Floor-standing speaker recommendation for first "vintage" setup?

KMPLSV

KMPLSV

Audiophyte
I'm putting together my first vintage setup. I recently picked up a restored Pioneer SA-8800. My primary sound sources will be a Technics SL-1700MKII turntable and a computer streaming audio via AUX. I'm looking for recommendations on a good set of floor-standing speakers that will go nicely with my setup. My budget is around $300-$700. Two recommendations I've had so far are Pioneer HPM 100s and Pioneer SP-FS52 Home Audio Andrew Jones Designed Floor Standing Loudspeakers. I realize that the SP-FS52 are not vintage speakers, but I have heard very good things about them. When it comes to "vintage" versus "modern" speakers in this situation with my Pioneer SA-8800 powering them, is one "better" than the other or is it even relevant? If spending more money and being patient really does translate to getting better quality and sound from a vintage pair of floor-standing speakers, I don't have an issue being patient.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you!
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I think some people would go to Accessories4less website and find some Canton speakers at ~ 50% off.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
A lot of vintage speakers can have a vintage sound, which is a nicer way of saying they sound awful. There are very few vintage speakers that perform as well as a competently design modern speaker. Speaker science has come a long way in the last 20 years. The speaker will have the biggest impact on the sound, so if you are at all concerned with sound quality, that is the last component you should compromise. Those Pioneer speakers look just awful, and they come from an era before it was understood how cabinet design affected the sound.

Echoing what AcuDefTechGuy said Accessories4Less has good deals on affordable towers from Canton, Kef and Polk. Crutchfield also has some good deals for Polk RTi speakers in that price range, not to mention Klipsch Reference Premier. Also look at JBL Stage series and anything from Elac.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
I think some people would go to Accessories4less website and find some Canton speakers at ~ 50% off.
nothing vintage in that !

In keeping with the 'vintage' theme...… JBL, Cerwin Vega, Dahlquist, Klipsch. I would think vintage examples from the aforementioned would be available.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Curious what it is about “vintage” speakers that had your interest. I think shady is right. Speaker design, which has been mature for a long time has the added benefits of better drivers and computer modeling over the last 20 some years. I would personally go with new ones. Maybe I missed but is there a budget?
 
WaynePflughaupt

WaynePflughaupt

Audioholic Field Marshall
Those Pioneer HPM speakers are more like 45 years old! There are tons of speakers built even 20 years ago that would sound just fine, way better than those.

There are some exceptions (Pioneer’s Andrew Jones line being one), but for the most part it’s best to stick with speakers from speaker companies rather than the big-name brands that specialize in electronics.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
The DCM TFE 100s have been discounted for a bit now and by all accounts punch way above their weight class. I know @zieglj01 and @KEW are very impressed with the line and I'm seeing them compared to speakers costing $800 a pair or more.


DCM and the Time Frame (the "TF" in "TFE") series have been around for a long time. In fact the same series from back in the day are now well regarded vintage speakers. The TFE (Time Frame Evolution) is an updated version of that same series. I think they would make wonderful speakers for you in a nice 2 channel rig. You may or may not need a sub with them. They claim claim +/- 3 dB down to 35 hz, which is plenty for most music.

I like the idea for you especially, that they come from a long, well respected lineage. You could look at them as modern vintage!
 
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Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Enthusiast
Hahaha, whoops, sorry.

My buddy had HPM-100's back in the day, got them and his other gear at the PX. Can't remember the nickname he gave them (I'll ask) but it wasn't flattering. Sold them to his brother who didn't know any better. Back then they were "sophisticated" using polymer tweeter and CF woofer, designed by Bart Locanthi, both as an answer to his own JBL Centuries and a middle finger to the company he'd departed. Loud, bold, dynamic, and at least to me, the antithesis of what I look for in 2-channel sound. Back in the 70's I had JBL's and Infinity's, but mostly the former. If you're looking for a sound, you've certainly got it. But they will never, ever disappear. They will always sound like speakers. Which could very well be what you want!

Thing is, and as mentioned above, with the exception of class D amps speaker design has advanced leaps and bounds more than anything in audio over the last 20 years. What is available now from big box retailers blows away a lot of what was in boutiques in 1990. People designed by ear and intuition back then, we didn't have the technology that we enjoy today in terms of design, materials and manufacturing. The fact that you can score a pair of Canton's with ceramic and titanium drivers for $550 blows me away.

Personally, I'd take advantage of what's recent. You'll get some good recommendations here (ShadyJ took the words out of my mouth), and when it comes to modern speakers there's really no wrong choice. Unless you want a visual statement (those monsters certainly are) you'd be doing much better. I'd also be concerned with the longevity of a speaker coming from an unknown history and environment. Just like a vintage car, you usually don't get it for your daily driver - it's your second or third. Fun for a bit.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Hahaha, whoops, sorry.

My buddy had HPM-100's back in the day, got them and his other gear at the PX. Can't remember the nickname he gave them (I'll ask) but it wasn't flattering. Sold them to his brother who didn't know any better. Back then they were "sophisticated" using polymer tweeter and CF woofer, designed by Bart Locanthi, both as an answer to his own JBL Centuries and a middle finger to the company he'd departed. Loud, bold, dynamic, and at least to me, the antithesis of what I look for in 2-channel sound. Back in the 70's I had JBL's and Infinity's, but mostly the former. If you're looking for a sound, you've certainly got it. But they will never, ever disappear. They will always sound like speakers. Which could very well be what you want!

Thing is, and as mentioned above, with the exception of class D amps speaker design has advanced leaps and bounds more than anything in audio over the last 20 years. What is available now from big box retailers blows away a lot of what was in boutiques in 1990. People designed by ear and intuition back then, we didn't have the technology that we enjoy today in terms of design, materials and manufacturing. The fact that you can score a pair of Canton's with ceramic and titanium drivers for $550 blows me away.

Personally, I'd take advantage of what's recent. You'll get some good recommendations here (ShadyJ took the words out of my mouth), and when it comes to modern speakers there's really no wrong choice. Unless you want a visual statement (those monsters certainly are) you'd be doing much better. I'd also be concerned with the longevity of a speaker coming from an unknown history and environment. Just like a vintage car, you usually don't get it for your daily driver - it's your second or third. Fun for a bit.
I was thinking the same. The TFEs I suggest above are a nice, modern version of a classic. An old school company with the benefit of today's advances in speaker technology. A nice bridge between the 2 at an excellent price.

That said, budget permitting I've been drooling over the Cantons at A4L for a couple of months now and wouldn't hesitate to suggest them either. Those are a nice shining example of modern speakers at their best. They're one of those companies who "use science and research to make a product better, not to cheapen it". Slightly paraphrased I think, but Gene said that in a review once and I've always wanted to use it. :p
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
I was thinking the same. The TFEs I suggest above are a nice, modern version of a classic. An old school company with the benefit of today's advances in speaker technology. A nice bridge between the 2 at an excellent price.

That said, budget permitting I've been drooling over the Cantons at A4L for a couple of months now and wouldn't hesitate to suggest them either. Those are a nice shining example of modern speakers at their best. They're one of those companies who "use science and research to make a product better, not to cheapen it". Slightly paraphrased I think, but Gene said that in a review once and I've always wanted to use it. :p
I’ve also been looking at Canton but I’m really stuck on revel right now and possibly monitor. I’ve promised myself a pair of legacy’s back when my age started with a 2 and not a 4 lmao!!! I don’t know if I’ll ever make good on that...
 
A

AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
The DCM TFE 100s have been discounted for a bit now and by all accounts punch way above their weight class. I know @zieglj01 and @KEW are very impressed with the line and I'm seeing them compared to speakers costing $800 a pair or more.


DCM and the Time Frame (the "TF" in "TFE") series have been around for a long time. In fact the same series from back in the day are now well regarded vintage speakers. The TFE (Time Frame Evolution) is an updated version of that same series. I think they would make wonderful speakers for you in a nice 2 channel rig. You may or may not need a sub with them. They claim claim +/- 3 dB down to 35 hz, which is plenty for most music.

I like the idea for you especially, that they come from a long, well respected lineage. You could look at them as modern vintage!
To be fair one has nothing to do with the other, two totally different companies, it is not akin to a Japanese company purchasing McIntosh and declaring we love McIntosh and we are keeping the company/factory in Binghampton, NY and we are not messing with that division at all.

DCM was purchased by MTX, there might have been another company in between or after but there is no lineage to the original timeframe series and to suggest so is disingenuous.

I don't have a problem with you or others recommending the discontinued DCM line by MTX as a way to get a higher quality speaker at a lower price point but I wish the ones boosting the Ebay seller's product line would offer some info for those people who don't mind spending $200 or $300 more for a speaker that is a step above the DCM TP160/260 or TFE100/60's.

It would help if those people named which speakers in each category they have heard and are either worse or better than the DCM line at the sub $800 price point.

Finally from reading many of the pro DCM posts, I've read many statements that imply the DCM's will not be replacing your main speakers, someone once said they'll believe a Youtube reviewer who claims, "the best ever", if that speaker becomes their main driver, well in the DCM case, I've seen too many posts in which the person declared these are great, I'll listen to them for a month, and then back to my main listening rig.

To the original poster, this is all subjective, you have to listen to be the ultimate judge but in my opinion those Pioneer FS52's are overrated, they are fine at low to moderate levels but when I raised the volume, they sounded constrained, suddenly congested, kind of boxy or muddy but they sort of crumbled at large volume levels.

Also at higher volume levels the pleasant tweeter started to get harsh and the vocals overwhelmed the instruments..
 
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davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Field Marshall
To be fair one has nothing to do with the other, two totally different companies, it is not akin to a Japanese company purchasing McIntosh and declaring we love McIntosh and we are keeping the company/factory in Binghampton, NY and we are not messing with that division at all.

DCM was purchased by MTX, there might have been another company in between or after but there is no lineage to the original timeframe series and to suggest so is disingenuous.

I don't have a problem with you or others recommending the discontinued DCM line by MTX as a way to get a higher quality speaker at a lower price point but I wish the ones boosting the Ebay seller's product line would offer some info for those people who don't mind spending $200 or $300 more for a speaker that is a step above the DCM TP160/260 or TFE100/60's.

It would help if those people named which speakers in each category they have heard and are either worse or better than the DCM line at the sub $800 price point.

Finally from reading many of the pro DCM posts, I've read many statements that imply the DCM's will not be replacing your main speakers, someone once said they'll believe a Youtube reviewer who claims, "the best ever", if that speaker becomes their main driver, well in the DCM case, I've seen too many posts in which the person declared these are great, I'll listen to them for a month, and then back to my main listening rig.
The Time Frames were good but the Time Windows were better. Both were actual DCM products unlike the new MTX DCM models. Haven't heard the new ones yet but I owned some of the original Time Windows and I would be really surprised if they sounded anywhere near as good as the Windows.
 
A

AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
The Time Frames were good but the Time Windows were better. Both were actual DCM products unlike the new MTX DCM models. Haven't heard the new ones yet but I owned some of the original Time Windows and I would be really surprised if they sounded anywhere near as good as the Windows.
Yes, here is a little more:
Enhanced cosmetics and improved acoustic qualities are among the advantages promised by Mitek in new DCM-brand home speakers targeted for shipment later this year.

The Phoenix-based company is also preparing first-half shipments of its new C series of MTX-branded home speakers to complement its AAL series.

Mitek purchased the brand last June and is rebuilding DCM’s selection after closing DCM’s assembly facility and discontinuing many DCM SKUs, with the exception of in-wall speakers and the KX series of enclosed speakers, which are sold to Circuit City.

Production of these models was transferred to Mitek’s own facilities, but other SKUs were dropped because Mitek’s assembly lines weren’t compatible with the construction of many DCM speakers, including models that featured angled surfaces and angled drivers, said Dave Watson, DCM’s national sales manager.
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Enthusiast
I was thinking the same. The TFEs I suggest above are a nice, modern version of a classic. An old school company with the benefit of today's advances in speaker technology. A nice bridge between the 2 at an excellent price.

That said, budget permitting I've been drooling over the Cantons at A4L for a couple of months now and wouldn't hesitate to suggest them either. Those are a nice shining example of modern speakers at their best. They're one of those companies who "use science and research to make a product better, not to cheapen it". Slightly paraphrased I think, but Gene said that in a review once and I've always wanted to use it. :p
It was really a conversation here on Cantons that got me to register. My somewhat limited exposure to Canton goes way back. A friend who bought everything German Leica, Zeiss, Porsche and Canton loved the things. Problem is, at least back then (and I still assume to this date) they had zero customer infrastructure in the states. And they just weren't screwed together all that great. He literally had a Canton graveyard, which made me leery of the product. I can't remember which ones I did hear, but was impressed as I could be given I thought very little of the Luxman stuff pushing them. Then again, I blew up my Infinity's and Centuries, and both companies basically just laughed, so there is that. :confused:

I'm certainly intrigued.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
To be fair one has nothing to do with the other, two totally different companies, it is not akin to a Japanese company purchasing McIntosh and declaring we love McIntosh and we are keeping the company/factory in Binghampton, NY and we are not messing with that division at all.

DCM was purchased by MTX, there might have been another company in between or after but there is no lineage to the original timeframe series and to suggest so is disingenuous.

I don't have a problem with you or others recommending the discontinued DCM line by MTX as a way to get a higher quality speaker at a lower price point but I wish the ones boosting the Ebay seller's product line would offer some info for those people who don't mind spending $200 or $300 more for a speaker that is a step above the DCM TP160/260 or TFE100/60's.

It would help if those people named which speakers in each category they have heard and are either worse or better than the DCM line at the sub $800 price point.

Finally from reading many of the pro DCM posts, I've read many statements that imply the DCM's will not be replacing your main speakers, someone once said they'll believe a Youtube reviewer who claims, "the best ever", if that speaker becomes their main driver, well in the DCM case, I've seen too many posts in which the person declared these are great, I'll listen to them for a month, and then back to my main listening rig.

To the original poster, this is all subjective, you have to listen to be the ultimate judge but in my opinion those Pioneer FS52's are overrated, they are fine at low to moderate levels but when I raised the volume, they sounded constrained, suddenly congested, kind of boxy or muddy but they sort of crumbled at large volume levels.

Also at higher volume levels the pleasant tweeter started to get harsh and the vocals overwhelmed the midrange.
Well, I actually bought a pair of TP160s. They're still in my living room and I still listen to them every once in a while. I'm always surprised at how good they sound for the price I paid and I think that may add a bit to my enjoyment I s'pose. The point is I'm familiar with them and by all accounts the TFE is a step up from the TP and has a better tweeter. I'm confident recommending them. They're a great value at that price. I never intimated they were a "last speaker someone would buy".

If OP has a larger budget for nicer speakers I missed that part of the post, but I did also heartily recommend the Cantons at A4L..? Also I don't know if you've ever noticed, but I like to recommend SVS' Ultra line from time to time too...
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
It was really a conversation here on Cantons that got me to register. My somewhat limited exposure to Canton goes way back. A friend who bought everything German Leica, Zeiss, Porsche and Canton loved the things. Problem is, at least back then (and I still assume to this date) they had zero customer infrastructure in the states. And they just weren't screwed together all that great. He literally had a Canton graveyard, which made me leery of the product. I can't remember which ones I did hear, but was impressed as I could be given I thought very little of the Luxman stuff pushing them. Then again, I blew up my Infinity's and Centuries, and both companies basically just laughed, so there is that. :confused:

I'm certainly intrigued.
There are a few Cantons available at A4L available now and they're on my short list of speakers I want to hear next. Right now I have a 5.1 setup with Ultra towers and bookshelf speakers for my center and surround. I just love them. I remember when I hooked them up and played them the first time. My son, who appreciates good sound but isn't into it like I am, looked at me and said " Wow, it's like they disappear!". He doesn't know audiophile lingo or that that was a hallmark for good speakers so when he put it that way it warmed the ol' man's heart a little.

Needless to say I kept them past the 45 day trial period, lol. Great speakers, but the towers are 2k for a pair and I don't know if the bookshelves would dig deep enough for you without a subwoofer.
 
A

AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
Well, I actually bought a pair of TP160s. They're still in my living room and I still listen to them every once in a while. I'm always surprised at how good they sound for the price I paid and I think that may add a bit to my enjoyment I s'pose. The point is I'm familiar with them and by all accounts the TFE is a step up from the TP and has a better tweeter. I'm confident recommending them. They're a great value at that price. I never intimated they were a "last speaker someone would buy".

If OP has a larger budget for nicer speakers I missed that part of the post, but I did also heartily recommend the Cantons at A4L..? Also I don't know if you've ever noticed, but I like to recommend SVS' Ultra line from time to time too...
It is all cool Pogre, you have helped me in the past, I was not referring specifically to you regarding whether or not people are listing speakers they value higher than the DCM line, yes you have mentioned SVS speakers and others.

I was only lamenting it as a general point, if I'm going to buy a pair of speakers and hope it lasts years, well give me options, a speaker you heard that you like better than the TP160 or 260, but instead of $270 for the pair, maybe it is $470 or $570, for something I want to keep for five or ten years, I'd rather spend that extra $200 if I'll be able to hear the difference.
 
zieglj01

zieglj01

Audioholic Spartan
Well, I actually bought a pair of TP160s. They're still in my living room and I still listen to them every once in a while. I'm always surprised at how good they sound for the price I paid and I think that may add a bit to my enjoyment I s'pose. The point is I'm familiar with them and by all accounts the TFE is a step up from the TP and has a better tweeter. I'm confident recommending them. They're a great value at that price. I never intimated they were a "last speaker someone would buy".
The DCM TFE series speakers are better and a step up over the TP series .... and I like the Mitek DCM speakers better than the older DCM speakers ... but the older DCM speakers were pretty good.

The DCM TP series speakers are in another league over the Pioneer BS and FS speakers
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
It is all cool Pogre, you have helped me in the past, I was not referring specifically to you regarding whether or not people are listing speakers they value higher than the DCM line, yes you have mentioned SVS speakers and others.

I was only lamenting it as a general point, if I'm going to buy a pair of speakers and hope it lasts years, well give me options, a speaker you heard that you like better than the TP160 or 260, but instead of $270 for the pair, maybe it is $470 or $570, for something I want to keep for five or ten years, I'd rather spend that extra $200 if I'll be able to hear the difference.
That's the thing. The TFEs are THAT good. I would put their bookshelf in the same league (or very close) as my Ultras. I'd say the same for the tower version too, but I highly doubt they could match the bass response of my towers.

*Edit: Didn't I recommend the TFEs to you as well and you decided against them to go the repair route instead with your current speakers? How'd that work out for you?
 
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Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Enthusiast
There are a few Cantons available at A4L available now and they're on my short list of speakers I want to hear next. Right now I have a 5.1 setup with Ultra towers and bookshelf speakers for my center and surround. I just love them. I remember when I hooked them up and played them the first time. My son, who appreciates good sound but isn't into it like I am, looked at me and said " Wow, it's like they disappear!". He doesn't know audiophile lingo or that that was a hallmark for good speakers so when he put it that way it warmed the ol' man's heart a little.

Needless to say I kept them past the 45 day trial period, lol. Great speakers, but the towers are 2k for a pair and I don't know if the bookshelves would dig deep enough for you without a subwoofer.
I'm really strictly 2 channel, mostly habit? Pre divorce I had built a listening room with dedicated power - that's probably the most amazing single difference I've made. Typically with well recorded material there was no boundary to the sound, you'd literally hear things off to the sides and behind you. I'm not sure I'll be able to achieve this again. I'm in a house with the same general floor plan, but the upstairs room in this place is cut in half to allow for an idiotic 20' high entryway. Wasted space.

What's compelling, is that the guy that built this house had set up a SOTA 1999 home theater in the living room, so I could make use of all the (blue jeans I think) speaker wire running everywhere. I really am not a big movie guy, but the temptation to put a giant screen on the wall and set up a 5.1/2 + Atmos is tempting. Unfortunately, it's also the best room for a 2-channel rig, or at least the easiest to tame. That, or attempt to use the great room, or downsize to the 1/2 bedroom upstairs. I've got Thiel 2 2's right now, my setup was so good I'd never wanted to change a thing once I hit the magic combo. But, since the room is half of the equation... Plus, the speakers are probably getting a bit war torn.

Hopefully all the great folks here can help me move into the 21st century. I have zero idea about setting up streaming, hubs, etc. I'd never thought about having more than 1 system, but now that I'm free and footloose in a too big house (with JBL ceiling speakers in some rooms) I should think about taking advantage.
 

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