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post #1 of 5 Old 08-10-2007, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I was going to buy some new bookshelf speakers or fairly new Paradigms then I thought about Vintage. Does anyone have an opinion about Advents, ARs, or Dynacos? Are there any others I might want to consider? Do I need to worry about the Luxman they're going to be hooked up to?
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-10-2007, 09:12 PM
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It might be hard to locate a pair of vintage speakers that don't need to have the surrounds on the drivers rebuilt. Most of the speakers from that era, have worn out drivers. Just be open to doing a little handy work on the speakers in order to get them to perform up to their potential.

IMO, I'd still rather have some newer bookshelf speakers paired with a sub when used for music listening. Newer driver materials and crossovers that have gone through several revisions make for some very nice sounding new speakers. Don't get me wrong, I like vintage gear. But, I feel that it needs a bit of "care and feeding" due to the age.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-10-2007, 09:22 PM
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Lots of good informtion/opinion on vintage gear at AudioKarma.org
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-11-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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Significantly older speakers may still sound good (a speaker that sounds good will always sound good assuming it still performs in good condition). However technology (materials and understanding of speakers) has increased a great deal in the past decades, and the ability to measure speaker performance has advanced a great deal. The very high end, most expensive speaker from decades past today might be decidedly mid-fi, and very affordable speakers today can often keep pace or best some of the best speakers from years past. That being said, there are plenty of great sounding older speakers. But unless there is a particular reason to be looking that far into the past for vintage gear, you'll probably still get better value buying new or newer speakers from a much more recent vintage. There are many things that are measured and understood and designed for today that weren't even known about decades ago, along with significantly more advanced materials capabilities that give modern speakers especially at more budget pricepoints, significantly greater value today than they would have in the past.

But as always, listen, and listen widely, and find the speaker that sounds best to YOU. Whether it be old or new is irrelevant, as long as it sounds good and good to you.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-11-2007, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

It might be hard to locate a pair of vintage speakers that don't need to have the surrounds on the drivers rebuilt. Most of the speakers from that era, have worn out drivers.

Older woofers that used foam surrounds often need them replaced. On the other hand those that used rubber or corrugated cloth surrounds are usually fine.

How does a driver "wear out"? I have two sets of Altec studio monitors from the early 1960s that will surpass in clarity, dynamics and imaging 99% of the speakers talked about on this forum. I know people that use RCA speaker systems from the 1940s and 50s that work fine and sound marvelous. Not to mention people that use WE systems from the 1930s.

Advances in speaker technology have mainly been in making small and/or cheap speakers better. You wrap a coil around a former, fix a diaphragm to it and immerse it in a magnetic gap. Old stuff. Note the "back to the future" guys who are rediscovering such virtues of old-school designs as underhung coils, Alnico magnets and field-coils.
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