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Vintage speaker advice......

Discussion in 'classic' started by mr sneff, Feb 7, 2023.

  1. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

    Thinking about trying a pair of vintage speakers with my Quad 306 (I also have a 303).
    Current speakers are Monitor Audio Apex A10 on dedicated stands approx 18" from the wall.
    Room is 19' x 13' with speakers on the shorter wall.
    I sit approx 12' from the speakers and listen at around 60 - 70 dB.
    Any suggestions of what speakers I should be looking at?
    Speakers to avoid?
  2. calorgas

    calorgas Generic middle-aged man

    Classic 2 cubic feet speakers perhaps, like Spendor BC1/SP1 or Rogers LS7/Export/Studio 1. Or maybe that tidy pair of Celestion Ditton 44 in the classifieds?
  3. Fergus

    Fergus pfm Member

    At this moment I’m listening to Mordaunt Short Pageant Mk2’s and I couldn’t be much happier. I think they’re superb for vintage speakers at very little cost. I’m listening with a recently acquired Naim Nait and RPi with dac hat. They were bought from the original owner who had used them with Quad 33/ 303 from new.
  4. legacylenslover

    legacylenslover pfm Member

    I’ll come at this from the opposite direction, if I may.
    Wanting to purchase a pair of legacy British made speakers, I happened upon a pair of Celestion Ditton 15XRs and was so enamoured with them that I stayed on the Celestion path and ended up with a recapped pair of Ditton 44s.
    Potentially the wrong way round, but I then began asking for thoughts about suitable legacy amps to pair with the 44s and surprise, surprise, there were several votes for Quad 303/306s.
    So, although I’ve not yet heard my 44s on the end of a Quad amp, I’d say the above reply (post 2) is where I’d be.
    Just be aware, though, that the 44s are going to be about 45 years old now.
    And they have 12 inch woofers.
  5. retrospective

    retrospective pfm Member

    Monitor Audio ma4/ma4 mk2 perhaps
  6. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

    Does anybody have any experience/opinion of vintage Acoustic Research speakers?
  7. Fergus

    Fergus pfm Member

    I had a pair of AR7’s a long time ago and they were pretty good. If I remember correctly the woofer surrounds rotted over time. You can still find sets that have had the cones re-terminated and refurbished but at a price.
  8. docstocker

    docstocker pfm Member

    I’ve got two pairs of AR7s, a pair of Ar6, a pair of AR4 and use AR3 in the house
    I also have a pair of AR2 that I never got around to refurbishing
    I like them
  9. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

    There's an eBay site that claims tohave refurbished over 200 pairs of Acoustic Research speakers and, to be fair,
    they all look to be pretty good.
  10. madmike

    madmike I feel much better now, I really do...

    I have my Ditton 44s on my Audiolab 8000A. Probably not the best pairing, a boring amp with some underspoken speakers.
    I would be interested to learn how the Dittons are on the Quad amp.
  11. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I have never understood how an amplifier can be boring.
    Some of the language used in audio is odd.
  12. Lurch

    Lurch pfm Member

    KEF 104AB, I run a pair in my 2nd system fed by my 80s Cambridge Audio C50/A50 pre power combo via DNM Reson SCs they sound superb. Sources are a mk1 Marantz CD63SE, and a very early 401 (serial # 1205, April 63) with R200 & EEI 555MCP.
    VanDerGraaf likes this.
  13. Locheeboy

    Locheeboy pfm Member

  14. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Me too, I ate one sour too.

    I recently got an old pair of Kef Concertos recapped and they sound splendid.
    madmike likes this.
  15. RichardA

    RichardA pfm Member

    I wish I had tried vintage speakers earlier than I did. It would have saved me a lot of money over the years.
    Not sure what your budget is but perhaps consider the Yamaha NS1000 which can be placed against a wall or Quad 63s (which would presumably work well with your 306 but perhaps not the 303). The 303 does work with the NS1000 (I tried it)
    I used them in a similar sized room and was very pleased.
    I recall both models worked well at low volumes.
    At much more reasonable prices the Mordaunt Short Pageant Series 2 were very nice.
  16. VanDerGraaf

    VanDerGraaf pfm Member


    Total bargain on ebay- I would buy these in a heartbeat if I was anywhere nearby- better than the 104 or 104ab.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2023
  17. madmike

    madmike I feel much better now, I really do...

    Bugger...bugger.....bugger....too far away..!!!
  18. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Me too, I ate one sour too.

    Wow. A Concerto with a B200. Recap the crossover and I bet the sound bloody superb.

    edit: passive bass radiator, not a B139. Still, bet they sound superb. My 103.2s were astonishing.
  19. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    If you'd heard an original Audiolab 8000A, you'd understand!
    pocketkitchen and VanDerGraaf like this.
  20. VanDerGraaf

    VanDerGraaf pfm Member

    I have often heard this said- why? Are they as dry as the Sahara?

    I read a review in an early 90s edition of HiFi World which picked the 8000P as the outstanding power amp over several others in a group test.

    Sorry gone ot but was curious!

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