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Speakers and Cables For an 80s System?

Discussion in 'Vintage Gear - Top Performers' started by OccidentalDB, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. OccidentalDB

    OccidentalDB New Member

    Messages:
    23
    I'm going to build a system of 80s-mid 90s components to compliment some gear of the same era to make a vintage room in my house. I already have JVC and Sony SVHS decks, a Pioneer Elite LD player, video games and a massive tube TV. I'm planning on a getting a Nakamichi tape deck (Dragon or 1000 series), preamp (undecided, but preferably something with a laserdisc button lol) and PA-7 amp. That leaves speakers and cables.

    For speakers: Seeing a Polk SDA-SRS is what gave me the idea in the first place, so it's under consideration. Any suggestions for other things that scream 80s to consider? I'm expecting just about anything mentioned on an audiophile forum to be good enough for its purpose, so a very 80s aesthetic is almost as important as the sound.

    For cables: Look for something authentically 80s? Better Cables? Moon Audio? Something from Wireworld? I'm completely undecided, and open to spending some on the cables, but definitely don't want to spend more on the cables than I do on components unless I'm getting extra performance to match the dollars spent out of the Nakamichi gear.
     

     

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  2. motorstereo

    motorstereo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Go for the big Polks if you have the room and are able to give them breathing space they need for sda. If you can't swing the SRS's or 1.2's the 2.3's are also great speakers and considered by some the best sounding model of the sda line up. As for cables everything you've mentioned will work just fine.
     
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  3. MCM_Fan

    MCM_Fan AK Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,634
    Location:
    Oregon
    Kef 104/2, 105/2 and 107 all pretty much scream 1980s:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Or maybe some JBL L250Ti from 1985:

    [​IMG]

    Or maybe some of the big JBL 43xx Control Monitors, like the 4345s:

    [​IMG]
     
    Hawkeye83 and OccidentalDB like this.
  4. reisod

    reisod New Member

    Messages:
    1
    If you're going for late 80's to mid 90's paired with Nak gear, maybe the JBL 4400A series? The 4408A's were my favorite of the near-fields we sold at the time. The 4412A's would soak up that PA-7. And if period looks are important - while they did hold the standard JBL cabinet format of the 4300s, they were uniquely faced in an amazingly tacky speckled blue laminate (formica?); a choice that no sane human would ever make outside of the late 80's/early 90's. IMO, they're also currently incredibly undervalued at the moment as compared to their more elegantly walnut veneered predecessors.

    page3.jpg

    BTW, I know you're asking about speakers in a speakers thread - but just for fun since you mentioned tube TVs. We sold Mitsubishi at the time and I think they still hold the record for the biggest retail CRT - but I always thought the coolest looking were the Sony "cube" displays they sold for museums and large displays. They were stupid expensive then, but today I'd expect you to find someone begging you to take one of their hands.

    612b607b0770153b1210519e4d4e1f07.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
    stish and OccidentalDB like this.
  5. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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  6. bobschneider

    bobschneider AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Back in Chicago
    If you want authentic 1980s cables, find some Discwasher Goldends for interconnects, and original Monster Cable for speaker wire. There wasn't any such thing as dedicated audio power cables back then - just use the heaviest gauge computer type power cords you can find.

    And the Nak CA-7 preamp is a great one, and the correct match for the PA-7 power amp. No laserdisc selector button, though.
     

     

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  7. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  8. smokenguns22

    smokenguns22 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Lafayette LA
    Cerwin Vega speakers

    No that’s ‘80
     
  9. hiFi DAD

    hiFi DAD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    A friend of mine did something similar. He wanted to build his Dream system from when he was in college. He ended up going completely Carver and used a nice pair of JBL 4312’s.
     

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  10. smokenguns22

    smokenguns22 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Lafayette LA
    Nice gear HifiDAD

    Bet it sounds as good as it looks

    I’m close to getting all my gear vintage Marantz
    Just need speakers and turntable on day
    Smokey
     
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  11. Nemo bit

    Nemo bit Active Member

    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    West coast USA
    Any oxygen free multi strand copper is great. It depends on run lenght as to gauge. We were not as fixed on a name as performance. But hey what would I know. I have nothing in any system that dates after 1975 other than a couple recievers and 1 pre. I cant afford any new "improved" current offerings but to my ears and most whom hear my dinosaur gear it holds its own. Enjoy building your system!
     
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  12. Old-School

    Old-School AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Definitely what he said! Monster cable speaker cable was the stuff to have.
    There was a big turning point in the mid 90's when "esoteric " cables really took off, and all of a sudden you had to spend hundreds of dollars on a power cable, digital cables, the sky was the limit. If you stay strictly monster cable I think you will be fine, and true to the era. Speaking of esoteric.. Esoteric audio did make some nice stuff too.

    Back in the day (early-mid 80's) I had some of those multi colored radio shack cables, and I thought that was high end!
     
  13. Old-School

    Old-School AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    252
    Oh, and speakers. Forget the SDA SRS 1.2. Those things are so huge and over the top its not even worth it. Get some Polk Monitor 10B's or Cerwin Vega's, definitely 80's vibe there.
     
  14. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,365
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    Another vote for Monster Cable--they were "the sh*t" back then. With that much clean/stable power, I can't believe no one has mentioned some of the larger Infinity RS-series or Kappa series speakers.
     
    Colin86325 likes this.
  15. Sam08861

    Sam08861 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Northwestern NJ
    80s.. Let's see.. memories growing up in the middle class suburban (really sub-rural!) midwest. Pictures taken from google search just to make it fun

    - Bang & Olufsun beosystems from that era. Beomaster, beocord, beogram, etc...
    upload_2018-12-5_9-51-18.jpeg
    - Technics (or any) Equalizers with spectrum analyzers
    [​IMG]
    - Sony Discman hooked into receiver or better yet, having a cassette adapter in through the tape deck
    [​IMG]
    - or Any top flip opening CD player. (not audiophile unless you get a luxman, rega apollo or similar, but certainly screams 80s!)
    upload_2018-12-5_9-57-3.jpeg
    - Alpine tape decks if you don't find the Nak
    [​IMG]
    - Technics/Panasonic or Pioneer Kabuki speakers (ok maybe not audiophile save a few Pioneer HP)
    [​IMG] upload_2018-12-5_10-0-59.jpeg
    - Magneplanar speakers with the off white cloth
    upload_2018-12-5_9-59-8.jpeg
     
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  16. Sam08861

    Sam08861 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Northwestern NJ
    Ps.. forgot to mention LEDs... Lots and lots of LEDs or VFD displays..
    Soundcraftsment stuff usually delivers the goods with lots of Christmas tree like displays. Usually a bit industrial looking though.
    upload_2018-12-5_10-6-22.jpeg
     
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  17. bberkom

    bberkom AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Big ADS speakers.
     
  18. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    NEPA
    Boston Acoustics A400 was another notable speaker of the decade.
     
  19. embrown057

    embrown057 Active Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Apollo Beach,FL
    Sure the SDA's would be great but the OP needs to know it will take some power to truly light them up, there not a easy load to run. That brings a hole new configuration separates, amp and preamp.
     

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