Discussion in 'Speakers' started by solarol, Jan 23, 2010.
What would be the best vintage speakers I can get for under $300?
solarol, that question is impossible to answer due to there being 1000's of speakers made and nobody can predetermine what model of speaker that will make itself available to you at any given time, sorry.... keep your eyes peeled and post a thread " hey is this speaker any good"?
What if I rephrase the question: What are good vintage speakers for under $300?
well, setting a specific price for a specific model means either full rip price on ebay, or $5 a pair at a yardsale, and then most important, your personal preference...
I like mustard you like ketchup, no matter how much I tell you my hotdog tastes awesome, you'll never believe me cause it's covered in mustard.
I have a near 3" thick book called The Orion Audio Bluebook, a pawn owners buying tool... and it misses some models. Anyway, I'd guess at least 50% of them listed are good speakers.
And the kicker is some sound different than others and now you have to decide which one you prefer, it's a tough game to play for the cash-conscientious fellow
Do you know anything about WHARFEDALE 510.2?
Try a pair of Polk RTA-11T's and you wont be disappointed.
Less than $300.00 even.
I just tryed searching BEST and returned 0 hits yet I know there are more than a few "best-speaker threads". You'll have to manually read through the speaker forum and find them yourself I guess.
those 510.2 were $700ea new in 1992, never heard them.
I bought a set of Klipsch KG4s for $150.
I see them on craigslist between $150 & $250 pretty regularly.
Damn fine sound for the money IMHO.:thmbsp:
Try finding a pair Dynaco A-25 speakers.
Best selling speakers of ALL TIME.....for a reason.
A pair in VGC should run you $100-$150.....less if you're lucky.
Most of the vintage speakers I have were less than $100.00.
For $300.00 if you are patient and lucky you can get a really top pair of Craigslist etc.
You need to know what type of sound you are looking for as well.
Take JBL vs Boston Acoustics for example, two completely different presentations. Both loved by many.
I think your best bet is to keep an eye out on CL or Ebay and find something you like the looks of that is in your price range. Then do your research on the speakers. The problem is you will most likely find fans of almost every speaker you look at unless they were part of a all in one system.
Just as a guide. If you like more bass look for a ported speaker. Less but tighter punchier bass look for a sealed speaker.
Best speakers is impossible to answer IMHO. I have 13 sets of speakers that I picked up at yard sales, ebay, friends. I have maybe $300 invested total. They are Bose (vintage and newer), BIC, Advent, Sansui, Dahlquist, SpeakerLab. I also have somewhere north of 12 receivers. Marantz, Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha, Technics. I also have dynamic range expanders, Revebs, graphic equalizers and parametric equalizers. I even have a surround processor. At times I thought some of the speakers were terribe. But swaping things around proved that I could get incredible sound from any of them. Sometimes, just a different receiver, sometimes with an equalizer, sometimes by moving the speakers to a different location. I personally like classic hard rock. I have a basement man-cave with hard floor and surroundings. I moved junk out and put in a rug, things changed. I personally like "quality volume" AKA Loud but most of the time listen to "reasonable" levels. Some speakers take a lot more power to sound nice.
This is one question that has answers like, "it depends" and "your results may vary". My ears are not your ears. I have a freind who flips speakers. He usually refoams them and has a pile of parts so he restores some and frankensteins some. Some things he thinks are great do not impress me but he always plays stuff I am not familiar with so I have no basis for judging. I've gotten some great speakers from him cheap because he thought little of them. I'm sure it was his musical taste and the market price and demand locally.
I think you are on the right track though. I have never heard newer speakers that had any impresive sound for my tastes. But, I may not have heard any good newer speakers.
I know you can make things sound a lot better with a good graphic equalizer. It adjusts the system to the room. A parametric equalizer seems to really make things sing. I just started playing with those.
I would suggest to anyone who is asking this question to please tell us what the music choice is most common, what your are driving the with, what the listening room is like, what you like to hear.
There is a LOT of difference. A wise freind once made a comment as we walked past a music equipment store years ago (70s) as I said "wow, what music is playing, it sounds good". He said "be careful, anything on that system will sound good". They ran all the demo equipemnt through a Marantz 500 hooked to a set of JBL Voice of the Theater speakers. Probably had it tuned to the room with a lot of other stuff (no idea what peramp). I don't know if it was just the best equipment I had ever heard that impressed me or if it was truly good sounding but the insight he shared always stuck with me.
I'll echo the sentiment here. Be patient and check out your local CL. I've picked up Klipsch Fortes for $140.00, Heresy's for $50.00, Klipsch KG 4's for $100.00, New Large Advents for $40.00... and so many more. Heck look at some CL lists within a two hour drive of where you live, and if the price is right it makes it all worth a short road trip!
+1 on the Dynaco A-25s. I regularly see them for less than $300. They are an extremely sweet and neutral speaker. Like everyone else said though, you may find a set of Sonus Fabers at a divorce sale a scorned ex-wife is having for $50. You just never know. If were talking Ebay though, the Dynaco is a good place to start.
Don't forget to check out anything made my ADS. Here's a link to the reference website. You can find L1290's often for $300 or less. Where are you located?
There's absolutely no easy way to answer this question without really diving in and familiarizing yourself with what's out there. You'll have everybody throwing out fairly common speakers, and those recommendations will be more in number than the recommendation from the guy who has a pair of less common, though possibly much better, speakers. So you'll think "that one speaker must be the best, because everybody recommended it" when it simply means that there were more of them out there for people to hear.
You really can luck into almost anything at that price. It more comes down to trying to figure out what type of speakers you like. A vintage AR will sound a lot different than a more modern speaker, but you may like either, none, or both.
Well heck...I'll jump in with a recommendation of something to look out for:
Sansui SP 300.
Horn speakers, multiple AlNiCo magnets on the horns, simple crossovers and very high quality open air coils. Uncommon, but not rare.
104db/watt/meter efficient, good for 30hz to 20kHz. Very heavy duty, very well made, no Kabuki mojo going on at all. Yes I use a pair, no I won't try to convince anyone they're the best thing ever, but they are very, very good speakers for not a lot of coin, and fly a bit under the radar, usually $300 or a bit less.
Just a thought,
Here's my list:
New Large Advent with the poly dome tweeter
Heck, there could be a very long list.. but...
Occasionally, you'll find super speakers in that range... Like JBL L300 for $200/pr..
Somethimes, you get alot more than you have to pay..
I'd add a few to Cosmos's list, you know the regular suspects: Boston, EPI, JBL, Infinity, AR, Yamaha on and on. Just read comments on this forum and you'll get a sense of what's worthwhile and what's not. If you learn how to refoam used speakers they can be picked up really inexpensively (from CL, GW, SA, thrifts) and rehabilitated for a few bucks and a little investment of time. Good luck!
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