Anything more resolving than 65 year-old speakers?

As I’m listening to some Raal headphones - the most resolving cans I’ve ever heard - I can’t help but be reminded of Quad ESL 57’s. More than any other speaker I’ve heard at shows or in homes, they had resolution without harshness. Maybe the Sanders 10e comes close, but is much more expensive. Maybe Bohlender Rd75’s come close for transparency, but are still not quite there.

Am I missing something or have we really not progressed in terms of resolution in 65 years, at least from the greats? If you’ve got something super-resolving (but not harsh) that you prefer to Quads with a sub, please speak up!


I have a pair of Altec Lansing 604Cs. 
The serial number dates them at 1956, two years younger than me. 

To paraphrase a famous Beatles song:

604Cs are good to me, you know
They make me happy as can be, you know
I say so
I'm in love with them and I feel fine.


Honest to gosh, I have tried to find something better than my ancient Quad ESL-57s but have failed. The Quads aren’t perfect, but all other speakers are less so. After running them for years with Quad electronics, finally upgraded with an Audio Note Cobra. I listen only to CDs on a Jolida JD100 and use the onboard Cobra DAC. All this for less than $10K. have never heard a finer sounding system, no matter what the cost. 

Room size and acoustics has as much to do with it as the speakers themselves.

Back in the early 70s after attending the Woodstock Festival I was impressed with Altec. Not the ginormous ones at the festival but Altec produced a bunch of residential grade outstanding versions. Models such as 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19 seemed to fit in many home listening areas. I settled on a pair if 19s and still have them now. I like them for the horn drivers, 802-8G with the tangerine phase plug that tends to soften the horn for near field listening. The 15" 416 woofer provides plenty of the base. I do find in different rooms the best position is about 15 feet from the speakers. On the plus side with vintage gear from Altec is the fact that Great Plains Audio can still repair almost all the Altec drivers back to original new form. A disadvantage is that size of the box is often a concern and at 30 inches wide the 19s can be a bit large for many living rooms and listening areas. I am a little surprised that Altec is not mentioned above in the top 12 while the Klipschorns are. I had them and sold the pair after comparing them to my 19s.