Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
burndisneyland

Vintage Speaker Recommendations

Recommended Posts

I've slowly being replacing components from my original set-up (Cambridge Azur 640A, Rega Fono Mini, Project Debut III with Ortofon OM10 and Mordaunt Short MS908 floor standers) with vintage gear. 

 

The Debut III gave way to a Thorens 160 Mk1 which has recently got a Denon DL-110 installed.  The Cambridge has been replaced with a Sansui AU-719 (not recapped yet, but has had a Deoxit treatment on all the pots and sounds pretty sweet).

 

I'd now like to replace the speakers.  The current ones do the job and certainly have the kick when the amp is cranked up that I enjoy (and compensate for the MC output of the Denon) but I do wonder if I could get even more out of vintage speakers.

 

So, what vintage speakers would people recommend?  I'm looking to spend no more then £300 and I'm in the UK.  I mostly listen to rock and hip hop, but do have singer-songwriter types in there as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like ajxd said, its pretty hard to recommend gear that's no longer in production. If you haven't already, I'd check out www.audiokarma.org. There's a section devoted to speakers. I've always been into vintage gear, but tend to lean towards new gear when it comes to speakers. But hey, to each their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I don't think I'm downgrading my gear, more buying vintage pieces that are highly regarded, made in the height of hifi competition.

Obviously vintage gear isn't about finding it all in a shop, it's about looking out for gear online/eBay and on dedicated sites.

I'll have a look over at audiokarma, I've perused the speaker forum before. Just wondered if anyone on here had an insight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made in the height of hifi competition? You really need to explore modern hifi, because it is built on 30 years of technological advances of any vintage gear. I've said it many times before... modern gear will always crush vintage gear of the same price-range. I had a top of the line Marantz receiver, the 2330B. There's a few on eBay right now for over $1400. My Rotel 1062 destroyed it, in all blind tests I did. Every time I chose the 1062 over it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made in the height of hifi competition? You really need to explore modern hifi, because it is built on 30 years of technological advances of any vintage gear. I've said it many times before... modern gear will always crush vintage gear of the same price-range. I had a top of the line Marantz receiver, the 2330B. There's a few on eBay right now for over $1400. My Rotel 1062 destroyed it, in all blind tests I did. Every time I chose the 1062 over it.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself and I run an all valve system.

 

I too love vintage gear but am a bit confused why you would replace modern for vintage, What you listed as your modern system were some quite nice sounding components when properly set up.

 

Out of that lot I would have replaced the turntable with something decent and British (although the TD160 is a good choice) and left it at that, if nothing else I would have kept the modern kit as a 2nd system or as a reliable back up.

 

You will never beat modern technology for reliability and that is never more true than with speakers. That said if you are dead set on this route you only really have a few options and as you are in good old blighty pretty much all of them are British, so off the top of my head in this order:

 

Lumley

Rogers

Harbeth

Kef

Bowers & Wilkins

 

I know Lumley are not exactly vintage but they are primarily designed for valve amps so are very sensitive and consequently do sound very vintage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to clarify I haven't sold any of the other gear, just moved it out of my main record room.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have a look at specific models.

I personally feel the kit I've upgraded has been just that, an upgrade and I've moved the other kit to bedroom/study set-ups. But your mileage may vary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Cambridge amp and Rega phono stage are particularly good for the money so you might find driving them with the Thorens and through some more sensitive speakers might be a bit of an eye opener.

 

The Mordaunts can be a little plastic sounding as they are typical Richer Sounds fodder (they bought the name and rights when Mordaunt went under) but again for the money they are not bad and a lot better some some of the stuff they offer speaker wise. I have a pair of MS816's that are bloody enormous which I use them on my AV system, they are not sensitive enough for my valves but I have always been temped to try them with a load of big power amps as you can tri amp them.

 

MY advice would be try some of the better modern British speakers that are still British so nothing from Richer Sounds and no Modern B&W or Mission unless you are going a good way up the food chain to avoid all the far east made stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take it you are looking at something biggish like the Mordaunts?

 

If so you can look at Lumley but they are arms and legs cost wise so look at 2nd Hand. You can also look at Epos, PMC, Ruark and some of the better Monitor Audio's and Kef's or higher up B&W's but they can be a bit Marmite. You can also look at Focal

 

Go to a decent hifi shop and have a listen, always the best way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 You can also look at Focal

 

 

 

 

They're out of France right? My experience with their home audio line has been limited to a couple hifi shop demos, but I've been doing car audio for 10 years, and once our shop took on Focal we never looked back. I have their K2 power series speakers all around in my car. We already carried the most respected car audio brands, but nothing we have are as musical as the Focals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to hifi Focal makes quite a range so the comparison isn't really accurate, their high end is very good but they also make stuff lower down as well where they have a lot more competition.

 

They do very well in the in car market because they are one of the few proper hifi makers in there, everyone else is just trying to shake the windows out and not actually play the music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would never recommend vintage speakers.  Speaker cones physically move and become fatigued at best or rub and blow at the worst.  Not to mention that the caps used in the crossover start to dry out and then blow out.  That aside, the science of speakers and cabinets has increased greatly just over the last 15 years.  If you want to buy vintage amps and turntables, whatever, but you're just wasting money and opening yourself up for headaches with vintage speakers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×