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Speakers from last century that you love

Waxx

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Altough i rate new speakers like the ones from Neumann high, i still love vintage speakers also, with their quirks and so. I have these old 1976 Goodman Mezzo SL speakers (grills are removed for inspection) that i use from time to time and they are so good sounding i should use them more. And even after 47 years of age, they are still technically mint (and still decent looking). I only recapped the crossover and replaced the resistor in it also about 5 years ago as the elco's were dried out. New caps are non polar elco's (Mundorf because i could get them cheap and easy), and the resistor is a simple jantzen ceramic one... And i rate these far above a lot of modern ones while i paid (long time ago) about 50€ for them...

IMG_1759.JPG


What are the speaker from the past (pre 2000) that you still love?
 

MattHooper

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My Spendor S3/5s. They still produce certain sonic qualities I enjoy that I don't quite find in any other speaker of my acquaintance.

My old Thiel 02s (circa early 80s).
 

kemmler3D

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My main speakers are still the B&W DM2000s from the 80s, paired with a Sunfire sub I got a deal on: (not my photo)

They aren't perfect but they're pretty enjoyable until I get my act together and build some DIY madness to surpass them.

1034063-16b5fee8-hautparleurs-bampw-dm2000-vintage.jpg
 

RobL

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My main speakers are still the B&W DM2000s from the 80s, paired with a Sunfire sub I got a deal on: (not my photo)

They aren't perfect but they're pretty enjoyable until I get my act together and build some DIY madness to surpass them.

1034063-16b5fee8-hautparleurs-bampw-dm2000-vintage.jpg
My buddy had a pair of these, I thought they sounded great. He ended up blowing a tweeter on one but I think they’re still up in his loft somewhere.
 

SIY

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My main speakers started out life as NHT 3.3s, though they now have multiamplification in place of much of the old passive crossovers. I have not been inclined to change to another dynamic despite hearing a LOT of more modern, supposedly "better" speakers.

I'd love to get electrostats going- if I find some Acoustat panels in good shape, I still have the interfaces. And should Quad 63s cross my path at a kind price, I'd grab a pair of those in a heartbeat.

So lots of last century action around here.
 

DSJR

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I'd love to hear a pair of early 70's B&O Beovox 3800's again which I think were UK market only? 12" Goodmans bass driver and I think the midrange too, with Philips tweeter. Back then, the tweeter output was slightly exposed but bass and mids were very good indeed. Looks were clean and pure and with a recap and checks on driver adhesives and so on, I'm hoping they'd still have some validity.

Spendor BC1's are frail collectors items today, but in a smallish room, a good pair has a sublime midrange as long as the bass doesn't get in the way ;)
 

SIY

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MoreWatts

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While at a stereo shop in the early 80s, browsing at upper mid-fi, the dealer said "listen to this new-fangled satellite speakers plus a subwoofer system by M&K." Took 'em home. Used 'em for over 20 years, replaced satellite drivers twice and crossovers once, subwoofer driver and plate amp once, always with help from the factory.

In the early 2000s, I upgraded to their active studio monitors, the MPS-2510, and a MPS-5410 sub (also 20th century models), and used these for ~15 years, until a lightning surge ended their life.

If you remember, "bookshelf speakers" in the 1970s were actually kinda large, if you wanted any bass at all, at least. M&K (Miller & Kreisel, MKSound, M&K Sound) downsized the box by limiting the satellite/bookshelf to 80 Hz bass, and made the subwoofer handle the rest. And the move towards 5.1 was born. I don't know if they were "first" in any of this, but they were pretty influential.

The company has a neat history, About MKSound, was integral with the development of early THX speaker standards, and has an important legacy in digital recording. The original company bankrupted ~20 years ago and some Danes bought the rights. They still exist, and apparently thrive, with many similar and pricey designs, and are popular in home theater in Europe and Asia.

Ken Kreisel still has a company that makes and markets subwoofers, primarily in Asia apparently: KreiselSound.com

And to be an official, old-school, Los Angeles area, audiophile, almost requires one to have a story about Jonas Miller's audio emporium.

The Satellite II:

satellites.jpg


The Volkswoofer 1a:

volkswoofer.jpg


The MPS-2510 with their custom stands, which still might be the coolest speaker + stand system ever:

mps2510.jpg


The MPS-5410 subwoofer:

mps5410.jpg
 
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pablolie

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Let's be honest here - there have been no groundbreaking advances in speaker design. Your great 90s speakers still sound great today. Easy as that. Materials changed a bit in some cases... paper cones to aluminum and beryllium tweeters and what not...

I kept my close to 30-year old high end compact towers to this day (some special treatment on the paper cone, and I think alu on the tweeters) and they still sound great. I could easily live with them, and they also make me realize how much $$$ I wasted on silly upgrade trips at times.
 

MattHooper

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Let's be honest here - there have been no groundbreaking advances in speaker design. Your great 90s speakers still sound great today. Easy as that. Materials changed a bit in some cases... paper cones to aluminum and beryllium tweeters and what not...

I kept my close to 30-year old high end compact towers to this day (some special treatment on the paper cone, and I think alu on the tweeters) and they still sound great. I could easily live with them, and they also make me realize how much $$$ I wasted on silly upgrade trips at times.

Agreed.

I mean, there certainly have been significant advances in speaker design and technology in some areas. But in terms of end results, I was hearing gob-smacking sound from speakers in the 90's (and even 80s when our family owned KEF 105.4 speakers). I hear a lot of "different" and yes "better" in some ways, but nothing yet that strikes me as some new paradigm. (The closest to that, for me, were MBL speakers which really did produce a different presentation than I'd heard before).
 

jhaider

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Let's be honest here - there have been no groundbreaking advances in speaker design.

Sure there have - better measurement techniques (and much cheaper measurement hardware) and crossover optimization.

That said, there were some great 20th century home speakers. My first thought when we moved to a house with a separate formal living room was to add a pair of ESL-63s revamped by Sheldon Stokes, with commissioned OB bass modules. They would be good but very different from the immersive setup’s speakers. Alas, the footprint just wouldn’t work in the room, so we went a different direction.

Companies that invested in tech and had the correct design priorities (flat and smooth on axis, smooth off axis) back then could do most of it right though. See, e.g., KEF’s sweet little RDM Two, which lacks some air on top compared to newer designs but is otherwise a very, very good speaker when bass managed. Now, that was really hard to get right in its day. It’s still not easy unless one uses RoomPerfect or DLBC, or has lots of time to devote to integration - but ca. 1999 it was a total crapshoot for most of us.

The NHT 3.3/2.9 @SIY referenced is a design I’m puzzled hasn’t been re-attempted with a modern twist, as they were both great sounding and innovative in how they worked with the room.

I also loved my LCR Tannoy 12 DMT II’s for years, though. Tannoy D700 was the first speaker that made me understand hifi and I’d love to hear a pair or trio again, though I expect the memory is better than the reality.

Unfortunately the 801 Matrix 3 is probably still the apex of passive crossover B&W in terms of fidelity. Their driver technologies have progressed but crossover design priorities have changed. I also think that line looks much better than current versions, though B&W previously made some curvy Nautilus models that were stunning as well.
 

MattHooper

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I'd love to have a pair of Quad ESL 57s, one of my favorite all time speakers. Though I'd use my dynamic speakers for most day to day, I'd use the Quads to visit Quad-land sometimes. Problem is their form factor just will not work in my listening/home theater room. Too wide. I was even offered a beautiful pair for free by an audio acquaintance but I had to turn them down! Nowhere to store them either.
 
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