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Old 16th Apr 2021, 1:03 am   #41
nickdoofah
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Wharfedale Dovedale III's All day long! These are not a great looking loudspeaker but you will soon forget that - Sit between them, turn the volume up & just enjoy the incredible sound they deliver! These speakers aren't too fussy where you locate them either! In my mind, these are amazing value for money & they have a lovely sweet dome tweeter that isn't too shrill - The bass is the best part for me though & I am still thinking of buying a pair to replace my modern but not so good Wharfedales...
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 6:48 am   #42
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

As you want to use a valve amplifier in the future you could try Monitor Audio R352 speakers. There is an R352MD option with metal dome tweeters.

They have a high sensitivity, ca. 91dB/1 watt. I have had mine for 36 years and they've been powered by both solid state and valve amplifiers.
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 3:49 pm   #43
Jez1234
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Some ahem... "unusual" recommendations coming up in this thread...

Unless the OP is a real headbanger or has a palatial living room don't be too concerned about either efficiency or power handling. Actually an amplifier of too low an output is far more likely to damage speakers than one of high output as when an amp clips it produces a great deal of HF energy which tends to blow tweeters. Hence it being so common to see blown tweeters in speakers that have been turned up for a party etc.

Specifying power handling for speakers is an extremely imprecise "science" at the best of times and it is perfectly OK to use speakers rated at say 25W with a 100W amp so long as you have a reasonable degree of "mechanical sympathy" and take into account the nature of the program material. Well recorded materiel with good dynamic range will have a high peak to mean ratio and eg individual kick drum beats may well peak at say 40W into 25W rated speakers without damage, however, a speaker rated at 100W could easily have its tweeter blown by a continuous tone at say 8KHz even if unclipped and at "only" 10W.

My main speakers are Spendors of a pretty average efficiency of around 87-88dB/W and in my slightly smaller than average sized living room I find even 10WPC from my modded Leak Stereo 20 valve amp can produce pretty loud volumes and bass you can feel.

The human ear/ear-brain interface is extremely non linear in it's perception of volume and in fact to get twice the volume of a 10WPC amp you need about 100WPC. Hence there is little practical difference in max volume between say a 30W amp and a 50W amp. Conversely an average level of only 1W is amazingly loud and many would guess they were hearing more like 10W...

As to specific recommendations well as others have said it's highly subjective... You really must take the room into account as room acoustics can have a profound effect on sound quality and a speaker that sounds great in one room can sound awful in another. Then there's speaker placement. Some speakers are intended to be positioned close to a rear wall (eg Heybrook HB3's and most Linn models) whilst others are meant to be used well clear of any walls (Spendor BC1, KEF 104 etc etc). Almost all need to be kept away from corners (corner horns etc excepted of course) and most away from side walls. Ideally you need to try speakers in your own listening room before committing to purchase but this can be impractical if buying second hand.
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 5:33 pm   #44
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

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Originally Posted by Jez1234 View Post
.....Unless the OP is a real headbanger or has a palatial living room don't be too concerned about either efficiency or power handling. ........
I am most definitely not a headbanger My hearing is still very good and I want to keep it that way. I like to enjoy my music at modest volumes, what I describe as "lots of sound without lots of volume". I've set my turntable up with a cartridge/stylus combination which gives me a nice "rich" bass but can also pick out high notes like tapping a high-hat. So I know the current amp and speaker set-up can find those sounds.

So my thinking behind the quest for large speakers is based on an assumption that a larger cabinet will make the bass "fuller/richer" and the larger mid-range and tweeters will be able to bring out more of what ever else the LP (or CD) has to offer.

Does that make sense?
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 5:50 pm   #45
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Perfect sense.

with a good speaker, having extended bass, you can hear different notes 'down there' like the pedal department of a pipe organ.

Manufacturers of small speakers often have their bass tailing off at too high a frequency, dictated by dimensions, but try to make up for it using a bump in the frequency response just before the roll-off. It adds thump to drums but it's a thump determined by the speaker, not the drum. It gets disparaged as 'one-note bass' and all drums sound the same. OK if you like Hollywood blockbusters.

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Old 16th Apr 2021, 5:57 pm   #46
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Genuinely high-fidelity speakers (like high-fidelity anything) will not aim to change the sound of your music. Their job is to present it to you as the recording artists intended. But in the real world there are limitations of course. The famous three-way trade-off between efficiency, physical size and bass extension is real. Essentially you can have two of those. So what bigger speakers do is to go deeper into the bass without losing efficiency. Size doesn't matter significantly as far as the tweeters are concerned.

In practice no speaker is perfectly high-fidelity. They all change the sound to a greater or lesser extent. Some people select their speakers to compensate for the inevitable issues with their room, aiming to get a combined effect which is close to what the musicians wanted. Others like all their music to be altered away from what the musicians wanted. I think of this as being a bit like my brother who, when he was young, went through a phase of putting brown sauce on almost every food he was presented with. The various people who had cooked it thought they knew how sausages/roast lamb/fish and chips/beans on toast etc should taste, but he disagreed. He wanted everything more 'brown saucy'. In the case of speakers, choosing ones which 'sauce up' all the music is the owner's right - he's paying for them and then living with them, after all.

Cheers,

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Old 16th Apr 2021, 6:31 pm   #47
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

"Hoffman's Iron Law" indeed...
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 6:53 pm   #48
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I've just inherited my late father's Spendor BC1s and they meet that requirement perfectly. I'm driving them with an early eighties Denon PMA-737 which matches them nicely.
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 7:05 pm   #49
Jez1234
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Spendor BC1, BC2 or SP1 are superb speakers even by modern standards but probably not within budget.
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 7:09 pm   #50
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I use my Rogers LS5s every day !
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 5:14 pm   #51
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I don't think they have recommended here (might have missed it) but I've bought a pair of Leak Sandwich 600 speakers. Advertised as "untested" but look OK cosmetically and at just £37 they are worth a gamble. Even if they work but I don't like the sound I haven't lost much.
I did try for a couple of pairs of KEF 104/2 but both pairs went for over £350, out of my league at the moment.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 6:08 pm   #52
Jez1234
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

104/2 are a much later speaker than the 104 or 104AB etc and are superb.

I'm not really a fan of any of the Leak Sandwich speakers... other than the ginormous 2075/3090 transmission line ones.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 7:08 pm   #53
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BotleyJoe View Post
I don't think they have recommended here (might have missed it) but I've bought a pair of Leak Sandwich 600 speakers. Advertised as "untested" but look OK cosmetically and at just £37 they are worth a gamble. Even if they work but I don't like the sound I haven't lost much.
Let us know how you get on. These speakers will be nearly 50 years old and there are lots of capacitors in the cross-over units that may now be off value. Best to use mounted on low stands. Bear in mind, and for around the same price, you could have bought speakers from the selection we have already recommended.
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 12:07 am   #54
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I've only ever bought one pair of speakers new circa 1985 Kef Cantor III, essentially a BBC LS3/5A with a passive bass radiator.

Source material has improved in the last few years and they still rock, it is frightening how good they sound for their age.

I was laughed out of a hifi shop so called Richer Sounds now gone as they thought they were out of date.

They sound open, mellow, even and if the bass transients or others kick in then they respond.

They are a very open window to my aging ears at least, you hear the sound not the speakers, they meld into the room. Stereo imaging is very good.

Slightly bigger Bass/Mid than the BBC speakers if I am not mistaken they are B200's.

Had I had the Money back then they I would have had the Monitor Audio 352s.

Forgive the audio phoolery what i am saying is they sound open and natural. My other choice would have been Rogers.
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 7:54 pm   #55
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I’ve been happy with various KEF speakers, but agree that you should look out for what comes up locally amongst the brands mentioned earlier. Many speakers are sold fairly cheaply because for collection only. Many of us have tried many different types over the years...
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 8:05 pm   #56
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

The sandwich 600s should sound nice and for that price nothing to lose. I had a few pairs of the earlier 15ohm Leak sandwiches, 2 ways that were good but were a bit unbalanced with as a 2 way with a massive mid/woofer and a 3” tweeter. The 600’s are 3 way and should be better. If they do need re capping it’s a good way to begin with a soldering iron. Have fun!
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 8:19 pm   #57
BotleyJoe
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

My daughter collected them earlier. She say's the cabs and grilles look good so fingers crossed they have been looked after I'll be collecting them on Sunday.

I'm not that good with a soldering iron. Think flame-thrower and that's sort of what my solder work looks.
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 8:20 pm   #58
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Quote:
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...I've bought a pair of Leak Sandwich 600 speakers...
I'm guessing they at least held their own in the reviews of the day, and the human ear is more or less what it was then, so I can't readily think of a reason why they shouldn't delight you now and I hope they do. I've never been a motorist or an especially determined hi-fi buff, so particularly in the matter of largish speakers my experience has been limited to those that have happened to cross my path. I bought a pair of the predecessor of these, the mid-1960s Leak Sandwich, for £15 from a charity shop in the mid-'80s, and with a break of a few years when I used a pair of Hacker LS1300s they've served me well ever since.

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Old 23rd Apr 2021, 6:18 am   #59
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

I own a pair of the Sandwich 600’s, and whilst I’m not currently using them, served me well for a few years.
They may not sound so ‘lively’ as some speakers, especially if you compare them to more modern 1980’s speakers. However, they are very easy and pleasing to listen to and I wouldn’t want to part with them. The low frequency driver can suffer from rubbing, but is usually easily rectified by physically rotating the driver unit 180 degrees in the cabinet.

They were a unique product at the time buy utilising a polystyrene cone covered with aluminium foil, hence ‘Sandwich’ . They are, if nothing else, an example of British ingenuity at an exciting time in the HiFi world.


Cheers. SimonT.
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Old 23rd Apr 2021, 8:20 am   #60
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Default Re: Vintage British Speakers - Advice Please.

Wharfedale XP2 bought at the Comet Store in Westcliff back in the 70s. Love them. Know not the best but they are survivors. The only difference now is new cloth on the front as the ****** cat used them as a scratch pole. Speakers still here but the cat ran out of lives.
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