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 Speaker Restoration

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Speaker Restoration   Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:39 pm


Speaker restoration has been an issue since the late 1970's. There has been many driver replacement plans that allow the products to be updated yet maintain their status as a stock model, usually with a symbol used to represent a particular documented change. As with autos there are certain criteria that need to be met and levels of "original" that are used to classify the model's rating. In audio the word "modified" can be looked at in a couple of ways. One leads to the decrease in value and another an increase.

as an example

Back in the days when I was part of the Decote' speaker team, the product came down two designers and myself as the dealer. An audiophile who use to visit my store took it upon himself to have new cabinets built for the Decote' 10's. Of course the new cabinets according to him sounded horrible when compared to the original. When the inner parts were transferred to the new cabinets the Model 10 stopped being the original and was reduced to wood and speaker parts. I've had this come up with my designs several times, and pictures usually fixed the problem of authenticity, either for cabinets or parts. Occasionally I'll have someone send me their speakers and I will put my stamp of approval on them or at least be able to give some history. Than, there are speakers called MGA or MGD speakers that aren't my designs at all.

The historic event of speaker designs is also very important. For example look at the folks who bought the Thiel speaker name. This new Thiel isn't even remotely Thiel speakers. I'm not saying the new speakers are good or bad, only that they are not Thiel's. Quite a few speaker lines have done this, attempting to pass along a name legacy only to drift away from the memory of their signature sound, never to be heard again by the audiophile ear. (this is not in any way to shape your opinion of the new Thiel product line, I'm just using this as an example. there are hundreds on brand names where this takes place)

When I purchase a vintage classic speaker many, if not most, times I find the wear and tear of age and human care. There may also be repairs made or parts not working up to par. If previously owned by an audiophile EE you will find yet other changes, some funny, some sad, and others an actual change for the good, like a Cheap Trick redo. 'I love Cheap Trick'

One mistake I commonly see with vintage speakers, is the cabinet redo. This is a major deduction of value in my book and should be a standard for anyone owning classics. A cabinet redo is the same as a new DIY. New DIY's or Mod's or Reconstructs are all cool (I do them myself), but they are not a physical sonic restore, and should not be promoted as such. One area in particular I want to address.



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