Search Buy Sell Learn MyPage
 Learn > Forums > Speakers > 1199267340  Start New Thread | Log In | Bookmark This

  Are modern speakers better than old speakers?
I have a pair of Moraunt Short Signifer speakers, which was their flagship in 1980. Have speakers improved dramtically since then? I would like to know what price bracket one would be in now to outperform these. I like their sound, wonderfull 12inch drivers and a paper mid without surrounds (no rubber/etc) plus a nice ferrofluid filled tweeter, which was relatively new technology at the time I believe. Also I would like to know if it is recommendable to upgrade the crossovers and cabling. Also perhaps bypassing the high frequency level adjustment. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
Jaapjess  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-28 of 28)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

01-02-08   Some progress. active speakers without passive crossovers ar ...   Shadorne

01-02-08   Jaapjess, if you like their sound and they're working well, ...   Cleaneduphippy

01-02-08   If you like how the speakers sound, nothing else matters. my ...   Sogood51

01-02-08: Shiprepair
A very good question, I am in the same predicament, wondering if I should replace my 1980 B&W 801 with the 802D as technology has advanced so far, especially with the diamond coatings on the 802 tweeters. The 801 still sound terrific but I have had them for 27 years and wonder if it is just being used to them. To compare properly should entail a home audition which I'm not so sure will be possible.

I'm wondering if the improvement would be worth the price of the new speakers or just purely incremental?

Great thread.

Shiprepair  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-02-08: Dazzdax
I think you should divide two types of speakers: the dipoles (electrostatics, full range ribbons and magnetostats) and the cone (moving coil) speakers. The full range Apogee ribbons are no longer being made (for almost 20 years) but they are still very good and still competitive with most of the planars today (they are maybe even better!). Older Soundlabs sound still very good. Some say the older Magnepans (>20 years) like the original Tympanies are still the best Magnepans. The old JBL giant studio monitors (4350?) from the late 70's are very ugly but they still sound good and many audiophiles love them. Many of today's cone speakers are more detailed (hyperdetailed), are very revealing in the treble and therefore they could sound a bit "sterile". They are better technically, but I don't know if they are more "musical".
PS: The odd technology speakers like the omni's sounded odd during their prototype period but still sound odd to me in their most up to date iterations.


Dazzdax  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-03-08   Most, if not all, are.   Pbb

01-03-08   All you can do is listen for yourself. don't worry about thi ...   Dcstep

01-04-08   Transducers, crossover parts, software, testing gear cabinet ...   Johnk

01-04-08: Audiofeil
Current cone materials, electric parts, testing, etc. are clearly better than past technology.

However, the materials used in today's enclosures are far superior to those of yesteryear. Many will opine the enclosure is the most important factor in a loudspeaker.

For that reason alone comtemporary products are better although some speakers have withstood the test of time well. Quad and Apogee are 2 examples.

Audiofeil  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-04-08: James1969
I went from a traditional wood box to a composite material box. I don't think I would go back to a wood box anymore.

I went through a phase where I was auditioning electrostatics and ribbon type of speakers. From that point on, I was very sensitive to box speakers and just how 'boxy' they sound.

Now that I have a modern speaker made out of very high tech materials other than wood, the 'boxy' sound is gone. Period. The drivers are a paper woofer and silk dome tweeter.

James1969  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-04-08: Shadorne
I went from a traditional wood box to a composite material box. I don't think I would go back to a wood box anymore.

Do you mean real wood panels for speaker cabinet walls? Most wood box speakers are made from MDF...which is itself a composite material and works well.

Shadorne  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-04-08   Interesting...depending on how one measures, which is a big, ...   Thomp9015

01-04-08   It seems hugely variable. some companies have done some ser ...   Hifiszado

01-04-08   More often than not, modern speakers look better than old sp ...   Unsound

01-05-08: James1969
Shadorne, yes, good clarification, MDF with a wood veneer.
James1969  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-10-08   Hello all, i had a very illuminating and thought provoking ...   Shiprepair

01-11-08   I am a merlin speaker fan. now i haven't personally audition ...   Jamesw20

01-11-08   Nothing wrong with old. i come from an extended family of m ...   Bongofury

01-12-08: Regafan_1972
I am in the same predicament you are in, I own Mordaunt Short Festival Series 2 from the early 80's that seem to sound really good for the most part. What I am wondering though is if, because these are the only speakers I have had in my place with my stereo, then I might be limiting the sound and not knowing it. However, I did take them in recently to do a direct comparison with some Quad 12L2's and Monitor Audio Silver 7i's and my old Mordaunts really held their own. I think the Monitor Audios sounded slightly better, but the Mordaunts have one 8" driver and it seemed to have better bass than both the others.

I still can't help but wonder how my Mordaunts would compare in my listening environment at home with a comparison to Paradigm Studio 20 V.4's, B&W 685 or 705's, or some others. I think there is something to be said for improved technology and better ways to measure the sound from speakers, such as Paradigm's government-funded audio labs, so I am curious too.

Regafan_1972  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-12-08   Rega fan there are some great modern brands to compare. th ...   Bongofury

01-12-08   Shiprepair, hopefully my comment on b&w will stay within the ...   Pryso

01-14-08   To op, what do you mean dramatically? take your spkrs to a h ...   Veroman

01-18-08: Tmcginn
I don't know anything about your particular speakers but have learned several things over the last 5 years. I used to use my dads speakers and pioneer amp made back in the late 60's. While they didn't have today’s technology they were extremely well built in Japan. The build quality compensated for a lot and with new speaker grills they would look great even today. One of the biggest mistakes I made was allowing my parents to dispose of them when I went off to college, a few years back. I have since bought new speakers, have surround sound but have had to spend several thousand just to reach what I remember to be comparable system. While the old system lacked a faithfulness to the recording they where very listenable and sonically balanced. So I would if I where you keep the old speakers and considering buying an entirely new seperate system.
Tmcginn  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-18-08   Must admit i simply cannot part with my avalon ascent mk-ii ...   Sirspeedy

01-19-08   Sirspeedy, no need to apologize for your enthusiasm for your ...   Pryso

01-19-08   Pryso,funny you should mention the duntech princess.i met a ...   Sirspeedy

01-19-08   It's hard to say,as my hearing is not the same in all probab ...   Tracer

01-19-08   If you're not familiar with the princess, she is the "l ...   Pryso

  Post your response

Your response

No html, but you may use markup tags

Members only