The final (Altec) frontier?

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
Yes I have. For now it’s kind of piece meal with a different thread for each component. Once I put everything together I was going to make one big thread with links to each.

For starters, here is the build thread for the cabinets:

 
Wow @marantzfan. That Onken build was inspiring. Absolutely gorgeous cabinets. The other Altec nut I’ve hooked up with around these parts and I have been talking about an Onken build for a while now. What a great resource.

I’m so anxious to hear your impressions (when you’ve made them) about the timbral and sonic characteristics of the 416-8a in the Onkens vs other large boxes you may have heard.
 
Question: does anyone have any experience with the 288c drivers? I’d love to hold out for a pair of 288g, but there’s a pair of 288c for sale near me for less than half the going rate of the g. I know they’ll need new’phragms from GPA. I’m also aware there are physical differences in the driver construction that limit HF response relative to the g/h drivers, but they’re still discounted enough to be awfully tempting. Thoughts?
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
Question: does anyone have any experience with the 288c drivers? I’d love to hold out for a pair of 288g, but there’s a pair of 288c for sale near me for less than half the going rate of the g. I know they’ll need new’phragms from GPA. I’m also aware there are physical differences in the driver construction that limit HF response relative to the g/h drivers, but they’re still discounted enough to be awfully tempting. Thoughts?

Paging @ICTWoody.

I know that he used 288c’s on 511 type horns with his Onken cabinets. How’s that for being specific to your question. ;)
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
Paging @ICTWoody.

I know that he used 288c’s on 511 type horns with his Onken cabinets. How’s that for being specific to your question. ;)

I didn't have the 288C's on 511's... the 288's are a 1.4" throat and the 511's are not compatible at 1". I ran the 288C's on my Jabo's and really liked them a lot. They were only unseated when I got the JBL 2441's which are 2" and go just a LITTLE higher and I think are superior to my ears.

When I had 511's I only had them with 902's on them I think. I'm not really a huge fan of the 811/511s.

I think the G's are the pinnacle of the 1" Altec drivers. If I could only have 1 set of 1" Altecs... that's what I would get. I like the sound of the Tangerine phase plug. BUT, I do tend to favor a little more modern sound than a lot of guys. I think that's why I didn't connect with the 32 horns as much as MOST seem to. They were a little more relaxed then I tend to like. I have 902/MantaRays on top of my 414/614 cabinets right now.

I like the Emilar EH800 and now the EH500's better than any of the small Altec horns. But I think on my Onkens I'm going to go back to the Jabo's since they look fuckin' awesome and i feel like sonically there isn't enough difference between them and the EH500 to keep the Emilar's sitting on top. I know the Emilars, both versions, really are at their best when used the way they were intended inside the box mounted to the baffle. That's how my EH800's will be in a current project.

- Woody
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
I’d love to hear from @ICTWoody about his Onken experiece.

I love my Onkens. I bought them from a guy in Texas and they were underdamped and loaded with a Parts Express woofer that was "supposed to be close to a 416-c". They came with N-500-8 networks that had been recapped, and the 511/902 combo up top. The build is very good. All 1" china birch.

I swapped out the PE driver for a GPA reworked pair of 416A's. 8Ohm. And then I swapped out the 511/902 for the Jabo/288 combo. I was running the N500 network at this time. I knew the network was the weakest spot.

I finally bit the bullet and decided to order networks from Werner in Germany and while those were being built and then on the slow boat to come over I took the time to order up 1/2" felt and do the internals of the cabinets the way that Higarada had outlined, including the hanging "curtain" of felt behind the woofer. My onkens don't have the brace from the back of the cab to the woofer. My guess is it was omitted by the original builder because of the 1" vs. 3/4" ply construction.

The last change was swapping the 288's for the 2441 when I got them for a good deal with original 'phrams. I also rewired them all using Duelund DCA16GA and DCA12GA wire. The Duelund wire makes up almost all the signal wire in that rig. ICs, speakers and speaker wire.

That's where I'm at today. Loving them with my Fairchilds.

In my big huge room they still only played down into the mid to upper 40's... the recent addition of the Rythmik sealed servo 12" sub really filled it in nicely.

- Woody
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
I didn't have the 288C's on 511's... the 288's are a 1.4" throat and the 511's are not compatible at 1". I ran the 288C's on my Jabo's and really liked them a lot. They were only unseated when I got the JBL 2441's which are 2" and go just a LITTLE higher and I think are superior to my ears.

When I had 511's I only had them with 902's on them I think. I'm not really a huge fan of the 811/511s.

I think the G's are the pinnacle of the 1" Altec drivers. If I could only have 1 set of 1" Altecs... that's what I would get. I like the sound of the Tangerine phase plug. BUT, I do tend to favor a little more modern sound than a lot of guys. I think that's why I didn't connect with the 32 horns as much as MOST seem to. They were a little more relaxed then I tend to like. I have 902/MantaRays on top of my 414/614 cabinets right now.

I like the Emilar EH800 and now the EH500's better than any of the small Altec horns. But I think on my Onkens I'm going to go back to the Jabo's since they look fuckin' awesome and i feel like sonically there isn't enough difference between them and the EH500 to keep the Emilar's sitting on top. I know the Emilars, both versions, really are at their best when used the way they were intended inside the box mounted to the baffle. That's how my EH800's will be in a current project.

- Woody

Ahh...I thought you had the 511-E horns. I stand corrected. Memory ain’t what it used to be. ;)
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I use a pair of Rhythmik F8 subwoofers. I’ve found the lightweight paper cones with servo control work well with high efficiency speakers.
I've got a sealed NHT 1259 sub in a 3.5 cubic foot box (weighs a ton) with a 200W plate amp. Works really well with my Altec 753c speakers (also worked well with my Heresy X speakers when I was still using them in my main system). There's just something about a good sealed sub.
 
I would add that many of us using high efficiency speakers spend a lot of time and money trying to extend the LF and HF extension of our speakers. I've found that it is almost impossible to get both at the same time. It has been easier for me to focus on the frequencies of 100hz and up with my main speakers and use servo subs to fill in the bottom. I end up with more boxes but at my age four smaller boxes instead of two huge speakers is preferable. I can get full range sound from my "baby" Altec 414 speakers.
 
Thanks for pointing this out. I’ve used subs in the past in hifi applications and they’re outstanding when they’re done right.

I’ve been playing around with Altec stuff almost exclusively for a few years now, and Harbeth/BBC-type stuff before that, so it’s been a while since I’ve heard true full range.

My ears have adjusted enough that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on TOO much. I know that would change if I threw a sub into the mix though.

I initially swore off subs years ago because the really musical ones were super spendy and hideously ugly lol. I will admit to being intrigued by the 12” Rhythmiks that @ICTWoody mentioned - servo controlled, paper cone, sealed, small and white! Also, not $3500.
 
You don't have to spend a whole lot. Most of the Rhythmik subs are a bit pricy since they use proprietary drivers. The 12" paper cone F12 uses the GR Research paper driver. For quite a bit less money, Rhythmik sells the L12, which uses the smaller amplifier (but still 300wpc) and an off the shelf driver in an enclosure designed to fit into standard packaging for reduced shipping.

Alternatively, we can adopt our own version of the "Swarm" subwoofer championed by Duke LeJeune. A greater number of smaller subwoofers evens out the room response. Using 3 or 4 eight-inch paper cone subs can provide the best in-room bass response. The subs do not have to be of the highest quality since each is experiencing only a small amount of excusion.
 
There was a thread on the Altec forum where they divided the A7 cabs right below the horn section and added a JBL 22??? In the lower half that handled from 100hz down to 25hz.

I often thought about doing that to mine but I already had 2 good subs.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I use a pair of Rhythmik F8 subwoofers. I’ve found the lightweight paper cones with servo control work well with high efficiency speakers.
I'm curious, Woody - do you think a single F8 would be sufficient in a medium-sized room? I have the single 1259 right now, but I'd *love* to have something that takes up less real estate.
 
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