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Searching for OLA's


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I have no doubt this has been covered countless times here, so I ask for forgiveness. What do I need to look out for, in a search for OLA's? I'm an oldtimer, who sold many Advents in a store in western Mass, decades ago. I had a pair of OLA's, at the time. I had traded in AR3a's for them, because they sounded better. Then I traded them for powered Advents, which went in a burglary. I now have hankering for a pair of OLA's. I have no problem if I need to refoam them. I've been searching ebay, and find prices from sellers with excellent feedback, are surprisingly low. Someone, 2 hours away, 1100 transactiions, 100% feedback, will take $250 for a pair, locally, after auditioning.

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For $250 a pair, they should be in pristine condition, freshly refoamed and recapped, and the veneered, beveled front, not the utility cabinet. I paid $50 for my OLA that needed to be restored. I've seen others for sale between $100 to $200, depending upon condition. Other places to check are Craig's List and Facebook Marketplace.

As for what to look for, if you audition, do all the drivers work, or, if no audition, does the woofer move freely and the drivers appear undamaged. Are the speakers recapped and have they been properly refoamed? For a lower, more reasonable price, I would prefer to recap and refoam myself because some cannot do a good job of it.

If they have been recapped, I ask questions and ask if they have the original caps (I save the old ones when I recap). The idea is to determine if they knew what they were doing and did it correctly. An audition may provide evidence of a successful recap or a need to recap.

If they have been refoamed, check that the foam was properly installed: for the original masonite woofer the outer edge of the foam is under the masonite (on the bottom side) and the inner edge is on top of the cone. For the replacement metal frame, outer edge is on the metal frame and inner edge under the cone. 

I like my OLA, but I have many others that are their equal or outperform them, such Advent Legacy II, KLH 6, Genesis II, etc. My OLA is stacked with my Legacy II in my garage. They do fine filling the garage, the driveway, and the street. :) Fortunately, I don't have close neighbors.

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Welcome to The Classic Speakers Pages. I was a newbie a couple of years ago and have gotten terrific advice, direction and feedback on this site.

RTally has given you very solid advice.

For $250 they should be in very good shape, refoamed, and with new caps. If they need any work, if the cabinets are slightly distressed, have rotted woofer foam, or if they are in need of new caps, the price should be closer to $100. 

Your post doesn't say where you are located now, other than spending earlier years in Western Mass, so I don't know what the market is like where you live. However I can tell you that in the NY/NJ and Philly metro areas there are quite a few OLA's and later generation Advents available on eBay and Craigslist. The only Advent in short supply seems to be the original Smaller Advent Loudspeaker. If the pair you are going to look at are not in great shape and the market is similar, don't be afraid to pass on them at the $250 price. There is usually another train right around the bend, at least in this area.

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I don’t see The Smaller Advent Loudspeaker listed very often, so I don’t really know the pricing on them. (I think there may be a pair on eBay from eastern PA or western NJ right now.) OLA’s, NLA’s and some other Advents are much easier to find. Besides, The Smaller Advent speaker is a 4 ohm speaker and I’m not pursuing 4 ohm speakers with the equipment I have.

If you do not mind driving to the Philly area, it’s a pretty robust market for used/vintage audio equipment. As a matter of fact, I bought a pair of OLA’s from right outside Philly only about 2 weeks ago off Craigslist. They need to be reformed and the selling price was $99.

I think you have some options if you are not so much put off by the search.

Happy hunting!

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know where you guys are getting info from but the price has gone up considerably. Check out Ebay and some are going from 350 to 700$ And some of the cheap ones are a mess. Glue all over the surrounds, no way of knowing if they were put on right or if the voice coil was shimmed like it should be so it doesn't scrape and short out. You need to first find decent cabinets, then get the woofers NOT re foamed so you can do it right, or send them to someone who fixes speakers for a living. The grills you can tackle yourself, and the cloth you can buy online like the staple gun and staples. The caulking is at home depot for under 10$. These are decent speakers when up to spec, and they sound quite nice with plenty of bass from the masonite woofers. I have an extra pair that I am going to be unloading, and I just did the grills to practice for my pair. I had to get 2 pairs because the first pair that have almost perfect cabinets with all the paper work on the back intact, had 2 different woofers. One masonite and one new model woofer. I prefer the masonite ones because it was the first pair I owned back in 75. Now I have it totally rebuilt. I bought the second pair just to get the woofer. I got a full pair that were foam rotted out for 80$. I drove all the way to Delaware to avoid shipping and it cost me 40$ in gas, along with 13 hours round trip. Well worth it for me since I wanted a nice pair for almost 5 years now I have been waiting to get lucky. My extra pair is going up for sale soon for 150$ but need refoam and 2 different woofers. I did the grills already.





This is shimming the coil.

This surround is not on right. Supposed to be inverted and under the mosonite,






This is the proper way, under the ring.





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