Enjoying Some Old Friends Regularly Once more

I’m talking about a pair of OHM L speakers that I bought originally in 1978.

These were the second pair of "good" hifi speakers I bought as a youth. I’ve mostly had them ever since. They were on the small end as good speakers tended to go back then but they look big now compared to many smaller monitor speakers out there today. They spent a few years with a relative I had given them to. I got them back around 2008 when I started to focus heavily on bringing my system up to snuff. I wanted to use these for reference before buying anything new having had and enjoyed them for a long time originally .

The woofer foam surrounds were rotted though. SO I decided to invest a few hundred $$$s to rebuild them myself. I selected a pair of very good quality Morel 8" woofers to replace the old and added OHM’s sub bass activation circuit that John Strohbeen uses in all his newer models.

Results were very good. I debated just going with these for a while at the time but then decided I needed to try more of the latest and greatest speaker technologies out there. I added several pair in various rooms since. The Ls got light duty in my unfinished rec room used mainly for background music during activities there.

Recently I decided to try corner placement in a couple rooms with good results using some other smaller monitors I own. Results were very good with that setup, making the small monitors sound much bigger than they were or had otherwise.

Last week, after reading about some modern speaker lines of similar ilk to the older OHM box designs (Harbeth and Spendor) I tried the OHM Ls in that room with the corner placement and wow. These sound wonderful and have no problem filling that room with beautiful near full range sound with excellent detail and top notch dynamics. Well beyond my expectations. A keeper again for sure!

The other thing to note is these older refurbed speakers benefit greatly from improvements in the amplifiers and source gear I use today compared to the past.

Its made me once again reconsider the value to be had in some older speaker designs that can benefit from careful application of more modern technologies in and around them.

For example, professionally refurbed and updated OHM Ls can be had direct from the OHM factory when available for a mere $500, the same price they cost new back in 1978. Where else can this much good sound be had for that cost these days? Plus OHM still provides service and upgrades for every speaker they have ever made in forty some  years of existence selling speakers . Now that’s value added for the buyer that is hard to find anywhere else!

Its been an enlightening experience to be able to actively compare gear I started with almost 40 years ago to their modern counterparts.

When it comes to speakers, I’ve confirmed that size does matter if one cares about real dynamics and high quality extended bass. Forty years ago, you got a lot of speaker for the money in terms of size and output capability compared to present but few perhaps had the electronics in front of them to truly make them shine. These days, it seems one can have the best of both worlds without breaking the bank even perhaps.

4b9c724a 509c 4bb1 a384 a61b6782a9d0mapman
Thanks for sharing mapman. There was some excellent sounding speakers in the early to late 60's and 70's.  Even with electronics of the day. That stuff made some very very good music. That is when I started my journey. Enjoy your new/old speakers.
Congratulations mapman. It's been said, if it once sounded good it still sounds good. And, with newer electronics...even sweeter.

Back in 1978, I owned DCM Time Window speakers driven by Sansui electronics. That was the best I could afford at the time. Still, I've always wondered how those Time Windows would sound with modern amplification. Maybe awful, but I still wonder. I find that speakers are the one component that keeps giving, so revealing of what they're hooked up to.

I had a similar experience as yours after I got my 300b amps and came up short with a preamp to use, since my previous amp was integrated. With reservations, I pulled out my old Boulder L3AE line stage and put it between my Tron Seven phono stage and my 300b amps. Wow, what a revelation!

Had another lengthy listening session with the trusty old Ls yesterday and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Corner placement can be a wonderful thing. I’d encourage anyone with the option and need to consider giving it a try.

They also by far have the best amplification and source material upstream feeding them ever. No doubt that can make all the difference. The high quality, high performance amplification options availble now were rare and hard to come by for most back in teh 1970’s certainly for me, a poor college student back then.

Its very interesting to hear how well older products might do these days with modern technology as part of the team. Hifi is a team sport for sure!
So now I have my Triangle Titus speakers, the smallest I own, sitting idlle rather than the Ls.    Still targeting these for use in a tube amp system someday.  

Titus are very high quality and well reviewed speakers as well but on the smaller side and easier to drive, which is not an issue with my current amps used (500w/ch Bel Canto Ref1000m monoblocks).  They sound good with the Bel Canto amps but those amps are overkill by quite a large margin for smaller more efficient and easier to drive speakers like the Triangles.  

My custom modded Ls seem similarly efficient but are larger (twice as big maybe) and deliver a fuller sound with more "meat on the bones".