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20 year old flagship speaker vs today's best $2500 or under?

Doodski

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Yes that’s why I sell mine after 7-10 years!
I had 2 woofers from Altec Voice of the Theatre speakers and they where in wonderful condition. they where kept in a dry dark place and they survived excellently. We often marveled at how such old speakers could be in such great shape and still functional. :D
 

DavidEdwinAston

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Good grief! l must be very lucky with my thirty two year old Spendors!
Possibly I haven't played them that often.
Or, my hearing is so shot, that this wonderful sounding Neil Young version " Oh Lonesome me", ain't actually that wonderful!
 

DonR

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My 29 yr old JBL P10's still look and sound fine. I gave them to my son last year to compliment the Marantz NR1501 I also donated to him. Mind you, they have been "lightly" used over the past 3 decades. I do wonder if it is usage, time or a combination of both that kills the foam woofer surrounds.
 

Timcognito

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Anything from Thiel that has a coaxial tweeter.
Here is nice website for looking the latest prices on older things audio.
 
OP
P

paulgyro

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I ended up getting the Arendal 1723-monitor-thx and they are amazing. Certainly a very high value speaker. Punch well above the $2400 I paided for them. After selling my Forte IIIs and buying these I have $400 left in my pocket. Win win!
 

rdenney

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In my experience, speakers don't die quite as easily as some are suggesting. But when I buy older stuff, it's at a price point that keeps them from being a bad deal even if they die in five years. Example: I bought a pair of Revel Concerta F12's, which were probably 15 years old. They work great, but I got them for $700, so if I only get five years from them, they'll still be a good deal.

But I'm already struggling to get parts--an attempt to buy a replacement set of carpet feet has gone nowhere. They identified some stock in the UK, but even with me willing to pay three times their price for shipping, I can't get anyone at Revel to lift a finger to make it happen. That's why I don't sell my old Advents, which seem to be indefinitely repairable.

Rick "for whom buying old stuff is part of the hobby" Denney
I should add for posterity: I was able to obtain spikes from Parts Express—the thread was the common 1/4-20 size.

Also, one person on the forum offered assistance in sourcing them, and I appreciate it.

Rick “spikes make the speakers less tippy on carpet” Denney
 

itz_all_about_the_music

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B&W 801 Series 2 (a.k.a. 801-II) is in your price range.

PROS: Nearly indestructible. Quality film crossover caps. Quality driver materials. Can move lots of air in a very controllable fashion if bi-amp'd with stiff power. Non-fatiguing and revealing. DIY crossover mod brings them to -III design level. Easy to move/adjust their position within the listening room as their 110 [lb] weight rolls around on integral casters.

CONS: Require stiff amplification of bass driver. No replacement parts. Bass is sensitive to room placement (like any bass-capable speaker). Still requires 2-4 subwoofers.

1649305301284.png
 

clearnfc

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Hmm... Regarding speakers i have to say its often quite difficult to judge whether old speakers are better or new ones are better.

While i do agree that new models benefit from advancement in technology, sometimes newer does not mean its better.

Why i say this is because manufacturers usually need to follow market trends. I feel some modern speakers have a tendency to have more bass compared to older models. Likely because more pple are listening more pop/rock music? Might be possible.

So, these changes alter the characteristics of the speaker. So, you are not getting a better version of the same thing, instead you get something different. You would have to listen yourself to see which one you prefer.

Of course, not are like that. Some models are indeed an improvement of the old ones and the manufacturer will retain its original characteristics and improved on it instead.
 

Cote Dazur

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I'd like a more accurate speaker with better imaging
Hard to know without seeing your room and speaker set up, but I find it hard to believe the forte3 are lacking in accuracy and imaging. Have you exhausted better positioning within the constrain of your room and environnement? Finding the right spot might get you what you are craving for and probably more.
 

Sal1950

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I'd like a more accurate speaker with better imaging. I love the live sound of the Fortes though. It's all about trade offs right?
Other info you might want, my room is 320 sq ft, 3000 cubic feet, 8-9 ft listening distance. 80-85 db average listening levels.
Older thread I know and you may have pulled the plug on something new already but,
You didn't mention how you had your speakers set up in your room, that looks to be a good sized one.
As someone who lived with La Scala's for over 30 years I can only recommend you try something like this,
Get the speakers out into the room about 4-5 feet off the rear walls
And about 3-4 feet off the side walls.
Aim the speakers so they either cross directly at your head or just a foot or two in front of you.
When setup this way I found the horns to image as well as any thing I ever heard with the only caveat it's a one person listening position, what we used to call "head in a vice". But I'm a selfish SOB and that's all I've ever been interested in.. LOL
If you find that might work for you, try using miniDSP to flatten the midrange response a bit.

It's all about trade offs right?
Now that's a fact. You've got a 320 sq ft, 3000 cubic feet room and you may find it difficult to find replacements that will fill the room with the ease the Klipsch have you accustomed to.
JMHO
 

MattHooper

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I agree. Speakers do unfortunately deteriorate rapidly after 10-15 years or so and you are often stuck with beautiful cabinets, almost a full set of functional drivers and no spare parts. Ask me how I know that- or better still, have in look in my storeroom. :facepalm:

I wonder how much of this is occurs simply from age or from usage hours?

I guess I've been lucky insofar as I still own a pair of Thiel 02s from the early 80s (use to be my wife's when she was young, bought for her by her audiophile Dad), which still sound fabulous. Similarly, my Spendor S3/5s bought around 2001 seem to sound as good as ever.

Though the use of those speakers hasn't been constant. I haul out the Thiels once in a while to listen for a week or two. The Spendors got a lot of duty as TV speakers for my plasma for many years, though got a lot less use over the past 10 years, and I throw them in to my 2 channel system once in a while.

When I bought my second hand Thiel 2.7 speakers it was not long after Thiel folded so spare parts were a concern. Fortunately Thiel's main speaker tech through much of their history, Rob Gillem, opened up a Thiel service site. He can fix anything but just as important had got hold of all Thiel's spare parts, including drivers, so I bought a spare tweet/midrange coax, woofer and passive driver as back ups for any disasters.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Aerial Accoustics 10t's. Stereophile speaker of the year in 1995 and a better sounding version of the B&W 801's IMHO.

 

Sal1950

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I wonder how much of this is occurs simply from age or from usage hours?
Number one issue happens in woofers with rubber or foam surrounds, it just gets old and rots away.
This is a very common problem, my 20 year old HSU subwoofers foam edging turned to dust and needed repair.
I sold them rather than repair
You can easily see the problem, there are repair kits or repair shops at hand for most .
The other is aging electrolytic capacitors in the crossovers which can change value with age.
They can be measured/tested to determine the need to replace.
 

restorer-john

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I wonder how much of this is occurs simply from age or from usage hours?

Foam can last for decades or rot away after 5-7 years. Rubber can last for many decades or dry and crack up. I've got 40 year old foam and rubber surround speakers that are fine and others that disintegrated in a quarter of the time. It's all over the shop.

Cost, usage and pedigree has nothing to do with it unfortunately. I wish it did. :)
 

amper42

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Foam can last for decades or rot away after 5-7 years. Rubber can last for many decades or dry and crack up. I've got 40 year old foam and rubber surround speakers that are fine and others that disintegrated in a quarter of the time. It's all over the shop.

Cost, usage and pedigree has nothing to do with it unfortunately. I wish it did. :)

I replaced my 15" surrounds in my VMPS SuperTower III and TallBoy subwoofers. It's not hard. Replacement surrounds come in a pizza box from Speaker Exchange https://reconingspeakers.com. You can buy surrounds in pairs or individually with or without contact cement. They work great after the repair is completed. Minimal tools, new surrounds, a little patience and soon you're good for another 10-20 years of fun!


 

Hipster Doofus

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Do you suffer from FOWO…fear of wearing out….( not just you but your equipment)

I offer this for thought, not to debate…the 15 year rule seems reasonable But..
I have a friend who was a tech/ partner to dick olsher. 75 year old and has built 2 Onkaku clones, still dabbles in Chinese tri-amping his home made speakers and has built almost everything under the sun. His thought is that he has seldom found capacitors that were worn out.

on my side of the story I own a version of the speaker behind Ringo’s head in my picture, it is the EMI-DLS-1 tower, around 1960. With built in leak style amps. ( a funny side note is that they have 13x8 in Oval drivers similar in shape to what Genelec is using)
My friend and I have replaced some parts in the amps because we received them in an old box removed from the speakers, including some caps. But we have done nothing to the speakers themselves. While measuring them on his Noitrex ( not sure on spelling), he was astounded on the flatness of the FR. One of the best he has seen.

my second set of speakers consist of the early B&W 801 F, surprisingly good after 40 plus years , but not as good as the 60 plus year old EMI’s. Wonderful bass and 12 in woofers, some of the first speakers with Kevlar minds.

I also own a new pair of SET 12’s speakers from Tekton, ehhh ok but need a lot of eq to sound just ok, also 12 in woofers.

and a very nice pair of linkwitz kit speakers, the small ones wich are bi-amped, very nice but need a sub.

Now I live down the street from my neighbor and friend Jason, who currently writes music and equipment reviews for stereophile mag. He sometime summons me to help move monster amps or listen to some new $25000 transport or dac. Most often on monstrously large Wilson speakers. All of which sound wonderful but ……..dare I say not as good as my system. Of course I cannot compete in sheer power and I am sure my system lacks a few things here or there but the sound stage and fidelity is just too much fun. I do enjoy things a little bright at age 68. But the pleasure of being able to almost see down the throats of vocalist warms my heart.

So don’t be so fast to throw things out in consumer driven world of ours.
thanks for listening. Pun intended
 

phoenixdogfan

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In my experience, speakers don't die quite as easily as some are suggesting. But when I buy older stuff, it's at a price point that keeps them from being a bad deal even if they die in five years. Example: I bought a pair of Revel Concerta F12's, which were probably 15 years old. They work great, but I got them for $700, so if I only get five years from them, they'll still be a good deal.

But I'm already struggling to get parts--an attempt to buy a replacement set of carpet feet has gone nowhere. They identified some stock in the UK, but even with me willing to pay three times their price for shipping, I can't get anyone at Revel to lift a finger to make it happen. That's why I don't sell my old Advents, which seem to be indefinitely repairable.

Rick "for whom buying old stuff is part of the hobby" Denney
You just outlined the reason I'm so loathe to buy a Revel speaker. They simply don't support their legacy designs. The contrast with a company like McIntosh is glaring.
 
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