They sure don't make speakers like they used to - AVS Forum
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey All,

Have you guys ever looked back in time and remembered a set of speakers that sounded exceptionally good to you, or a speaker that you were particularly fond of?

For me it's the Jensen TF-3C's that my father let me use when I was in my late teens. I think they have a single 10" woofer, (2) 2.5 mids, and (1) 1" soft dome tweeter. I remember these speakers sounding fantastic. They delivered strong powerful bass that you could feel in your chest when the kick drum hit. They also offered exceptional blending of the bass, mids, and highs. Music by Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, The Eagles, even Black Sabbath came through with astounding clarity, punch, and presence.

Maybe I just have a case of the good old days syndrome, but when I shop for speakers now, I can't find anything that even comes close to the sound of these old Jensens. It seems like most speakers today favor appearance over performance. Modern speakers seem to be tall, thin, and tend to use relatively small drivers. Most of the speakers that I've auditioned recently seem to lack base and definitely don't deliver the slam that the old Jensens did.

These old Jensen TF-3C's were short, wide, deep and ugly, but they sounded good. I wonder why speaker manufactures abandoned this type of design? With today's speakers it seems like a separate subwoofer is an absolute requirement in order to get bass that would rival the old Jensens.

Does anyone know of any manufacturers that make three way speakers with large woofers (10 +), kind of a similar design as the old Jensens, at a reasonable price?




LL
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:54 PM
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http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/...32,28,168.aspx

These have 8" woofers.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:00 PM
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I had TF-3Bs and I loved them. However, I am glad they don't make then like that any more. They were dark and syrupy with a tizzy upper end. If you are used to that, good modern speakers may not appeal to you.

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Old 02-01-2008, 02:48 PM
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What exactly would you consider a "reasonable price"?
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:13 PM
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Kenr:
they dont make 'em like they used to...thats just a fact. a large heavy cabinet costs big bucks to ship from china...plus the wives rule and the tiny cubes sell ...

there are a million of us at Audiokarma dot org...all feeling like you...The good news is that with the 'bay and all ; you can buy the speakers from your youth for cheap, the restorations are not difficult...and the sound is, well, BETTER than what you remember...
-Eric
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:18 PM
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Cerwin-Vega is one of the few mass marketers that still specializes in the wide boxy designs. You gotta love red though.

I still have some boxy Pio 303's in storage (no where near as old as the Jensens) that were all paper cones but still kicked butt for bass and kept me subless for a number of years. Excellent for rock stuff like CVs but totally lacking in the finer details. No real imaging and/or soundstaging without tilted stands which I never used so all of the sound was down low near the floor. I can almost recreate the same effect to this day by switching receiver EQ off with my more modern design Emerald 97 speakers. Soundstage drops right down to the lower third of the room height. It's amazing what passed for decent sound...with God knows what kind of room issues.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SleeperSupra View Post

What exactly would you consider a "reasonable price"?

I'd say 2K for a pair of speakers would reasonable. I know...at that price we're not really comparing apples to apples, but even at 2K I haven't heard any speakers that really give me the sound I'm looking for. One of the pricier speakers that I auditioned was the B&W 703's. The 703's sounded wonderful, but lacking in bass (IMHO). I think what I'm missing is the "feel it in your chest" slam that I remember from the Jensens.

It's probably pretty obvious that I am not exactly an audiophile...but I'm working on it.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I had TF-3Bs and I loved them. However, I am glad they don't make then like that any more. They were dark and syrupy with a tizzy upper end. If you are used to that, good modern speakers may not appeal to you.

i have to agree there, my memory of speakers then had some trade offs
glad i have what i own now.
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cadbury8 View Post

Oh yeah the 703s are nice. lacking in bass? well maybe. But if you want chest pounding bass its time to enter the realm of the SUB-WOOFER!!! hehehe. in that realm you can find all the bass your chest can take an more. As a matter of fact you could put enough bass in your house today to blow out the windows. some things have changed and some things have gotten better... (insert evil grin here.)

Funny...When I auditioned the 703s, the sales guy (sorry, Audio Consultant as he prefered to be called), remained hesitant to turn on the subwoofer. Even after I said the music seems to be lacking bass, he mentioned something to the affect that subwoofers are really only for movie soundtracks and not 2 channed audio. I finally convinced him to turn the sub on (also B&W), and as expected, it added some very nice deep base; still not what I was looking for. The sub provided more of a "shake the fillings out of your teeth" bass as opposed to the "feel it in your chest" effect that I sought.
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:28 PM
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I just switched out my father's old KLH Model 6's for a pair of Ascend 170SE's and an ED sub in our basement system and the upgrade was huge. For what they lack in cabinetry the newer speakers compensate many times over in sound reproduction!
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:42 PM
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For $2k, maybe look at something like a Magnepan 1.6, very nice room-filling sound out of those.
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:48 PM
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I muiss them big old speakers. my mom has a pair of large phildo speakers with "10" woofers that can outdo most modern speakers in bass and loudness. I saw a pair of short fat centrex by pioneer speakers with an "8" woofer which can slan really good and I plan on buying them. they are generic speakers but oh What the hell i love bass and I can never get enough!

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Old 02-01-2008, 04:52 PM
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The VMPS RM2 lists for $2,690.00


http://www.vmpsaudio.com/RM2.htm
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:07 PM
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Theres a thread floating around called '6" woofers cant rock' with 10+ pages dicussing how to get the mid-bass slam in the chest feeling you crave, search it up
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:10 PM
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Trust me, they sound better in your distant memory than they ever did in real life....unless you want distorted bass, a muddy midrange, and terrible highs.

John
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:22 PM
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JBL 4412s, JBL L890s, JBL 4430.
Any of the JBLs with dual 8"s or larger.
Love JBL.

"The choices we make define our lives, because choice, not chance, determines destiny"

They call me the 18 year old DJ Audiophile-upgradeitis infected-guy!
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:09 AM
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You're looking in the wrong stores. Today's speakers in Big Box or AV specialty stores are designed for complete HT applications. A movie on those Jensen's would probably kill off most dialogue in a 5.1 system. To get those kind of speakers now (if you're looking for mostly music listening), you need to look at a music or DJ store. Mackie, JBL, MTX...10", 12", 15" loudspeakers meant to fill all musical ranges with head pounding bass that will blow your roof off. I did an install consultation in a smaller bar (30x20 room) awhile back with just 2 Mackie 15" boxes on a Crown 600 watt system and the windows, walls and tables were Shakin' All Night Long (Yes, an AC/DC pun..it's early).

"Hey, don't forget smoking lamp...oh I'm sorry, was that expensive piece?"
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:39 AM
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I have a pair of DCM KX-12's that have that kick. I find that if you want that bass grin, you have to go with speakers of that type, Cerwin Vega's fit the bill too. My Alpha 50's have dual 8" woofers, and although the bass is more than adequate, it does not kick you in the chest. I have a hard time listening to my old DCM's now, terrible imaging, and very fatiguing. I also like that kick, but I don't want to give up clarity, and it seems that you do with a lot of bass heavy speakers.

Since my Alpha's can't give all of that punch by themselves, I have them paired up with a SVS PB12-NSD. Now, when I listen to music, I am a happy camper. Perhaps the OP could add a mid bass module to whatever speaker he decides on.

Sometimes our memory plays tricks on us. Something we thought was great years ago, doesn't quite cut it anymore.

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Old 02-02-2008, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainKellog View Post

For $2k, maybe look at something like a Magnepan 1.6, very nice room-filling sound out of those.

I compared Maneplan 1.6 with some:
AV123 Rocket 550 (2-way two 6.5 inch midbass and a tweeter) circa 2004
Dahlquist DQ10 ( 5-way with a 10 inch woofer, two midrange, and two tweeters) circa 1981

What I found is that Rockets sounded better over a much wider range of sources, and at higher volumes... they were more flexible and dynamic.

Both the Dahlquists and the Maggies needed to be played with certain types of source material (very well recorded stuff), and needed to be listened to at a certain volume, and then they sounded more "transparent", and imaged a bit better than the Rockets.

The Rockets were always more dynamic, and sounded far better with iffy source material like movies and concerts... The Rockets also sounded better at very high volumes, and at lower volumes.

The Maggies edged out the Dahlquists ...especially at higher volumes. I suspect with a huge amp the Maggies would have sounded more dynamic, and perhaps would have competed a bit better with the Rockets.

I used a 40 pound Pioneer VSX45TX receiver, which has plenty of power - for a receiver, but not compared to a good amp.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DamageMcRamage View Post

Sometimes our memory plays tricks on us. Something we thought was great years ago, doesn't quite cut it anymore.

Finally, some great wisdom.

It's the same with vintage musclecars, which I owned and raced. The very fastest and most feared (Hemis, Boss 429 Mustangs, 427 Chevelles, 440 6-packs, etc.) ran 13.8-14.5 second quarter miles and got 10 mpg. We wax nostalgic and and think they were faster. A 383 Roadrunner ran 15-second quarter miles, and would be beaten today by many SUVs, Altimas, Camrys, and luxury cars, although the perception, embelished with age, is that they were fast. Not really. Reality check.

Love your fun vintage speakers for what they are, and enjoy that huge 70 Hz bass bump and 140 Hz harmonic.

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aka TRIAD DUDE

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Old 02-02-2008, 10:58 AM
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kenr, with all that was said, and all true, correct, and indisputable...............I'll take the Jensens. As well, I'll stick with the '69 Z28 with the solid-lifter 302 CID, twin 600-cfm Holleys on a cross-ram manifold. And yes, I know, you can buy an off the showroom floor Honda that's faster, handles better etc etc and you can find plenty of speakers that will sound better.........those are the things that make ME happy. Determine for yourself what will make YOU happy and enjoy the music and have fun!
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Man, now I miss those old Jensens and my '76 Camaro too (not quite stock, of course ).

I realize that details fade with time and that it may be human nature to romanticize things from the past, however, to keep with the car analogy, I'll bet anyone that has driven a muscle car remembers quite a few of the pros and cons. The heavy smell of gasoline, the erratic idle caused by the oversized cam, the kick in pants when the secondaries opened up, and in some cases the whine of supercharger. Maybe perception has a lot to do with it, but I think there are some unforgettable qualities about old cars and old speakers. No doubt today's cars are better in many ways, but there are some qualities that the old Jensens had that I can't find in any of today's speakers.

To me, the old Jensens seemed to blend the bass, mids, and highs very well. I remember them sounding very natural. This is something that I've had a difficult time finding in today's speakers, granted I have not listened to Triad yet.

I'm not exactly sure how speaker technology has advanced over the years, but even reaching back to the mid 90's, I had a pair of Altec Lansing speakers (picture attached) that provided the bass and the blending that I've been looking for in a new speaker. The over all sound quality wasn't the best though.

Today I have Definitive Technology BP7002's as my mains (pic attached). They do a descent job with the bass, but there seems to be a "hole" between the bass and the mids. I don't think that they blend the frequencies very well (IMHO).

After looking around the net for a while I found some companies like Wilson Audio that use larger woofers in some of their products. I don't know if these newer speakers with the larger woofers would provide the sound I am looking for, or what the benefit of these integrated woofers over a sub/sat system might be. I'll most likely never find out because of the price tag. I doubt they'd even let me in the door at a place were they sell equipment like that.

.
LL
LL
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:51 PM
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It's the same with vintage musclecars, which I owned and raced. The very fastest and most feared (Hemis, Boss 429 Mustangs, 427 Chevelles, 440 6-packs, etc.) ran 13.8-14.5 second quarter miles and got 10 mpg. We wax nostalgic and and think they were faster. A 383 Roadrunner ran 15-second quarter miles, and would be beaten today by many SUVs, Altimas, Camrys, and luxury cars, although the perception, embelished with age, is that they were fast. Not really. Reality check.

Love your fun vintage speakers for what they are, and enjoy that huge 70 Hz bass bump and 140 Hz harmonic.

You couldn't have summed that up any better, Paul.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:16 AM
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I don't know much about expensive speakers due to my smallish budget but I did spend about an hour with a pair of Rockets, model RS1000. Each speaker has a built in 350 watt amp powering a 8" woofer handling the bass along with 4 X 5.25” drivers handling the mid bass. They certainly fit the description of being able to feel the slam in your chest. I listed to some Rage Against The Machine and was very pleased with what I was hearing AND feeling.

Goodluck
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

Finally, some great wisdom.

It's the same with vintage musclecars, which I owned and raced. The very fastest and most feared (Hemis, Boss 429 Mustangs, 427 Chevelles, 440 6-packs, etc.) ran 13.8-14.5 second quarter miles and got 10 mpg. We wax nostalgic and and think they were faster. A 383 Roadrunner ran 15-second quarter miles, and would be beaten today by many SUVs, Altimas, Camrys, and luxury cars, although the perception, embelished with age, is that they were fast. Not really. Reality check.

Love your fun vintage speakers for what they are, and enjoy that huge 70 Hz bass bump and 140 Hz harmonic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkisagoonie View Post

You couldn't have summed that up any better, Paul.

You guys are joking , right ?

you would rather drive a camry or an altima, than a 383 Roadrunner or a Boss Mustang?

ummmm....not me.

and the high end speakers from back in the day were great; and still are great...and the cheap speakers are well still cheap....
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioEric View Post

You guys are joking , right ?

you would rather drive a camry or an altima, than a 383 Roadrunner or a Boss Mustang?

ummmm....not me.

and the high end speakers from back in the day were great; and still are great...and the cheap speakers are well still cheap....

As far as looks go...no. Everything else being equal, yes, I'd rather drive a Camry or Altima. Cars that have decent fuel economy, great performance, and lack mechanical troubles outweigh anything that the old muscle cars had to offer. A decent ride and being able to drive in the snow doesn't hurt either. Admittedly, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

I like Ice Cream!
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

Finally, some great wisdom.

It's the same with vintage musclecars, which I owned and raced. The very fastest and most feared (Hemis, Boss 429 Mustangs, 427 Chevelles, 440 6-packs, etc.) ran 13.8-14.5 second quarter miles and got 10 mpg. We wax nostalgic and and think they were faster. A 383 Roadrunner ran 15-second quarter miles, and would be beaten today by many SUVs, Altimas, Camrys, and luxury cars, although the perception, embelished with age, is that they were fast. Not really. Reality check.

Love your fun vintage speakers for what they are, and enjoy that huge 70 Hz bass bump and 140 Hz harmonic.

Actually the 69 Road Runner 440 6 pack was clocked at 12.91 at almost 112 mph, stock (probably slicks though). Almost 40 years later the 2008 436 hp Vette is running 12.5's at 115 mph.
Sure, the Vette is faster, but I think the RR would beat most SUVs and Altimas it came across...

But as far as speakers, I agree with you!
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:39 AM
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Yeah, as for the car comparison.
I can't really speak for american muscle cars, but I can speak for the European supercars of the 80s. By looks and engine I'd far rather drive a 850 beemer from back then, but there are so many factors, like handling, and tax, and fuel economy, that have me driving a VW instead.

It's just a matter of you want to spend your money on, and whether you personally like it.
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioEric View Post

You guys are joking , right ?

you would rather drive a camry or an altima, than a 383 Roadrunner or a Boss Mustang?

ummmm....not me.

and the high end speakers from back in the day were great; and still are great...and the cheap speakers are well still cheap....

I didn't read it that he said he'd "rather" drive an Altima over a 383 roadrunner. But that any number of stock, family cars, today are faster than what a roadrunner was, despite the perception in our minds that the Roadrunner was a rocket. And that's just a simple fact. But I would much rather drive a Lexus SC-430 or BMW M series, over any of yesterday's muscle cars.

And cheap speakers are cheap speakers regardless of what era they come from. Just as quality speakers are quality speakers. But there are many more choices of quality speakers to choose from today than in years past.
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

I didn't read it that he said he'd "rather" drive an Altima over a 383 roadrunner. But that any number of stock, family cars, today are faster than what a roadrunner was, despite the perception in our minds that the Roadrunner was a rocket. And that's just a simple fact. But I would much rather drive a Lexus SC-430 or BMW M series, over any of yesterday's muscle cars.

And cheap speakers are cheap speakers regardless of what era they come from. Just as quality speakers are quality speakers. But there are many more choices of quality speakers to choose from today than in years past.

Good points. Speakers, like everything else, get better over time. I find that nostalgia can blur the facts sometimes. If speakers have not improved, why have the manufacturers been trying to improve them? There would be no point in a new model line.

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