Sunday, April 27, 2008

Goodbye Li'l Buddies (Home, April 2008)


Here are two legendary audio speakers... two true audio classics from the 1980s... and two of the latest victims of my year-long effort to purge "stuff" from my apartment and reclaim valuable space.

The speaker on the right is the original Wharfdale Diamond, which is frequently cited as being the first quality "mini-monitor" made. Before the introduction of this speaker, all good quality speakers were much larger. Speakers this small were total crap (or, as in the case of the even tinier Realistic Minimus 7s, they might have been somewhat adequate, yet completely lacking in bass). That first generation of mini-monitors was the first to produce a well-balanced, high-quality sound, previously unobtainable in speakers this small and inexpensive. They were perfect for bedrooms, dorm rooms and small spaces. I was never personally fond of the Wharfedale Diamond's warm, euphonic sound -- but my parents enjoyed it for years in their system and, despite my reservations -- it was a milestone product.

On the left is one of my personal, all-time favorites: the legendary "Celestion 3." This high-quality mini-monitor, introduced the metal dome tweeter to the world of small, affordable speakers and took affordable mini-monitors to a whole new level -- giving audiophiles on a budget their first real "taste" of "High-End Sound." When these Celestions were first introduced, they and their larger siblings immediately became THE most sought after speakers in their class... and for good reason... their sound was amazing. It was a quality of sound that was previously unheard (and unheard of) in their price-range. For years, the Celetion 3s were my primary listening source and were coupled with several other legendary components: the NAD 3140 Integrated Amplifier, a Thorens TD-166 Turntable, a Denon DCD-1560 CD player and an Aiwa ADF-770 Cassette Deck. Ahhh, budget 1980s audiophile nirvana and not an HDMI Cord in sight!

Both pairs of these speakers have been "hanging out" in my closet for years. Both hoping for a reprieve that never came. Both pairs are in need of repairs. In both cases, one speaker is in perfect condition while the other has a busted tweeter. Of course, a busted tweeter is all that a legendary pair of speakers needs to go from coveted, audiophile, ear-candy to trash bin filler. I've given up trying to find replacement tweeters and they are now on the way out to the trash bin unless...

I'm going to list these on Craig's List, for a couple of weeks, as "legendary mini-monitor (speakers) for parts or repair" and see if anyone out there has any use for them. Meanwhile, if any of you blogger-buddies are interested in them, let me know.

2 comments:

Dr.Al said...

Hi Hernan, my old friend. It is good to know that you are alive and well. This is Albert Ortega from JHS 22. It is great to see you and Dean are still pals (Iw asmoved to tears when I saw the picture of you, your Mom and Dean. It seems that Quiggles and Ms. Okeefe were a lifetime ago.
Drop me a line. dralortega@aol.com.

Al

Dr.Al said...

Hi Hernan,

Its Albert Ortega from JHS 22. Good to see that you are well and that you are an accomplished Photographer. Its also good to see that you and Dean are still buddy's. Your photo of you, Dean and your Mom was very moving.

We should catch up soon.

Al Ortega