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loudspeaker longevity

Discussion in 'audio' started by pcm, May 18, 2013.

  1. pcm

    pcm pfm Member

    Is anyone still using loudspeakers from decades ago which they wouldn't part with - and why?
  2. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    My main loudspeakers (ESL63) date form 1982 and I wouldn't part with them.
    Electrostatics have some unique properties (especially of the Quad variety) and if you get hooked on what they do well, little else satisfies for long.
    For starters, super low moving mass in the drivers, only one in-band resonance (at LF), wonderful phase coherence, distortion performance close to that of a very good amplifier and no box to store energy or reflect. These things have a direct impact on the sonics and I'm not aware of anything on the market today (other than modern Quads) which replicate these attributes in one design.
  3. Mikas

    Mikas pfm Member

    Mine are from 91' and I have them for two reasons:
    - Budget.
    Replace them for another ones that suits me better would be quite an effort, unless I find myself single again. ;-)

    - I still love their sound after more than 20 years of faithful service.
    In fact, my sound still clearly improves when I upgrade other components, so they're still up to the game.

  4. sergeauckland

    sergeauckland pfm Member

    My B&W 801s date from 1984 and they're keepers. Unless abused, loudspeakers can last for 50+ years, with possibly a crossover recap in that time. There are enough Tannoy DCs and Quad ESLs from the late 50s and 60s still working.

  5. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    I'm back with Linn Saras (1986), currently listening to 'My Jamaican Guy' by Grace Jones. They have a musical and dynamic engagement that is most endearing, not heard the like in anything else.

    I also rather like the construction and attention to detail these speakers exhibit. I bet they would be a fortune to make today!

    They are not the most accurate but they do have oodles of detail it's just that they are not speakers for shrinking violets.

    I love em.
  6. pocketkitchen

    pocketkitchen Registered User

    My Shahinian Arcs are from the late 80s, I believe. I can't see my self changing them.
  7. Rodney gold

    Rodney gold Im just me...

    I'm using Osborn Epitomes from the mid 90's , still "old" at round 20 years, replaced the tweeters , my fault .
    I still love em and they blow a lot of much more expensive modern speakers away.....Their bass is almost full range to 20hz and they are really very dynamic , have a wide an expansive sound , excellent treble and an organic midrange very hard to beat despite me having tried a lot of others..I have been offered really good money for them and always declined.

  8. dani

    dani Member

    I have Yamaha NS-1000 M since over 4 years and i am very happy with them. I still think you have to take a lot of cash to buy better speakers than they are.
    Amp is av2 with nap250.5, cds3 and Qute for internet radio stations, Sony DVD-9000 ES for movies.


  9. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    I have three vintage designs, Epos ES14s first generation which is my default speaker, Quad 57s which are my speaker of choice at the mo and Neat Vito SE with ultimatum drivers. All a bit difficult to beat, the 57s are shocking! God knows what they sounded like 40 years or so when they were made.
    PS when a pair of mint Ditton 66 appear at the right price they will be on the subs bench. (Not for long is my guess)
  10. LPSpinner

    LPSpinner pfm Member

    OK: something old … Well I have a pair of the Yamaha NS1000M’s and they still sound pretty good as well as a pair of LINN Kans both from around the mid 80’s

    I’m always curious as to know if the suspension on older bass drivers has hardened over the passage of time. How this affects in the bass drivers Thiele-Small parameters and ultimate bass performance is a question I can’t answer but the old speakers I do have still sound good. My suspicion is that the Thiele-Small parameters do change slightly over time but not so much that the speakers become unusable. We don’t have a time machine (yet) so I suppose we will never know.

  11. fhsa8

    fhsa8 pfm Member

    Epos ES11s from about 1990 still sounding great. Currently partnering a Rega brio-r
  12. speedysteve1

    speedysteve1 Registered User

    Vitavox S2 compression drivers are nearly 60 years old. Recharge the mag perhaps a new diaphragm - ready to rock...


    I also use JBL2482 compression drivers from the 70's...

    Checking the diaphragm
  13. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    I’m always curious as to know if the suspension on older bass drivers has hardened over the passage of time.

    Suspension actually softens over time, to the point where if the spiders have sagged sufficiently they need to be replaced.
  14. MikeMA

    MikeMA pfm Member

    I'm still using a pair of Rogers LS3/5As which I bought in 1985 for £100. They are now in my 'upstairs' QUAD sytem. I hang on to them because (a) they still sound excellent, especially with small-scale musical works and the human voice, and (b) I now see them as a sort of fiancial investment because every time I look on ebay I see them selling for silly money.
  15. Cav

    Cav pfm Member

    Not me - but do you? Do you have any speakers? To sell?
  16. neiljadman

    neiljadman Senior Member

    Celef PE1s
    Keesonic Kubs
    And Briks...

    Not a modern speaker in the house.
  17. trio leo

    trio leo pfm Member

    Well, having been involved one way or another in the HiFi industry for over 30 years, I have heard many great speakers including up to date models, but I have always had a soft spot for Allison speakers, particularly the 1980's introductory models like the 1, 2, 3 and 6 room coupled speaker range.

    Roy Allison, whom I met many years ago, said " many speakers are measured in an anechoic chamber, but people don't live in anechoic chambers"

    I love the natural, effortless sound Allison's bring to a system, my corner sited 3's sit 14' apart and offer a beautiful sound stage that has a tonally realistic presence,

    I re-foamed the bass drivers recently and the speakers are now back on form, 1980's stuff can still sound great, it appears many of you guys still appreciate older, quality gear.

    enjoy your music

    regards Al
  18. Disbeliever

    Disbeliever pfm Member

    Quad 63's are best described as old hat I know because I used them for many years . IMO they are not the 'closest approach to the original sound' and never were. You only have to look at how many users were trying to integrate them with a sub (never successful) and also add tweeters. However we all have our own favourite speakers, many people seem to love the old Quad 57 first commercial ELS ,I find them totally unlistenable due to their beaming effect.
  19. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Mine date to 1958 and they're keepers.

  20. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    Horses for courses really - I ran 57s, 63s & original SF Concertinos as my main speakers. Sold the 57s when I moved back to Switzerland last year, regret it already.

    63s are my best all round compromise, but I'll never sell the SFs either.


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