I want to go classic hi-fi 2-channel, what are some good options in the under $1000 range? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 10-26-2012, 03:26 AM - Thread Starter
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When i say classic i mean large floor standing speakers that you would have listened to Pink Floyd on in the 70's. My step dad has a pair of Cerwin Vega ch504r's from 1979 that are similiar to what I am looking for however they are in need of repair and he's having a hard time tracking down what it would take. Basically both the foam surround AND the voice coils need replacing. Anyway, I am looking for some good 3 or 4 way speakers like these that are good quality.

Because Cerwin Vega was on my mind i found these: Cerwin Vega VE-15. It seems as a general rule, most large floor standing speakers have gone the way of the dodo. I am NOT looking to turn this into a home theater setup, I have already have nice 5.1 setup. This is strictly for listening to music and mostly music that was probably designed to be listened to on these large speakers. I do not want a sub for this setup, it will strictly be the receiver (which I already have) and 2 speakers. Are the VE-15's any good for the price? Are there better options in that same price range?
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post #2 of 35 Old 10-26-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efflixi View Post

This is strictly for listening to music and mostly music that was probably designed to be listened to on these large speakers.

I listened to that music in the late 70s when I was a teenager, and this statement of yours makes no sense to me. confused.gif

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post #3 of 35 Old 10-27-2012, 02:23 PM
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Is your HT setup a dedicated theater room? Dark Side of the Moon on SACD is pretty nice.

In any case, I would check out vintage shops in your area. They should carry some of the classic behemoths from the 70's and they will most likely be fully restored (foam replaced, etc). We have a great shop in CO that does this.

If you want new, I'm not sure I would go with the Cerwin Vegas. Sure, they'll play loud but the sound quality might leave something to be desired. I would look into BIC (eviction series) or JBL.

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post #4 of 35 Old 10-28-2012, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I listened to that music in the late 70s when I was a teenager, and this statement of yours makes no sense to me. confused.gif
''

I agree, this makes no sense. I went to college in the 70s and I wouldn't trade you for any of the behemoths that resided in the dorms. Technology moves on. I've heard modern bookshelves that would put some of those behemoths to shame.
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post #5 of 35 Old 10-28-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Efflixi View Post

This is strictly for listening to music and mostly music that was probably designed to be listened to on these large speakers.

I listened to that music in the late 70s when I was a teenager, and this statement of yours makes no sense to me. confused.gif

I wouldn't say no sense, but it is a highly questionable statement to say the least.

In the 70s only a tiny minority of speakers were floor-standers. Bookshelf speakers still ruled. Probably the most popular "hear what the mixing engineers heard" speaker of the day was the JBL L100 which was a bookshelf speaker. The closest approximation of that speaker on the market today is probably the Infinity Primus P-163. The new speaker has a similar on-axis response but is much cleaner off-axis because it has a much better crossover.

These were the days when album rock on FM ruled. Does that mean that we need to duplicate the sound of a cheap FM radio with 4" speaker?

In the 70s we still had no mainstream alternative to vinyl. Talk about "The bad old days!".

There's no doubt in my mind that a lot of 70s music benefits greatly from the good application of modern technology in the audio system and listening room.

Sentimentality is fun, but lets be real. Last time I drove a 1970s VW van the thing was so underpowered and unstable that I felt like I was going 100 in modern minivan when I was only going 45 in the classic, lovingly restored VW.

Tech moves on and enables better sound for whatever effort we are willing to put into it. Do I want to listen to 70s music? Sometimes. Yeah, that is the kind of sentimentality I like.

Do I want to listen to it on a pair of Altec A7-500s? Now that is a classic floor stander with studio roots! The answer is that listening to any music on A7-500s with all of their dips and resonances and other flaws strikes me as cruel and unusual punishment.
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post #6 of 35 Old 10-28-2012, 06:51 AM
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There were speakers that were great in their time (AR9 for instance) that are now obsolete. The science of loudspeaker design has advanced immensely. Perhaps if you want "in your face" sound you should get some Klipsch's or other horn speakers. Any cheap sub will do for popular music from the '70s. Apply equalization in the upper bass so you get that boomy sound.
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post #7 of 35 Old 10-28-2012, 12:55 PM
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Is your $1000 price point for the entire system or just speakers?

What source components are you planning to use?

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post #8 of 35 Old 10-28-2012, 01:12 PM
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CW makes horrible sounding speakers! Look in the CL for stuff that might pop up that actually sounds good. I have seen ESS AMTs for aroudn $500, even saw a real nice top of the line ADS tower system from the early 80's for $800.
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post #9 of 35 Old 10-28-2012, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cytowing View Post

Is your $1000 price point for the entire system or just speakers?
What source components are you planning to use?

$1000 just for speakers
Sources would be FLAC (my own rips of my cd collection), some vinyl, and occasionally mp3's from my computer but those would be rare.
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post #10 of 35 Old 10-28-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Efflixi View Post

$1000 just for speakers
Sources would be FLAC (my own rips of my cd collection), some vinyl, and occasionally mp3's from my computer but those would be rare.
For $1000 you can get a pair of pretty good floorstanders, particularly if you get used.

I am partial to Klipsch. You can get a pair of Chorus II or Forte II for under 1k and still have cash to upgrade the crossovers if you wanted to, they will rock the house down without a subwoofer.

I built a 2 channel system because I don't like listening to music on my home theater system (I am a Pink Floyd fanatic too). I am currently using Klipsch Heresy II speakers that I rebuilt to suit my own tastes.

To me Cerwin Vega have good bass but lack the detail of horn loaded speakers.

Infinity Primus series are OK but need a subwoofer for music IMHO.

The bottom line is get speakers that you like the sound of, keep your eye on your local craigslist and go for a good find.

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post #11 of 35 Old 10-29-2012, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efflixi View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cytowing View Post

Is your $1000 price point for the entire system or just speakers?
What source components are you planning to use?

$1000 just for speakers
Sources would be FLAC (my own rips of my cd collection), some vinyl, and occasionally mp3's from my computer but those would be rare.

If you want a system that would really clear out your ears, try this:

2 Yamaha Club series SM112V about $330 each

1 Yamaha Club series SW115V subwoofer at about $360

With 97-8 dB/W sensitivity, a 100 watt AVR would be good for about 118 dB SPL more or less. SQ wise and WAF wise they are IMO a little rough around the edges, but that was the 70's! ;-)
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post #12 of 35 Old 10-29-2012, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, since everyone here seems to think I'm crazy... What are some good bookshelf speakers? I'll be hooking these up to a 100w stereo receiver. It will not be used for movies or games or anything but music. I'm not completely opposed to a sub but my receiver doesn't have outputs for one so it'd have to accept the speaker outputs and send the signal back to the speakers which makes for a mess of wires and i'd rather not bother, it would also degrade the signal quality (by how much, i guess depends on the quality of the electronics in the sub). Basically i'm really just looking for 2.0 setup. If i want to shake my house, i'll play the home theater setup.
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post #13 of 35 Old 10-29-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efflixi View Post

I'm not completely opposed to a sub but my receiver doesn't have outputs for one so it'd have to accept the speaker outputs and send the signal back to the speakers which makes for a mess of wires and i'd rather not bother, it would also degrade the signal quality (by how much, i guess depends on the quality of the electronics in the sub).

If your stereo receiver has both A/B sets of speaker outputs, you can run one set to the speakers and the other set to the sub as long the sub has speaker level inputs. Just need to have A & B enabled together on the receiver to listen to the sub.

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post #14 of 35 Old 10-29-2012, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If your stereo receiver has both A/B sets of speaker outputs, you can run one set to the speakers and the other set to the sub as long the sub has speaker level inputs. Just need to have A & B enabled together on the receiver to listen to the sub.

That's a good idea. My receiver does in fact have A/B outputs.
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post #15 of 35 Old 10-29-2012, 08:07 PM
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I still have my Pink Floyd LP I bought in 1973 (Dark Side of the Moon of course). I played mine on an inherited Fisher receiver with my Advents. I lusted after JBL100s (as well as some of the studio monitor models). Later in the 80s I had some Cerwin Vegas....not so hot. Loved that red with the grills off, tho smile.gif If you want to go retro I've seen the JBL L100s for 500-600 several times. I'd still rather have modern bookshelf speakers with a sub, tho....

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post #16 of 35 Old 11-03-2012, 08:32 PM
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If you want vintage speakers that still hold up well, just about anything by ADS should be considered. I use L500's in the living room system and they're fine. I've heard people who know them say that modern speakers will do better, but I've tried a couple in the $1000 / pair range and wasn't as happy.
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post #17 of 35 Old 11-04-2012, 08:05 AM
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$1000 is too low for decent large speakers. $2000 would give you many reasonable options. But if your budget is limited, look at used market. You should be able to find few years old speakers for 70-50% of original price. Craigslist and Audiogon are two places to look for them. Only consider local (within 100 miles) sales, so that you can go and check them before buy.
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post #18 of 35 Old 11-04-2012, 08:33 AM
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I'm a user of the JBL L100. (don't worry about having floorstanders, a lot of the "bookshelf" speakers from the era would fit on no bookshelf you can think of. Lots of 12" drivers and massive weight from solid hardwood cabinets. still impressive visually)

The JBL does very well on its own, but becomes much more pleasant with a modern crossover. A few euro places do them, I went Jantzen. Paired with KT88 based tube amplification, I really do love the sound, about as flat a FR as there is in reasonably priced speakers. ( a pair can come for $4-600, sometimes far less if you get lucky. Mine cost me $150 in perfect condition from estate sale. The upgrading crossovers will add another couple hundred.)

I'm not going to point you to any modern items or subs, as I understand what you're after here, as much as some others seem not to.

A lot of Klipsch heritage speakers are very well loved. Klipschorns and La Scalas would blow your budget, unless extremely lucky, but the Heresy would come well within it (even brand new, I think. Klipsch still manufactures a few of their most popular classic speakers)

Altec/Lansing had some killer speakers from the 60's and into early 70's, $1000 budget should be able to get you a few of the nicer models.

Those CV's your dad has will play loud, and pound out bass, but will never sound "good".
Look around. Go to sites dedicated to vintage audio. Audio Heritage. Lansing Heritage, etc.

You tend to get an awful lot of all over the place opinions here, from people from too many different points of view, and a whole lot without the specific knowledge to point you in the right direction.

Good luck in your hunt Efflixi!

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post #19 of 35 Old 11-04-2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I listened to that music in the late 70s when I was a teenager, and this statement of yours makes no sense to me. confused.gif

I think he means he's primarily interested in listening to 70's music, and is specifically looking for same-era speakers in order to produce an era-specific sound (i.e. the speakers were made the same time the music was, and he may want to hear it as it sounded then?).

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post #20 of 35 Old 11-04-2012, 08:41 AM
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I think he means he's primarily interested in listening to 70's music, and is specifically looking for same-era speakers in order to produce an era-specific sound.

I got that much, but I don't think the sound was "designed to be listened to on these large speakers." Nor do I think that most of the large speakers really did the music justice compared the setups one can get today.

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post #21 of 35 Old 11-06-2012, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm a user of the JBL L100. (don't worry about having floorstanders, a lot of the "bookshelf" speakers from the era would fit on no bookshelf you can think of. Lots of 12" drivers and massive weight from solid hardwood cabinets. still impressive visually)
The JBL does very well on its own, but becomes much more pleasant with a modern crossover. A few euro places do them, I went Jantzen. Paired with KT88 based tube amplification, I really do love the sound, about as flat a FR as there is in reasonably priced speakers. ( a pair can come for $4-600, sometimes far less if you get lucky. Mine cost me $150 in perfect condition from estate sale. The upgrading crossovers will add another couple hundred.)
I'm not going to point you to any modern items or subs, as I understand what you're after here, as much as some others seem not to.
A lot of Klipsch heritage speakers are very well loved. Klipschorns and La Scalas would blow your budget, unless extremely lucky, but the Heresy would come well within it (even brand new, I think. Klipsch still manufactures a few of their most popular classic speakers)
Altec/Lansing had some killer speakers from the 60's and into early 70's, $1000 budget should be able to get you a few of the nicer models.
Those CV's your dad has will play loud, and pound out bass, but will never sound "good".
Look around. Go to sites dedicated to vintage audio. Audio Heritage. Lansing Heritage, etc.
You tend to get an awful lot of all over the place opinions here, from people from too many different points of view, and a whole lot without the specific knowledge to point you in the right direction.
Good luck in your hunt Efflixi!

I really appreciate the help but actually... i AM after the modern versions of the large speakers. I'd rather not purchase items that are 30-40 years old. That is why i linked the large Cerwin Vega's in my original post. What would be some good modern versions of these? I used to have some Technic's 12" 3-ways when i was a teenager (17 years ago) and they sounded pretty good but again, i don't want anything that old.
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post #22 of 35 Old 11-06-2012, 08:37 AM
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Guess I misunderstood the thread title and first post then. Apologies.

TV's ain't theaters buddy.

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post #23 of 35 Old 11-06-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efflixi View Post

I really appreciate the help but actually... i AM after the modern versions of the large speakers. I'd rather not purchase items that are 30-40 years old. That is why i linked the large Cerwin Vega's in my original post. What would be some good modern versions of these? I used to have some Technic's 12" 3-ways when i was a teenager (17 years ago) and they sounded pretty good but again, i don't want anything that old.

Look at the CHT SHO-10 speakers. They are two ways, but they have giant 10" drivers and are well-respected in the speaker forum at AVS.

However, they do need a sub to be crossed over at 80hz.

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post #24 of 35 Old 11-06-2012, 01:47 PM
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fwiw, take a look at the tekton designs lore model $999 a pair

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post #25 of 35 Old 11-06-2012, 03:48 PM
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+1 on Tekton Lore. They will rock you as would it's simliar Zu Audio Omens. Look on eBay from Zu Audio or wait until Christmas for a sale on $999 sale on Omens.
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post #26 of 35 Old 11-07-2012, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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The Tekton Lore looks amazing and it doesn't require a sub like the other suggestion which is what I am going for. I need to find somewhere to audition them!
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post #27 of 35 Old 11-07-2012, 09:03 AM
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The Tekton Lore looks amazing and it doesn't require a sub like the other suggestion which is what I am going for. I need to find somewhere to audition them!

Rhetorical question: How many large floor-standing speakers from the 70s had only 8 inch woofers?
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post #28 of 35 Old 11-18-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efflixi View Post

I really appreciate the help but actually... i AM after the modern versions of the large speakers. I'd rather not purchase items that are 30-40 years old. That is why i linked the large Cerwin Vega's in my original post. What would be some good modern versions of these? I used to have some Technic's 12" 3-ways when i was a teenager (17 years ago) and they sounded pretty good but again, i don't want anything that old.

Are you afraid of DIY? Check out the Cornscala. A modern interpretation of these classics is exactly what I would call them.

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post #29 of 35 Old 12-05-2012, 07:59 PM
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Not near 1000 bucks but I always liked my Dynaco a25's
http://home.indy.net/~gregdunn/dynaco/components/speakers/index.html

for floor standing I like my dahlquist dq-20's that I rebuilt.

Edit: I see fell victim to the same thing theonetruegreg did. Sorry frown.gif
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post #30 of 35 Old 12-25-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

There were speakers that were great in their time (AR9 for instance) that are now obsolete. The science of loudspeaker design has advanced immensely. Perhaps if you want "in your face" sound you should get some Klipsch's or other horn speakers. Any cheap sub will do for popular music from the '70s. Apply equalization in the upper bass so you get that boomy sound.

Really! And how did you arrive at the statement. On my last review of science of audio, I discovered that my hearing is still analog with a very wide dynamic range. Actruely if you really compare speakers of the 1070's to today they basically are the same. The problem with 1970's era speaker are with the form surround that was used by most manufactures of the day. Replace these rotten form surrounds and these speaker systems are restored to their orginal performace. The art of transforming a electical signal to acostic waveforms have nnot changed.

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