Todays Speakers vs Vintage Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mark Davis, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. JimPA

    JimPA Distinguished Member

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    Kind of interesting how Kef changed their design philosophy.
    Part of it is because many of the old timers retired.
    They decided they couldn't get much better results with bextrene cones so moved on to polypropylene.
     

     

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  2. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member Subscriber

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    Well, a bit. But not as much as it seems. $3000 today is equivalent to $450 in 1970. A pair of JBL L101 listed for $792 in 1970, that's $5200 in 2018 dollars. The JBL L120 listed for $1266 in 1974, that's $6800 today. The Klipschorn in oiled walnut were $2080 in 1974, that's $11,200. So while not as pricey as TOTL today, some of the vintage speakers were pricey in their day.
     
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  3. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Nope.

    My point is that user reviews for speakers are not of much use and are flawed for a variety of reasons.

    They are not something to use as a guide. You are going on and on about reviews and review methods. Why? No matter what, they will never be fully usefull.
     
  4. BMWCCA

    BMWCCA AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    And the L120 Aquarius and L101 Lancer were actually not very memorable for their sonic qualities. Kind of odd choices but I see your point.
     
  5. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I don't doubt that 2-10k dollar range retail can yield some good speakers.

    However I still am not convinced that I can buy a new pair of speakers for $400 that will do more for me then my HPM100 or L110 speakers. Not even close.
     
  6. 3db

    3db Active Member

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    Agreed unless the reviewer provides detailed test results starting with frequency response on axes and then provide off axes response up to 60 degrees off center, linearity responses at low and high volumes to see how they handle dynamic swings, to name a few.
     

     

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  7. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I tend to look for 1watt, 1meter, full space. At what frequency is it down by 3db?

    Power handeling specs....min, program, peak.

    Cabinet construction. What materials are used? How thick? Weight? Finish? Bracing?

    Materials used in driver construction. Driver technology used.

    Cut and dry. Objective.

    If the above checks out as per what I am wanting, I give it some consideration.

    Spec sheets are good enough.

    No need for "user reviews".
     
  8. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    It's always nice to have the opinion of someone who has never heard a speaker rate its capability. Keeps all that pesky subjective listening stuff out of the way of an informed buy or pass decision. Wish I had such talent.
     
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  9. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

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    Well, just a skosh;)
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Retrovert

    Retrovert AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Which isn't true.

    DBT testing for cables is certainly fully useful. DBT testing for speaker sound is certainly useful when it says, this new thing doesn't sound any better than this older thing.

    A tuner's sensitivity in an urban market with lots of multipath is something a reviewer can discuss which has value. How well a speaker converges in a small room can be meaningfully discussed.

    This issue is varying shades of gray, with many overlapping Venn diagrams.
     
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  11. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Goddammit! It turned into a freaking cable thread! :whip:
     
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  13. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    :rflmao::rflmao::rflmao::rflmao:
     
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  14. Retrovert

    Retrovert AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Which is what is usually forgotten. The dollars must be scaled, factor of 20 for 1960, factor of 10 for 1970. Housing has risen many times the rate of inflation, so it isn't just good and services which are factored in.

    In consequence, as Tom notes, those vintage speakers are being purchased at a steep discount. Yes, the manufacturing had a lot of handwork, so the price was higher than mass-produced items of today. But the fact is we can buy an awful lot of work for a fraction of the original cost.

    That doesn't mean, of course, that old, wheezy speakers with poor sound are the best chioce. But it does mean that speakers which still sound great contain a lot of expensive engineering and manufacturing and we're essentially buying units at fire-sale prices.
     
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  15. Damage

    Damage Super Member

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    Honestly, none of those mean very much in the typical user space either.
    What does a thick versus thin cabinet tell you about how it's going to sound in your living room? How does it's weight mean anything with the materials readily available today?
    Does Kevlar have a different sound overall than coated poly? Does one sound more like a human voice than another?
    Can you really tell the difference between aluminum and titanium dome tweeters?

    I can't fathom why one thing means more than another. They both have their place. I really don't know why you would take one and not at least try the other. I like subjective reviews. And I like measurements. I find Stereophile (etc all) reviews entertaining and I enjoy paying for their magazines.
     
  16. Damage

    Damage Super Member

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    A very true statement.

    I think in there are some really good vintage pieces that stand the test of time. The rest are just "nostalgia", and that's ok too.
     
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  17. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

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    Thank goodness for the 20-30%'ers buying habits back when, although today's 1%'ers probably have less mundane things to do than to critically listen to music.
    Not to say they can't or shouldn't whip out the Bank of Dubai Royale credit card for a set of MBLs;)
     
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  18. Retrovert

    Retrovert AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Uh, ever hear of cabinet resonance?

    Cabinets with resonance issues higher up sound worse than ones which resonant at lower frequencies. This is basic audio engineering.

    The materials available today are the same ones available back then: MDF and plywood. Yeah, sure, some exotics are used, but nearly all speakers are MDF or plywood.

    If you can't, some boys with a white van have the perfect speakers for you. Left over from an installation. Price is cheeeeap. You'll discover that an ABS tweeter, ok, really just a rattlecan cap flipped around with a silver spot in the center is every bit as good as an actual soft dome.

    Ummm, ok. Those magazines should be shipped in a plain brown wrapper so that nobody knows you're getting it.
     
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  19. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The things I mentioned mean more to me than how a speaker sounds in a space other than mine with gear other than mine and listening habits other than mine.
     
  20. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Very difficult to teach a dogma not to chase the karma.
     
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