Seasoned ears only

I've got too much time on my hands. Like many audiophiles, I'm always trying to achieve that symbiotic system nirvana; the sound you remember from one place or another that you just can't seem to achieve again. I was thinking that several companies have introduced truly remarkable speakers in the last 30 years, but many of us are obsessed with the "newest thing."

Think of such speakers as the ugly but brilliant Yamaha NS-1000 monitors, the many Quad electrostatics, the AR-9, the original Von Schweikert VR-4. Some truly amazing speakers that you can find at a fraction of their original cost today.

How do those of you with the more seasoned ears think a pair of, for example, Von Schweikert VR-4 would match up with most of today's under $10,000 speakers? Sometimes I think the Quads, VR-4 and NS-1000 knocked my socks off at the time more than most speakers introduced today. Do you think we are being seduced into buying the "newest thing" because of our audio bug vulnerability, or are today's speakers really any better??
I think when you spend a large amount of money and time in putting up a modern audiophile system you end up listening differently. You're more likely to listen to how the system performs than listen to the music. It's not as clear cut, night and day as my words describe, but a matter of degrees on a continuum. Your expectations of vintage equipment can allow you to relax more and just enjoy the music.
Elizabeth FTW. All we are is memory.

I swear the most musical moment of my experience of recorded music I got from orange plastic sports headphones plugged into a sony walkman, tucked into the handlebar bag of my road bike, spinning a cassette I recorded from Bowie's new Scary Monsters album, Robert Fripp soaring between my ears about Teenage Wildlife.

I get close to that, sometimes, with all this new gear I'm messing with.
I dunno, Quad and VR4 in the same sentence ...... There was nothing Iconic about the VR4 IMO , Quads .. Yes !

I think the experience you report is fairly typical and fairly understandable, when you think about it. The first time a speaker blows us away (for whatever reason), it's probably a quantum leap over the dreck we were used to listening to. Then, as you stay in the hobby, you get used to listening to better and better gear and the new things you hear are more incremental than monumental improvements, more evolutionary than revolutionary to your ears.

That being said, a speaker like the Vandy 7, properly set up and with good source and amplification, still still make these jaded ears take notice.

And, no, I am not affiliated with Vandersteen, though I do own some of their speakers (though unfortunately not the 7s!).