Well, if you are paying only what they are worth used, then it will be a deal. If you are paying for 'new speakers' i would be not so eager.
Just so you know, the "AVON' Castle speaker was actually made ONLY from 1984 to 1986 NOT 1996!! (from the Orion Blue Book 2007 edition) The retail of the standard was $1799 and the 'exotic (wood finish) $1999.
The 2007 used retail values are only $420 to $497 and the 'mint' trade in is only $248 to $296.
So if you are paying more than $550. for these you are being taken advantage of.
The TEN YEAR ERROR on the part of the dealer is sort of interesting. A slip of memory or really a baldface white lie?
25 year old speakers will need new surrounds if foam. If rubber they may be OK having been in a sealed box. The caps in the crossovers certainly are going to be a problem soon enough, being 25 years old.
I would be far far more leary of this so-called deal unless the price IS around $500. or LESS.
Just my $0.02
Googling(after I posted of course) Shows other Avon speakers in England (other than the ones in Orion Blue book) so I would guess they were sold in USA only from 84 to 86 but were continued to be sold in Great Britain for much longer and the 1996 is when reviewed in GB.
So I am not certain where the OP is located? GB or USA?
Anyway, be careful with this purchase.
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for the reply. I'm actually in Canada. The price to be paid is over half off MSRP. I'm not sure if we can post links here, but you can find a review of the Avon on Gramophone. Just type into Google "Castle Avon Gramophone" and you should get the review. It says the speaker was launched in 1996. Also, there are some reviews of the speaker on audioreview.com from a few users who were purchasing it new around of the turn of the century. The speaker is a floorstander with one woofer and an offset tweeter below it. There must have been an original Avon in the 80's and an updated model in the mid 90's.
The surrounds are rubber, and I'm not sure I would be too worried about the crossover caps. The real question is, are these speakers the best $900 option? I have heard the Howards but not Avons, I don't doubt that they sound nice. I might be swayed if they have that beautiful wood finish Castle is known for, but if they are black?
You are right Blkadr, the surrounds are rubber. I spoke with the dealer this afternoon and confirmed this. They are black, but hey, it's not like I can be too picky when it comes to old Castle speakers, especially ones that are in perfect shape.
I am not unhappy with the sound of my system right now, quite the contrary in fact. But I've always been intrigued by floorstanders and I find that feeling isn't going away, so now I'd like to live with one pair for a while and compare them to my regular speakers (Quad 12L2). Castle has always sort of intrigued me too, so when this pair came up I thought why not? If I don't like them I will sell them and maybe take a hit but not a huge one. For $900 I'm not sure there's another floorstander I'd buy. Maybe a pair of used Quad 21L2. That all depends on how much I like the Avons though, and I won't know until I hear them. But it'll also be cool to own something that's a little more obscure than most other speakers. They definitely have the Castle build quality too...when packed the speakers weigh just over 100 lbs!
oh yeah...you do worry too much, and the avons were around in the lates 90's(orion is wrong here)...nice speaker!
Thanks everyone. It puts my mind at ease a little bit.
Elizabeth, I came upon a recent post of yours about speaker longevity while doing my Google searches. It's nicely detailed and very helpful.
King's (or Queen's) actually rule , and they in Castles,lol....................
The often cited 'Blue Book' is a farce. It reflects no real connection with the real world. The reported sales to BB are highly unreliable and reflect a shallow pool of activity. E-bay is a more reliable source, especially the last 30 days activity.
I owned a pr. of these spks. in the 90's. What I remember about these spks. was the amount of bass they reproduced. Very impressive bass but the rest of the sound was so-so, IMO. Honestly, I'm trying to remember what replaced these in my system at the time. I believe they were the Snell J-IV's. The Snell's stayed for a long time. I personally would not buy these spks. especially for the asking price and the black finish. (Yew, maybe but at a much lower price.) You will not be able to sell them anywhere what you think you will. I think you should follow your heart but be aware they will not have a good resale value. I would not worry about their age if properly stored. Good Luck.
I also think $900 is too much for the Avon's ... a MINT used pair would be no where near that amount. That said I am a former Castle Isis owner and they were VERY nice monitors
I've got a pair of speakers that are over 30 years old that work just fine today. While they have "pleated" surrounds, the rubber surrounds on the Castles will be fine. Still not sure that's the best bang for the buck, but I totally relate to your motivations.
Also, I have owned the earlier Quad 12L. I found them very clean, slightly warm, with an excellent clean, "quiet" tweeter. I also found, compared to several other speakers I had, the midrange did not "open up" in the room like the others did. Not sure if the newer 12L2s or the 21L2s have this trait, but I would a-b compare the Quad sound to other contenders. Good luck.
Agree with Buconero, but it's even worse than that. In the description of the blue book methodolgy, if there aren't any comparables, they make some up, based on "similar" gear, as if it were interchangeable.
I just threw out some 14-year-old speakers that had foam surrounds that went bad, the drivers were no longer available, and it was not cost effective to fix them, anyway. Based on this experience, I am not interested in old speakers. There are parts of a stereo that can last a long time, but rarely speakers. Besides, it's one of the areas where technology really has marched on, and is arguably the most important part of your whole system.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've been accumulating a few speakers lately. In addition to the Quads I'll try out the Avons and a pair of Tannoy Revolution DC6. Why the collection? Well, I had other gear to trade in/sell and so I grabbed the Tannoys, and similarly now the Castles. I won't be keeping them all. I may keep 2 of the 3, or simply the one I like best. I could see myself parting with all of them for perhaps the Tannoy DC6T (a floorstanding version of the DC6). I have always liked Tannoy. But we'll see...I'm going to take my time determining which of the three speakers I like best and then go from there. In the past I've made too many snap judgements.
Blkadr, I pretty much agree with your assessment of the Quads. I think the midrange is a little bit recessed, but I really love the clarity, detail, weight, and speed. Bought them off of Lanemart here on the 'gon for under $600. A great value! Frankly, I think the 12L2 is a great speaker and the others I have will have their work cut out for them.
And thanks for the feedback on the Avons everyone. It's about half off MSRP for a never used pair of floorstanders. I figured that's about what used speakers usually go for, but perhaps I'm overpaying in this case. Oh well, I'm not too disappointed because had I started negotiating the speakers may have been snapped up by someone else, and another pair isn't likely to come up any time soon. It would have been a tough call, even if I knew I was overpaying.