Upgrading 80's System Advice [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-08-2006, 11:56 AM
Hello all. Newbie here.

I have a Yamaha/Boston Acoustic setup that I bought in the late 1980's. The receiver model I have, I believe, is the Yamaha RX500. Its a 50W/channel receiver (BTW, I love the variable loudness control on the Yamaha). The speakers are Boston A60, 2 way bookshelf speakers. Even after about 20 years, I still love the sound with this combination. I recall listening to several brands of speakers and how I LOVED the natural sound of the Boston's. They didn't have the harsh highs or overpowering bass that some of the others had.

I'm working my way to upgrading to a modern A/V system, but I would like to start by upgrading the speakers (maybe using the A60's as rear speakers later). I'm considering the Boston Acoustic VR2 and Axioms M60 v2 models. Looking to see if anyone has any recommendations that would give me similar sound with the A60's that I love, only better.

I would probably stick with either a Yamaha, Denon, or Onkyo unit later on. Room dimensions are 12' x 18' with 8' ceiling separated by a half wall to another room about 14' x 15'. Room could be upgraded later to a 20' x 25' room with vaulted ceilings Thanx in advance for your comments.

11-09-2006, 08:35 AM

I just upgrade my speakers from mid 80's JBL's. The process wasn't pretty! First off, if you want comparable sound, get ready to spend about double what you spent for those speakers if your buying new. Second, get ready to listen to speakers built to sound great with movies, not audio, if your shopping at main stream stores.
That being said, I'm assuming you want to find some speakers that sound like your 80's BA's. Doesn't happen with the new BA's. The sound of the new BA's is nothing like what they had in the 80's, and in my opinion, isn't near as good.
Here are a few speaker brands that in my opinion are worth looking at in the $1000 or less range:

Definitve Technology

There are, of course, many others. this is just my short list for ones I liked. The best thing to do is go out and listen to speakers with music you like!


PS Beware of HT electronics if you waant quality sound in your music. Remember, HT is made to make explosians and cars sound real, not cellos and guitars!

11-10-2006, 05:27 AM
I actually went the reverse way of thinking, knowing I would use the system 70% music
and 30% for movies, as my house has limited space. No room for 2 systems. And I
had 70's era speakers already (jbls and now pioneer). So I bought a receiver that
is multi-channel, but has a vintage sound, imo, thru those speakers, and I upgraded
the center and sub for multi-channel soundtrack and sacd playback. The sound is
vintage 70's/80's loud rock n roll (which I was going for), but does very well for
movies. Adding amps was, after the speakers, the best investment. Using small
8" drivers x 4 with a sub, was not gonna cut it for my style of music, so I went
with bigger is better. It works for me.

11-10-2006, 04:13 PM
hmm, my neighbor likes that vintage 3-way sound too, he's got some nice Technics floorstanders which he bought a couple years ago, maybe you should check 'em out, they rock pretty damn hard!

Mark of Cenla
11-17-2006, 02:25 PM
I had a pair of Boston A60s back in the 80s, and I had a pair of CR65s last year. I really like the new Bostons. I do not have the CR65s any more because I traded them for a pair of Boston T1000 tower speakers for my video setup. The Boston VR2 is a great choice, but of course all that matters is what sounds pleasing to you. Good luck.


11-18-2006, 11:46 PM
What are you using for a source?? Chances are if your source is a CD player from that era it will be the weakest link. Maybe a good quality DVD player like a Cambridge is a better start for your AV system and allow you to enjoy music more. If you enjoy the sound of your speakers and amp why change them first? Movies can sound pretty good in 2 channel setups....this would be a starting point anyway.

11-19-2006, 05:18 AM
Here's another idea...

What about just starting all over again from scratch and selling your current equipment on eBay or something similar to get some cash out of it. I am sure that there are seekers out there for your vintage equipment and that way you can pocket some cash and then start afresh. This way you are not locked into matching new with the old and you can really think through a new setup. Maybe you start with something basic for starters and then add gradually since it's a huge expense and undertaking, but that's just a different approach that might be a consideration.