surround sound system, bought when I was young and dumb but at least all were purchased at a pawn shop for dirt cheap. Bose 901 VI, VCS 10 and 301 IV for rears. A Yamaha 12" sub. No highs, no lows, must be Bose. 2009-2010 First ever researched surround sound system. Infinity Primus P362, PC350 and P162 rears. A pair of Hsu VTF 2 MK 3 subs. Found the Infinities very fatiguing. 2010-Present Just tripped into an entire set of av123 Rocket speakers in my local area. All signatures: RS1000, RSC200 and RS250 MKII rears. Pair of Hsu VTF2 MK3 subs remain. System (except subs) are currently for sale on craigslist, excellent system but looking to try something different. :)
JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

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Posted November 17 2012 - 09:28 AM

Very interesting replies so far! Chas- I heard some Vandersteen 5A's in a high end audio store, and it was my first "revelatory" listening experience. I can understand your satisfaction :-) Stephen - I know another gentleman who has a system put together like yours. It is incredible how much work it takes to put it together! Andrew - sometimes downsizing is worth it. Have you considered some nice bookshelves? Ty- Rockets are an awesome value, I'm sure that the next step will be excellent!

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted November 17 2012 - 11:53 PM

Andrew - sometimes downsizing is worth it. Have you considered some nice bookshelves?

I thought long and hard about this, but the room really is too small. Plus, this room arrangement is only likely to be for a couple of years (long story). I figured it was worth putting up with the small, cheap and cheerful set up and then when I can move the stuff back into a bigger room, buying a much more expensive set up.

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Mr645

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Posted November 18 2012 - 01:29 AM

Started with a Kenwood receiver and Kenwood floor standing speakers, probably about 1980. Went to an electronics retailer going out of business and bought a pair of AR TWS-510s towers for like 70% off, had those for years. About 2002 picked up a pair of Vandersteen 2Ce towers and still have them. A few years later I got a deal on an M&K LCR-750 set, a display set but missing the rear speakers. Again, for a fraction of retail. I still have those, using the center, the sub and the two front speakers are being used as rear speakers today.

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 18 2012 - 01:34 AM

* All-in-one 1980 kit with dual tape deck and turntable (glad I talked myself out of asking for single tape deck and 8-track!)

* 1984-ish, first ever receiver and pair of Pioneer speakers

* 1997-ish Dolby Surround with cheap outdoor Bose speakers in rear, and mis-matched front stereos

* 2000 5.1 Surround sound with cheap KLH satellites and box sub

* 2010 5.1 Surround with SVS MTS series and PC+ sub

* 2012 TV speakers; SVS in storage

* 2013 SVS setup again. :)



#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted November 18 2012 - 04:25 AM

Reading the entries so far it seems I've led a sheltered audio life ... 70s-80s: Advent Minis (Purchased with paper route money along with a Pioneer receiver. The minis still sound freakin' awesome as the surrounds on my mostly music system. 80s-~90s: Radian Research. Got them from a college audio shop when those shops were big. I threw them away because the speakers were decaying. This was about 2 months before I joined HTF and found out that it was the surrounds that were bad and I could have fixed them for dollars. Still ticked! 20s-now: Harman/Kardon satellites for the HT setup. Axiom M22s/VP100 for the music system.

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted November 18 2012 - 08:26 AM

1978-1985 Emerson "all in one" TT, cassette deck, tuner and speakers. 1985-2002 Celestion DL6s with various receivers from Pioneer, NAD, Sansui and Denon 2002-2004 HK7(?) small 5.1 system in temporary lodgings with Denon receiver 2004-present: Boston Acoustics VRM-60s, VRM-50s, VRC, PV900 with Integra DTR 6.4 (to December 2011) and Yamaha RX-A1000 (since Jan. 2012) 2012 (Jan.)-present: pair of PSB Imagine B standmounts with Integra DTR 6.4 as a 2CH living room setup The Celestions soldiered on for another 3 years at a friend's house (they died valiantly during a particularly loud house party in summer 2005). I still miss their sound. I'm still as happy with my Bostons today as when I bought them--I expect another 8-9 years, if not more, out of them. If I were starting today, in my current HT room, I'd go with a PSB Imagine B setup, but only because the VRM series is long gone from Boston and nothing they make now appeals to me in the same way (I gave them the first crack when I was shopping last year for my living room set). In a bigger room, I'd likely go with towers from the same PSB line. The Emerson was a gift when I was in grade 6. The HK sats were always intended as a short-term solution (was happy enough with them for movies, but not for music--my buddy has been using them since 2005 without complaint as he likes movies and music is not his thing). The Celestions, Bostons and PSBs were all the result of a long (8-12 month) auditioning process. I like to keep my speakers a long time (they don't become obsolete in the way electronics often become). I figure I'm set until 2020, at the earliest (barring theft or fire) for speakers. Perhaps sooner for a sub (though I've no real complaints about my current one--for the deal I got, I'm getting good value for performance, though at list price I'd have gone with something else).
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#13 of 24 OFFLINE   matthew_rm

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Posted November 18 2012 - 08:28 AM

I started with a sony mini system at the age of 14. Saved some money as a kid and bought klipsch reference series towers, a klf-c7 center and a Denon 2802. I owned polk audio, KEF, mirage, and energy over the years. I'm 26 now and run a full paradigm studio 100v5 surround system. Hopefully by the time I'm 30, exotic gear of some kind will fill my listening room:)

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   jim09

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Posted November 18 2012 - 02:56 PM

1st Samsung HTIB cost $400 including player.was crap 2nd wharfdale crystal 5.1 plus 12 inch power cube ,pioneer HTR 2nd hand cost $350 loved it gifted to my sister 3 rd cerwin vega .ve mini towers centre ,sats and theatre sub for movies -b&w 684 mains for music, denon avr 790 and project turntable . cost a lot but will do for my life time as main system . 4th celestion ditton 200 , canton le 101, ditton 1 ,just collecting any dated gear i find cheap second hand as over seas at the moment and all my gear in storage. i enjoy buying this old stuff for next to nothing that sounds great . I would not hesitate in recommending vintage celestion ditton gear to any budding enthusiest whether on a limited budget or not .Canton too .

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Slan

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Posted November 19 2012 - 07:44 AM

1974: Equasound towers (my first love) with a Dual 1229 turntable and Yamaha CR-1000 receiver. I wanted Ohm F's, a Dual 701 and Phase Linear 700 but I was straight out of high school. I spent most of my budget on the Equasounds and they were well worth it. 1981: Magnepan 1Bs, NAD 3020 and Technics turntable. Upgraded the Technics to an Ariston Audio and added a Sumo Andromeda power block to the NAD 1982: Phillips/Sony introduce the first generation CD player and 'perfect sound, forever'. I pretty much stopped listening to music. 2007: Definitive Technology Mythos towers 5.1 system. Paradigm Servo-15 sub, OPPO BR player and Onkyo receiver.

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

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Posted November 19 2012 - 11:56 AM

Do you still have your maggies?

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Slan

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Posted November 20 2012 - 05:59 AM

Unfortunately, no, I sold them. If the Mythos system goes up in smoke I'm getting the Magnepan home theater set up, though.

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   sidburyjr

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Posted November 23 2012 - 10:01 AM

My first real speakers were home built from Electro-voice 12" drivers and a home made 3/4" plywood enclosure run by a Dynaco PAS-2 and stereo 70. I have no idea where any of these are. I then bought AR2a's sometime in the early '60s and continued to run them off the dynaco. I went to graduate school in '65 and a year or so later I bought a used set of Bose 901's from a friend. These were originally the demo pair that the sales rep for Texas was showing to dealers. The enclosure top and bottom were real walnut and they are still in my system today. At the time they were driven by a Marantz Model 7T and a custom made power amp that a friend of mine built from scratch. (He was a PhD student in EE). I still have the preamp but not the power-amp. After these, I bought some Magnaplanar MG-2As which I still have. I think these are the best speakers that I've ever owned but currently they do not fit the decor of our living room so they are relegated to storage pending our move next year. I ran them off the Model 7T and a Marantz Power Amp that was purchased in the mid 70s. I don't remember the model number but it was a 400WPC with power meters and separate on/off switched for each channel on the front. It weighed 75 pounds (maybe more). I have an optimus center channel speaker sitting on top of my tv. In the back of my living room I have a pair of small KLH bookshelf speakers serving my rear channels (an upgrade from a pair of Radio Shack minimus). It's not worth the trouble of going downstairs to find the model number but the speakers are black "wood" with black grill cloth and are about 10"x5"x4" (guestimate). Since I'm retired and living on a fixed (but reasonable) income, I don't see an upgrade in the foreseeable future although if I run into a closeout or perfectionist wanting to upgrade...

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   bottledlove

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Posted June 06 2013 - 07:42 AM

The first pair I owned, back before you needed more than two, was a set of Cerwin Vega 12" towers. Those were mated to an Onkyo receiver, it was a great little setup. After that I matured into a pair of Mordaunt Short 908 towers and center with Polk FX surrounds. Those were power with an Outlaw preamp and 7 Marantz monoblock amplifiers. A few years later I upgraded to the Mordaunt 504 center and Mirage Omnisat V2 surrounds. All told a formidable looking setup and great statement for a room. Now I'm an apartment dweller so I had to downsize to the KEF T205 set to fit my space, powered by a Marantz receiver that's hidden, along with all the other electronics, in a closet. I miss the industrial look of exposed equipment, but you have to work with the space.



#20 of 24 OFFLINE   sean1976

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Posted June 06 2013 - 08:18 AM

Lets see,  over the past 10 years I've had four main speaker setups ... 1.  A Yamaha 5.1 receiver with 4 paradigm atom bookshelf speakers,  a random center I picked up from Radio shack ( I was so thick back then! ) and a passive paradigm sub.   I had to sell those when I moved for extra cash,  and moved on to a HTIB Denon system.  The Denon had an AVR391,  5 small speakers and a sub.  The speakers were " Meh " but I fell in love with the Denon line of receivers at this point.  I replaced those speakers with Fluance SX series speakers.  A budget set to be sure,  but they sounded great compared to the HTIB Denon's I had.  Cnet actually listed them in their top 5 budget speaker setups,  and I would definitely recommend them going forward for a first time system builder on a budget.  Earlier this year I achieved audio Nirvana when I purchased my first high quality speaker setup.  I've got PSB speakers all around,  two T5 fronts,  C5 Center,  four B5 surrounds,  and two Klipsch KW-100 subs.  I rarely miss the chance to play music when I get home now,  and have rediscovered some old bands I used to love with them.  The Klipsch's are satisfactory in comparison as although my apartment has thick concrete everywhere,  I wouldn't want to push it too much more.  They get down to about 29hz @ (+-) 3 ..  which is alright,  but I'd really like to have some that can get down to 20.  I might save up and buy a pair of SVS speakers later this year and just keep the turned down fairly low ;)  We'll see.  That's that!

 

 


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