Older vs.newer speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug Smith, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    Everywhere you look you find literature pushing new improved tower speakers. I went into my local A&B Sound store and asked the guy to fire up some thousand dollar Missions, Energy, and then JBL towers. Unless my old ears are plugged with wax my current old Cerwin Vega SE 500s bought in the early 90's sounded as good if not better. Granted I paid about six or seven hundred of early 90's dollars for them which would be about the same as a pair of current thousand to twelve hundred dollar towers. Speaker technology must not have leaped forward as much as say receiver technology whereby a Dolby Digital is going to knock your socks off when compared to an old Dolby Surround receiver when both are hooked up properly. Does this make sense? And if so is a new speaker revolution right around the corner.
     
  2. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Speakers have changed over the last ten years IMHO. There has been very good progress in lowering distortion (particularly bass distortion) and getting smooth off axis treble response. In general, high fidelity is less expensive now than back then too.
     
  3. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I find that my JBL L150's, which are dated ~1979, compare quite favorably with modern high-end speakers. Granted, if you take inflation into account it would equal a great deal of money today. Unlike many other components… Good speakers can last you 10 or even 20 years.
     
  4. Greg Kolinski

    Greg Kolinski Second Unit

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    I was in the same delima recently.I am cutterntly using a pair of early 90'a Acoustic Reasearch TSW 510's.After cking prices.specs.posting etc I determined that by the specs of the speakers they are still a very good pair.they were $500+ for the pair in 92.So in todays rate I figure I would have to spend quite a bit to get better speakers.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    If you're listening to those Cerwin Vegas strictly for two-channel music and you're pleased with the sound, then stay put and enjoy them.

    On the other hand, if you're considering a surround-sound home-theater application, there are many things to think about. Would these units mate appropriately with whatever center-channel and surrounds you might be considering? Are the Cerwin-Vegas magnetically shielded (I doubt it)?
     
  6. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    Actually that may be the point. I do have a home theatre system - and usually listen to CD's in 6 channel stereo (which is superb with Marantz) or DVD A's, as well as the DVD video application. Buying two new tower speakers are now only one part of the listening equation. Whereas when I bought the old Cerwin Vega's they were the main deal in the system. So unless the new speakers are going to make a real big deal in listening pleasure (I mean within a reasonable budget) then why change?
    By the way, whats the deal with tower speaker's as opposed to good bookshelves on a good stand? You might be able to tell I've been out of the loop as far as speakers are concerned, for awhile.
     
  7. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Marc---I'd say that small speakers have gotten better but the best ones have changed little. The distortion of small direct-radiating woofers has gotten lower true; but the way to get the absolutely lowest bass distortion hasn't changed since the 1930s. The dispersion problem was licked back then too, though not for small speakers.
    www.chicagohornspeakerclub.org
     
  8. Phil_DC

    Phil_DC Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a pair of Acoustic brand speakers that in my garage, They are beasts, They were the biggest speakers on the market size wise when I got them nearly 24 years ago, bigger was better back then. Solid walnut, with 20 inch subs 6 inch mids and 4 inch tweeters, they weigh about 100Lbs each. They still sound as good or better that most mid to low end speakers in two channel stereo on the market today.
     
  9. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Yeah, Tom, in hi-rez, there hasn't been a lot of change. In midfi, there's a lot less honky sounding bass boomers and more real music available now for the masses.
     
  10. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I'd say the old speakers have nothing to fear from the new if played within their levels (under distortion) and are flat doing it (to their roll-offs that is). The main problem with a lot of the older speakers is to find a timbre-matched CC that might also match up cosmetically. I know that the main things that have currently changed about modern speaker's drivers are the glues used, throw (namely the subwoofers), and maybe the use of some exotic materials for cones (which might not have been as cost effective due to lower priced methods of manufacturing them). But the bottom line about the then and now when all is said and done (imho) is the proper use of alignment and cabinet size for the drivers used as well as a properly built cross-overs will be the main thing that still distinguishes a good speaker and a not so good speaker and everything in between.
     
  11. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert has it right - good old stuff in the high end is still good. The Center Channel problem sends some of us to DIY classes and is the most difficult step if you want the nirvanna sound....Matching speaker components and crossovers is a must.
     

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