NO IMPROVEMENT IN HI FI SPEAKERS FOR 30 YEARS

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by rogercr, May 22, 2017.


  • ?
    1. agree - the best of the sound 30 years ago has not been improved upon

      60 vote(s)
      58.8%
    2. dissagree - the sound is heeps better than it was 30 years ago

      42 vote(s)
      41.2%
    Multiple votes are allowed.
    1. rogercr

      rogercr
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Sep 1, 2008
      Messages:
      75
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      11
      Location:
      Ascot
      Ratings:
      +15
      Disappointing as it sounds, generally speaking, it has been my experience that hi fi speakers have not improved at all for 30 years or more. There have always been differences between different models, some small and some large and with different manufacturers. Manufacturers today have copied the best designs and components of the past and whilst they might make small changes to the materials used the designs of the components are similar to those used years ago. The manufacturers struggle to make improvements but in order to promote sales they often just change the appearance of the cabinet. They might change the drive unit but it won't sound dissimilar to some made 30 years ago. As I said at the beginning - there are differences in sound, due to size and different manufactures but the reality is the best of the sound 30 years ago has not been improved upon.

      Yes my stereo speakers are over 30 years old and I decided before I die I would treat myself to some smart looking new ones. Some sounded great in the shops and a friend with me decided on a pair. I was about to follow suit but I didn't want to spend money unnecessarily and so took my speakers to his home. It was remarkable - we could not distinguish the difference between his and mine. His lounge is slightly larger than mine and the speaker placement in his home is better arranged than mine so consequently mine sounded better in his house than mine. I have now made adjustments to my set up at home and have saved a lot of money.

      Has anyone else come to the same conclusion?
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • List
    2. Timmy C

      Timmy C
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 10, 2003
      Messages:
      5,232
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      106
      Ratings:
      +419
      Based on my fairly limited experience, given how many speakers have come to market since buying my first pair of Wharfdales in the mid 80's, I would tend to agree. For ten or so years, any upgrade I made was a step up in price bracket and there were obvious improvements but after that, I would find myself demoing new speakers that were raved about and sometimes changing to something else for whatever reason but found in a lot of cases, the 'new and improved' models just sounded different, not necessarily better and in some cases not as good as the model they replaced. Since then, when researching any speaker purchase, I've always looked for older, higher end models rather than the 'latest and greatest' as I have no doubt, sound for your pound, it's the way to go.
       
    3. Timmy C

      Timmy C
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 10, 2003
      Messages:
      5,232
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      106
      Ratings:
      +419
      That's a different approach and waters I'm still to dip my toe in to. Would you say active speakers have improved greatly over the years? I think the problem may not be the dislike of change, more the dislike of the look. There's not many (if any at all) active speakers at a reasonable price that I would choose to have in my living room based on looks.
       
    4. Stinger69

      Stinger69
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jun 8, 2006
      Messages:
      649
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Lincolnshire
      Ratings:
      +170
      To rogercr, A pair of those Mission 770 freedoms passed through my hands many years ago when I worked in a hi-fi store. I thought back then that they were a really great set of speakers. Quite sensitive, so not needing a huge amp, with smooth yet punchy sound and great bass from a reasonably proportioned enclosure. Are yours the ones with the grey hammerite paint finish? Always loved that!

      Andy
       
    5. lindsayt

      lindsayt
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2011
      Messages:
      263
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +42
      Active speakers have not improved over the years - when it comes to sound quality.
      DSP can't rectify the lack of clarity and dynamics from sub-par drivers and cabinets.
      Altec Barcelonas vs some crappy little Mackie type active monitors!

      In my experience it's a complete myth that hi-fi users dislike change. Look at how many have adopted digital streaming sources, or have the latest computers / phones / TV's / cars.

      Hi-fi enthusiasts (the ones worth listening to) are a pragmatic lot. If old speakers give them the best sound for the price paid, then that's what they'll stick with. But they will keep an open mind and test old speakers against new from time to time.

      Mission 770's are good speakers for what they are. Carry on using them and enjoying them, rogercr.
       
    6. muljao

      muljao
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jan 24, 2017
      Messages:
      1,452
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Ireland
      Ratings:
      +503
      I'd imagine that the new speakers received by OP friend obviously had very similar output to the OP speakers. I'm not sure that them sounding the same means there is no improvement in speakers over the last 30 yes.

      I would say it's coincidental to get similar sound from different speakers, because in my experience, speakers is where you generally hear the most difference when you change them. That doesn't mean new ones are better than old, but certainly most different brands sound different
       
    7. muljao

      muljao
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jan 24, 2017
      Messages:
      1,452
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Ireland
      Ratings:
      +503
      I love my crappie Mackie Mr6 Mk3s
       
    8. lindsayt

      lindsayt
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2011
      Messages:
      263
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +42
      KC I'm not rubbishing Mackie type actives. I'm merely describing them accurately when compared to active speakers like Altec Barcelonas.

      Since when has actually hearing any speakers been a pre-requisite to expressing a strong opinion on them on this forum? Why have you picked me up on not hearing Mackies when you haven't heard Altec Barcelonas?


      I'm not assuming that Mackie type actives use sub par drivers. I know they do. Quite simple. Put them up for a comparative listening test against something with good drivers (new or old).

      Active vs passive crossovers. The proof of the pudding is always in the eating. And in that respect every modern active speaker I've heard has been a mediocre - at best - pudding made from cheap, stodgy ingredients.
       
    9. lindsayt

      lindsayt
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2011
      Messages:
      263
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +42
      Good for you! Enjoy them for what they are.
       
    10. muljao

      muljao
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jan 24, 2017
      Messages:
      1,452
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Ireland
      Ratings:
      +503
      You a funny guy ;)
       
    11. lindsayt

      lindsayt
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2011
      Messages:
      263
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +42
      I didn't find that ERT article interesting at all. It just seemed to be an exercise in waffling.

      One big point that the article didn't make is that in this day and age, dealers are the worst place to buy hi-fi equipment from. Prices are too high for the performance on offer.

      As for cliques on Internet forums. Some cliques know what they're talking about. Some don't. Makes sense to listen to the cliques that know what they're talking about.
       
    12. muljao

      muljao
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jan 24, 2017
      Messages:
      1,452
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Ireland
      Ratings:
      +503
      To be honest kc5819w, I wouldn't even bother...............
       
    13. Cribbster

      Cribbster
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 15, 2014
      Messages:
      364
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      31
      Location:
      Oxfordshire
      Ratings:
      +32
      I guess a lot of it will also be down to how the speakers have been looked after and the durability of the material of the cones. Over time, some older speakers materially will begin to fade, stiffen, age (a bit like us really). So, to compare a new speaker next to something that is no longer functioning at its peak, one would expect there to be a discernible difference. However, an older speaker that has been looked after and whose key components have not deteriorated, could easily sounds as good as the modern speakers. I am still very much enjoying my quite ancient Tannoy Mercury S speakers (around 27 years old now) and they sound great. But they have never been driven hard. Not bad for a pair of speakers that cost about £180 at the time. :)
       
    14. lindsayt

      lindsayt
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2011
      Messages:
      263
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +42
      No, you never refered to them I did. When I said this: "Altec Barcelonas vs some crappy little Mackie type active monitors!"

      Compared to Altec Barcelonas, HR824 Mackie type actives are crappy and little. It's a relative thing!

      The differences are so great that it's not down to personal opinion or preference. It's an absolute objective, clear cut thing with very easy to hear sonic results.

      Maybe your definition of "not crappy" is totally different to mine - which would be fair enough. In which case; if the HR824's are good, the Barcelonas are doubleplusgood. All anyone has to do is calibrate the adjectives used in this thread to their own personal scale.

      On my scale Altec Barcelonas are good. Nothing more nothing less. They're certainly not awesome, or great, or the best speakers ever made, or better than anything you can buy for less than £5000. They are merely "Good". Mackie HR824's are, on my scale, crappy and little. On someone else's scale they may be "Good" or "Lovely" or "Big". That's fair enough.
       
    15. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jun 19, 2007
      Messages:
      21,089
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,874
      Suitability to Purpose - You have been getting good recommendations .... in general, but the underlying question is what best suits you and the thing you are trying to accomplish?

      Active Speakers are nice, but they have a limited number of Inputs and typically NO Remote Volume Control.

      As to speakers, yes, speaker technology has advanced. Not just the improved material and magnet structure, but the availability of Speaker Design Software has greatly improved and sped up the process of speaker design. New designs can now be modeled and simulated before they are ever built. Before, in the old days, this was all done with long-hand Math, and trial and error.

      Further speaker technology once only available in the highest models, gradually trickles down into lower models.

      I question the statement that - the best sound of 30 years ago has not been improved on. The best sound of 30 years ago probably still sounds good, but the best sound of today is a considerable improvement and is considerably more expensive. So yes you can achieve or exceed that 30 year old sound... just NOT for equal money.

      Today, even to the Home DIY Builder, there are massive yet affordable resources available to aid in the design and testing of speakers. Resources at a level that even professional engineers did not have available to them just a decade ago.

      So, yes, if you can afford it, speakers today can be very very very good. And yes there have been advanced in material technology, and in magnet design and technology, and in software design aids, and in testing software and modeling software.

      The Thiele/Small Parameters that are the heart of modern speaker design, didn't really become available until after about 1990. And software to analyze and design based on these parameters were not readily available until about 10 or 15 years ago, and that information and those design resources did not become available to ordinary people until about 5 or 10 years ago.

      So, yes, tremendous advancement in the design and material of modern speakers, all producing stellar results ... if you can afford it.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • List
    16. lindsayt

      lindsayt
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 9, 2011
      Messages:
      263
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +42
      Bluewizard, where are these killer modern speakers? The highest models that you think sound so much better than the best models from 60 to 30 years ago?

      Please feel free to nominate speakers that actually demonstrate how much you think speakers have moved on in terms of sound quality.

      Speakers that you think will knock JBL Hartsfields into a cocked hat.


      I do agree with you about the underlying question being to buy what suits you best. Slimline ported direct radiators do not suit me at all. Too many important technical drawbacks to them that are fully reflected in the sound quality. Drawbacks that cannot be designed or developed out no matter how much computer aided design and advanced materials you throw at them. Now, how many modern speakers are not actually slimline ported direct radiators?


      And something else we can look at, are speakers that have been "developed" by one manufacturer over a number of years. For example Quad Electrostatics. Quad 2912's have better bass than the original 1957 Quad ESL 57's. The 57's have better midrange. So 60 years of development has resulted in a speaker that's overall about equally good but with a different set of compromises.
       
    17. mitor

      mitor
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Mar 2, 2005
      Messages:
      1,253
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      weston super mud
      Ratings:
      +116
      I agree with this statement generally. I have just picked up a pair of Active KEF LS50wireless speakers though. They are probably rather dear for what they offer and you can get more bang for your buck with a pair of Genelecs, but, as a complete package they are pretty awesome.

      Considering how much most music is still compressed it's unlikely that older speakers are the weak link in the chain sadly.
       
    18. the little audio company

      the little audio company
      Previously davidf AVForums Sponsor

      Joined:
      Nov 2, 2016
      Messages:
      1,333
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      birmingham
      Ratings:
      +675
      I see another speaker thread has been turned into an active speaker promo thread. Give it a rest.

      As to the OP's question, it really depends on which speakers you're comparing. If you're hoping that some modern day Mission MX1s at sub £200 can take on and trounce sub £200 speakers from 1970, then no, there have been no advancements. That's partly because the cost of materials and labor are far higher now than they were back then. As an example, I have a pair of Jim Rogers JR149s from the early 70s. A well designed speaker, regardless of age, still sounds great, and these are no exception. Not the perfect speaker by any means, but considering they were under £200 back then, there's very little I'd take as an alternative under the £1,000 - the main ones for me would be KEF LS50s or Amphion Argon 0. The LS50s are obviously a technically superior speaker to the JR149s - this shows in their sound - but the difference between them isn't the gaping chasm you'd expect.

      Over the years, manufacturers have furthered speaker design quite considerably, either by use of new materials with better properties for mechanical purposes, or improved crossovers to hugely cut down on distortion. More is understood about dispersion and room interaction though extensive research that not all manufacturers have access to.

      Design was a little different back then though, and many pre-1980 speakers were sealed cabinets that were wider and flatter, with many being pretty big, much of the time useing 10", 12", or even 15" bass drivers. I remember growing up with a pair of old Wharfedales that were bigger than me at the time! They just sound different. I'm sure lindsayt can expand on all that :)

      Many now put their faith in room EQ systems to correct loudspeaker and room issues - in my opinion, room EQ is an answer to a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed as much as possible at source (loudspeaker), not after the fact. That's like adding upgrades and body kits to help a Fiat Uno perform in a manner it is unable to in the first place.

      So my answer is that it depends what you're comparing. Comparing price for price is the wrong way to go about it. It's a little bit like car engines - they've become more efficient, and we can make engines that are faster and more powerful than they used to be, and sometimes quieter, but they're still the same basic design of engine you could buy 40 years ago.
       
    19. rick19011

      rick19011
      Banned

      Joined:
      Aug 30, 2009
      Messages:
      169
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      31
      Ratings:
      +61
      I agree 100% that's why there is still strong demand for speakers from the 80's and 90's.
       
    20. martimu

      martimu
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 10, 2005
      Messages:
      951
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Nr St Albans
      Ratings:
      +424
      Need to take inflation into account and then pitch your speaker at the correct price point. There have been improvements which in most cases means much better matching and tolerances at a lower price point.

      There is an argument to suggest that the trend for narrow and smaller enclosures has made it more difficult to get good sound. Given this restriction, possibly the sound has been improved markedly.

      There are of course the less mainstream speakers which may also have been improved significantly, horns and panels etc

      I've an old pair of Castle Richmond in the loft, some 44 years old. They still sound nice, not the most detailed and limited bass but very very listenable and in some ways preferable to the hyper accurate sounds that many modern speakers make.

      Given our spaces are often less cluttered and more reflective these days I suspect in some ways older units, being a bit more forgiving, may well give the newer brethren a run for their money
       
    21. mitor

      mitor
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Mar 2, 2005
      Messages:
      1,253
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      weston super mud
      Ratings:
      +116
      Yeah. I've got to recommend the KEF's overall but do wish the remote was better and they had optional grills. Great sound though
       
    22. rogercr

      rogercr
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Sep 1, 2008
      Messages:
      75
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      11
      Location:
      Ascot
      Ratings:
      +15
      With all the hype of manufacturers, magazines and retailers telling us each year that the latest model of this or that company is better than the previous I would have expected people to overwhelmingly believe that loudspeakers sound better today than in the past. The survey so far suggests that points of view are evenly split.

      I have been listening to speakers since before stereo sixty years ago and if you go back that far then there certainly have been improvements assuming the aim is for the most natural reproduction. My first hi fi speaker around 1960 was a BTH 12inch dual concentric which included the tweeter in the centre of the bass drive unit just like certain Tannoy models of today. That speaker (BTH) had a pleasing sound but high frequencies were lacking.

      Later speakers by various manufacturers gradually improved, sometimes with too much boomy bass or not enough. They lacked finesse. I would say they (certain models) reached their optimum during the mid eighties. Of course the right amplifier and the speaker placement are of equal importance. The size of the room also has to be right for the speaker and amplifier.

      My present speakers Mission 770F Freedoms were £410.00 (with stands) in 1985 so today would be around £1500.00 but due to the fact that many speakers are now made or partly made in the far east it is possible to get a comparative sound for a lot less money even if they have a vinyl finish rather than a wood veneer.
       
    23. KWB1

      KWB1
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Aug 10, 2009
      Messages:
      928
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Ratings:
      +205
      My 770 Freedoms with the incredible 780 Argonauts in back ground

      Awesome speakers that would probably embarrass most speakers of today..

      Gorgeous too


      IMG_0385.JPG
       
    24. deantown

      deantown
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 14, 2007
      Messages:
      2,749
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      136
      Location:
      watford
      Ratings:
      +1,755
      They may sound good, but they look ugly to me. But everyone to their own,as they say.
       
    25. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jun 19, 2007
      Messages:
      21,089
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,874
      You are comparing generalizations against specifics. 30 years ago they made crap speakers, they made OK speakers, they made good speakers, and they made great speakers. Are we comparing 30 year old crap speakers against modern high end speakers? Are we comparing 30 year old great speakers against £500/pr modern speakers.

      If you are going to compare, at least compare Apples to Apples.

      You need to set some parameter. Here are the JBL Hartsfield, I'm going to guess these are not cheap speakers, and when adjusted for inflation, I think massively expensive wold be a fair phrase to use.

      JBL Hartsfield speakers have arrived at...


      Skip forward to about 9:50 to see and hear the speakers.

      I suspect there are many modern speakers in the range of $25,000 that would be comparable to the JBL Hartsfield.

      HARTSFIELD


      Indeed the JBL sound good, but what did they cost, and how much money will it take to replicate them at current prices?

      So, to be fair you need to compare speakers that cost £1000/pr in 1987 to speakers that cost £2200/pr today. That's a fair comparison. Or if we are going to compare $20,000 speakers, then the modern price needs to be $44,000/pr.

      But taking a stab at it, I would expect these speaker to hit a pretty high standard -

      Airedale Classic Heritage | Wharfedale Hi-Fi

      TANNOY Lifestyle - Kingdom Royal Mk II

      TANNOY Lifestyle - Westminster GR

      Sonja™ XV - YG Acoustics

      Everest DD67000 - JBL Synthesis

      High-End Loudspeaker Grande Utopia EM - Focal

      Again, you are comparing fantasy to reality. You are comparing Apples to Oranges. No, the speakers you described are not going to equal the JBL Hartsfield, but you can buy a truck load of those modern speakers for the price of a single pair of JBL Hartsfield speakers.

      But today there are plenty of modern High End speakers that hit a very high standard.

      And there are plenty of high end speakers today that are not slim Tower speakers, case in point -

      http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/hi-fi/loudspeakers/classic-series/scm100/

      http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/hi-fi/loudspeakers/classic-series/scm150/

      http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/hi-fi/loudspeakers/tower-series/scm200aslt/

      http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/hi-fi/loudspeakers/tower-series/scm300aslt/

      http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/hi-fi/loudspeakers/special-editions/el150/

      With 12" and 15" bass drivers, those speakers are about as old school as it gets.


      It seems to me with your continued non-specific Apples and Oranges comparison, you are simply skewing the discussion to achieve your forgone conclusions.

      There are tremendous Engineering, Material Science, and Manufacturing advances that allow very good speakers to be made a t a very affordable price. But, if you want to go high end, there are many many high end speakers being made today that take advantage of all the Engineering, Material Science, and Manufacturing advances. You are just refusing to see them.

      So, anytime you want to compare Apples to Apples, let me know.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Like Like x 1
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • Funny Funny x 1
      • List
    26. muljao

      muljao
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jan 24, 2017
      Messages:
      1,452
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Ireland
      Ratings:
      +503
      I will say "improvement" is relative here. I have no doubt speakers 30 or 40 years old can embarrass some speakers of today. There was a time when a set of speakers cost say a months wages (average trademans for example), which would probably cost a fortnight's wages today.

      That's improvement in my book
       
    27. BlueWizard

      BlueWizard
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jun 19, 2007
      Messages:
      21,089
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,874
      While I don't disagree with you, you are still talking in broad generalizations. WHAT speakers 30 years ago compared to WHAT speakers today? Are we comparing the JBL Hartsfield to the Wharfedale Diamond 220? That doesn't seem fair.

      The JBL Hartsfield was modeled off of the Klipschhorn, today the Klipschhorn cost about US$12,000/pair. I suspect the Hartsfield were a bit more expensive than that. If we assume US$20,000/pr pair today, then back in 1987, assuming they were actually made back in 1987, the price would be about US$9,300/pr. BUT ...and this is a big BUT.... today USED JBL Hartsfield run between $25,000/pr and $30,000/pr.

      So, are we comparing US$10,000/pr speakers from 30 years ago to US$22,000/pr speakers today? I'm going to take a wild guess, but today, $20,000/pr to $25,000/pr speakers sound pretty good.

      NOTE: I used USA prices because that's were I found prices, and to keep things consistent, I just carried on with USA prices.

      But rather than go to such extreme, let's compare £1200/pr speakers today to speaker from 30 years ago costing £560/pr speakers. Trust me to average consumer £560/pr in 1987 was crazy expensive.

      Then there is the very good point you raise. What percent of your income do decent consumer speakers cost today, compared the the percent of income in the market 30 years ago.

      In 1978, I bought a 750 stereo system, that was about 5% of a years income, and about 50% of a months income. Today my system is about 10% of a years income, but it is a considerably better system. Though keep in mind my system was collected over time, not bought all at once.

      So ... Apples to Apples.

      Steve/bluewizard
       
    28. Paul7777x

      Paul7777x
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jul 23, 2016
      Messages:
      1,969
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      North east. U.K.
      Ratings:
      +537
      Steven I think your calculation is off a tad.

      £100 in '87 is equivelant to £265 today.

      So buying speakers then at £500 would, to make things accurate today, require an outlay of £1325.

      That seems rather a small increase to me. I was surprised.

      As to whether speakers from reputable manufacturers today are better pound for pound than thirty years ago?

      I think it's an absolute certainty.

      As to whether certain minds prefer things from their youth, regardless of progress, then again, an absolute certainty.
       
    29. xxGBHxx

      xxGBHxx
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Nov 24, 2015
      Messages:
      354
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      United Kingdom
      Ratings:
      +369
      I think this is the bit where the argument sits. I'm not experienced enough in listening to speakers to really comment here (not going to stop me giving an opinion though!) but I'm not totally convinced it's that clear cut.

      At a high level, I just don't think that there's really all that much more known today than it was 30 years ago. How speakers worked and how they behaved was as well known then as it is today. The only possible advance I can think of is that cabinets, drivers and their response is now modeled on a computer instead of being built and tested by ear as it might have been 30+ years ago. This, at a stretch, might mean that cabinet and driver design is "better" and that they sound better because they've been modeled to within an inch of their life. There may be an argument about the material drivers and cabinets are made out of but again I would suggest any improvments are incremental and relatively minor.

      That said so what? Always, ultimately, it comes down to so many other things such as the room dimensions, the music/film being played, the listeners position, familiarity and so on. Do I think it's beyond the realms of possibility that speakers have got "better" pound for pound in the past 30 years? No I don't. Do I think they've improved enough to make it worth changing or that you'd ever notice the difference when you factor in all the other things that make a bigger difference? No I don't.

      G
       
    30. muljao

      muljao
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jan 24, 2017
      Messages:
      1,452
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Ireland
      Ratings:
      +503
      We can get pretty inexpensive small speakers now that we didn't have even ten years ago. Look at the JBL flip, ultimate ears etc. The technology here has improved, just at the generally affordable level.

      I'd be sure if the tech improves on the budget level, it likely improves at the level of speakers that the majority of us won't even get to listen to due the astronomical cost
       

    Share This Page

    Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice