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View Full Version : Speakers and driver similar to 416 and 802?



Progneta
01-09-2007, 09:51 AM
Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum. Im pleased that I found it as I am a serious Altec listener!

My father uses (I believe) the 416 woofer's and 802 drivers for our surround sound system and it sounds amazing!!! I am moving out soon and I want to get about 7 woofers and drivers for my surround setup at my house.

Are there any newer made speakers that are cheap and similar in sound and quality to the 416 and 802?

Thanks,
Progneta

spkrman57
01-09-2007, 10:03 AM
As far as clones go, I don't see you getting the quality you are used to hearing from the originals using any cheaper drivers you might find.

Ron

Storm
01-09-2007, 01:55 PM
Pair of Model 19s?

Is that what your father uses?

;)

-Storm.

louped garouv
01-09-2007, 03:04 PM
could be A7s too.... :)

spkrman57
01-09-2007, 05:49 PM
Let's see what it ends up being!

Tom Brennan
01-09-2007, 06:08 PM
Progneta----Two of the salient qualities of big Altecs are their dynamics and clarity and you can certainly get much of those benefits from cheaper drivers such as Eminences.

An outfit named Pi makes kits using Eminence 15" woofers and driver-horns and I've heard those Pis and they sound very good. Pi speakers has a website and a forum, check it out. Shown are a pair of Pis I heard a few years ago at the Midwest Audio Fest.

Personally I'd seek out used Altec gear but you can do very well with other stuff.

mikebake
01-09-2007, 06:19 PM
Ahhh, Mr. Bill hisself.

spkrman57
01-10-2007, 06:17 AM
I know, I got them from Bill and another member in Canada bought them and covered them in Leather!

Gary L
01-11-2007, 01:12 PM
Mentioned here often, GPA- Great Plains Audio is currently making some very nice 416 woofers and comparable drivers to match the needs you mention.

Can't say they are cheaper but in the grand scheme of things I do think they are a bargin. The cost to buy the 416/802 Vintage stuff and then send it to GPA for reconing, remagnetizing and new diaphragms makes buying the new stuff from Bill cheaper in the long run.
Some members here could shed more light on how the new stuff compares in the sound department but you would have to buy the vintage stuff pretty cheap to make them less expensive after they are all freshened up properly.

Gary

Tom Brennan
01-11-2007, 05:17 PM
I recently bought a new pair of GPA 902-16s, I put them in my Heath AS-21s in place of the original 806s, I hear a little difference, maybe better highs as I would expect from a 902 to even a new 806 but nothing jumping out, it's subtle.

The drivers were $200 each, a good deal and cheaper than I see new JBL 2426s.

I won't presume that old Altec stuff needs sending to GPA for "freshening up", much of it works fine, much depends on the specific condition and price.

Gary L
01-11-2007, 06:51 PM
I recently bought a new pair of GPA 902-16s, I put them in my Heath AS-21s in place of the original 806s, I hear a little difference, maybe better highs as I would expect from a 902 to even a new 806 but nothing jumping out, it's subtle.

The drivers were $200 each, a good deal and cheaper than I see new JBL 2426s.

I won't presume that old Altec stuff needs sending to GPA for "freshening up", much of it works fine, much depends on the specific condition and price.

Exactly my point! Maybe a bit better but NOT worse! $200 each for new while we have seen old 802s go for over a grand.
You won't presume that old Altec stuff needs freshening up while I won't assume it doesn't. If I am going to use it I want to know it is magnetically right and has new diaphragms.
Used 802s go for at least $300 and usually way more lately. New Phrams are $100 each with shipping and re-magging. Thats a minimum of $500 for old and $400 for a pair of brand new ones that might sound better.
Did I mis-speak?
Old 416s are at least $300 in questionable functional condition. Reconing and re-magging is $250/pair. Don't know what Bill charges for brand new ones but would expect them to be a bargin also.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v722/Gamalot/Speakers/19set1.jpg

There is $2800 sitting on this table! All are vintage and all are fresh from GPA so I think I know a little about what I said.
When they go in my cabinates I don't have to wonder if they have strong magnets or good surrounds or good diaphragms!

Gary

Paul C.
01-11-2007, 07:46 PM
Progneta----Two of the salient qualities of big Altecs are their dynamics and clarity and you can certainly get much of those benefits from cheaper drivers such as Eminences.

An outfit named Pi makes kits using Eminence 15" woofers and driver-horns and I've heard those Pis and they sound very good. Pi speakers has a website and a forum, check it out. Shown are a pair of Pis I heard a few years ago at the Midwest Audio Fest.

Personally I'd seek out used Altec gear but you can do very well with other stuff.

www.pispeakers.com (http://www.pispeakers.com)

and check out the 4pi Theatre. The kits are all components (woofer, horn driver, horn lens, crossover) but wood. Wayne Parham at Pi will gladly send you plans for any of his speakers.

The 4pi can be built with several driver combinations. The 4pi Theatre can also be built with the specified Eminence Delta 15 and PSD2002 horn driver, but substuting the Altec 811b horn for even better performance... which is what I am doing now.

The kits are quite reasonably priced.

Tom Brennan
01-11-2007, 07:59 PM
"There is $2800 sitting on this table! All are vintage and all are fresh from GPA so I think I know a little about what I said."

Has it been demonstrated that simply because a driver is 30 years old it no longer works correctly? I don't mean drivers that have been ridden hard and put away wet, I mean hi-fi use.

Steve Schell
01-11-2007, 10:46 PM
Tom, I have several Lansing and RCA drivers that are 65 to 70 years old and still sound and measure just fine. Many of them probably served in theatres for at least a couple of decades. I agree with you that compression drivers that have been babied in hi fi service all their lives should show no ill effects from being merely 30 years old- that's barely a decent break in period.

Gary L
01-12-2007, 04:35 AM
"There is $2800 sitting on this table! All are vintage and all are fresh from GPA so I think I know a little about what I said."

Has it been demonstrated that simply because a driver is 30 years old it no longer works correctly? I don't mean drivers that have been ridden hard and put away wet, I mean hi-fi use.

Again Tom, and I don't disagree with yours or Steves point but when purchasing these items from unknown sources and unknown history how is one to know if a driver was "ridden hard and put away wet", dropped, mistreated, used outdoors or for high powered PA systems.
I merely consider a trip to GPA as a tune up or check up by a competent mechanic. Good insurance.

Gary

moldyoldy
01-12-2007, 11:22 AM
Whether a driver needs a "refresh" or not can be measured either by measuring the magnet flux in the gap, or the sensitivity it exhibits compared to specification or identical "known good" units. If you are unable to perform the tests, you either gamble everything's OK and put them in service, which occasionally leads to compromised performance, or take no chances by having them professionally restored, which occasionally is a waste of time and money.

Steve Schell
01-12-2007, 11:27 AM
Good point, Gary L. I once owned a pair of Altec Magnificents that had served for a time as PA for a garage band. If one doesn't know the history of a pair of speakers, there is no telling what they may have been put through.

Gary L
01-12-2007, 12:29 PM
I purchased one of these pairs of 416-8Bs on ebay. One woofer needed reconing while the other appeared to be fine and looked great.
I sent both to GPA and the one that looked great required extensive rebuilding because in Bills opinion it may have been used in a staudium or outdoor setting and the gap was totally rusted.
He had to seperate the entire motor to do the necessary cleaning, recone and remagnetize.

I am sure many woofers purchased with unknown histories can work fine.

Very few of us have testing equipment to determine if magnets are up to specs.

I just feel that if I am spending all this cash and time to build nice cabinets then why not load them with drivers that are sure to be performing properly.

I would not buy a used car and send my daughter off to school in it until a mechanic checked it over and does an oil/filter change and tune up.

I don't load my cabinets with drivers of unknown condition, even if they look fine and the seller swears they were used by a little old ladies church group. YMMV.

Gary