What happened to Advent?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Howard M, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Howard M

    Howard M Auditioning

    Jul 8, 2006
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    Long time lurker first time poster here. I am writing this primarily to provide information. I decided to do some research on Advent out of curiosity and decided to share what I found. From most of the posts on this board, it seems that most people's opinion of Advent is pretty low in its current state Most people who dismiss the company have not actually looked at any Advent products in several years and really do not know what they offer currently. I hope to shed some light on the subject. I am not an audiophile, but as a professional musician and movie lover, I do appreciate the need for decent sound equipment.

    As most of you know Advent was bought out by International Jensen, which in turn was later bought out by Recoton. Recoton eventually went bankrupt allowing Audiovox to purchase the Jensen, Acoustic Research, and Advent brands about two years ago. It is well-known that Recton drove all three of these brands into the ground pretty far, but Advent probably got the worst of it. By the time Audiovox purchased the brand, Advent was pretty much devoid of any speaker lines and was relegated to selling a few wireless and PC speakers.

    Audiovox made the decision to try to once again market speakers in all three of the brands. Their philosophy was that Jensen would be the budget line, Advent would be the middle grade line and Acoustic Research would be the audiophile line. What is not known by many is that in addition to acquiring these three American speaker brands from Recoton, Audiovox also acquired the three German brands of Heco, Magnat, and Mac Audio (Mac Audio is primarily for car stereo). Interestingly, Recoton did not drive these three brands into the ground. They remained strong, profitable brands in Europe with very full-fledged lines.

    When Audiovox decided to put new speakers into all three of the American brands, they were stuck with the problem, that there was not a lof of product under development to fill all three lines. What they evidently decided to do was turn to their recetnly acquired German brands to fill out the lines. Therefore, one line of Heco speakers (the Krypton series) was relabled as the Advent Heritage series for consumption in the US. The Heco Krypton 400 became the Advent H400, the Krypton 200 became the Advent H200, etc. Interestingly, Audiovox decided not to bring over the matching subwoofers.

    Now the question is, what level of quality are these speakers. By perusing various German audio magazine websites, I have found that the Heco Krypton line is priced and marketed to compete with lines from JBL, Boston, Mardaunt-Short, Wharfedale, and Mission, among others. For instance, the 200 sells for 160-290 Euro a pair and is comparable to the Mission M31, the Boston CR65, the Mordaunt-Short 902, and the JBL E20 or E30. The 400 sells for 400-560 Euro a pair and is comparable to the Boston CR95, Mission M34, the Wharfedale Diamond 8.4, and Mordaunt-Short 904. The Center spekare sells for about 100-150 Euro.

    For Advent, Audiovox lowered the price slightly for each of the models as their American counterparts from JBL, Infinity, and the like are also a little lower priced. However, Audiovox seemed to make little effort to market them or get them into stores. As a result, sales have languished and no one wants to take a chance on speakers that they can find virtually nothing about. The result is good for people on extreme low budgets as several stores have reduced the price ridiculously low to clear out the product. I went ahead and bought both a pair of H200s and the matching center for $110 total just to give them a try. I found that they seem to be in the ball park with the JBL Northridge series and the aforementioned speakers, based on my limited experience with a couple of those speakers. The build quality is definitely a notch above the JBL Northridge series.

    As I said this is primarily for informational pruposes and one can draw their own conclusions. They are obviously not Audiophile speakers as you can tell from the competitive products I have already listed. But if you only have $300bucks to spend on a home theater system, this is a much better alternative to the Home Theater in a Box systems. Plus, to get the comparable set from some of the other brands I mentioned you pretty much have to spend twice as much.
  2. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Oct 26, 2002
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    I've liked Advent speakers ever since I got into audio around 1977, owned some myself in the form of a pair of Baby Advents for 14 years (first series), now own some Smaller Advents that need to be refoamed (hey, they're thirty years old so....), and always recommended them when I sold audio for three years.

    So I was very saddened to hear the news that day at work that they had been bought by Recoton. Our store had recently bgun selling all their cheezy little electrical accessory stuff & to hear that such a respected company was now owned by them produced an ominous feeling, a feeling that was soon justified a few years later when the Advent name started showing up on all kinds of crap products.

    Advents weren't "audiophile" speakers but I could care less about that - I've listened to (as objectively as possible) plenty of speakers that call themselves that & they sounded little-to-no better than the Advents but were priced 3, 4 or five times higher. In other words, Advent didn't have such a good reputation for nearly 25 years because they ripped people off. And to some this may be trivial, but most Advents also looked very nice - not "hi-tech" but just nice - and blended gracefully into most people's listening spaces & some of the nicer models could really *add* to it (many people bought Advents at our store for this one reason).

    As far as the new Advent "H" series are concerned: I hate to sound shallow & they may sound good but in my opinion, they are very ugly. I usually place form just after function but to me those silver speakers are so unattractive and robot-like I just couldn't look at them day after day. My own furniture is a hodge-podge of "colonial" dark reddish walnut, some nineteen fifty-ish/Danish styled stuff and one adult sized bean bag chair [​IMG] and there's no way those Advents would fit in.

    I realize home audio sales are way down, but maybe the folks at Audiovox could take a chance & bring back the furniture-like style that served Advent (and AR and JBL and Infinity and Boston and.....) so well for so many years. And while the bass hedz may object, bring back their velvety/deep acoustic-suspension design that so many people STILL like to listen to - not everyone listens at reference level or needs bass levels that cause nose bleeds. From a marketing standpoint, both features could be used to successfully separate Advents from all the blah/no-personality "hi-tech" boxes out there.

    Here is a forum dedicated to Advent & other such loudspeakers (not super active but since now you can only buy them at resale shops, eBay, etc that's not surprising): The Classic Speaker Pages

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