Speakers for a vintage receiver


New member
Username: Jhamer9

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-05
Hello, this is my first post here, but have been lurking for a bit. Great forum.

I recently purchased a 1976 harmon/kardon 430 twin powered receiver. It will be used only to listen to music from a CD player (not yet purchased) FM/AM and my ipod. It will be in a room that is ~16'w X 12'L with a cathedral ceiling which tops out at about 20'.

I'm looking for quality floor standing speakers that will match well with this receiver. The main reason I bought it was for listening to music via headphones (HD580's). Now I'm looking to match it with some quality speakers. The amp is rated at 25w per channel.

Cost isn't a concern, (unless my wife reads this) but I'd like to try and keep the price below $1000. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening.

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 331
Registered: Feb-04
For a vintage receiver, I suggest vintage speakers!

Go to ebay and look for used Klipsch Cornwall speakers and never look back. :-)


For more discussion on this often-seen combo, visit the Klipsch Forum at:


(The 2-Channel Audio board being the best source of info in your case)


Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3401
Registered: May-04

Just curious here. Why would owning a vintage receiver make a difference? (Just for the record, I own a 720 which is your receiver with 40 watts. It is not my main system, but it is one I listen to everyday.) The sound of music has not changed in the last 30 years; why do you feel the older amplifier needs some special type of speaker? The HK's from that period were/are quite good (twin powered, wide power bandwidth, square wave performance and low T.I.M.) and, within reason, can drive a wide selection of speakers old or new.

The idea of matching a speaker to an amplifier (or matching any component or cable to another in your system) seems to be very confused on this forum. It doesn't boil down to I have X amplifier, tell me THE SPEAKER (usually requesting a singular selection) I should buy.

In this case, you haven't told us why you own a thirty year old receiver other than it had a headphone jack. Nothing about what you find interesting about the sound. Nothing about your likes and dislikes in audio performance. Do you like a laid back sound? Maybe a very forward sound with deep bass but don't care much if it has good, tight bass?

Well, of course, the answer is you want good bass, deep bass, clear midrange, sweet treble. We all do! But all that costs a fair amount of money to do well. If you don't have large amounts of money, which most of us don't, you have to decide what is important, what you can do without and what you will compromise on. A lot of the decision regarding speakers will be determined by your music and listening tastes which we know nothing about. You told us the room is going to work against getting good sound (cathedral ceilings do not help speakers - things go up there and rattle around). But we don't know if you have any reference for other speakers or for live music. We don't know what type of music you are going to listen to or how loud or softly you will play the system. We don't know a lot that would help us make a recommendation.

In short, your question amounts to - "I just got some tires, tell me what car to buy?"


New member
Username: Jhamer9

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-05
Petergalbraith: Thanks for the info on the klipsch site... as i know you've seen this post sort of repeated...

Jan_b_vigne: i guess i didn't know if owning an older receiver made a difference or not. That's one thing i was curious about.

i understand that finding "the speaker" is like finding the holy grail, but i didn't know what speakers others recommeded for an amp, such as the one i purchased.

i have been reading much about klipsch and how well it pairs with the 430 and believe i am on a quest to be matched with something from the heritage series.

i guess reading about klipsch sort of answered my original question. i realize i was a bit vauge in some areas of the post, but i was just looking for a few recommendations. thanks for your input, it has been as valuable as the many i have read.

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 339
Registered: Feb-04
You're welcome. Hope it works out for you!

Jan, I saw his owning a vintage amplifier as a sign that he wouldn't mind going vintage for speakers as well. Older speaker don't have the tall and slim look of currently sold models.

In short, your question amounts to - "I just got some tires, tell me what car to buy?"


You're really a first class prat. Period. Seriously. Your condescension may work on the idiots who rolled into your place of employ, but come on, do you have to issue the rhetorical coup de grace EVERYTIME someone asks a sincere question? Not to play your game, but, did you call your kids stupid when they misspelled a word?

It's clear from your postings that we can rule out enjoyment as your reason for liking audio. So what is it, your oft-frustrated desire to rule over men lesser steeped in unproveable arcana? I mean, really, on these boards, you've insulted innocent posters, invoked Hitler's name in the attempt to prove that some hunks of vinyl jacketed copper are demonstrably superior to others, and commited innumerable errors of logic. What's the problem, Janny? We're here to listen....

Gold Member
Username: John_a


Post Number: 3019
Registered: Dec-03
It seems to me that Jan Vigne's post conveyed a desire to help plus a certain amount of puzzlement about what was wanted. So he suggested some questions jhamer9 might consider, if he has not done so, in order to arrive at a decision himself. Or to enable others to make more concrete suggestions.

All I can suggest is that 25 W per channel is not a lot by today's standards and a low efficiency speaker with say less than around 86 dB/VA at 1 m or so may not play loud enough except in a small room, depending on what the listener wants. But Jan's basic point, that "age has nothing to do with it" is correct, I think, and many people assume otherwise. jhamer9 did not say that he thought that, but one could draw that inference from the heading.

So I can't see the harm in that, nameless one. BTW, one can make generalizations, about a poster who is willing to be identified. If everyone posted as "anonymous" there would be no discussion.

Unregistered guest
anyone looking for a really nice set of 1978 Belles please contact me. Walnut oiled. asking around 2000.00 and live in the Tampa -St.Pete area

Bronze Member
Username: Nuck

Parkhill, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 61
Registered: Dec-04
So Jan is called put as a 'prat'
truth be told, Jan is a high quality contributor, and, sorry Jan. a bit high brow, sometimes, not always at all.
Nuff name caling, I say Klipch for that bad boy H/K and let 'crime of the century' live long! Arrgh

Unregistered guest
WOW I'm glad I never opened my mouth. Jan I'm not going to jump ON THAT train (but) from what I've read you do at times, "MANY" make me awfully glad I haven't.
Now. Coming from the 70's from a period I feel was the last of the Great Stereo's. A time when 15 to 60 watts was average and above that you really could crank it up. Speakers sound good without all the high power that I feel has lost it's Quality now days. I like the quite tight-Boom-tinkle of 501s with a 20-50 watt amp. Others like the BBoommm or very high highs that you could get out of 80-100+ amps. WE all can agree. Vintage amps and Vintage speakers no matter what sounds you'll be listening to are a good match. Not the only but very good. Now J9. You should be able to match that H/K to a number of vintage speakers on ebay. For my LP's I still use a pioneer Int/amp with 40 watts and Bose 501s and a EQ. I'm happy with that. For my Home Theater I have Wharfedale's True Blue 89s I found the complete 5.1 set in 2001 and i'm happy with those.From that you can tell i'm no expert. I just know what sound good to my ears. not what look good on paper. Just remember what John A. said. That isn't a lot of power by today's standards but back in the day H/K was a respectable brand and that was enough power to push almost any of the speakers of that time. PUSH THEM REAL GOOD.
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