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Ampex 517 - garbabe find
Ampex 517 - garbabe find
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Old 2nd April 2009, 04:07 PM   #1
Godzilla is offline Godzilla  United States
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Location: New York
Cool Ampex 517 - garbabe find

I found a cute looking little pair of Ampex 517 (can't find much at all on the web about them) in the garbage the other day. Opened them up hoping for something special. Found a 6x9 paper driver. I left it in place, wired up the speakers to my SI amp and there was sound... just not the best sound... not even good sound LOL. No treble, all mids and bloated boxy bass. But hey, i got them free and they fit on the cabinet behind my desk... my much larger B20 based system has to move out. Unfortunately, these sound like crappy speakers that belong in a rusty old 70's Buick... or in the garbage.

They do have a warm sound that's easy to listen to... rolled off treble can be so relaxing sometimes. For quiet background music they are just perfect. Most importantly, i have my music back. Sound be damned... I'm glad i found them.

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Old 5th April 2009, 01:54 PM   #2
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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I assume they are SS amps? Ampex tube R2R amps would be cool. I had some terrible little fullrangers from a Wollensack R2R. I also had some National/Matsushita's (4.5" round) from a Sony that sounded pretty good. They had an awfully high Fs, but the mids were fairly smooth and the treble decently extended.

Are the cones on those drivers super thin and flimsy? I've generally found that undesirable, even though some drivers with a following (Philips, some Telefunken) have "paper thin" paper cones. The National's I liked were stiff, thanks to a curved profile and some annular rings.

There are a couple of 50's tubed R2R (mono) machines at a local store for $10. I've been eyeing one with a nice looking 6V6 amp (perfect for guitar). They appear to have very oval drivers (one might be 4x8 or 10). I'm trying to resist.

Does the R2R player work? It's a great format. Kind of a pain, but great sound.

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