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Classic gear from yesteryear; vintage audio standing the test of time.

RE: 1958 Single speaker JBL Hartsfield.

At the time of its 1957 introduction, the Paragon used the same driver complement as the Hartsfield - the 150-4C woofer, and the 375 compression driver. (The Paragon didn't become a three-way until 1960 when the 075 ring radiator was added. Over the years, many Hartsfield owners added the 075 and N7000 crossover. Richard Ranger, the Paragon's designer, originally envisioned it as a center channel, flanked by a Hartsfield on either side!)

The Paragon was my first exposure to stereo. This was in 1957 at Magnetic Recoding Company in Paterson, New Jersey. Since this was a year or so before the first stereo discs began to appear, the source was half-track tape. This was a very hard act to follow, and marked me for life.

Since the rise of the Internet, I've read many negative opinions about horn speakers in general, and the Paragon in particular. Matters of taste aside, I wonder how many who hold that opinion have actually heard a Paragon or Hartsfield, compared to those who are just channeling the judgement of others in an effort to sound more knowledgeable than they are.

Can these self-fancied experts seriously believe that a tiny stand-mounted monitor could challenge the performance of a Hartsfield or Paragon? But then, I suppose that's why we have the Vintage Asylum.


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