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OT - Help me understand Hi-Fi speakers

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
Thanks everyone, good information. It answers my basic question....I don't want powered speakers and should stay with old school 'passive' speakers.

My biggest gripe with audio equipment - and always has been - is the way names are so hard to identify as 'good'. It seems once a name becomes 'big', they cheapen their product to sell as much as possible then it's junk.
 

mjk

Titanium
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Location
Wilmington DE USA
Nice thing about older "big" speakers is that if you need to replace or upgrade say a 10" or 12", a new good guitar freq rated speaker is typically a drop in or only slightly pita replacement.
 

jim rozen

Diamond
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Location
peekskill, NY
On the plus side, with powered or bluetooth being the flavor-of-the-month, you can find all kinds of suplus, good speakers available. Frequently in the trash on pick-up days. Along with build your own and the suplus ones, never had to actually buy speakers. My recent favorite is a bass reflex instrument cabinet that had the gimp wires burned out of it, had a midrange horn and somebody gifted me some dome tweeters. Presently hooked to an old haffler amp, one channel only. Mp3 player and an old instrumentation amp is the program source. Free stuff can be good. This place is a good one for repair parts, antique electronic supply:

Please Wait... | Cloudflare
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
For years, The Who held the Guinness record of loudest concert. Not sure if they still do. But it's worth noting they didn't set out to try setting a record...I recall reading they had some amps and equipment from a much larger venue and for whatever reason no one knew to turn it down...


As for finding stuff put out for garbage day on the street...that seems to have gone by the wayside thanks to all the shows on TV that convince people their junk is worth millions. I'm the only person left that I know of...if I have just about anything of value worth under a few hundred dollars, I put it out with a FREE sign on it. I'd rather it vanish on its own than me having to try selling it.
 

thermite

Diamond
To quote a famous commercial from the 1970's (IIRC craig car stereos)
"What are you....deaf ?"
loudest rock conert at DuckDuckGo

"Funny you should mention...." 1970. That's about when vintage of 1923 EA Myers & Son / "Radioear" noticed the odd statistic that the average age at initial purchase of customers for our (premium-grade) hearing aids had slid down from 60-65 and older into the 40 year old age range.

Eventually, an industry-wide consensus tagged "rock music" and industrial workplace noise pollution as the contributors.

And we HAD been a primo supplier to the Veterans Administration, War One vets, onward without seeing that large a shift, War Two, Korea, and 'nam.

Navy & Airforce get to use ear protection. Army & Marines, not so much.

Ground combat gets seriously rude, but by the time it gets AS rude as a rock concert?

It tends to impair survival, not just leave a body DEEF!

PS: My luck didn't entirely run-out. What I still hear "well enough" is the "contralto" female voice. Edith Piaf. Julie London. Lale Anderson, Karen Carpenter. Diana Krall. Easily a dozen other favourites, most classed as "torch singers", and most singing in French, Dutch, German, Flams, Spanish, or Brazilian Portuguese.

A Cantonese wife and her Mother who sing duets rather too well... at break-the-window glass..CHINESE OPERA. Which can almost make my scalp bleed...

But I did say "luck"?

My Emily's SPEAKING voice ... is really, really close to how Karen Carpenter or Dana Winner SING!

Life is good!

:)
 

blcksmth

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 17, 2006
Location
Bowling Green, Ohio
Just a little technical info now. Powered speakers have built-in amplifiers which are powered externally somehow. They also are designed for an input signal voltage of 1.0 volts commonly known as line level. The voltage out from your amplifier's 8 ohm speaker terminals could be as high as 25 volts. This would seriously overdrive the built in amp to distortion or destroy it. The normal range of human hearing is 20 cycles to 20,000 cycles per second. The speaker specs should list the frequency response like 49 HZ to 19 KHZ plus or minus 3db which is 1/2 audio power. The wider this range the more complete the sound. To decide what sounds best to you, if you are buying new, take a familiar CD to the store and ask them to play it on a variety of speaker systems.

Bob
WB8NQW
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
To decide what sounds best to you, if you are buying new, take a familiar CD to the store and ask them to play it on a variety of speaker systems.

Bob
WB8NQW
Have not seen a "Stereo Store" that you can walk into for at least 25 years now.
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
Have not seen a "Stereo Store" that you can walk into for at least 25 years now.
This was once huge with even the big box stores having a "listening room".
Of note that the higher markup speakers often got the better position in the room.
I once had a collection of records and later CDs that I would take in and spend a few hours auditioning speakers.
I do not think the OP is looking for such craziness.
Big agreement that some names that were very good have become commodity items and not so good.
My like for a big room is the old standby Klipsch Lascala despite the phase problems of such design but the price tag now is just insane.
Bob
 

IWUP

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
I have for my shop this fairly massive receiver...a Denon AVR 5800 which 62lbs. worth of relatively old school radio. I didn't buy it new but they were around $3800 20 years ago.



Denon AVR-5800 A/V receiver | Sound & Vision

I want to buy some speakers that will work well with it.

In looking at speakers...it seems nowadays a great many are 'powered'. That is, they appear to have their own 120v amp and also work off Bluetooth or some other wireless technology...so you don't have to run 'hard' wires to them.


That's great...but I like wires and don't mind running them. I also think the receiver should have enough power to drive speakers without the need for an amp in the speaker box. I also wonder if the amps located in the speaker box will compromise sound quality or have other negative effects.

So....do I ignore all of the powered speakers, or is there no harm in using them if I find a set I otherwise like?View attachment 339479
I have 4 of these in my shop
Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160M (Ebony) Bookshelf speakers at Crutchfield
and a 12" sub
Klipsch Reference R-120SW Powered subwoofer at Crutchfield
Shop is 32'x70', 13' ceilings
setup works well and I usually Bluetooth connect to the Yamaha receiver with my laptop
 

thermite

Diamond

thermite

Diamond
It's not all blue, why are you still in Virginia?

Pleased to have helped turn it SANE ...again ...292 years on, as my tribe don't give up easily.

"Mosby Country" "Blue"? Yah .. well.. our Sheriff and our Clerk of Court are elected officials. Republican Ticket. With rather a lot of Democratic votes, even.

Taking stupid pills doesn't fly well, here.

Virginia Gov. Youngkin's day-one executive orders include investigating Loudon County officials, CRT ban

But The Old Dominion was still salvageable. One Civil War was one too many, already, y'see. F**KJoe Buyed-in can just go away and bite his OWN decomposing ass.

Only way I can see saving the Five Boroughs is to give them back to the Dutch.

Amerindians have already refused it, figuring the cheap glass beads were far the better deal, considering the "baggage" as has accumulated!

:D

More seriously..easily avoidable costs, overheads, and taxes, MOST other US States, any "colour"?

BT,DT,GTTS Cable & Wireless (NY), Inc ==> My new creation, Cable & Wireless Americas, Inc., HQ shifted to .... Virginia! 1986. Go figure we saw NYC's decline coming?

Recent years, Virginia had been nearly alone in gaining economic refugees from "blue" States even whilst we were - nominally - still "blue" ourselves.

Folks live better and eat more reliably if we can just do our f*****g JOBS and raise kids that have a fair chance of finding honest work in THEIR turn, too.
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
This was once huge with even the big box stores having a "listening room".
Of note that the higher markup speakers often got the better position in the room.
I once had a collection of records and later CDs that I would take in and spend a few hours auditioning speakers.
I do not think the OP is looking for such craziness.
Big agreement that some names that were very good have become commodity items and not so good.
My like for a big room is the old standby Klipsch Lascala despite the phase problems of such design but the price tag now is just insane.
Bob

Best Buy actually still has a Magnolia section and my local one has a McIntosh stack with electrostatic speakers

But yes, I miss Tech Hifi, and Tweeter and all the other places.

There is[was?] a place in Harvard Square that I made the point of driving into to buy my last CD player. [Audiolab is still there it appears although it appears the grumpy bastard who sold me that CD player is not doing so well]

It is hard, because we are always looking for a good deal, aren't we?

Add to that that basically 'no one' buys stereo equipment anymore.
 

IWUP

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Pleased to have helped turn it SANE ...again ...292 years on, as my tribe don't give up easily.

"Mosby Country" "Blue"? Yah .. well.. our Sheriff and our Clerk of Court are elected officials. Republican Ticket. With rather a lot of Democratic votes, even.

Taking stupid pills doesn't fly well, here.

Virginia Gov. Youngkin's day-one executive orders include investigating Loudon County officials, CRT ban

But The Old Dominion was still salvageable. One Civil War was one too many, already, y'see. F**KJoe Buyed-in can just go away and bite his OWN decomposing ass.

Only way I can see saving the Five Boroughs is to give them back to the Dutch.

Amerindians have already refused it, figuring the cheap glass beads were far the better deal, considering the "baggage" as has accumulated!

:D

More seriously..easily avoidable costs, overheads, and taxes, MOST other US States, any "colour"?

BT,DT,GTTS Cable & Wireless (NY), Inc ==> My new creation, Cable & Wireless Americas, Inc., HQ shifted to .... Virginia! 1986. Go figure we saw NYC's decline coming?

Recent years, Virginia had been nearly alone in gaining economic refugees from "blue" States even whilst we were - nominally - still "blue" ourselves.

Folks live better and eat more reliably if we can just do our f*****g JOBS and raise kids that have a fair chance of finding honest work in THEIR turn, too.

You keep referencing NYC, I don't live anywhere near there, there's more to New York than NYC
It's the equiv of me assuming you live in NOVA
 

thermite

Diamond
You keep referencing NYC, I don't live anywhere near there, there's more to New York than NYC
It's the equiv of me assuming you live in NOVA

Fifty-plus years in NOVA, but Old James City through Winchester to Western then "West-by-God"-Virginia... and back ... since 1730.

There isn't a lot of New York State I haven't traversed. Some of it right nice country, and most of it right decent folk.

You are still butt-f**k as badly by Albany, regardless if DeBlasio I or the new one - DeBlasio II - is yer "Czar" in the Five Boroughs.

Not my favourite source. Some even rate New York dead LAST of 50 States:

America's Top States for Business 2021

Expensive, regardless, as well.

Hard for a County or municipality to overcome the negatives.

Very hard.

FUTURE trend is looking UP?
 

IWUP

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
There isn't a lot of New York State I haven't traversed. Some of it right nice country, and most of it right decent folk.

You are still butt-f**k as badly by Albany, regardless if DeBlasio I or the new one - DeBlasio II - is yer "Czar" in the Five Boroughs.

Hard for a County or municipality to overcome that.

Very hard.

Thanks for your contribution to this thread. I'm sure the OP will take your input into account when trying to source speakers for his receiver.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I have a pair of powered JBL 15" 400 watt speakers hooked to Pandora and it works good for loud shop music. Sometimes, with some songs, I notice they aren't as clear as I think they could be.

I had some Cerwin Vegas that my dad bought new in the early 70's and they were amazingly clear and VERY loud until the foam fell apart. I thought I saved them to repair someday, but now I can't find them. I've been thinking about trying to figure out what those speakers were and locating another good pair to compare to the monster JBL's I have now. I remember the grills were a very coarse foam with a checkerboard pattern.
 

thermite

Diamond
Thanks for your contribution to this thread. I'm sure the OP will take your input into account when trying to source speakers for his receiver.

Indeed, he may:

Best American-Made Audio Companies

My top 5 Canadian Audio Companies - GetConnected

Best British speakers 2020: great British speakers for your system | What Hi-Fi?

I've had the Wharfdales. With sand, yet.
No need to go to Asia... but one can do..

The Audiophiliac's best-sounding bookshelf speakers - CNET
 








 
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