View Full Version : Altec 288-8G High Frequency Drivers - Out of their mind?

08-05-2006, 05:53 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/Altec-288-8G-High-Frequency-Drivers-Speakers-16ohms_W0QQitemZ150019410495QQihZ005QQcategoryZ505 97QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

No affiliation to seller.

Are these a good price or completley outrageous?


08-06-2006, 03:22 AM
Ah...........that's a little steep.

Steve Gonzales
08-06-2006, 11:11 AM
I would like to add that the 288-16G is probably the finest large format compression driver Altec ever produced in the last part of their heyday. Very sweet, very smooth, and absolutely powerful dynamics. Stunning. Pairs of them in this condition are getting very rare indeed. Ebay has given alot of people a sort of "false value" for things. While having a world market does have some good points, some soon forget what it is that you are actually getting for $1500.00. A pair of TAD 4003 Be. drivers is about $5000.00. The cost to manufacture these things puts them out of reach for most people. The TAD's are worth every penny and are "world class" drivers. These Altec's get you most of the way there for less than a third of the cost. Am I suggesting that the 288-16G is as good as a 4003Be.? Not hardly. I am suggesting that they are extremely well made, sweet sounding drivers, even at that price and that you would need to spend far more to better them. There is also a pair of equally nice 288-16K's for a $545.00 BIN. What a steal! For the record, I have no affiliation with either auctions/sellers. I hope that this might shed a little light on the situation.

Tom Brennan
08-06-2006, 12:16 PM
Note that Alnico cultists are keen on the 288G and 802G because they were the last Alnico Altecs.In such a case whether the driver actually sounds better or not is beside the point.

They do have the supposedly better tangerine plugs but IME&O ferrite magnet 288 Ks and 902s sound very fine.

Steve Gonzales
08-06-2006, 01:23 PM
I know that there are quite a few people that say that they can hear a difference. I can't honestly say that I can. I think that the real difference would be in diaphragm material and construction than magnet type (all else being equal). You know, it's a big shock to actually see the large format drivers in person, as opposed to pictures? I remember the first pair of JBL 375's I owned. I just couldn't get over how massive they are compared to an LE85. Same goes for the big Altecs. The picture I posted earlier is the first I've seen that gives any kind of real life perspective. As for the K's on ebay, I wish I had a little more cash right now to snap them up.

Tom Brennan
08-06-2006, 07:33 PM
Steve----3 or 4 years ago I bought a pair of 288Ks for $300 from L&M Trading in Butler Pa. The fella said at the time that he had a great deal of Altec stuff of all kinds. Maybe he still does.

The 288s on tar-filled 1005s, combined with 515Bs, made the finest midrange ever IMO. Highs were smooth but a little down.

Steve Gonzales
08-06-2006, 08:39 PM
I too have always thought very highly of the way big Altecs sound. I have a chance to obtain some 805B multicells. They came out of the FreeMasons lodge. This installation is from the late 1940's. Missing one 30162 throat. The original compression drivers were 291-16K's . I'd love the chance to A-B some 805B/288-16G/K's with the JBL 2397/2441 combo I presently use for midrange. As far as using them up past 9-10khz, IMPO, those duties are best left to a good ol' ring radiator (076 in my system). $300 bucks for a pair of the K's is an awfuly good deal. I'm also in the process of restoring some Model 19's too. There is something special about the way they sound, I just have to have a pair of my own. Regards, Steve G.

scott fitlin
08-07-2006, 06:02 AM
I, too, agree, the Altec 288 series had a certain something. I have two of the 288-8G,s left from way back in the 70,s, and we had them on Altec 311-90,s, they always had a unique sound. Very sweet, very dynamic, and plucky sounding.

I think the opening bid on this particular eBay auction is ridiculously high, but, whatever! Someone that really wants `em, and can afford them, may buy them.

One things for sure, as each year passes, the vintage stuff of any brand becomes scarcer and scarcer. Before this forum became so popular, you could pick up vintage JBL for a song. Things that go for huge money now!

Vintage, or should I say Retro JBL and Altec became a very hip thing to have.

Steve Schell
08-09-2006, 01:15 AM
The price might seem a bit high on those 288-16Gs, but they would probably cost double that if they were still made. If I remember right, the G was the last alnico model with the circumferential phasing plug, the H had the alnico motor combined with the Tangerine plug, and the K used the Tangerine with a ferrite motor. The G and H are fairly scarce compared to the earlier 288s and most people feel they are better so they sell for a premium. Me, I like the K just fine and they usually sell for bargain prices compared to any of the alnicos.

08-09-2006, 05:02 AM
The last of the 288’s were made by RCF and rebadged as Altec.
They don’t sound so good; there is no RCF forum is there.

I forget which models came rebadged perhaps someone knows more.

288K’s sound pretty cool, one the favourite “antique” drivers in my collection.