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Vintage Bookshelf Speakers


Uncle Choppy
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Greetings from the Arkansas lowlands - home of tall grasses, heavy soil and indestructible bugs! I am searching for vintage bookshelf speakers for a small listening room. Something in the 12"h x 8"w x 8"d (or slightly larger) would be ideal. Being definitely old school, birch plywood cabinets with real wood veneers are preferable to MDF. The closest I have found so far are the KG-1 and KG-1.5 models. Can you suggest any other Klipsch speakers to consider? We have Heresy originals in another room and really like them. Best wishes. -Robert

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KG .5, KG 1.2 anything newer will be vinyl wrap on particle board. 

 

That said there are many outstanding mini speakers outside of Klipsch that sound fantastic.  Some of my all time favorites are the a/d/s L200 & L300 or the Braun equivalent L300 which is an amazing mini 3-way design.  They are efficient and sound much larger than there compact size.  Other worthy mentions are NHT Super Zero, Lil' David Visonik and vintage Polk Audio 5jr. 

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Greetings gentlemen. Many thanks for your input so far. Frzninvt, I am familiar with the ADS L710 and like the sound it produces; plus, the cabinetry is superb. How does the L300 you recommend stack up in construction and sound quality? My only knock against the L710 is that smaller acoustic pianos come across with just a hint of electronic nasality, while rock and some jazz drums lack crispness. Also, I am familiar with Polk; I use the Monitor 5b in a different room; although a tad bright, they are full and robust and just too hard to beat for the size! I'm curious about the NHTs; I do not know their sound but I'm on the prowl for a pair to audition. Best wishes. -UC

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Another all-time giant-killer in a small box is the original PSB Alpha.  I had a pair back in the mid-90s and they were mind-boggling.  You simply could not get more sound out of a bookshelf speaker for $200/pr circa 1995.  Good luck finding a pair, I kick myself daily for selling mine years ago.  The (original) PSB Alpha is my Top Vintage Bookshelf Speaker recommendation.

 

If you want something new, the Elac Debut B6 appears to be the heir to the PSB Alpha's giant-killer legacy.  For a mere $280/pr, it is just as big of a stunner with a huge exciting sound that is more refined than the old Alpha.  In fact, I'm considering getting a pair of B6's for myself!

 

Full disclosure: I don't really like small Klipsch speakers all that much.  IOW, the bigger the Klipsch, the better.  I've heard a few Klipsch bookshelf models over the years and none of them had that dynamic, life-like "spark" that the large floor-standers deliver in spades.  Anything smaller than the Heresy and you are probably wasting your time and money.  YMMV.

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