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Old 9th February 2003, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default favorite speakers for tweaking?

i have resigned myself to the fact that i don't have the proper combination of time, space, and equipment for constructing my own speakers, so i'd like to do the (to me) next best thing: tweaking.

i'd like to find some relatively inexpensive speakers - used or vintage is fine - and maybe they sound all right by themselves, or maybe they would sound even better with a little 'help'.

i need some bookcase speakers for my living room. SAF is key, which is why i'll be getting these to replace my floorstanding towers. i've just got a standard off-the-shelf kenwood receiver to drive them, no fancy-dancy amps (yet ).

if i were to build my own, i have looked at (for example) zalytron's german and budget 2ways or a couple of models from the 'human' speaker line.

the only vintage speaker i've had any thoughts about are the dynaco A-25's. they are easily available on ebay. does anyone have any impressions of these, or other similar ones?

thanks in advance!

/andrew
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Old 9th February 2003, 06:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: favorite speakers for tweaking?

Quote:
Originally posted by faustian bargin
the only vintage speaker i've had any thoughts about are the dynaco A-25's. they are easily available on ebay. does anyone have any impressions of these, or other similar ones?
I have had and sold (and recycled for parts -- my roll-around "work bench" is the carcasses of 6 A25s) many an A25. A gem to sell on eBay, but not a great speaker IMHO... If you want to mod something that has real potential and should be able to be had real cheap (10-$30 USD pr), is the Zenith Allegro 2000 (about the same size as an A25). The older you can find the better. If you get old enuff, you will end up with a stunning alnico FR, but even the new ones with much cheaper ceramic drivers (every production run seems to have at least a subtly different FR/midbass) are decent.

The cabinets they come in suck big time so there is lots of room to improve them. You can tweak the existing cabinet to start, and when you get around to it, build a real one.

There are lots of other gems out there too (ie, i just picked up a set of Pioneer (CS-11?) with a lovely alnico Coral 8" FR for instance), but are too numerous to mention (a screwdriver when you visit the local VV is essential). Unfortuneatly external appearances are not a strict guide -- if a guide at all -- but to generalize, if it is older, made of plywood, and has a back that screws on, it has a better chance of being a gem than if it doesn't.

And if you ever run across a set of Admiral Tunnel Relexes grab them...

dave
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Old 9th February 2003, 07:13 PM   #3
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..found the allegro 1000's with this setup...not the 2000's though. pretty keen retro stylin'...

LINK

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Old 9th February 2003, 08:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by faustian bargin
..found the allegro 1000's with this setup...not the 2000's though. pretty keen retro stylin'...

LINK
That link gives an invalid auction. The 1000s have a 6 1/2" FR but i've only had the one apart -- the 1st ones i saw without the grills didn't have the nice Foster Horns, but the 2nd ones did.

Here are some with the alnico 10s. I made an inquiry to see if he still had them. If he isn't willing to dissassemble them, i can pass them on to you... a bit big for a bookshelf thou.I have come across a single pr of the 10" alnicos, and they are quite stunning.

Click the image to open in full size.

These are the least impressive looking of the 2000 FR/midbasses i have found. I haven't seen, but have had reports of these being alnico if you get them old enuff.

dave
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Old 10th February 2003, 03:47 AM   #5
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hm, not sure what happened with that auction link i posted. guess it got delisted for some reason.

well, let me know what the scoop is on those. they're a little rugged-looking. need some spiffying up to meet SAF approval...

/andrew
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Old 10th February 2003, 06:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by faustian bargin
well, let me know what the scoop is on those. they're a little rugged-looking. need some spiffying up to meet SAF approval...
The 1st thing you do to the cabinets is rip the grill off, and route off the edges flush (or with a round over). A new baffle (no vent) before or after (have to cut flush) you do that wouldn't be a bad idea -- the 2nd thing you do is mount the drivers from the front. And brace the cabinet (alot). A good dose of duct seal on the baskets, better wire, then you can start tweaking the XO.

The "high-performance" vinyl wood grain wrap can probably be peeled off.

dave
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Old 10th February 2003, 11:47 PM   #7
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so, what about something like these old acoustic research?
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Old 11th February 2003, 01:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by faustian bargin
so, what about something like these old acoustic research?
I can't get too excited about those... i thought you were looking for bookshelf speakers?

What kind of budget? Do they have to be vintage?

I'd be looking for a 2-way with as high an XO as reasonable to the T.

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Old 11th February 2003, 02:47 AM   #9
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yeah i figured the XO was a bit mid-range on those. i was just looking at the 'alnico' specs.

well, i guess i'm looking for something no taller than ~24", and width <=12". depth is a little less of an issue, maybe about the same restriction as width. the A-25's are fine sizewise.

i'm either going to put them on an actual bookshelf, or mount them on a bracket on the wall. haven't decided. neither location will meet audiophile standards, but i'm not really concerned with that too much. just want something that sounds 'pretty good', is not an eyesore, and frees up the floor space that my towers currently reside in.

budget - well, i was thinking $150-200/pair. that's the entry level prices i was seeing for kits on (e.g.) zalytron. i figured i could get some bang-for-buck by going vintage, or at least used. plus it would leave open the potential for tweakage. buying new retail goods just strikes me as Wrong.

thanks for the advice so far. it's hard to look for stuff on my own; none of my friends are into hifi so all i know i had to find out by myself.



/andrew
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Old 11th February 2003, 03:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by faustian bargin
i was just looking at the 'alnico' specs.
There is no question that a lot of the old alnico speakers have some magic about them. They give up ultimate extension on the bottom and the ability to play really loud to get this (a generalization).

Quote:
... looking for something no taller than ~24" x12 ... something that sounds 'pretty good', is not an eyesore, and frees up the floor space that my towers currently reside in.... $150-200/pair
I probably run into 2 or 3 pair of suitable vintage speakers every month (and more that don't satisfy the eyesore requirement) that get gutted for parts. I could keep an eye open for you and happy to comment on anything you find on-line (don't have time to go lookin' for you). Most of these would come in under budget.

I also have a couple pr of newer, more convential 2-ways that would fit in your budget and potentially your other requirements. Since this is crossing into my business territory i will email you privately.

dave
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