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An issue I would like to present is the topic of used speakers. How old is too old? 5, 10, 20 years? I have to believe speaker tech. has improved over time, but to what extent? X-overs, speaker construction? I see an awful lot of good deals on 10-20 yr. old speakers but I am unsure of the value of purchasing these. I think the simple design of some of these aged towers are more aesthetically pleasing than a fair number of recent bits. In my uninformed head, a well engineered piece is exactly that. Regardless of age. Thoughts?


*edit* missed an 'a' in the title. don't beat me up over it, please.
 

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on a secondary TV system, I'm still using a stereo pair of 1970's Sansui 4-way speakers. Beautiful wood veneer enclosures and the 15" woofers do not hurt either.


Yes, speakers have improved....as have cross-over electronics and enclosure design. But if the speaker cones and surrounds are OK, there is no reason "older" speakers can not perform well today. The speakers that frankly still surprise me today, are the 20 year old Rat Shack LX5 speakers with "lineaum" tweeters. They just should not sound a good as they do ! Old does not mean "bad". At least that is one ol'pharts opinion.
 

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Lots of great used speakers out there at attractive prices. The classics will hold their value so it's easy to live with them for a while, then flip em' and try something else till you find what you're looking for.


I guess maintenance can be an issue with some old speakers though, so you'd want to know what you're getting into.


They really made some great gear back in the day. Just look at an Altec model 19 beside the JBL Everest. Same basic principle, just refinement really.


My DIY speakers have profession cinema drivers and horns (Altec) from the 70-80's, but I use a dbx digital crossover, rather than the tradition active/passive crossovers they used at the time. The mid range on those Altec 288 compression drivers and Mantaray horns is really something and that same compression driver has been in manufacture (in a slightly different form) since the 40's. And you can still buy brand new parts for those 1940's Altec compression drivers!
 

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Buying old(er) speakers is just like buying anything else used... is it a crapshoot.

If the speakers can be demoed for sound quality and inspected for damage and deterioration of the cones and surrounds that obviously reduces the risks significantly.

A lot of the old speakers that used to be common place are good enough that you have to spend into the thousands to get better sound quality so the possibility of finding great value is certainly there.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chashint /forum/post/18212209


Buying old(er) speakers is just like buying anything else used... is it a crapshoot.

If the speakers can be demoed for sound quality and inspected for damage and deterioration of the cones and surrounds that obviously reduces the risks significantly.

A lot of the old speakers that used to be common place are good enough that you have to spend into the thousands to get better sound quality so the possibility of finding great value is certainly there.

+1


I myself spent a couple of years looking for a good value in the 1-2k range (new). I tried this, I tried that, listened to dozens of speakers and decided for myself that used older speakers offered a far better value than did newer speakers today, even with new technologies. The key word being USED, as many people do want the newest shiniest things without having to be concerned about foam surrounds, old parts, and whatnot.


Also, you can see that speakers haven't seen revolutionary change in the past couple decades. They are still driven by magnets, same basic cone design, dome shaped tweeters predominate.
 
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