...do great speakers increase in value over time in the vintage market?

Hello to all...

I have a pair of JBL L25 "PRIMA" speakers, made 1972, case in 7/10 shape (not repainted), surrounds on woofers reformed several years ago, grill cloth replaced several years ago, includes JBL badges on speakers. Original 1972 price $169/ea. 

Recent searches of this speaker in the vintage market show prices 50% OR MORE than the origional issue price: ???

Is this that good a speaker design? - I have read comments saying it his/was one of the best speakers ever made by JBL (at that time?) - and I do luv their sound (which I now wonder if I've ever really heard them?) especially with well-recorded jazz and have the ability with little power to ROCK OUT!

(Would greatly appreciate any comments by those who have/had these over the years...)

DO GREAT SPEAKERS INCREASE IN VALUE OVER TIME, or do/should all depreciate in value...
I amend the above! Just now remembered my Rogers LS3/5A's cost new $450 in 1976. Now sell used for $1200 - $1600! And worth it! I paid $960 for my pair 3 years ago.
I amend the above! Just now remembered my Rogers LS3/5A's cost new $450 in 1976. Now sell used for $1200 - $1600! And worth it! I paid $960 for my pair 3 years ago.

$450 in 1976 is approximately $2,050 in today's 2020 dollars. 

The post by @bestbaker brings to mind a seemingly obvious point but one which often seems to not be taken into account in discussions of vintage vs. modern equipment, namely that comparisons should be based on similar **present day** selling prices.

Certainly most of us would consider a comparison between a modern component costing say $10K and another modern component costing say $1K to not be a fair one, at least in most cases. The same kind of perspective should apply, it seems to me, in comparisons of modern vs. vintage components. But just about none of the many previous threads I’ve seen here and elsewhere involving vintage vs. modern comparisons have brought that perspective to the table.

And in that regard I can say from personal experience that well restored tube components from the 1950s and 1960s, especially tube tuners but some preamps and power amps as well, can hold their own against many modern components selling for comparable prices. For the most part I’m referring here to components selling in the area of $500 to $1K.

That tends to be much less true in the case of 1970s solid state gear, IMO, but good examples can be found from that period as well. Early Mark Levinson gear being a notable one; I was a very happy user of an ML-1 preamplifier for a couple of decades extending well into this century. I believe it currently goes for around $1.5K to $2K if in top condition, and is certainly a good value at that price point IMO. And while I have never heard the ML-2 monoblock power amplifier, it continues to be something of a legend, albeit an expensive one, and is widely considered to be a great match for the also legendary and still revered Quad ESL-57 electrostatic speaker, designed in the 1950s!

Contrary examples can also be found, of course, especially at higher price points. For instance, during the 1990s I briefly owned a pair of Marantz model 9 monoblock amplifiers, which I believe would go for well over $20K today if in top condition. Based on that experience I would certainly prefer numerous modern amps selling for a small fraction of that amount. On the other hand, though, for a few years during that decade I also owned a pair of Marantz model 2 monoblocks, which when operated in triode mode and used with speakers which could be adequately powered by 18 watts or so were simply wonderful, and much better than the 9s. I believe a pair of 2s would go for $10K to $12K today in top condition. And while that value is certainly driven in part by a combination of rarity, nostalgia, and overseas demand, I believe that amp would hold its own against many modern designs selling for not a great deal less than that.

So as is often the case in audio, it depends :-)

-- Al


Thanks for your real-experience historic review...

Still using CD only - Regarding power for the JBL L25s: IYHO - are we talking Sugden A21 (with the Wolze) or McIntosh MC2105 (with the Wolze or direct ) - or are we talking Stromberg Carlson?

Hope you don’t mind giving me an opinion on the above - or your suggestion...

We're talking Kenwood KA-something or other 60 watt integrated, Technics SL-1700 with Stanton 681EEE, lamp cord and patch cords. Nothing back then even had detachable power cords so you can imagine. I was however dedicated enough to tin the ends of the lamp cord.  

I would go with a turntable and the smoothest amp I could find, turn the tweeter down a bit and enjoy.