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Vintage speakers that hold up

Waxx

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Glad to have started such a fun conversation!

I remember that about 20 years ago, as a poor student, I got to visit some audiophile's attic listening room.
He had a pair of old Altec-Lansing horn loaded speakers, unreasonably large for the room or the listening distance. However, when he pressed "play", it's as if the two monstrosities had just vanished and a singer appeared in front of me. I don't know how I would have judged it today, but back then my jaw dropped.
I tried to avoid to end up with those. Those designs are also very old, more 1950's - 1960's style. But an A7 with dsp eq and crossover can sound wonderfull close to modern designs.

I know a guy with a setup that is Altec A7 based (416 woofer, 288 compression driver in a 1505 horn), that use JBL 2405 slot tweeters as supertweeters and a few JBL 5628 theater subwoofers with it. It's powered with Bryston amps and a Xilica DSP, and that is probally one of the best speaker setups i heared (needs a big space altough). But i would not call that a hifi setup for an average living room (not even a big American one). That guy's living room is more of a ballroom's size... And i'm not talking about the price yet.
 

restorer-john

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I wouldn't know where to start, there's just so many vintage speakers to choose from. Thing is, finding them in the condition you want and being able to listen to them is the problem.

I'd jump on a plane and go to HiFiDo in Japan!


1709071182028.png


How about some nice Lux monos to go with the speakers?


Or an unusual Nagra:
 
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Mikig

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if you lived near me, I would gladly lend them to you to judge with your own ears!!!

Basically, apart from the ones I use in the system, which are modern...more or less, I only have old speakers.
Each one has its own characteristics, specific to those years. I have:

Jbl 4312 wood, the first ones,
Technics SB5000,
Infinity Epsilon, very difficult,
Martin Logan Quest,
AR 6,
Esb SB4,
Meridian M33 active,
Jbl J216 and a couple of unspecified Technics.

What can I tell you; I use the 4312, which I recommend, every now and then, they are pleasant, a little noisy, but you have to like wood, you can hear it.
I took the Infinity ones out of exhaustion and the Quests never convinced me.
I use the active Meridian M33s for television, excellent.
The next purchase is the Revel Performa M20, which are on the wish list, I have already tried them, but first I have to get rid of other material. ….
 
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Roderik

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I visited today some trendy-hipster like cafe, which played music through some big, rectangular vintage speakers I did not recognize. The setting was far from ideal, but the sound was quite pleasant- almost cliché vintage (somewhat attenuated treble, considerable bass which doesn't really go very low), but at the same time quite clean and undistorted. I did own several vintage speakers over the years (Spendor BC1, several Polk Audio "Monitors", JBL L65, Klipsch Heresy), but I sold the last of them about 10 years ago, so it's been too long ago to have any lasting impressions.
Since I'm considering to have another try with such oldies for the fun of it (not for the main system), do you know of any vintage speakers (70's-80's originals, not modern re-issues) which hold up reasonably well to modern standards?
If you can find these, my Diapason preludes II from 1998, you won't be disappointed. They still play as beautifully as ever, especially in combination with a modern 12 inch Dali subwoofer, driven by a Marantz PM 6007.
IMG_7465.jpeg
 

MattHooper

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Maybe not back to the 70s, but I think Thiel speakers hold up particularly well to modern offerings. Jim was a heck of an engineer/designer.
 

Ken1951

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R104 in 'ab' form, R105 originals
I was in and around the business when these were new and I totally agree. Loved the 104ab and a housemate had a pair of the original 105s. We had a big room and plenty of excellent amplification and good sources and they sounded amazing.
 

Chrispy

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I'd prefer newer speakers generally, but the nostalgia thing I satisfied a few years ago with some JBLs from my youth, altho not quite the L100s I mostly experienced, got some 4311Bs instead that I found somewhat nearby for a good price.
 

Anton D

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If you can find these, my Diapason preludes II from 1998, you won't be disappointed. They still play as beautifully as ever, especially in combination with a modern 12 inch Dali subwoofer, driven by a Marantz PM 6007.
View attachment 352781
Loving on your room!

Thank you for the pic!
 

tw 2022

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I am using some infinity crescendo 3006s right now...they require a bit of eq , but they sure play clean once eq'd...btw they were found on a sidewalk close to me , so a pretty good deal as well....
 

flysouth

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Notice al ot of cars and older ones go through a renovation and they charge $$$$. Do known companies restore speakers back to their glory? Videos like this pop up in my Tube feed.


 

Anton D

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It seems each brand has a specific expert or experts in rehabilitation. I have great affection for those dedicated people.
 
OP
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Roy_L

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If you can find these, my Diapason preludes II from 1998, you won't be disappointed. They still play as beautifully as ever, especially in combination with a modern 12 inch Dali subwoofer, driven by a Marantz PM 6007.
What a wonderful, cozy and inviting listening room! I love the approach of no-tv and the combination of bookshelf speakers + Sub (which is my current setup form).
Regarding the speakers, I was thinking about something about 20 years older...
 
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