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 Post subject: Vintage speaker choice
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 6:46 pm 
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Location: Ogden, UT, US
I've recently received a bonus at work of around $2K and would like to improve upon my vintage set-up. I'm currently running a re-capped Marantz 2240 through a B&K 202, and out to a nice set of Snell CIIIs. I was considering the purchase of a set of Klipsch Cornwall or Heresy, Pioneer HPM 150s, JbL 44xx etc. I was also considering skipping the speakers and looking for a McIntosh tuner and amp, as I don't know that I'd be gaining anything with different speakers.

I'm not an audiophile by any means and 20 years in the Air Force has done a number several octaves of my hearing. I primarily listen to 70s and 90s rock. Any thoughts? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Hi Todd and Welcome! to USAM and the forums.

Sorry to say that I can't be of much help here but I'm confident that the HPM-150s' would be a big step down from the Snells'. If possible try to hold onto the C/IIIs' in order to compare and contrast them to the evolving flavor-of-the-month of speakers that will grace your listening room in the near-future.

The Pioneers' don't belong in the same sentence as the others you mentioned. Imho, they're a vintage model that hasn't aged particularly well. I always recommend the Yamaha NS-1000 as a very tuneful and capable rock 'n roll speaker. A nice restored pair won't be cheap but they will always hold their value going forward.

Just my dos centavos....Have fun! :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 6:30 am 
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hifijones,

Thank you, it's good to be here.

I am in good company, as we all get the "itch" now and again. Yes, there is definitely the passage of time to consider, as you've mentioned, some speakers don't age well. I bought a cherry set of Klipsch KG4 speakers and after a Crites tweeter and crossovers and they sounded better than when they were new, but hand-build speakers have a firm foundation. Conversely, I was recently waxing nostalgic and purchased a pair of Mach 1s for $25 and even with the VL mods they still sounded tired and muddy.

I appreciate your insight and the Yamaha NS-1000 suggestion; I was looking at a pair online yesterday.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:23 am 
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Location: Clarkston, MI, US
I have a McIntosh MR85 for sale that is in mint condition if you decide to go that way. Best tuner I have ever owned, and I have owned many. It is just too deep for my new cabinet.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:56 am 
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BUMP, With your hearing loss I would expect recommendations would be meaningless. I know several models that were ahead of the curve but a flat response that a lot of us find appealing would probably sound lifeless and dull to you. Klipsch with horn loaded drivers sounded a bit too immediate for me may punch your ticket, early gen focal 1st gen be tweeter got some press for being a little hot may sound smooth as silk to you. Try and shop locally so you can listen to what you're looking to buy.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:24 am 
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Ivor at Linn was right: upgrades to ones source make the biggest bang for your buck by far. Thus if your source [and its support] is fine, next consider a change of preamp, then amp, or integrated, eg the Fisher 500c [the 500c is one the greatest values in high end audio]. If the speakers are decent, that is the last place to upgrade.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:08 pm 
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hifijones wrote:
Hi Todd and Welcome! to USAM and the forums.

Sorry to say that I can't be of much help here but I'm confident that the HPM-150s' would be a big step down from the Snells'. If possible try to hold onto the C/IIIs' in order to compare and contrast them to the evolving flavor-of-the-month of speakers that will grace your listening room in the near-future.

The Pioneers' don't belong in the same sentence as the others you mentioned. Imho, they're a vintage model that hasn't aged particularly well. I always recommend the Yamaha NS-1000 as a very tuneful and capable rock 'n roll speaker. A nice restored pair won't be cheap but they will always hold their value going forward.

Just my dos centavos....Have fun! :)


Are you sure you're thinking about the right Pioneer speakers?

These HPM series speakers were designed by the same Bart Locanthi, that designed many of the vintage JBL speakers that are considered so special. In fact, the technology that he brought to Pioneer for the HPM series, led directly to the creation of the TAD division of Pioneer (to the extent that the baskets on the TAD drivers are very obvious derivations of the HPM woofer baskets, for the 15" drivers).

IMHO, the HPM150 is an improvement compared to the NS-1000. It's highs are considerably smoother, and the transition between bass and midrange is more graceful.

Other good choices, for the stated goal (rock and roll), would be the Klipsch Cornwall (I'm not a huge fan of the Heresy, but the Cornwall is a very easy-to-live-with, entertaining speaker), the JBL XPL160 or XPL200, the JBL 4315, 4425, 4430 or 4435 studio speakers, the ESS AMT3 Rock Monitor, the Tannoy Saturn S8 or S10 towers, or the Tannoy D500 or D700 towers (those would be my personal choice, probably).

That said- the Snells are great speakers- and would probably respond well to a better preamp in front of that B&K amp. Maybe something like a Rogue Audio Metis, Perseus or RM1, or a good Sonic Frontiers preamp, could be found at a reasonable price- they'd probably make a big difference over the Marantz used as a preamp. Or if you would prefer solid state- a good PS Audio, Aragon/Acurus or NAD preamp, could also do quite well. They always sounded good to me, in a variety of system configurations.

Regards,
Gordon.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:39 am 
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GordonW wrote:
Are you sure you're thinking about the right Pioneer speakers?

These HPM series speakers were designed by the same Bart Locanthi, that designed many of the vintage JBL speakers that are considered so special.


Well truth be told I'm not a big fan of vintage JBLs' so now you can understand where I'm coming from.

I have fond memories of the NS-1000s' that a friend of mine bought back in the Summer of '79. When he told me that he chose the Yamahas' over a pair of similarly priced Magnepans', I thought he was absolutely looney-tunes.....until I heard those Yammie's.:wink:

And seeing that this thread is nearly a year old, presumably the OP made a decision and a purchase. It would be nice to hear from him again so he could let us know what he ended up with.

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