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Author Topic: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System  (Read 4970 times)

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Offline DavidPuddy

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Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« on: April 14, 2023, 09:42:08 AM »
I've recently put together a late 90s/early 00s Rotel separates system and would like to grab a pair of affordable used speakers to pair with it. I've been looking at the vintage Large Advents and Heresy speakers, but the latter would be a stretch for my budget.

Any reason the Advents wouldn't work for this system? I don't mind the Klipsch sound but don't really want to have to buy a sub to get full range.

Power amp is 70 watts, bridgeable to 180 watts if I want to go mono x 2.

Budget is around $500 max. Thanks
« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 09:45:54 AM by DavidPuddy »
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2023, 10:28:26 AM »
Rotel is good vintage kit!
Look for used Altec LAnsings made before 1990. I have a pair which kindms uses as I have not the space for them. He rebuilt the surrounds on them and they sound fantastic.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/175656907069?hash=item28e5f7b13d:g:Ej0AAOSwHCtj88jr

https://www.ebay.com/itm/155501445043?hash=item24349bbfb3:g:n~cAAOSwnLBj6UGg

OK, admittedly tough to find on ebay, but here are two, the second ones are very vintage.
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Offline buckster

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2023, 02:12:13 PM »
70 w/ch is plenty of power.  The problem with vintage speakers is the older they are you start to run into the end-of-life expectancy of the surrounds.  Are you looking at book shelves, floor standing???  Speakers have come a long way and you can get a lot of decent sounding speakers these days for $500.  Here's a new Polk bookshelf below your budget that digs pretty deep.  I've not heard it so it's no personal recommendation, just tossing it out there for something to think about.  In the end, it's your ears and preferences that matter. 

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107ES20BK/Polk-Audio-Signature-Elite-ES20-Black.html?tp=186

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2023, 03:43:44 PM »
70 w/ch is plenty of power.  The problem with vintage speakers is the older they are you start to run into the end-of-life expectancy of the surrounds.  Are you looking at book shelves, floor standing???  Speakers have come a long way and you can get a lot of decent sounding speakers these days for $500.  Here's a new Polk bookshelf below your budget that digs pretty deep.  I've not heard it so it's no personal recommendation, just tossing it out there for something to think about.  In the end, it's your ears and preferences that matter. 

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107ES20BK/Polk-Audio-Signature-Elite-ES20-Black.html?tp=186
This is true. I figured OP was looking at vintage speakers to go with the vintage Rotel. That said, almost any 30-40 year old speaker should have issues with the surrounds.
iirc, the kit to refoam the two Altec Lansing speakers was less than $50
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Offline buckster

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2023, 12:59:52 PM »
Back in college I had a pair of Dynaco A25 speakers and then the Advent's came out and boy, did I want to step up to them, but just couldn't make it happen.  I believe the Advents are still the best selling speakers of all time.  It's funny, I found a 2021 review of a 1977 Advent that was "reconed".  A lot of technical measurements and discussion, but generally, speaker research, technology and manufacturing has advanced greatly in the intervening years. 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-new-advent-loudspeaker-review-vintage-speaker.24993/

Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2023, 11:11:23 PM »
Hey Dave, Rotel from most era's are thought to be a little bit on the bright end of the spectrum. If not bright then analytical and detailed, not warm necessarily. Not sure I would run them on heresy's. Might be a surprising match though. That being said, I would look at a British speaker. B&W possibly. B&W and Rotel matches are very common, I think they are sold by the same parent company for many years now. Paradigm(Canadian), Wharfedale, or Monitor Audio would also be great brands to look into late 90's stuff that had rubber surrounds, and are still intact, and be had on the cheap. I could also see some JBL 4412's or other related studio monitors from JBL doing really well with Rotel gear.

To be clear though, you should get some Heresy's if you have corners in your office, see if the Rotel works, and if not just find a good low watt tube amp to go with them. :hmmm:

Offline morst

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2023, 02:23:39 AM »
My folks had a Rotel RX400 when i was growing up playing records and taping hockey games off the radio, to time shift them for my dad when he was traveling..  (1972 Blues! Dan Kelly & Gus Kyle, and no I have not found any air checks dang it). It was a great receiver, and my college buddy wound up powering a set of large three-way speakers with it and was MUCH louder than I ever had experienced at home, lol! Since then I've always thought about getting back to Rotel, especially since their 1980's gear looked very slick and sounded just fine.


One of the main things I'd consider regarding *any* speaker system is whether you want a ported or tuned system that might emphasize the bass, or if you'd be content with a sealed box?
With vintage speakers, many of the tweeters are "horn loaded" rather than "front loaded" which contributes a particular tonality, along with some additional electroacoustic efficiency, compared to  other designs like sealed/front loaded. Do you think shotgun mic recordings sound like they were made through a tube? Would you play otherwise "flat" recordings back through a megaphone for a tweeter? To me, that's what horn loaded speakers sound like, but there are reasons to choose them. Soffit mounting where the bass is naturally emphasized is an example. The extra efficiency of, say, a Klipsch horn-loaded speaker set might be just dynamite. I have heard such a system, and I will say the horn based speakers sound much better when they are further away from my ears.


I usually prefer sealed/front loaded lows and highs, but if BlueSky71's point about Rotel's brightness is true, a front loaded tweeter with a ported bass reflex design (for instance) might be great in order to get some more bass out of the boxes.


B&W has certainly made that kind of thing, so that would be a cool place to start auditioning, if that is possible.
Here's a ported bass two-way B&W, that might be keen in a small listening space, the DM110: (ebay image will eventually break)





Another matter is whether you want to pair with a subwoofer. On a vintage system I would think not, but that would affect overall bass levels a lot.


This is fun, shopping around with other people's money, LOL!
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Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2023, 12:49:56 PM »
Thanks all, I think I have been convinced to go with something a bit more modern. The Rotel sound definitely leans a bit brighter than the SX-850 in the family room, so I will keep that in mind. I'll read up on the recommended speakers and may have a line on some inexpensive Boston Acoustics A150s.

The "stack" in question:



Now to find some spacers to give the power amp some ventilation...I've heard hockey pucks do this well.

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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2023, 01:03:38 PM »
OK, I'll say it: Nice stack!
Boston Acoustics are solid performers. Good luck
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Offline buckster

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2023, 01:20:32 PM »
OK, I'll say it: Nice stack!

That's a BIG Ten - Four! 

Now to find some spacers to give the power amp some ventilation...I've heard hockey pucks do this well.

And if heat is an issue, you can always put the amp on top spot. 

Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2023, 12:14:23 PM »
If you are not using the tone knobs, you might consider turning the tone control knob off to take those out of the signal chain, assuming that is what it does..

Offline Chilly Brioschi

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Re: Looking for Speakers for Home Office System
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2023, 02:35:42 AM »
A properly designed tone circuit is an advantage, especially in matching speakers to a room.
I'm not sure who first complained that they cause distortion, but would like to see the test data and method used.

The statement that the best amplifier is a wire with linear gain ignores psychoacoustics.
Who amazes me most are the ones feeding that to the vinyl afficionados.
RIAA curve interpretations are OK, but defeating room resonance is somehow "bad"?
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