Vintage vs Modern speakers.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by thomaskong, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    Oh I paid just 750$ for 55 years old Altec A7 last year.

    Ha ha

    But rest of the system cost much more than speakers.

    The paid price of Altec A7 is just 2 % of the whole system.
     
    Bingo Bongo and SandAndGlass like this.
  2. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    IDK? Are they A7's? :D
     
    thomaskong and Ghostworld like this.
  3. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    A very important 2%!

    This thread should educate and inform just how impressive Altec A7’s are.

    It should also make people aware of the modifications that must be prefirmed on them to bring them from being a theater speaker to very high end home audiophile speakers.
     
    Three quid, thomaskong and Ghostworld like this.
  4. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    This weekend, I got to see and hear a speaker system that is a work in progress. The dealer (Deja Vu Audio) is in the process of assembling one of their custom speakers based on vintage parts. This new (old) system looks to be a pretty nice beast. It has a modern Fostex tweeter used only for very high frequencies, a Western electric 713a midrange compression driver (quite rare and very expensive driver), 32A horn for the compression driver and 18" Goodman woofers. I could only hear one of the speakers because the other one did not have its Goodman woofer in the box (the driver was being re-centered by the store's technician when he went out with Covid). The single speaker sounded quite good. The box the drivers are in is extremely ordinary looking compared to some of Deja Vu's other designs--in terms of dimensions, it looks like a Harbeth 40.2 on steroids.

    Vintage drivers and parts have a lot of life in them whether used as originally designed or used in new creations.
     
    Jim Hodgson, Salectric and thomaskong like this.
  5. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State



    I replaced switchng power supply of Pap C1 active crossover with Farad 3 linear power supply (Synergistc purple fuse, level 2 silver power cable).


    It is not day and night difference but substantial improvement in clean treble and speedy bass.

    Farad Super3 Power Supply with Level 2 DC Power Cables


    This review on Farad 3 is almost spot on.l


    My next step wll be to upgrade my Dac (Chord Dave and Mscaler).


    The potental candidates are Lamp Horizon and Ideon Absolute.


    I look forward to auditioning Ideon Absolute.this coming Saturday at dealer's shop.

    Now my Altec A7 system does not sound like typical vintage speaker.;)


    I also consider trying Accuphase crossover instead of Pap C1 designed by Nelson Pass.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2022
  6. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State


    I had Ideon Absolute Epsilon (47k$ ) at my system for home audition yesterday.

    It may be too early to reach conclusion.

    But it is very positive so far.

    i will keep this one untill 22nd of June.

    It may not be easy to judge the sound recorded by Galaxy s20 phone.

    Nevertheless you can have some idea.

    it sounds very neutral, transparent with clean details and not overbearing but tight bass,


    I paid 750$ for Altec A7 August last year, but it is getting very expensive to get the best sound out of it. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
  7. Cote Dazur

    Cote Dazur Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Very true. We have to admit that for speakers, as for all other piece of gears, in our sound system, despite the empty manufacturer marketing claims parroted by the reviewers, that every new gizmo in so much more better, that the only improvements since the 70’s is better efficiency, less foot print, more practicality, less energy consumption, better sound? Not so much.

    So vintage or not, quality is quality, if you can live without some of the lack of practicality of older gears and speakers, newer has very little, if anything to bring to the table.
    That said, if you have nothing, a pair of modern monitors that includes: wireless, DAC, DSP and active amplification, can be very elegant way to go that did not exist back in the days.:winkgrin:
     
    kundryishot, Helom and thomaskong like this.
  8. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    The only area new model clearly better is digital converter but getting too expensive,

    Top Wadax digital converter cost 140k usd (not 14k)
     
    Cote Dazur likes this.
  9. Cote Dazur

    Cote Dazur Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ottawa
    I will take your word for it.:laugh:
     
    thomaskong likes this.
  10. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever!

    Location:
    Deepest suburbia
    I'm going to stick my neck out and state that generally, over the entire universe of loudspeakers, modern designs have more clarity and detail on offer (particularly in the sub-$1,000 area. Amazing speakers can be found easily, now). But there are many older speakers where the designers were quite inspired, and able to find the right materials for the design that last. Old tube amps from Western Electric driving big horn speakers are spoken of reverently still, for example. And of course the BBC tradition still carries a lot of water for many of us.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
  11. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State



    Another recording done 30 minutes ago.



    About three years ago, I wrote some comparison of Dacs that I had auditioned seriously at the shops.


    If I include Ideon Absolute, I would give 97 points just below MSB Select II.

    This one sounds neutral, nice details but not etched, stable deep and wide soundstage, very tight and controlled bass.

    But it may not sound as analog as MSB Select II althought very close.

    I had not listened to Wadax yet, but expect to listen to it at Pacific Audiofest.




    Point 100
    There is nothing to criticize over MSB Select II except its high price around 100K$.
    It has magical relaxed texture similar to top grade vinyl.

    Dynamics, details, soundstage are all excellent.

    Point 95
    Kalista Dreamplay transport and Dac
    It is excellent matching MSB Select II on almost every aspects.

    The only down side is that it does not have relaxed texture similar to top grade vinyl although it still sounds silky.

    Point 91.
    Trinity Dac
    This one is also all round player with hard to criticize.
    But it falls slightly short of MSB Select II on details and relaxed texture.

    Point 90
    Lampiziator Pacific Dac
    I had auditioned this Dac with same setup with MSB Select II.

    This one is also all round player with hard to criticize.
    It falls slightly short of MSB Select II on dynamics and relaxed texture.
    But this one has a nice bloom and full bodied sound,
    which make some people prefer this one to MSB Select II



    Point 85
    Chord Dave and Mscaler(or Blue II transport)
    This one give transparent and 3D soundstage with excellent details.
    But it need good system matching.
    It could sound analytical or hot coupled with bright combination of speaker and amplifier.
    Without upscaling using Mscaler, its sound is mediocre around 75 points.

    Point 84
    MSB Premier with one more basic power supply
    I had auditioned this one side by side with Lampiziator Pacific Dac.
    It matches Pacific Dac with Dynamics, details, soundstage but fall short of Pacific Dac in magical bloom and full body.
    With improved power supply or clock, its performance have room to improve further.

    Point 80
    Formula XHD Dac
    I auditioned this one side by side with Trinity Dac
    This one is a very musical player with full bloom.
    But it falls short of Trinity Dac by one notch in dynamics and bass slam.

    Point 79
    TotalDac 6 tube version
    This one is also a very musical player.
    But from the point of audiophile, its dynamics, details, soundstage are all one notch below the standard set by MSB Select II.


    Point 78
    MSB Discrete Dac with one additional basic power supply.
    This one has similar sound signature to MSB Premier
    But it is half notch below MSB Premier on dynamics, details, soundstage.

    Point 75
    EmmLab Dac2
    I paid 9K$ for this on 2010.
    It matches Chord Dave and Mscaler on dynamics with slightly more bass slam.
    But Chord Dave and Mscaler give more transparent and deeper soundstage than EmmLab Dac2 while soundstage width are comparable to each other.
    This one has slight fuller sound than Chord Dave and Mscaler.
    It is still working fine after 10 years of use.


    Point 73.

    Lyngdorf 2170
    This one has Dac, pre and power amp, active crossover and room correction functions.
    It’s Dac sounds very similar to EmmLab Dac2 but with slightly less details and bass slam.
     
  12. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State


    Beethoven Violin Concerto played by Chung Kyunghwa using Ideon Absolute Dac.
     
  13. Cote Dazur

    Cote Dazur Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ottawa
    @thomaskong what are the YouTube video for? I must be missing something, the sound I hear is not good. Is there a specific way those should be listen to?
     
    ROFLnaked likes this.
  14. Salectric

    Salectric Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    @Larry I
    I missed your post since I am no longer following this thread. Do you have any more details about the new speaker? Do you know why Vu is using a Fostex tweeter instead of his usual horns?
     
  15. RWBadley

    RWBadley A Long Strange Trip

    Location:
    Reno NV USA
    yes I am curious did it sound like birds in the background? Some sort of chirping going on
     
  16. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    As i record sitting on the sofa, some noise from my reclining sofa,

    Altec A7 is up to best Dac available now.

    This 60 years old speaker is up to modern speaker which cost 30k$ and up if it is setup properly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
  17. RWBadley

    RWBadley A Long Strange Trip

    Location:
    Reno NV USA
    haha yes it may be 'sofa squeaks'
     
    thomaskong likes this.
  18. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    [​IMG]

    I got Accuphase F25 half hour ago.

    Accuphase F-25

    Although Pap C1 active crossover is pretty good, Accuphase F25 is in another league.

    After it fully get warmed up, I will upload the video.


    It sounds fuller overall with more musicality.

    One gentleman living in Norway let me know about the excellence of Accuphase F25.


    "I friend has both the C1 and the F25. Uses the C1 to find the best crossover poind in order to get the right FB. The C1 is very flexible but the F25 is just on a different level in sound quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
    jusbe likes this.
  19. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    I don’t know why the Fostex tweeter, but, it comes in so high up it hardly makes a difference. The 713a can play quite high up on their own. This week both speakers had 18” Goodman woofers. To get a more “modern” sound, the vintage paper in oil caps were replaced with large Audio Note copper caps. The sound is tighter and more dynamic now, and not quite as rich. There is a slightly hard and edgy sound, but, I have been told that is slowly going away as the caps break in. The speaker sounds VERY good. I think Vu has a particular customer in mind, which accounts for the switch in caps. The dynamics of this system is impressive, as is the speed and nimbleness of the woofers (Goodmans are among my favorite woofers).
     
  20. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State


    Although Pap C1 active crossover is pretty good, Accuphase F25 is another leage.

    Accuphase F-25

    www.accuphase.com


    The latter makes sound fuller and nuanced.

    Now I had done enough to make Altec A7 musical masterpiece:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
    RWBadley likes this.
  21. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State


    Beethoven Violin Concertonplayed by Chung Kyunghwa does sound also nice.
     
  22. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    Accuphase F25 is 30 years old and no longer manufactured.

    [​IMG]

    They produce digital crossover called DF65 now

    But Pap C1 was brand new manufactured last year.

    Thus semi vintage active crossover won over modern one.:D
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
    jusbe likes this.
  23. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State


    It sounds relaxed and musical using F25.

    It is hard belive that this crossover is 30 years old almost vintage.
     
  24. AmadeusMozart

    AmadeusMozart Forum Resident

    If you want to listen to FM radio, not DAB, then modern tuners (are they still selling those) have not got anything to show for against some of the 1990's tuners. Tuners with a distortion of less than 0.o2%...
     
    kundryishot likes this.
  25. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State


    Accuphase F25 made Altec A7 sound relaxed and musical.


    I am quite happy with 30 years old vintage electronics.
     

Share This Page

molar-endocrine