90s era mini-system vs. modern bluetooth speaker?

Mar 15, 2003
12,450
27
91
I'm in the market for an audio system for my living room and am on the fence about retro minisystem or $200-300 bluetooth speaker system (marshall or klipsch are on the list). I really used to like my denon microsystem back in the day and wonder if picking up something similar would, at least audio wise, one up the modern equivalent (I already have a bluetooth stereo adapter to add to it). I especially like that a lot of these systems have subwoofer out. I also like how they look, would look handsome on top of our inherited piano
radio.jpg
Moved from OT.
admin allisolm
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,697
278
126
Depends on exactly what you're comparing. A modern class D will be more power efficient and pack more power into a smaller area, be cheaper per watt (if all else were equal which is seldom true in audio land).

Whether you need enough wattage to go with class D in a small size, probably not, depends on how small the size, large the room, efficient the speakers.

The speakers themselves are going to determine the most sound quality difference, though there are certain music genres that lend themselves more to the (artificially) lively harmonics of class D and some that are better suited to the smoothness of class A/B. Some of the class D liveliness will be muted if the tweeters aren't up to it (for better or worse).

The thing with picking up the old designs is you're looking at used gear right? Some may be in bad shape or aged poorly, speakers may need new drivers in them, or for example many with a CD changer will have the changer fail, but on the bright side I picked up a micro system with that fault a few years back (didn't need the CD changer), won it on ebay for $0.01 with local pickup. I felt bad and gave the seller a few bucks for gas money to meet me.

Don't get an old one with a VFD (vacuum fluorescent display), as it will be dim or at least fewer years until then. Then again if it's cheap enough and/or you're only using it as an amp for a bluetooth connected source, an amp doesn't necessarily need a display.
 
Last edited:

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
75,750
5,907
126
Bt speakers are convenient, not good sounding. Not to mention your BT adapter is not full range anyway. It will compress the audio signal you pass to it since it doesn't have enough bandwidth.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Muadib

spacejamz

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2003
9,920
330
126
I agree. Good sound should be paramount, and yet it's not.
most people nowadays would rather not run speaker wire and consider it an acceptable sacrifice...actually they probably don't even notice the difference sadly
 
Mar 11, 2004
19,083
1,670
126
OP, they make systems like that with Bluetooth capability (many of them got updated to add stuff like that, but I don't think they're super popular so you don't see them in stores as much). Also lots of the active powered bookshelf speakers/monitors have versions with DACs and bluetooth capabilities, and usually you're not required to use Bluetooth or even digital. Since I assume you're looking for something reasonably compact, I'd say that's probably you're best bet, and would likely offer better quality.

Which you might would be better off going with the analog versions, then supplying your own connection module (be it "smart" like Chromecast/Roku/etc, or more simple "interface" like a DAC/bluetooth module).

Lots of branded stuff (including from the two you mentioned).
https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-R-51PM-Powered-Bluetooth-Speaker/dp/B07FKCP7PZ/ref=sr_1_19?keywords=powered+speakers&qid=1564957063&s=gateway&sr=8-19

Edifier, AudioEngine, Swans, Mackie, and just about every other audio brand has speakers like that. I can't attest to which ones would be best suited (some might have better quality speakers but have poor Bluetooth support, or vice versa) so you'd maybe need to check around. Most have both analog and/or digital inputs so you'd have options should you want to change the input.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
55,962
8,491
126
Airplay transmits uncompressed audio. Airplay dongles are $30, iTunes is free, and non-Apple software (AirFoil) to drive Airplay devices is around $30. If it were me, I'd get a mini-system you like and get an Airplay dongle. You might also need a 1/8" stereo plug to RCA connector cable for another ~$10, depending on the audio system.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,450
27
91
Thanks for the input guys. Found a cheapie system for $50 shipped on ebay:
http://support.jvc.com/consumer/product.jsp?modelId=MODL023035&

Supports external subs if i need to fill in the low end. Worst case it was a $50 gamble.

I especially like the finish - cherry wood and ceramic tweeters, metal amp unit =my wife will approve of the decor friendliness of it all. our sony bluetooth speaker turns the living room into a euro disco with all the flashing LEDS
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
75,750
5,907
126
Airplay transmits uncompressed audio. Airplay dongles are $30, iTunes is free, and non-Apple software (AirFoil) to drive Airplay devices is around $30. If it were me, I'd get a mini-system you like and get an Airplay dongle. You might also need a 1/8" stereo plug to RCA connector cable for another ~$10, depending on the audio system.

Airplay is over wifi no? He can always go Chromecast audio.
 
Last edited:

Aspality

Junior Member
Aug 4, 2019
15
3
6
I personally would recommend just getting the Edifier S2000 Pros and be done with it. The important thing with bluetooth is what codec it uses, and generally if you're using aptx or higher, you'll barely notice a difference between that and a physical line.
The Edifiers are bluetooth 4.0 with aptx, and from a fair amount of reviews, basically top tier sound at the price point with maybe the Swan M200 as its few competitors.
You do have more input options with the Edifiers, and it's a set of powered monitors so running an amp isn't all that necessary, and the inbuilt DAC is plenty good enough.
Though it is at the top end of your budget so of course do your own research on them.
 

spacejamz

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2003
9,920
330
126
most people don't care about top quality audio...they are okay with good enough....
 

Aspality

Junior Member
Aug 4, 2019
15
3
6
most people don't care about top quality audio...they are okay with good enough....
While true, the amount of money OP is looking to spend is pretty close anyway, though the S2000 Pro is a bit out of his budget.
But he could go down to an Edifier R2000DB which is well within his budget and going to be better than the recommendations I've seen in this thread.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,450
27
91
I personally would recommend just getting the Edifier S2000 Pros and be done with it. The important thing with bluetooth is what codec it uses, and generally if you're using aptx or higher, you'll barely notice a difference between that and a physical line.
The Edifiers are bluetooth 4.0 with aptx, and from a fair amount of reviews, basically top tier sound at the price point with maybe the Swan M200 as its few competitors.
You do have more input options with the Edifiers, and it's a set of powered monitors so running an amp isn't all that necessary, and the inbuilt DAC is plenty good enough.
Though it is at the top end of your budget so of course do your own research on them.
Looks nice, though I already picked up both a jvc microsystem and a cambridge subwoofer for $120 shipped - considerably less than my budget, fingers crossed!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY