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Old 2nd December 2006, 12:10 PM   #41
fred76 is offline fred76  Philippines
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Cool thread guys...

I have some questions wrt Onken Petite for Altec 414. I wonder if there are other mods and changes to it that could be implemented besides bracing, damping, and driver magnet support. Or maybe a complete Jensen/Onken re-design (cab volume and ports) for 'better' response?

http://ndaviden.club.fr/plancaisse/onken-414.html

Anyways, if anyone here's selling a pair of 414 woofers in VG condition pls PM me. GPA refurbed would be a nice too. Thanks.

BTW, does anyone know how Pascalite diaphs sounds like on those 299 drivers? GM mentiond once that the Symbiotik were harsh sounding compared to the Aluminum ones.

fred
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Old 2nd December 2006, 03:49 PM   #42
GM is offline GM  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac
Yes Western Electric gave birth to Altec "All Technical Products." It was called Westrex in the U.K.

GM. Those 20 foot double 515 cabs ought to be fantastic. I used to listen to a similar setup. The Onken W cabinet with dual 515s. Very impressive. Big super clean bass.
Greets!

Basic history: http://www.audioheritage.org/html/hi...altec-1963.htm

Yeah, the 411 was the first of the true sub drivers available around here and I didn't waste any time stuffing a couple in the bottom of my old homebrew 825 cabs I'd sold to my neighbor for his basement rig and our mutual amusement for the few tapes available with real LF on them. Two of them in ~13.5 ft^3 total made almost as much bass as my four 515Bs/~40 ft^3! subs. The trade-off though was that the 411 didn't even come close to having the efficiency/resolution/clarity of the 515s, so for me the choice was clear, but where space was at a premium and a relatively high XO point was required,this was my driver of choice. Anyway, FWIW these very early ones were only ~92 dB/2.83 V/4 ft according to the distributor's measurements IIRC, so would be a bit more at 1 m.

I haven't had the pleasure of auditioning an Onken W, but in simming them loaded with my 515B's measured specs it's not as tonally balanced/extended as mine for a given room/positioning, but then it's smaller/tuned higher, so will have more subjective 'slam', especially on vinyl playback, but as always it boils down to personal preference and/or what overall preformance is required for the app. Anyway, it sims a fine alignment/layout for a 500 Hz/~90 deg horizontal response XO point, so I have no doubt it was/is indeed impressive!

GM

P.S. I see the Altec forum came back on-line/active while I was typing this...........
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Old 2nd December 2006, 10:55 PM   #43
Geoff H is offline Geoff H  Australia
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I agree with GM on his observations re the 411. I have only compared them to the 416. The 411 was my choice as I felt they were more suited to a home enviroment.

The only complaint I have with them is the foam surround. Cloth may have been a better choice. I remember the day they fell apart. But I had 18 years out of them.

I have often thought of using a 411 as a sub, but 2 would satisfy the pipe organ lovers. My father looked amazed when I played a St Saen's? Organ Concerto off the vinyl.

But they don't seem to project the lower male voice and bigger strings as well.

I know the 515 weighs twice the 416, otherwise the specs look the same. Is the only difference in the magnet?

Fred, The 604 had a little brother. IIRC using the 414 and 3000 combo,
I just can't recall the mod no. That, I think, would work very well in the style of cabinet your looking at.

Geoff.
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Old 4th December 2006, 01:34 PM   #44
GM is offline GM  United States
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Default Re: Altec 1803B

Quote:
Originally posted by jeff mai
They make 1505Bs seem positively tiny. These multicells are absolutely the best midrange I've ever heard. Bigger is always better!I
Greets!

Indeed they do and it takes a hoist to install an early tar filled unit. BIB rules! Some of us even promote a DIY speaker alignment called BIB : http://www.zillaspeak.com/bib.asp

In the case of compression loaded horns though, it comes at the expense of HF extension/dispersion, which for some folks is unacceptable in a HIFI app even if their size isn't a major issue.

GM
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Old 4th December 2006, 01:57 PM   #45
GM is offline GM  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon
This is really just something to scratch an itch or repair a wound, I'm not sure. I haven't built anything to speak of recently and have the 811's sitting on the shelf gathering dust.

I had a vision. I knew what I had to do.

What can I say? I don't try and suppress the signs, I simply go with them.

My name is Cal and I'm a speakerholic.
Greets!

I assumed as much, but tossed it out anyway just in case others wanted to give horn stacking a try. Anyway, I know the feeling well, I have drivers and old gear scattered all over the house awaiting cabs and repair/scavaging for parts, but 'life' keeps getting in the way of my hobby/addiction.

Understood, it's how I got hooked on speaker building at the tender age of eight. One day I happened upon a driver with a shape that looked suspiciously like the cutout in my mom's tissue box, so much to my delight and her chagrin, I confirmed they were a near perfect match. Later, my dad hooked it up to a little table radio and the rest as they say was history.

GM
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Old 4th December 2006, 04:06 PM   #46
GM is offline GM  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Geoff H
[B]I have 95 acres out the back door. And no big Altecs running at the moment.

You big horn guys have frightened the home models, so I'll break the ice with these Atlantics.

Greets!

Almost moved 'down under' in '75 to get the high pay then being offered to engineering types and your kind of privacy/stable enough year-round weather for a permanent outdoor HIFI install since I got burned out on hauling three 210s out to the patio for our weekend cul-de-sac neighborhood dance parties, weather permitting.

I'm not familiar with the Atlantics at all, I assume they were built locally since Altec built many designs 'overseas' not seen/marketed in the USA. Then again, I wasn't aware of the Model 1, etc., series until the various Altec catalogs were posted on the net since apparently the local consumer retailer either didn't believe these would sell and/or more likely, felt it might cut into the sales of a more profitable line. For sure the distributor where I bought components wouldn't have bothered to keep any on hand or promote them since his 'bread n' butter' products were all prosound related.

GM
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Old 4th December 2006, 04:33 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by GM
I assumed as much, but tossed it out anyway just in case others wanted to give horn stacking a try.
Yes, good advice. I don't recommend doing what I am unless you happen to have them laying around and haven't spent all your Christmas money yet.

Quote:
[i]Anyway, I know the feeling well, I have drivers and old gear scattered all over the house awaiting cabs and repair/scavaging for parts, but 'life' keeps getting in the way of my hobby/addiction. [/B]
I think we can all relate.

Quote:
[i]Understood, it's how I got hooked on speaker building at the tender age of eight. One day I happened upon a driver with a shape that looked suspiciously like the cutout in my mom's tissue box, so much to my delight and her chagrin, I confirmed they were a near perfect match. Later, my dad hooked it up to a little table radio and the rest as they say was history. [/B]
Our beginnings are eerily similar. I used the tissue as my damping agent. I cut the earphone part off an old plug and hooked 'er up to my little bedroom radio. I did it all myself as I was all grown up by then. I was 10.

I am hoping things will arrive this week but at this time of year, customs can be quite slow.

Cheers.
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Old 4th December 2006, 08:05 PM   #48
kec is offline kec  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac
And Ken (KEC) has the best bragging rights of all. He actually worked at Altec and built drivers! Hooray! You rule, Ken!
Aw, shucks Michael you're embarrassing me

As I mentioned before working at Altec was great experience for me. I remember having a really cool boss. If you can believe this, he actually let me build up of a pair of 421A's that I got to keep. Talk about bonus

At the time, I wasn't sure what I would do with them. One of my other hobbies was woodworking which I got exposed to in Jr. High School, yes, Jr. High. I knew I would build an enclosure, but what!

Then a buddy of mine, who also worked at Altec (as a tech) asked me if I wanted to build some speaker enclosures for some side projects he was doing. Natually I said "sure". I went to his work shop and saw that he had an actual JBL 4530 enclosure - but only one. Hmm, what to do... So, we decided that I would take the 4530 and copy it to build 2 new enclosures. I wasn't aware of any existing plans - remember, this is way before Al Gore's Internet So, as they say, you must decontruct to reconstruct. That's what I did. I pulled one side off and took some measurements and started building. It was actually easier to build than I thought it would be. Toughest part was getting horn curvature correct.

About the same time, another buddy/co-worker of mine had some small Yamaha horn/compression drivers that he picked up at a local train salvage yard (I guess they sell stuff that gets damaged and/or lost). Anyway, since we worked at Altec why not test these at work. We ran some tests in one of the anechoic chambers - about as perfect condition as possible. And wouldn't you know it, they actually tested better than some of the Altec's. The horns were much smaller than the 511B's (about half the height). So, after talking to my friend about the project we were doing, he decided to donate them for our cause.

We had many employee sales at Altec, new and used stuff. I wish I could relive the past and buy stuff I should have bought when I was there At about the same time all this was happening I picked up some of the crossovers at one of these sales - I think they were about $5 or $10 each. I don't remember which XO's they were.

The pieces were all in place. We had all the required components to finish this project. After completion, we did a sound check. Up first Pink Floyd's The Happiest Days Of Our Lives (The Wall), I still love that helicopter track. I just remember being in awe of the way they sounded, I'm not tooting my own horn, I was more surprised than anything else. We must have gotten it right.

When we started this project, we weren't building these for anyone in particular. We just wanted to get something to show off to potential customers. No sooner did we get these done, a local band approached us for a PA system. We had nothing to show them except what we just finished. We demoed them, they loved 'em - they were sold.

We had a lot less than $100 invested, they sold for $1000. Not a bad investment. In some ways I wish I still had them, but it was a great learning experience.


-Ken
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Old 4th December 2006, 08:27 PM   #49
Geoff H is offline Geoff H  Australia
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Greetings all. The Atlantics were made at the Anaheim plant, according to the stickers. All the panels have the Altec part nos. But not ply, particle board instead. They do retain that mid range bite and transparency of it's bigger brothers.

I suspect they were made for the overseas market, and final assembly at their destination. Maybe our friend that served time at the plant can shed some light.

A Cohen's book has plans for a similar units, using a 402 or 755 with a 2000 (cone) or a 3000 horn.

Seems like we all started out in similar ways. I discovered that a good crystal set could drive a 5" speaker with a 7000 ohm transformer. Not very loud off course. That speaker then mated with a piece of timber after I cut the hole with a coping saw, and sat the thing in the corner of my room.

Then the old console thing, including burnt fingers pulling valves to try a different one. Not forgetting a hell of a shock one day, using a set of old headphones as a signal tracer. Lucky to still be here. B+ in ears with grounded fingures, not good. Stars and all.

A question on the A7 and similar. The plans I have look as though part of the driver fires behind the flare of the mid horn, or do you cut the hole with straight sides to match the sides of the throat.

I just cant see why you would bleed part of that energy back into the cabinet, or am I missing something?
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Old 4th December 2006, 09:08 PM   #50
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Geoff,

The A7 cabinet is the one in my avatar. The mounting board (baffle) is solid and larger than the woofer so no sound slips back into the cabinet. The drivers are back mounted so the space between the mounting board and the throat opening acts as a compression chamber and sends it all out the front.
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