Approach To Vintage/Modern Speakers

uraniumwilly

Senior Member
Messages
964
I've been lucky in that I landed two high end vintage receivers, both tube and solid state, for cheap. From there my thought process goes a little weak.

I have a love for 60s-70s music that goes beyond just buying old records and various digital recordings. I am flooded with glorious and magical memories of my childhood while listening to this music. This is cool. But here is where I get goofy: my plan is to create a sort of sound system that includes all components of the past - and that includes vintage speakers. I've convinced myself that an old set of high end speakers will embiggen that experience, even though I already own modern high end speakers that have better specs. So, I'm kind of brainwashing myself that even with higher performance modern speakers, the vintage speakers will be a more authentic time machine.

It's an odd, old farty, "good old days" fascination with the past that kinda makes no sense.

If anyone out there has experience with using older 70s-80s high end speakers, I'd love to hear about it.
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,530
Don't know what your budget is or what your idea of "an old set of high end speakers" is. Dunlavy SC-IV, Dahlquist DQM-10, JBL 4313, Klipschorn, Tannoy LGM, B&W 801F?

You can look on Audiogon for things like KLH, ADS or Advent, but chances are, vintage speakers will sound pretty bad. Speakers, crossover components and cabinets wear out and were not very good anyway.

To hear what vintage records were supposed to sound like, get a good pair of modern speakers like something from Revel. A good vintage preamp/power amp will not sound much different than a modern set, so why mess around with old electronics that also have a useful life of 20 years or so?
 

uraniumwilly

Senior Member
Messages
964
Yeah, 70-80s made, eg JBL 4033s. Klipsch speakers, all high end highly regarded, well spec'd stuff, is what I'm talking about.

Old electronics, like my Sansui 9090db sound great. There's no reason to think that old speakers, even those requiring a reconing or etc maintenance won't sound great.

It's definitely a good idea to A-B the old vs new. I own good modern speakers
 

jnovac1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,338
I've been lucky in that I landed two high end vintage receivers, both tube and solid state, for cheap. From there my thought process goes a little weak.

I have a love for 60s-70s music that goes beyond just buying old records and various digital recordings. I am flooded with glorious and magical memories of my childhood while listening to this music. This is cool. But here is where I get goofy: my plan is to create a sort of sound system that includes all components of the past - and that includes vintage speakers. I've convinced myself that an old set of high end speakers will embiggen that experience, even though I already own modern high end speakers that have better specs. So, I'm kind of brainwashing myself that even with higher performance modern speakers, the vintage speakers will be a more authentic time machine.

It's an odd, old farty, "good old days" fascination with the past that kinda makes no sense.

If anyone out there has experience with using older 70s-80s high end speakers, I'd love to hear about it.
hey, cool post. klipsch forte is a great speaker. i have magnepan 1.7's, certainly a modern high end device. i use bozak symphony's in the basement, and have no qualms listening to either set up. you can do this! you should!
 

dB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,499
Love the premise. Nothing to add except make sure that you procure the right piece of furniture to set this on...tons of old walnut consoles on eBay, Craigslist, etc
 

mlongano

Member
Messages
2,078
+1 on the Dahlquist DQM-10 speakers. I used them for twenty years, before replacing with a set of Definitive Technologies BP7002 towers, with built in subwoofers. The bass is obviously much better in the Def Tecs, but the high end sparkle of the Dahlquist speakers is hard to beat.
 

71strat

Member
Messages
10,337
Great Plains Audio/Altec Lansing STILL makes the 604E Duplex


ALTEC_604-8G_1.jpg

Ive got 3 of them, and run them through a totally refurbished Ampzilla x Theadra Preamp, B&O Turntable, DBX 5BX, Tandberg TC910, SST Trinaural Processor, SVS SD16 Ultra Sub, DBX iEQ31

 

71strat

Member
Messages
10,337
Trinaural Processor
Closer to the Live Event
Tri-Channel processor
1425500818652

trinaural-back.jpg

features
  • CES “Best of the High-End” Award and Stereophile Magazine “Class A” Recommended Component
  • Creates a more real, live sounding experience than any traditional two-channel system can
  • Completely analog processor; no digital processing
  • Home theater bypass
  • Subwoofer-out with built-in crossover and level control
  • Balanced design
  • XLR and RCA inputs and outputs
  • Compact design
The Trinaural Processor is a totally unique device that addresses what Jim Bongiorno considered an inherent flaw in the traditional music playback system—specifically, that it only produces sound in two channels. According to Jim, there is very little absolute left or right information. The sonic panorama is shaped more like a large arc across the sound stage, wherein the most important information comes from the center. Thus, for tangible, truly live-sound emulation, it’s necessary to add a center channel to the setup.

The initial hurdle is how to properly integrate a center speaker. It won’t work to simply add a summed center channel, because normal power levels are not created to accommodate three channels and moreover, things would sound odd. Proper implementation requires re-vectorization of the composite stereo information for three channels. Enter the Trinaural Processor. Using the Trinaural Processor, typical two-dimensional stereo sound is transformed into immersive, life-like acoustic reproduction like you've never heard before.

An important technical note is that the Trinaural Processor is a linear, completely analog device with no digital processing. The Trinaural also has a bypass switch which allows you to connect your home theater pre/pro/receiver as a pass-through, enabling you to use your two-channel preamplifier for music reproduction without having to go through the Trinaural. So get ready—listening to music will never be the same again!
 

71strat

Member
Messages
10,337
Heres some info on James Bongiorono, who made many Innovations/Designs


bongiorno.jpg

James Bongiorno, a true HiFi legend, passes away at 70
This is not the happiest way to re-open the magazine after our usual holidays break but I simply can't avoid this. A week ago a true legend of the HiFi arena, James Bongiorno, passed away. It is a sad loss indeed. We TNT-Audio had the honor and the pleasure to interview him exactly ten years ago (how time flies!) when he was recovering from liver disease and starting new projects and designs (Ampzilla 2000 etc.). He told us about his early days as HiFi designer, and how he came to design so many innovative HiFi components. Personally, I find the contents of that interview extremely insightful and still astonishingly up-to-date, especially when he talks about the HiFi market, its gurus and their false promises. In case you missed that ten years ago, I'd suggest to read it thoroughly!
After a long fight against liver problems he had seemed in good health again, but evidently not everything was OK. It's a sad loss because his contributions to high quality audio were original and enlightening, we will certainly miss his unconventional approach to HiFi.
Our younger readers may not know who James Bongiorno was or how his work, beginning in the seventies, was seminal to the current state of the art. So here's a brief compendium of what he did, from his early designs to his latest achievements:
  • Hadley Laboratories 622C Power Amplifier, contributing engineer
  • Marantz Model 15 Power Amplifier, contributing engineer
  • Dynaco Stereo 400 Power Amplifier, Designer
  • Dynaco AF-6 AM/FM Tuner, contributing engineer


  • SAE (Scientific Audio Engineering)
    • XXXIB Power Amplifier, Designer
    • IIIC/CM Power Amplifier, Designer
    • IVD/DM Power Amplfier, Designer
    • VIB Stereo Tuner, contributing engineer
    • IC Stereo Preamplifier, contributing engineer
  • GAS (The Great American Sound Co.) Chief Designer
    • Ampzilla Power Amplifier
    • Ampzilla II (World's first servo-controlled power amplifier)
    • Thaedra Preamplifier (World's first (and only) servo controlled preamp)
    • Thoebe Preamplifier
    • Son of Ampzilla Power Amplifier
    • Thalia Preamplifier
    • Grandson Power Amplfier
  • Sleeping Beauty Moving Coil Cartrdges
    • Sumo Electric Co. Ltd. Chief Designer
      • The Power, World's first 450 watt/channel fully balanced Bridge Power Amp
      • The Gold, World's first patented solid state Class A Power Amplifier
      • The Nine, World's first low cost solid state class A power amplifier
      • The Nine+, Ruggedized version
      • Electra Preamplifier
      • Charlie the Tuner, world's first premium low cost stereo tuner (The humor in the name is that US TV advertisements of the 80's had a cartoon tunafish named Charlie selling cans of his relatives . . . and the tuner had quite mixed reviews.)
      • The Half-power, stereo power amplifier
      • Andromeda, world's first low cost solid state class AB Balanced Power Amp
      • The Sumo I, Magnetic Phono Cartridge
      • The Sumo II, Moving coil Phono Cartridge
  • Harman-Kardon, Consultant, completely redesigned the Citation 23 Tuner
  • Crown Radio, Japan, 4 power amps, 2 preamps, a fully equalized (phase & amplitude) 3-way electronic crossover.
  • Spread Spectrum Technologies Inc.. Chief Designer
  • Ampzilla 2000, fully balanced monoblock power amplifier
  • Trinaural Processor
    ampzilla.jpg

    If I were forced to cite one single project that can describe James Bongiorno's genius I'd choose the GAS Ampzilla power amplifier because, at that time, this represented a refreshing departure from the usual HiFi cliché's...this power amplifier was every audiophile's dream!
    More generally, his amplifiers and preamplifiers for SAE, GAS and Sumo were components that marked an era, for the originality of their design, circuit layout and price/quality ratio. He was such an eclectic designer and man, his clothes proved this beyond any reasonable doubt! Just make a search on Google Images with keyword "James Bongiorno" and enjoy his colourful approach to attire :)
    Our small world of audio enthusiasts has lost another piece of its history and I have to admit that it is hard, nowadays, to find such leading personalities among new gurus and designers. We will miss you, Mr. Bongiorno!
s-l1600.jpg


s-l1600.jpg
 

71strat

Member
Messages
10,337
Equal to, or better than the 2 you have. Most of the info is in the Center Channel, and for a while, will appear center heavy. I used 3 like these



 

uraniumwilly

Senior Member
Messages
964
Well, I'd like to say, first, buon giorno, (seems appropriate.) and thanks to all respondents.

The thread has certainly gone in an interesting direction! :)
 

NotWesYet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,358
You are right it makes no sense.... That being said I have a Marantz 2345, an AR turnatble to be restored, and a set of AR 2ax's I am restoring and plan to pickup a Teac A2300 reel-to-reel on Friday! LOL

Life's too short not to have some fun even if it makes no sense!!!!

As to vintage AR's, there is a guy on ebay who has the proper components to restore including proper caps. Many do not sound the same because the original caps are not available. To match the originals, he uses two that maintaine the specs of the original circuit.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/vintage-ar/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=
 
Last edited:

Kiwi

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,165
My approach to vintage vs. modern speakers... Use both. They complement each other.

My "B" rig, used for loud rock and roll, is the Bose* Full Stack: 1970s 501s, on which I've stacked 1980s 601s. That fills the room with dispersed and glorious mid-range, where the music lives. The speakers are daisy-chained, and connected to the amp's Speaker A outputs.

Then on the amp's Speaker B outputs, I have connected a pair of late-90s Alesis Monitor Ones. These have a ton of punch, and the low bass and high treble that the Bose are missing. The Alesis monitors are typical modern speakers in that their midrange is scooped, so that's filled in by the Bose Full Stack.

All in all, with Speakers A+B engaged, I believe that's 18 speaker cones, woofers and tweeters going. It's a pretty glorious sound, full and filling. Visitors have complimented me, with some surprise.

(Total ohmage the amp sees? Don't ask. I put a fan under the early-90s Yamaha 80w receiver and it hasn't blown up yet!) ;)

My wife refers to this arrangement as "The Island of Misfit Toys" since they are all nearly worthless castoffs from my previous stereo systems of the last 40 years.

=K

*Bose: I know, I know. I've been told a thousand times. Audiophiles hate them. Not "high end," not highly rated, etc etc. But they sound wonderful especially for vinyl, tape, and some CDs that were carefully mastered. They do seem to match the media of their era.
 

uraniumwilly

Senior Member
Messages
964
My approach to vintage vs. modern speakers... Use both. They complement each other.

I am planning to do exactly that. I'm currently running Adam powered A7x's studio monitor speakers with 2 different D to A out of my computer: 1) Apogee Groove; 2) Lynx Aurora.

I don't yet have the space to do an A/B, with modern/vintage, but for some weird reason I don't really care too much. I just like the idea of having these old objects from my youth. And like HammyD, I'm going to run tape also - but mine will be a cassette player. HISS FOR DAYS
 

Brian Scherzer

Co-Founder of TGP
Staff member
Messages
5,148
You can still buy new "old style" speakers from brands like Klipsch. I'm not to be trusted around soldering irons so I would probably elect to go new for more money, but avoiding some of the headaches as speakers age.
 

Jack G

Member
Messages
4,080
If I used my JBL LSR 305 for Left and Right
the JBL LSR 310s for the Subwoofer
what would I use in the Center
recommendations?

I bought 3 305 to use as my L/C/R in my small theater room. Ideally a Center is a timbre-match so another 305 is the perfect choice.
 

Jack G

Member
Messages
4,080
... I am flooded with glorious and magical memories of my childhood while listening to this music... It's an odd, old farty, "good old days" fascination with the past that kinda makes no sense.

Sure it does - it's one of music's higher purposes.

When I was a kid in the late 70's my dad had this system in the living room that I discovered music on. Fisher receiver, big acoustic-suspension Fisher speakers, Dual 'table, and an 8-track! A few years ago I found the Fisher receiver model he had on e-bay and bought it. Certainly not one of the classic tube models, just a "The Fisher" 700 transistor amp. It honestly doesn't sound all that good, but I'm happy to have it.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,306
You can look on Audiogon for things like KLH, ADS or Advent, but chances are, vintage speakers will sound pretty bad.

I got a pair of ADS bookshelf speakers for $5 at a church sale. They still sound very good, and are pretty highly regarded. A cap replacement in the crossover supposedly makes them sound even better, but I'm not really planning on keeping them.
 




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