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fredro82

Which reissued vintage era speaker?

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Hi all

 

I'm currently looking for a new set of classic style speakers to go with my PrimaLuna HP Integrated amplifier and turntable. I'm looking for something with a classic look and all round speaker (with nice bass tones). Essentially, I'm after a high performing speaker in a retro box. My listening tastes are all over the map, spanning from afrobeat, to classic, to hiphop, to rock and everything in between.

 

The speakers I am immediately attracted to are heritage speakers coming out of the US:

JBL L100s

Klipsch Heresy III

Klipsch Forte III

 

Can you recommend any of these speakers? Are there other models I should be looking at?


Cheers

 

Fred

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Both the Klipsch speakers are vastly different to the JBL.

 

First thing I'd ask is what room size do you intend to put any of these speakers in ?

 

The JBL's are sort of like large book shelf speakers, sort of the American version of the classic British monitors like the Spendor BC1 or current Harbeth SHL5's [In cabinet size only], except not as polite, more a Rock & Roll version of the British designs

They might need a bit more power than your PrimaLuna to sound their best, compared to more modern designs they would sound a bit warm and bass thick, although that has a lot to do to floor boundary effect with the JBL's, if you put them on slightly higher stands than what they have traditionally been placed on that effect diminishes, I'd decouple them from the stands/floor as well while I was at it......I'd guesstimate that the smallest room they could work in was say 5m X 3m, and that's depending on you sitting 1/3rd in from the rear wall.

 

Both Klipsch speakers are a totally different proposition.

Both a bold and brash and bloody LOUD !

There is a sense of immediacy / excitement that can be only gotten from HORN's that both posses, it's a very 'In your Face' sort of sound, it makes recorded LIVE concert sound exactly like that in your room, certainly the speakers to have for Rock & Roll and for parties, but by the same token, they can sound colored, and not so great recording will be really noticeable, especially if there is sibilance from the singer of badly mike'd cymbals, it's a double edged sword....TBH I think the treble on a pair of Heresy's could slice the top off a hard boiled Egg at 10M their treble can be so cutting, that's more to do with the angle they sit at from the floor.

The Forte's aren't as bad in this regard and could almost be considered 'Forgiving' in comparison......BUT, you do need a larger room to get them to work well, put in a small room they couldn't be unleashed before they would overdrive the room into compression, which totally defeats the purpose of horn speakers

 

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I have to say I’m a big JBL fan but was left underwhelmed with the new ones L100. 
The room was less than ideal and it wasn’t all tracks. I would like to hear them in good room. I would suggest listening to them for a while if you haven’t already. 

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The new L100 sounds better in a basically undampened room, I don't know what they did to them, but it seems to be they have been re-voiced for more modern open plan interiors .....they still could do with a small strip of tissue paper Blutack'd so it hangs very loosely over the tweeter IMHO.

 

Try it next time you hear them....Old studio trick.

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5 hours ago, fredro82 said:

Hi all

 

I'm currently looking for a new set of classic style speakers to go with my PrimaLuna HP Integrated amplifier and turntable. I'm looking for something with a classic look and all round speaker (with nice bass tones). Essentially, I'm after a high performing speaker in a retro box. My listening tastes are all over the map, spanning from afrobeat, to classic, to hiphop, to rock and everything in between.

 

The speakers I am immediately attracted to are heritage speakers coming out of the US:

JBL L100s

Klipsch Heresy III

Klipsch Forte III

 

Can you recommend any of these speakers? Are there other models I should be looking at?


Cheers

 

Fred

I think both Klipsch have been reviewed in Stereophile lately. You can google to the reviews on line. 

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5 hours ago, Grizzly said:

These may be of interest

 

http://www.wharfedale.co.uk/linton/

You beat me to it. Reading about these yesterday.

 

Don't buy Klipsch.  Way overrated IMO. Put it this way, there are a lot better speakers out there in that price range. Definitely give the Wharfs a try out. Some of the others mentioned are great, but as stated they need a lot of juice to get the best out of them.

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17 hours ago, Tweaky said:

First thing I'd ask is what room size do you intend to put any of these speakers in ?

 

Thanks for your very thoughtful reply.

 

The room is an open plan lounge/kitchen/dining, so a decent size space.

 

We tend to entertain a lot so I'd like to get something that can be turned up loud on the odd occasion. 

 

I'd prefer a set of speakers that does not require an additional sub, but am willing to get one if required.

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9 hours ago, needlerunner said:

You beat me to it. Reading about these yesterday.

 

Don't buy Klipsch.  Way overrated IMO. Put it this way, there are a lot better speakers out there in that price range. Definitely give the Wharfs a try out. Some of the others mentioned are great, but as stated they need a lot of juice to get the best out of them.

Thanks to you and Grizzly for alerting me to the Wharfdale Lintons. They definitely pass the eye test. Have you listened to a pair? Do they pass the ear test (particularly lower frequencies)?

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Would you consider an actual vintage speaker rather than a modern rendition?

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6 minutes ago, kelossus said:

Would you consider an actual vintage speaker rather than a modern rendition?

Perfect for requirements!! 

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3 hours ago, kelossus said:

Would you consider an actual vintage speaker rather than a modern rendition?

My speaker cables are all banana plugs, so I guess I’m looking for something I can easily plug my cables into rather than older speakers with spade type connections. 
 

Perhaps I could change the connections at the back of the vintage speakers but I wouldn’t know how or where to start...

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27 minutes ago, fredro82 said:

My speaker cables are all banana plugs, so I guess I’m looking for something I can easily plug my cables into rather than older speakers with spade type connections. 
 

Perhaps I could change the connections at the back of the vintage speakers but I wouldn’t know how or where to start...

New binding posts can be installed at a low cost and minimal effort. Some binding posts will accept bare wire so no soldering required.

 

Now to my ulterior motive, I will be selling my butt cheeks soon....JBL 4430's of course. They are 93db/w so efficient enough for your tube amp. These are a big speaker though, weigh around 60kg and you may not like the look.

 

The picture is deceiving and does not show their size. They are a fair bit bigger then the Forte III.

 

Not my exact speakers below but this what they look like.

f9805685ce8a963ba3cedcf76c6d7616.jpg

Edited by kelossus

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19 hours ago, fredro82 said:

Thanks to you and Grizzly for alerting me to the Wharfdale Lintons. They definitely pass the eye test. Have you listened to a pair? Do they pass the ear test (particularly lower frequencies)?

 

Sorry Fred I can't help in that respect. Reviews seem positive, for whatever they're worth.

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On 11/10/2019 at 8:03 AM, fredro82 said:

Thanks to you and Grizzly for alerting me to the Wharfdale Lintons. They definitely pass the eye test. Have you listened to a pair? Do they pass the ear test (particularly lower frequencies)?

I've heard them, not expecting much from them. I'm also not much of a fan of the look of this type of speaker (despite knowing a lot of this style of speaker are certainly made to the highest standards).

 

But....

 

They blew me away! In the next 6 months I hope to be fully active in the world of speakers (Kii Three or Meridian, with a dedicated room another 6-12 months down the track from that).

I found the Wharfedales so good I need to find somewhere in the house to justify buying a pair.! Beautiful matching stands included for all under $3K!

 

 

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Didn’t mind them myself for the money. They did sound a bit boomy at the show. But read up on them and found that ideal room and positioning fixes this. 
Found them to be a very nice deal for the money. 
And the retro stands full of vinyl look great also. 

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17 hours ago, Hydrology said:

I've heard them, not expecting much from them. I'm also not much of a fan of the look of this type of speaker (despite knowing a lot of this style of speaker are certainly made to the highest standards).

 

But....

 

They blew me away! In the next 6 months I hope to be fully active in the world of speakers (Kii Three or Meridian, with a dedicated room another 6-12 months down the track from that).

I found the Wharfedales so good I need to find somewhere in the house to justify buying a pair.! Beautiful matching stands included for all under $3K!

 

 

Great to hear. I'll find a local dealer and give them a listen. Cheers!

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I just purchased the Wharfedale Lintons and will shortly be listing an old pair of Klipsch Heresy 1 for sale.

 

The two could not be more different other than their size and shape which i like in both.

 

Klipsch are very lively and need a big room to breathe. They reveal all material back to the source. One minute you are getting goosebumps, next minute someone is shoving a pencil in your ear. Closed box bass has a beautiful mid bass quality but distinctly lacking in lower bass weight.

 

I found myself matching to conservative sources (mosfet amplifier, copper speaker cables, Shure x93e phono cart) which helped.

 

I am selling mine as my room is a bit too small for them and i have old man ears. Otherwise would have kept.

 

Wharfedale were completely opposite. Typical conservative British sound that is  an easy listen across all music genre. They go a bit deeper and can handle loud passages. More refined in the upper frequencies. Can listen for hourse without fatigue. But less of a party dance speaker, less emotional, perhaps more 'hifi'. Do benefit from more lively sources and material. Not as open as the harbeth monitors 30.2 i heard at the HIFI show, but definantly in that sound family.

 

Prefer a position away from walls wheras Klipsch could run close to the front wall.

 

Not sure if this says anything. Both speakers have their benefits and disadvantages.

 

Perhaps Klipsch need more care with room and source matching. 

 

I would listen to both before you make a decision...

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My only advice is to try to loan a few pairs on your shortlist to try them in your own listening room and driven by the amplifier of your choice.  I now actively avoid taking the advice of reviewers in the audioporn magazines as they are rarely unbiased and 99.9% of the time the listening room is not going to be anything like yours.

 

If you are specifically looking towards purchasing a new retro-style sounding speaker I would suggest approaching a reputable dealer for a home audition over a few days.  Some dealers are happy to do this in exchange for your credit card details and will debit the account if you decide to keep them or you damage them.  This has worked for me with a lot of audio and AV gear over the years.

 

Why I encourage an extended (say over the weekend) home audition is it gives you time to trial them using a variety of music material, experiment a bit with positioning and the experience is a lot less pressured and distracting.  Also IME a change of listening room can make a noticeable difference as to how the speakers will perform.  I experienced this when I moved house 6 years ago.  My Equinox Jupiters didn't sound as good in the bass area in the new listening room, but the Quad ESL2905s sounded a lot better.

 

Room acoustics play a huge part in speaker performance as does speaker placement.  Some issues can be overcome with room treatments but these may not always be practical, possible or have the SAF / WAF / PAF.

 

Good luck with your search.

 

Cheers,

Alan R. 

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On 10/10/2019 at 5:13 PM, Tweaky said:

BUT, you do need a larger room to get them to work well, put in a small room they couldn't be unleashed before they would overdrive the room into compression, which totally defeats the purpose of horn speakers

Sorry, but this is not correct. Having owned a number of the classic Ks (K, LS, H, C- briefly) because of their somewhat controlled directivity, the room is less likely to be an issue than a typical cone/dome unit as the sidewalls will be less involved in the sound getting to the MLP. The best my KHorns ever sounded (in their original state) was in a relatively small room, basically a concrete bunker.

 

As for room overload: if the room becomes an issue at say 100dB with one of the K's, then it will most likely be an issue with most speakers at similar levels.

 

Fred: the L100s and any of the K models have such a fundamentally different character, that you really need to listen to them yourself to decide. The Heresys were my least favourite of all the Klipsch models I've owned.

 

The JBLs would likely be the safest bet of those listed, for most people.

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My respect was to Volume level V room size. not actual speaker size RE Room size

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