Anyone use really old speakers?

PhoenixBill

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Posts
844
Age
62
Location
Phoenix
Foam or rubber speaker surrounds can deteriorate (some rubber is more resistant than others). Crossover capacitors, especially electrolytic, can go south. I’ve also seen the glue in really old speakers come unglued. And the paper cones can become so brittle that they crack or tear if pushed hard. Oh, and the spider can become brittle and crack. Other than that, old speakers are great. Oops, forgot one, I have seen the tinsel wire break.
 

Bill

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
7,646
Location
London
I have an old Ampro movie speaker cabinet with the original speaker in it. Probably around 80 years old and the best-sounding speaker I have.
 

Telekarster

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Posts
6,576
Location
Earth
I have a gold 1959 Jensen P15N in my Fender Excelsior amp and so far it's taken everything I can give it! It came out of an old stereo console that hadn't been used much. The speaker was in amazing condition, nearly like new in fact. It made a good amp sound even better IMO! I'm happy ;)
 

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
34,663
Age
63
Location
Maine
I just assumed that speakers wear out and that new speakers always sound better than old speakers. Boy was I wrong. I have some 40 year old celestion GT12 75s that sound fantastic. Much better than any of my newer speakers.
Yeah I spent and spend a lot of time with vintage speakers.

First though, there are no 40 year old G12T75 speakers, that is maybe 30 years old.
A 40 year old Celestion has a paper VC former and only handles 25-30 watts.
I used lots of those over the years but really after 20 years most were blown or just too mushy and worn out to sound good.

Circa 1975 Celestion developed the kapton VC former which gave longer life, but the early ones needed design work to get back the sound quality, they sounded worse but held up better.

While I still use a few old 40 year old speakers, most go bad if driven with more than 2-3 watts for long.
Some of course have been reconed!
Not always easy to recognize a rwconed speaker.

I eneded up stating with well chosen newer speakers, and actually now run some custom made Eminence that are probably copies of the venerable '80s G12T75 hard rock & metal speaker!

Funny though how long it took even Celestion to match old paper VC speaker tone with modern plastics that dont blow frequently like golden age early 70s and prior speakers.

Again, lots of recones out there and some are sold as original cone so we read reports of 40-50 year old paper VC former speakers still working and played loud.
 

24 track

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Posts
20,582
Location
kamloops bc
On kijiji I found a free pair of AA-7's empty cabs 1X15's, these were in bad shape I turned them into a pair of JBL 4560s cabs and loaded them up with a set of Midrange Altec 15's add a pair of peavey horns and you have a powerful clean sounding front end for small gigs or a great set of side fill stage monitors

P1011174.JPG
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,471
Location
Up North
I just assumed that speakers wear out and that new speakers always sound better than old speakers. Boy was I wrong. I have some 40 year old celestion GT12 75s that sound fantastic. Much better than any of my newer speakers.
My newest Speakers are over 20 years-old.
Can't say bad about the New Speakers out there.
I can only say that I won't be buying any until my current batch goes bad.
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,471
Location
Up North

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
34,663
Age
63
Location
Maine
On kijiji I found a free pair of AA-7's empty cabs 1X15's, these were in bad shape I turned them into a pair of JBL 4560s cabs and loaded them up with a set of Midrange Altec 15's add a pair of peavey horns and you have a powerful clean sounding front end for small gigs or a great set of side fill stage monitors

View attachment 1034598
"This wont hurt a bit!"
 

Lowerleftcoast

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Posts
6,038
Location
california
pair of JBL 4560s cabs
"This wont hurt a bit!"
Put the L1 Bose line array in a head to head listening contest with these. I'd rather carry the Bose to the gig but I know what I'd rather hear.

I pulled an Altec 9844 out of a church. 60 years old. It sounded marvelous. Altec 414's and 806A on a 811 horn. You'd have to spend a boat load of money to get new production gear with that sound.
 

24 track

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Posts
20,582
Location
kamloops bc
Put the L1 Bose line array in a head to head listening contest with these. I'd rather carry the Bose to the gig but I know what I'd rather hear.

I pulled an Altec 9844 out of a church. 60 years old. It sounded marvelous. Altec 414's and 806A on a 811 horn. You'd have to spend a boat load of money to get new production gear with that sound.
I originally used these for the front end of a home stereo 5.1 system with a set of Lazer stereo bass and great rear speakers. it was great to watch jurasic Park where the glass of water in the car rippled , the cups on my coffee table did too

the AA-7 were heavey these 4560's arent , the bose lines are fantastic sound great untill they break , and as a repair guy I wont touch them , but I love the sound , I move these around no issue can stack them with out issue ( I love handles an wheels ) by my self , the last AC 30 I moved appeared heavier . These look heavey but they are not , mind you the altecs are no slouch in weight

and at about 3000.00 for the base array , the preamp module and however many bass cabs you will need , not that cost effective over all . but the bose do sound great. and you get the 180 degree coverage from each stack , as for projection I dont know how far that will carry , but small venues guarenteed

besides I have about 20 X 15" drivers if I am looking for a different sound

-1.jpg
 
Last edited:

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
34,663
Age
63
Location
Maine
Put the L1 Bose line array in a head to head listening contest with these. I'd rather carry the Bose to the gig but I know what I'd rather hear.

I pulled an Altec 9844 out of a church. 60 years old. It sounded marvelous. Altec 414's and 806A on a 811 horn. You'd have to spend a boat load of money to get new production gear with that sound.
Flip side though is I have not one not two not three but FOUR BLOWN ALTEC SPEAKERS!
After Altec went under and cone supplies ran out it was impossible to recone and get the Altec sound.
Then a small company bought up and retooled to make new Altec products but at around $100 for a recone plus $40 two way shipping there are a lot of other options.
Same with EV when they stopped making cone kits for the fabulous alnico coffee can SRO.
Some shops will recone Altec of alnico EV but you get a whole nother sound, because the sound is greatly created by cone VC spider and surround.

Put another way, there are probably 20 totalky different Celestion speaker models built on the same magnet and frame.

So you can recone an old Greenback into a G12T75 or a G12M65, because the frame and magnet are not where the sound comes from.
Aside from magnet material and size as well as VC size limiting what the speaker can end up sounding like.

Suffice to say, if you have an old frame with a new cone, you are not really "using old speakers".
 

Milspec

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
8,061
Location
Nebraska
Still running some late '40's Rola field coil speakers in a couple of amps. I used to worry about them, but since they lasted this long under who knows what conditions, they should be able to handle some low volume clean playing.

They do sound really good.
 

24 track

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Posts
20,582
Location
kamloops bc
In my storage I have a set of Klipsch towers , a pair of digital lazer towers , a pair of Bose 301's , to use for my post mastering listening space once I get to that point.
 

xStonr

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Posts
2,548
Location
Delray Beach
I’ve been using these for quite some time.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    65.7 KB · Views: 9

Chipss36

Tele-Holic
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Posts
940
Age
59
Location
Texas
I think speakers have a sweet spot, it’s not new, or falling apart, or running the coil. but some place in the middle, when I blow an evm, it sucks, I know the recone, and new spider , voice coil will take a long time to break in.
once they do, they are sweet, loud, powerful speakers, they don’t break up, and I like that.
I like the middle ground, never did a speaker sound best to me new.
 

24 track

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Posts
20,582
Location
kamloops bc
We had two A7 cabinets in the first band I was in. Iirc, the bathroom scale had them at 107 lbs. It was like hauling a couple refrigerators to every gig. Good thing we were young.
these were the A-7 cabs , were great sounding and doubled as a coffin if you needed one a bigger version of the electrovoice ,voice of the theater cabs that had the 1 X15 as where if I am not mistaken the AA 7's had 2X15.s . I cut about 2' off the bottom of the cabs ported for Bass reflex sealed each hole for screening and to keep mice out while instorage, fixed sanded and painted them they were originally Red if I remember put new bottoms on them and fresh insolation , and casters
 




Top