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Old 13th Apr 2021, 10:37 pm   #1
BotleyJoe
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Default Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Could you give me the benefit of your experience please?

Are vintage (1970ís & 1980ís) British made speakers worth buying?
If so, which ones?
For a budget of say £250 what should I be looking for?
For that sort of money are they likely to outperform my 1980ís Technics 3-way speakers.
For now Iíll be using my Technics amp.

NB - there is a pair of Dynatron LS3038 speakers on eBay at the moment. I can't find any specs online other than they seem to be 3-way. Any thoughts on this model would be appreciated.

Many Thanks in advance.
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Old 13th Apr 2021, 11:05 pm   #2
ToneArm
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I don't know anything about the Dynatron speakers you are considering. However I love my early 1970s Wharfedale Dovedales that I listen to in my office when I'm working, they are quite large and produce a correspondingly big smooth sound. Very easy to listen to them all day. They cost me very little money 2nd hand, £40 or £50. I think they are too big for a lot of people today.
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Old 13th Apr 2021, 11:16 pm   #3
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Subjective Minefield Alert!

There are many British speakers of this period which still sound fine today - KEF Concertos, 104ABs and the like, Spendor BC1s, IMFs...the list goes on. Whether you can get a good pair of, say, BC1s, for £250 is a matter of luck, but the KEF 104 should come within budget. Speakers of this kind aren't thin on the ground, so take some time to look around and you may do well. I'd say that they would sound beter than what you have, in the sense of being more accurate, but whether you prefer that sound is something you need to judge for yourself. I wouldn't worry unduly about the Dynatrins - you can get better within your budget.
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Old 13th Apr 2021, 11:51 pm   #4
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

If I am not mistaken, the drivers in these are by Peerless and very nice too! Similar I suspect in sound to Hacker's (Peerless) top of the line speakers - a bit soft for today's taste, but very pleasing.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 6:47 am   #5
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Well you don't need a Budget as high as £250 to go buy some very fine Goodmans, Tannoy, Celestion and Wharfedale speakers from the late 1970s to over the whole of the 1980s time period. You will be surprised what excellent sounds you can buy for as little as £50-00! And don't fixate too much on three-way units, they have their strengths but also disadvantages....
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 7:27 am   #6
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I can recommend Heybrook, if you can find any!* The Silver series are the best lookers, but they all have that beautiful, smooth British speaker sound. The Silver series are more compact than the originals too, featuring quality Kevlar drivers.

My setup is a pair of HB3 fronts, Heybrook centre and HB1s as surround, teamed up with a Heybrook subwoofer. They are fed from a Denon amplifier and never ceases to please me.

* I have to accept a mismatch of Silver and original series because people will not part with them!
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 8:32 am   #7
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Lentek made some good transmission line speakers using KEF drivers. I had a pair in the late 1980's They were about 10 yrs old when I got them. One speaker needed the long staple wool curtain replacing. The original had collapsed into the bottom of the cabinet. I later ( 1985 - 2007 ) had a pair of KEF 104 Mk 2 reference speakers. They were excellent.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 8:32 am   #8
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I can recommend Celestion Ditton 44, had a pair that I used for around 25 years as my main speakers and always liked the big sound they made. Large floor standing speakers though so wouldn't suit everyone.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 9:29 am   #9
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I don't have experience of the 15 models so cant help really but I think they were more bookshelf types unlike the 44s which were big floor standers (there were the 66 which were even bigger!) depends what sort of speakers you were looking for.
Try a search for the CD15 & 15XR see what sort of reviews they get.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 10:13 am   #10
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

You need to say what size you want, some of the speakers from the 70's were on the large size...
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 10:13 am   #11
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

It is very nearly impossible to recommend speakers. Everything depends

a) on the listener's preferences for type of music, volume level and 'sound',
b) on the listening room and the speakers' placement within them and, quite often,
c) whether anyone else in the house cares about what they look like, where they go and how they sound.

It's a bit like trying to recommend a brand of beer, or a movie, or a partner. I'm afraid there really is no substitute for trying them yourself. (Actually, apart from the question of whether it will go loud enough, and assuming it's of reasonable quality, the choice of amp makes relatively little difference to the sound.)

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 10:58 am   #12
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Hello,

I am currently using a pair of Rogers LS3/6 BBC Studio Monitors and a pair of KEF Kit 3 (Concerto) Loudspeakers with various solid state and valve amplifiers. These are fine for everything from Dusty Springfield and Motown to Hawkwind and AC/DC but as GJ said it a case of personal preference.

Confessionís time as last year I reluctantly had to strip down a pair of KEF Concertos when I as clearing the old house sorry about this, however, this was twelfth our stuff as the house was being cleared the day after in preparation to let it out and the space was dearly needed so they had to quickly go Ė still got the drivers as spares though - that's one good thing. Clearing that old house nearly pushed me over the edge though

Terry
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 11:24 am   #13
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I'm looking for large floor-standing speakers. Up to say about 70cm high.
I take on board the comments regarding the subjective nature of speakers so if I were to ask what makes should be avoided then that would help as well.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 12:23 pm   #14
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Speaker designers have done a lot to impove small bookshelf speakers, but there's no substitute for cubic inches to steal a phrase from another world. So by going to large floor standers you give yourself a great advantage over people with more restrictive space.

Choice of speaker is influenced by what sort of things you want to listen to. The room has a big influence too.

People inevitably would like you to choose what they have, and for you to write at length on how wonderful they are. It gives them a happy feeling about their choice. So you'll get a LOT of advice, so much that it'll mostly cancel itself out.

Generally speaking there were some very good speakers made in the 870s and 80s. The currently unfashionable large ones sell for very little money and are often given away. By not being condemned to shoe-box sized things you get a lot of freedoms and a lot better sound.

Some speakers have foam surrounds linking the cones to the frames. These have to flex. Unfortunately the foams proved to not be chemically stable and a lot have crumbled away. Fortunately replacements are available, cheap, and you can scrape off the remains and glue new ones in if you have moderate craft skills - reminiscent of a Blue Peter project

Best look for a decent British make.

KEF
Celestion
Wharfedale
Goodmans
IMF
Spendor
Cambridge udio
Mission
Monitor Audio
Mordaunt & Short
Bowers and Wilkins (Now B&W)
Radford
Then there are Rogers, Chartwell and others making BBC designs, but the prices will be out of the limits you posted.
Quad Electrostatic Speakers are large panels. Sound wonderful, need large rooms and are becoming troublesome to keep maintained.


My personal liking is for what are called Transmission-line speakers. Tend to be large, but wonderfully extended and controlled bass. Can properly reprocuce a 'thump' sound without turning it into a 'boooooom' IMF, Radford, Cambridge did these.

A while ago someone on here picked up a couple of magazine project come kit speakers for a few pounds. Atkinson monitors. An amazing bargain. He didn't know what they were. If the luck is upon you, wonderful things can happen. There is also a Chris Rogers design called PRO9TL.

David
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 12:47 pm   #15
Whaam68
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Some Castle speakers I've heard sound very nice and are easy to drive....I have a couple of sets of their early stand mount Richmond's (not what you are looking for) but they also made some larger floor standing units. Tangent are also supposed to be very good as well as the usual suspects mentioned.

It's usually more about what comes up and I've had more success on gumtree/freecycle and the like for big speakers advertised locally over the years than ebay. Depending on the drivers foam rot can also be a problem as mentioned already.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 1:32 pm   #16
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimJosef View Post

....and assuming it's of reasonable quality, the choice of amp makes relatively little difference to the sound.)

Cheers,

GJ
It may not make much difference to the sound, but it may make a difference to the "loudness" e.g. a low power valve amplifier driving speakers of low sensitivity....So what amplifier is the OP planning to use?
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 3:39 pm   #17
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Thank you. That's all very helpful.

I'll be using my Technics ZU-Z1 amp for now but a valve amp is on the wish list when funds allow. My ideal speakers would be ones which would give a high level of "detail" without having to crank the volume up.
In other words, a high level of "sound" without a high level of volume.

Last edited by BotleyJoe; 14th Apr 2021 at 3:46 pm.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 4:47 pm   #18
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimJosef View Post

....and assuming it's of reasonable quality, the choice of amp makes relatively little difference to the sound.)

Cheers,

GJ
It may not make much difference to the sound, but it may make a difference to the "loudness" e.g. a low power valve amplifier driving speakers of low sensitivity ...
When I said "apart from the question of whether it will go loud enough" that was what I meant. Maybe it wasn't clear. Or maybe I should have shouted it LOUDER ?

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 5:29 pm   #19
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BotleyJoe View Post
Thank you. That's all very helpful.

I'll be using my Technics ZU-Z1 amp for now but a valve amp is on the wish list when funds allow. My ideal speakers would be ones which would give a high level of "detail" without having to crank the volume up.
In other words, a high level of "sound" without a high level of volume.
This means that you are looking for speakers of high-ish sensitivity.

It would be useful to know the size of the room youíll be using and what genre(s) of music youíll usually be listening to.

Also, if youíre contemplating a valve amp, do you have any thoughts on this? The key issue is matching the speakers to the other equipment and the space.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 6:40 pm   #20
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

About 30m2 at the moment but the lounge is bigger so I could move the kit in there.
70's/80's rock & pop mainly but lots of other stuff as well.
Unfortunately I don't know much about valve amps - that was going to be another "Help" request further down the line when I have saved up some more.
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