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Speaker Up!: Upgraded Speakers Give Music Lovers Fresh Ears

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Ron Carter

I have a friend, a true connoisseur of great jazz, who owns a pair of 35-year-old speakers which no amount of teasing, deriding or ridicule can convince him to chuck out the window. He recently had them reconditioned, and I’m sure they sound better now after surgery, but not even a quadruple bypass can bring his old, trusty Advents-great speakers in their day-up to the level of modern-speaker performance.

The operative phrase here is “in their day.” Loudspeaker technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last 30 years-hell, in the last 15-and the dated technology of those old Hall-of-Famers produces nothing but dated sound. Today’s speaker designers know far more about cabinet structure, resonance control, crossover circuitry-the electronic gizmos that send the woofers the lows and the tweeters the highs-not to mention that they have a far greater choice of high-quality raw speaker drivers than ever before. Even the wire used for all the internal connections has vastly improved since the early 1970s when the original Advents came out. Like I said, the Advents were great way back when, but so was my original Macintosh computer, but it would be ludicrous, no, impossible, to do what I do today on that old Mac. Like those old speakers, technology has passed it by.

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