Set of Altec A-7’s all original!

I just found a pair of Altec a7 ‘voice of the theatre speakers all intact with divider, a black horn with green on the end where the hook up are, and the speakers all intact... any thoughts on what I should pair them with? My friend just gave me a pair of Peavey CS800’s... I’m a drummer and don’t know much about this stuff, but I know a good find when I see one. They were gonna throw them out of an old theatre! Perfect working order, never been used anywhere else. Can someone help me?

Comments

  • Sorry, driver, nit divider...
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,245
    edited February 4
    Not the Peaveys. :o
    Unless they're very late production A7s, the drivers are not designed for high powered amplification (they don't need it) and you'd run the very real risk of smoking the treble drivers and/or the woofers -- which would be a shame.

    Were I you, I would build or buy (or borrow) a single-ended, direct heated triode amplifier using either a 2A3 or 300B tube for output. That will be quite nice with A7s.

    The important thing(s) are what drivers are in them. An A7 probably has 811B horns, but could have any of a number of different drivers (maybe 806 family members?). The woofers could be 416 family members, or maybe (???) 515B. All good, but -- except for the 515B, not really at the top echelon of the Altec range. The A7 was basically the "entry level" VOT. Not knocking them at all, though! I'd love to have a pair, although it would be impossible to get them into my hifi room.

    The better quality source and power you feed them, the better they'll be.

    There are also substantial crossover enhancements for at least some Altec VOT configurations (google "Jean Hiraga crossovers" for example).

    My current "Frankenaltecs", FWIW. I use a single-ended 2A3 amplfier (Joeseph Esmilla's "Simple 2A3", slightly modified. I do use a (powered) subwoofer.

    50515514703_7d04b48acb_b.jpgDSC_0938 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
    50637053178_875462ca64_b.jpgDSC_0144 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    40498627013_18c042df14_b.jpgDSC_4234 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
    (about 3.5 watts per channel)

    Don't expect deep bass from A7s -- but the bass they produce is of good quality.

    This is probably not the best place to be asking about A7s ;)
    There's a "Lansing" forum at audiokarma, and lots of high-sensitivity loudspeaker activity at www.hifihaven.org

  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 1,470
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Not the Peaveys. :o
    Unless they're very late production A7s, the drivers are not designed for high powered amplification (they don't need it) and you'd run the very real risk of smoking the treble drivers and/or the woofers -- which would be a shame.

    Were I you, I would build or buy (or borrow) a single-ended, direct heated triode amplifier using either a 2A3 or 300B tube for output. That will be quite nice with A7s.

    The important thing(s) are what drivers are in them. An A7 probably has 811B horns, but could have any of a number of different drivers (maybe 806 family members?). The woofers could be 416 family members, or maybe (???) 515B. All good, but -- except for the 515B, not really at the top echelon of the Altec range. The A7 was basically the "entry level" VOT. Not knocking them at all, though! I'd love to have a pair, although it would be impossible to get them into my hifi room.

    The better quality source and power you feed them, the better they'll be.

    There are also substantial crossover enhancements for at least some Altec VOT configurations (google "Jean Hiraga crossovers" for example).

    My current "Frankenaltecs", FWIW. I use a single-ended 2A3 amplfier (Joeseph Esmilla's "Simple 2A3", slightly modified. I do use a (powered) subwoofer.

    50515514703_7d04b48acb_b.jpgDSC_0938 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
    50637053178_875462ca64_b.jpgDSC_0144 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    40498627013_18c042df14_b.jpgDSC_4234 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
    (about 3.5 watts per channel)

    Don't expect deep bass from A7s -- but the bass they produce is of good quality.

    This is probably not the best place to be asking about A7s ;)
    There's a "Lansing" forum at audiokarma, and lots of high-sensitivity loudspeaker activity at www.hifihaven.org

    Just curious sir - what does the internal cabinet layout for your speaker look like? I ask because I see the screws on the front baffle - curious if that’s just bracing, or if it’s some sort of transmission line...
    Forget “Build Back Better” - Just put it back the way you found it… ~ Anonymous


    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 2,052
    [email protected] What frequency does the woofer attenuate at?

    Always enjoy your posts as usual.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,245
    daddyjt wrote: »

    Just curious sir - what does the internal cabinet layout for your speaker look like? I ask because I see the screws on the front baffle - curious if that’s just bracing, or if it’s some sort of transmission line...

    The former -- nothing fancy; just a re-proportioning of one of the classic Altec Duplex monitor cabinets by Canadian Bill Fortin.

    http://www.wardsweb.org/Billfort/

    9595247214_efe6ced09f_b.jpgDSC_5735 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
    You can see the front of the braces, sort of, in this photo. The plans are on the link above, if you're curious.

    Long story short -- the AlNiCo 604 Duplexes' woofer sections were not all that different than the 515B. That said, the 515B is normally best served by the VOT style alignment... but I had stopped using the treble drivers in my Duplexes, so I ultimately figured why not chuck a pair of 515Bs in there? :) Full disclosure: the 515Bs are not mine; rather they are on loan from... ahhh... one of the local lending libraries of such things. B) (I am very lucky to be tolerated by a group of amply resourced and generous folks in the general vicinity -- although we do all try, I think, to "pay it forward" when we can)
    xschop wrote: »
    [email protected] What frequency does the woofer attenuate at?

    Always enjoy your posts as usual.

    An interesting question. I don't know. Had I to guess -- somewhere in the 40 to 50 Hz region; but that is a guess. I usually use a powered subwoofer crossed in at... umm... 60 Hz (if memory serves), but they don't sound bad at all on most recordings without it.

  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 1,470
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    daddyjt wrote: »

    Just curious sir - what does the internal cabinet layout for your speaker look like? I ask because I see the screws on the front baffle - curious if that’s just bracing, or if it’s some sort of transmission line...

    The former -- nothing fancy; just a re-proportioning of one of the classic Altec Duplex monitor cabinets by Canadian Bill Fortin.

    http://www.wardsweb.org/Billfort/

    9595247214_efe6ced09f_b.jpgDSC_5735 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
    You can see the front of the braces, sort of, in this photo. The plans are on the link above, if you're curious.

    Long story short -- the AlNiCo 604 Duplexes' woofer sections were not all that different than the 515B. That said, the 515B is normally best served by the VOT style alignment... but I had stopped using the treble drivers in my Duplexes, so I ultimately figured why not chuck a pair of 515Bs in there? :) Full disclosure: the 515Bs are not mine; rather they are on loan from... ahhh... one of the local lending libraries of such things. B) (I am very lucky to be tolerated by a group of amply resourced and generous folks in the general vicinity -- although we do all try, I think, to "pay it forward" when we can)
    xschop wrote: »
    [email protected] What frequency does the woofer attenuate at?

    Always enjoy your posts as usual.

    An interesting question. I don't know. Had I to guess -- somewhere in the 40 to 50 Hz region; but that is a guess. I usually use a powered subwoofer crossed in at... umm... 60 Hz (if memory serves), but they don't sound bad at all on most recordings without it.

    Very nice indeed - thanks for sharing!
    Forget “Build Back Better” - Just put it back the way you found it… ~ Anonymous


    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 2,052
    Most of the classic jazz bass is good for 50hz.
    Would enjoy listening to some Charles Mingus or John Coltrane on those.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,245
    edited February 5
    They (the VOTs and their kin) are superb with jazz and acoustic music -- they'll rock, too, and play orchestral music with body. Awesome dynamics.
  • lawdogg
    lawdogg Posts: 397
    Sweet! I loved mine with all kinds of music - enjoy!
    <3 my 3.1TLs

    I will fix your shifted magnets for free. :)
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,245
    hmmm... @octopusman... two posts on A7s then poof! gone with the cephalopods.

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 19,501
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    hmmm... @octopusman... two posts on A7s then poof! gone with the cephalopods.

    Sperm whale got'em
  • machone
    machone Posts: 1,300
    I had a friend that powered his with
    Mcintosh 35watt tube amp it it was a great combo.
    Mojo Audio Illuminati v3>>Quantum Byte w/LMS>>Rpi/PiCoreplayer>> Starlight 7 USB >> Mojo Audio Mystique v2 SE>>ModWright SWL 9.0 SE Signature>>Hafler DH-500 Amp+ (Musical Concepts Fully Modded)>>
    SRS 2.3TL (Fully Modded)...Velodyne Optimum 8 subwoofer
    1KVA Dreadnought

    Marantz SA 8005
    Pioneer PLX-1000 Turntable - Shure SC35C/N35X - V15III/VN35HE
    Yamaha TX-540 Tuner...Sony BDP-S570
    Sony PS4

    Separate subpanel with four dedicated 20 amp circuits.
    1. Amplification 2. Analog 3. Digital 4. Video

    "All THAT IS LOST FROM THE SOURCE IS LOST FOREVER"
  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 2,052
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,245
    edited February 7
    machone wrote: »
    I had a friend that powered his with
    Mcintosh 35watt tube amp it it was a great combo.

    I don't recall any 35 watt Mac vacuum tube amplifier (i.e., I don't know which one it would've been :p ), but most vacuum tube Mac amps would be in their element with any of the extended VOT family. The MC-225 (stereo pp 7591A at 25 watts per channel) is my personal fave, and would probably be pretty satisfying with, say an A5 with 1505 horns and 288s on top. B)

    IIRC, Gary Kaufman powers his VOT-based subwoofers (made from a bisected 210 cabinet -- basically that A4 in the photo, split in half and domesticated a little bit) with a pair of MC-60s he restored. :)

    0twu0nkimfl3.png
    One of Gary's two half-210s mid-rework.
    Oh, and one of his A5s in the background -- some of my absolute favorite-est loudspeakers to listen to.


  • machone
    machone Posts: 1,300
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    machone wrote: »
    I had a friend that powered his with
    Mcintosh 35watt tube amp it it was a great combo.

    I don't recall any 35 watt Mac vacuum tube amplifier (i.e., I don't know which one it would've been :p ), but most vacuum tube Mac amps would be in their element with any of the extended VOT family. The MC-225 (stereo pp 7591A at 25 watts per channel) is my personal fave, and would probably be pretty satisfying with, say an A5 with 1505 horns and 288s on top. B)

    IIRC, Gary Kaufman powers his VOT-based subwoofers (made from a bisected 210 cabinet -- basically that A4 in the photo, split in half and domesticated a little bit) with a pair of MC-60s he restored. :)

    0twu0nkimfl3.png
    One of Gary's two half-210s mid-rework.
    Oh, and one of his A5s in the background -- some of my absolute favorite-est loudspeakers to listen to.


    Yeah, I know it was a Mac. Just guessed at the wattage. I know it was low wattage and they would blow you out of the room.
    Mojo Audio Illuminati v3>>Quantum Byte w/LMS>>Rpi/PiCoreplayer>> Starlight 7 USB >> Mojo Audio Mystique v2 SE>>ModWright SWL 9.0 SE Signature>>Hafler DH-500 Amp+ (Musical Concepts Fully Modded)>>
    SRS 2.3TL (Fully Modded)...Velodyne Optimum 8 subwoofer
    1KVA Dreadnought

    Marantz SA 8005
    Pioneer PLX-1000 Turntable - Shure SC35C/N35X - V15III/VN35HE
    Yamaha TX-540 Tuner...Sony BDP-S570
    Sony PS4

    Separate subpanel with four dedicated 20 amp circuits.
    1. Amplification 2. Analog 3. Digital 4. Video

    "All THAT IS LOST FROM THE SOURCE IS LOST FOREVER"
  • gidrah
    gidrah Posts: 3,041
    I ran mine with a Dyna ST-70 with great results. I tried an Almarro SE amp, but it ran out of juice a little too early for my liking.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 972
    Interesting thread, even though the OP seems to have gone AWOL. When I was first introduced to decent stereo a long time ago, these were the Holy Grail for many people.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 28,245
    edited February 10
    They surely have their charms.