Altec 2 Way Build ala JELabs - 802/32/414

ICTWoody

Junior Member
Inspired by a buddy who was sending me pics of the JBL woofers he was refoaming tonight, I decided I needed to button up my 614 cabs. I had already installed the Cardas binding posts, so tonight I glued in the fiberglass battes using Super-77 Spray adhesive, and then wired up the posts to the 414s using Duelund DCA16 wire and Cardas silver solder. I put the backs on and the bass bins (as they were) are pretty much good to go.

I just need to decide how I want to mount my early style metal 32A horns and 802's. I'm thinking a kind of sled that has a motorboard with the horn back mounted, and then a flat base that I can mount my crossover and a support to which will just sit on top of the 614s. Like a "top-hat" speaker cab, but with not sides or top. Make sense. Thinking about solid 1/2 walnut for that.

Maybe I can get those done in the next week or two and finally give these things a listen. Also want to build some walnut stands ala. Kenrick Sound style.

- Woody

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Inspired by a buddy who was sending me pics of the JBL woofers he was refoaming tonight, I decided I needed to button up my 614 cabs. I had already installed the Cardas binding posts, so tonight I glued in the fiberglass battes using Super-77 Spray adhesive, and then wired up the posts to the 414s using Duelund DCA16 wire and Cardas silver solder. I put the backs on and the bass bins (as they were) are pretty much good to go.

I just need to decide how I want to mount my early style metal 32A horns and 802's. I'm thinking a kind of sled that has a motorboard with the horn back mounted, and then a flat base that I can mount my crossover and a support to which will just sit on top of the 614s. Like a "top-hat" speaker cab, but with not sides or top. Make sense. Thinking about solid 1/2 walnut for that.

Maybe I can get those done in the next week or two and finally give these things a listen. Also want to build some walnut stands ala. Kenrick Sound style.

- Woody

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Hi Woody,
Thanks for the photos. The build looks great.
Did you try any other damping in the cabinet instead of the fibreglass? My current favourite in my setup with my 414 Shindo Petite Latour heavily influenced build is to hang a felt blanket from the top of the cabinet parallel with the front baffle. It hangs about half way back in the baffle.
I"m using in this particular build my earlier 414's with the lighter voice coil (and 16 ohm) which are similar to yours.
Westrex
 
Hi Salectric,
Sorry i haven't messaged for a while. Hope your well!
Speakers sounding excellent with all the crossover and driver / diaphragm swaps etc.
Will measure thickness tomorrow for you. Its like a thin stitched blanket. Has like a thin denim style material on either side with felt in between. Sounds excellent just hanging behind the drivers. Sounded much better than a range of materials on the cabinet walls.
Westrex
 

Salectric

Senior Member
Yeah, doing fine. I hope all is well with you too!

I made a few tweaks to my system lately and it is sounding really nice, so life is good!
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
Hi Woody,
Thanks for the photos. The build looks great.
Did you try any other damping in the cabinet instead of the fibreglass? My current favourite in my setup with my 414 Shindo Petite Latour heavily influenced build is to hang a felt blanket from the top of the cabinet parallel with the front baffle. It hangs about half way back in the baffle.
I"m using in this particular build my earlier 414's with the lighter voice coil (and 16 ohm) which are similar to yours.
Westrex
Hey Westrex,

I did consider some other options, but since these are pretty accurate Altec 614 cabs I wanted to keep it pretty close to what Altec did. This setup is what was inside the Flemenco cabs I had at one point. Plus I had the OC703 on hand.

In my Onkens I used 1/2” felt to fully line the cabinet and then hung a “curtain” as you describe behind my 416 woofer. It sounds great.

Interesting you have Petite Latours... my next project after these will be a Petite Latour “Homage” But aesthetically tweaked to my taste. I have another pair of 414’s and 802’s along with a mastmutter transformer based network and plastic 32C horns.

I will be lining that project with the same 1/2” felt I used in the Onkens. Debating on cabinet matierial between 1/2” or 3/4” Baltic. Do you have any insights you can offer? Understandably Shindo owners aren’t quick to post a lot of details on the insides of their speakers.

Thanks for the comments.

- Woody
 
Hey Westrex,

I did consider some other options, but since these are pretty accurate Altec 614 cabs I wanted to keep it pretty close to what Altec did. This setup is what was inside the Flemenco cabs I had at one point. Plus I had the OC703 on hand.

In my Onkens I used 1/2” felt to fully line the cabinet and then hung a “curtain” as you describe behind my 416 woofer. It sounds great.

Interesting you have Petite Latours... my next project after these will be a Petite Latour “Homage” But aesthetically tweaked to my taste. I have another pair of 414’s and 802’s along with a mastmutter transformer based network and plastic 32C horns.

I will be lining that project with the same 1/2” felt I used in the Onkens. Debating on cabinet matierial between 1/2” or 3/4” Baltic. Do you have any insights you can offer? Understandably Shindo owners aren’t quick to post a lot of details on the insides of their speakers.

Thanks for the comments.

- Woody
Hi Woody,
I found the basic blanket behind the drivers half way into the cabinet was a nice improvement in sound over other methods i tried. More 'free' and 'open' sounding if that makes sense.

I have all the details of the original Shindo Petite Labours but i promised the person i got the details from i wouldn't reveal them so unfortunately i can't.

I can say however that they're enclosures are designed to be resonant cabinets to produce a lot of sound of they're own. This doesn't marry with my particular belief structure. I'm using presently just test cabinets with 18mm chipboard and they sound so good that i haven't changed them over yet.

I did try most recently metal threaded rods to tie the cabinet together and see what that did. The rap test made the cabinets sound totally dead but it also killed the music so i think you want a little spring in the cabinets.

I will be using 19 mm hoop pine plywood or 19 mm Russian Birch plywood. The finish will be Macasar Ebony with hopefully book matched veneers. Shindo uses thinner materials but i want just a little resonance to add tone.

Ive been playing with quite a few different compression drivers / diaphragms and parts etc. Its been frustrating in part and the sound has gone from ok to great. Now they are sounding really lovely and they have some very special qualities.

Having owned over 90 pairs of speakers (from huge electrostatics to plasmas, from lots of different Lowthers, Tannoys (including the corner GRF Autograph) to modified JBL Everest reproductions, Westrex England and very early Altec cantilever suspension drivers etc I can't say these are necessarily my favourites or the best but they are wonderful and have some really magical qualities).

They're also a great compromise between smaller speaker and some of the truly enormous speakers that literally took up half of my listening space (metre diameter mid bass horns with 8 15 inch bass drivers in a dipole or massive tube direct drive electrostatics etc).

Huge thanks to Joseph Esmilla and Joe Roberts for putting these lovely drivers and horns on my radar.

Western Electrix
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
Thanks for the additional comments. I was leaning toward a thinner material for the exact reasons you stated. Seems very "Shindo" to treat speakers as more of an instrument as opposed to just a piece of electronic kit.

Since i have the speakers posted above, I wanted to make sure there was a lot more difference than just the cabinet dimensions and volume. I know that the crossover networks in a lot of the Shindo line use transformer based attenuation, and that's why I went with networks from Werner Jagusch / MastMutter to allow for a lot of flexibility in tuning them to my tastes. I'll be using Belden 9497 for the wiring, as opposed to the Duelund DCA16 wire in my 614 setup... which is used in many Shindo speakers as well. The felt damping will be used as I stated above.

I have all the cabinet and port dimensions etc... for the Petite Latour box from another person who built more of a true clone pair, but the design I want is something similar to the Auditorium 23 Hommage Ken... but with a bit more of an integral leg to bring the bottom port to the correct height. Think of it as if the A23 Hommage and a Petite Latour had a baby.

I'm thinking about 19mm/.75" baltic birch for the front and back, but slightly thinner on the sides/top/bottom. I think this would allow for solid mounting of the drivers, but still allow some tunable box resonance on the sides with a system like your threaded rod — if necessary.

I'm trying to sweet talk my buddy who built the 614 boxes for me to get started on them soon. :-)

- Woody
 
OK. I have agonized over the subject of cabinets. I'll try to dig up some links to some interesting articles about "live" cabinets.

In the interim, here are a couple of internal pictures of Shindo's. Neither of them has any kind of insulation/padding etc.. Not sure about the back behind the speaker. One is a simple brace and the other uses some kind of dampening tar type paint.

For what its worth, I experimented with a mutitude of materials, from carpet and carpet backing to all kinds of foam etc, etc. and I finally ended up with nothing except on the wall behind the driver w some thick felt. I tried various degrees of bracing and the more I braced the better. I can say that finding the right combination of padding and bracing (and I'll throw in the port size as well) is the single biggest improvement I made in all the tweaking and experimenting. It was like Momma Bears pourage.... Too dark, too bright, not enough meat in the mid-range, muddy bass mucking everything up and on and on until it was just right.
 

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Salectric

Senior Member
Nice job on the interior of your cabinets! I can understand why you have a photo of it!

I assume the other cabinet is a Shindo. But where is the horn? Is it perhaps a 604 design instead?
 
OK. I have agonized over the subject of cabinets. I'll try to dig up some links to some interesting articles about "live" cabinets.

In the interim, here are a couple of internal pictures of Shindo's. Neither of them has any kind of insulation/padding etc.. Not sure about the back behind the speaker. One is a simple brace and the other uses some kind of dampening tar type paint.

For what its worth, I experimented with a mutitude of materials, from carpet and carpet backing to all kinds of foam etc, etc. and I finally ended up with nothing except on the wall behind the driver w some thick felt. I tried various degrees of bracing and the more I braced the better. I can say that finding the right combination of padding and bracing (and I'll throw in the port size as well) is the single biggest improvement I made in all the tweaking and experimenting. It was like Momma Bears pourage.... Too dark, too bright, not enough meat in the mid-range, muddy bass mucking everything up and on and on until it was just right.
In my system the felt blanket hanging half way along the cabinet sounded much better than felt on the back wall.
The Altec 604 enclosure you have shown apparently uses that brace not so much to brace the cabinet but is used to keep the duplex securely held to the front baffle (because its a very heavy driver and the front wood is thin.
Western Electrix
 

Salectric

Senior Member
Western Electrix said: The Altec 604 enclosure you have shown apparently uses that brace not so much to brace the cabinet but is used to keep the duplex securely held to the front baffle (because its a very heavy driver and the front wood is thin.

That makes sense. I have wondered how mechanically stable the Shindo cabinets could be given the thin cabinet walls, but the substantial bracing answers that. Also, I hadn't picked up on my phone that both of the photos posted by Doglv are Shindos. I assumed the one with the nice bracing was his own.
 
Western Electrix said: The Altec 604 enclosure you have shown apparently uses that brace not so much to brace the cabinet but is used to keep the duplex securely held to the front baffle (because its a very heavy driver and the front wood is thin.

That makes sense. I have wondered how mechanically stable the Shindo cabinets could be given the thin cabinet walls, but the substantial bracing answers that. Also, I hadn't picked up on my phone that both of the photos posted by Doglv are Shindos. I assumed the one with the nice bracing was his own.
I didn't make very clear, those two last pictures are NOT mine. They are both Shindo. BTW... look how thin that back wall is on the 604 cabs. Getting the resonance right on such thin cabinet walls is a very tricky proposition.

QUOTE- "In my system the felt blanket hanging half way along the cabinet sounded much better than felt on the back wall."

I have never heard of that until this thread w you and Joe both recommending it. One of these days I'm going to have to give it a try. Would love to see some pictures of what you guys are doing here. I think Joe just has his wrapped around the woofer.

Below is a picture of my internal cab.

 

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ICTWoody

Junior Member
QUOTE- "In my system the felt blanket hanging half way along the cabinet sounded much better than felt on the back wall."

I have never heard of that until this thread w you and Joe both recommending it. One of these days I'm going to have to give it a try. Would love to see some pictures of what you guys are doing here. I think Joe just has his wrapped around the woofer.
In this page, which a lot of people use for reference on Onken builds, they show the "curtain" of thick felt. — I hung mine just forward of where the vents turn into the main part of the box... probably 4-6" off the back of the cabinet. It's flush with how far my crossover network extends into the box. Here's the pics I have of lining them with the 1/2" felt. These boxes are made from 1" china birch ply. They are super heavy and non-resonate.

I will say the felt is nice to work with. Cuts easily with a box knife and straight edge and no mess like fiberglass batts. (I cut the fiberglass on a tablesaw.)

http://www.ispra.net/audio/Onken/finishedOnken/finishedOnken.html

- Woody

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Sorry... but I don't see a curtain here. All I see is wool attached to the side walls.

Here's a picture of Joe's rock wool application. From post #100.


 
OK. I have agonized over the subject of cabinets. I'll try to dig up some links to some interesting articles about "live" cabinets.

In the interim, here are a couple of internal pictures of Shindo's. Neither of them has any kind of insulation/padding etc.. Not sure about the back behind the speaker. One is a simple brace and the other uses some kind of dampening tar type paint.

For what its worth, I experimented with a mutitude of materials, from carpet and carpet backing to all kinds of foam etc, etc. and I finally ended up with nothing except on the wall behind the driver w some thick felt. I tried various degrees of bracing and the more I braced the better. I can say that finding the right combination of padding and bracing (and I'll throw in the port size as well) is the single biggest improvement I made in all the tweaking and experimenting. It was like Momma Bears pourage.... Too dark, too bright, not enough meat in the mid-range, muddy bass mucking everything up and on and on until it was just right.
Which Shindo is the first box showing cabinet bracing? All the Shindos I've seen either have a simple brace which was more to hold the driver in place or no bracing at all with very thin 'tone' walls? Also the vent hole looks bigger than any of the Shindo stuff I've seen.

The felt blanket i use (and used for my Onkens) is much thinner than the ones you've shown. I found a little thinner was better for sound (in my system).

Western Electrix
 
Which Shindo is the first box showing cabinet bracing? All the Shindos I've seen either have a simple brace which was more to hold the driver in place or no bracing at all with very thin 'tone' walls? Also the vent hole looks bigger than any of the Shindo stuff I've seen.

The felt blanket i use (and used for my Onkens) is much thinner than the ones you've shown. I found a little thinner was better for sound (in my system).

Western Electrix
Got it.

What do you think of this?

Unfortunately unavailable at both Amazon and Ebay.upload_2018-10-15_19-35-59.pngilabe at both
 

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Got it.

What do you think of this?

Unfortunately unavailable at both Amazon and Ebay.View attachment 8437ilabe at both
Hi Doglv,
Now this stuff looks awesome!
It looks really similar to material I've had inside a range of different very old speakers I've owned and i always thought it sounded awesome but never been able to find it for sale.
It was in a box i had with Goodmans Axiom 80 drivers. I ripped it out thinking it would be crap and everything i tried was terrible in comparison.
It was also in some Karlson boxes i owned and a generic box. I was more careful this time and left it in place.
Western Electrix
 
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