On Speakers

Okay, I probably junked up enough substantive threads already with casual music stuff, so am going to separate that out. Pretty much agree with Stella Blue that ribbon tweeters are great, but also with VVV that they will not take the pounding.

Late in high school, I got a pair of Cerwin Vega towers. “Made Loud To Be Played Loud” was their motto back then. I literally got a roll of stickers that said exactly that with the purchase. They were great.

Somewhere after joining the bar, I was offered a pair of Altec A7’s. They needed help, but I think they were free. Had to recone the massive woofers on both, and replace the diaphragm on one of the horns. They were huge. You could literally play a mid sized club with these things. But if you blew out a woofer, just recone it. Blow out a horn diaphragm it’s $50 and a ten minute surgery. I originally had Marantz tube equipment, then later changed to Adcom. Pump a bunch of clean watts into the A7’s, and you can rock the entire block.

Then I up and got married. When we were expecting, Mrs. bmaz bluntly told me to lose the giant speakers. I inverted them and loaded the horns in the baffles hoping to minimize and save the situation. No go. So, as they came to me, the Altecs left to a friend with a small band, same as they came, for nothing, just come get them.

Now I have the same rack of Adcom amp, pre-amp and switcher. But played through Polk towers with B & W studio monitors sitting on top of them with a Velodyne 15 sub. Still usually listen to vinyl on a turntable.

So, that is the story of Bungalow bmaz, what is yours? Let’s stereo!

181 replies
    • bmaz says:

      Ah, you asked the embarrassing, but pertinent, question! I have an old granite Thorens, but it needs substantial restoration. So currently use an Audio Technica, and have for a while. Cartridge is okay and does not carve up the vinyl. Probably need to get on with something else though.

      • Doug in Ohio says:

        To bmaz: I love vintage gear (at age 63, I’m vintage), but current turntables and cartridges are an even better value than the old stuff. Pro-Ject, Music Hall, Rega, and many other companies make high-value turntables. Many of the old cartridge companies (Audio-Technica, Ortofon, Denon, etc.) are still in business and competing well with newer cartridge companies. It’s a new golden age for vinyl gear.
        If you want to get the highest musical quality for your money, it’s worth doing something unconventional, and spending more on the cartridge than on the turntable. After all, the cartridge is the transducer, doing the difficult job. The turntable just has to be quiet and provide decent pitch accuracy and stability. In 2007, I splurged and bought a $500 Pro-Ject turntable and had Needle Doctor (no longer in business) install a $1,200 Grado Reference cartridge on the turntable. Fifteen years later it still sounds fantastic. I don’t think a $1,500 turntable with a $200 cartridge would sound nearly as good. Just my two cents. Good luck and happy listening!

          • Nick Caraway says:

            Re Ribbon Tweeters, my Apogee Acoustics Centaur Minor speakers — ribbon tweeter + conventional woofer, hence the name Centaur — have held up great since I bought them as a closeout in 1996. And I still have my B+O Beogram RX turntable from 1985, though now I have a cartridge from the SoundSmith of Peekskill, NY, which far outperforms the original. The Soundsmith, aka Peter Lederman, is a former IBM engineer who is licensed by B+O to make cartridges for their turntables, since B+O no longer makes them. His website is really nifty imo; he also designs/ builds speakers, electronics, and other cartridges, and will repair high end gear if you ship it to him. (And yes, back in the day Lederman designed some of the speakers that put Bozak on the map.) I round it all out with a Bryston pre-amp (bought used on the cheap-cheap) and a Rotel power amp, acquired the same way. Anyway, the setup sounds good to this day. I have decided to just live with the super directional nature of Apogees that require you sit in the right place in the listening room…

            One last thing. I just love direct to disk vinyl… you can still get the Thelma Houston album, “Pressure Cooker,” which, if you like that kind of singing — well, there is a reason why engineers at audio shows often use that album as a reference source when setting up their displays.

        • Fran of the North says:

          Yo Doug,

          The Dr. used to be 5 minutes away before they closed. They had TTs in there that I’d only seen in the hi-end rags. Nothing super crazy, but tell me the last time you walked into a store that had a dozen different TTs on the floor ready to demo. Absolutely the bomb dot com for vinyl freaks.

          The last I was in there was when my mid ’70’s era Pana big plinth with optional tone arm puked. I took it in for troubleshooting, and long story short, absent replacing some switches she was down for the count. Alas, my vinyl has been sleeping since.

          • Doug in Ohio says:

            I know money doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s sad to hear that your vinyl has been sleeping for…years? Decades? If you’re interested, I could recommend a turntable within a given budget range.
            Disclaimer: I have no personal or financial relationship of any kind with any equipment vendors. Just another enthusiast.

            • Fran of the North says:

              Thanks Doug, it has been a long time since I was a tweaky audiophile, and a recommendation for a short term solution would be great. My eyes were always bigger than my wallet when it came to how upgrade /buy a next TT.

              One of my never acted upon thoughts was to replace the tonearm in my existing TT with something a bit more sensitive. But since it puked due to DOA switches, a new table is probably the right course.

              Big picture, I’m on a budget and $ 500 might be the sweet spot. Rega, others?

              • Doug in Ohio says:

                If you already have a phono preamp, a great choice would be the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO, list price $599, but Audio Advisor, a great online vendor, has two at reduced price, both at about $437: a demo one in piano black color, and an open box one in a snazzy red color. It’s a very popular turntable, for good reason.

      • Thomas Paine says:

        If you are looking for a nice turntable at a great price talk to Donna Bodinet at SOTA. SOTA has made some of the best suspended belt drive turntables on the market for 40 years, and they are one the only mfg.s I know of that recycle their older models and re-sell them at a big discount relative to their new ones. They have always been a bargain, but these recycled tables are really great. Most come with a Sumiko tone arm. WRT cartridges, I really like the Ortofon SPU’s. Great sound and bullet-proof.

  1. Bill B(Not Barr) says:

    Finally something I can contribute to!

    I still have my first GOOD set of speakers. Kef 104s – second best to the Kef 102s at the time (1986 ish) coupled to a nearly complete Carver set. As a brand new engineer, I spent more on my stereo than I did on my car. Still do not regret it.


    • bmaz says:

      Kefs and Carver are fantastic stuff! I literally stumbled into the Marantz tube equip because a friend/car mentor had the original Marantz hand built things (with giant Bozak speakers) and sent me over to pick up an amp/pre-amp in LA. When I had to move on, it came down to Carver, Adcom or something starting with a “N”, cannot remember exactly what. I chose the Adcom. And it is still here. Carver was really fucking good though.

        • bmaz says:

          I honestly just cannot remember, am just drawing a blank. Know Nakamichi from tape, but don’t think that is it.

          • Fran of the North says:

            I’m gonna put my money on NAD. The were the audiophile’s version of solid state. I have a nice little integrated at the lake place, where the north gets northier.

        • smf88011 says:

          A friend of mine had a Nakamichi setup in his 1985 Lamborghini Countach back in the late 90s. I used to walk buy Joe’s house all the time hoping he had his garage open so I could see the Lambo and his 512TR. When it was open, I would go down and talk cars with him. Joe last had a 456 GTm that he had to replace the valves on. After that, he went back to MB AMG’s and M-series BMW.

    • Kick the Darkness says:

      I appreciate the nod to the Kefs. I picked up a set of 103’s in grad school-early 1990s. Like you, best I could afford at the time. I had friends with electrostatics and I liked the ethereal sense of them but I liked the punch and overall sound profile of the Kefs better. Just checked more boxes for me. I originally drove them with a pair of APT separates and a B&O turntable.

      Life moved on, but the Kefs have remained a constant-voice of the house for 30 some years I guess. Right now they are driven by an integrated Nad unit that is good for running in all the digital household stuff, the streaming device, blu-ray, Xbox, all that. By and large they still clean up good, although puppies have chewed on the corners of one of the stands, there is some kid abuse, that sort of stuff. I have a cherry Guild acoustic guitar that looks nice set up next to the rosewood cases if I need an “Ahhhh” moment. And if I’m the only once in the house they are still great for blasting out some guilty pleasure music. Overall, money well spent I think.

  2. GeeSizzle says:

    Ah Marantz…. the old tube days were something to behold when paired with the right speakers. I liked the old amps so much that I stuck with the brand and I’m pretty pleased with the AVRs they make these days, and am running one at the heart of both my systems. The primary system has a SR7008, not so much for the surround sound, since this is just a 3.1 setup, but for the power to drive the Monitor Audio speakers, which are a silver center for movie dialog and a pair of Silver 8 towers in piano black. Oppo UDP-203 for any disc playing, and everything running through a Furman Elite-15 power conditioner.

    For vinyl, I picked up an old Beogram 8002 with an MMC3 cartridge. Only has about 100 hours left on it, so I use it sparingly, but the turntable mechanism and look and feel are so cool that even if it sounded like crap I’d keep it for the aesthetic. Wasn’t working when I got my hands on it, so I had it restored by Soundsmith in semi-upstate NY – drove it up and dropped it off, and weeks later when I picked it up had a nice long listening session with my girlfriend and the company founder, Peter Lederman, who teed up Stravinsky’s Firebird for us on his $250k home crafted system. We all just sat there stunned and silent for about 20 minutes, totally immersed and mesmerized. Had smiles on our faces the whole way driving back home. BTW, if you get large speakers that are pretty enough, your significant other might just let you keep them!

  3. FrankM78 says:

    My roomate in college had a heavy pair of Advent speakers, I am not an audiophile , but they were impressive.

    • st_croix_wis says:

      Still using my Advent Loudspeakers, along with a powered bass and a couple of Bozaks powered by a Pioneer Elite. Still have a lot of classical vinal, but don’t play them much.

    • Patrick G. says:

      I think just about everyone had a pair of Advents in college – including me! Great speakers for the money, though they were cheap for a reason. Had that polite, British sound quality.

        • Doug in Ohio says:

          Heathkit! In the 1960’s and early 70’s, my dad built his own amplifier and, I think, speakers from Heathkit kits. Talk about fond memories! I grew up listening to my parents’ wide-ranging musical tastes on the Heathkit system he built. The turntable was probably Garrard. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. dimmsdale says:

    Well, I’m here to ‘Represent’ for the bottom end of the audio gear spectrum, and thanks bmaz for the thread, which is wonderfully sideways from current events. Most of my ‘listening’ gear has become support, literally, for stacks of cd’s. The Dual 1416 turntable is weighted down with classical cd’s (no doubt compressing the dampers to uselessness), dad’s ‘70s Kenwood amp mostly works (I use it to play cd’s thru an Onkyo cd player WHEN I play cd’s out-loud in the apartment, which anymore is mostly never), via some very old Boston Acoustics bookshelf speakers and OR a pair of mid-80s Auratone studio monitors in the kitchen, connected via zipcord. There’s also a street-find Yamaha cassette player with Dolby (remember Dolby?). (Even money whether it works or not, even if I could find where I put all the old cassettes).

    Mostly for listening out loud, I use the computer and a pair of iLoud near-field monitors (which are stupendous). It’s a city apartment, and I got out of the habit of listening at high volume levels years ago. (So did everyone else, apparently—I can’t remember the last time I was bothered by thudding bass from another apartment; probably 15 years.)

    I suppose I’m missing some sort of peak hi-fi experience by not having high-end stuff, but the iLouds are absolutely crankable without noticeable clipping, you get the full stereo pan, and at a distance of say 3 feet, moderately loud is loud enough.

    • KlauseEdcase says:

      I had a set of JBL L19 loudspeakers with 8” woofers and 1” cone tweeters that sounded incredible when powered by a tiny little Musical Fidelity A1 integrated amp.

      I should recone the speakers and recap that amp.

    • Thebuzzardman says:

      I had high “mid” equipment back in the day. Yamaha amp, preamp, Nakamichi tape deck, Denon turntable, Klipsch LaScala speakers etc.

      But right now, on my desk, I just set up a pair of Sony SSCS5 speakers with a tiny Aiyima tube amp, all for under $200 and it’s quite nice.

      I got the speakers for $64 barely used from Amazon Warehouse, but they sell anywhere from $88 to $145 and worth it at any of those prices.

      And the little tube amp is nice. Texas Instruments chips inside. Tubes might be GE but I’m no expert.

  5. person1597 says:

    A pair of Klipsch Cornwalls surrounded with 4 Heresy gave the 80’s Yamaha rig something to crow about. Vinyl, reel to reel, cassettes, cds, and digital all saw their day. Next…a ton of old wire recordings to upload…lol!

      • Thomas Paine says:

        I had a pair of Klipsch Heresy’s for in college – great for rock’n roll and parties. They can play pretty clean at 105 dB. After that Quad ESL-57’s, Vandersteen’s, Maggies, and now I build my own. Loudspeakers have come a long way, but some of this new stuff like Magico and Wilson is a little over the top for me. Speakers that cost more than a house are not rational.

    • Thebuzzardman says:

      I had a pair of Klipsch LaScala’s. They were awesome.

      They kind of dominated my apartment though, lol.

    • Tmooretxk says:

      I have a set of 1957 Klipsch Corner Horns – the plywood commercial grade – on loan to a friend for the last 15 years because I don’t have a room with two corners in the house. My main system is a set of ADS 1200 (1995,I think) speakers with Polk 5JR monitors for fill and a B&W 800ASW sub, all run by a Yamaha RXV-659 AV Receiver (1992). I recently set my daughter up with a similar Yamaha and a pair of 1985 Norman Labs 7s with a B&O lateral tracking turntable. All are either estate sale finds or freebies from people “upgrading” to new surround sound systems. Us vintage sound geeks gotta keep the faith ….

  6. Verrückte Pferd says:

    JBL 250ti… sitting underneath a garage in San Francisco… i’m so sad since i’m in Bremen, Deutschland.
    Top of the line Yamaha, Thorens, Nakamichi Dragon then Z7? Now i use my laptop.
    Here the neighbors gave me two Mc Crypt 12/2 Active, each with its own amp, for when i DJ for the Nachbarschaft (loud)

    • gknight says:

      In 1974, I was assigned to the USS Skate, a nuclear-powered submarine, that pulled into Bremen. Was the first on the crew to go ashore. No mail delivery on the first day, so I was off to explore.

      After 1975, I got a Garrard turntable, a Marantz receiver/amp, and Epicure speakers. I loved the voice and flute coming out of those speakers.

      Now I have 50% hearing loss in certain frequency ranges and utilize decent hearing aids. Trust me, even with options to instantly change setting in various hearing aid programs, it is not like before.

      Take care of your hearing. I can still differentiate between individual instruments if the volume is sufficient. Background noise is a problem ( echos in restaurants without sound dampening acoustics). Soft music is almost lost to me. Even with ‘corrected’ hearing. I even have Bluetooth for music and phone calls. But, if I am using Bluetooth, that precludes others hearing the music since it doesn’t work for two outputs.

      Most importantly to me is being able to hear my wife. She doesn’t project her voice. And if turned away from me, then I might only understand every other word.

      • chesterfield says:

        Both of us need a list of ear replacement manufacturers rather than audio equipment. I am an official member of the What? generation now. The 1980ish Wharfedales lasted better than the audio intake did.

      • Verrückte Pferd says:

        Not sure where l left a clue that i’m reduced to the level of my Hörgerät (Hearing Aids)…
        But through Geers i use Phonak Audéo P70 programable to my Handy
        and Bowers & Wilkins Abbey Road headphones.
        Nothing compares to the old days, when musicians came to the loft with acetates right from the studio, but i enjoy what’s still possible. My musician friends still ask my opinion both live and recording, but i’m less and less sure my answers have any meaning. i was not able to break a champagne glass with the JBL 250ti offset pyramids… but i tried.
        Protect your hearing everyone, it’s a treasure.

      • Fran of the North says:

        I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and grieve with you. Thankfully, I haven’t had noticeable degradation, but it is probably inevitable for those of us at a certain age.

        Your cautions come with much import to those of us who love the MUSIC. Every bit of it, the timbre of the instrument, the intonation in the vocal.

        Best, Fran

      • StillHopeful says:

        GKNIGHT; I bought my first real stereo system during a college summer cruise to Japan in 1970; a Sansui system which was very nice.

        Later, while serving in submarines, I changed speakers to Bose 901s. They were very idiosyncratic, placement in the room was very tricky; but the sound was remarkable.
        I too have achieved some hearing loss, always liked loud music and sometimes worked in noisy environments.

        There were some songs; I particularly remember Lou Reeds’ “Sweet Jane” with the best intro in history; that those 901 speakers put you in the room with the band.

        • gknight says:

          Music and submarine story for bubbleheads to share… The Skate had a decent 8-track tape player and speakers in the crew’s mess. We had a really good wall of 8-track tapes, from rock, jazz, country, blues… Without the crew knowing, the Chief of the Boat switched the sound system to cassettes. Made the 100’s of 8-track tapes obsolete. We were deployed without any music in the crew’s mess except for 5 John Denver tapes. To say that the enlisted personnel were upset is a gross understatement. I had a boom box in the ship’s office that I placed for 6 months in the crew’s mess. We had music. And I will never ever listen to a John Denver song without attempting to turn it off or removing my hearing aids. And no, we did not play the music very loud. Most of the time when in the Med or eastern Atlantic the sound was very low or off. James Gang, Steppenwolf, CSNY, Chicago, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, etc. while underway on a nuclear submarine and reading the Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitzyn…what a weird dystopia.

          • P J Evans says:

            Uncle was in subs, but left about the time cassettes and 8-tracks came in. Became a customer engineer for IBM, on things like System/1s. He’s long retired, being now in his mid-80s.

      • posaune says:

        Acquired some hearing loss earlier in life from playing trombone in professional orchestras — yeah, and as we know bones are always consigned to the spot directly in front of the tympani. Ouch. Takes it out of your ears.

        Guessing that 10% of my hearing loss is attributable to the intro to Also Sprach Zarathustra. /s

        • Verrückte Pferd says:

          A top maker of custom Posaunen (trombones) works near me in Bremen, Lätzsch Custom Brass. And regarding submarines, i learned windpower at the feet of our industry’s founder, Wm. E. Heronemus… who was also the chief designer of the first (Nautilus) class of nuclear submarines, directly under Rickover.

  7. Just Some Guy says:

    I have a pair of Technics SB-CR77s I bought from composer Sarah Hennies over twenty years ago. Technics receiver and Technics 1200M3D turntable, too. All work great.

    Sarah’s fantastic, check out her work here: http://www.sarah-hennies.com

  8. Out of Nowhere says:

    Boy this brings back memories. My first set of speakers purchased while in college was a pair of Acoustic Research AR-6. Dynamic midrange and the imaging blew me away. Over time one of the cones “aged out” and I was “persuaded” shortly after marriage to waive goodbye. I miss those to this day.

    Replaced them with a pair of Definitive Technology BP-8. They’re fine for what they do, and I still have them, but they sit next to the TV.

    My current speakers are a pair of GR-Research Paradox 1 purchased maybe 15 years ago.

  9. KlausEdcase says:

    One of these days I’m going to put my ESL57’s back together. My spouse has a set of Magnepan Tympani I-D speakers.

    I wish I had the room to try out a set of corner horns.

    My spouse likes multi channel home theater setups as well – we have a jury rigged home with a mix of 2-way Triangle speakers and Hsu subwoofers in a 9-2-4 Atmos configuration.

      • Rayne says:

        You won’t be able to save an image to EW’s database, sorry.

        You can save the image and upload it to your own blog or website (which is probably the best and cheapest alternative), then share a link.

        But the link you’d shared included a lot of tracking information from Google which would identify you, your device, your path to come here, and allow Google to see where you’d shared that link. Only need to see all the gobbledy-gook in the URL to grasp this.

    • Matt___B says:

      That’s hilarious! I hope it’s the Captcha used to let one into the Congressional website. Click on Kevin and it won’t let you in…(because only a bot would do that!)

  10. Another dude from G-ville says:

    Anyone know a resource for building speakers? I’ve got the drivers, horns, and x-overs sitting around for years but just need to figure out the boxes.

    • Doug in Ohio says:

      The main issue with box size is getting the right displacement for your woofers. You’ll need to find the complete specs for the woofers and enter them into a speaker design program (I use the free program WinISD ). Then decide whether the boxes will be ported or sealed and put that in the program, which will then generate frequency response curves for a given box capacity.
      If your speaker design includes a midrange driver, it has to be isolated in its own enclosure within the main box. Most tweeters have a sealed back and don’t need a separate enclosure. Hope this helps.

    • Don in SantaFe says:

      Lots and lots of resources for DIY speakers
      Search for “Parts Express Tech Talk” or
      DIYAudio forums or

      • smf88011 says:

        How long have you been in SF? I lived in LA for about 20 years – left in 2010 when I opened my own business.

    • StellaBlue says:

      I second the other responses. Two variables that are easy to control are dampening and porting. Fiddle until you like what you get. Finally add room correction, many good tools out there.

    • KP says:

      The two classic ‘vintage’ books to check out from your local public library (or buy them!) are Vance Dickason’s The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook (Audio Amateur Press, 6th ed. 2000), and David Weems Designing, Building, and Testing Your Own Speaker System with Projects (McGraw-Hill, 4th ed. 1997).
      It may all be at reddit now, but back around the turn of the century, an online buddy decided to create a new home for a group of old gear heads and vintage stereo freaks, AudioKarma.org … and he asked me to be the moderator of the core (at the time, times have changed, and I took hiatus around 2007) Vintage gear forum. (In those days and way back lol to chatrooms and whatnot, I was ‘bully’ (sorry, still not 8 characters, but hmmm ‘anti-bully’?). Still, the site is very active, and has so many more forums now, too. I’m not joking or exaggerating when I say my house could be a decent used-stereo shop. lost 3,000+ LP albums before moving back here after my wife died, and soon after sold the last 3 tt’s, but last summer found an unlooked at for a decade box that has ‘numerous’ cartridges, some with stylus, and ‘numerous’ styli, and a tonearm. ortofon, yes, shure, yes, grado, yes and etc. coupla years ago i thought to inventory just receivers, and when it got to 18 in only two rooms, nah, my sis in law would, well she prolly does anyway, say I’m OCD LOL and yeah, that goes for the separates, too — I prefer to use two pairs of speakers, and for me, that means two separate power amps. and since i have a dozen or so ‘subwoofers’ both powered and a few passives, one or two added y’know for ‘heft’ :P oh, y’know, i think the tonearm is grado. i need to inventory what’s in the box.
      Audio is a great hobby, music is life for some of us. Don’t fall for the high-end mythos, but understand the quality of stereo gear can be well judged by WEIGHT. yes, new heatsink designs help take a few pounds off, but the good stuff is HEAVY (well, lemme say that as my solar orbits increase, I keep adding to the curses I toss out for Newton)
      youtube is great, too, some of the vids are really excellent for ‘hands on’
      main thing, have fun!! it’s a great, fun, crazy group of people you’ll be joining

      • Another dude from G-ville says:

        Thanks all. I’ve got two 15″ JBLs and horns. WinISD looks cool. Getting the ports and baffles is gonna be the key.

  11. BillR1235 says:

    Put together my first system in the late 60s while in the army stationed in Alabama. Mostly comprised of components brought back from Nam by fellow draftees bought at the PX. Favorite was a reel to reel player/recorder. Would grab everyone’s record collection and use my Pioneer turntable to record them. Came home with copies of over 100 records in a cardboard box. Ps changed user name to comply

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

    • KlauseEdcase says:

      Pioneer turntables…

      Man, my first turntable was a plastic pioneer pl-4. It sorta self destructed and had a short life, but it sounded really great.

      I came of critical listening age just when CDs were taking off. The Bluesbreakers album on vinyl on the pl-4 was a religious experience. On CD, eh, not so much.

      Years later I came to appreciate earlier pioneer turntables-like the PL-41. I found one on OfferUp for a song and passed it over to a friend who loves it. They copied the Empire turntable formula very well,

  12. Dave says:

    Recently put together, my far and away favorite system in my small 16th floor apartment:

    – NAD M33
    – Klipsch Heresy IV
    – Qobuz/Tidal via Roon

    Turntable still to be purchased.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. There are quite a few community members here named “Dave” or “David,” differentiation is necessary. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • KP says:

        one of my preamps is the NAD 1130 — great little giant-killer!! Nakamichi gear has been mentioned, and is great stuff … another N was Nikko, and their gear was great upper-mid fi gear, too. The confluence of the pure numbers of kids heading off to colleges in the mid-60s, the big technologies that gave us transistor-based stuff more available (and, yes, the Vietnam War, which saw tens of thousands of kids purchasing gear at the PXs and bringing that gear home) led directly to the ‘explosion’ of amazing gear in the 1970s. I am still partial to the wonderful ‘160s’ that were quite impractical for reasons, but the SX-1250 at 160wpc and its cohort (yeah, ranging from 150-180wpc, actually — a search at audiokarma.org will finds sooo many posts not only by me but so many old friends back in the first decade of this century) — impractical for their immense size and weight — the 1250 was 64 lbs (I had had the rare black version, perhaps called the European version, SX-5590). The ‘house brand’ Concept 16.5 (designed by RIchard Schram, who went on to start Parasound) was my all-time personal favorite, went out at 67 lbs. It got crazier, and the ‘watt war’ went up to the Technics SA-1000 (perhaps the ‘holy grail’ for vintage receiver guys) at 330wpc .. the Pioneer SX-1980 with 270wpc. The other big guys went toe-to-toe … Sansui, Kenwood, the usual suspects. over at audiokarma, are posts describing what gear we were using, this and that. I have had many of the big receivers over the years. For ‘real’ vintage gear, the last one I have was a bit ‘castigated’ for using two new-fangled ICs (and yeah, one of them was prone to overheating, the adding heat sinking directly to the thing is a good working hack, since finding a replacement is nearly impossible for the last decade or two) is the Yammie R-2000 from 1984-ish, with 150wpc of the purest clean watts omgods. just before bro and sis in law moved from KC to south carolina last november, they brought a pickup load of stuff i’d given them and my niece and nephews over the years for y’know, college and stuff, some i’d forgot i’d given them … one was a really sweet Yammie CR-1040, a ‘midweight’ at 80wpc, but we forget usually that power in watts and SPL in dB the decibel scale is logarithmic, a three-decibel increase in sound level already represents a doubling of ‘volume’ and 10dB requires a doubling of watt output
        whoops, old geezer babbling about old stuffs but still have fun with it … have two big ass amps to do some repairs, the Soundcraftsman i need to pull the triac and replace it the new one sighs, and a Yammie M-70 with a cutting-out channel. lol i’m kinda dangerous now with a soldering iron lolol

    • Out of Nowhere says:

      That’s an impressive investment Dave. I take it you listen relatively nearfield. How close to the Heresys do you sit?

      • Dave says:

        (Rayne, I saw your note about unique usernames, I will do better in the future.)

        Thanks! Crutchfield is wonderful for letting you try out gear, so I auditioned a few different amps to go with the Heresys (like the Naim Uniti Atom). I never expected to land on a beefy class D amp, but something about the zero noise floor with the high efficiency speakers and the sound it produced, my brain apparently loved.

        When not wandering around our kitchen, etc., with a single kitchen/living/dining “great room”, my couch is about 10′ away from the speakers.

        • KP says:

          cool beans. yeah, i still have the two Carver Pro ZR1600 amps with the Tripath “Class T” outputs. Digital amps are able to pour out immense amounts of watts, the only real issue may be ‘fan noise’ but they run cool, and the simplest ‘hack’ is to simply disconnect the fan. I ran mine in bridged mode, to a pair of old Realistic Mach Two — had meant to use em with the JBL CF150, but i’d posted some gear to sell, and a couple guys came over from Omaha, and didn’t get what they thought they were going to get, but stuff i hadn’t thought to sell … and that was when i was up in Lincoln. back on track. lotta guys were getting the big zr1600 (350wpc 8ohm, 600wpc 4ohm) to drive difficult speakers like Magnaplan etc. bridged they were an easy thousand watts 8ohm output. with a robust power inverter, y’all can take one of those big output car amps and use it, too, one way to power passive subwoofers. btw, subwoofer is really a misnomer for most of them, ‘sub’ to me means <16Hz, and for that, one needs a far more serious means than most would try or any put upon wife would allow … kinda why all these new av systems have dang tiny tinny speakers and jokes for 'subwoofers' we don't hear 16Hz either, but we feel it. what 'subs' provide is that 'heft' in the range below 30-ish Hz where very decent and even 15" inchers begin to roll off.

  13. Bears7485 says:

    I aim to have a high-end setup if I ever generate disposable income that’s not spent camping, boating, or gambling.

    Currently, I settle for my Soundboks 3 that I take anywhere I want to rock out. No distortion even when turned to 11 and a battery that will go for 4+ hours at full tilt. I’m aiming to grab a second one for the full stereo experience.

  14. FiestyBlueBird says:

    Still getting enjoyment from an Electro-Voice EV312 pair from the 1970’s. 12″ woof, 4″ mid, 2″ tweet, no horn.

    They got a LOT of use during the pandemic. Beatles “Get Back” movie was just one recent joy. Too many to detail. Lots of Dead.

    A recent Harper’s Magazine article was all about the wonders of the efficiency and clarity of horned speakers. I don’t remember the author or title, and don’t still have the mag. But it was intriguing.

  15. Nessnessess says:

    I never amassed a collection of live band equipment as I was always more a studio dweller. But until recently my personal speakers of the house were a matched pair of Yamaha NS-10M studio monitors. These were last heard from when their ancient power amp died, and I replaced them with an active pair. The ns10’s are still sitting out, each silently winking at and mocking me.

    In deep storage I still have a ton of fx and midi devices from 30+ years ago that I want to donate to Girls Rock Camp, if they would want it, if only so they could then trade it all out for items more useful to the grrls coming up.

  16. Matt___B says:

    Two favorites I remember from the ’70s: AR turntables. McIntosh receivers.

    Gave my Dual turntable (and most of my vinyl collection) away last year, got tired of carting around the vinyl whenever I moved – heavy! Spent a painful year digitizing part of my vinyl collection a few years back before giving up – it was too much manual labor. Now I don’t even know what to do with my CD collection – occasionally listen to them in the car.

    Using small Alesis studio monitors at home for my main stereo speakers – they actually sound pretty good playing music through my iPhone routed into them…

  17. elcajon64 says:

    I went to college in 1985 with my folks’ old Sherwood amp. My first purchase was a pair of used Jensen 5-way loudspeakers a couple weeks before school started – fifty bucks well spent. I used those until just a few years ago when I last moved and went away from furniture-sized speakers and a library of albums/CD’s.

    The Jensens were donated to my kid’s shop class and I downsized to a pair of Klipsch “The Fives” powered bookshelf speakers. I play music and podcasts from the phone and they also sync to the TV. All of the settings are controlled by the app on the phone. Easy.

  18. Patrick G. says:

    Hey, you’ve an audiophile! I was deeply addicted myself for a while & still keep a toe dipped in the water. I’ve got mostly Conrad-Johnson electronics (they’re still in business & recently rebuilt my solid-state 200W amp) plus a tube preamp & phono preamp, an old Marantz cd/dvd player, a new but inexpensive Schitt Modi dac, & an old but functioning pair of NHT 2.5i tower speakers. So many variables to consider with speakers – electronics, room size, personal taste, etc. My beef with my current speakers is sensitivity – they’re not very sensitive at 86db & I’ve become horn-curious lately. Klipsch is the gorilla in the room re: horns, obvs, – in my small room Forte IV’s would work ok, but they’re not small. However my amp is kinda overkill with horn speakers. Vintage Altecs have a cult following with the single-ended triode tube amp crowd, but yours are probably at the low-end re: the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor):)

    • Dave says:

      Don’t sleep on the Heresys – Fortes are arguably better, but if you want smaller, the Heresys are spectacular (although, this is coming from a long time Klipsch and horn fanatic, so, I may be biased). I have Heresys for the same reason – Fortes would be too big visually in my place.

  19. joeyt says:

    I am not hear to put anyone down, or proclaim absolute truth, but ribbon tweeters _can_ be used in pro sound reinforcement, for example Beyma has a ribbon tweeter in a horn (for $450 IIRC) that can work.
    Also, many new drivers have flatter frequency response, and lower distortion that many older drivers.
    Also, careful crossover design and measurements are crucial! Steve Gibson on Youtube or Audio Science Review show measurements of high-dollar commercial speakers that are cringe-worthy.
    I never had acceptable speakers in college, but for the last 20 years I have been designing and building really great speakers.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Doug in Ohio says:

      I’ve been building speakers for about 20 years as well. After a few years of using passive crossovers, I shifted to active speaker designs using a range of cost-effective components: Parts Express/Dayton Audio Reference drivers, Emotiva multichannel amps, Behringer active crossovers, and a NuForce MCP-18 for multichannel volume control. With a test mic and RTA software, I’ve gotten really good results in our large living room. Building some sound treatment panels was important as well.

      • Don in SantaFe says:

        re: sound treatment
        Ethan Winer recently posted an article and said that he always puts some bass traps in critical rooms, then figures out where to put wall panels. Most rooms are way too reverberant.

        • Doug in Ohio says:

          Makes sense to me. I built bass traps as well, 9″ thick mineral wool units placed in the back corners. Tamed a 35-40 Hz room mode pretty well.

    • StellaBlue says:

      No offense taken. My setup is for home and I do not listen at high volumes, so ribbons work for me. I doubt Meyer sound or Clair bros would consider ribbons.

  20. SelaSela says:

    Long long time ago, while still a student, I was trying to get the best audio I could find on a budget. I ended up getting a pair of Paradigm Studio 20 bookshelf speakers. At first, I connected them to an old Nakamichi receiver I got, and when it stopped working, I replaced it with an Emotiva a-100 stereo amp.

    I am still using the same configuration today.

  21. Hardy Pottinger says:

    Phew, it has been a long time since I have posted here, but this is definitely a thread I can get into. My current set of speakers are Sledglings from Madisound (kit speakers, bookshelf-ish, don’t appear to be available any longer) and a cast-off Sony subwoofer, run through a mostly not great, but gets the job done Sony amp. All of it hooked up to a Roku, streaming tunes either from Spotify or an in-house Jellyfin server. The speakers have been with me for decades. Have never needed any kind of maintenance, they are still delightful to listen to.

  22. CroFandango says:

    Seems to be the season to find the right speaker.

    Here we go.

    You can love what you want in speakers, but if you are discussing function, not nostalgia:

    Horns honk.

    You can have bandwidth or sensitivity, horns go for sensitivity and are great for P.A. for an auditorium.

    If you are trying to reproduce a signal, every coloration (honk) you introduce in the signal chain takes you further from what you are trying to discern. Horns are acoustic transformers, enabling a small dome to couple to enough air at the mouth to be efficient, but only in a narrow band of frequencies. Above that band they beam, below the horn mouth size, they are unloaded.

    I sold my JBL 2342’s and never looked back. Yeah, and a 15″ woofer doesn’t go up to 1K Hz, it’s too big to not beam if you want a soundfield in a room.

    If you want an image in a room, you want drivers that share characteristics above and below the crossover frequencies, coming from an acoustically narrow source. You’ll notice that as JBL has developed the horn into their current offerings, the throat gets shorter and shorter, more a baffle shape to avoid colorations than a tunnel.

    If you’re curious, inter-library loan this book:

    Beranek, Leo L.; Mellow, Tim (2012). Acoustics : Sound Fields and Transducers

    At the end of the day, direct radiators are less colored than horns. Walk into a hifi store and find out. (If you can find one).

    • Don in SantaFe says:

      re: honk.
      Many, many audiophiles would agree with you. But I have yet to hear the vaunted Klipsch big speakers. And other than horns and direct radiators, there are open baffle speakers, omnidirectional speakers and the (newish) MBL omnis that everyone seems to love.
      Also, the big planar speakers (Magnepan, Apogee, Quads) – I have a pair of MGIIs for a while. Wonderful “you are there” sound quality, but a very narrow sweet spot.

      • Nick Caraway says:

        Exactly right re planar speakers. My Apogees really do have the “you are there” quality, which I love, but as I said elsewhere in the thread, you have to be in the right spot in the listening room to hear them properly. And even moving them a couple of inches makes a huge difference in the sound.

  23. Alan Charbonneau says:

    PS Audio Elite II Plus integrated amp plus DCM Time Window speakers. I love the DCMs, though some think they don’t have enough bass.

    Since my first brain surgery in 2003, I’ve been completely deaf in one ear. Ergo, I’ve got no stereo hearing anymore and rarely listen to music. Sad!

  24. jsrtheta says:

    A lot of nostalgia here, but not much in the way of current kit.

    I am always amused by the number of vinylphiles who chime in. I got rid of my vinyl and turntable when CD came out. I did that in 1986, because, to borrow a line from the late, great Peter Aczel, I don’t have need of a buggy whip either, not since the invention of the internal combustion engine. (And even that is becoming obsolete.) The simple fact is that vinyl can never match the accuracy of digital music. Never. When I heard my first CD that was the end of a life spent dealing with vinyl.

    There also seems to be little said here about current speaker technology, which is miles beyond what was available in the ’70s and ’80s. Current speakers by companies like Monitor Audio, B&W, Dali and Focal outperform the old technology by light years. (I am happy to see at least some here are sticking with KEF, which continues to provide new and advanced sound reproduction.) The first speakers I was blown away by were ARs, and that was in the 1960s. But they couldn’t compete with what’s available now.

    The most important things for great sound, aside from digital reproduction, are your speakers and your listening room. And you can now get top-of-the-line performance out of $200 electronics made in China that outshine gear that cost thousands 20 years ago.

    • dimmsdale says:

      Peter Aczel! Yes! you reminded me I bookmarked “The Audio Critic” url, just in case he resumed. Sadly, no, but the website is still active, and has pdfs of all his back issues going back to Vol. I No. 1. God, I’d forgotten what a wonderful writer he was, and how exhilarating it was to read his dismemberment of hi-fi ‘conventional wisdom.’

    • Doug in Ohio says:

      It’s easy to agree with you about the superiority of current speakers and the importance of the listening room, but a lot of people didn’t have your instant conversion experience from vinyl to then-new CDs. Neil Young commented that his first listening experience when one of his analog tape album masters was converted to CD was like being stabbed in the face with ice picks. Many audiophiles described early CD sound with terms like tizzy, fatiguing, digititis, and harsh. The DAC chips and output stages in many early CD players really weren’t that great, according to many folks.
      I found vinyl to be a noisy, inconvenient format that was nevertheless more relaxing to listen to for long periods of time than digital, until I auditioned a ladder-type/R2R DAC a few years ago, and ended up buying a Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC. Awesome! The ease of listening of vinyl (and analog in general), with all of the technical advantages and convenience of digital.
      So I’m glad that early digital sound worked so well for you, but it took me and many others a long time to get there. Happy listening!

  25. Stacy (Male!) says:

    What prompted this outburst of boring and irrelevant gibberish about audio gear? What’s next? Swapping stories about how you “souped up” your jalopies in high school? I’m sure there are plenty of online forums dedicated such tedious bro-stuff. Why dump this rubbish on empty wheel?

    • KP says:

      my 1963 Ford Galaxie 500XL had the nascar 406 with three two-bbl carbs, needed no ‘souping up’ but this is still a ‘car town’ and so many friends were motorheads, many still are (the great plains is a lotta dirt between anyplace one might want to be, so kids are car crazy here, though more pickups keeps the more ridiculous speeds down). top-end was easy, but cars then had no breaks for a while after one hard braking event (small drum brakes omgods) got ’em hot!
      not sorry, life is hard, and things are not as bad (yet) as that whacky 14th Century, but we’re getting into that kinda shit in just the second decade of the 21st Century.
      it’s like a relief valve. thanks, bmaz, and y’all had/have some nice stuffs bud … so have many of y’all! damn, i luvs this site!! and recommend it whenever i talk to people about the need for deep digging, straight reporting, and explaining some of the obtuse stuff we’re living among

      • elcajon64 says:

        That 406 6V is a great motor. I swapped out the 312 in my 1960 Mercury for an FE and considered one (and briefly, a 410 6V) for a minute. If I ever blow up the 390 4V, I might rethink that.

        • KP says:

          way cool!! yeah, with the iconic 427 coming out right around the same time, the earlier 406, the merc 410, and the dependable 390 are mostly ignored! there was the 63-1/2 500xl bit diff roofline, that carried the 427, but still had the ‘lesser’ option of the 406. i was a senior in hs when i had the thing. great plains, lotta dirt between places we may have wanted to be. *coughs* the old crate we timed (on public open roads, but not K or US highways) at usually at or just over 160mph. with a different rearend ratio, who knows, 170 was probably easy. problem with all those cars pre-disc brakes, was yep, tiny brakes that when baked hot with one hard braking event, were worthless until they cooled off, so good luck with stopping and funny but not. even today, well over 50 years later, cars or now trucks, full of kids crash for whatever reason and too many young lives are lost.

          • P J Evans says:

            A lot of those engines get converted to natural gas to drive irrigation well pumps.
            And these days, you can find vinyl at Wallymart!

      • posaune says:

        Yeah, KP, like you say, it’s a relief valve.
        After a year of incredible stress, 2+ years of Covid, 2 years of contested elections, etc. Working on voter registration like crazy and phone banking for the 4x-elected Sen Warnock!
        So, thank you bmaz!

  26. Bob Tetrault says:

    Recovering audiophile here. Had an AR turntable, Dynaco PAS3 preamp and a pair of Philips Little Davids back in the mid 70s. Motional feedback, bi-amped. Giant killers, but unreliable. A friend had a pair of Altec VOTs that had phenomenal imaging but small sweet spot. Now down to KEF UniQs and Velodyne 15. Hafler DH200, CD source material, LPs but no turntable. Great sound but old ears.

  27. Tburgler1 says:

    Had my first real job as a stock boy at a dept store 35 years ago, and as soon as I got a few dollars in my pocket went to the stereo dept, where they sold mostly Fisher, to make use of my employee discount. The salesman waved me off, saying that it was mostly crap with big, muddy bottom ends that sold to the rubes. He told me that for my budget, I should get a Yamaha or similar amp and American-made speakers. I still run those Polk 5s today, supplemented by a couple Polk 2s that I got from a friend who works at a dump in a rich town and skims the incredible amount of stuff rich people throw out. (He has 2 storage sheds full of working electronic equipment. Need a Marantz, he’s got it. Betamax players too!)

    I still run through a Yamaha with only a turntable (Uturn: Ortofon Blue). One day I should get a sub because the 1500 pound slate in my pool table seems to eat a chunk of the bass, which wasn’t the strength of the Polks in the first place.

    • bmaz says:

      No! You need a sub with that!

      A 10 or 12 would be fine. Check your local Craigslist, I’ll bet can get a fine one pretty cheap.

        • posaune says:

          Love the handle, Tburgler!
          I used to “steal” my mom’s S&H Green Stamps, paste them in the book and buy LPs with them. First LP: Bernstein & the NY Phil: Shostakovich Symphony #5. Some real fire there!

    • Tburgler1 says:

      Oh, and “Perfecting Sound Forever” by Greg Milner is a pretty great history or recorded music.

  28. Chirrut Imwe says:

    This made me smile. I had a Peavy Black Widow KB300 when we got married. It hung around the house until just after the kiddos started arriving. Then the better half finally got her way and it went bye-bye.

    OT – I saw bmaz’s mastodon rt for Rob Duvall’s birthday. The Great Santini has been my favorite movie of his forever.

    • 90’s Country says:

      Seems like ever time I’d go into a high end audio store (and it’s been many year now) the first thing the sales person would talk about was how lousy most recordings were but for the good stuff he/she had the answer. As a person who’s spent years in recording studios, who’s seen how picky and exacting recording engineers are, I was immediately put off. That alone has saved me a whole lot of money I might have otherwise spent on fancy sound replication.
      And it reminds me of the mechanic who first tells you what a lousy job your last mechanic did then offers, for a price, to fix it right.
      And that reminds me of a wonderful song by Dennis Linde. Now this demo I’m gonna provide a link to was recorded in Dennis’s basement studio with him playing all the instruments, him engineering the recording, and him singing. So it really doesn’t matter how much you’ve sunk into speakers and tube amps.
      Just listen on your phone…


      • Peterr says:

        And I know you’ve been using a cut-rate thesaurus
        ‘Cause your adverbs have backed up into your chorus
        Now your verse is runnin’ on verbs that are way too weak.”


        I need to remember this song when I go to my next Hymn Society conference.

        Thanks – this is hilarious!

    • KP says:

      went to a ed. school’s lab schools, some older kid’s dad (he was a prof, too)(the younger girl was in my sis’s class) had a pair of the big Khorns and holey cripes yeah stuck in the corners creating that huge bass horn was freaking awesome, even with his flea-sized output tube amp. the big Khorns are soooo efficient! coupla good bud’s were identical twins, and both played in rock bands in hs (and a few years beyond, but being prof’s kids, took the book learning seriously, though only one went on into teaching) the bass player brother (he ended up retiring as an industrial arts teacher with ALL his fingers and both thumbs intact!) built big big enclosures, and the folded-horn type for dual 15s bass speakers were the ones I most remember (his ol’ shovelhead was pretty dang cool, too, but bikes for another post, eh). \
      atm, i have a pair of boxes ready enough for 12s, in a 3-way config. Got a bigger pair, same-ish 3-way config, cut for 15s — but this old decrepit house isn’t big enough, and nothing i could say would really give y’all a sense of how packed it is with audio gear AND speakers .. rn in the bedroom, and 2 pairs 12″ 3-ways, a pair of 10″ 3-ways, a pair of dual-10s with horn mid/tweet, two active subs, 3 big receivers, two large power amps, one preamp, one tuner, and tf, a hifi stereo VHS lolol (don’t laugh, the audio quality if you record music is superb … the tape moves slow, sure, but the recording heads spin incredibly fast … two hours of whatever it was you’ve recorded. also, SPL and watts etc are logs, so for a 10dB +/- requires twice the watt output (or decrease). that means your ears won’t discern a ‘loudness’ difference between amp outputs of say 250 wpc (i luvs the 200-250 range, but i do have too many monsters with 300+ wpc) and 150 wpc … but yeah, there is the psychology of ‘i want the bigger one’ lol
      yeah, i have raw drivers and crossovers … the old fingers aren’t as flexible now, but it’s a hobby when i’m not reading

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. I don’t know how we missed informing you of this over your 36-comment history here but this is a necessary change. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Max404Droid says:

      Allison One’s bought 1978 still have them, reconed once. Amp Sansui AU919. AudioPulse Digital Delay Model One (my love has never waned for this) here is a video of it.


      House currently in renovation, nothing is connected, soon again.

      I bought the Allisons, the AudioPulse, and the Sansui (and sister tuner TU717) with my first paycheck. Tuna fish sandwiches for a month or so after. It was worth it.

      • MattyG says:

        I had to check the old receipts, but I picked up my CD-7s Sept 17, 1988, a full 6 years out of college haha. Initially drove them with a Harman Kardon 330B I’d had since the late 70’s, but then switched to an NAD tuner and amp setup. I miss the 330B, I think it got stolen in a late 1980’s burglary…

        Allison always had gorgeous sound.

  29. Steve13209 says:

    My nephew has been getting into vinyl (and “old school” rock and roll), so I recently unboxed my old stereo system. It’s the same as I had in HS (1976), except the Becker speakers were given away at some point and replaced with a cheap pair of Design Acoustics bookshelf speakers.

    Setting up my Sansui 8080 amp with Sanyo TP-1020 direct drive turntable, I noticed a lot of crackling coming through the speakers. The DA speakers were in sad shape. I bought a couple of small monitor speakers from a thrift shop just to figure out if the Sansui was still OK. It still crackled so I opened it up, vacuumed the inside, used some Deoxit D5 on the pots and now it sounds almost new. The Sansui probably needs a new cartridge, but I am thinking of getting a new turntable.

    I enjoy listening to my old vinyl pretty loud in my spare room, but I still tend to listen to music on my Echo or computer, where I spend most of my time.

  30. 90’s Country says:

    Seems like ever time I’d go into a high end audio store (and it’s been many year now) the first thing the sales person would talk about was how lousy most recordings were, but for the good stuff he/she had the answer. As a person who’s spent years in recording studios, who’s seen how picky and exacting recording engineers are, I was immediately put off. That alone has saved me a whole lot of money I might have otherwise spent on fancy sound replication.
    And it reminds me of the mechanic who first tells you what a lousy job your last mechanic did then offers, for a price, to fix it right.
    And that reminds me of a wonderful song by Dennis Linde. Now this demo I’m gonna provide a link to was recorded in Dennis’s basement studio with him playing all the instruments, him engineering the recording, and him singing. So it really doesn’t matter how much you’ve sunk into speakers and tube amps.
    Just listen on your phone…


  31. Mozart on his way says:

    B&W 800 speakers
    Rega P2 turntable
    Audio Technica VM740ML cartridge
    Marantz PM15 S1 amp
    Marantz SA-15S2 CD player
    Sennheiser 625 (I think) headphones
    Since all this was acquired some years ago, I’ve been a happy camper

  32. Bill Dunlap says:

    I guess I’m getting old. (Actually no guesswork required.) No one has mentioned the brands I built a system around in the mid-80s: SAE power amp (with the cool LEDs showing output), SAE pre-amp with parametric equalizers, Technics turntable and made-in-Brooklyn Ohm I (Eye) speakers. Still have the Ohms. two tweeters and mid-range driver directed up, woofer and single tweeter directed frontwards. Pump it up and the furniture dances across the floor. Speaking of being old, I can’t believe that the music medium that I thought was the wave of the future back then (the CD) seems almost obsolete. Neither of my kids own CDs. Neither the cheap car I own (2020 Honda Civic) or the expensive one (2021 S4 Audi) came with a CD player. I know about the various music services, but I have a lot of old CDs, some of which I burned myself, and I enjoyed playing them in the car.

    • forkliftdriver says:

      Luv my Ohms. Tried many conventional and whacko speakers over the years, but never came across the Walsh Ohms until ’08. I can never never go back. Both natural AND precise, especially for vocals. Drawback is, I can no longer endure poorly engineered recordings. ‘Course, that could just be my growing curmudgionry.

    • Just Some Guy says:

      I mentioned Technics as they are the brand I use for turntable, receiver, and speakers. But then again, I’m “just some guy.”

  33. gmoke says:

    Jonathan Richman once told me about how much he prefers tube amps and why. It was an interesting lecture. Unfortunately, my understanding is that the tubes necessary are available only through the former Soviet Union and I don’t believe they are concentrating on that aspect of international trade at this point in time.

    • elcajon64 says:

      Yes. I have a 90’s Marshall JCM 900 (guitar amp) that needs a couple tubes. It’s either find old ones that still work or wait for someone to start making them again.

  34. SteveH says:

    My setup is a Harmon Kardon 430, with a Dual 1246 TT with AT TK5E and TKN22 stylus, AR 4ax speakers, Denon DCM-340 CD player and Onkyo TA RW311cassette.

  35. Peterr says:

    The blurb on the EW front page says about this post that “Actual functioning speakers are discussed herein”.

    I’ve yet to see anyone mention Nancy Pelosi, Sam Rayburn, or (for the real fans of classic speakers) Frederick Muhlenberg. How can you talk about actual functioning speakers without names like these?

  36. AdamSanFran says:

    Grew up listening to my dad’s Dynaco tube preamp/amp/tuner + Bose 901 setup…
    Built my own sealed-box speakers and a forgettable system with cheap car audio components
    Then graduated to Carver Receiver + DCM TimeWindow 3 speakers (Steve Eberbach transmission line design) which were power-hungry but had great imaging and clean bass extension well below 30Hz

    Still have those DCMs as mains…today they’re matched with another pair of TW3 and DCM Surroundscape center for 5.1, with Denon 3700h AVR, Bryston 8B-ST amp, Velodyne HGS-15 sub, LG C2 65″ OLED, and a Panasonic UB820 bluray (which I bought after very stupidly returning an Oppo BD-203 unopened just before the company ceased production.)

  37. GWPDA says:

    Still looking for ideas on how best to preserve squash in some form where I might eat it. Eventually. I don’t actually like squash. I may need to get a pig and feed it squash, altho that seems more like an extension of inutility rather than a solution.

  38. PeteT0323 says:

    Never an audiophile or videophile, I was late to the Dolby game with a Pioneer Elite AVR wish a set of Phase towers, 10” Phase sub, and matching center and surrounds.

    At that time Phase was the retail offering of General Speaker who made a lot speakers for others. It was not high end but well regarded as a good bang for the buck. It annoyed my wife so there’s that ;-)

    Kind of OT, but I’ve been wanting to replace my old 80” Sharp Aquos pretend 4K.l TV. I really like the Samsung 85” but I wanted bigger without spending 15K+ for a panel.

    So hanging on my wall is a 110” projector screen showing a stunning – to me – 4K image from an AWOL Vision LTV-3500. All told less than TV combos.

    Now the sound system needs an overhaul. If I could get bmaz to rehab my Phase speakers I’d pick up a Denon 3700 on great sale.

    Otherwise – flame suit on – a wireless soundbar like the Nakamichi 11.2.4 EARC. This is not your 80-90s Nak company.

    As for turntables, an AVR usually supports “ standard” classic cabling. For soundbar probably need BT.


  39. timbozone says:

    Until the mid-2000s I didn’t care much about audio quality/accuracy. And I wasn’t really in to loud at all. Then I had a stint as a roadie between jobs which got me to pay more attention to the audio so…

    A pair of Yamaha NS-500s that I re-coned the woofers on are the best speakers I’ve got/had. These guys have beryllium tweeters so they’re incredibly fine on the high end/upper mid-range—definitely a pleasure to listen to old favs with beryllium. Of course beryllium is pretty much banned now I hear, and you most certainly don’t want to do any heavy breathing anywhere near those twitters…dangerous stuff. But worth listening to Revolver on for a fresh appraisal. If only they were the right dimensions for my modest space needs…

    As for the rest, I don’t think I have anything really all that high end, just an old semi-collectible hand-me-down Nakamichi bookshelf stereo system from the late 80s that is still going like a tank for main listening, a Denon 1905 surround-stereo unit for my office/guest bedroom(not a sweet spot in the history of mid-range tuner/amplifiers—ie its from 2005—but it works well enough for my humble needs), all with a hodge-podge of mid-quality speakers that are appropriate to the spaces they occupy but do not produce anything truly stellar in audio (eg an old pair of Marantz low-end speakers in the living room, mid-priced Sony ss-u780s in the office, etc). (For loud I have my Mustang GT Mach audio system to flesh out the rarer and rarer deep dive into “California Uber Alles” on the 101.)

  40. smf88011 says:

    As I grew up, I was always told Bose was the best speakers. Shortly after I moved out for the first time, I took the money I saved for a year to buy Bose 901s. I then saved up for a set of “cheap” rear channel speakers so I could do a surround sound system. My girlfriend at the time (not a stereo person – it makes sound, right?) and I walked into Hudson’s in Albuquerque. I commented that I liked the sound of the speakers that were playing the music. She commented something along the lines of “Oh, those must be the $8000 speakers right there playing.” The salesman that was there heard her, and said “No, those are the $250 used bookshelf speakers” and pointed at them. The GF pulled out her checkbook immediately about bought the B&W 602 S2 speakers immediately.

    We took them home, hooked them up, and found that the sound coming from the rear channel (B&W 602) sounded better than the Bose 901s. I switched the speakers around, listed the 901s on Ebay and bought more B&W speakers after the 901s sold. I have been buying B&W speakers ever since.

      • timbozone says:

        Agreed. The Bose satellite surround mini-cubes were mediocre. My “beefy” center Bose surround speaker? Garbage. After I learned better, I ditched them all, along with my crap Sony 5.1 THX surround amp. BPS basically.

        Also those crazy big Pioneer speakers sold to me by The Good Guys “at an amazing discount price!”; muddy on the mid and low range, dull on the high end—the price was right, the sound was wrong…but I needed to be around folks who actually cared about audio fidelity to fully appreciate the difference. I mean, watching the LD version of Apocalypse Now in THX on them was an incredible experience at first…until the glimmer wore off.

        • smf88011 says:

          That brings back memories! I still have a working Pioneer DVL-919 that I got in October 2000. LD and DVD player in one. When I took it out of use, I put it back in the original box and it is in my storage unit.

          • timbozone says:

            I have one LDP still deployed, a decent one from the mid-90s, and an even older pioneer pro deck that is sitting in mothballs in case of failure of the newer deck (possibly a 3080, it’s been over a decade since I last bothered to look). I think I might have a third one that is DVD capable in mothballs too, given to me when a friend liquidated his LD collection about a dozen years ago. However, I’m sticking with the Pioneer CLV-D604 as it has been working well enough these past 26 years or so. (I fire up maybe five LD movies/rockshows/avante-garde discs a year at this point, just to keep the cobwebs out of the D604.)

            • smf88011 says:

              I remember finding a DVL-919 at the Rio Rancho, NM goodwill years ago. I bought the remote for it (it didn’t have one) and flipped it on ebay. Bought for $20 and sold for $850. A great flip. I only did that because I already had a backup.

      • smf88011 says:

        It was the early 90s and I wasn’t exposed to “good” brands yet – Sony, Panasonic, and other brands were what I had seen up until Bose. As soon as I heard the B&Ws, I was hooked. I now have 2x Diamond D802 D2s, 2x Diamond D804 D2s, 2x Nautilus 805 bookshelf, and a HTM1 as center. I have 2 600ASW subs. (VERY old subs – from the early 80s but outstanding base)

        I have a Yamaha Aventage RX-A8A receiver – been using Yamaha since the early 2000s – that these speakers are hooked up to. Yes, a 11.2 receiver for a 7.2 system. Wife hasn’t let me buy the next 4 speakers yet. YET is the keyword. I will probably get 4 more 805s for those open spots.

        I use digital optical to connect to a home theater pc and an android TV box. I stream music, tv and movies from a Synology DS1819+ with DX517 expansion unit. 8x 10TB and 5x 8TB HDs running SHR-1 on each device. Drives are “shucked” Western Digital Easystore and My Books. I plan on buying some 18TB Seagate Exos drives in the near future to start replacing the 8TB drives – put the 18TB drives in place of the 10TB drives, and move the 10TB drives into the DX517.

        Yeah, I am a geek!

      • smf88011 says:

        Forgot to mention that in my office I have a NAD 7020 receiver with 4x KEF Coda speakers connected to this laptop that I am posting this from. It sounds perfect in this 10×12 room.

  41. Phaedruses says:

    Balanced audio technology BAT50 tube preamp into a pro equalizer to bi amp the speakers

    BAT60 tube power amp on mids and tweeters and BAT500 solid state power amp into a pair of Thiel CS 3.6

    Makes Floyd sound incredible, at the same time any classical truly exquisite.

    PS: In the 70’s I got a set of Cerwin Vega S-1’s probably the best speaker they ever made. I have bi amped them like the Thiels,

    The Thiels are more accurate, but the S-1’s rock

    Tweeter is still used by Klispch, and the mid was made by Foster which Klispch bought to get both drivers.

  42. pdaly says:

    The CD player debuted during my college years, so my LP collection did not blossom at all. Out of college I had a Nakamichi CDP-2A CD player connected to a Nakamichi TA-2A “tuner amplifier.” I don’t know whether the word receiver existed at the time.
    Although this Nakamichi had only 50 watts per channel, that was more than enough to power the Snell Acoustics J/II loudspeakers hooked up to it. The Snells had a sensitivity rated at 92 dB. Although they were marketed as bookshelf speakers, they were about 2 feet tall.

    Now I have downsized to KEF R3 speakers, and I use an aging Arcam DV-137 for playing CDs, powered by a Rega Elex-R integrated amp (with option to add a turntable, bmaz).

    I often think my first set-up was more lively. Although I’m sure my ears are part of the reason I’m missing the higher frequencies now (I’m trying to recall that last time I heard a mosquito buzz by my ear…), the larger speakers of yesteryear definitely had more bass response.

  43. miles2go says:

    Klipsch Klipschorns
    McIntosh C27 preamp MC2205 poweramp
    Bang & Olufsen Beogram 4002
    Yamaha cdc-835

    [FYI — I changed your username to match that you’ve used previously, as I suspect you didn’t intend to use your RL name. /~Rayne]

    • Tmooretxk says:

      I have a set of 1957 Klipsch Corner Horns – the plywood commercial grade – on loan to a friend for the last 15 years because I don’t have a room with two corners in the house. Seriously envy anyone with a working setup. Once spent an afternoon at the Klipsch tech room in Hope, AR (fall 1972) with Paul Klipsch & one of his engineers. Highlight was a pair of plexiglass Klipschorns they had built for demos. Us vintage sound geeks gotta keep the faith ….

  44. Wire Nut says:

    At last, a reason to un-lurk. I’m mostly retired from my career as a recording engineer, so while this might be excessive it was purchased piece-by-piece (and it all seemed to make sense at the time …)

    Living room:

    JBL 705 powered speakers, Hafler DH 110 preamp (modified), McIntosh MR 67 tuner, Technics SL 1300 MkII turntable w/Shure V15 IV cartridge

    Home office:

    Klipsch Heresy IV speakers, Hafler DH500 amplifier (modified), homemade monitor preamp, Sony DVP NS70 CD player, Yamaha T-70 tuner, Eumig FL1000 cassette recorder

    Work (where the records are stored):

    Magneplanar MG 2.5R speakers, Hafler DH220 amplifier (modified), M&K 12″ powered subwoofer, homemade crossover, homemade monitor preamp, homemade RIAA preamp, GML 8200 equalizer, Harmon Kardon Citation Fifteen tuner, Tascam DA3000 PCM recorder, Kenwood KD500 turntable w/Infinity Black Widow I tonearm, Shure V15 IV cartridge

  45. Bruce Stewart says:

    Former setup:
    Tympani ID
    Dynaco (!) Amp with homemade B+ (not screen grid) voltage regulation
    NAD preamp
    HK turntable with Grado Signature cartridge
    Hope to get back there someday, but the Tympanis ribbon tweeters failed long ago.
    Here’s a fun fact for vinyl fans: the ability to discern direction of an impulsive sound source implies that an average person can notice a difference of arrival time at the two ears of less that one hundred thousandths of a second. So even though you can’t hear steady tones above 20 kHz, digital recordings would need more than 200 kHz sample rate to reproduce the sound stage correctly. Keep groovin’.
    As for tubes, it is true that a transistor is an inherently highly nonlinear device which by clever circuit design is forced to perform a linear function. What could go wrong?

    • Bruce Stewart says:

      … and yes I cheated and used power transistors in the voltage regulators. Some say it doesn’t matter, the voltage regulator is not in the signal path. Of course everything IS in the signal path.

    • Wire Nut says:

      Magnepan has a tweeter replacement program. Last time I looked it was $300 for the pair, plus shipping.

      • KlausEdcase says:

        My Spouse’s set of Tympani 1-Ds went back to Minnesota around 1994. I think they may have stopped refurbishing them at the factory due to parts availability.

        Magnificent speakers though.

        I think Magnepan said that they would have to price them at around 50k a set were they ever to start making them again.

  46. Fran of the North says:

    Long time stereo head, but on the wagon due to various home and equipment problems.

    As evidence, back in the day, my buddy and I bought identical pairs of ADS bookshelf speakers, and proceeded to test whether there was audible differences btw speaker wire. We compared run-of-the-mill lamp gauge twisted copper wire with home brewed Radio Shack solid single conductor wire twisted up into hand wound pairs. Long story short: Absolutely could hear the difference and identify which was which in blind tests.

    That said, the best pair of speakers I ever heard weren’t speakers at all. I listened to a favorite of mine through my TT w/Shure MV4 into a phono pre-amp into a dedicated headphone amp and into Sennheiser 600’s. No big power amps or other equipment in the chain, signal to headphones as minimal as possible.

    After 20 years, I knew every line, every chord, every nuance of that song. And yet, for the first time I heard Joan breathing between verses. Still makes goose bumps arise.


  47. Jim Luther says:

    Weighing in at 66 pounds, a pair of Wharfedale W-70 speakers in oak and tweed. Still are better than my ears are.

  48. wa_rick says:

    When I used to DJ (2001-2008), I had a Technics SL-1210 turntable w/ Otofon Concorde Nightclub-S stylus, (2) Pioneer CDJ700, Pioneer DJM-300 mixing board, JBL EON 1000 speakers.

  49. P J Evans says:

    I’d have to unbox the system I got from my mother when she moved back from TX. It ain’t bookshelf.

  50. aduckisaduck says:

    Ah, memory lane, and a brief escape from political idiocy. First, I would agree with those who note the differing sonic characteristics of types of speakers, recording media (vinyl, digital, tape), and reproducing equipment (everything from cartridges to amp circuits, etc.)–not to mention room characteristics. But next, I hasten to agree with those who note that you want to hear music for enjoyment, and that can come in all shapes and sizes.

    Being old, I have gone through several combinations, switching as my circumstances changed. Like others here I started with a Marantz receiver which I kept until it accompanied my daughter to college, a Dual turntable, which I still have but now her husband wants to start a vinyl collection, and some giant Jenson speakers. I got the speakers because they were too big for some other grad student to take with her. And that’s why I gave them away when I changed cities. But up until then the parties–actually the whole apartment–really rocked. Next was a smaller apartment: NAD amp/preamp and AR speakers. Very nice for a long time. Another move and the NAD and speakers went to various family members. I next used a B&K amp/preamp and Rogers bookshelf speakers (small place; decent sound) and took my first dive into digital with a Rotel CD player. Still have them. Another move and a better paying job yielded a main system with a Sony CD, Bryston amps, and Legacy 1’s. Added a child, so the vinyl equipment went into storage. Now. as others have noted, hearing loss has become a prominent factor. So I dusted off the turntable set up–Rega Planar, Audible Illusions preamp, Music Reference amp and Spica Angelus speakers. Yes, I know that this yields inaccurate, non-full range, “chocolate sundae” sound. But there are times when that works for what I want, especially for small ensemble classical or jazz. Also the AI pre serves as an excellent headphone amp. I can’t use my beloved Grado HP-1’s for any period–great sound but their on the ear style pinches in on the hearing aids. But Sony studio monitors or my old Sennheisers are over the ear and work well. On the Bryston/Legacy system I added an older Etymotic headphone amp with a long interconnect so I can stay firmly planted on the couch. I figure the Dual/B&K/Rogers set-up will accompany several hundred records to my son-in-law (he has decided he likes opera; could be a divorce issue if he doesn’t get his own set-up).

    So, to any who have felt that this thread has besmirched EW’s usual level of commentary, I’d just say that reading and remembering have been a lot of fun.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      This is exactly the sort of commentary EW is known for. It’s not a single topic site. Wait until your first Trash Talk.

    • giorgino says:

      Thank you Aduckisaduck for sharing your sonic history. I bet you enjoyed going down Memory Lane. I read your last sentence as complimentary of this site, I’m not certain why one word would elevate it to a Trash Talk item, if that’s what it has been elevated to. I will say, bmaz’s headline opens up a discussion, which is what this is all about. Hoping you have a thick skin, you’ve probably been here longer than I have, but never-the-less…

  51. theartistvvv says:

    I’m kinda a electronics idjit. I live in a 3-bedrom ranch, have 6 computers on at all times, and 1 spare. I have 4 TV’s (2 smart, 2 smaller LED). I have 7 stereos in the house, altho’ the bathroom and kitchen ones are small integrated systems, and there’s a component boom box in the garage.

    My fave is my recording set-up, which uses a late ’70’s 100w./side Technics receiver, Sony CD player, with Tannoys, Auratones, and Minimus for monitors, and some small computer Polks. As well, I have some 6″ 2-ways from Monoprice hooked that I like alot because, like the Minimus, they are crossover-less and seemingly industructable when guitars are being monitored and feeding back or some idjit (usually me) is screaming crappy lyrics. There’s a TV linked in that set-up and the office set-up.

    My living room set up is linked to the smart TV, 100w/side Yamaha digital receiver, Teac CD player, with Klipsch Synergies atop 50w. Yamaha subs. Yes, sub*s* – despite all the literature I find stereo subs superior to just one. This set-up is loud enough to require the occasional neighbor comment/complaint altho’ not yet the po-po.

    My afore-mentioned old Technics has been used on average every other day for 40 years, but those things are now relatively expensive and if not used constantly need caps, etc., hence the modern living room receiver. I have until recently resisted powered speakers altho’ I’ve had M-Audio 5″ 2-ways in my mobile recording rig, but I recently found these Edifier brand 2 ways that I actually like – I have a pair hooked into the computer and a CD player in my office and a pair inna similar set-up in my former dining room which is now CD and guitar-filled. Have the new Hendrix *Los Angels Forum* cued up, actually, but I gotta get some sleep …

    I have a couple, 3 turntables in the garage along with some 2K albums that have been boxed for about 20 years – who knows what shape they are in. There’s probably enough components out there to make a stereo setup or two, cassette decks and all. There’s also 2 integrated 4-tracks (1 digital, 1 cassette) and an 8-track recording rig and mixer out there …

    I haven’t really done vinyl in 15 years, replaced most of it with CD’s (just got The Smile and the new live Smith/Kotzen) – I have 2.5-3k(?) in wall racks in the dining room, along with mebbe 100 music DVDs, the latest being The Church from the Sydney Opera House, and the Stones’ *Some Girls*.

    Not just ‘lectronics, I’m a guitar nut and I won’t say how many but will admit to some 15-20 amplifiers with most in a spare bedroom, a few others spread around … the majority are combos along with, I think, 6 heads.

    And yep, some hearing loss now in my 60’s but I bartended some 7 years (ended 30 years ago) and always made sure the sound systems and stage were to my left, always played stage right, so it’s mostly in my left ear around 4K besides the usual age-related highs – PA’s and crash cymbals were *not* my friends. I wish I had learned to wear ear plugs like I now wear masks …

    My daughter, who moved out and so in with her boyfriend a cuppla months ago, always said it was like living in a music store here.

    At least it’s not model trains, and I hate golf.

  52. Mozart on his way says:

    My speakers are equidistant from each other, at the short end of a room that is about 14 feet X 25 feet, with book-lined shelves on all the walls. The irregular spines of all those books serve as ideal sound dispersers. I sit about a third of the way back. I mention this because placement of speakers in the room can makes a big difference.

  53. Jazz Handler says:

    Just chiming in as another B&W lover. In fact, the only thing I dislike about my 685s is that they somehow manage to sound better than the Infinity towers in the living room, even with a lesser amp.

  54. rosalind says:

    an early memory is of my older brother constructing huge ass speakers for his small bedroom, quickly followed by a repeated shouted parental refrain: “Turn down that *&#@ music!!”.

    alas, my move from my house where i could indulge in volume suitable for my record collection to a condo where sound travels has led to my car being the only place i can currently enjoy music to 11. my office where my records reside suffers the same noise issue, so i indulge with headphones.

    fantasy business idea: sound proof rooms where we volume-constrained folk can bring in our records and rock the fuck out.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL My spouse and I decided to insulate interior walls when we built our current house because 1) we’d plenty of experience with “huge ass speakers” as younguns and 2) kids. Kids are noisy.

      But in hindsight it was a very mixed blessing. Those kids can’t hear parents yelling for/at them to turn down the bass levels which ignore interior wall insulation and vibrate the entire house. Or the kids know they have an excuse for ignoring the parents (“What? Did you say something? I can’t hear you from my bedroom.”)

      My BFF is a drummer; we’ve often talked about soundproofing a room for their use practicing so as not to piss off the neighborhood. I do wonder what it would cost.

      • P J Evans says:

        There have been people in the townhouses next door, the other side of the vine-wall and at least 40 feet away, who would crank the subwoofer up to where *my* walls were vibrating. That’s a bit too much. (Also if your sound system can be heard more than about 30 feet away, outside, you’re asking for serious ear damage. And probably noise complaints.

  55. Willis Warren says:

    Had a pair of Acoustic Research AR7s that were sublime. Still remember rocking out to the Flash Gordon soundtrack on those

  56. Rapier says:

    Moderate to small sized, and moderate to low priced modern hifi equipment set up with some care with speakers location can often exceed older equipment in terms of resolution, and what’s called sound stage or imaging, and tone. Not to dismiss the giant Altec’s and horns, which are their own thing, but once you move ‘plays loud’ down from goal #1 to goal #6 for $1000 or even $300 one today could as Jimi said, “get into something really nice”


    Note that I said modern which importantly includes modern sources, aka streaming. Vinyl is another thing, and not cheap to start but like CD’s plug right in if you got em. Oh, do not forget to connect the TV audio out, via digital, to your hifi. YouTube can sound decent. Most streamed video content has good to sometimes great sound.

    I would hazard a guess that you have spent 20 times more on computer equipment than hifi equipment the last 10, 20 or 30 years. The majority of which is now in the landfill.

    That said many people simply don’t get it. The do not physically respond to sound such that they simply do not hear or are not cognizant of depth of detail of heard sounds . Human hearing can resolve 5 millisecond difference between a direct or a reflected sound. Hifi is about learning to hear. And of course, music.

    • P J Evans says:

      And sometimes *seeing* the sound, on vinyl. The Telarc “1812 Overture”, direct to disk, with real cannon (Civil war era) and church bells, and one blank that was overcharged and blew out windows. You can see the 4Hz wobble on the disk. (Do not play at high volume until you’re sure it won’t blow out your system.) It’s an incredible experience.

  57. Kenster42 says:

    Vandersteen 2C’s powered by a Creek 5250 Integrated Amp running Tara speaker cables with a Hotel CD player.

  58. ExRacerX says:

    I mostly use headphones for personal music listening and to protect my marriage. I’ve got a few pairs for various purposes. However, now that we’ve moved into a bigger place, I may have to set up a stereo in my office/music room/den. Believe it or not, bmaz, I’ve still got a pair of CVs from circa 1990 with 15″ woofers. Haven’t used ’em in about 20 years, and they’re kinda outmoded, but I’m interested to see if they still work.

    The speakers I use most are for making music and loaded in my guitar cabinets—I’ve got Celestion Vintage 30s in the Orange 4×12 and Celestion G12H30s in the Avatar 2×12. Together, they cover all the sonic bases for the downtuned Stoner/Doom that’s my main groove.

    My little Supro Delta King combo has Supro’s own speaker, the DK12, which is great for Blues/Classic Rock stuff.

      • ExRacerX says:

        Yes, Celestion V30s are factory spec’d in most Orange cabs these days. The V30s and G12Hs are the perfect mix for heavy/downtuned stuff—plenty of low end and fat midrange response without the icepick treble of the G12T 75s found in most Marshall cabs.

        When I was younger, I always associated Celestions—esp. G12T 75s, the go-to speakers from Classic Rock days through early Heavy Metal and NWOBHM and into Hair Metal & Thrash—with Marshall, too. They always sounded too trebly & midrange-deficient to my ears, so I didn’t consider using Celestions for many years.

        Then I was turned on to Celestion Greenbacks (Jimi’s fave), Creambacks, Vintage 30s and G12 Anniversary speakers by a musical associate, and have been using them ever since. I just sold a 1×12 cabinet with a Greenback in it to help finance the Supro combo.

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