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Thread: Best vintage bookshelf small speakers for tube amp?

  1. #1
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    Best vintage bookshelf small speakers for tube amp?

    Request Forum members' advice: I must downsize to smaller bookshelf speakers and put away my much-loved (but admittedly large!) JBL C-40 Harkness speakers. What should I consider as smaller, bookshelf-sized replacements?

    I appreciate all your recommendations & ideas.

    Best,
    Andy in New Hampshire
    Last edited by Nordschleife; 12-08-2014 at 05:56 AM. Reason: simplify my request for recommendations

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    Not vintage, but my girlfriend is really enjoying her LSR305s:

    http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/r...5#.VITbPskhA68
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    I'll take a look at those JBL monitors, Fpitas. Thank you. I'd prefer something more vintage if possible, though.

    Any my other suggestions? I like the direct, highly efficient sound of my C-40s... Or maybe that's just the sound I've grown used to.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    I really like my "new to me" 120ti's

    3 way, 12 inch LF bookshelf with fab 044ti HF ,
    teak veneer , easy to drive and look understated.

    can usually get a nice pair in the $3-400 range.

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?19961-2-pairs-120Ti-any-interest&p=203363&viewfull=1#post203363


    these look interesting

    http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/ele/4788424149.html

  5. #5
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    You don't say what system you have in your C40's. If it's the 002 it can be repackaged into a smaller box--with some loss of bass performance.

    Also, can you be more specific about the size of speaker you will have room for?

    Generally, though I think I understand your preference to stay with legacy systems, the fact is there have been massive improvements in speaker technology in the past five decades, including work by JBL, especially in the smaller systems, and I believe if you have a chance to listen to some more recent speakers, including the ones already mentioned, you will hear what I mean. It is necessary to filter out very many JBL speakers that have been by design targeted to price points in the down market (HT in a box, Best Buy, computer speakers, etc). For guidance use the JBL library on this website to study catalogues from recent decades.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Hi Dave,

    I have one C-40 with 001 and the other is 030 -- the two work surprisingly well together. They were mono-age orphans that I pulled together to make a stereo system.

    The room is 24x24 with high, angled ceilings, so I have a fairly large area to fill. The C-40s are driven by a 40/wpc tube amplifier.

    Given this, are there certain speakers that come to mind? I agree about the advance of speaker technology -- I have a friend with Sonus-Faber Concertinos and they sound very, very good (as an example). But since the newest piece of gear in my current system is from 1967, I'd prefer vintage speakers. How about the Lancer-series, or JBL Century 100s? Or AR-3as, KLH-6's or smaller Altecs?

    Thanks,
    Andy

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    Seawolf97,

    Thank you for your suggestion. I'll try to learn more about (and listen to) the Ti-series JBLs.

    Also, I agree about the speakers in the link you sent; the C-53 is one of the period-correct models I've wondered about. I've never heard a pair, any impressions of the Libra?

    Best, Andy

  8. #8
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordschleife View Post
    Seawolf97,

    Thank you for your suggestion. I agree about the speakers in the link you sent; the C-53 is one of the period-correct models I've wondered about. I've never heard a pair, any impressions of the Libra?

    Best, Andy
    I've never heard them either , but the LE14-C is desirable from what I've read. Condition looks good too and the price seems very reasonable to me.

    yes, you are not close, but IF you got serious about these .. I can assist. Probable not too hard to drop them at a full service box & ship place. UPS ground maybe not so bad ?

    AR's ?? I've had 3's & 3A's ....they take a lot of power to get them moving. AR's bare minimum recommendation was 25 wpc. They had tremendous bass, but HF was lacking.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordschleife View Post
    I have one C-40 with 001 and the other is 030 -- the two work surprisingly well together. They were mono-age orphans that I pulled together to make a stereo system.
    I grew up with C35 030s but my first "new" JBLs were the L112 pair I bought over thirty years ago. Still love them today. You might look into the L112 or the L96, which I also have. Great "bookshelf" JBLs. If you can overlook the non-vintage appearance and don't really need something that might fit on a shelf, I'd also consider the L5. A great value in a vintage JBL.

    BTW, might I ask what your "tool" of choice is for the Nordschleife?

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  10. #10
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    @BMWCCA,

    I'll look at the L96 & L112 speakers, as you suggest. Thank you!

    Off Topic: Favorite Nordschleife "tool" was my 1962 Marcos GT (FIA historic Class F). Light and quick. I took a photo of that factory BMW M1 ProCar in the pits at the 'Ring from ~1995-96. Probably taken during the annual FIA Oldtimer Grand Prix event? I always loved that paint job, very clever... not quite A. Calder (LeMans 3.0CSL) but great in its own way.

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    Update

    JBL monitors are really great speakers. They are really easy to setup. I personally like lsr305. it is worth checking out.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    That's two recommendations for the LSR305—one to revive this long-dead thread. The thread title specifically asks for small speakers for a tube amp. The 305, or course, is a powered monitor. Not that it won't make a great living room speaker for a smaller room, but if the point is to use the speakers with a tube amp, umm, this is not the answer. In addition, a rear-ported speaker is often not a good choice for use on an actual bookshelf.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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