ADS 2002P powered bookshelf speakers - still going after 25 years
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I don't know if this quite qualifies as a classic, but I will nominate the discontinued ProAc Tablette 50 Signature. I own a pair of these tiny gems, and if fed with a good upstream signal they sing loud and gloriously. For such little speakers they exude a very large soundstage and presence. If I ever do decide to upgrade, it'll be to the soon to be classis ProAc Response one SC. Oh, and yes, I think the ADS 2002s were pretty darn cool in their day. It would be neat to have a pair of those.
Celestion SL6si. These little speakers are still sounding great after many years of enjoyment. I gave my son the choice of the Celestion's or a pair of Spica 50, he chose the SL6si because of the balanced sound. My son summed it up best, the Spica's sounded good on some music, but the Celestions sounded great no matter the type of music.
I heard the ProAc Super Tablette's years ago and fell in love, so no doubt the later Tablette 50 sig's are awesome too!
No one does it like the Brits when it comes to 2 way bookshelf speakers. ProAc, Epos, Spendor, KEF, Mordaunt Short, Castle, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale, Mission, B&W all have a place at the table, IMHO.
This is a very loaded question what constitutes classic? Currently in production or not?
If Classic means greater than 10 years or older:
Spica TC 50
Celestiion SL 600 and 700
ATC SCM 19
Harbeths most smaller models
Proac Tablette and Response monitors
Monitor Audio Studio 10
Kef Ref 201.2
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Most of the above speakers are nice but not classics. To start with most above are not 'mini' monitors and to be clear I'm not denigrating any of them.
Arguably the Rogers LS35a *does* fit that description though.
Possibly also the Radio Shack Optimus ProLX5, which used the Linaeum tweeter and played *well* outside its price bracket as a result.
To be fair, it might help to know what is meant by 'classic'. Older? or something more than just old?
I have had most of the great small monitors over the last 45 years: LS3/5a, Double LS3/5a, Braun Output-C, KEF 101, Celestion SL6, Spica, ProAc Tablette, Reference 3a mm de Capo, Silverline SR-16, and I must be forgetting one or two more. Any of these are "worth keeping" if you have them matched to appropriate amplification, but I also must point out that if you want or need a small monitor, there are a few modern alternatives that outclass every one of these in every way. Well, the current Ref 3a deCapo is in the realm.
1/ Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3. Simply the best truly small monitor ever. No crossover, so it sounds impeccably coherent. Neutral but rich in tone; fast, transparent; expansive imaging and can output reasonable bass alone. Everything vintage will sound by comparison choked and small, however tonally neutral one might sound.
2/ If you don't have the $2800 or so for the above, the ClairAudient The One gets you the same basic attributes, with less scale and foundation, for a less than half that. And it fits in your palm.
3/ Zu Cube. A full Zu FRD with coaxial supertweeter, no crossover, stuffed in a 10.5" cube. Also intrinsically coherent. Very high resolution. These cost, depending on finish, between $1000 - $1400 pair but they demand no skimping on the amp. All the Zu essential virtues in a compact, sealed cube, with bass rolling off below 60Hz. 98db and robust, so power them with 2 watts or 200. They'll rock either way and won't break the bank.
Many have heard of the Platinum Audio Solos which most seem to agree was a fine monitor but I have the Platinum Audio Reference One's Circa. 1997-1999 which are a more refined version of the Solos. I'm as amazed as I am baffled with how much bass these produce for their size as well as the other typical audiophile attributes. They do need alot of clean power to sound their best but will play very loud all the while maintaining their coherency. Still a little uncertain what qualifies as "mini monitor" though