celestion

bandit pilot

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Since they are very different speakers, I would imagine they sound a bit different.

CELESTION%20DITTON%20551.jpg


speakers002.jpg


 

Ward

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I owned a pair in elm a very long time ago and mounted them on ARC Medite stands and drove them with a Rogers A100 amp to great effect.

Their bigger floor standing brother (I think they were called the 552, but not certain about that one), will be a nearer comparison to the Ditton 44,

but the 551 still produced a very decent full range sound and should be significantly cheaper if that is any help.

 

richgilb

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Bit late to resurrect this post but I would also be keen to know if others have an opinion. I have in the last year bought a pair of Ditton 44, Ditton 551 and Ditton 66.

The 66 has a lovely deep bass but is slightly ponderous to the degree where it sometimes sounds like the kick drum is out of time! The mids are also a bit honky but easy to get used to and after a while it is a very pleasant speaker. In summary I did not keep these, as the mids were not quite right and the bass was too much for nearfield for monitoring purposes. I have 2 mates with the 66 and they love them, but they are taken in by the extended bass to the degree of not caring so much about other considerations, I reckon.

The Ditton 44 is also a bit honky in the mid, maybe more so, yet does not have the depth in bass of the 66. It is an OK speaker but I got a bit irritated with it as it didn't do anything that well. Big sound but not that impressive anywhere. More of a party speaker you might spend a hundred quid on.

The 551 is the best of the 3. The mids and treble have a modern dry sound with good separation that leave the 66 and 44 for dead. The bass is deep and controlled. And not that slow but not lightening fast like some people might want. It is not as bass heavy as the 66 by far but definitely bassy enough.

Really top speakers and considering they go for £50 to £300, they are a bargain next to the 66 and 44 in my humble opinion.

I sold the 66 and the 44 for more than I paid for them too. I only kept them for about 2 months each pair too.

 

themadlatvian

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Richard - have you heard the A Series Celestions?

They are one of the secrets of hi-fi for a number of reasons.

The popularity of Celestion speakers has been on the wane for many years, despite the fact that they were one of the most important names in the history of the development of the modern loudspeaker.

The A Series came out as home theatre was on the rise, and they were designed to do both jobs (HT and audio) - very well indeed. Because of this, many audiophiles dismiss them without even auditioning them.

Also they ceased production before their time, because Celestion were bought by the Chinese who went immediately for a cheap and nasty strategy.

There are three main speakers in the range -

A1 Very sturdy standmounts

A2 Medium size floorstanders which punch well above their weight

A3 Huge no-compromise floorstanders - 50kg each! (My present main speakers)

The A3 -

a3.JPG


Get to listen to them. I love the Ditton series - still have 44s upstairs, but the A Series leave them for dead, in every way.

:^

 

themadlatvian

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I agree - the A series are great. Pretty demanding though; they need a serious amp to get the best out of them.
That's very true Colin. Sorry - I should have mentioned that.

My A3s (and my A1s for that matter) love the power of my NuVista, but the A3s did destroy one of my previous amplifiers a few years ago! They need at least a proper 200 watts into 4 ohms really, with plenty of current available.

:^

 

richgilb

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I nearly pulled the trigger on a pair of A3's, at a dealer's who claimed they had been traded in by Johnny Rotten!

Physical size was the main issue. But also are they not 8" drivers?

Also I am quite happy with my Marantz amp, which might struggle with those brutes.

I recall they were £650 or thereabouts, which was cheap. No love for poor old Celestion at the moment other than the 66 it seems.

Did the Chinese owners pull out of everything except guitar amp stuff eventually?

 

leenorris78

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Whoops, missed this first time round.

I have owned the Celestion 551 for over 10 years now and for the £100 or so you can pick them up for, I see them as a bargain. A cap replacement was very worthwhile (£80 for the caps and £100 for a local audio guy to fit them). Seemed to clean everything up. Yes, there are better speakers but I like my bass (lovely 10 inch drivers) and having a little one running around, he can't pull them over.

Sounding best with a valve in the system, Audion sterlings were probably the best amp (I have had) to drive them. Currently running the speakers with a NAD with a valve buffer in between the pre and power section.

I have not heard the other celestions but the bloke who did the recap said he absolutely loved the midrange dome (he buys and sells vintage audio so has heard a few speakers).

Richard, good to see someone else with these lovely speakers. Have you had to replace anything? And if so, what was the effect?

By the way, my speakers are asymmetrical (you can just see this through the grill. I have also seen other sets for sale which are asymmetrical, some symmetrical. Will this affect the sound?

Lee





 

themadlatvian

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I nearly pulled the trigger on a pair of A3's, at a dealer's who claimed they had been traded in by Johnny Rotten!Physical size was the main issue. But also are they not 8" drivers?

Also I am quite happy with my Marantz amp, which might struggle with those brutes.

I recall they were £650 or thereabouts, which was cheap. No love for poor old Celestion at the moment other than the 66 it seems.

Did the Chinese owners pull out of everything except guitar amp stuff eventually?
The Chinese brought out a series of cheaper Celestion speakers which were firmly aimed at the mass market and cheap HT systems, and this really was the death knell for the brand. They were called the F Series I think, I shudder to think what F stood for but I have a couple of suggestions!

Yes the A3 woofers are 8 inch, but there are three of them in each speaker! Tremendous deep bass if you can drive them properly. Your Marantz could have a job on with, that is true. My previous Sony 770es managed them pretty well. £650 is a good price for them nowadays in good nick. I love them - the closest I have heard to their sound was an enormous pair of PMC floor standers I once heard, very similar presentation.

:^

 

richgilb

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Whoops, missed this first time round.Richard, good to see someone else with these lovely speakers. Have you had to replace anything? And if so, what was the effect?

Lee



Lee

I have just got them and so am not sure really if anything needs doing, they are mint, like new with the original grills. At £180 for a recap, this is nearly what they cost me (200 actually), it is a bit of a step. I'd have to ask 400 for them if I sold them!

I am pleased to hear your contact was impressed with the mid drivers. Although I have turned them down to -1 on the control, I am really surprised at how modern they sound when so many old speakers sound like they have small room reverb on them!

 

Leonard Smalls

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The 66 has a lovely deep bass but is slightly ponderous to the degree where it sometimes sounds like the kick drum is out of time! The mids are also a bit honky but easy to get used to and after a while it is a very pleasant speaker. In summary I did not keep these, as the mids were not quite right and the bass was too much for nearfield for monitoring purposes. I have 2 mates with the 66 and they love them, but they are taken in by the extended bass to the degree of not caring so much about other considerations, I reckon.
Having had 66s for some years (though mine are the series 2 with rear-facing radiator and deeper cabinet), I'd say your amp may have been having problems with them!

When I drove mine with an ancient MF B200 I had the symptoms you describe.

However, upping the ante to a pair of Lumley LM120 monoblocks made them rock, and upping it somewhat more to a Bryston 14bsst (ie 600+W into 8 ohms) removed any hint of ponderousness!

I haven't found many other amp/speaker combos to beat them, though using the Brystons with Leema Xaviers is just as good in other ways...

 

richgilb

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Having had 66s for some years (though mine are the series 2 with rear-facing radiator and deeper cabinet), I'd say your amp may have been having problems with them!When I drove mine with an ancient MF B200 I had the symptoms you describe.

However, upping the ante to a pair of Lumley LM120 monoblocks made them rock, and upping it somewhat more to a Bryston 14bsst (ie 600+W into 8 ohms) removed any hint of ponderousness!

I haven't found many other amp/speaker combos to beat them, though using the Brystons with Leema Xaviers is just as good in other ways...
Well, only last night I was listening to my old 66 speakers on a pre /power valve combo. Still struggled, but the power amp is quite small. And another mate is using a Mesa Baron.....slightly less ponderous here but still noticeable. Yet he had his straight on the carpet with no plinth or spikes. Both these pairs are the mk2.

 

bandit pilot

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Rich, a friend of mine has had 66's for about 30 years. He has used them with all kinds of amps, but he swears the best results he's had, by far, have been with Crown DC300a. I've heard his system many times and can confirm it does sound good.

I've got one you can have a loan of if it helps. They can be had for far less than any decent Hi-Fi badged gear.

 

richgilb

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Rich, a friend of mine has had 66's for about 30 years. He has used them with all kinds of amps, but he swears the best results he's had, by far, have been with Crown DC300a. I've heard his system many times and can confirm it does sound good.I've got one you can have a loan of if it helps. They can be had for far less than any decent Hi-Fi badged gear.
Sounds great but I sold them! I also did not like the mids that much. How much is this amp worth?

 

Who Cares?

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In a somewhat spiritual sense one could consider ATC to be the continuance of the original Celestion tradition.

 
G

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I have a pair of Celestion Ditton 551. They have been in storage for over 20yrs. I have taken them out and tried them recently. Unfortunately I found that there is no signal on a tweeter. Any Idea where I can find a pair of new crossovers?

I read that crossovers deteriorate with time. Is this true?

Do you know of anyone who services, upgrades or restores Celestion Ditton Crossovers?

I can tell you that I bought them new some 35yrs ago and put them on stands they sounded great. That's why I would like to restore them.

Any help will be appreciated.

 

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