AVS Forum banner
  • Take part in a short activity and share your valuable opinion on new design concepts for AVSForum! >>> Click Here
  • Our native mobile app has a new name: Fora Communities. Learn more.

Old speakers... worth the purchase?

773 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  fyreboltx
I recently visited a garage sale in which a couple in their late 40s were selling some electrical equipment. There was a lot of vintage Pioneer stuff, like speakers and receivers. The man of the house used to play in a amature country band with his friends and they used that equipment.

The one thing that caught my eye were these two Pioneer floorstanding speakers which looked fairly old. They were CS-700 or something... I think CS 715 or CS 705. Each speaker had a 15" woofer, 4 way design (looked 4-way anyway), and handled 200 watts max (which is enough for me as my receiver can only output half that much). I talked to the guy who used them he said that they never really needed to turn them up too much because they never played any big shows like they'd hoped to.

I've been looking for some huge speakers recently I was wondering, do old speakers compare well to newer speakers in sound reproduction? I'm no audiophile but I do like clean sound. Bassically, I want something to shake my house a little for parties. I have high quality speakers to handle the mids and highs but I've been somewhat dissappointed with my lows.

Any one of you here have any experience with these old speakers? He said that if noone bought them, that they'd hold on to 'em for me if I'd buy at their asking price ($150).
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
If you do decide you want them, check out the surround material. It often rots on older speakers.
You didn't say how old they really are - but if they are 10+ years old there can be issues. The problems are generally not with the design, but just the age of the components.

If the drivers have foam surrounds, they will break down over time. You can have them refoamed, or buy a kit and do it yourself. If the surrounds look OK, they could still tear if pushed hard. Paper cones and voice coils also age and may be affected by heat & humidity. Tweeters may start to break-up their voice coils. Even the cross-over components can break-down over time, especially if they have been stored in a hot or humid environment.

It really just depends on just how old and in what condition they are in.
Just stating the obvious...

Speakers that were junk then are still junk.

Speakers that were good then might still be. Well-kept paper cone drivers are much more likely to be intact than foam. 20 year-old capacitors in crossovers have likely drifted off specs and would benifit from being refreshed. This doesn't have to be expensive.

There's a real market for older speakers that age very well, such as Klipsch (heritage line), JBL and Altec Lansing. So some speakers are still very good IMO. I don't recall Pioneer speakers ever being as desirable, but I could be wrong (I was younger then).

See less See more
I can't say I'd go for any Pioneer vintage speakers, but my Klipsch Heritage setup (Quartets and Academy) from almost 10 years ago are perfect.
I have two pairs of Acoustic Research speakers. The AR-3's are 44 years old and still work perfectly. I did have to clean the potentiometers in the cross overs, but because they use cloth surrounds, I did not have to refoam them. I also have a pair of AR-4x's, which are 39 years old. Vintage AR speakers as well as KLH, and Advent have quite a following and can be found regularly on ebay. They may need new grill cloths and the real wood veneer cabinets may need some attention, but I feel that they offer better value than many modern speakers.
I figured that the deterioation might be the worst issue so I did check them as much as I could. I didn't check the material but the two cones I could see were pretty much new. I couldn't see two of the tweeters because they were hidden behine non removable grills.

The owners said they kept it (along with 8 other pairs of floorstanding speakers and other audio equipment) in a spare room they had. They said the speakers work perfectly. They said they had no idea when the puchased the speakers has they have so many (all of which look like they're from the same era).

But the interior components are what worry me... they could be on their last few breaths and there's no way to check them.

I don't know if I want to take the risk. $150 is a lot... almost half the price of a decent subwoofer.
See less See more
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Not open for further replies.