Problem with Sony receiver + vintage speakers


Novice Member
Hi there,

Something weird is going on with my home receiver/speakers and I just can’t figure it out.

It all started when me and my gf found a pair of large vintage speakers on the sidewalk with a sign saying "these work". They don’t plug into the wall, they just have speaker wire ports. So we brought them home.

My home set up is a Sony STR-DH590 receiver, connected to two small speakers via speaker wire and a TV via an optical cable. The new speakers are about 4x as big as the old ones. We simply unplugged the speaker wire from the small speakers and plugged in the large ones in their place. But when we listened to music, the sounds was off. It is hard to describe, but sounded phase-y and far away, and the different elements of the music were almost pulsating in volume/ presence. So, we thought the speakers must be busted.

But here’s where it gets weird. We unplugged the big speakers and plugged back in the small -- but now the small speakers are doing the same weird phase-y oscillation/ far away sound that the big ones were! And they were working fine that morning.

I tried switching the speaker wire ports thinking it was a phase issue but that didn’t fix it. Did I overdraw my receiver with these big speakers and blow it? I bought it new a year ago. I can’t figure it out and am not that familiar with this hifi stuff. Any help would be great. Specs on the equipment below, thanks for your time!

Reciever: STR-DH590 - 120 V, 60 HZ, 200 Watts
Speakers: vintage Kenwood KS-H51, 3-way, 160 Watts


Distinguished Member
It the receiver and 'old' small speakers were working find then it would appear the kenwood speakers may have caused damage. Do you have another amp that you dont mind if it gets damaged to test both pairs of speakers?

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