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View Full Version : What amp or receiver to run Altec Valencias?



Storm
06-12-2006, 12:15 PM
What is the best amp or receiver to use with Altec Valencia's? I am currently using a Yamaha receiver because I use both sets of valencias as my TV speakers.

I was just wondering if I could get better than Yamaha for a receiver, or eventually just get a good amp.

Let me know. Price is not an issue.

Thanks.

mbask
06-12-2006, 12:57 PM
Well....I'm looking for a McIntosh 2300 for mine...but not in any great hurry
as my Behringer BMX 1000 power mixer is pushing them just fine.
From what I've read, you don't necessarily have to pump TONS of power thru them to sound good, but they will handle large amounts of power as well... many more technically proficient people on this forum will be able to answer your questions with facts. I cannot ......good luck
PS: How's the fret work look on the front of your Valencias?

Storm
06-12-2006, 01:01 PM
Well, on my Altec 846U's, there is no fretwork - just regular cloth grilles. And on my Altec Heathkits that have a horn and woofer - exactly like Valencia's, those have the same thing - they have cloth grilles, but they do not come off like my 846U's do.

How do you post pictures? I would love to post pictures, but have no idea how.

Thanks!

:D

mbask
06-12-2006, 01:17 PM
Well, on my Altec 846U's, there is no fretwork - just regular cloth grilles. And on my Altec Heathkits that have a horn and woofer - exactly like Valencia's, those have the same thing - they have cloth grilles, but they do not come off like my 846U's do.

How do you post pictures? I would love to post pictures, but have no idea how.

Thanks!

:D
just scroll down toward bottom of posting page and click on the "Attach Image" box:)

CONVERGENCE
06-14-2006, 07:04 PM
Have you considered Chord.

http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/chord_tech.asp?view=amp


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garyl
06-21-2006, 07:14 PM
Good question Storm and I have some experience with the VALs. & Yamaha combo.

Many here will tell you the Vals sound best with tubes. I don't disagree with this at all but I find tubes to be units best suited for the Techs among us.
I use Solid State Receivers and gave up on the Yamaha seperates. Found them too bright for the Vals. I now use Vintage Sansui "G" receivers and the sound is much nicer.
You do not need gobbs of power and my G 8000s and G 9000s have way more then I could ever use. Standby power is always nice when volumes get a bit loud but I think 100 WPC is more then ample for your speakers.
If I can believe the power meters on my G 9000 I rarely go much over 10 watts continuous and can be driven out of the room with this.

All this being said, I really find that Altec later versions such as the model 18s and 19s are much nicer in the home environment. I don't profess to be an expert in this arena but I do believe the higher XO point of 1200Hz in the 19s is the key to better sound over the Vals.
Also, from a non technical comparison you might think the Vals and 19s are very similar speakers. Both have 416 woofers and 811 B horns and the only real difference is the XOs and the HF drivers. I am sure there are many differences the techies can point out but I am also quite sure the Valencias are a very fine speaker and those who have them are almost always quite satisfied.
I have no idea if changing the HF drivers to 802-8Gs and the XOs to a 1200Hz would tame the "IN YOUR FACE" attitude of the Vals highs but it might be worth looking into or hearing some opinions from the experts here.
I know I went from the Yamaha MX 1000, CX 1000 seperates to Sansui Gs and the Vals sounded way better. I then bought a pair of 19s and the Vals went south because they just could not match the smoothness of the 19s.
I had a Mac 4100 receiver and although very nice, the G 9000 put it to shame in every catagory and at half the price.
More important then all of this is your room and the speaker placement in it. If you can't get back away from the horns and your room itself is reflective you will have a very hard time enjoying Horny speakers.

Gary

boputnam
06-21-2006, 08:08 PM
my Behringer BMX 1000 power mixer is pushing them just fineThat seems at-odds with the quality of your "stack". :dont-know

Are you running these all at the same time? How's the inter-element phasing...?? :blink:

Tom Loizeaux
06-26-2006, 03:55 PM
When I was preparing to move in to my house many years ago I would spend evenings sanding floors, doing plasterwork and lots of cleaning up, etc. For "work music" I brought in one Altec Valencia and put a clock radio on top. It rocked the house!

Now my pair of Valencias sit on each side of the fireplace and only play occasionally - due to my JBL setups in my basement (see avatar).
My Valencias are driven now by a B&K ST1400 which uses MosFet devices. It seems to supply the Valencias with plenty of power and produce nice detail.

Tom

spkrman57
06-26-2006, 07:46 PM
Good question Storm and I have some experience with the VALs. & Yamaha combo.

Many here will tell you the Vals sound best with tubes. I don't disagree with this at all but I find tubes to be units best suited for the Techs among us.

There are many decent modern tube amps that are dependable and don't require you to be a techie.


I use Solid State Receivers and gave up on the Yamaha seperates. Found them too bright for the Vals. I now use Vintage Sansui "G" receivers and the sound is much nicer.
You do not need gobbs of power and my G 8000s and G 9000s have way more then I could ever use. Standby power is always nice when volumes get a bit loud but I think 100 WPC is more then ample for your speakers.
If I can believe the power meters on my G 9000 I rarely go much over 10 watts continuous and can be driven out of the room with this.

The later Altec drivers(416 and 902) are capable of more power handling than their earlier brethren who were really capable of only about 50 watts. The later models will take as much as 150 watts, but I would not run them with more than 75 watts max as compression and distortion levels rise up.

All this being said, I really find that Altec later versions such as the model 18s and 19s are much nicer in the home environment. I don't profess to be an expert in this arena but I do believe the higher XO point of 1200Hz in the 19s is the key to better sound over the Vals.
Also, from a non technical comparison you might think the Vals and 19s are very similar speakers. Both have 416 woofers and 811 B horns and the only real difference is the XOs and the HF drivers. I am sure there are many differences the techies can point out but I am also quite sure the Valencias are a very fine speaker and those who have them are almost always quite satisfied.

The Valencia's were crossed over at 800hz and the 19's were at either 1200hz or 1500hz depending on the models. The Vals were 2nd order crossovers with no HF compensation while the 19's were 2nd order Lo-pass and 3rd order Hi-pass with HF compensation.

Altec changed most of their later models with 1200hz to 1500hz crossovers due to the amount of compression drivers returned for service due to being blown. At the lower crossover point and lower order crossovers, they were being blown at a high rate!


I have no idea if changing the HF drivers to 802-8Gs and the XOs to a 1200Hz would tame the "IN YOUR FACE" attitude of the Vals highs but it might be worth looking into or hearing some opinions from the experts here.
I know I went from the Yamaha MX 1000, CX 1000 seperates to Sansui Gs and the Vals sounded way better. I then bought a pair of 19s and the Vals went south because they just could not match the smoothness of the 19s.
I had a Mac 4100 receiver and although very nice, the G 9000 put it to shame in every catagory and at half the price.
More important then all of this is your room and the speaker placement in it. If you can't get back away from the horns and your room itself is reflective you will have a very hard time enjoying Horny speakers.

Gary

Also, I would like to add that I used crossover designs from Pi forum(Pi speakers/Wayne Parham). He uses the same 2nd Lo and 3rd Hi pass theory that the Altec Model 19 uses.

I also have used Altec N1500-8A crossovers for my 704-8A coax design from Bill H. at Great Plains with much success!

Ron

garyl
06-26-2006, 08:22 PM
Excellent points Speakerman57 and once again Great info here at LH.

I happen to appreciate the N 1500-8As I used in my 19 clones more and more as time goes on. I really do not know what order they fall with in but I am sure they make my speakers sing very nice.

Regarding the more dependable Tube gear available today. I have no doubt you are right however it appears most Tube types just love getting inside and tweeking to their hearts content and I applaud this for anyone with those tendencies and desires.
For myself, I have to stand by my almost 30 year old "Gs" that so far have required nothing more then an occassional shot of Deoxit and a simple DC offset and bias adjustment to keep them sounding fantastic.
I am also not of a pursuasion to allow my amp 30 minutes or more warm up time until I can be sure it is ready to rumble. I don't often have more then 30 minutes to sit and listen so I want it all and I want it Now.
I do believe Vallencias sound much better with tubes behind them. I will not say they don't sound great with a good SS system but I think the 800Hz/811B combo lends itself to tubes in a much smoother presentation.
As mentioned above, highly efficient speakers don't need alot of power but they sure do sound gorgeous with very clean power.

Gary

mbask
06-27-2006, 01:50 AM
That seems at-odds with the quality of your "stack". :dont-know

Are you running these all at the same time? How's the inter-element phasing...?? :blink:

well...yes it is at odds. In fact, I've only listened with that combination about 10 or 15 times and I must admit I was a little unshure about it at first.:o:
I've since acquired one "JBL Urei 6260" power amp but haven't yet hooked it up to the Valencias..only the L-36s and I am pleased with that so far.
I would like to "run these all at the same time" (except for the Auratones)
but not really sure how to yet...
what is "inter-element phasing"? does that have to do with how the Valencias xovers work in relation to that of the L36s if ran simultaneously?
:confused:

boputnam
07-02-2006, 09:40 PM
what is "inter-element phasing"? does that have to do with how the Valencias xovers work in relation to that of the L36s if ran simultaneously?
:confused::yes:

Just make sure that any drivers covering the same frequency range are like-phased. Otherwise, they will cancel... If you're running those stacks all at the same time, you've got a number of opportunities for frequency (driver) overlap.

mbask
07-02-2006, 10:29 PM
ah....I get it ....thats a goody bit of info ...thanx
"So everything will be just exactly perfect"
I'm still not sure how they will all connect , yet ..
I'm open to enlightenment...