Altec horns

I am hoping mhardy chimes in as he seems to be very fond of vintage Altec gear.
I have never thought i liked any of the vintage horn designs including Altec because everything I have ever heard sounded, well just too much, TOO MUCH! Blareing way over the top, head ache inducing, etc. This past weekend i was visiting a new local novice mid-fi audiophile such as myself that i had recently met. he has a pair of cabinets scaled down and built after some Altc VOTT maybe A7's (?). holy crap i was blown away! I cannot say they were perfect. but by far the best sounding horn i have ever heard thus far. Not necessarily the tweet but the mid was amazing! These were built in NC by a gentleman named ledbetter. he built about 200 of them and this guy has a pair. He has an infinty 8 inch driver with a magnavox green back tweet on top.
has anyone ever seen or heard anything like this. Any build plans for something similar? etc?
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of Progress?!


Monitor 5Jr, Monitor 5, RTA12, RTA 15TL, SDA 2A, 1c, SRS 2, 1.2TL, CRS, Atrium.

Answers

  • What was he using as an amp? Tubes?
    Vintage Sound Quest
    Dynaco ST70, Pas2 - ST400, PAT5 - Pioneer SA9100
    AR3, 2ax - KLH Five - Heresy - Altec Valencia B - Epos ES11 - Infinity CS3007 - MGIIA - Janis
    Technics SL1300, Dual 1019 - Adcom GCD700 - Emotiva XDA-2
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 15,615
    edited February 2015
    I have seen some scaled-down VOT designs, but not in the flesh. Do the ones you saw/heard have Altec horns & drivers, or otherwise? The 811B is not (to me, at any rate) a bad sounding MR horn at all -- capable of MR/tweeter use with the right driver and network (as in the Altec Nineteen).

    On this subject (sort of), I used a pair of 846A Valencias for quite a while, actually The Valencia is, in essence, a VOT variant in a smaller, vented (rather than horn loaded) box, and uses a 416Z woofer and the 811B horn with (if memory serves) an 806A compression driver. They sounded quite good (better than the Cornwalls that they quickly supplanted) but the enclosure design did not afford much LF.

    http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-125

    12980008165_d42bcedc8f_b.jpgP1020753 by mhardy6647, on Flickr
    The multi-cellular Altec horns are, IMO, really sweet sounding.
    There are numerous good sounding & well designed modern horns, as well. Some aren't even terribly expensive.
    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

  • The speakers were being driven with nothing fancy at all; a Pioneer SA-7100. usually i am not a fan of the vintage pioneer sound though i find it tolerable it is not a sound that i desire. The same goes for horns; i have never really been a fan at all. They have all just seemed to me, to be way too much of everything they do. but lacking bottom end. This pair also lacked bottom end but they sounded so good that it did not leave me wanting at all. they seemed a little stronger in the mid-range which I have found somehow common to my ears with any horn cabinet design, but it was beautiful! The sound was so open and airy, like it just filled every bit of open air around me.
    These did not have Altec drivers. They were utilizing Magnavox green back horn tweeters mounted in open air on top of the cabinet, and some form of infinity 8 inch driver for the mid/ bass. it was a paper cone with foam surround. nothing fancy looking, very simple looking. i am not sure about crossover. The cabinets were painted plywood of what appeared to be approximately 3/8 inch thickness (this is just a guess as i did not measure).
    The guy did have some small mono tube amps 6 watt each and he had a pair) (not sure what kind) but not hooked to these. They were hooked to some Fraziers and others through an Adcom speaker switch and could could select one of several different pairs of speakers. One of the pairs would look similar to the pair in discussion but were ported and not horn loaded, but seemed built with similar materials and had similar sized horns in the top. these were not mounted in the open and i could not see what kind of horns they were. The three pairs of speakers hooked to the tube amps did not sound good to my ears at all (Frazier Dixielander, Dixielander jr., and the other pair described above). they did not sound horrible by any means but not good. They all still seemed to me to be, just a little too much.
    the mini Altecs (for lack of better description) were simply amazing. not sure if it was luck of the draw or what but I now want a pair very badly!
    If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of Progress?!


    Monitor 5Jr, Monitor 5, RTA12, RTA 15TL, SDA 2A, 1c, SRS 2, 1.2TL, CRS, Atrium.
  • My Valencia's also fill the room with sound. You can be in another part of the house, think the stereo is cranked up loudly, come into the room where the speakers are and realize they are not running all that loudly. I will be selling them shortly.
    Vintage Sound Quest
    Dynaco ST70, Pas2 - ST400, PAT5 - Pioneer SA9100
    AR3, 2ax - KLH Five - Heresy - Altec Valencia B - Epos ES11 - Infinity CS3007 - MGIIA - Janis
    Technics SL1300, Dual 1019 - Adcom GCD700 - Emotiva XDA-2
  • BrettlBrettl Posts: 8
    Check out a pair of altec model 19s great speaker, hard to go wrong.
  • Mr. BubblesMr. Bubbles Posts: 736
    Those Altec 19's look good. I would be curious how the mid/ bass would be compared to the horn loaded design.
    If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of Progress?!


    Monitor 5Jr, Monitor 5, RTA12, RTA 15TL, SDA 2A, 1c, SRS 2, 1.2TL, CRS, Atrium.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 15,615
    edited March 2015
    The Nineteen has more extended bass than the Valencia. The Valencia which is likewise not horn-loaded and the BR cabinet is really too small for best results with the woofer used therein. Compared to the (A version) of the Valencia, at least, the Nineteen has a larger BR woofer enclosure, (EDIT: slightly) different woofer (I think), different HF compression driver design (Tangerine phase plug, again, I think) and has a somewhat more carefully designed HF contour ("EQ") circuit.

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    There are many Altec loudspeakers that I prefer to the Nineteen, but the Nineteen is a fine loudspeaker if one has the physical space for a pair (and the ability to horse a pair of them into their desired places).
    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

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