Vintage speaker recommedations

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Wes T, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. Wes T

    Wes T Stunt Coordinator

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    Been a while since I have posted here. I am going to put together a "vintage" system for two channel. I am extremely unhappy with the sound of my current setup for music. Nothing I have heard sounds as good to me as my old Silver Pioneer SX650 with an equalizer and some old AR2AX speakers that had radio shack guts in them. I am going to round up a good old "Silver Pioneer" receiver and probably an ADC equalizer. I am up in the air on speakers. I like the old ARs and the old Advents for looks. Are there any other good "bang for the buck" vintage speakers that I can buy and replace the drivers in for that smooth, tight, late seventies sound? Main thing I want is a sealed enclosure that I can put some good drivers in. 2 speakers. No sub. No 5.1, 6.1, 7.1. Just that killer late 70s early 80s sound that I have never been able to seem to find again. I gave my old system away a long time ago. Damn do I miss it!
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you want killer vintage, go w/ Klipshchorns [​IMG] Only thing is technicly they're not vintage since they're still Klipsch's flagship speaker even though the design has been the same for the past 45 years. They also cost like $10k a pair in the used market, but w/ a sensitivity of 104 db/w/m you could power them to ear-bleeding levels w/ a mouse on a treadmill (i'm just affraid of where the source gets plugged into the mouse). 33hz extension doesn't hurt any either.
     
  3. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    JBL L100, L150, 43** series will be truly a late 70's sound. They are sound on steroids......strong midrange and highs with tight bass......
    I've had a pair of the L100 since 1978 and have compared them to a LOT of speakers over he years and nothing has been up to snuff with those old bad boys.
    There's usually a pair of the above for sale on ebay or audiogon from time to time..... Just make sure that the Alnico magnets haven't been changed out for something inferior........
     
  4. Wes T

    Wes T Stunt Coordinator

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    Yikes!! 10 Grand??!! Those Klipschs are just a wee bit out of my price range. Although, if I had tons of money I would surely have a pair of these in my collection!

    I like the JBL suggestion. There are a few examples of these out there and they look good. The only thing is I have to have acoustic suspension. I am just really partial to that sealed enclosure sound. I saw some nice L77s that I found interesting and they don't appear to be ported. These old JBLs still fetch a pretty good price so they must be good.

    Thanks,
    Wes
     
  5. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    10K for Klipschorns, well you can do much more for much less. Check ebay for old speakers.

    Since your old speakers werent horns, I would steer away from the horn type of speakes because "some" people think they have a different sound. Which I agree with.

    older infinity's or sansui's , you know what you are looking for, older big boxy speakers with 1 - 12" and 3 or 4 mid/hi speakers.

    definately an ebay search - or pawn shops.
     
  6. Steve Crowley

    Steve Crowley Stunt Coordinator

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    Try an AR-LST1. They were pretty good back in the day. JBL L-100,Altec VOT,older KLH,AR3a is a good one but you might need more power for this,get a good old Macintosh amp for it. The dome tweeters did not last that long with underpowered amps. I fried one back in the early 80's on my AR3a with a Sansui GS7000. Audiocircle.com has some vintage stuff.
     
  7. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    Since we're fishing here, the Altec VOT (Voice of the Theater, ironically enough). An astounding speaker, warts and all, with the acoustic horsepower, ultra-low distortion, and dynamic bang to do it all for HT, whether 60 years ago or today.

    In modified form, still the most musically engaging speaker I've ever heard. Some real smart guys just brought em back into modern production and you can once again own this classic masterpiece.
     
  8. Debbie_L

    Debbie_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Wes,

    My suggestion would be the ADS L710's. I am the original owner of a pair of these speakers and they're fantastic. 3-way with a 1" dome tweeter, 2" dome midrange, and dual 7" bass drivers, all in a sealed enclosure. Mine are currently residing "on loan" at my brother's house as I needed something smaller, but couldn't bring myself to sell them. They're pretty big "bookshelf" speakers weighing in at about 40lbs. each. To my ears, they are still one of the best sounding speakers for two-channel music I've ever heard. You can find them occasionally on ebay and audiogon. A pair of ADS L810's (same as L710 but with dual 8" bass drivers) just sold on audiogon for $350.00 -- original owner, mint condition. They are still listed there if you want to take a look. I've listened to the 810's a lot as my Dad owned a pair, but still prefer the sound of the 710's -- they seem a bit tighter/slightly better definition.
     
  9. Wes T

    Wes T Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you all so much for all the great suggestions! I will take some time and look into all the different speakers mentioned here. Thanks again! -Wes
     
  10. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I have to agree with Jon as I own a pair of the classic Altec Voice Of The Theater A-7's. Thery are very clean and dynamic. Altec has brought them back as a limited production iteam. But they are alittle pricy. Reproduction A-7's are going for $4k each plus $300 each shipping cost. So that may be out of your price range.
     
  11. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Wes,

    A couple of months ago, the Vandersteen/B&W dealer in Verona NJ (I think their name is Audio Connection) had a pair of Thiel CS-3.5 speakers for sale for less than $1,000.

    Wonderful speakers - I believe is was the guy from "Sound by Singer" in NYC that said that these speakers were the most important audio component ever sold at his store. Bass response to 22Hz, they are also the best imaging/soundstaging speaker I've ever heard from Thiel.

    I don't know how you define "vintage" - I would guess these are from ~1990.

    Kevin
     
  12. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    I'll second Debbie's ADS suggestion. I have owned various models including those she mentioned. Great sound and still available on ebay.
    I wonder how much of what we like about the sound of older equipment was simply because it was analog. I still prefer my turntable to any digital source. Some neighbors were over the other night, and I played albums for 5 hours. They kept requesting more...
    You should consider a turntable if you don't already use one. That's 75% of the good sound battle. I'd take mediocre turntable and cartridge over CD anyday.
    One more thing: I spent about a good couple of years looking for a suitable replacement for my early 80's vintage ADS speakers. After much auditioning, I finally found what I was looking for with my PSB Stratus Golds. They might be worth a listen for you.
    Good luck in your quest. But again, I'd consider your source material. It all comes back with analog. Digital sound sucks. And unless you grew up with analog, I don't think you'd ever know.
     
  13. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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  14. Wes T

    Wes T Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow. So many great suggestions! I suppose I never really mentioned a budget. I am not looking to spend very much on this project. So far, I want to pick up an old Pioneer SX receiver from the 70s (a 1250 if I can...185 Watts RMS!). The ADC sound shaper EQ and a good turntable. I am leaning more towards the old AR speakers. Ulitmately I would like to get two sets and stack them. I have never heard of the 9s but with 2 twelves it would probably be a similar effect. My old system that I am trying to throw back together was a Pioneer SX650, Eq, and AR2axs stacked. Man, that system with only 35 watts a channel blew away stereos costing 3 times as much back in the day. Everyone always raved about how killer my system sounded. I like the cleanliness of digital sound, but to me nothing beats that good old analog. (I am with you James!) Having the EQ is what makes the difference to me also. I don't want to hear the source material how the engineer intended. I want to hear it the way I like it! Anyway, thanks again to all of you for the tips. I have some research to do and hopefully soon I will get back to that sound that I miss. All the scratches in all the right places!! -Wes
     
  15. Steve Crowley

    Steve Crowley Stunt Coordinator

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    Forgot to post these. My dad has a pair of Pioneer HPM-40's that are just tremendous. He got them re-foamed and have a great sound. Or even try the HPM-60's if you can find them.
     
  16. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    WesT,

    Actually a pair of AR-9's would contain (4) 12" Woofers.
    Each cabinet contains a pair of acousticaly suspended 12"
    woofers firing to either side of the enclosures.

    They require lots of juice and the amp must be able to
    handle 4 ohm Nominal and much lower dips.. But they are
    argueably one of the best speakers that Teledyne/AR ever
    made.


    Here is a picture of a pair I found on eBay.. Dang I should
    buy these! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Wes T

    Wes T Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! Those ARs look awesome! You just cant beat a big ol honkin' set of speakers!

    I forgot about the HPMs too. I remember those being good.

    On a side note. I am putting together a little system for my father in law. I found an SX650 on Ebay for 35 dollars. He has a pair of those old "Small Advent" speakers. I am getting a couple of Dayton 8 inch woofers to replace the rotted advents for 18 each. I am also giving him my old Pioneer turntable. Under a hundred dollars for a system that I already know is going to sound great! They just don't make it like they used to. -Wes
     
  18. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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    Thiels for
     
  19. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Wes T: did you know when AR was "resurrected" back in the mid 90s they built some speakers that seemed to be nearly identical to their models they sold in the 60s & 70s? I actually saw these (the 12" model) at a store here but they were using an HT receiver to drive them and they didn't sound too good. They were going for about $1000/pair. Maybe you could look for those on eBay or at garage sales.

    And: back in 1995 Advent sold a limited anniversary edition of their last big 10" two-way Advent (the one built up to about 1985). I was selling audio at the time when these arrived. Looked exactly the same: dark walnut veneer w/ rounded walnut bullnose trim piece, tan knitted grille, tweeter loudness switch on the back, parabolic dome tweeter but now with ferrofluid cooling. Each had a numbered metal plate on the back. They sold for $550 per pair. We sold every pair as fast as we could get them.

    Also: I guess you know this but the reason those Small Advents had so much bass (when new) is because that woofer had high excursion capabilities and the cone was very heavy too (to lower its resonance frequency). Reviewers were amazed such a small speaker had so much bass but even back then they complained it sucked giant gobs of power to do so. I think Layneaudio.com might sell a proper replacement for it. But if you don't need all that bass, a regular woofer should work O.K., but that cabinet is rather small so I would look for one with a longer than normal excursion rating.

    Pioneer HPM series: very good speakers. And the reason they look very similar to the JBL's of that time? IIRC because the guy who designed the HPM series used to work for JBL! Carbon fiber woofer cones, cast aluminum frames for woofers and mids, and Pioneer's funky semi-circular film super tweeter. I still remember seeing the demonstrator made of transparent Plexiglas at Foley's back in the late 70s--at age twelve I was totally fascinated by that thing.

    LJ
     
  20. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Lance,

    Yep AR did remake some of the vintage speakers and you can
    find them "new" on eBay from time to time.. the AR3's I
    have seen up on eBay "new" within the past year or so..

    They do bring about a grand a pair and have the same
    original treated paper woofer, aluminum dome tweeter and
    "scrambled egg" Midrange.

    Those Demonstrator Plexiglass HPM's are sweet! I also found
    a pair of those on eBay not long ago $$$$$$ [​IMG]
     

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