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Old 14th Apr 2021, 7:20 pm   #21
Kyri
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

This is a really interesting topic. Having recently acquired a stereo valve amp I was challenged with finding suitable speakers for it.

I have some mid 80ís Monitor Audio speakers, which are quite big and some years ago found themselves on top of the kitchen units out of the way, and spaced quite far apart (3m or so). The old JVC music centre powering them originally had 8ohm speakers so the match was OK. They are used for listening to the radio mostly, or music, whilst cooking, dining, etc.

When I first got the valve amp, despite being told it was a 3-4 ohm output -
perhaps the previous owner had looked at the speakers originally attached to it. I fitted the 8 ohm JVC speakers and it was ďOKĒ. I would not likely have done this if the mismatch was the other way around. These JVCís are more modern than the monitor audio and obviously made to a lower price point, and slightly smaller but the sound was pretty good. It was only when I tried the Monitor Audioís that it transformed both the sound (bigger, better, fuller) and the volume (louder, if you want it to be).

Anyway, the point is, buying without trying could be risky as it is all so subjective; these speakers match my amp in my opinion so I am happy. The problem is the rest of the family keep asking when the big speakers are going back into the kitchen. ďIt doesnít sound the same.....Ē
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 7:54 pm   #22
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

As others have said this is such a subjective topic. I have a pair of Bowers and Wilkins DM4 speakers that I really like. I bought them several years ago for £60 odd but the Ebay asking price is a lot more than that now.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 10:15 pm   #23
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I use a pair of 70's mk1 Castle Richmond speakers for monitors. They're superb, and cost me around £20 the pair a few years ago. I was surprised what I got them for and only imagine it was due to their 'cheap 70's record player accessory' look to them. Why settle for a copy when you can afford the original?

A properly working pair of 70's/80's high end british speakers need not be expensive, and most have a well-deserved reputation.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 10:54 pm   #24
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I don't know the Dynatron LS3038's but I have a pair of LS4038's here which are also large floor standing speakers. The LS4038's are actually Wharfedale Unit 5 kits which have been presumably put into Dynatron cabinets. The Unit 5 kits were based on the Wharfedale Dovedale but with a simplified crossover. While they may not be as revealing as some of the more collectable alternatives, they have a very pleasant sound with plenty of deep bass and I use them for TV sound where they handle thuds and explosions very well.

There are plenty of similar alternatives that others have mentioned - just be careful if you are buying speakers that use foam surrounds on the drivers - these will often need replacement as they have a limited lifespan.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 11:56 pm   #25
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I bought a pair of KEF Corellis for NZ$50 on our local web auction with a note to say one of the T27 tweets was u/s. "Should be easy to find another" I thought in ignorance - Huh! Anyway I found a pair of T27 look-a-likes for a reasonable price which were more sensitive so a resistor in series was selected which seems to balance well. I sold the T27 for more than I paid for the KEF's!
A pair of B&W 2003's sit out in the garage sulking - I liked them but swmbo didn't like the 'black lumps' - much preferred the nice wood on the KEF's. Nuff said!
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 7:55 am   #26
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

If you are thinking of a valve amplifer in due course, you really do need to consider speakers of a sensitivity of c.91dB. These would be usually of the floor-standing, reflex type. Indeed for your currect Technics SU-Z1, which is a relatively low-powered transistor amplifier, you will find they would give it a new lease of life!
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 8:40 am   #27
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
......My personal liking is for what are called Transmission-line speakers. Tend to be large, but wonderfully extended and controlled bass. Can properly reproduce a 'thump' s.......David
Is this current eBay item an example of what you mean 133715720642 ?

The right size and on the budget but if spending that much I'd prefer to buy from an enthusiast rather than a "trader".

I can see from the listing that these are rated at 8Ω and 25W (CW). My existing speakers are also 8Ω but the power rating is 75W music/50W DIN (matched to the amp). So on the face of it, these large speakers would be over-powered by the amp. Somehow that doesnít feel right. I bought my existing speakers in 1982 (part of a matched system) so they come from the same era as the CAís. What is the relationship between the stated power ratings on old speakers?

The old foams have been mentioned a few times. Does anyone have a photo of the foams to help me understand the issue and what to look for? If there is a DIY repair thread on here I can refer to?

I get the feeling that patience will pay off here so Iíll start looking in the larger charity shops and keep an eye on eBay for local listings so I can have a proper look and listen.

Many thanks for all the advice so far. Please keep it coming.

Any thoughts on valve amps also welcome.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 8:52 am   #28
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

There are plenty of good YouTube videos on how to do this.

First example I found : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwcfP5pKeek

The parts are available cheaply.

If it looks like this one its way past time to re-foam

Cheers

Mike T
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 9:16 am   #29
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

A picture says a thousand words and so it is with Dynatron loudspeakers.

The 3038's you have seen are quoted as Peerless loudspeakers whilst the 4038 are not, these being a Wharfdale kit both of which fitted in a box with unknown construction. Similar models can be seen with a common thread.

The Peerless speakers are said to suffer from a common fault, that is the tweeter fails.

All of this is really pie in the sky, in my opinion, as there are no independent reviews of these speakers and this is where it all gets messy.

Looking at todays HiFi Magazine reviews, there is no technical analysis just opinion about how a particular record sounds. Warm, bright, just hear the bass, da di da. Eh? Well, call me stupid but I suggest to keep the advertisers on board, any critical review would lose them a lot of adverts.

Compare this with say the B&W DM4 TNT review. Here the review has been written by someone who knows a thing or two about sound and it gives the reader information which provides a bench mark to judge others.

Now, back to the question. What gives you the best bang for the buck?

Before I give you my two-penneth a little history of how recordings for vinyl and much of what goes for non classical music are tailored to what the listener is going to use to hear them.

The monitors used in the recording studio are there to play back the recording as faithfully as they can at the volume of a live performance.

Play the same recording at home on a, for example, on Bush SRG 31 record player and the 6X4 loudspeaker would lose its will to live as would the listener. Have it played at the correct volume through say a Transmission line speaker or similar high end unit and the Council will soon be knocking at your door.

The recording studio know this and tweek or mix down the sound for just this reason and so your choice of speaker comes down to the "presence" or impact you expect or the faithfulness of what you expect from the speaker.

So, should you require a speaker that is unforgiving, go for a monitor quality but if its all boom and tizz well, then that's your perogative.

I have Celestion Ditton 44's and Tannoy Eaton's both of which crucify poor recordings and sound very similar but note that these are on stands. The Celestion's will cost you £250, the Tannoy's £1000. I also have listened to Quad electrostatics and they are just something else but so is the price and maintenance bill. There are many other good loudspeakers out there and members have shared their experience.

What I do find is that the master recordings rather than the vinyl or even cd release are in a different league.

So, in conclusion, using your budget, list the sale price the well known site shows said loudspeaker will cost, look up the review. If it says what you are looking for and armed with the a recording you are familiar with, go round to the seller's place and see if it sounds what you are looking for.

Hope this all helps and good luck.

Chris
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 9:43 am   #30
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

It's not just foam surrounds that deteriorate, but rubber roll surrounds as well (this on 12" driver from a 1969 Wharfdale Dovedale):-

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It looked ok and seemed to flex as the cone was pushed, but pressing a finger into it snapped bits off...

There had been a clue in the disappointing bass response - the free air resonance was over 100Hz! A new roll brought it down to 20Hz.

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Old 15th Apr 2021, 6:29 pm   #31
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

More 60ís than 70ís but I suppose I should put in a vote for the old Heathkit Cotswolds ....15 ohm and Iíve driven these with 3.5w valve amps through to 70w solid state and they sound (to me) lovely on either. I think I paid £60 locally from gumtree minus the legs! Big speakers are generally not that fashionable and difficult to post.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 6:46 pm   #32
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
If you are thinking of a valve amplifer in due course, you really do need to consider speakers of a sensitivity of c.91dB ...
Depends on the amp. A Radford STA25 or a Dynakit Stereo 70 will give most domestic transistor amps a run for their money. It also depends how loud you want your music to be. I've run my Rogers JR149s (83dB/W @ 1m) off a pair of Quad IIs (15W each) and as long as you don't want Lemmy from Motorhead in your living room they were surprisingly good. If you do then get hold of a VTL ST150.

Cheers,

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Old 15th Apr 2021, 7:04 pm   #33
Cruisin Marine
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I have some large Wharfedale Dovedale's I got them cheap about 6 years back- quite frankly, they are by a big margin the best I have owned and maybe the best I have heard. Smooth as hell and you really hear stuff you don't on many other speakers.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 7:25 pm   #34
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

No-one has mentioned Keesonic, IMHO the best of the Ď70ís speakers. Get a pair of KRF or Rangers (both pretty big) and your ears should be happy. Peter Keeley was a brilliant loudspeaker designer but an awful businessman.....
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 9:05 pm   #35
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

You should have seen the pattern by now:

1) There are some excellent speakers for very little money IF you can live with larger cabinets.

2) You might have to glue in some new surrounds for bass/midrange drivers.

3 Worst case, You might find one or two dead tweeters and have to pick an modern substitute but they're not expensive and you can pick something a little more sensitive and trim it down with a resistor. Adjust to taste - YOUR taste.

Go for it!


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Old 15th Apr 2021, 9:07 pm   #36
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Going for it!

These are on an auction site at the moment and only about an hours drive. Managed to find three reviews which didn't help much. Here is one...

https://www.techradar.com/uk/reviews...i-97106/review

Last edited by Radio Wrangler; 15th Apr 2021 at 9:58 pm. Reason: It's a public forum... you don't want to tip anyone off, they might beat you to things!
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 9:57 pm   #37
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Are they 'vintage' enough for you ?

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Old 15th Apr 2021, 10:03 pm   #38
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
If you are thinking of a valve amplifer in due course, you really do need to consider speakers of a sensitivity of c.91dB. .....
I have seen "sound-pressure level" (SPL) referred to in a review. Is that the measurement we are referring to here? When you say circa 91db what degree of margin is acceptable. Eg is 92db within range (eg as quoted for KEF 104.2)?
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 10:05 pm   #39
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Quote:
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Are they 'vintage' enough for you ?..GJ
Well, not what I had in mind originally but reading all these excellent contributions is widening my horizons
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 10:57 pm   #40
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Well, as the review for the 908 is not exactly enthusiastic, perhaps it has saved you the hours journey.

Whilst you may have Vintage speakers in your "ideal" list, it is important to know that modern materials can have a marked influence, for the better, on your listening experience.

It is important though to avoid any speakers which either will need re-foaming or replacement drivers. In the first instance, whilst re-foaming is not difficult, I have done this quite satisfactorily on Accoustic Reasearch AR15 bass units. I did this because I knew the expected results made it worthwhile.

Replacement speakers can be a minefield should the driver no longer be available. There will be few if any direct replacements. The cross over design will be right for the original but wrong for anything else and the speaker will sound unbalanced. Plus, of course you will need to buy 2 so they match!

Perhaps the best way is to draw up a short list of preferred speakers and just wait for the "chosen one" to turn up.

By all means list your selection and ask members their views.

Chris
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