Should I keep these speakers?

So years ago I got a free pair of Technics SB-A51 speakers which I’ve been using with my home theater system. Trouble is, they’re rather large.

Looking at home theater systems available these days, their speakers are all small, about the size of a box of tissues.

Not knowing a thing about audio systems and how they compare, I found it odd that speakers these days are so small. That got me wondering if I can get the same sound out of a newer system, and can regain some space if I bought something smaller.

So audiophiles, how would these compare with what’s out there today? Are they worth keeping? Should I upgrade?

I’m no audiophile, but my large old Kenwood sound system has fantastic sound. It feels like you’re in a movie theater. Newer, smaller speakers just don’t have the room-filling richness that larger speakers do.

When you see the teenie home theatre speakers these days they’re usually paired with some type of passive subwoofer. For audiophiles these won’t cut the mustard as their biggest complaint will be “Where’s the midrange?”
These sub-sat combos will never match the sound quality of a nice pair of tower speakers IMHO but I think most people know that and are willing to make the sacrifice just so they don’t have the big speaker towers in their living room.

There are a LOT of variables that determine good sound. High quality small speakers can sound better than big cheapos. However, all else being equal, it’s easier to make good big sound with big speakers.

In my experience, modern small speakers totally suck compared to vintage large speakers. I vote to keep them.

Do you like to spend money recreationally?

Are your current speakers inconvenient for you?

If yes on both counts, replace them.

Otherwise, in my fairly extensive experience, your current speakers sound better than 90% of what’s currently on the market, at the consumer level.

Those aren’t big speakers! *These *are big speakers.,2,6

I say keep ‘em. If the windows don’t rattle when you crank them up, you ain’t doin’ it right.

Back in the olden days, I used a similar pair of JBLs for largish venues, and another set of Peaveys, newer, with wheels.

St. Patrick’s Day 1997, I was DJing on River Street, in Savannah, Georgia. My gig was at a balcony location above the main stage. I was set up with 4 amps and 8 speakers. The band America (“Horse with No Name”) was playing the plaza one evening, and sent word for me to turn it down.

(If I’d been asked politely, I probably would have, too.)

Were you spinning rock and jazz and blues and things?

Those speakers look great, you like them and they were free. They have separate bass, mid-range, high frequency drivers and the box is ported. If they aren’t blown or making strange noises why get rid of them? They look classic to me, classic meaning good.

Unless you’re willing to blow a fairly substantial amount on smaller speakers I would keep them. I had my Klipsch Tangent 300s and a Paradigm PS-10 to round out the bottom end for years before I finally bought a set of Brystons for my front three. So long as they pass the WAF I would keep them.

When he’s spinning, you won’t remember his name, 'cause there ain’t no one for to give him no fame.

I bought this pair of Heathkit speakers, used in 1980. They were great college dorm-room quality - the louder the better! The only reason I sold them is we needed to declutter the house before we sold so my wife made me sell them. I really wish I had kept them, so years later I can have shown my children that their earbuds can’t duplicate speakers that vibrate your rib cage.

I used smallish RBH speakers when I built my HT system a couple years ago. They sound good with music, but interestingly are only so-so for movies.

My stepfather has a pair of Altec Valencia speakers. They were made in the late 1960s, and are huge. But they sound incredible; they blow away my speakers.

You want the Dominator MX 10.
Spoilered for language


I’m going with the flow. The Technics aren’t exactly high-end, but they probably make more and better sound for your system than small bookshelf or satellite speakers. They’re efficient at using what power you have. I’ve had a couple three-piece systems that rely on a separate subwoofer and I always end up missing some lower-mid/upper-bass range. I’d keep them unless you simply have no room at all to accommodate them.

Hip hop the hippity… etc.

(OK, it was late and I was drunk.

Seventies R&B, as God intended.)