Best Value 2nd Hand Speakers

Costello

Well-known Member
Shameless bump here for my KEF R300s in the classifieds. Bit above budget but great speakers. I’m moving to floorstanders due to a room rearrangement/change of use.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
You change gear more then @gibbsy changes his pants
 

Alex P79

Active Member
I very much regret not being able to give you any more information on the Castles particularly as regards their abilities with orchestral pieces. I’m sure that someone who has far more experience in listening to a wide range range of speakers could perhaps give you the confirmation you’re looking for. All I can say is that I really enjoy listening to them and they do seem to be able to handle everything that I throw their way.
Like you, I’ve also read numerous posts from users/owners about their quality - but I’ve also had comments from others (not on AVF), suggesting that they much prefer other speakers they’ve listened to.
Like most things in the audiophile world (not that I count myself as an audiophile) - opinions from 4 people can often give 6 different answers!
What I would say, though, - and I appreciate that it’s not my money we’re talking about - is that at around the £250 mark, there perhaps isn’t a great deal of downside if you purchase a pair and then they have to be moved on because they don’t offer the clarity your father needs.
Finally, you mention the Severns in Oak which is what I have. Mine are an absolute credit to the previous owner (a fellow AVF member) and haven’t got a mark on them that I can see. The wood veneer makes them quality furniture, at least in my house.
Good luck with your search.
PS -the other UK made, legacy speakers I would like to try some day are the Ruark Talisman IIs which I have only ever read good things about.
Thank you - your feedback on your speakers has been very useful. Castle speakers always looked nice to me back in the lates 90s/early 2000s but I never got to listen to them. They then disappeared (went bust) mid noughties and have since been relaunched by IAG though production is now in China - because of this, regardless of their merits as speakers/furniture, the IAG products don’t interest me. To be honest I could say the same about most KEFs, Monitor Audios, Missions, B&W etc. therefore I tend to look for used models or new speakers from manufacturers who still go to the trouble of manufacturing in the West. Some are well known (Spendor/Neat/Dynaudio/Sonus Faber/Rega/Kudos) but some require a little more research (Piega/Aurelia/Amphion etc.) to discover the company and their products.

I think the best option is to show my parents pictures of the options and consider the reviews/feedback from owners. Whatever we go for they need to work as furniture as well as provide an upgrade in clarity. They also must work with the rest of my dad’s system/room without requiring upgrades in amplification to drive them. That is a rabbit hole that my father definitely will not want to go down.
 

English Invader

Active Member
I think the best option is to show my parents pictures of the options and consider the reviews/feedback from owners. Whatever we go for they need to work as furniture as well as provide an upgrade in clarity. They also must work with the rest of my dad’s system/room without requiring upgrades in amplification to drive them. That is a rabbit hole that my father definitely will not want to go down.

I use a pair of Castle Richmonds from 1974 and they're successfully powered with anything from 20 to 40w per channel (currently using a 35w Cambridge Audio AXA35 with great results). I bought my speakers fully refurbished for around £300 from here:

They're around 40 x 20cm in size and I play a lot of different music (including classical) but I am a bit of a Jack of all trades and your father may have more specific demands for classical music than me (especially if he's a musician which I'm not). All I can say is that I love how realistic the instruments sound on my system (again he might beg to differ!).
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Thank you - your feedback on your speakers has been very useful. Castle speakers always looked nice to me back in the lates 90s/early 2000s but I never got to listen to them. They then disappeared (went bust) mid noughties and have since been relaunched by IAG though production is now in China - because of this, regardless of their merits as speakers/furniture, the IAG products don’t interest me. To be honest I could say the same about most KEFs, Monitor Audios, Missions, B&W etc. therefore I tend to look for used models or new speakers from manufacturers who still go to the trouble of manufacturing in the West. Some are well known (Spendor/Neat/Dynaudio/Sonus Faber/Rega/Kudos) but some require a little more research (Piega/Aurelia/Amphion etc.) to discover the company and their products.

I think the best option is to show my parents pictures of the options and consider the reviews/feedback from owners. Whatever we go for they need to work as furniture as well as provide an upgrade in clarity. They also must work with the rest of my dad’s system/room without requiring upgrades in amplification to drive them. That is a rabbit hole that my father definitely will not want to go down.
you sound like a kindred spirit.
Unless I absolutely have to, I now make every conceivable effort to buy items (principally) made in the UK (Europe or the US fine too). My list of speakers and other audio kit which I simply won’t touch is a very long one!
As a furniture item, Castles fit well with your requirements as I expect, would older Ruarks.
I am aware from general reading and feedback on other forums that there are a number of other British manufacturers from the 70/80s, many of which I’d never previously heard of. Sadly though, most are no longer in existence for one reason or another.
Good luck finding what you’re looking for.
And by the way, if you’d like a few photos of my Oak Severns in situ for your parents, then let me know and I’ll send some by PM.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Hi
Thanks for the reply. I am researching a pair of speakers for my father (82 years old) who is a musician and struggles with eyesight but still enjoys playing (piano) and listening to music (classical). Unfortunately, with his current Tannoy M2 (good for their price when purchased 25 years ago) he is finding it difficult to follow more dense orchestral pieces. This problem has been exacerbated by not being able to get his ears syringed thanks to successive lockdowns.

I am thinking speakers with good levels of clarity would help and thanks for the feedback ref the Castles - I know they were well reviewed in their day. There seem to be many pairs that come up on eBay for circa £200 - £300 depending upon condition and in the Oak finish which would work well in my parents living room. Other options I am considering are Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6 / DC6T, Sonus Faber Chameleon B, Edwards Audio Apprentice Speakers or various models by Piega. Their living room is approx 4m by 6.5m and fairly standard height with solid walls and carpeted floor. I am weary of anything too large speaker wise as a) my mum is not keen on big black boxes, especially on stands and b) anything too large can, from my experience, need room treatment to get to work properly. Attractive compact floorstanders are probably the best option, followed by compact stand mounts.
Alex.. I was reading this and my eyes were drawn to the reference to thd Tannoy M2 mercury.. I still have a set in use and they are still fine. But then I saw your other reference to ear syringing ..and I have thoughts to offer. Boots have a kit called something like Neills . It contains a virtually useless squeezy bottle with a beak to squirt water into the ear, and a bottle of a peroxide solutions. Basically you introduce the solution into an ear and let it do its magic. The peroxide fizzes and bubbles away and slightly warms the ear. It is somewhere between soothing and irritating . Then each morning you syringe it out using the sqeezy bottle and plenty of warm water. Nothing much happens for a few days .. and then it does. Gunk comes out and the ear is fixed. . Now I am a decade younger than your father , and it has saved me a very expensive consultants visit.
 

Alex P79

Active Member
Alex.. I was reading this and my eyes were drawn to the reference to thd Tannoy M2 mercury.. I still have a set in use and they are still fine. But then I saw your other reference to ear syringing ..and I have thoughts to offer. Boots have a kit called something like Neills . It contains a virtually useless squeezy bottle with a beak to squirt water into the ear, and a bottle of a peroxide solutions. Basically you introduce the solution into an ear and let it do its magic. The peroxide fizzes and bubbles away and slightly warms the ear. It is somewhere between soothing and irritating . Then each morning you syringe it out using the sqeezy bottle and plenty of warm water. Nothing much happens for a few days .. and then it does. Gunk comes out and the ear is fixed. . Now I am a decade younger than your father , and it has saved me a very expensive consultants visit.
Many thanks for the advice ref the ear wax kit - Neilmed is the brand. I have ordered this for him + Otex - obviously not to be used at the same time. Hopefully this will help improve things for him until it is possible/sensible for him to go to the doctors.

The Tannoys have been good speakers and my dad really likes them - he actually has two pairs - both from the early UK-made production run - one in cherry, one in the grey b/eye maple. I had a look inside one recently and they have acoustic wadding but no bracing or vibration dampening pads - I think adding both would make a considerable difference. I might try with one pair and see what the results are.

I have the Revolution 2 floor-standers which use similar drivers but a much more solid and braced MDF cabinet. I recently added vibration pads and mass loaded the sealed cavity at the bottom and this really has helped with clarity. Still not quite as clear as my little aluminium cabinet Piegas but much greater scale and a more natural tone. Different speakers for different room sizes/applications.
 

Alex P79

Active Member
you sound like a kindred spirit.
Unless I absolutely have to, I now make every conceivable effort to buy items (principally) made in the UK (Europe or the US fine too). My list of speakers and other audio kit which I simply won’t touch is a very long one!
As a furniture item, Castles fit well with your requirements as I expect, would older Ruarks.
I am aware from general reading and feedback on other forums that there are a number of other British manufacturers from the 70/80s, many of which I’d never previously heard of. Sadly though, most are no longer in existence for one reason or another.
Good luck finding what you’re looking for.
And by the way, if you’d like a few photos of my Oak Severns in situ for your parents, then let me know and I’ll send some by PM.
If it’s not too much trouble that would be great if you could send some pictures through as it would certainly help mum to visualise them in their lounge.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
If it’s not too much trouble that would be great if you could send some pictures through as it would certainly help mum to visualise them in their lounge.
no problem. I would be happy to do that for you. I’ll send them by PM after tidying up the lounge!
Probably later in the day.
 

anthony1973

Active Member
So I have been on my musical journey for a month or so. The Quad 12Ls are now grating on my ears considerably. The combination with the Roksan is painful to listen to for more than an half an hour at any reasonable volume. Room accoustics are not helping (modern, minimalist room and the speakers are perpendicular to a glass wall). Having swapped the speakers for a sonos amp and an old pioneer a300x, things improve somewhat, but largely at the expense of detail and clarity. Having been doing a bit of reading, I am looking for effortless speakers that produce a big soundstage but which are on the warm side of neutral.

I would boost my budget up to £1k for the right sound but with the shops closed there is not much to be done at present.

I saw a video of Kef 105.2 speakers which look awesome and it lead me on a bit of a dance towards other older speakers produced by JBL and the like. Part of me thinks that something of that vintage might give me what I am after. I have also looked at the new Wharfedale Linton speakers and wonder if they might be quite interesting.

I have been watching this chap on youtube - hence the interest in slightly older stuff https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7kMqpL7_dqLvOnNK6rkJNA

So at the £1000 mark what would you buy?

Thanks as ever.
 

English Invader

Active Member
I have been watching this chap on youtube - hence the interest in slightly older stuff https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7kMqpL7_dqLvOnNK6rkJNA

I watch the Stereo Review X videos as well. He is one of the few Hi-Fi Youtubers who posts without any commercial agenda.

I particularly liked his assessment of today's budget speaker market. The Audiophile Man described the original Q Acoustics 3020s as "a steal for the price" and Stereo Review X described them as "the only budget speakers I can listen to without becoming annoyed". This comparison over the same product seems quite revealing of the different attitudes these Youtubers have.
 

anthony1973

Active Member
I really like Kelvin's enthusiasm for his music and the fact that he is not selling advertising.

One of the simplest things he explained is that to get a "big" impactful noise, you generally need bigger speakers. Obvious, but never really though about it like that.

Hadn't seen the other website you referred to, so off for a read of that. Many thanks.
 

anthony1973

Active Member
Apologies for the thread diversion but I moved the system to a more furnished room which improved matters a little. However, even then, it still feels very bright with some material. For example, Duffy's "Mercy" is utter torture in the chorus so I assume that for whatever reason, the speakers are just not going to be good with this material. Other songs sound great but bass light e.g. Don McLean's American Pie.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Apologies for the thread diversion but I moved the system to a more furnished room which improved matters a little. However, even then, it still feels very bright with some material. For example, Duffy's "Mercy" is utter torture in the chorus so I assume that for whatever reason, the speakers are just not going to be good with this material. Other songs sound great but bass light e.g. Don McLean's American Pie.
Rockferry on any medium is quite compressed. I can however listen to it on CD, it's one of the wife favourites, at a good listening level with KEF R300s with no problems. Amp is a Rega Elicit-R.
 

anthony1973

Active Member
Rockferry on any medium is quite compressed. I can however listen to it on CD, it's one of the wife favourites, at a good listening level with KEF R300s with no problems. Amp is a Rega Elicit-R.
Thanks - that is interesting.

I am going to try the song on my Monitor Audio Silver 8s tonight using a different amp. I can only remember the Quad speakers sounding really good but sometimes the memory can be a little unreliable! Duffy has a tremendous voice and I don't recall the song being harsh at the top end. But at the moment, it literally leaves my ears ringing.
 

ItsNotAllSnakeOil

Active Member
Just throwing a suggestion out there but have you considered PSB speakers? Sometimes a tad on the "dry" side but certainly not fatiguing and i think they are great when partnered carefully. Great value for money too and some of their older floorstanders can be bought for a bargain now.
 

anthony1973

Active Member
Just throwing a suggestion out there but have you considered PSB speakers? Sometimes a tad on the "dry" side but certainly not fatiguing and i think they are great when partnered carefully. Great value for money too and some of their older floorstanders can be bought for a bargain now.
Thanks - I will have a look.

So I listened to Duffy again on the S8s with Sub through a pioneer home cinema amp in a different room and it sounds very good.

I then swapped the Quad speakers for little Diamond 9s and with both the Sonos Amp or the Roksan amp, they sounded miles better (oddly the Sonos Amp sounded the better of the two). So I am fairly certain the amp and speaker combo is no good for the listening room.

I can't believe the little diamond speakers are only £60 on Amazon - they are astoundingly good for their size.
 

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