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Once in a while us audiophiles guys get asked to upgrade a system when the person does not have a lot of funds. I foolishly like a challenge at times.
Everything is in place except the junk 'white van' speakers that will go to the trash can. I searched the archives and good speakers that used to fly under the radar are now $200 & up plus shipping on epay.
Any ideas for $100 that has a 10"+ woofer? Local Goodwill has nothing of interest for over a month.
I wouldn't fixate on woofer diameter, unless you're a bass freak. A 12" woofer isn't necessarily going to sound better than a 10"; and an 8" isn't necessarily going to sound worse.
As others have mentioned: Snells from the era when Peter Snell was alive. Old Bozaks, if you can find them, sound surprisingly "natural" even though they won't have ear-popping bass.
A lot of acoustic suspension speakers have a pretty thick sound, unless you're into listening to cello recordings: Advents (really nasty treble), KLH-17s, AR-3 anythings, AR-4, EPIs (except the 100, which is nice). So I would avoid them.
For my money, the AR-5 and AR-2ax are the best balanced of the classic AR speakers. KLH-6's sound surprisingly good, considering that they have a 12" woofer and, IIRC, no midrange.
Avoid just about any Japanese-branded stuff: Pioneer, Onkyo, Yamaha (except the NX-1000) from the 70s. It's pretty awful.
Also avoid the Klipsch Heresy, which is just an ear-bleeder of the first order . . . suitable only as a PA speaker, in my opinion.
All of these speakers will sound much better on a stand that puts the tweeter at ear level and gets them off the floor.
You are right in my sweet spot. I have owned dozens of speakers in this category/price range.
As others have mentioned, forget woofer size. If you are looking for good solid bass for under $200 and still want a well-rounded speaker, try a/d/s, original Advents, AR, older Polk, Boston Acoustics, Avid, RTR, Graphyx, DCM, EPI, Epicure. Also, Optimus Mach One.
All of the above can be found cheap if you are patient and beat the typical Kabuki junk (Sansui, Kenwood, Pioneer, Sharp, Technics, etc.) and modern big box JBL, Klipsch, and Bose junk that makes up most of the CL listings. Also, avoid Cerwin-Vega, just my opinion.
The Dynaco's are always a safe bet but if your looking for something that's still flying under the radar. The Radio Shack Optimus 8b's. I have seen these for as low as $15 on Craiglists. It's really hard to beat for the money!
...lower models (A70, A100s) were simple 2-ways with an 8 or 10" woofer. Tweeter by Seas.
Non-tiring, good bass, and fairly efficient.
Always on ebay...
Avid fits your description pretty well. It came along a few years after the Advent, was similar in design, some critics thought it a little better or at least as good, and is less well known now has less of a cult following and thus probably less in demand and cheaper.
Wow, those scans take me back. I loved the catalogs from mail order hi fi dealers back in the '70s. My favorite was from Warehouse Sound in exotic - sounding (to a college student in Virgina anyway) San Luis Obispo, California. The catalog featured pictures of happy, beautiful SoCal college girls in halter tops who seemed to be completely thrilled to be posing with nerdy looking guys and their Warehouse Sound stereo systems. The system descriptions invariably talked about how great the systems sounded at parties; the not - so - subliminal message was "buy this Pioneer - Dual - Electrovoice rig and you'll be hooking up with hot hippie chicks before you can drop a needle on Best of Bread !" I read and reread the Warehouse Sound catalogs until they fell apart.
Which catalog are your scans from?
The AVID scans were from the one and only (I think) catalog issued by Gordon Miller Music in Baltimore, MD, ca. 1977. Nice store; rather short-lived, though.
Now, is that cover art Seventies enough for you?
all the best,
Dual TT's, BIC loudspeakers, Koss Pro4A's, Akai cassette decks, Kenwood amps. I had a Warehouse Sound tee shirt that I wore to shreds. There was a local hifi store in NC that carried the same brands. I think they subscribed to Warehouse Sounds catalog and just ordered the same stuff. Used to stand in front of some huge Altec speakers and turn it up and let our bell bottom pant legs flap in the breeze. Good times.
I concur. A friend sold them in the 70s. They were designed by Victor Brociner,one of the great old audio designers.
Listen to ADS.
The Snell type K's sound great and have 8" woofers. They can be had for around $100.00.....
Parts Express has some Dayton Audio speakers that sound quite good for the money. Two sets with 6 inch woofers can be had for about 100 bucks. Then after additional funds are available they have a 10 inch sub that blends nicely.
(borrowed photo, obviously)
The early version, which used the inexpensive but very respectable Wolverine LS-8 twincone fullrange driver as its midrange is the one to seek. Sensitive and very respectable sounding speaker in a small, closed-box package. "Great for tube amps". It was part of a series of similar "Low Resonance Compact Speaker Systems" being marketed by EV - I reckon the others are good, too... but I've only managed to find "Esquires" myself. Later Esquires used a much more generic MR driver.
Here in New England, finding nice EPI, AVID, Boston Acoustics, Advent, KLH, and (to a lesser degree) AR speakers cheap or free is still not difficult. These are all capable of quite enjoyable performance although mainly with mid or even high powered soiled state electronics "for best results".
Heck, there's a cosmetically very nice pair of Advent Legacy IIs from the swap pile at our town dump sitting in my front hall even as I type this :-P I previously had a cosmetically-not-so-nice pair that I refoamed and gave away. They sounded pretty decent (despite being post-Kloss "Andvent" products - Recoton-era, I think), so I didn't hesitate to pick up the current pair when they showed up.
For reference, this is an example of the earlier pair pre and post-refoam.
Of course, careful what one wishes for! I found a pair of AR-3s at the dump, years ago. They were in TERRIBLE condition; but they sounded just fine. Well, the price WAS right.
all the best,
that sound very good, and can't be matched, IMO, for the $150-300 or so they will cost. All are easy to drive as well.
JBLs used to cost $100, no more. $300 now. B&O are at least $150 now. Prices have gone up or 'used to fly under the radar'.
I "upgraded" from Dynaco A25s to Mordaunt-Short Festival IIs after an in home audition. While I now use a high-efficiency horn system, I still think they sound good. And even my audio engineer/high-end studio owner friend liked them. They are a "typical" British 2-way with an 8" woofer and a dome tweeter from the late 70's, they don't need much power, and when I've seem them sell on eBay it is often for well less than $50.
vinyl asylum alread gets enough vinyl related traffic make it hard to keep up with the posts..but when people start threads such as this that have no business here, it's just clutter...
I can suggest the Infinity Qe, 8", not 10", but I got mine for a measley $10 and they are fighting my Klipsch for supremacy. I'd recommend Fortes but they're 12's! Both are amazing, but not 10's...
I have Crites modded Fortes & stock Cornwalls. These are both out of my friends budget, but those Qe nipping at the heals of a Forte must be one hell of a speaker. I assume the Qe bass is not near a Forte, but plays low enough.
A speaker with a 10' woofer and found used for $100, has no usable output in the 35-40Hz range.
The listener/owner of such a system, would have little need for 35-40Hz.
The audition is everything.
Vintage Sansui speakers with a 15" may not play down to 35Hz. The 10" speaker is a target. I have modern 8" Peerless that will play to 35Hz no problem.
Some large woofers can not play low, some smaller can.
Large and good woofers are not cheap, he would be better of with smaller but better woofer.
will do that. I have a floor standing speaker with 6.5" woofers that go down that low.
My 8" woofer has usable bass down to 25 Hz. It is amazing how many subs on the market can't go into the 20 Hz range. I just laugh. I'll take a full range speaker over sat/subs any day of the week. Now, if you are using a sub for bass 40Hz and below (maybe 50 Hz and below), than that is another matter.
Occasionally I get a good deal on Craigslist. I found a pair of Snell Type K's with refoamed woofers for $150 and a pair of near mint Dahlquist DQ12's for $200. It takes a lot of patience and daily searching.
I believe the A-25 can be a great speaker. It can work well with lower powered amps (if not cheap ones), tube or SS. It is relatively full range, meaning reasonable bass extension. It is good enough that it responds to a few tweaks; upgrade crossover cap, remove tweeter guard or replace tweeter, surround tweeter with dispersion blocs (foam), and solid stands that place tweeter at ear level from the prime listening seat.
But the woofer is a 10" and every pair I've seen has rubber surrounds which should still be in good condition unless mistreated.
Now, search Vintage site for A-25 and you'll find lots of info has already been covered.
Has an 8" woofer I think.
A good speaker with a bigger woofer will usually cost you more than $100 in great shape (unless you luckily stumble on to some 70's ARs or JBL L100s or something like that.. but unlike the A25, they used surrounds that will be in need of replacement now).
The Dynaco is a great natural sounding speaker.. commonly found for right around your friend's price point & it's reasonably efficient enough to use lower powered amps with it.
I have an unrestored pair I play with a 20wpc Fisher integrated in my office & they sound real natural & nice to me.. with more than decent bass.
The original cabinets aren't quite big enough, ideally, for the very nice Seas woofers that are in there.. but for a casual system, i wouldn't sweat that at all.
Many also "upgrade" them with newer tweeters from Seas or Morel (think only a drop in replacement from Seas is still an option), but check out places like Madisound online & see what they have or recommend.
What kind've amp do u guys have lined up for the system?
I haven't heard any of them for many years but when they were in production I much preferred the A-35 and the later A-25XL to the A-25s. I don't recall ever hearing or seeing the A-50. Any of the Dynacos are probably a good bet.
Peter Snell era (pre-1986 or so) Snell Es or Js would be my first choice but the woofers will need new surrounds. They are significantly better than Dynacos, ARs, KLHs, EPIs and Large Advents IMO. The Cizek Model One is not that easy to find but another excellent option. It also used foam woofer surrounds IIRC so they would need replacement. If you luck into a pair of Cizek KA-1s buy them despite the smaller woofer. The molded concrete Rauna speakers are another unlikely score but very good if the enclosures are intact. The KLH 6 and most of the EPIs aren't bad.
With used speakers watch out for inappropriate replacement drivers. There are a lot of idiots out there.
The A-25's are a great value and easy to find. They seem kind of like Dynaco ST-70 amps - the price seems to always be about the same, so, apart from inflation, I suppose, you can just about always sell them for what you paid. They do turn up on eBay quite often, though shipping cost could be a factor. I haven't seen them in the local Goodwill (I kinda think there's some kind of leak between the donation station and the store - nothing but sh!t ends up in the store) but have seen them on craigslist from time to time.
I have a pair of them I've used with a Dyna ST-70, Fisher 500 & 800, Marantz 8B, Dyna Mk III's, etc., and they sounded just fine with all of them. Not hyper-efficient, mind you, and not really exceptional in any respect, but very pleasant, non-fatiguing, nice to listen to.
The A-25's bass poops out at about 50 Hz and the top end rolls off about about 12 Khz. But these are speakers which sound like music and obey the first law of speakers: get the midrange right!
They don't need gobs of power and have a flat impedance curve, so they're not going to interact with tube amps having a high output impedance.
20-25 watts is fine, although the speakers will never deliver ear-bleeding levels.
The A-50 (if you can find it) has the same tweeter, so the top end will be the same. It uses two woofers, so the bass is a little more authoritative and deeper.
When they 1st came out Stereophile reviewed them as having the best bass there was. They didn't mean the deepest but the cleanest. And since they were the best selling audiophile speaker of all time they can still be found pretty easily.
Found a pair of Dynaco A25's at our local thrift several yrs ago for $5. Amazed at how good they were. Used in primary system for a while until they were edged out by a vintage pair of KLH 6 found at the same thrift for $12. The last year or so, thrifts have become a dry well for vintage gear in our area. Craigslist could be a good bet. Prevailing market price will be found on ebay.
After I dragged a pair of free Dynaco A-25 speakers home (one speaker wasn't working) and spent ten minutes on repair I was shocked to find that I preferred them to the audiophile-approved ACI Sapphires I had at the time. Even more so after replacing the single capacitor in the crossover with something not 35 yrs old (I used Obbligato copper caps).
They work great with tube amps (I've used them with an Eico ST-40, an Onix SP3, and my current Audiomat Prelude Reference) and capacitor-coupled vintage SS amps like the Marantz 2230 receiver. I still have my pair and still love 'em.
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend them with enthusiasm.
try speakers or vintage.
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