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Vintage Speakers Worth Owning Today?

Doodski

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The JBL's have much smoother FR. almost warm sounding to me.
The Klipsch always retained a small amount of edge or bite in the upper mids.
Both deliver awesome inner detail
The rest is a bit apples / oranges to compare. Way different size rooms, one a 2 channel, the other a 5.2.4 multich.
Either are capable of moving large amounts of air with ease.
Both systems were also augmented by dual subwoofers.
BTW the JBL 3600's have 3, 6.5' woofers each.
Ahhh... I was imaging a older Ti twin woofer JBL that is similar to yours. Too many speakers in my memory. I found the Klipsch to have more attack in the snappy mids and bass region. Female vocalists sounded live/present and snare drums and horns really seem natural with the horn driver. I really enjoy snappy mids and bass so the horns are I think my fav but the JBL towers I've heard where loud'n proud thumpers for sure.
 

Sal1950

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Ahhh... I was imaging a older Ti twin woofer JBL that is similar to yours.
 

Doodski

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Hehe. Whenever I get to the, "(4) JBL HDI-3600s" I chuckle. Some serious speaker air movement with 4 of them.
 

Soandso

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My old Wharfedale W70 3 way speakers are set-up for my dedicated music listening position. Bottom-most pictures how I have mine a bit up off the floor atop a black impact mat; a cloth covered paving stone is mass weighting it on top and I'm not showing the veneer peelings. These incidentally have a sand filled back panel.

And I'd sincerely appreciate any ASR members' input here about the technical significance of this W70 model's mid-range speaker mounting. Sometimes I speculate it was the designer's intention to resolve a phase paradigm.

Pictured below of the front (note: not my actual unit) illustrates how the wood cut-out for these W70s mid-range speaker is rectangular. The picture of this W70 model's interior (not my actual unit ) shows placement of mid-range speaker mounting securement is recessed into a round router-cut of wood.
89B396BF-DBAD-406F-B744-D478D4961D94.jpeg

9FE3ECB1-9181-4D28-B26D-D3D5C414B9F6.jpeg

5AB850EF-4A6B-4528-95FA-2F9C0110F9E4.jpeg
 
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Neddy

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Speaker tweakin, LOL
Very interesting journey, thanks.
I did a bit of the same with my Klipsch La Scala's over a 30+ year ownership.
Had to give them up due to unmanageable size in my new retirement digs..
Back then, I actually had to choose between La Scalas or the L200s (the L300s had not been announced yet).
I preferred the midrange/HF of the JBLs better, but the Klipsch by far for bass - a long term 'itch' as it turned out.
Re tweekin: there was a well known EE professor here at the time, who did a lot of work in audio analysis and for AES, who 'advised me' on ways to improve them, over many critical listening sessions. Even had pretty good hearing back then, too!
The JBLs might have been slightly cheaper. I bought them by leveraging equity on my first new car loan - a Datsun 510, which was ~$2800 (couldn't swing the $3500 for a 240z!).
Yes, at approx 130# each, the move here will certainly be the last for me - as I intend to stay here until I have no choice in the matter.
 

DavidMcRoy

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Those are really nice looking!
I second NHT 3.3. I also have a soft spot for 1990s Tannoy DMT studio monitors. I was inspired by J Gordon Holt to set up a 5.1 (3 subs) system with them in law school. Ugly but sounded pretty good.

I cornered J. Gordon Holt at a Stereophile Show in Miramar, FL and suggested that he sample some pro monitors, specifically because I used Tannoy DMT System 8s with a Velodyne sub at work at WPEC-TV, West Palm Beach at the time. I also own(ed) a pair of DMT System 12s. He took my advice and did that review.
 

novice

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Well, I submit just about any of the old line of ADS...I love my L520s and L420s, always on the hunt for a 3-way set...they sing!
For very small enclosure speakers, the KEF Coda series (90s) is cheap and excellent. Surprisingly good bass for the size.
For a larger bass hit, I still use my restored Advent 5002s. A solid speaker, maybe lacking a bit on the very top end but otherwise all good.

The L500, L520, & L570 were nice, a good all-round package.
 

itz_all_about_the_music

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Maybe click the link in my post for a list of recent sales at those prices.
I'd be surprised if these go for even half the $750 asking price.
 

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bjmsam

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Maybe I should have clarified with "not really worth listening to today" as opposed to "really worth owning today". [ ... ] One man's junk is another man's treasure.
You are entitled to your opinion, which differs from mine.

I'd be surprised if these go for even half the $750 asking price.
Recent sales of AR-3a indicate that others consider them worth more.

On the other hand, testing review may reveal that they are worth keeping (if you already have them).
From AR-3a Technical Data as posted on HFE and attached to the Restoring the AR-3a thread on CSP:

post-102716-1241484026.jpg
 

DavidMcRoy

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I‘m currently digging a fairly pristine pair of these:
 

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Indy

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I'll add Klipsch Cornwall or Klipsch Chorus. I had a used pair back in the early 90's. I sold them and have regretted ever since.
 

Mark_A

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A lot of them used foam surrounds which rotted out years ago. That was the fate of my dual large Advents, Phase Tech 60's, and Snell E III's.
There used to be shops that would refoam speakers at a reasonable price. Not sure how many shops like that are still around. The whole idea of repairing any audio/video equipment is not like it used to be, because it is often cheaper to just replace the whole thing these days.
 

Doodski

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There used to be shops that would refoam speakers at a reasonable price. Not sure how many shops like that are still around. The whole idea of repairing any audio/video equipment is not like it used to be, because it is often cheaper to just replace the whole thing these days.
I took a re-foam job to a musical PA speaker repair shop and they where able to re-foam them for me. It was a major city so we had them as a choice.
 
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bjmsam

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Millersound is an excellent option for those in the USA uncomfortable with DIY refoaming or reconing.
 

EJ3

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There used to be shops that would refoam speakers at a reasonable price. Not sure how many shops like that are still around. The whole idea of repairing any audio/video equipment is not like it used to be, because it is often cheaper to just replace the whole thing these days.
In my personal experience, another great place to do business for repairs is:

Audio Proz (Watertown, MA) has been in the Hi-Fi and Pro Audio business for over 40 years. The owner, Vince Naeve has worked for companies such as Apt, H.H. Scott, and KLH. We are a different kind of shop. We assist our customers by helping them choose the correct equipment for their application, with special attention to the serviceability, longevity and manufacturer support. We try to be competitive on prices for new products and all of our used items are fully serviced, calibrated and Warranted. We do not stock cheap throw away electronics that are actually more expensive to own and needlessly pollute the environment.

A quote from Vince
We get a lot of calls about this matter. More and more music lovers are realizing that many older design woofers are still very competitive performing with modern parts and so it’s worthwhile to replace woofer surrounds. Personally, I’ve seen older Advent, HH Scott, some Infinity, the better original KLH, and especially a wide range of AR woofers that can perform better than some esoteric parts. Magnet, voice coil, and cone technology has made some great strides in improvement today, but most consumer-grade chain marketing speakers are certainly inferior to the great designs of the 60’s to the 80’s. To be clear however, tweeter improvements have been more remarkable due to the ability to wind more accurate voice coils and the availability of higher quality dome materials.

The important advice I can give is this: Although I applaud the hobbyist who will try “do it yourself” speaker edge re-foaming, this job is actually more difficult than it appears. In my experience I seldom (if ever) see it done correctly.

By the time the foam deteriorates, usually the voice coil centering spider has either bottomed out or the lacquer impregnated cloth is now off center. To do re-foaming correctly requires removal of the dust cap, insert a voice coil positioning former and a trained eye to know where the center of the voice coil falls in the magnet gap. Moreover, I see many foams which are incorrect and consequently inaccurate cone re-centering will result. A skilled re-coner knows how to shim the foam height and use the right foam thickness to ensure optimal cone vibration dampening.

Even more problematic is the fact that re-foam kits don’t address the correct edge angle of foam to cone and as a result, buzzing of the foam edge will occur. Again, an experienced re-foam tech will know which foam is truly appropriate. I will get annoyed when people say it sounds fine to them, but I hear severe foam buzzing or worse, an off center voice coil rubbing on the magnet gap. In time this situation will wear away the enamel coating of the voice coil wire and expose bare copper wire at the rub area, effectively intermittently shorting the speaker voice coil. Ultimately this situation causes the amplifier to work unstably, and often causes overheating. Then, yes, the amp will burn up.

In my opinion even an average re-coning tech will do a better job (from experience) than a hobbyist. I hope you will trust me on this matter, but if you consider yourself knowledgeable about speaker technology and you’re very careful, then you may get it done right. Good luck, and let us know if you do need help.
Inquire about this Repair
 

Doodski

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In my personal experience, another great place to do business for repairs is:

Audio Proz (Watertown, MA) has been in the Hi-Fi and Pro Audio business for over 40 years. The owner, Vince Naeve has worked for companies such as Apt, H.H. Scott, and KLH. We are a different kind of shop. We assist our customers by helping them choose the correct equipment for their application, with special attention to the serviceability, longevity and manufacturer support. We try to be competitive on prices for new products and all of our used items are fully serviced, calibrated and Warranted. We do not stock cheap throw away electronics that are actually more expensive to own and needlessly pollute the environment.

A quote from Vince
We get a lot of calls about this matter. More and more music lovers are realizing that many older design woofers are still very competitive performing with modern parts and so it’s worthwhile to replace woofer surrounds. Personally, I’ve seen older Advent, HH Scott, some Infinity, the better original KLH, and especially a wide range of AR woofers that can perform better than some esoteric parts. Magnet, voice coil, and cone technology has made some great strides in improvement today, but most consumer-grade chain marketing speakers are certainly inferior to the great designs of the 60’s to the 80’s. To be clear however, tweeter improvements have been more remarkable due to the ability to wind more accurate voice coils and the availability of higher quality dome materials.

The important advice I can give is this: Although I applaud the hobbyist who will try “do it yourself” speaker edge re-foaming, this job is actually more difficult than it appears. In my experience I seldom (if ever) see it done correctly.

By the time the foam deteriorates, usually the voice coil centering spider has either bottomed out or the lacquer impregnated cloth is now off center. To do re-foaming correctly requires removal of the dust cap, insert a voice coil positioning former and a trained eye to know where the center of the voice coil falls in the magnet gap. Moreover, I see many foams which are incorrect and consequently inaccurate cone re-centering will result. A skilled re-coner knows how to shim the foam height and use the right foam thickness to ensure optimal cone vibration dampening.

Even more problematic is the fact that re-foam kits don’t address the correct edge angle of foam to cone and as a result, buzzing of the foam edge will occur. Again, an experienced re-foam tech will know which foam is truly appropriate. I will get annoyed when people say it sounds fine to them, but I hear severe foam buzzing or worse, an off center voice coil rubbing on the magnet gap. In time this situation will wear away the enamel coating of the voice coil wire and expose bare copper wire at the rub area, effectively intermittently shorting the speaker voice coil. Ultimately this situation causes the amplifier to work unstably, and often causes overheating. Then, yes, the amp will burn up.

In my opinion even an average re-coning tech will do a better job (from experience) than a hobbyist. I hope you will trust me on this matter, but if you consider yourself knowledgeable about speaker technology and you’re very careful, then you may get it done right. Good luck, and let us know if you do need help.
Inquire about this Repair
I've seen a re-foaming operation and it definitely is a art form requiring lots of experience and professional judgement to get it right.
 

novice

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I've seen a re-foaming operation and it definitely is a art form requiring lots of experience and professional judgement to get it right.

"Art form" was 20+ years ago when there were virtually no replacement surrounds to be had and you fabricated to your need from them.

Most speakers now can be refoamed without shims or dusctcap removal and well within the scope of the 1st time doer.
 
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