Are advances in technology making speakers better?

B&w every few years upgrades there speaker line and other manufacturers do this to.  But because I have the earlier version does this mean it's inferior? Cable manufactures do the same thing.

How much more effort is required too perfect a speaker? my speaker is several years old and all the gear and the speaker are all broken in. And now I'm being told to upgrade.

I am so confused what should I do?



Most of the advances in the last 60 years have been to make speakers more compact rather than to improve sound.


Like everything else these days design has to be market led. I recall a well known designer explaining how a new design begins with whatever the market seems to demand. In his case it was a slim compact floorstander. So right from the bat there were serious sonic compromises involved (thankfully his company do produce a larger more substantial model as well).

Therefore it's good to see that Andrew Jones is able to finally cut loose a little on a design such as the MoFi SourcePoint 10. I guess their feeling is that there is room in the market for a direct challenge to the likes of Tannoy etc.

It's certainly going to be interesting to see what Jones/MoFi offer next.


Earlier speakers that were all out assaults on sound quality were gigantic in size.

The advent of stereo made them even more impractical.  

Shrinking the size became even more sensible when the transistor made higher powered amps needed for smaller speakers (lower in efficiency) cheaper to produce.


Good points, especially the first one.

Whatever people think of speakers like the Klipsch La Scala, there's no denying the fact that they make most other loudspeakers sound positively anemic and puny.

@larryi --


Advance in tech only gets you so far when the overall package of a speaker is diminished in size; it’s the one thing we can’t miniaturize without severe sonic implications. Like on the driver side: a several thousand $$ 1" dome tweeter is still a 1" dome tweeter, the same with an expensive 6 1/2" woofer, etc. I’ve read Mr. Atkinson’s and others from Stereophile’s praise of Edgar Villchur’s AR-1 speakers and what it initiated, and while we see the ramifications of the acoustic suspension design of his flourishing in its basics to this day - the success of which they’re so eager to bow to - one shouldn’t equate smaller speakers with their being the better sounding alternative, as much at least as their widespread domestic success while fitting the narrative of an "audiophile" magazine’s paradigm or dogma even that has more or less banished large, high efficiency speakers decades ago.

The quality of materials has improved markedly, but the philosophy of physics determining good speaker design remains conflicting among manufacturers.  Therefore what to believe is lost to the consumer. 

Shortening this complex topic to cardinal violations interfering with waveform reproduction:  1. cone drivers containing coils for midranges and higher, 2. sharp edges producing diffraction.  3. symmetry of driver placement, 4. passive crossovers with large value components, most containing coils, 5. improper impedance mismatched lead-in connections, 6. use of cheap copper alloys in the connections, etc, etc

If you think this excludes almost all speakers, then it should come as no surprise why few have heard the remarkable phenomena of when the artist appears in the listening room.  It is a jaw dropping, if not a life changing, experience.  That good. 

Your answer to this simply boils down to: 1. Alot of study and hard work building your own, or 2. spending an extreme fortune, which is still not guaranteed to solve your problem. 

I went with #1, followed the rules of physics, avoided the violations, a few of which were stated above, and achieved the performer-in-your-listening-room result.  So it works.  It was also a 30 year project. 

There are alot of good responses in thie thread.  Take every one of them.



Ok guys. I get all the thinking going on here… but have you guys listened to speakers over the five decades? The difference in sound quality is just jaw dropping. The detail, articulation of bass, sound stage. Sure the woofer size has decreased phenomenally as the magnet size increases allowing sooo much more detail. Treble has gone from shrill trebly distortion to natural realistic brass sounding (cymbals and bells).

There is simply no comparison to what my 18” Altec Voice of the Theater speakers could do in the 1970’s and, for instance, my current Sonus Faber Amati Traditional of today. Unless, you are into only nostalgia the sound quality is astronomically better.

My Triangle 3 way CELIUS SE speakers are Stereophile Class A at $3000.....They are 15 years old... bright, VERY detailed and have a heavy bass. My Heresy IV’s are horn speakers and 15 years newer technology. They have a nice tight snappy bass....A beautiful silky smooth but detailed midrange.and crystal clear highs that are easy on the ears but are true to the music recording....You just want to listen to music.....I feel like I’m part of the show..NO Klipsch honkiness on the new cross-overs and Tracktrix horns ..that’s all gone now.The newer Klipsch models are Much improved over the older Klipsch models....Technology marches on !