View Full Version : How bad do white van speakers sound?


MRX37
12-20-2007, 09:18 PM
I've heard alot about the white van scam and how the speakers are junk and how they sound like crap, but I haven't heard many details on exactly how they sound. Usually I hear things like "Sounds like a clock radio"... Okay... some clock radios sound okay and some don't...


I have a pair of 12 inch Acoustic Monitor woofers. They have translucent plastic cones. I got them out of a pair of Acoustic Monitor cabinets that were literally falling apart. I put them into some good cabinets that already had mids and tweets in them, and they sound all right. I wouldn't crank them due to the woofers having small magnets and voice coils, but they don't sound bad.

Has anybody ever run across a pair of these speakers while they were playing? If so, what did they sound like? Did they sound too boomy? Too shrill? Cabinet resonence? Muddy sounding? Lack of mid or high frequencies?

I'm just curious as to how bad they really are.

superdog
12-21-2007, 01:50 AM
I had some of those AM speakers with the plastic woofers.I thought they were junk.Just my 2 cents

jeffn
12-21-2007, 02:14 AM
My son bought some white vanners before we knew any better.

They were reasonably ok to be honest. Not overly detailed maybe (a drum beat was just a beat, not the sound of a stretched membrane thwacked by a stick).

But yeh, worth the $50 bucks or so

Satch
12-21-2007, 02:22 AM
A couple of years ago, a German hifi-magazine bought a pair of white van speakers. They put in a decent crossover, braced the cabinet, put in some stuffing etc. and then compared to the cheapest, smalles Mission loudspeakers they could find. The small Mission's ate the modified white van speakers for breakfast.... ;)

ferninando
12-21-2007, 08:34 AM
is 'white van' a generic name for some speakers or what? I'v never seen any in stores or anywhere else for that matter. Who makes them? Who sells them?
Are they a regional brand, Eastern? Lotta negative about them. How do you tell if spkers are 'white van'. By the brand name or what?

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 08:37 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_van_speakers

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 08:50 AM
I'm just curious as to how bad they really are.

Like a crate of donkeys falling down a staircase.

ferninando
12-21-2007, 09:05 AM
well I'll be damned.

mswer
12-21-2007, 09:16 AM
Like a crate of donkeys falling down a staircase.

:lmao::lmao:

Great analogy. Just had to stifle laughter at the office.

similost
12-21-2007, 09:22 AM
I'm still looking around trying to get a pair of them dirt cheap.. hoping a pair will show up at my local thrift so I can: A) give an honest review of them, and B) find out what a few hundred to 1000 honest watts will do to them... I'm hoping to see some smoke from cones :yes:

BECtoo
12-21-2007, 09:33 AM
Some info here. Watch the video.

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/14658998/detail.html

GordonW
12-21-2007, 09:33 AM
Like a crate of donkeys falling down a staircase.

Puts me in mind of Douglas Adams' 'Dirk Gently' novels. Only, that was a horse, IIRC (or was it a couch? Can't quite recall. :) ).

I like Toasted Almond's typical description of stuff like this: "sounds like a bag of cats".

Or, one I like to say myself: "the tweeters in these white van speakers frequently sound like a disk brake raping a smoke alarm". Stole that description from a Usenet review of some trendy singer sometime in the early '90s... :D

Regards,
Gordon.

wineslob
12-21-2007, 09:41 AM
Like a crate of donkeys falling down a staircase.

I wanna watch!

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 09:46 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zx1V6JpFRY

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 09:50 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m8fbnShPcw&feature=related

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 09:52 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNn_ovqFSoY

CarlV
12-21-2007, 09:55 AM
How bad do white van speakers sound?
Kamakiri bought a pair just to find that out. There is something somewhere here about his experience with them.



Carl

BrocLuno
12-21-2007, 10:04 AM
Been there done that - Acoustic Monitor PSM-1250. Thought I could do something to upgrade/hot rod. Did all I could. Braced cab, extended the ports to 7", stripped out the network of cheap coupling caps and installed sale ($17) Dayton X-Overs (biggest change for the good), and finally changed the woofers for some Pioneers with better specs. Lot of work and it basically went no where. Tried 3 woofs, 4 different tweets from my spares pile and two different mids too. Ended up with the stock mids and tweets, some resistors to tame the balance issues and all. They sound OK in a teenage head-banger sort of way. They are going to nephew for Christmas as he likes "dark" music and has noting to compare with :)

Test was taking in the house and comparing to ANY of the Infinity's or the EPI 100's and they suffer badly in comparo :(

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 10:08 AM
I think that's the general consensus - they sound fine if you replace the speakers, the crossovers, and the cabs.

I guess you could keep the grills if they really flip your levers.

Fred Sanford
12-21-2007, 11:02 AM
I'm still looking around trying to get a pair of them dirt cheap.. hoping a pair will show up at my local thrift so I can: A) give an honest review of them, and B) find out what a few hundred to 1000 honest watts will do to them... I'm hoping to see some smoke from cones :yes:

Like this? Put a Gumby doll in the pic, you have a new avatar.

je

RussinOhio
12-21-2007, 12:26 PM
You can replicate the sound of "white van" speakers with out actually spending a lot of money on them by creating an in-expensive "poor-mans-white-van" speaker. If not in your kitchen cabinet already, go to the grocery store and purchase two large boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. If not in the house already....on the way home stop at a goodwill or any second hand store to locate a funtional boom box or stereo table radio. Empty the contents of both cereal boxes so as to not waste the delicious Cheerios by dumping it into a tupperware container. Don't worry about the plastic liner as this will help seal the box ( you don't want to get into the complexities of a vented design) Spray paint both boxes your favorite color....you could EVEN cover them in simulated wood vynil like the real thing:thmbsp:. Now carefully mount up the speaker componets using latex caulk from the now gutted boombox or table radio. Cutting out holes for the speakers & connection wires wil be a snap with a sharp exacto knife...and rest assured the sturdy boxes will support the lighweight speakers once both boxs have their tops & bottoms glued shut. Stuffing both boxes with cotton balls OR tissue will benefit the sound signifigantly. I've never done this nor will I ever. Niether should you or anyone else for that matter! My ridiculous set of directions here only serve to set an idea of what kind of sound you are likely going to get. IMHO.....WVS's do sound THAT bad.

ekmanning5
12-21-2007, 12:40 PM
I'm still looking around trying to get a pair of them dirt cheap.. hoping a pair will show up at my local thrift so I can: A) give an honest review of them, and B) find out what a few hundred to 1000 honest watts will do to them... I'm hoping to see some smoke from cones :yes:

Here's what my local thrift does; prices the white van crap at about $100pair, prices the good vintage stuff i.e. Allisons, Dynacos, Bowers & Wilkens, for anywhere from $5 to $20 a pair. :thmbsp: I just try to keep my mouth shut.

70salesguy
12-21-2007, 12:59 PM
is 'white van' a generic name for some speakers or what? I'v never seen any in stores or anywhere else for that matter. Who makes them? Who sells them?
Are they a regional brand, Eastern? Lotta negative about them. How do you tell if spkers are 'white van'. By the brand name or what?

Sold exclusively in the Northeast under the brand name "Whyte-Vann".

majick47
12-21-2007, 01:55 PM
Other than for laughs, simple boredom and/or an excuse to flush money down the toilet why would anyone here at AK consider "white van speakers"? Occasionally checking CraigsList I'v seen dozens of respectable speakers for next to nothing dollar wise. Leave the "white van speakers" for the 16 year old kid who smoked a joint and thought he was buying the best speakers in the world.

MRX37
12-21-2007, 02:03 PM
A lot of responses. Where to begin:

Like a crate of donkeys falling down a staircase.

This is pretty funny, but not very useful to me, as I believe that said crate of donkeys would sound very different, unless the speakers were playing the sound of a crate of donkeys falling down the stairs...


My son bought some white vanners before we knew any better.

They were reasonably ok to be honest. Not overly detailed maybe (a drum beat was just a beat, not the sound of a stretched membrane thwacked by a stick).

But yeh, worth the $50 bucks or so

This helps out more, as there is some description as to the actual sound.


I'm still looking around trying to get a pair of them dirt cheap.. hoping a pair will show up at my local thrift so I can: A) give an honest review of them, and B) find out what a few hundred to 1000 honest watts will do to them... I'm hoping to see some smoke from cones :yes:

Now that's more what I'm looking for! A good honest review. I already know they're junk, but I myself would like to find a pair of these and examine them. Take them apart and see how they're constructed, examine the back of the speakers, and compare how good they look in the front, to how cheap they look in the back.

I'll start with the Acoustic Monitor woofers I have.

From the front, they look pretty neat. The cones are plastic and a kind of grey/silvery color. The surrounds are in good shape to my surprise. The dust caps are kinda big and made of some type of black cloth.

From the back, the baskets look to be cheaply made stamped baskets. The magnet is pretty small, as is the voice coil. I would trust the woofers to maybe handle up to 50 watts of power. This assumption is made based on the size of the voice coil, maybe one inch in diameter.

They sound pretty decent, Good bass, not too muddy or shrill. But this might be due to the cabinets they're in. I put them in some Ultralinear cabinets I found. The cabinets have their own mids and tweets, with a dial to control the midrange level, and are very solidly built. They're also stuffed with dampening material. I never got to test them in their original cabinets as the original cabinets fell apart right in front of my eyes.

rickr15
12-21-2007, 02:12 PM
Try Craigslist it is full of white van speakers. You should be able to find a pair to play around with for cheap.

B3Nut
12-21-2007, 02:12 PM
"the tweeters in these white van speakers frequently sound like a disk brake raping a smoke alarm". Stole that description from a Usenet review of some trendy singer sometime in the early '90s...

:lmao: :lmao: Dammit Gordon, I almost pissed myself at work!!! Does that ever nail it too...some friends had "Denmark" towers, and that's what the tweeters in 'em sounded like. Think TA's bag of cats, placed on a large sheet of tinfoil. Crikey they were awful....

Todd in Cheesecurdistan

ecandle
12-21-2007, 02:15 PM
we should have an AK contest to see who can make the WV speakers sound the best with only Cabinet/ xover mods.

x_25
12-21-2007, 02:17 PM
we should have an AK contest to see who can make the WV speakers sound the best with only Cabinet/ xover mods.

:scratch2: Would filling them with firecrackers count as a cabinet mod? Then they would be plating the 1812 and then cannons would sound really good. :D

coward
12-21-2007, 02:34 PM
"the tweeters in these white van speakers frequently sound like a disk brake raping a smoke alarm".

THAT is the funniest review quote since "SHIT SANDWICH" TOOO FUNNY!!

cheers

GordonW
12-21-2007, 02:35 PM
we should have an AK contest to see who can make the WV speakers sound the best with only Cabinet/ xover mods.

You'd wind up with MORE cost in the crossover components, than the rest of the stuff in the speaker is worth, to make most of them sound reasonable.

Now, to be fair- some of the later-mode white-van speakers have basically, the equivalent to Goldwood (cheap, but OK quality) drivers in them. MAYBE... just MAYBE, a pair of these could be made to sound OK. I'm not making any promises.

Regards,
Gordon.

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 02:36 PM
Just face it - you got boned. Move on.

MRX37
12-21-2007, 02:51 PM
we should have an AK contest to see who can make the WV speakers sound the best with only Cabinet/ xover mods.


How would you be able to tell who has the best? Recording the sound into a microphone and compressing it would change it so much that you wouldn't be able to tell if sound impurities were the result of the speakers or the microphone/audio compression/recording equipment...

Wigwam Jones
12-21-2007, 03:06 PM
Egads.

Look. White Van Speakers are made, like any other manufactured item, to a specification.

Quality audio manufacturers make the sound quality a big part of the specification. And as a result, high-end speakers cost quite a bit.

But there are tradeoffs to be had, and it is possible to design speakers that do not cost a huge amount and sound very good indeed - and this keeps a lot of speaker manufacturers in business.

On the low end, you have speaker makers (well, usually makers of the whole 'entertainment system' to be honest) who spec to a price. They want a set of speakers to not cost more than X to manufacture, but which still produce Y as a minimum sound quality. They're not 'good' sounding, but they are generally not so terrible that the average consumer would return them.

And at each step in this hierarchy, there is the understanding that the finished product must meet customer expectations - however high or low those might be.

The people who spec and build and sell White Van Speakers also have design considerations. But they DO NOT INVOLVE SOUND QUALITY.

They are interested in three things. LOW COST - BIG - SHINY. The speakers must be as cheap as possible to make, they must be big, and they must be shiny.

There is no accountability - because there is no way for an angry consumer to return these pieces of shit. So they do not consider - even for a moment - how the speakers actually sound. It doesn't matter. They fulfill the minimum legal definition of 'speakers' so they can't be arrested for selling boxes full of bricks or dirt as if they were speakers.

There is NO ENGINEER looking at response curves, or matching impedence, or evaluating sound. NONE. There are guys who are looking at shiny speaker cones and shiny surrounds and very shiny wood-tone finishes and THAT is what matters to them, along with cost.

All they want is for the speakers to look good.

Based on that design criteria - even the least expensive speaker system by a low-end but legitimate manufacturer is going to sound better than the White Van Speakers. If a White Van Speaker somehow through some miracle ended up sounding even half-way decent, it would be through Divine Intervention.

If you have White Van Speakers, throw them away. You're embarrassing yourself. It's like pointing out your lobotomy scar. Yes, we all see it, but we hate having you show us pictures.

Kaffeen
12-21-2007, 04:55 PM
I commented in another whitevan post that a couple friends got scammed by these guys. I got to listen to two sets of these, both powered by decent setups. They really sound awful. The highs are shrill, way-too bright, harsh sounding that makes the hair on your neck stand up in a way only Edith Bunker's voice can. The lows are floppy, muddy, flat and dead, but with a couple of bumps in frequency ranges that are annoying - sort of like that rattle-boom coming from a Honda Civic sitting in traffic. Mids are in the background. They cannot handle power very well and actually sound much worse as you increase volume. At low volumes they are actually passable - sort of. If you want to recreate the sound, depending on what you are using, you can wrap a towel around your good speakers, crank the highs way up, the lows way down (but engage the loudness button) and just mess around with any middle frequencies. I'm not done yet - turn up loud, go into the next room, and listen. Sort of like that. The only reason I can see for having these speakers is that you have no alternative. And most I would spend is $20. You can do better for $20.

tarior
12-22-2007, 01:41 PM
I bought a pair of those Acoustic Monitors from a friend back in the early 90's.
I paid $30, and that was too much. They sounded like ass, and the about second time I played them with my mediocre, yet fairly powerful, Fisher integrated amp, all of the drivers went out simultaneously.

MRX37
12-22-2007, 02:41 PM
I bought a pair of those Acoustic Monitors from a friend back in the early 90's.
I paid $30, and that was too much. They sounded like ass, and the about second time I played them with my mediocre, yet fairly powerful, Fisher integrated amp, all of the drivers went out simultaneously.

I believe that. Did the woofers happen to be silvery plastic cones? I'll bet the magnets and voice coils were pretty small.



Hypothetically, if I entered a contest to make a pair of white van speakers sound decent, I'd probably start with the cabinets. Assuming they have to look stock like in Monster Garage, I'd line the insides with plywood and bracing. I'd probably use that Great Stuff spray on foam for dampening material and sealant.

Stock capacitors would go. I'd at least put in better caps, if not a real crossover. I'd probably play around with the caps to determine what values make the highs not so shrill and grating. I'd maybe add some kind of low pass filter for the woofer. I have pleanty of wire lying around, so I'd probably add thicker wires too.

tarior
12-22-2007, 02:48 PM
For my time and $$, I would just find a set of good vintage speakers and restore them.
You can't polish a turd.

Robisme
12-22-2007, 02:56 PM
For my time and $$, I would just find a set of good vintage speakers and restore them.
You can't polish a turd.

Yes you can.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l204/rob9167/100_1528.jpg

Rob

MRX37
12-22-2007, 02:58 PM
I'd try it if I found a pair. Note "found" not "pay money for them"...

My reasoning is that I believe they could be improved, and that if someone could actually make a pair of these sound decent, then they're a speaker restoring god! :D

But why spend money improving something so badly made when there are so many models of vintage speakers out there that sound way better? Well, for shits and giggles, and to see if it could be done.

EDIT: I have those exact same woofers!

Mike Stehr
12-22-2007, 03:10 PM
http://www.divincisound.com/1450a.htm

My fillings start to hurt when I look at these things.....

MRX37
12-22-2007, 03:11 PM
http://www.divincisound.com/1450a.htm

My fillings start to hurt when I look at these things.....

Hoo... They look okay, but I bet they sound awful.

Those would be a challenge to make em sound decent, while still making them appear like they do in the photo...

x_25
12-22-2007, 04:47 PM
There is a milliennium 3200 home theater system for sale on CL near me. It retails for 2995.00 but they are selling it for $800.00. And yes they spelled millennium wrong. :D

MRX37
12-28-2007, 12:40 AM
This probably won't go anywhere, and I'm really only posting it for shits and giggles. That said:

White van speaker contest rules:

The objective is to transform a standard pair of white van speakers into something that sounds decent.

The speakers must appear to be stock. Of course you can't usually see through the speaker cloth... If there's no speaker cloth then you're probably stuck with the original drivers, unless you can figure out a way to stuff better drivers inside the cabinets while still adhearing to the "must appear to be stock" rule...

You can spend a maximum of $50.00 for parts. (Any more and you might as well buy a better pair of speakers)

Freebies are allowed and encouraged. (perhaps those old dusty woofers in the basement/attic might fit in the cabinets)

Upon completion, the speakers will be compared to a decent pair of speakers, with several audiophiles judging sound quality.

The winner gets crowned as the Speaker God!

KentTeffeteller
12-28-2007, 09:09 AM
Hi,

The university I work for (I'm a contract broadcast engineer) tested a pair of Kirsch speakers. Frequency response range: 120-12,000 Hz (plus or minus 3 db). Bass and treble was judged by our listening panel as "shrill, peaky, has tubby bass almost non-existent". Makes a certain well-known name of speaker actually look superb by comparison. That name begins with B.

KentTeffeteller
12-28-2007, 09:13 AM
Hi,

I was lent a pair of these from the mark who purchased them. If given a chance to choose between listening to these or a ***t sandwich, I take the ***t sandwich as it has wider frequency response and less distortion. Listening to white van speakers gave me one of the worst headaches I ever experienced.

whoaru99
12-28-2007, 09:13 AM
...I'm just curious as to how bad they really are.

I've never heard any, but how bad they sound probably depends on your point of reference. :smoke:

similost
12-28-2007, 09:20 AM
I've never heard any, but how bad they sound probably depends on your point of reference. :smoke:

True.. I can think of one, no longer here person, that would think they make sound design and thrusters sound like crap :D

ProAc_Fan
12-28-2007, 09:44 AM
Ah yes, what ever became of vintagestereo anyway??


Mike

patrickrb
01-14-2009, 02:02 PM
Like a crate of donkeys falling down a staircase.

I don't think that's fair to the crate OR the donkeys!!!

-Pat

patrickrb
01-14-2009, 02:11 PM
I don't think that's fair to the crate OR the donkeys!!!

-Pat

Or the staircase!!!

chadnliz
01-14-2009, 02:41 PM
The folks who buy them dont know what good sound is anyway so many dont ever know if it sounds bad or not.
I have a pair of Theater Research speakers my friend gave me when I needed a system for my wife to operate (My cave system is too complicated and she wont touch it) he picked them up at a garage sale for $50 went home tore them apart to find no crossover, nothing but a hollow shell and speakers. Anyway he braced, damped the speakers placed a 1st order crossover, and installed new front and added a rear fire tweeter. They dont sound great but they dont sound bad, Liz likes how the look too so it a win win.
My friend joked he was trying to makes the worlds first "Awesome White Van speaker".....hell, maybe he did.
When he gave them to me I couldnt stop laughing to the point he may have thought I wasnt very appreciative of his efforts, once he hooked them up I gotta admit they sounded ok...but these are far from what they were out of the box.

thymanst
01-14-2009, 04:28 PM
I bought a pair of Bolander-Graebner 520's from this guy off craigslist for $300 - when I went to demo he offered to crank them up with a little denon receiver -the receiver didnt work though and he said it just came out of the shop (probably burned it up trying to play BG's)- he was selling them because he had a full 7 channel theater logic setup "that sounded better than the BG's did" (this guy also had 2 half dressed female maniquins standing in the entry of his house and had a full flop/hangover sweat going the entire time I was there)he offered to play the theater logics but I passed.....

chadnliz
01-14-2009, 04:34 PM
BG makes great ribbons so you got the better end of that deal for sure!. I almost bought a pair of the 645 I think (they had the long ribbon 53in panel and a small bass box at bottom. I really like the ribbon as the 53in is the same that came in my stock VMPS speakers....but I updated the ribbons last year to the Eminent Technology model they now use along with crossover modification.

wiredbecker
01-14-2009, 06:37 PM
Years ago I received a pair for free, one with a dead woofer. I repaired and used them until I found better speakers. Then I donated them to my friends who run a local thrift. They're still rocking the employee lounge at the thrift.

JohnVF
01-14-2009, 06:55 PM
I had white van speakers for a while in college. Acoustic Monitor Digital V or something like that. They were pretty terrible, but I also had a pair of Realistic Mach Ones that were at least decent, so the white vans didn't get a lot of play. I never knew about the white van scam until years later, i had picked them up for $20 at a yard sale. Prior to me learning about that, I had given them to a girlfriend, and now I feel really bad because she was a really good person, and didn't deserve such terrible speakers. I think she said she threw them out in a move.

All I remember about their sound is that everything sounded indistinct on them, and one of the cabinets rattled.

hhibrownsbac
01-14-2009, 07:17 PM
The only good thing that ever happened to me with WV speakers was I seen a set at a yard sale so I had to stop, once I realized what they were I tried to leave gracefully stating that I really wanted a turntable and not speakers. Being out to make a buck at his yard sale the gent said I have a TT also. Comes out with a almost mint (missing dustcover)Denon DP62L in a cardboard box, I couldnt believe it when I walked out of there with the Denon for 50 bucks. WooHoo

qboneus
01-14-2009, 07:52 PM
Ah yes, what ever became of vintagestereo anyway??


Mike

OR THOR??

Tal

BrocLuno
01-14-2009, 09:02 PM
For my time and $$, I would just find a set of good vintage speakers and restore them.
You can't polish a turd.

Yes you can after enough time. They become mineralized (coprolites) and can be polished like stone :)

brickbuster
01-14-2009, 09:14 PM
I'M still waiting to be approached by these guys and take em for a loop see if i can't BS a BS'er

Bstable
01-14-2009, 09:43 PM
I'M still waiting to be approached by these guys and take em for a loop see if i can't BS a BS'er

Me too.... I watched the videos here, and can't wait to act like I am interested as I slowly f them over till they get into their van and leave.

tarior
01-15-2009, 12:06 AM
Yes you can after enough time. They become mineralized (coprolites) and can be polished like stone :)

Touche'
Actually, I remember watching a documentary about some tribe in Africa who floored their huts with compressed and polished water buffalo (IIRC) dung.
Maybe I shoulda said "you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear".:D

Bob Orme
01-15-2009, 01:45 AM
I actually got to confront some of the white van guys back in the early 90's. They parked an all-white truck (about the size of a midsize U-Haul) in the parking lot in front of my retail store (which was known as The Speaker Shop). A customer came in and told me there were guys selling speakers in my parking lot. Acoustic Monitors. I went out and told them to get the heck out of there or I would call the police. I got a BS reply that they were doing business just like I was, competition is what business is about, and this is a free country so go ahead and call the police. My response was, they were conducting business on private property that they didn't own or weren't renting, and they were conducting retail sales without local and state sales tax licenses. They weren't happy when they left, but it only took about a minute after I walked back into my store for them to leave.

True rip-off artists. I had a number of folks bring their WV speakers into my store to fix or replace blown drivers. As soon as I saw what the speakers were, I could quote almost verbatim the sales pitch used by the sellers when the poor souls bought them. The line they were using here was, they had just completed a nightclub installation of a new sound system, and they over-ordered speakers for the job. You could get a pair of speakers for $400 that were worth $800 each. I'd say the average price paid by the uninformed buyers was about $250/pair. None that I talked to paid less than $200.

chadnliz
01-15-2009, 01:51 AM
I actually got to confront some of the white van guys back in the early 90's. They parked an all-white truck (about the size of a midsize U-Haul) in the parking lot in front of my retail store (which was known as The Speaker Shop). A customer came in and told me there were guys selling speakers in my parking lot. Acoustic Monitors. I went out and told them to get the heck out of there or I would call the police. I got a BS reply that they were doing business just like I was, competition is what business is about, and this is a free country so go ahead and call the police. My response was, they were conducting business on private property that they didn't own or weren't renting, and they were conducting retail sales without local and state sales tax licenses. They weren't happy when they left, but it only took about a minute after I walked back into my store for them to leave.

True rip-off artists. I had a number of folks bring their WV speakers into my store to fix or replace blown drivers. As soon as I saw what the speakers were, I could quote almost verbatim the sales pitch used by the sellers when the poor souls bought them. The line they were using here was, they had just completed a nightclub installation of a new sound system, and they over-ordered speakers for the job. You could get a pair of speakers for $400 that were worth $800 each. I'd say the average price paid by the uninformed buyers was about $250/pair. None that I talked to paid less than $200.

The Speaker Shop near Youngstown?

Bob Orme
01-15-2009, 02:48 AM
The Speaker Shop near Youngstown?
Nope. I live in a place that gets a little less snow, and is usually a bit warmer in the winter. :)

Arkay
01-15-2009, 05:05 AM
Interesting thread. A few thoughts...

Since these speakers are ONLY designed to rip people off, not to make music, they are all about "expensive look" without any consideration for actual quality. Beyond that, they have to actually make some sound, so if they are caught selling them, it's difficult to prove actual fraud (although selling without a license, not paying sales taxes, etc... might still apply). They are quite profitable at the "discount" prices they are actually sold at (since the guys behind the scams have grown rich doing this for decades), and their selling channels are actually not that cheap (despite not paying rent), so they must cost a lot less than that to produce. OF COURSE they sound like scheidt.

You COULD build good speakers inside their shells and have excellent-sounding speakers that looked like WVs, but why bother?

What would be fun is a thread brainstorming ideas for "scamming the scammers". Any way to get these guys suckered in so that they waste time and fork over both cash and product, and end up being arrested? While it might be a bit risky (most of these are professional criminal types, so you'd better know what you're doing), it sure would be sweet to see a "scambaiter" job pulled on them!

keithnh57
02-01-2009, 09:27 PM
Im a truck driver and bought a pair in a rest area primarily because they looked nice, had high power capacity specs, were cheap and I had a set of Advent Heritage towers ( from MonkeyWards in the 80's for similar reasons) I thought might have damaged cross-overs but wasnt sure. I have trouble with no test gear or "known good" components in troubleshooting a hum/intermittent rumbling in my yester-year JVC high-end system I'd blown my Tangent TM-1 crossovers many times with. Well the hum-rumbling did not change so I changed out the amps with a cheap Sherwood with no phono-inputs or MC pre-pre-amp. I could crank with no hum till uncomfortable for me with no distortion but uninspiring definition. I bought a Carver receiver on Ebay as it was a gorgeous piece for a receiver in my mind with more power output than my cherished p-3030/m-3030 (currently on the blink) and sent the Sherwood to the shed. I then tried to splatter the Kirsch k-803 with the Scorpions 1st album and the 150W rms Carver. Imaging is off and the bass though undistorted is slightly muddy but the upper end definition was inspiring. Most likely that was a quality of the Carver not the Kirsch but it came through at volumes that were very high. Im not saying these speakers are the greatest but they'll do me ok for a set of spares till I can save up for a set of KEF speakers, and if I had a party or event and wanted something that sounded fairly good at high levels Id sure rather have someone barf or fall on one of these than the KEF's :)

tarior
02-01-2009, 11:03 PM
High end white van speakers?;)

AnalogDigit
02-02-2009, 03:44 AM
They sound worse then Thruster speakers. Way worse!

Russellc
02-02-2009, 07:42 AM
I'm still looking around trying to get a pair of them dirt cheap.. hoping a pair will show up at my local thrift so I can: A) give an honest review of them, and B) find out what a few hundred to 1000 honest watts will do to them... I'm hoping to see some smoke from cones :yes:

Check your local Craigs list, that seems to be the new happy hunting ground for the WV speaks. I wouldnt bother with the "sound check" but smoking them might make an interesting U-Tube or something.



Russellc

yddet12
02-08-2009, 08:10 AM
Hi,

The university I work for (I'm a contract broadcast engineer) tested a pair of Kirsch speakers. Frequency response range: 120-12,000 Hz (plus or minus 3 db). Bass and treble was judged by our listening panel as "shrill, peaky, has tubby bass almost non-existent". Makes a certain well-known name of speaker actually look superb by comparison. That name begins with B.

That's BETTER than Bose. Bose's Acoustimass satellites have a frequency response of 280 Hz to 13.3 kHz at 10.5 dB. The "subwoofer" has a frequency response of 46Hz to 202Hz at 2.3 dB.

People, if you are reading this and are thinking of buying Bose, DON'T!! There are much better speakers out there for the money. Bose is not an audiophile company, their marketing department just makes you think they are.

budgetaudio6
02-08-2009, 09:56 AM
how do wv speakers sound?

they go some thing like this....bing, bing, crackle,crackle,fizzle,bing, bing, bing, bing.
those of you who heard them may be able to interpret what those sounds designate.

Celt
02-08-2009, 10:58 AM
they go some thing like this....bing, bing, crackle,crackle,fizzle,bing, bing, bing, bing. those of you who heard them may be able to interpret what those sounds designate.

New Wave music?

budgetaudio6
02-08-2009, 11:07 AM
:D

:music:

tarior
02-08-2009, 01:05 PM
how do wv speakers sound?

they go some thing like this....bing, bing, crackle,crackle,fizzle,bing, bing, bing, bing.
.

.....ting tang walla walla bing bang..:music::D

highfigh
02-08-2009, 06:05 PM
I've heard alot about the white van scam and how the speakers are junk and how they sound like crap, but I haven't heard many details on exactly how they sound. Usually I hear things like "Sounds like a clock radio"... Okay... some clock radios sound okay and some don't...


I have a pair of 12 inch Acoustic Monitor woofers. They have translucent plastic cones. I got them out of a pair of Acoustic Monitor cabinets that were literally falling apart. I put them into some good cabinets that already had mids and tweets in them, and they sound all right. I wouldn't crank them due to the woofers having small magnets and voice coils, but they don't sound bad.

Has anybody ever run across a pair of these speakers while they were playing? If so, what did they sound like? Did they sound too boomy? Too shrill? Cabinet resonence? Muddy sounding? Lack of mid or high frequencies?

I'm just curious as to how bad they really are.

Why would you bother taking the risk? I heard a pair of Denmark speakers and they were really bad. The seller worked with a friend of mine and he had me over to listen to them. Looked OK but sounded like crap. No apparent midrange, terrible balance. I got him a pair of Jamo speakers for a similar amount and he's very happy with them. I needed about 5 seconds to hear what hte others needed and that was to go back to the seller.

MJSNet
02-08-2009, 06:27 PM
:music:...Oo ee, oo ah ah...:music:

.....ting tang walla walla bing bang..:music::D

tojohndillon
03-31-2010, 11:35 AM
Without a doubt the best Audio thread ever.

theebadone
03-31-2010, 12:33 PM
Here's what my local thrift does; prices the white van crap at about $100pair, prices the good vintage stuff i.e. Allisons, Dynacos, Bowers & Wilkens, for anywhere from $5 to $20 a pair. :thmbsp: I just try to keep my mouth shut.

HAHA, Same here, the manager is a young guy, that thinks he knows everything. When he asks me anything, i just nod my head in agreement. Yeah those genesis media labs are really nice, lmaooo.

theebadone
03-31-2010, 12:36 PM
My all time favorite is, (HER BACKSIDE LOOKS LIKE 2 POSSUMS FIGHTIN IN A GUNNY SACK), Lmaooooo

chadnliz
03-31-2010, 01:09 PM
Some dont sound any worse than what kids are grabbing from Goodwill and garage sales.

Blazemasta
03-31-2010, 01:21 PM
Anyone heard of Digital Audio WV speakers? I had a buddy back in highschool that had a pair. They had 15 inch woofers, and were in a large black carpetted cab like for pro audio.

I used to have arguments with him because he paid an arm and a leg for them from a white van, and he believed what they told him. They showed him an ad from a hi-fi magazine showing the same speaker, and a price of like $1599 per speaker.

I knew a whole lot more about audio at the time than he did, and I could tell it was a rip-off. I was just trying to look out for my buddy, but he took it as jealousy lol.

Years later I was helping him move out of his apartment, and one of our friends helping us move used to work for Carver, and now worked for Mackie. He told my buddy they were fake, and he got taken. My buddy finally apologized after all that, and ended up getting rid of the speakers.

I never really got to crank them up, or feed them decent power. He only had them hooked up to a cheap pioneer receiver. Someday i would like to find a pair of them cheap, or free lol, and see whats up. By the size of the cab, and drivers, I would think they would at least put out a lot of sound. Im not expecting much, but I would like to hear a review one day...

pugs5061
03-31-2010, 06:13 PM
I last saw white van speakers in the late nineties. I think they new people new the scam by then because I was offered a new pair of JBL top of the line speakers for only $75. Sure enough an Authentic JBL logo on a POS. I laughed and told them I was calling the cops.

rifftrax
03-31-2010, 08:38 PM
I have a friend who replaced the cross-over in a set that didn't look half-bad, they actually had real phase plugs for the main drivers and a what appeared to be a half decent tweeter (I believe this particular White Van brand was "Theater Research"). The tower cabinets were pretty resonant and likely extremely cheap but they really didn't sound too bad at all when he demo'd them, which I found rather surprising as I've heard plenty of white van sets that were awful...

I kept asking him "you didn't replace any of the drivers on these", and he keep saying "No, sure didn't". I was kinda taken back that they were half-decent sounding!

stereofanboy
03-31-2010, 09:49 PM
The white vans I have are Dynalab SDA 2.8s. They had a bad tweeter when I bought them, so I replaced the tweeters. I'd put the build quality and sound on a level with many cheap speakers from Pioneer, Technics, Marantz, Kenwood, KLH and Yamaha made in the '90s. I've had some of each of the preceeding as well as the white vans and the main difference wasn't quality, it was the lack of a real retailer and the high asking price.

gewoonmaf
08-02-2010, 02:17 PM
Spotted a set of Onmi Audio SA 12.3 @ local thrift, just being wheeled in. The guy told me "really high power, like 200 Watts, great speakers". They were large and heavy, but not as heavy as they should've been given their size. I googled them when I got home and sure enough, the white van comes up.
Another set of impressive-looking (but really lightweight) speakers at the same place were Memorex 650s. I thought Memorex used to do tape? Or is it much like Lenco- they sold the name and now sell all kinds of cr@p under that name? I couldn't find any info on these speakers, except for this rather humourous review on another Memorex:


Overall Rating
4.5 stars

*
Value for money
4 stars
*
Sound Quality
4.5 stars

*
Time Speakers Owned
6 - 12 Months

Good Points

Excellent base
Good mid range and tweeter.

Bad Points

Needs extra speakers for better high notes.

General Comments

The base on my Memorex TRC 505 speakers is absolutely immense and extremely punchy, perfect for R and B and dance music but also good for all other types of music such as rock, as I am a very big rock fan I'm in a good position to say.

When playing a bassy song, you really feel it hitting your heart like. If your into bass I feel 100% safe to say that you will not feel disapointed with the 15 inch base cones it has. I am not a small or a light person, but I can comfortably sit on top of these speakers which goes to show how hard wearing.

I'm not going to beat around the bush here with anyone, for me personally I used another pair of speakers that I already had which I found helped with the higher noter of the songs. So my suggestion to you would be to add another set of speakers to your system, nothing to big but something that concentrates on treble rather than base. All though if the amplifier you are using has good treble, then I should see no need for other speakers. Even though I have a brilliant 160 watt amp with amazing treble I still prefer extra speakers with it.

Another important thing to know about these speakers is that they are 120watts per speaker, so another suggestion would be to use an amp or music system that has at least 100 watt output. I tested these speakers with a 50watt amp and it was still good, really good for base, but lacked in balance, but I'm just fussy with that.

These speakers also have a high sensitivity/efficiency of 90 DB, this is a lower powered amp may be used and still be good enough. But personally I wouldn't go lower than 50 watts if I was you. If you were to use a 25 watt amp with these speakers then I'm sorry but its pointless, frequency 30 - 20,000.

Hahahaha! So, are these white van units?

srinath
08-02-2010, 02:59 PM
I'm still looking around trying to get a pair of them dirt cheap.. hoping a pair will show up at my local thrift so I can: A) give an honest review of them, and B) find out what a few hundred to 1000 honest watts will do to them... I'm hoping to see some smoke from cones :yes:

1000 watts from an amp, or from say a microwave.
Its ok if its a microwave, but if you supply it from an amp, it may take the amp with it.
Remember crappy speakers that hold their impedance is like saying "crappy car that will out run a ferrari". It could hold a decent impedance and allow the amp to kill it like you're hoping. It could also have impedance drop to near 0 and fry your 1000 watt amp. Heck I'd bet it starts out with poor impedance and gets worse as it warms up ...

The "acoustic monitor" translucent one is the rolls royce of the white van trash. If that worked like sheite imagine what the trash of the white van trash sound like.

Cool.
Srinath.

sorenmad
08-02-2010, 09:49 PM
The "acoustic monitor" translucent one is the rolls royce of the white van trash.

IMO Theater Research towers will crush Acoustic Monitor :banana::scratch2:

metal420
08-02-2010, 10:32 PM
ha ha that's funny that last post... lol.. Hey I found that even a crappy set of rack system Technics towers just blew the white van Digital Pro Audio towers the hell away.. and the Techinics sounded like a wall of tinny garbage with muddy bass. Please ignore these shit brands for your own good. I mean, unless they are $20 a pair and you don't give a ratts behind about the amp you are driving them with as the crossovers are really bad and can cause receivers to blow. FYI IMO

slyr114
08-02-2010, 10:38 PM
just wondering if the brand paramax is a white van scam brand? before i heard about this scam i thought my neighbor got a great deal on expensive speakers and now i realize that what he described to me was exactly how this scam works.. should i tell him he got ripped off and should just try and sell or pawn them? "3500 msrp!!!!" lol

Landrew
08-02-2010, 10:50 PM
$3500 MSRP Haha!! Paramax is definitely a white van speaker. Check out the wiki on the white van speaker scam. It lists pretty much every known white van speaker out there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_van_speaker_scam

slyr114
08-02-2010, 11:00 PM
so do you think i should tell him and burst his bubble? or should i let him know that he bought speakers that are just plain bad... think if he were to pawn them he would fetch a decent price for them?

BeatStreet
04-06-2011, 05:36 PM
I know this thread is pretty old, but I just thought this was funny... A friend of mine recently gave me a pair of DOGG "Digital Audio 2002" tower speakers model SL-1100 (http://www.audioreview.com/cat/speakers/floorstanding-speakers/dogg-digital-audio/sl-1100-series/PRD_143723_1594crx.aspx). The second-highest of the mid-ranges was badly damaged, so I thought I would move the bottom one up and plug its port. I first removed the speaker terminal to check for a crossover. The other pair of WV speakers I have, a pair of "Linear Phase" "Studio Monitors", don't even have a crossover. These have a very small crude crossover attached to the speaker terminal. Then I removed the damaged driver and it seemed pretty normal, boasting its "high performance" on the back of the magnet structure. Now on to the bottom driver. HA! No magnet! And none on the "driver" above it either. Absolutely ridiculous. I have not even tried to play them yet, and I'm not sure I will after that.

marloubow
04-06-2011, 05:58 PM
I fell for the white van scam once back in the mid 80's. "Acoustic Studio Monitors" they were called. Fell for it hook, line and sinker...$200.00. They wanted more for them, but the ATM would only dish out 200.00. Even told myself they were great for years. Then somewhere along the way discovered what quality sounded like. When i opened them up years later...what a joke...nothing inside. I was greatfull that a pawn shop gave me $40.00 for them.
You don't always get what you pay for...sometimes you get less.
martin

luddite
04-06-2011, 07:27 PM
This has been an amusing and eye opening thread. I had no idea companies actually manufactured fake speakers to load into large cabinets with only one working but cheaply made driver. It is an out and out con.
At least the badly made two way speakers I actually bought out of a white van had two working drivers in each. But the tweeters were so loud I had to caulk a pair of furniture coasters over them to tone them down.

Sandy G
04-06-2011, 07:37 PM
How bad do WV speaks sound ?!? Visualise 2 skeletons copulating on a tin roofed shanty in the middle of a hailstorm w/the wind howling, a dog barking, & the next-door teenage miscreant's fart-muffler slammed Honda, that has a bad rod, blaring 15-yr-old cRap music, whilst running over a constipated cat's tail & you'll have an approximation...

nissan guy
04-06-2011, 08:23 PM
A couple of years ago, a German hifi-magazine bought a pair of white van speakers. They put in a decent crossover, braced the cabinet, put in some stuffing etc. and then compared to the cheapest, smalles Mission loudspeakers they could find. The small Mission's ate the modified white van speakers for breakfast.... ;)

Doesn't surprise me one bit. I have some small 2 way mission 8vet's and for what they are they sound great, when paired with a small sub they are even better.

I have only heard one set of white van's. They were the 4 way? with the clear 12" woofers. They were lacking in bass, almost no high end, and the midrange was muddy as hell. Good speaker to test unknown components with, so as not to damage something of value instead.

Now it seems they are trying to make them look decent from the outside so i am sure the internal components have gotten even cheaper in them. If thats even possible.

jimfet
04-06-2011, 08:48 PM
How bad do WV speaks sound ?!? Visualise 2 skeletons copulating on a tin roofed shanty in the middle of a hailstorm w/the wind howling, a dog barking, & the next-door teenage miscreant's fart-muffler slammed Honda, that has a bad rod, blaring 15-yr-old cRap music, whilst running over a constipated cat's tail & you'll have an approximation...

He used to write for Cap't Beefheart.

jjtucker2
04-06-2011, 08:51 PM
Fell for it, too. A LONG time ago at the bank. Honestly, they didn't seem to sound too aweful. Knowing what I know now, they probably sounded like total crap. They really make it look good on the outside and then they trigger the "getting a deal" alarm that all men seem to have. I'd really love to run into one of those guys now and string them along for about 20 minutes.

Wigwam Jones
04-06-2011, 10:52 PM
They sound like a wooden crate full of donkeys falling down a flight of stairs.

marloubow
04-06-2011, 11:35 PM
Sandy G....I'm laughing so hard I think I need new boxers...you're spot on!
You too wigwam!
martin
I'm going to have to reread this thread...just for the laughs!
I suppose it might only be funny to those with "experience"...maybe not...but it helps!
I thinking that from here on out we ought to mentaly put a bullseye on all white vans...sort of a vehicular racial profiling.

coonmanx
04-06-2011, 11:51 PM
When I win the Powerball I think that I will hire some audio engineers, design the best sounding speakers possible and I will call my company White Van Speakers. Now wouldn't that be awesome?

trhee
04-07-2011, 12:06 AM
I'll admit I've never heard a pair of "white van" speakers for myself.

But some things in life are so much in the realm of common sense that I don't feel like being ripped off just for the sake of experiencing or finding out first hand.

These would include, but not limited to:

- "White Van" speakers
- MLM/Pyramid schemes
- "Get Rich" info-mercial packages
- Various "time share" scams (although there are legitimate ones around, many are scams including those from major hotel groups such as Wyndham)

In today's world, the internet has so much information that finding out whether something is a scam or not, only takes 5 minutes of your time to research.

gewoonmaf
04-07-2011, 08:52 AM
How bad do WV speaks sound ?!? Visualise 2 skeletons copulating on a tin roofed shanty in the middle of a hailstorm w/the wind howling, a dog barking, & the next-door teenage miscreant's fart-muffler slammed Honda, that has a bad rod, blaring 15-yr-old cRap music, whilst running over a constipated cat's tail & you'll have an approximation...
Hahahahaha! Great one, Sandy!