Time Travelling: The Vintage Audio Project
I’ve been fascinated by vintage audio – in particular, tube amps and horn speakers – for years. And while I have owned several more modern tube amps, I’ve yet to truly dive in. We’re changing all that today.
Starting this month, I’ll be hunting vintage gear and writing about the experience. We’ll do some comparisons to newer components when available, and reports on sound quality. We’ll also dig in and test out different mods. Should be fun. My dream would be to eventually get back to some huge Altec loudspeakers from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. We’ll see.
There are also many small companies building new amps and speakers based on older designs. Like ToolShed Amps of Greenfield, Wisconsin (amp pictured above), there are those who are returning to certain older ideas in an attempt to rediscover the essence of these exemplary ideas that have been lost to our current mainstream.
I’m starting this week with a pair of Klipsch Forte I series speakers. Built in the late 80’s, these boxes are about 30 years old. Many people whom I respect – as well as trust their ears – say the original Forte are superb loudspeakers. In addition, there are numerous mod opportunities, for both the crossovers and drivers. Klipsch enthusiasts have continued support from the DIY community and certain manufacturers and retailers. So, parts are readily available. Sounds to me like the perfect way to kickstart this project.
On that note – I expect this series to run long. Budget and time, of course, will dictate much of what we can accomplish. And, while this road is well worn by those better funded, and long educated in all things audio, I do hope to shed a different light on this dimly lit niche of our hobby. It’s not just for dudes scuttling ’round their basements. Mostly.
So, we’ll start small, and see where it takes us.
As always, I’d love to hear from you.
Be back soon – thanks for listening.