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Altec 1234 for PA use, amp suggestions

Discussion in 'The Lansing Legacy' started by JPJ, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. JPJ

    JPJ AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Have a friend who is getting a nice looking pair of 1234's and he wants to use them in place of his regular PA for certain dj gigs. He's looking for an amp to push them. He's got a pretty high end rotary mixer that I assume with be acting as the preamp.

    From what I found online, it looks like the speakers take 120 watts max. Would something like a citation 12 pushing 60wpc at 8 ohms be a good match for these?
     

     

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  2. bowtie427ss

    bowtie427ss arigato gozaimashita Subscriber

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    Assuming they're in proper working condition, healthy caps, and correct component load...................

    They're a 70's design specifically for high power, high SPL, sound reinforcement. They won't dig real low, the boxes aren't tuned for it even though the woofers are capable. The same woofers were used for 20hz subs on Pink Floyd's US "The Wall" tour.

    Same deal on the top end, HF extension is compromised for high power handling, don't expect a lot of top end sizzle, it won;t be there.

    The high power handling allows the use of some EQ to help artificially extend the response. To what extent you can EQ them will be determined by how hard you;re going to drive them. Even in the 70's, pro operators that knew what they were doing would use limiters as an additional line of defense from over-powering.

    Clean power with plenty of reserve is the key.

    Typically i'd want a good, clean, capable 200-250 wpc amp to drive them such that the amp is never exhausted of headroom or driven to clipping.

    2 notes of advice:

    don't transport them standing up. The cabinets are mostly plywood. However, for it's density and acoustic properties the entire back panel is made of MDF. The wheel and leg arrangement allows them to tip over backward fairly easily. When that happens, the large "towel bar" type handle will be driven right through the back panel leaving 2 nice fist sized holes in the cabinet, and a useless handle.

    Immediately replace the 1/4 inch phone plug inputs with something more appropriate for low impedance/speaker loads. Neutriks would be my first choice. But, a simple barrier strip or binding posts are a perfectly acceptable and solid connection.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
    damacman likes this.
  3. JPJ

    JPJ AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    wow, thanks for that thorough reply! forwarded that info along, he's going to check out a Carver TFM 35X which is 250wpc.
     
  4. Marine0811

    Marine0811 I love it loud! Subscriber

    Bow tie knows a few things about Altec speakers!
     
  5. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Yeah, but how in the hell did he know PF used the woofers for subs on The Wall tour? That's just crazy!
     
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  6. bowtie427ss

    bowtie427ss arigato gozaimashita Subscriber

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    ............ powered by Altec 9440's, PL400's and PL700's, (edit) actually those were earlier days. They used a newer model Phase Linear, BGW, and Crown into the 80's. My Pink Floyd/Altec guru is no longer with us so i can't ask. I remember the early sound guys came from or were associated with names like Turbosound, Martin, and Meyer, and used the best bits from Altec, EV, Gauss, and JBL to build their touring systems. Once upon a time there were PL700's that had illuminated "Pink Floyd" cut into custom faceplates where the meters originally went.

    There was a bit of a disaster at one point during the wall tour as the sound contractor had received an order of defective 421's. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018

     

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  7. JPJ

    JPJ AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    i was thinking the same thing!
     
  8. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Fascinating stuff there my friend. As an author with four books published, I strongly encourage you to consider a book devoted to all things Altec.
     
  9. bowtie427ss

    bowtie427ss arigato gozaimashita Subscriber

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    I have searched high and low for a pic of the Floyd Linears. The only one i've seen was in a photo album of my buddy's.

    You'll find this to be a fun read, amazing that nobody was killed in the fires:

    http://testamorta20.angelfire.com/PFlive.html

     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
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  10. bowtie427ss

    bowtie427ss arigato gozaimashita Subscriber

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    Many thanks!

    But, i am just the enthusiast, albeit one who has had the good fortune to see and experience a lot during my more impressionable years.

    Truly, it's those who have inspired my enthusiasm that need to write the books, before much of the history is lost forever.
     
  11. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Thats where you’re wrong ... it’s the enthusiast that writes the book using those that have inspired you as resources.
     

     

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  12. timofred

    timofred I'm just a garbage man...

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  13. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    That's one helluva read! Saw them in Dortmund, West Germany in 1988 and again at Vanderbilt stadium in 1994. Both were simply incredible shows. As Dortmund was an indoor venue and our seats dead center against the rear wall on the first level, the sound was just epic. I've been to louder shows, but none that rival the sensory experience of a Floyd production.

    @kevzep - have a read
     
  14. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    An Altec 1234 uses a 808 driver which has limited output above 12,000 HZ. It used a musical instrument 421 woofer, with limited response below 45 hz. With that understanding a 1234 wold make a great PA speaker. What you have to realize is it has 4 to 5 db less sensitivity than a A-7, that sets the standard. Of course its smaller and easier to use. But where an A7 with 100 wats was no problem shoving close to 300 watts to a 1234 is not possible. But with that understanding 1234 should be able to handle most situations.
     

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