Old vs New


Active Member

I was just wondering in terms of speaker technology.

Would say i higher end award set of speakers (5.1 set) of say 2006/07/08 valued at say £2k or £3k (or whatever year im no thinking of any specific model hear although im sure there must be numerous examples) beat a new cheaper range say of 2011 or upcoming 2012 like for example dali zensor 5's which have just come out.

im just wondering basically if developing technology and methods have made the newer cheaper models much better that the thousands of pound models you may have purchased up to 5yrs ago

Would be interested in views


Distinguished Member
Sorry, but your post is a little confusing. You are asking if moderately expensive speakers are better then moderately cheap one? Well, yes, that's why they cost more.

However, as with any technology, the speaker drives used in more expensive speakers does make it way down into cheaper speakers. The scale of volume, as volume goes up price comes down, and soon the price is low enough to move the technology into cheaper speakers.

But, overall, you question is too vague. New vs Old is a difficult question, some new is better than some old and some old is better that some new. So, it matter which old speaker you are comparing to which new speakers.

Using the example of Dali Zensor 5, these are £500/pr speakers. A full Dali Zensor 5 5.1 system cost about £1300. So we are comparing £1300 speaker system against an unnamed £2k to £3k system. Given that the more expensive system is only a few years old, I would expect it to sound better. Though, again, it depends on which system you are talking about.

But we can't compare generally something against generally something else. We can only compare specifically something against specifically something else.

You've asked a question with far to many unknown to get worthwhile answer.

At least, in my opinion.



Active Member
I think the OP is trying to say (in a bumbling, non-committal manner) if speakers fall into the same technology crucible as TVs, blu-ray players, PCs etc. i.e. they get cheaper as technology becomes mass produced and they get cheaper as technology ages.

When HD started emerging, buying a large screen HD TV was a very expensive experience - my current 42" Panny cost me £349 last Xmas but, 8 years ago, the same size and spec TV would have cost at least 5 times that and it's spec would not have been so good.

When blu-ray players came out, they were £400+ but now, you can get a more than reasonable player for under £100.

Personally speaking, I don't think this model applies to speakers as there's not been a great deal of technological advancement in speakers. They do what they do and I could hook up a 40 year old speaker to my amp in the same way as I do my current ones and it would do exactly the same thing. A great speaker will always be a great speaker so, in answer to the OP, a cheap speaker you've bought yesterday will not be as good as a 5 year old speaker that cost four times the amount.

What's changed with the advent of big screen TVs being cheap and blu-ray players being cheap is that home cinema isn't out of the reach of the average person now (i.e. the non-AV buff). This means there's a market for level entry systems now that wasn't really there 10 years ago. Getting 5.1 for my Xbox 10 years ago wasn't really an option as it cost so much - now, I can walk into a store and spend just a weeks wages on an amp with speakers. 10 years ago, there weren't really budget set-ups. In addition, you have budget speaker sets that look the part but aren't anywhere near as good as the top of the range sets. This wasn't really the case 10 years ago. I think the difference now is that there's a market for 5.1 sound that didn't exist 10 years ago. When there's a market, you get manufacturers making a wider range of products and this just means the price range becomes wider.
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Distinguished Member
Speaker technology has developed very slowly and IMO most of the cost is invested in the quality of the cabinet and the time spent refining the integration of the drivers and crossovers in the design. The technology used in the drivers is really only a small ingredient.

Thus, an expensive speaker from 10 years ago is still likely to be a lot better than a cheap one bought today.

That said, clearly an expensive design bought today would probably bet better than an expensive one from yesteryear.

Another thing to bear in mind (IMO) is that speaker manufacturers tend to tune the sound of their products according to the musical trends at the time of their release.
For example, a lot of modern speakers are tuned to be more exciting and have a slightly emphasised top end.
If that's not your thing, then sometimes an older speaker design might be more to your taste.

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