vintage speakers?

Printable View

  • 04-02-2010, 05:50 AM
    daniel7y
    vintage speakers?
    hi all!

    first post here. few years back i did a bit of research on this forum and ended up with the set up i have today: denon pma1500 R-ii amp, pro-ject debut mkiii, and polk audio lsi9's.

    i'm very happy with the system, it sounds fantastic. now i have another room to furnish in the house and i'm hoping that you guys can help me out! a friend of mine has an old sanyo stereo system (dc 8500K). it's a mid 70s quadrophonic system. when you play vinyl on it it sounds beautiful. it has a really smooth and warm sound and deep bass. i don't know what it is? i want to achieve a similar sound. it doesn't have the clarity of my lsi9's, in fact it's sound has a different character all together. my current set up doesn't have the warm, deep bass that this old system does. is it the modern speakers and modern turntable?

    here is a picture of the model i'm talking about (someone is selling on ebay): http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Sanyo-HiFi-4-...6#ht_500wt_958

    does anybody have any ideas what i should be looking for? is it the turntable, the amp or the speakers? could i use my current amp and turntable, and change the speakers to get a similar sound? some older, larger vintage speakers?

    appreciate any advice...
  • 04-02-2010, 06:32 AM
    02audionoob
    It seems to me your system probably sounds better...at least it would to my ears. I'd suggest maybe what you need is a subwoofer. You could also try tweaking your turntable setup. A different phono cartridge is an option, but the difference made there would be more subtle than adding a subwoofer.

    Something to check, though...make sure you have enough tracking force on the cartridge. To get the warmest sound and most bass out of a cartridge you will need to have the tracking force in the upper part of the manufacturer's recommended range. You also need to have the tonearm riding parallel to the record while it's playing. If the pivot end is higher, you'll lose some of that warmth.
  • 04-02-2010, 07:13 AM
    daniel7y
    thanks for the quick reply!

    i think you are right... i need a subwoofer. it would probably add the bass and warmth to the sound that i'm looking for. the cartridge is whatever the debut mk3 is shipped out with. an oroton (not sure of the model). any suggestions as to what cartridge i could upgrade to? or perhaps it would be worth my while upgrading the whole turntable?

    also, one issue i have always had but never had resolved: whenever i turn the volume up when playing an LP, during quiet parts of the track or in between tracks the woofers in my lsi9's move uncontrollably, as if there is a massive rumble. you can't actually hear anything though (apart from the background analog noise). i have always been careful about turning the volume up in case of damaging the speakers. for some reason the woofers are working really hard producing inaudible noise (does that even make sense?)

    the speakers are on speaker stands with spikes, and the turntable is on it's own shelf in a cabinet.
  • 04-02-2010, 08:08 AM
    02audionoob
    That Ortofon cartridge...the OM-5E, I think...is probably fine, as long as you have it set up correctly. Your choice of turntable ceertainly doesn't bother me. I wouldn't look at it as the weak link, yet. If the Ortofon is as installed by the turntable seller, I'd suspect it is indeed set up correctly, except that it could perhaps use another 0.1 to 0.2 grams of tracking force. That might add a little bass and warmth, in addition to tracking better and controlling sibilance better. If the rumble you're seeing is actually cut into the record, I guess the extra tracking force could make it slightly worse...I don't really know.
     
    If you'd like to pursue the cartridge idea, you might get a more pleasant sound from a Shure M97XE or a Nagaoka MP-110. I also like the Goldring 2000 series, but their 2100 starts out the series at a higher price point than some other decent options. Changing cartridges to something like the Goldring might change the resonance frequency for the better. That's theory, though...based on the weight of the cartridge and its stylus specs. In practice, I've used a Goldring 2200 on my Music Hall MMF-5, which has the arm from the Pro-Ject 1.2 and have not experienced rumble. But I haven't experienced rumble with other cartridges, either, so I don't have a direct comparison to offer.
     
    If you're having problem with rumble in quiet passages, it's perhaps cut into the records. In that case, it might take a rumble filter to get it. There are other possible causes for rumble, like feedback and resonance. In case it's feedback, you could try better isolation of the turntable's support. Products like Vibrapods or tweaks from the Herbie's or Mapleshade sites could help. You can also mimic the effect of such products with more-common household products. I have racquetballs under mine.
  • 04-02-2010, 08:43 AM
    poppachubby
    Just so I'm understanding correctly, you want a second system for a new room in your house?

    I would suggest a tube amp and pre-amp with some full range speakers and a sub to achieve your sound.There are quite a few pairs of full range that dip considerably low, but most won't give you that real deal slam. Of course, you could start with the speakers, see if they are to your liking and add a sub after the fact.

    There was a fella who posted much like you not long ago. He ended up with a small tube amp and some lovely full rangers and was quite pleased.

    I have 2 questions for you. How much is your budget? Will you be including a new source/CDP/TT with this purchase?

    Here;s that thread I was talking about. Read it over and check out what he ended up with, for a great value I might add. You could do something similar and add an Emotiva pre-amp with subwoofer control and a sub for not too much more.

    http://forums.audioreview.com/general-audio/what-gear-get-started-32675.html
  • 04-02-2010, 04:30 PM
    daniel7y
    sorry i wasn't very clear in my first post: i was looking at setting up a new system to achieve the sound that i desire. i actually don't really need a new system, the second room in the house justified it though haha... i thought i would have to start from scratch again to achieve the sound i want, but instead if i could work with what i've got that would be even better.

    so, i would like to keep most of what i have got now and buy whatever i need to improve the sound, but the less money i spend the better, preferably under $1500.

    so i could add a sub to my lsi9's, or replace them with full range floor standing speakers perhaps (lsi25's?). is the amp and turntable i have currently ok? maybe i could change the speaker set up and look at changing the cartridge down the track.

    i might try those vibrapods and see how that helps the rumble. i don't know wether it's feedback or cut into the record. the woofers in the speakers are working so hard though. if its not feedback, maybe the lsi9's aren't a good choice for playing vinyl, if the woofers can't handle the surface noise on an LP?

    thanks again for your help so far guys. much appreciated.
  • 04-02-2010, 09:10 PM
    poppachubby
    I cracked a Kilkenny, and thought about your problem a bit. Now that I understand what you're after, it's a bit easier to make a diagnosis. You're in a nice position actually.

    The real shame about your amp is that it doesn't have pre in, only pre out. However, you could use the pre amp section of your Denon into a tube amp, effectively giving you that tube sound. Warmer, richer mid-range. It would be a great departure from the sound you are accustomed to. My father in law is a huge Denon fanboy, so I'm familiar with their sound. I do like your amps layout, it seems rather straightforward for a Denon, a company that likes to make their amplification extremely user un-friendly.

    There's a few different ways you could go about this. I'll give you my take on it and hopefully some of the other guys will give you some different options.

    You have a nice budget. I agree with noob, with proper set up, your table is a nice source. I'm going to say, you should REALLY step up your cartridge. For price/performance consider a high output moving coil cartridge (HOMC). What this will do, is give you fidelity you are probably not even aware possible from a turntable. They run about 3 times the cost of a typical budget cart, but the enjoyment you will receive is beyond value. Do some research but here's a couple for your consideration...

    http://www.needledoctor.com/Ortofon-...2&category=378

    http://www.needledoctor.com/Sumiko-B...2&category=382


    Just as an aside, Needle Doctor are closing out their Ortofon HMC30 moving coil cart. $400 is a steal and would put you into a new world of fidelity. You want smooth, warm and dynamic? This is it and for a pittance in terms of cost. Your buddy will be 10 shades of envious if he heard this thing on your table. Your amp has the ability to run an MC cart...
    http://www.needledoctor.com/Ortofon-...&category=-112


    Make sure you confirm that the cart you select is a nice match with your table's arm and output.
    Once you've chosen a nice cartridge, I would suggest taking your table into your local dealer to have them align/set-up your table. They will optimize it for you, and you can learn from them as they do it. Most dealers are cool about teaching the basics to a customer. Aside from that, we can help you here to make sure your Pro-Ject is running like a top.

    I agree with noob also about adding a sub. It will help with the low end dynamics. Once your Polks are relieved of having to produce really dynamic lows, they will perform even better than they are right now. I can't suggest any subs for you as this is NOT an area I am very knowledgable in. Perhaps a well placed post on the forums here will help.

    Lastly you may want to consider running your Denon into a tubed amp, and using it as a pre amp. The major drawback to this will be that you will most certainly have to give up some power and possibly high/low dynamics. But what you will gain is exactly what you are seeking.

    You quite observantly noted in your OP...

    Quote:

    ...it has a really smooth and warm sound and deep bass. i don't know what it is? i want to achieve a similar sound. it doesn't have the clarity of my lsi9's, in fact it's sound has a different character all together. my current set up doesn't have the warm, deep bass that this old system does...
    Sometimes you may have to give up something to gain another. I think all around, synergy plays a BIG role, followed by proper optimization. BTW, Vibrapods are a great product to isolate the TT. All in all, the cart would be roughly 3-400, sub 2-400 and amp at your discretion. I just saw on Audiogon, excellent condition, used Golden tube SE 40 (40WPC) for $500! It's sold, but a fine example of quality tube gear avaialable if you have cash in hand and research diligently.

    Consider a tubed phono stage if the amp idea is too wild for you. It would be a buffer but could make the difference...

    http://grantfidelity.com/site/P307
  • 04-02-2010, 10:11 PM
    Mr Peabody
    I put a 5e on a cheezy Numark USB turntable and was pretty impressed with what it done.

    The Bellari tube phono stage is only a couple hundred dollars and people seem to be happy with it. You might also consider a tube buffer. This is a piece that can go in a tape loop and add tube warmth.

    I personally don't think you will find what you are looking for in your current system. You can add bass with sub or floorstanders but it still won't be the same. My brother had an old Sansui receiver, entry level, I picked him up a Luxman. When he brought the Sansui over and we compared the two the Luxman was much better in revealing detail, however, the Sansui despite losing some detail had a certain warmth about it. He took the Luxman because he was amazed he could hear the breath going through a saxophone which was totally lost in the Sansui. You might try picking up a vintage receiver on craigslist or a thrift to see if that's what you are wanting. Look for a Sansui, Yamaha or Marantz. If your amp is typical of Denon I personally find them to be on the bright side. If it's not overall warmth you want but just some more bottom end weight, the sub would be the best thing to try first. That's much better than trying a bandaid approach with adding other things into the signal path. I've been extremely happy with my SVS sub and they have a cylinder that runs about $569.00 www.svsound.com

    I think you may need a subsonic filter for your turntable rig. This cuts off low frequencies below human hearing. If your amp has one turn it on and it should make the speakers stop moving like you describe. You should also post in the "analog" forum to see if any one has other ideas on what could be causing the problem. You are right to be concerned. Are you using any type of power conditioner? I've heard of people really screwing up the turntable with those that adjust the frequency of the AC from wall. If so, try a regular outlet to see if problem stops.
  • 04-02-2010, 10:23 PM
    02audionoob
    This elusive warmth we're discussing is probably more like smearing midrange and muddy bass. I suppose one easy thing to try is getting your hands on some vintage Cerwin-Vega floorstanders off your local Craigslist. Those make the type of sound I'd imagine that vintage system makes...and no sub required.
  • 04-02-2010, 10:56 PM
    Mr Peabody
    I guess some discussion on what is exactly wanted might help but let's hope it's not your description 02AN, that would seem like a terrible step backward. But if it is, it's better to have that as a second system to go visit and not destroy the quality achieve thus far in the main system. Some CV's and a 70's receiver should get him there. Or, better yet, how about some 901's.
  • 04-02-2010, 10:58 PM
    02audionoob
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I guess some discussion on what is exactly wanted might help but let's hope it's not your description 02AN, that would seem like a terrible step backward. But if it is, it's better to have that as a second system to go visit and not destroy the quality achieve thus far in the main system. Some CV's and a 70's receiver should get him there. Or, better yet, how about some 901's.

    That's both scary and funny.:p
  • 04-03-2010, 12:08 AM
    poppachubby
    1 Attachment(s)
    What Peabody, no Klipsch rec for this guy? Don't hog the joy all to yourself...
  • 04-03-2010, 02:51 AM
    daniel7y
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    This elusive warmth we're discussing is probably more like smearing midrange and muddy bass. I suppose one easy thing to try is getting your hands on some vintage Cerwin-Vega floorstanders off your local Craigslist. Those make the type of sound I'd imagine that vintage system makes...and no sub required.

    i hope it's not that lol... those sound qualities (smearing and muddy) don't sound very appealing !!

    mr peabody: it is overall warmth that i'm after, not just bottom end, so i'm thinking i'll try out some vintage equipment, and see how i go with that. it can be had for fairly reasonable prices on ebay. only trouble is your taking a risk bidding on speakers without hearing them first. i have got my eye on these:

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Vintage-JVC-S...9#ht_500wt_958
    or these:
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Stereophile-H...4#ht_614wt_943

    paired with something like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Fabulous-Vint...#ht_4275wt_943



    as mr peabody said, i would probably be most better off having this as my second system. i think the sound characteristics of a vintage system really compliments certain styles of music. particularly soul, funk and early rock n roll. whereas my current set up is an overall good quality, versatile system suited to most music. i'd rather play dance, electro, and modern pop on my current system than a vintage system. i do enjoy what i have at the moment. for this reason i do plan on getting a sub woofer, to improve the sound even more. i also plan on upgrading the cartridge on my turntable.

    also, the subsonic filter sounds like it's exactly what i need. i googled it and found that it isn't uncommon for the woofers moving around trying to replicate frequencies we can't hear. is a subsonic filter something i can just go down to the hifi store and buy? or is it hard to find, online only type of thing...

    thanks (again) for your help guys. it is much appreciated. it's great that you are so willing to give your advice to a random newbie on this forum (keep it coming ! lol)
  • 04-03-2010, 06:21 AM
    Mr Peabody
    I wouldn't buy JVC speakers. Because some one calls a piece vintage is no guarantee it's good. Sometimes it's just old and wasn't good in the first place. Typically, JVC and Kenwood were not known for good speakers.

    It's just my opinion but I don't see spending $200.00 or so on an old receiver, vintage, or not. You can find people who still have sanity selling older receivers on Craigslist for under $100.00. Some Sansui sold for a high price new and still hold value because they were outstanding. I know the AU-9500 integrated and 990b receiver are such pieces. You might wander into a stereo shop and give some NAD integrated amps a listen. These are very warm, bass heavy and dark by nature and may be to your liking. They start pretty cheap but I'm not sure how true to character the cheap ones are. You can also look at www.spearitsound.com for refurbs.

    Sansui help: http://www.classicaudio.com/value/san/index.html

    There is sort of a growing fad or popularity going with vintage gear which is driving prices up with those who are aware of the fad. As stated though sometimes old is just old and should be priced as such.

    Are you in the U.S.? One of those sales were from Austrailia.

    Poppa, I am thoroughly enjoying the Heresy III's and find them an exceptional value even new. I say that because driven by my CJ they are incredible. Although the horns are smooth and not offensive these speakers wouldn't be classified as "warm" especially by me. The usable bass is plenty on a good recording but they drop off below 50Hz or so pretty hard so not sure if some one looking for bass would be happy. They are also dynamic with good attack. They are updated versions of Mr. Klipsch's original 1950's version but not sure what it's what the poster wants. I have been transformed to a fanboy but trying to show restraint :) I haven't moved them since first conneting them to the CJ. You were right about brass. Old Chicago is awesome on this system. I like drums too. They have good reality. On many recordings vocals have a live in the room presence. The Heresy just has a different presentation and I'm addicted for now.
  • 04-03-2010, 08:28 AM
    daniel7y
    ok thanks for the heads up on the jvc speakers. i didn't have anything to base my opinion on, apart from their looks. they do look the part... what speaker brands would you recommend i look out for?

    i'm going to go to the pawn shop tomorrow, they usually have a fair few amps for sale at reasonable prices. i will shop around a bit and i'll make sure i don't spend too much on a piece of vintage equipment.

    yeah and i'm in australia
  • 04-03-2010, 08:29 AM
    02audionoob
    I realize my characterization of the sound as smeared or muddy sounds harsh, but I didn't really mean it to be so bad. It's all relative. A system that sounds full and rich to one person might seem bloated to another. I just think the sound that you get from equipment like the Sanyo or those JVC speakers might seem fun at first, but eventually not satisfying after all.

    Around where I live, you could probably find a pair of Cerwin-Vega floorstanders for sale almost any time. If you could find a pair and get the seller to let you audition them with your amp you could get an idea whether these sound characteristics are what you're after. Considering the tubby sound of the old Cerwin-Vega speakers, some might call them muddy. Others might just say they kick a$$.
  • 04-03-2010, 09:10 AM
    poppachubby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Poppa, I am thoroughly enjoying the Heresy III's and find them an exceptional value even new. I say that because driven by my CJ they are incredible. Although the horns are smooth and not offensive these speakers wouldn't be classified as "warm" especially by me. The usable bass is plenty on a good recording but they drop off below 50Hz or so pretty hard so not sure if some one looking for bass would be happy. They are also dynamic with good attack. They are updated versions of Mr. Klipsch's original 1950's version but not sure what it's what the poster wants. I have been transformed to a fanboy but trying to show restraint :) I haven't moved them since first conneting them to the CJ. You were right about brass. Old Chicago is awesome on this system. I like drums too. They have good reality. On many recordings vocals have a live in the room presence. The Heresy just has a different presentation and I'm addicted for now.

    I'm so glad you're enjoying them, and why not?!? They're a super fun and engaging sound. I love my Sound Dynamics, I may upgrade but I'll never get rid of them. I still have the RB-61 high on my list, so obviously I kid with you. My respect for you went up 10 fold (from zero :devil: ) after seeing that you are open to new and drastically different gear.

    Although a guy can always use an upgrade, lately I have been feeling that I'm approaching a nice plateau, and that I've found my sound. That in itself is enough in this hobby. I think some people wander aimlessly from gear to gear never knowing what they like or enjoy.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daniel
    ok thanks for the heads up on the jvc speakers. i didn't have anything to base my opinion on, apart from their looks. they do look the part... what speaker brands would you recommend i look out for?

    i'm going to go to the pawn shop tomorrow, they usually have a fair few amps for sale at reasonable prices. i will shop around a bit and i'll make sure i don't spend too much on a piece of vintage equipment.

    Unless you can pick up a real classic pair of vintage speakers, I don't think this is necessarily the way to go. Dynaco, Genesis, EPI to name a few. I think you will find better results in a neutral pair of dynamic speakers, and use your amp and source to find the tone and warmth you seek.

    As I said earlier, making use of your Denon as a pre and finding a tube amp would be a nice change for you.

    If you're looking for revealing and dynamic, Tekton are always a nice choice. And quite affordable too. http://www.tektondesign.com/loudspeakers.htm

    As i already said, spend the money for an exceptional cartridge. Some tube technoilogy in the chain also...

    I wouldn't recommend any of the links you have posted as a means to achieve your goals.
  • 04-03-2010, 09:28 AM
    Mr Peabody
    I'm not sure what to recommend for vintage speakers. Many speakers don't last as long as electronics so as Poppa suggested a new pair of something warm may be a better way to go and just match them with a vintage amp/receiver.
  • 04-03-2010, 12:52 PM
    markw
    Most of the overall sound relates to the speakers more than anything else. Start rom ther and work towards the front.

    The fact that 02noob applies terms that you might not find suitable to the audiophile mindset simply means that one's personal tastes may not align whth popular opinion.

    Or, to modifiy an old cliche, one may know art but also know what they like, and they may not be the same.

    i.e, one may know the popular opinion is that a BMW might be a great car, but they may still prefer a Lincoln Town Car for their own personal use.