HEY ALTEC People!! DC area preferred ...

Discussion in 'The Lansing Legacy' started by hjames, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. hjames

    hjames Nabbed ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,349
    Location:
    VA near DC
    In November, I was gifted a pair of Model 15 cabinets (Hi Joe!) and have started collecting parts to see what they can do, but after hearing a pair of amazingly modified "Healthkit" Altec speakers last weekend,
    I realized I don't really have a good sense of what the various Altecs sound like or what they can do. I really want some honest first hand information, not hearsay.

    So - I'm looking to you kind folks to perhaps let me have a listen of your ALTEC speakers so I can get a broader sense of the brand. I know thats asking a lot, and I gather ALTECs may be rarer than I think - certainly rarer than the JBLs I heard around the DC area. I know a few have some large VOTT speakers - while they are interesting, I probably want something with a better SAF/WAF that will fit my smaller house.

    I can reciprocate to some degree - I have a multichannel room downstairs with 2 pairs of UREI 809As -
    they have the JBL concentric drivers and are pretty neat for movies and such. The music room is upstairs - 2 channel with an integrated tube amp and (older) Von Schweikert VR-4s, a pair of JBL L212s I refurbed last year, and (currently) the Altec Model 15 speakers I am working on ...

    FWIW, I'm in Fairfax, near George Mason U - and have spent my life in the DC area ...

    Anyway, we can talk more - but it seemed like a reasonable thing to ask!
    The great thing about AK is community!

    Oh - I do mean the vintage Altecs into the 70s, not the plastic PC speakers ;)
     
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  2. gdmoore28

    gdmoore28 Super Member

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    1,866
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Good move, Heather! Can't tell you how happy I am to see you exploring the Altec camp. If you approach this section of the hobby as vigorously as you do the JBL brand, I'm thinking we are in for some very interesting and entertaining projects and stories.

    I'm guessing that you encountered some Heathkit AS101s? Would really like to hear the story on that, what you thought about them, and what kind of modifications were made to them. I don't know how many Heathkit/Altec speakers were sold, but I know that they were very expensive in their day and required quite a financial commitment from the purchaser. Nonetheless, they do pop up now and again.

    Hope somebody from your area will invite you over for a listen. And, don't forget that if you listen to a stock system with original crossovers, any "in your face" characteristics of the horns are easily tamed. You've already discovered, I'm sure, that the key to voicing Altec components to modern listening tastes lies in the crossover design (not to mention DSP/bi-amping/tubes, et. al., depending on preferences). Those things taken into account, I think you will find the classic Altec components quite worthy of your attention.

    Looking forward!

    GeeDeeEmm
     
  3. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    Chicago IL
    If you're in Chicago for some reason, you're welcome to take a listen to my 604s
     
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  4. hjames

    hjames Nabbed ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    VA near DC
    Its a long drive to Chicago, especially in winter, but I am curious about the 604s. Those are the ones with coaxial drivers?
    Downstairs I have 2 pairs of UREI 809As based on JBL 12 inch coaxial drivers, and they are really something for films and such.

    Image is of a pair of spares on my shelves, (needing surrounds when it warms), next to JBL 2214 woofers they are based on. The JBLs are currently in the ALTEC Model 15s I'm working with. I've got them tipped back slighty with the blue foam blocks under the front to better hit my ears when sitting.

    2214-and-UREIs.jpg

    IMG_5800.jpg
     
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  5. toddalin

    toddalin Super Member

    Messages:
    1,909
    Compared to the 15" JBL combinations you are used to (2405/2235s), you will find the 604's to be warm and detailed with very articulate vocals, but lacking in the highs that you've come to know, as well as the deeper bass. Of course this can be cured with a tweeter/sub.
     
  6. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,503
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Yup coaxial

    P_20170630_102515.jpg

    Your cabs are looking nice
     
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  7. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    8,370
    Location:
    NEPA
    Technically "Duplex" (per Altec terminology). ;)
     
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  8. gdmoore28

    gdmoore28 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,866
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Oh, man! Your pics of the 2214s/809As gave me visions of a nice, tall mahogany box with the Ureis on top and the 2214s on the bottom. 'Course, it's already been done, just in a shorter box. That would be a fun project for another day.

    Now, though, back to Altecs . . . . ;)

    GeeDeeEmm

    [​IMG]
     
  9. hjames

    hjames Nabbed ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,349
    Location:
    VA near DC
    Well, you know I have assembled UREI 809A duplex systems in place - that picture just showed my spares!
    2 extra coaxial drivers - spares!
    Mine are all the 12 inch models 809A with JBL drivers.
    They're easier to lift and work on that those dual and triple 15" models!

    This picture is from 3 years ago - since then I have different front pedestals and have oriented the UREIs horizontally ...
    Of course, I usually have grills on - grills off is for the fans ;)
    1 pair for front mains, 1 pair for side surrounds, DCM TF-600s for rear surrounds

    UREI-HT_2015-9400.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018 at 7:13 AM
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