Todays Speakers vs Vintage Speakers

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

  1. BilboBaggins

    BilboBaggins AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  2. BilboBaggins

    BilboBaggins AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I’ve been thinking about this discussion.

    When I first got back into vintage Audio, I used specs and reviews to help me pick some speakers for my McIntosh MAC1900. I was using it to drive a pair of Bose 8.2 Speakers I bought new in 1987. It quickly became clear to me that the Bose were limiting the sound, and that I could do better. After spending many thousands of dollars and trying many many different combinations of gear, it has become clear to me that reviews and specifications are only good at indicating potential. In the end, even hearing the gear will not tell you how they will sound in your audio space. Too many variables to take into account. So it might be impractical for some of us to try many combinations, and you can roll the dice and hope for the best, like I did back in 1987, or you can try things out in your home and have a collection of gear like many of us. Oh, by the way, different speaker/amp combinations sound different depending on the kind of music you play and the sound levels you play at.

    I did go to an Audio store about 10 years ago thinking that I could improve on the sound I was getting in my htr and 7.1 speakers. In the end, it would have cost about $5000 to get better sound than I already had for $500. I haven’t looked back since.
     
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  3. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For most here, in my observation, this is a hobby. That said, just about everyone here rolls the dice from time to time and ends up with a collection of gear over time.

    I have too many speakers, not enough house and I know that I am not alone.
     
  4. BilboBaggins

    BilboBaggins AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Many of us are here on ak, even if we never post.

    Btw, my brother and sister were just over, and spent their time teasing me about how I have so much gear, there’s no room for my wife’s stuff. When I pointed out things that were my wife’s, she pointed out that they were mostly gifts from me. I guess I had better focus on reducing the stable size.
     
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  5. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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  6. IPADave

    IPADave AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This is one of most rational posts in this thread.

    -Dave
     
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  7. 3db

    3db Active Member

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  8. mfaz28

    mfaz28 Active Member

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    I can attest to that !
     
  9. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Reading through this thread...Atkinson gave my KEF 107's a glowing review, that's one thing we can agree on, anyway! :) Of course, most of the gear in Stereophile DOES get glowing reviews...

    I still say good is good, old or new. My 107's are long in the tooth and if I don't put them right next to some newer, high end speakers, I'd say they sound "perfect!" "How could it get any better?!" Well, obviously it can, but if I didn't know any better...well, I wouldn't know any better. And I couldn't afford to do "much better," anyway. But if I had the money, yeah I'd be looking to do better! Modern high end, I've just barely tasted it, but it's pretty darn good. And the trickle-down to the more affordable products seems to be a real thing (unlike trickle-down economics, which I shouldn't even bring up and please let's not get into that, LOL!). Vintage high end is pretty darn good too though! We are blessed in this hobby with so many choices.
     
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  10. valvenator

    valvenator curious bystander, serious procrastinator Subscriber

    so trickle down ELECTRONICS is the real deal?...:D...
    :beerchug:
     
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  11. 3db

    3db Active Member

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  12. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  13. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    I've always wondered why so many have a problem with the generally good reviews in the high end magazines. Given the choice, how many posters here would review "crap" they don't like? Even sites and magazines that claim to be objective only post/publish good reviews.

    How much can you say about todays Yorx equivalent (Crosley?)? How many people would want to read about such gear? Certainly not the ones who read magazines aimed at the high(er) end.

    The same people who complain about high end reviews seem to have no problem with Julian Hirsch's reviews which were also always good. I suspect a lot of the animosity has a lot to do with the items reviewed. No receivers and only higher end gear and speakers reviewed goes against what many posters here think is the "shit".:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  14. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I don't read the magazines or the reviews. I don't care much either way about either of them.

    But, I can see why those that are into that kind of thing would have a degree of distaste for them. Magazines get paid to publish what they publish, either directly or indirectly. They have ulterior motive to make certain companies look good. The reviews are set up to make those companies look good.
     
  15. Ramseybella

    Ramseybella AK Member

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    Sadly that seems to be the name of the game with every thing reviewed.
    Motor cycle and automobile mag's are some of the worst.
    Even if the BMW GS 1200 catches fire at a stop light periodically it's still the best motorcycle on the planet.
     
  16. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

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    Not all gear at Sterophile gets glowing reviews. Recently read 2 amp reviews that were not glowing at all.

    Bricasti amp one of them I believe.
     
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  17. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well they won't review your stuff if you don't buy advertising. They gonna bash an advertiser?
     
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  18. jozeppy26

    jozeppy26 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I’m all in with vintage speakers (pre-1980) based on build quality alone. Not only are the home theater tower speakers ugly as all get out but they depend on a sub, are made of particle board and vinyl, and are laughably expensive. Speakers of the 90s too were essentially fat tower speakers that were again particle board and vinyl.

    For a home HiFi setup the build quality and beauty of vintage speakers cannot be beat (except for maybe the legacy Klipsch series which are essentially newly manufactured vintage speakers). Vintage speakers are truly beautiful and can be implemented with your home’s decor. My HPM-100s are heavy thick walnut veneer. They have real grain. It’s wood. It’s thick wood. The drivers have gorgeous silver aluminum borders and again are heavy. Meanwhile B&W and Klipsch think yellow and copper are cool colors respectively (and expect you to agree and pay $2000+ a speaker that’s made of plastic).

    For me, style matters. Build quality matters. History and character matter. Very few of us will ever achieve a setup and space that truly rivals a live performance so why compromise on asthetics and charm? (Side Note: live performance are amplified through speakers anyway and have horrible acoustics in every case except a classical music hall so what exactly are we even chasing? The altered and perfected recorded studio sound?) Music to me is a relationship. It’s an experience. Listening to American Beauty on vinyl on an PL-55x with my SX-3900 powering my HPM-100s only adds to the richness of that experience. Using a media streamer connected to a DAC and blah blah blah only detracts from the intimacy of it all.
     
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  19. BMWCCA

    BMWCCA AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There's something better out there?? :dunno:
     
  20. 3db

    3db Active Member

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    Some Reviewers in magazines with a conscious walk a tight line between stating the truth and giving good reviews. One has to read between the lines and whats being omitted in the review to understand what's being said. There have been instances where products received bad reviews and the company pulled their advertising dollars out of the magazine. The magazines are there to survive and make money so there is definately a conflict of interest between advertising dollars and honest reviews. Then there some reviewers that are just down right fraudulent spewing their subjective opinions giving glowing reviews but somehow ignoring the technical details/theory behind the article reviewed.
     
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