Thrift Shop Find: Vintage ADS L520 Speakers

Thursday, July 09, 2009 / Posted by PageOne /

I don't thrift much anymore like I did in my childless, record-digging days, but yesterday, I had to turn in some paperwork for my job. The office that I visited happened to be right next to a shop, so I stopped in. Now, I've been looking for some vintage speakers to pair with my Dad's Marantz 2220 Receiver in the music room. It was his from the early seventies, and I got it cleaned and tuned-up a couple years back. I've been browsing craigslist ads for well over a year, but never pulled the trigger on any speaker sets. I guess it worked out because I found a minty pair of ADS L520s for 30 bones. ADS was affiliated with German design powerhouse, Braun. Here's a review of the speakers from

Gorgeous flat frequency response, beautiful clear highs and tight bass and accurate mid-range. My holy grail of bookshelf speakers, though the larger ADS with more dedicated midrange might be more balanced. The 2-way design is quite elegant though, there are no deficiencies. I don't hesitate to say these are some of the best sounding bookshelf speakers I've heard short of things I've heard for a small fortune in listening rooms. Really amazing speakers at any price. The soundstage is expansive and the imaging is immaculate and so realistic. The speakers seem to disappear from the room, leaving only the music. This is simply how speakers are supposed to be. Again, an incredible value. If you ever come across these or any other ADS bookshelf or floor speaker from 1978-1993, do not pass them up.

Tonight was devoted to listening. From the psychedelic stylings of "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" to Minnie's "Come to my Garden," I've been very pleased with my pick-up. As far as speaker (or sound system checks), the album that I feel will show the true beauty or faults of sound is Beck's "Sea Change." So rich and somehow silently textured. But I must say, if I was going to throw the bank at a HiFi system and could only pick one song for the test, it would have to be Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang" on wax. Beautiful:

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Comment by Duane Fernandez on July 13, 2009

nice find indeed.

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