I'm hooked on large coax, now to build a pair. - diyAudio
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Old 4th January 2009, 04:27 PM   #1
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Default I'm hooked on large coax, now to build a pair.

Yesterday I got my first taste of coax’s and I’m hooked. They were a pair of Altec 604E’s in 9cf sealed boxes. The sound was fantastic, realistic organ, great voices, full orchestra, and I could listen to them at about 7’ which is my distance currently at home. Not to mention, no fatigue, great imagine etc….

Now is the dilemma I could use some help with. Which speaker and which box that best fits that speaker. First, old or new: There is the GPA 604-8H-II, Iconic 704-8A or one of the older Altec models. Does the GPA and Iconic sound as good as the older models? If so other than price wise I don’t see the advantage of buying an older speaker. If the older speaker is on top, which of the many models should I keep my eye out for?

Enclosure wise, he loaned me the book “Hi-Fi Loudspeakers and Enclosures” for a little bedtime reading. Is a sealed box the best way to go with these speakers?

Listening preferences, I do listen to it all; from ambient electronica, classic rock, jazz, classical, opera, vocals and small arrangements. If a speaker could do most of these well, that would be the choice. Equipment, currently I have a 30 watt Pass Aleph, MC75’s, and want to start building low powered SET amps this year. I listen to both vinyl and digital.

Thanks for your help.

Aaron
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Old 4th January 2009, 10:48 PM   #2
GM is offline GM  United States
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The original '40s era duplexes perform the best IMO, but the trade off is a higher Fs, much less Xmax and an acoustically rolled off HF, which was fine back then, but today requires a sub and super tweeter system to fill it out to take max advantage of its potential. It's mostly moot though since few have survived in their original state, ergo pricing tends to be on a par with Feastrex, GOTO, or similar. Over the decades, successive models have been a mixed bag of sorts for a variety of reasons with the early 604E being a collectible.

Sealed is a 'no-brainer' for any high SQ system with large OB a higher goal, but critically damped vented yields as good a transient attack/decay as a 0.5 Qtc sealed except with considerably more dynamic headroom in the audible BW, so has pretty much always been my cab alignment of choice.

Anyway, I recommend searching these forums and also consider the new 604-8H III with its overall better performing HF horn:

http://www.hostboard.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=706

http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/etv.mpl?forum=hug

GM
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Old 5th January 2009, 12:35 AM   #3
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GM,

Thank you for your reply. I've got some further reading to do. Once I'm better versed I'll PM you if you don't mind?

Aaron
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Old 5th January 2009, 12:46 AM   #4
Stuey is offline Stuey  Australia
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John, just in case you hadn't heard of them, the Hawthorne's are good value IMO...

Not quite Altecs, but fits in with your desires, I think.

www.hawthorneaudio.com

Cheers

Stuey
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Old 5th January 2009, 04:57 AM   #5
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Getting hooked is understandable! And you've chosen the good dope. =)

You might want to have a look at Hiraga's new coax box. Not DIY - but Mr. Hiraga uses a modified GPA coax. So you can buy pratically the same driver.

The press on these has been very good. I've not heard them yet but JH tells me they are among the best he's ever built. And since he has built the best systems I've ever heard - I'm willing to believe him!

Also see Jeff Markwart's pages for good, modern ideas on crossovers. http://home.earthlink.net/~jmarkwart/
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Old 5th January 2009, 02:48 PM   #6
GM is offline GM  United States
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'Modified' is an understatement if it's 100 dB eff. from 40 Hz-up in only 190 L.

GM
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Old 5th January 2009, 03:43 PM   #7
DaveCan is offline DaveCan  Canada
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I wonder if the base of the Hiraga cab acts like a load for the port or something? Nice clean, and simple looking design.. Something like that with a bottom firing vent, and a wider front baffle, could be a nice diy maybe? Dave
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Old 5th January 2009, 04:09 PM   #8
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I've been wanting to try a pair of those silver iris 15" coax in OB for a while now. Bet they sound fantastic and very very reasonable price! $145 for a quality 15"coax seems like a steal to me.
Shame I'm in the UK - I doubt there are many over here and shipping a pair of drivers that big is gonna end up very expensive...
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Old 5th January 2009, 04:10 PM   #9
GM is offline GM  United States
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Could be, I'm big on floor and/or corner loaded vents and at least 30" wide baffles where practical. My dual 15" cabs were originally strictly 'sub' duty, so were facing the sound wall's corners to get nominally flat response to below audibility even though at the time I had no signal source other than a FG to show off their 'sub' capability. Still, it made for very high SQ in the 30 Hz-up BW, making me a believer in X-bass (aka EBS) alignments even if corner loading wasn't an option.

GM
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Old 5th January 2009, 04:23 PM   #10
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I think it's the load that is the trick. JH told me it was somethng new he had come up with, but would not supply details. (I understand). The man certainly knows his way around speakers, so he may be on to something.

All that is moot, however, as it's not a design in the public domain. Just wanted to point out that the GPA coax is very good and is being used in a nice, new design.
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