Modern speakers vs Vintage speakers

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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Yesterday the wedding of my son was done beautuflly in front of 100 guests.

I dropped in some audio shops in Seoul, Korea today.


1. I listened to Magico A5 driven by Sim Audio integrated.

The owner of shop mentioned that Octave vacuum amp fitted with KT150 is the best to drive A5, but not ready for audition today.

Even driven by Sim Audio integrated, A5 sounds fast and clean

It is really good for the money.

I am not sure whether I have enough motivation to replace Lansche 4.1 by Magico A5.

But if I have fresh start with budget of 25K$ on speaker, A5 is hard to beat.


2. Then I dropped in the vintage audio shop where I auditioned full 3 way Western Electric system valued at 300k$ two years ago.

The one that I auditioned had been sold.

But I had listeded to JBL Hartzfield early version(three way) in excellent condition.

It really sounds warm an moving.

I got tempted to pull the trigger for JBL at 35k$.


Then I had listened to Altec A800 early version in pristine condition.

I got blown away by the sound driven by Altec 1520 T vacuum amplifier.

It sounds natural with effortless dynamics and good extensiion on both treble and bass.

It sounds excellent for both vocal and orchestral music.


I had bought Altec A7 speakers located in Vancouver, Canada two months ago at 1000 CDN(800 USD) for pair of speakers.

I expect to pick it up after being back to Washinton State next week.

But I am not sure whether Altec A7 will sound as good as Altec A800.


With Lansche 4.1 still working fine, I may not need to add Magico A5.

But I am tempted to add Altec A800 at reasonable price in addition to Altec A7.
 
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PeterA

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Modern versus vintage. It's an interesting comparison that is not often made. Hearing both well set up should definitely leave an impression of the differences, though I suspect much has to do with the rest of the systems configuration also. It's pretty cool that you were able to hear both so close together. What sources did you hear with each system?
 
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thomask

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Modern versus vintage. It's an interesting comparison that is not often made. Hearing both well set up should definitely leave an impression of the differences, though I suspect much has to do with the rest of the systems configuration also. It's pretty cool that you were able to hear both so close together. What sources did you hear with each system?
Modern system is more sensitiive to up source and pre amp

but vintage system tends to be more forgiving of uphill and depends more on power amp to drive it.

My current system is on the modern side.

But I will try to venture into vintage side step by step.
 
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MarcelNL

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That Tesla Cinema setup probably does not come close to some of the other systems you have been listening to, the tweeters (using three of them per channel) are sweet but seriously let down by their rectangular horn. The components making up that system can be found for a bargain make a good starting point for a full range open baffle system. That Tesla ARO 835 is a great driver!
 

MrC.

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Your first photo gives a clue to what made many of these early systems sound so good and that is baffle size. With a baffle 6-8’ across the midbass is given a real chance to bloom and it gives life to the music. Also discounted is that these early systems were highly sensetive, meaning that heat distortions in the speaker windings were not a big concern. They were also exclusively mono, giving a coherence to the music that can never be matched by a stereo system as the demands on your brain are fewer. In all reality, concert music, whether rock or opera, generally comes at you with a wall of sound rather than the intimacy of a guitar or speaker five feet away. Unless the illusion of a singer or guitarist walking around a space is important, you are usually better off with mono, especially for large scale performances where speakers like a Mono large baffle Altec movie theater speaker can deliver the full dynamics of a real performance.
 

thomask

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Your first photo gives a clue to what made many of these early systems sound so good and that is baffle size. With a baffle 6-8’ across the midbass is given a real chance to bloom and it gives life to the music. Also discounted is that these early systems were highly sensetive, meaning that heat distortions in the speaker windings were not a big concern. They were also exclusively mono, giving a coherence to the music that can never be matched by a stereo system as the demands on your brain are fewer. In all reality, concert music, whether rock or opera, generally comes at you with a wall of sound rather than the intimacy of a guitar or speaker five feet away. Unless the illusion of a singer or guitarist walking around a space is important, you are usually better off with mono, especially for large scale performances where speakers like a Mono large baffle Altec movie theater speaker can deliver the full dynamics of a real performance.
It is not mono but stereo system.

But it still sounds good.

I had talked with my vintage audio guru (Mr Chung) on the phone this morning.

Altec vintage tends to have good value for performance.

The only thing is that they need to be taken care of by someone who know how to clean or repair it.


There are some nice techie who does good work at reasonable cost in Korea.

That is the reason why I audition vintage audio in Korea and plan to ship them to my home in Washington State.
 

bonzo75

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In Munich, Cheung, John Roberts, and JC always recommend Altec for those who cannot get original WE. JR owned them for years
 
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christoph

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In Munich, Cheung, John Roberts, and JC always recommend Altec for those who cannot get original WE. JR owned them for years
Altec in general or certain models?
 

bonzo75

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Altec in general or certain models?

Altec drivers to start with. Each Altec speaker out there is going to sound different depending on who made it and what he put in it. The models will get better with size but in general A5 and A7 are the one woofer VOTT and then there are some dual woofer woofer ones. In my opinion dual woofer FLH are the best type of speakers if well done.

There are also closed box variants and the smaller tannoy type 604.

But in general if you just go out to listen to some model you might be disappointed. It is all about who made it so one needs to listen to many before finding the right one
 

Addicted to hifi

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View attachment 81711

View attachment 81712

Yesterday the wedding of my son was done beautuflly in front of 100 guests.

I dropped in some audio shops in Seoul, Korea today.


1. I listened to Magico A5 driven by Sim Audio integrated.

The owner of shop mentioned that Octave vacuum amp fitted with KT150 is the best to drive A5, but not ready for audition today.

Even driven by Sim Audio integrated, A5 sounds fast and clean

It is really good for the money.

I am not sure whether I have enough motivation to replace Lansche 4.1 by Magico A5.

But if I have fresh start with budget of 25K$ on speaker, A5 is hard to beat.


2. Then I dropped in the vintage audio shop where I auditioned full 3 way Western Electric system valued at 300k$ two years ago.

The one that I auditioned had been sold.

But I had listeded to JBL Hartzfield early version(three way) in excellent condition.

It really sounds warm an moving.

I got tempted to pull the trigger for JBL at 35k$.


Then I had listened to Altec A800 early version in pristine condition.

I got blown away by the sound driven by Altec 1520 T vacuum amplifier.

It sounds natural with effortless dynamics and good extensiion on both treble and bass.

It sounds excellent for both vocal and orchestral music.


I had bought Altec A7 speakers located in Vancouver, Canada two months ago at 1000 CDN(800 USD) for pair of speakers.

I expect to pick it up after being back to Washinton State next week.

But I am not sure whether Altec A7 will sound as good as Altec A800.


With Lansche 4.1 still working fine, I may not need to add Magico A5.

But I am tempted to add Altec A800 at reasonable price in addition to Altec A7.
These are very special speakers.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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As good as the best vintage speakers are they cart compete with the best or even second best made today.

So I know your reference, what do you think are the best speakers made today?
 

MarcelNL

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Hoping to avoid a discussion about vintage versus modern speakers....Vintage IMO is not necessarily the 70-ies, go back in time a bit further and there are speakers that create a magically natural sound that is very hard to find in modern speakers. I second what Bonzo75 said, dual woofer FLH is IMO one of the best designs, depending on what units they are made with.
 

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
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Washington State, US
Hoping to avoid a discussion about vintage versus modern speakers....Vintage IMO is not necessarily the 70-ies, go back in time a bit further and there are speakers that create a magically natural sound that is very hard to find in modern speakers. I second what Bonzo75 said, dual woofer FLH is IMO one of the best designs, depending on what units they are made with.
I agree with your opiniion.

Yesterday I dropped again in high end shop to listen to Magico A5 driven by Octave V80 amp, with source of DCS Bartok and Rossini clock.

The total cost is around 60k$.

it sounds accurate with nice detaiils and clean bass in pretty spacious shop ( 40ft by 30 ft and height of 10 ft).
It is hard to fault ( I may wish to have more dynamics as done by Avantgarde Trio)

But the sound out of vintage speakers are different just more natural.

I will not make judgement which is better between modern and vintage speaker.

I wish to have both depending on my mood.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
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Washington State, US
I had gone throung Altec A800, Tesla Akr 303, Tannoy Autograph with red driver made in 1960's.


Tannoy also sounds very nice with 300 B amp fitted with WE 300b made in 1940's.

Tesla does also sound decent with 300 B amp but rather analytical like modern speaker not as warm as typical vintage speaker.

JBL Hartfield also sound musical but my favorite is Altec A800 with nice vocal and effortless dynamics.
 
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