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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Nothing like looking to cause trouble on a Tuesday.

So I ran across an old set of 1980ish Cerwin Vega A-123's on Used Winnipeg about a month and a half ago. The guy was looking for $30 and I figured it was worth buying them. Worst case sceanrio, if a voice coil was welded, I could part out the mids and tweets.

Anyways, these sat in the garage for a while, at least until I got back from vacation, and was able to order a new surround for them (no, I did them in black, not red - you kidding me, $45 shipped for two foam rings?).

What impressed me about the speakers was the quality they oozed. Each weighed about 60 pounds - the 12" die cast woofer baskets alone each weighed 20 lbs! Although I've seen CV slagged a bit for the quality of their crossovers, what I saw in the cab (except for two tennis balls a youngster must have rolled through the bass port) oozed quality hand built. Real wood veneer. Dense, well applied insulation in the box.

So finally Sunday night, I get around to refoaming the woofers, and worked on the mids. Like a lot of mids of that age, they were torn around the edge of the cone (where the paper meets the goo). As they were fairly unique sealed mids, I gussetted the cones with black origami paper, and used a thin coating of diluted Weld Bond to seal them. Again, worst case, I have to find a replacement if this doesn't work. However, the way they were sealed suggested very little excursion (if any).

So finally, I put the darn things back together today, and hook them up in the basement to my old JVC RXV-6020 receive to break them in.

MEIN GOTT!

Bass! Who needs a subwoofer? Treble and mids, got a lot of that too. It was like a geyser of sound for my thirsty ears. And they weren't even broken in yet!

Too much mid, dial it down using the knob on the back, same with the tweet. Even though 30 years old, both of the pots on each speaker worked flawlessly, no scratching, hissing, or anything. Who decided we no longer needed this feature on speakers? They should be flogged!

Maybe part of this is that this setup just sounds right to an 80's kid who grew up on Motley Crue, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden at a buddy's house on his Pioneer/CV combo? However, the variety, depth, and solidity of the sound made my (previously loved) Athena's sound like crap. Same for the Boston A70s I have in my bedroom, and same for the PSB 30's I was previously using in my basement. The speakers even made my old JVC AVR sound better than my HK AVR.

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that vintage speakers are simply better than anything built now. Period.

Bring it on boys!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are a few good sellers on e-bay. if you want to know the name of the one who I buy from (good quality, best price), just PM me. Lots of good tips on the Internet how to do it - I've now done three sets of speakers using the battery "trick" as I hate cutting off dustcaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tip! Glad I'm not the only one.

Guy selling a set of EPIs near me - he's already dropped from $150 to $50 in the last month. However, I'm out of places to put speakers.
 

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Battery trick?

I'm guessing you use a battery to bias the voice coil up and down so you can find the sweet spot where the v/c doesn't rub the pole piece, then glue the foam down, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You got 'er Bent.

I read a good piece on the Internet recommending this over shims.

Who cares if the coil is physically centred - mechanically centred is the key, especially as older spiders do tend to sag a little bit. Plus, you don't need to do a dust cap mutilation!
 

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ScottCrick, nothing beats the good old technology! Japan made, nothing like that Chinese crap we buy today from most of the manufacturers that are now in place including CV. Do you realize CV was at the top at one time and well respected amongst thrue audiophiles? Speakers were all 3 ways at the time, NO external subwoofer crap and you were getting nice smooth bass compare to the BOOM BOOM crap we are being sold today! All of today's little popcorn manufacturers dind't even exist then or were considered as low end gear. Same goes for amps, quality made, repairable and long lasting! What was low end/medium gear then, could in many cases today have competed with the so called high end of today but of course minus the high tech of today.

Cheers!
René
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey T-K,

Right on the money!

The quality of build was what impressed me the most about the CVs. And this was back in the day when music lovers didn't care how much living room space it took to get good sound.

Now with HT, speakers need to fit the decor. Heck to me, speakers ARE the decor.

And so true about the receivers - as much as I love my HK, my old NAD 7400 in the bedroom is an amazing piece of hardware. Heck, I'm still using a 70's vintage JVC R-S7 receiver in my office - and its phono preamp is better than any sub $100 preamp I see today.

Wow, and you're saying CV was actually endorsed by audiophiles? I always thought they were good time party speakers. This is why I was so blown away by how good they sounded, and the new foam is still not broken in!

Though the tide does appear to be changing. Here are two reviews for CV's monster 2x15" towers:

The absolute sound:
http://www.avguide.com/review/tested-cerwin-vega-cls-215-loudspeaker

Soundstage!:
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/cerwinvega_cls215.htm

Both publications are pretty snooty, though both are fair to cheaper equipment when it deserves it.

Scott
 

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I still run a 70's Yamaha stereo amp with Mirage 550's in the other side of the basement (primarily used as an exercise area).

I had to bring the Yamaha back to life though with nail-polish remover (pot cleaning) and some reheating of joints (intermittent speaker connection). At least on those boards it's a little easier to attempt DIY fixes.

Quite often, I prefer the sound of this setup to the newer HT one - Pioneer receiver with Athena F2's as fronts (the ones doing duty for music).
 

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If you're that serious about quality then build some DIY speakers and for the money have quality and performance that betters any speaker, old or new.

I would say without any hesitation that they make garbage today just as well as they made garbage in the old days. They also make very excellent quality speakers today as they did back then too. Saying they don't make em like they used to is just a bit of an oversight...but you can always find examples that will prove either case. In the end...a person who builds their own speakers gets better quality and performance for the money than any speaker bought today or 20 years ago...bar none.
 

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....i currently am utilizing a pair of Paradigm 5se Mk3 i purchased ... ummm .. 15-16 years ago.

..these were my first ..other than the classic turntable w/speaker get-up when i was a kid ... well a younger kid :p i accompanied with a pioneer vsx-462s which i still have in mint really. ** due to lack of use over the years if anything.

.. albeit ..and whatever compels me ...with the Mk3's ..i'm reunited with classic build quality, shear weight of construction...plus canadian made loudspeaker (and they sound very good..). ...although i have a newly acquired subsitute for the fronts. finishing off a great performing 7.1 set-up. .. these Mk3's have shed light unto my HT (device) understanding
..

..re" the JVC. it's odd how much of the reading on this forum is fitting in many ways. yeah ..i have recently been around classic JVC stuff. i could'nt name the series or model at this moment. however vintage ..and eye opening. in many regards i'd rather listen to 2 channel music through the JVC amp (playing from a pioneer dv-588a) than the new stuff.the accompanying JVC tuner funnels smooth analogue audio. one could easily enjoy and make use of vintage audio-video equipment imo.
 

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If you're that serious about quality then build some DIY speakers and for the money have quality and performance that betters any speaker, old or new.

I would say without any hesitation that they make garbage today just as well as they made garbage in the old days. They also make very excellent quality speakers today as they did back then too. Saying they don't make em like they used to is just a bit of an oversight...but you can always find examples that will prove either case. In the end...a person who builds their own speakers gets better quality and performance for the money than any speaker bought today or 20 years ago...bar none.
I agree with you that they made good speakers in the old days just as they do these days. I think it all boils down to what you pay and I would also say that it is most likely that the Old high quality speakers are the ones that we see around still today because they were good enough to withstand the tests of time.

My two main front towers are Made by Audiosphere Research. they have dual twelve inch drivers in them with Motorola Horn tweeters. I was blown away when I removed the tweeters just see what they looked inside and saw Motorola stamped on the back. The mids are Audioshere. These towers still pound the hell out of my home. I have had them since I was 18. That would beeeeee ohhhh my gawd, 17 years.

And I also totally agree with ScottCrick that the speakers and equipment should be the total decor of the Home Theater system. I don't look at pictures on the wall when I'm watching my 50 inch Plasma if you know what I'm saying.

I still also believe in the old saying: There is no replacement for displacement.
 

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I Say things like this to my friends all the time. They think Im crazy. They just don't make speakers like they used to. I have a Pair of Cerwin Vega VS120 as fronts, VS 100 as Surround Backs, Cerwin vega HT Series Surround and centers. Their all mint condition ( gotta love Craig's list). I got them all ( Separate Pairs) for about $650 Total. The Front VS120's would blow anything that BB or FS sells out of the water, hands down!! Yes their large, but their large Because the Magnets and the Baskets are made of quality materials not cheap crap they use today.

I tell my friends all the time... i wouldn't sell them for anything! Perfect Mid/Treble, and deep hard bass not to mention they can take more power then one could ever possibly need. I like my music LOUD.. VERY Loud and of course this isnt a problem with these speakers. I also have another Pair of VS120's in my basement that i use on occasion.
My Receiver for the main set is a pioneer 1018, with a Kenwood 120W/CH Power amp to give the front some extra juice.

The 2nd set is being powered by a similar Pioneer amp ( the previous years model minus the HD Audio compatibility.
With that being said, I love all my cerwins and im going to keep them for as long as they last. All mine still have the original Foam's and if they do eventually wear (witch im sure they will) ill simply buy some replacements and keep on trucking!

Some people say CV are party speakers and good for nothing else. I've seen PSB, Athena, Yamaha, and so on that people have spent 2,3,4,5X as much as i did but my setup is still Louder, Clearer, and hits harder then what they got. But hey.. to each his own! You want to buy $2,000 worth of energy speakers made of plastic. Be my guest! :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So last night I go downstairs and listen to dance music on the CV's. Lovely.

Put in Fall Out Boy's new disc - wow were the CV's midrangey! Almost to the point of too much.

So I go dial the mids from 1.5 down to 0.5, and the tweets from 2.5 down to 1.5. Lovely again.

Why can't they make stuff like this any more? I love my Athenas, but some types of music just don't sound as good on them based on mix! Why as music lovers do we have to compromise due to the removal of all sorts of EQing from AVRs and speakers?

Aha! We don't! Just buy vintage!

Still need to convince the wife these need to be in the living room in the main HT setup. Ideas?
 

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lol Wait till she aint home. Then Bring up upstairs n say nothing more. They will complain for a while.. just turn up the sound so u dont gotta hear them. The complaning will stop after a while :) Worked great for me!
 

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I Say things like this to my friends all the time. They think Im crazy. They just don't make speakers like they used to. I have a Pair of Cerwin Vega VS120 as fronts, VS 100 as Surround Backs, Cerwin vega HT Series Surround and centers. Their all mint condition ( gotta love Craig's list). I got them all ( Separate Pairs) for about $650 Total. The Front VS120's would blow anything that BB or FS sells out of the water, hands down!! Yes their large, but their large Because the Magnets and the Baskets are made of quality materials not cheap crap they use today.

I tell my friends all the time... i wouldn't sell them for anything! Perfect Mid/Treble, and deep hard bass not to mention they can take more power then one could ever possibly need. I like my music LOUD.. VERY Loud and of course this isnt a problem with these speakers. I also have another Pair of VS120's in my basement that i use on occasion.
My Receiver for the main set is a pioneer 1018, with a Kenwood 120W/CH Power amp to give the front some extra juice.

The 2nd set is being powered by a similar Pioneer amp ( the previous years model minus the HD Audio compatibility.
With that being said, I love all my cerwins and im going to keep them for as long as they last. All mine still have the original Foam's and if they do eventually wear (witch im sure they will) ill simply buy some replacements and keep on trucking!

Some people say CV are party speakers and good for nothing else. I've seen PSB, Athena, Yamaha, and so on that people have spent 2,3,4,5X as much as i did but my setup is still Louder, Clearer, and hits harder then what they got. But hey.. to each his own! You want to buy $2,000 worth of energy speakers made of plastic. Be my guest! :rolleyes:
"The Front VS120's would blow anything that BB or FS sells out of the water, hands down!! Yes their large, but their large Because the Magnets and the Baskets are made of quality materials not cheap crap they use today."

When people start talking about blowing things out of the water...it's pretty much time to just move on. One day maybe you'll realize that audio and video has alot to do with personal opinion and taste. What sounds good to some sounds like crap to others. You can't call everything they sell at FS or BB crap...and when you do it takes every bit of credibility you have away. Nobody can take you seriously when you discount all speakers made today as crap. That pretty much ends the discussion...good luck with whatever else you have to say, it won't be heard...at least by me. BTW, the Energy speakers I own are made of wood....but don't let that affect your fanboyism in the forums, just consider them all plastic..and all crap..at least you'll still be able to keep thinking the way you do!! Have a great day...this thread is done for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hahaha! I espescially like the "turn up the sound so u dont gotta hear them" part. CVs were designed for that (works with parents, neighbors, and cops too).

Maybe I can also sand down the cabinets and stain them greyish silver. They'll blend in and she'll never see 'em.

On a separate note, I am enjoying "We Don't Fight Fair" by FOB on my 70's JVC receiver through a pair of PSB30 MkIIs in my office right now. Remember bass, treble, and loudness controls that actually did something? I'd be scared to hook up an EQ to this.
 

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I'm still using my B&W speakers -- bought in 1976 -- for my HT fronts. Wish I had room for my 3a speakers (3-way, 15" woofer, adjustable crossover) but they're the size of a bar fridge. Out on the patio and powered with my old Quad amp they fill the neighbourhood with sound.
 
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