View Full Version : Altec Valencia - early model

12-05-2006, 05:26 PM
I have a set of early Altec Valencias that I am selling for my mother. I originally purchased these from a pone (sp?) shop around 1980 and gave them to my parents as a Christmas present. My mother just moved into a much smaller place and no longer has room for these. They are very early with serial numbers of 348 and 357 and it appears from the code of the label that these were build in Oct. 1965.

I have someone locally that would like to purchase these to use in his recording studio. They are in very good condition with only minor cosmetic problems. The fret work grills are in perfect condition. One speakers finish is slightly faded and there are a few places where there are, mostly very small, chips in the veneer and a few small dings. They are original in every way and have not been messed with at all.

What I am wondering is if the low serial numbers have any impact on the value of these speakers? I would like to make a fair offer to the individual that is interested but I am not sure what these are worth other than the general estimated I have seen here and also some things on ebay.

12-05-2006, 05:38 PM
Since there are many versions of the same model, it would help if you could add pictures.

I would venture to say that the speakers are worth $800-$1400 depending on condition of the cabinets and if they are in good working order.



How much is the guy offering? I am going to CA this Saturday and would be interested in them.


12-05-2006, 05:53 PM
If your near San Diego I would love to see them.

louped garouv
12-05-2006, 05:56 PM
I believe that range to be closer to the Model 19 range...
I would honestly expect the Valencia range to be a bit lower

but i know nothing really

12-05-2006, 06:52 PM
There was a pair just like these that sold on ebay a while back for over $1,800 but these had higher serial numbers (in the 3xxx range). These are the 846A the early Valencia with the wood grills. My parents only used these occasionally and never played them loud and they still sound good. I suspect that putting new caps in the xovers would make them sound even better.

The local person interested has not made an offer. He was recording a concert for my band last week and during the intermission we chatted. I mentioned that I have these speakers and the first thing he said was "If you ever consider selling them call me". I told him that I didn't have room for them so I was going to sell them but that I didn't have any idea what they were worth and that I needed to figure out the market value before I could consider any offers.

These are about as nice an "as found" example of these as you are likely to find anywhere. I want to get a fair value for these and I suspect that considering how nice the condition is that this are likely in the higher range for this model which is likely in the $1200 to $1400 area based on the posts I have seen here. But they are very early models since the serial numbers are in the 34x to 35x range and knowing nothing about how these are valued and if the early serial number has any impact on the value that is why I am asking.

I am in the Bay Area so San Diego is not close.

louped garouv
12-05-2006, 07:03 PM
like i said, i have been known to be wrong...

i figure you are already watching the pairs on Ebay right now, right?

the seller aep30 sells alot of vintage stuff, and seems to have a pretty good track record for being on EBay as long as he has, so that would be a pretty good gauge to start with...

his ends in four days, no bids at $999 start...

the other active is a BIN local pick up in Vegas for $1650

I bet a bunch are watching both

12-05-2006, 08:39 PM
No I didn't see these until you posted here about it. These are both like the ones I have.

Both have more cosmetic problems than the ones I have. Both have grill damage which is a fairly significant problem to fix since it involves finding replacement grills (either ones from a parted out speaker or making new ones). One post here said that that affected the value of these by about $200. My speaker grills are perfect. Even the cloth backing on my grills is in good shape.

These both seem to have more finish/veneer problems than the ones I have. Also the $999 speakers are missing the labels from the back - so no serial numbers or production date info. The second set have serial numbers in the 217x - 221x range and look to be dated the 17th week of 1969. Mine were built the 42nd week of 1965. So it appears that Altec was building about 10 of these per week during this time period (1825 speakers in 183 weeks).

Mine also do not have the Altec label on the grill. I don't see any sign that this was ever on my speakers and perhaps this appeared later in the production of these speakers. Also the ones listed for $1650 have an Iconic label on the back that my speakers do not have. Again perhaps this was put onto later models.

All of these are 16 ohm speakers.

12-05-2006, 10:05 PM
I would keep the speakers and do not worry too much about re-sell until you are ready to sell them.

Back in the 60's and 70's when these were being made, these speakers cost about $3K NEW, in today's money - roughly $800 per pair back then.

Personally, you will kick yourself in the butt after you sell them. You will be hard pressed to find such speakers out there in the market today.

That's just me...

If you are looking to sell them for sure, I would not take anything less than $1000.00.

The far east - China, Hong Kong, and elsewhere are scooping these up like hotcakes. No wonder why? - They are only one of the best VINTAGE speakers ever made! - Yeah, I know JBL fans...the L300's and the 43XX series among others are top notch as well, but in the Altec line, they are pretty much held in high regard.

Good luck with the sale. PM me if you want.

BTW - I have a pair of 846U's, which are the same version as yours, but 8 ohm and in a different cabinet - produced in 1975.



12-06-2006, 05:56 PM
Well I simply do not have room for these as I live in a small house and I already have a set of vintage JBLs (LE14A - re-coned by JBL in 1990, LE175, HL91 bi-amped in home made enclosures). I have had these since they were new (1972) although the bi-amp setup dates from just after the LE14As were re-coned. They are about half the size of the Valencias making them a better fit in my living space and also sound better with more bass extension (F3 = 36Hz).

If I had a larger place I would likely keep them and do things like new caps in the crossovers (which I am sure it needs) and fixing the minor cosmetic problems since I know these will only get more valuable. The other thing is I am selling these for my mother and even though this represents only a small part of her estate I do need to get what I can and get the money to her. Besides I would really like to get these to someone that has the space for them and who understands what these are because at this time the best I can do for them is to store them in my garage which is not something I want to do.

I will talk to the person locally that says he wants these and if I can get something in the $1000 to $1200 range I will sell them since I know he will take care of them. My main reason for posting here was the very low serial numbers on these units since I thought that it might be possible that this would increase (or maybe decrease) the value. But this does not appear to be the case. If he decides that he does not want them then I will post something here in case someone here is interested.

Tom Brennan
12-09-2006, 02:35 PM
Valencias are quite common and come up on ebay all the time. I doubt that many care whether a Valencia is early or late.

By the time you ask much over $1000 you're getting into Model 19 territory and the 19 was a better speaker.

19s recently on ebay have sold at from $950 to $1625 and the ones at $950 were VERY nice.

$1000 would be a price I'd pay for mint Valencias but not more.

12-14-2006, 10:50 PM
Hope this tid bit will help....

I sold a set of early Valencias - that the 846A versions - with the original wood grille work on them for $650/pair. They had reworked crossovers and original drivers. The purchaser picked them up in person - this was one part of the transaction that should not be underestimated in sales of large-format items like speakers, IMHO.

This was in the SF Bay Area about 15 months ago.



12-14-2006, 11:19 PM
David -

You sold those WAY to cheap. I bet you regret it now!


Tom -

Just because something sells for an average price, does not mean that the speakers are only worth that. I paid $900.00 for mine and would never sell them for under $2000.00. This is just that I feel they are worth every penny in the $2000.00 region of speakers that are currently being sold today.

There are many factors that go into why the 19's go for so cheap - mainly due to size and weight. I am for sure if the Japanese or Koreans could find a cheaper way to ship them from here, prices would be over $3K all day long.

For a mint pair of Valencias that I am sure the Asians would eat up, I personally would not take less than $1200.00.

I feel that if ALTEC had better marketing, more people would know about it. But, since JBL knew way more than ALTEC did in that category, I think ALTEC speakers are being sold on the secondary market for WAY to cheap. No wonder why the Asian market has finally caught on. If we don't stick up for these speakers and give them the respect they deserve, in about 5-10 years, all of the supply will be dried up. Heck, it is not like Altec made 1 pair a day. And even at that, that is less than 10 thousand pairs available for the millions of consumers worldwide.

In concluision - the Valencias and all the other models like them are top notch speakers and are worth every penny - no matter what someone is asking.

Price is all subjective anyways. Look at all these vintage modern furniture stores. They could drop their prices, but they feel confident in their item. And when someone with money walks in and does not have to double check their bank account first, then thats that.

It is sad - the decline of everything is becoming apparent. All the stuff that was made with pride and respect are no longer being made. Too bad my generation only cares about the here and now.

Glad I was brought up different, or else I would have never have brought home the loves of my life - my 846U Valencia speakers.

And Tom - have you compared the 19's and Valencias in an A/B test? I have, and I feel they are both brothers in the same family. However, they each have their own likes and dislikes - just like us humans. Therefore I have concluded, finally - that no speakers should be judged, they should only be loved.

Enjoy what you have today, because you have no idea if you will have it tomorrow....



louped garouv
12-15-2006, 09:56 AM
remember that just because some folks get lucky and sell their wares for top dollar, does not mean that everyone will part with top dollar for somewhat common components....

Vintage Audio seems to have a somewhat fickle crowd of afficinados

BTW I think that the Valencias being offered by aep30 went without a bid....

12-15-2006, 03:35 PM

I might have let them go for that but I didn't get hurt, if you will. I had to make room for the UREI 813s that replaced them. Talk about big but well worth the trade up.

I'm glad they found a good home, too.



Shane Shuster
12-17-2006, 05:07 PM
It is sad - the decline of everything is becoming apparent. All the stuff that was made with pride and respect are no longer being made. Too bad my generation only cares about the here and now.

Come on. Its the same as it ever was. The stuff with pride and respect is made today with better manufacturing but is expensive because it is made in small volumes and isn't already used. I'm in your generation and think most of the vintage stuff doesn't play modern music all that well. I think ebay has pushed most of the vintage prices up too far relative to what the speakers can do.

I would try selling the Valencias high on the first auction but wouldn't be disappointed if they don't sell. Selling collectors items is tricky because while a guy like Storm might pay $2000 I wouldn't pay more than $500 . You just have to hope there are more Storms out there than me looking at the auction.

12-17-2006, 10:26 PM
Shane -

Yikes, what can I say to that?

I play ALL modern music and my Valencias kick butt!

What speakers do you use?

I'm confused - a great track record on eBay is not good enough for you? I understand once in a while people get more than they should, but average - these speakers fetch over $1K. I simply said that they are definately worth in the $2K range, comparitively what is available on the market today.

You need to learn more, seriously. Vintage speakers were made to last, unlike many of the speakers made out there today.

And there would NEVER be any of the guys you are talking about without JBL or ALTEC!



Shane Shuster
12-18-2006, 01:38 AM
Shane -
What speakers do you use?

You need to learn more, seriously. Vintage speakers were made to last, unlike many of the speakers made out there today.


Easy there Storm, I will explain where I am coming from. The bad vintage speakers didn't last. How many foam rotted speakers got thrown in a landfill? The good ones lasted which makes it look like all of them lasted. In 30 years don't you think the site will be going crazy over project array1400's? Will the 2006 JBL pro lineup suddenly explode in ten years?

Why pay $2000 for Valencias. You could buy new components from GPA, make better braced cabs that move the woofer closer to the horn, time align the horn better, put the horn at ear height, and support the horn at the back. You would have the better 511b to boot. No worries about bad caps, or demagnetized drivers, or stiff surrounds.

I use JBLs, Altecs and Tannoys mostly, some old, some new. The old stuff misses the low notes and the high notes. It over embellishes some notes too. (I still own the old stuff so don't take this as vintage bashing)

Honestly Storm, based on your posts, I think if you took a 9cuft cab loaded it with a couple of 416s and set a 511b/802g on top and crossed the thing at 500hz you wouldn't go back to your Valencias. Valencias, Model 19s, and 604/605s are only sort of dynamic. A5s and the like are where the hammer starts to drop.