What to do with a Wharfdale 10 Bronze FSB & Altec 408B - diyAudio
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Old 22nd June 2015, 06:00 PM   #1
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Default What to do with a Wharfdale 10 Bronze FSB & Altec 408B

I got these drivers for free (one of each). They are a Wharfdale 10 inch Bronze FSB (red magnet) and an Altec 408A (two-piece paper cone with a surround between the inner and outer cone). I am not sure what to do with them but they appear to be in good shape, and can make some sound and have measurable TS params. They seem like classic vintage drivers. What approximate year are these from and are they worth my time to make a speaker? Suggestions welcome. The foam surround on the Wharfdale is intact but porous - should I apply a coating of something on it to make it airtight?

10 Bronze FSB back:
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10 Bronze FSB front (note yellow porous foam surround):
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408A back:
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408A front:
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Attached Images
File Type: jpg Wharfdale-10-FSB-back.jpg (118.8 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg Wharfdale-10-FSB-front.jpg (113.6 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg Altec-408A-back.jpg (121.8 KB, 112 views)
File Type: jpg Altec-408A-front.jpg (120.9 KB, 111 views)

Last edited by xrk971; 22nd June 2015 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 22nd June 2015, 07:00 PM   #2
Greg B is offline Greg B  United States
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I'm sure someone on the Altec board could be very specific as to year, but I'd say late 50s or possibly early to mid 60s. Both drivers are well regarded full ranges. I'm not sure I have seen the particular Wharfedale before. Looks like it should be on a Briggs baffle. Got foamcore and sand? Altec is more mid-Q IIRC. I vote for Voigt pipe or corner refex.

IMO you have two mono drivers there, best to use them by themselves or with a BIG woofer.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 02:38 AM   #3
GM is online now GM  United States
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The 408A is an 8 ohm AlNiCo bi-flex with a 'guaranteed' 60-16 kHz response and max Fs = 75 Hz that premiered in '53 AFAIK through at least '59, though gone from the catalogs by '63.

Altec would build any obsolete drivers/speakers on special order until all the parts were used up though. In good original condition it's worth $150+, so lucky you if it's OK.

If still legible, what's its date code? It will be 391xxx.

GM
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Old 23rd June 2015, 03:19 AM   #4
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM View Post
The 408A is an 8 ohm AlNiCo bi-flex with a 'guaranteed' 60-16 kHz response and max Fs = 75 Hz that premiered in '53 AFAIK through at least '59, though gone from the catalogs by '63.

Altec would build any obsolete drivers/speakers on special order until all the parts were used up though. In good original condition it's worth $150+, so lucky you if it's OK.

If still legible, what's its date code? It will be 391xxx.

GM
Thanks, GM. I thought you would be the one to shed light on this. The bi-flex is the first time I have seen such a cone. Its impedance data shows indeed two peaks, one for each cone's resonance. A neat idea to extend the response - kind of a coax on one cone, albeit, segmented. Where is the date code? I think I may have seen some ink stamped markings on either the backside of the paper cone or on the front paper gasket on the bezel? Wow 1953 to 1959, did not realize I was holding such a piece of history. What about the Bronze FSB's dates?
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Old 23rd June 2015, 03:48 AM   #5
GM is online now GM  United States
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The 'FSB' originally stood for a felt surround, so not meant to be sealed, i.e. the surround acts as a ~aperiodic vent. Somewhat later though, Briggs 'discovered' a suitable foam, so then of course it stood for foam, though if original, it too can't be sealed since it's the fragile foam that was used to pad metal coat hangers for women's clothes.

GM
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Old 23rd June 2015, 04:01 AM   #6
GM is online now GM  United States
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Originally Posted by xrk971 View Post
Thanks, GM. Where is the date code? What about the Bronze FSB's dates?
You're welcome!

Numbers on the cone is just a part #. The date code stamp location wasn't consistent, it could be anywhere on the frame, even under the gasket, though in later years they began doing it on the outside of the frame flange. I noticed the writing on the gasket, but doesn't appear to have been it. Use a mirror to see if it's on the inside of the frame.

Not every manufacturer used the date code system and I've never seen a listing for Wharfdale, just actual dates.

Are there any markings?

GM
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Old 23rd June 2015, 07:19 PM   #7
Greg B is offline Greg B  United States
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Originally Posted by xrk971 View Post
What about the Bronze FSB's dates?
FWIW (not much) I found some reference to purchasing one in 1957. These do look earlier than the Super 10 drivers I've seen before, or the drivers in the 60's era W60 speakers I used to own. I have some vintage hi-fi super 10 plans somewhere. They were supplemented with a cone supertweeter above 10khz.

In case you don't realize it, you totally scored. Those are both top shelf vintage full ranges (possibly wideband woofer in the case of the FSB).

this ad shows pics of that driver in the wild

Last edited by Greg B; 23rd June 2015 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 11:07 PM   #8
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg B View Post
FWIW (not much) I found some reference to purchasing one in 1957. These do look earlier than the Super 10 drivers I've seen before, or the drivers in the 60's era W60 speakers I used to own. I have some vintage hi-fi super 10 plans somewhere. They were supplemented with a cone supertweeter above 10khz.

In case you don't realize it, you totally scored. Those are both top shelf vintage full ranges (possibly wideband woofer in the case of the FSB).

this ad shows pics of that driver in the wild
Looks like an open baffle, and this was the top driver with a 2uF 1st order cap. Cool. Thanks for the link.

Click the image to open in full size.

My driver appears to be in better condition than this one.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 11:38 PM   #9
Greg B is offline Greg B  United States
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Not just any open baffle, it's the Briggs designed Wharfedale SFB 3. I found this interesting article on them. Says these drivers were only available as part of the OB system.

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Wharfed...iles/SFB-3.pdf
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Old 24th June 2015, 02:24 PM   #10
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg B View Post
Not just any open baffle, it's the Briggs designed Wharfedale SFB 3. I found this interesting article on them. Says these drivers were only available as part of the OB system.

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Wharfed...iles/SFB-3.pdf
I have some scrap 3/4in ply lying around and could make a baffle, add an old Beta 12CX woofer with unusually high measured Qts of 0.65 (courtesy of Freddi), and maybe the P830986 full range as the tweeter aimed straight up. This might give me an excuse (or impetus) to delve into learning how to use Xsim or PCD to develop the passive 3-way XO. Perhaps add sand at some point later but I have a feeling the plywood will be fine to start with.
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