Used speakers

I've recently upgraded and am giving my nephew my ancient Hafler 220A amp and Hafler pre-amp. The amp is rated at 120wpc. As befits a 16 year-old, he likes his music loud with lots of bass. I'd like to get him some used speakers in the $250 range. Any suggestions, biggest bang for the buck? Do I need to spend more?
Tish, I know I am going to get absolutely roasted for these comments but here I go... Your nephew has been given a very special gift in your Hafler products. But, he is also 16. As you implied, to him sound quality(most probably) is almost certainly a function of volume and bass output. So, I would recommend a pair of 3 way speakers with 15" woofers. Brands would include Cerwin Vega, Fisher, Infinity, JBL, Kenwood, Klipsch, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, etc.(mass fi boom and sizzle speakers). I even have a pair of these, a remnant of my quest for an earbleed days. Interestingly, to 99% of people out there, these are as good as speakers get. Sensitivity should be from 92 to 100+ dB, and they are easy to drive(made for integrateds, receivers, and rack systems[YECHH!]). Yes, the price you gave would be right in the ballpark($100 - $350). And down the road, should his tastes evolve into something more "mature", his Hafler equipment will still serve him in an excellent manner. Good Luck!
Thanks, Trelja. I would have given him my old Klipsch 4.5's, which have an excellent sensitivity, but a friend of mine who was,shall we say, feeling no pain cranked my new amp to maximum and blew them. Not an easy thing to do with those!
Actually, Trelja, your comment is so right on it is hard to believe anyone could seriously disagree with it. My SO's 17-year old daughter listened to my system (Hales Rev. Threes/McCormack DNA-1) for 10 minutes before proclaiming, "My friends' systems sound better. Your's doesn't have any bass. Even their car systems are better." She even had the audacity to smirk when she said it, too, the insolent little twerp! Just wait until I'm her Dad... Anyway, I would suggest that less sensitive speakers shouldn't be disregarded if they fit the budget and other parameters. All in all, very good advice.
p.s. I've gotten some used PSB gold i's as you previously recommended. I'm eagerly awaiting their arrival.
If you can go a little higher, I would recommend the AR 303 for $439 NEW at They are the authorized web dealer for AR closeouts. These speakers are an ultimate bass-slam rock speaker with a 12" woofer. On the downside, they really need a lot of juice, and 120 watts would probably be a minimum requirement for a headbanger. On the upside, they made it into class D in Stereophile a few years ago. If you don't need bass quite as deep (only 35hz) but still plenty of it, you might consider the AR 302's at the same site for $249 NEW! Good luck, Steve
I think that I would go for a used pair of ADS "large" bookshelfs in your situation. There are many two way models that were made from the 70's into the 80's, just make sure that they have rubber surrounds. The three way models are more expensive, but worth it, and I am not usualy a fan of moderately priced three ways. I had a pair of 710 (three ways) in the 70's that sell for more now than I paid for them used 25 years ago. They have plentiful bass and a good balanced sound for "all" types of music should your nephew branch out. They are also easy to power.
Funny how a teenager percieves music.My 15 year old nephew thiks his Sony digital HT System is the cats ass.Its louder and the bass shakes the house.I just laugh.Someday he will wake up and appreciate music at below 100db.The best compliment i have had came from a 12 year old niece who commented one day.She said this sounds really nice.It sounds like its live music.I was in audiophile heaven. For a good set of speakers try a used set up Klipsch Hersey.They are three way 15 inch driver make lots of noise with nice vocals.They can be had 300/400 used/I had a pair for 20 years sold to brother in law who is still using them.
I used to have ADS L620s and I would disagree with the suggestion that they would be appropriate for a teenager. They certainly weren't the last word on refinement, but they were a little more toward that end of the scale than the Klipsch/Cerwin Vega/JBL suggestions above. My advice -- take the kid to a store that has the boomy/sizzling speakers described above as well as something approaching more musical neutrality and see what moves him more. If his taste is pretty much all rock and he's like most teenagers, he's gonna love the stuff we've all outgrown.
Thanks to all for your comments. I've sent the amp and pre-amp for his birthday and will be sending him a tuner and speakers for Christmas. In honor of his 16th birthday I'm listening to Iggy Pop, Beausoleil and Hugh Masekela at high volume. Plus "This Guy's In Love" by Herb Albert. I can't figure out if I wish I were sixteen again or if I'd never been sixteen.
i HAVE A PAIR OF klh MODEL17's that can't be beat! - classic sounding vintage collector's item in very very near mint condition- Clean and shiny- natural wood finish - asking $100+ shipping12"Wx23.25"Hx9"D with 8" woofer & 3 1/2" tweeter [email protected]
Polk 10's from the early 80's... I believe they can be had used in this range. I use to run them "back-n-the-day" with a DH-200, and they sounded very very nice.
Outstanding Speakers in the used range for a Rock'n'Roll bass lover could be DCM KX series which can be found for very little money on the used market (sub $200) for 12" three ways, or if you can find them' the Infinity SM 120's built in the late 80's for $250-$300 range they are very efficent and require little power. Although they may not have the finesse of the more expensive AR, either will get very loud. If you are REALLY lucky, you might be abe to score a used pair of Vanderstteen 1B's for about $300 for an older set. They may sound a little forward on the halfler amplifier but definately will work for a long term investment if your nephews music tastes evolve into different kinds of music over time. P.S. Don't blow them up because the state of the art VIFA tweeter and cast woofer are not cheap to replace. Even the 10-year old unupdated units will still blow away brand new $600 speakers sold at Best Buy, if played in a small to medium sized room with decent electronics,(which you have). Good luck in your search for your tunes!
tm12... the Klipsch Heresy's have a 12 inch woofer not 15 inch. The Cornwalls, Belle Klipsch and Corner Horns use the 15 inch.FYI only
Tish- If you can go even further back in time, a used pair of Infinity Rsbs from late 70's with emit tweeter, 5" & 10" polypros would probably sound nice. I know they really rocked with my CM Labs 150 back then, went very loud and not bad sound either. Now that I mention it, maybe I should get them out of the cellar and rock out. Wonder what they would sound like with a BAT/McCormack providing the juice?