View Full Version : Looky, Looky !!

Don McRitchie
05-24-2003, 10:01 AM

Mr. Widget
05-24-2003, 10:39 AM
$8,600 for a pair and a full one year warranty.

Rex Mills
05-24-2003, 12:00 PM
I wish them good luck with them but at that price point contractors will look at more modern, smaller and lighter designs. Too bad. We can all come back in a year and see if they are still in the Altec line. At $8600 a pair and only a year warranty, nostalgia alone won't guarantee it's success.

Mr. Widget
05-24-2003, 12:24 PM
I am sure that their market is not professional sound contractors. I am not sure who is their market. Collectors want originals, and the audiophiles who like the A-7 sound are a very small number who either already have originals or don't have room for them anyway. I really can't imagine that they sell more than a handful worldwide.

In 1995 Schwinn reproduced their 1955 Black Phantom bicycle. They did a fantastic job making some of the parts here with the remainder being made to original specifications using original drawings or actual tooling in Asia.

The retail price was $3000. While it seemed high, it was commensurate with production cost. They sold a few at that price and eventually had to discount the rest.

I will be shocked if Altec doesn't discover the same thing.

scott fitlin
05-24-2003, 12:39 PM
for $8600 they better get stereophile mag to tout it as the BEST speaker ever made! They wont have many customers, pro or consumer, at this pricepoint!

Then again, maybe they will. who knows what will sell.

05-24-2003, 02:31 PM

Have so much Altec equipment including five A5-7 cabs. It's better than money in the bank.

scott fitlin
05-24-2003, 03:53 PM
I guess used cabinets just became a bargain! :D

I have two A-7,s in storage.

I use four 816,s, two 815,s and two 817A,s.

In theory im sitting on Ft Knox! :D

scott fitlin
05-24-2003, 06:59 PM
They are claiming this system to be HIGH efficiency! Its rated at 97db sensitivity.

I just went through the heritage,s library and the A5X was rated at 104db measured 4` on axis.

The AX7 was 101db measured 4` on axis!

The afforementioned systems ALL utilize 515 series woofers.

Depending on which vintage systems specs you come up with a difference in sensitivity of either 4db or a WHOPPING 7db more than the NEW $8600 A7 from Altec Pro!

Why? I dont consider 97db to be high efficiency, rather medium efficiency!

It seems to me a very HUGE difference.

I would have to hear these first. I dont mean to party poop, but I went through ALL the VOTT and driver literature located right here in AH,s amazing library, and all the drivers and cabinet combinations seem to be rated for considerably higher sensitivity.

In the 1989 catalog the 515-8G is rated for 103-107db depending on what cabinet they are in. In earlier catalogs 515B, 515E, and 515LFE are rated for 99db sensitivity! So once loaded into a proper horn enclosure this should give even higher acoustic sensitivity. So, how does an A7 with a 515-8G and a 902 driver w/ 511 mid/high top horn only make acoustic sensitivity of ONLY 97db?

Is everything I ever learned about audio completely incorrect these days? And is the literature provided in OUR library incorrect? I know years ago the beauty of Altec was the fact they were the MOST efficient speakers and driver components on this planet. This NEWER stuff doesnt seem to be as efficient. Just my opinions. Lets hear from the rest of you, I want to hear other peoples point of veiw.

And, just to say so, they also make mention of being able to use low powered Vacuum tube amps to drive the new A7,s! Well, lets say you ARE using a flea powered SET amp. That 4-7db difference makes all the difference in the world. You tell me.

I aint sold!

Mr. Widget
05-24-2003, 07:46 PM
I noticed the rated efficiency difference too. It could be a difference in measurement technique, or perhaps they have lowered the midrange output.

The A7-500 is rated at 45-20KHz

This A-7 is 35-22KHz

The driver compliment is also different than the A7-500 in my mid 70's catalog.

Good luck to them.

scott fitlin
05-24-2003, 08:09 PM
correct me if Im wrong but the 416 woofer was considered to be the medium efficiency woofer in their theatre and pro line, and ITS sensitivity is 97db!

The 515 went from 99-104 depending on which model 515. But NONE of the 515,s were lower than 99db!

Now the 421 MI series. Well, these were just the MOST efficient ever. Watt for watt they produced more SPL than everything! It had a distinct, though not accurate sound.

What Im getting at is that THIS aint NO REAL A7. Looks like it, but aint gonna sound like it! Not at 97db acoustic output 1w at 1m!


Matter of fact, how about we get high efficiency back because it happens to sound really good.

I said it before, and Ill say it again. The NEW A7 is nowhere near as efficient as their ancestors were.


scott fitlin
05-24-2003, 08:41 PM
They rate the NEW A7 as 97db 1w ( 2.83v ) @ 1m. 1m is 3.3ft as compared to the old way of measuring at a distance of 4`.

But 1w @ 1m is the standard these days and Im saying that 97db rating dont get it!

I dunno, convince me!!!!!!!!!

scott fitlin
05-24-2003, 09:21 PM
the ratings for the 828H cabinet loaded with a 515-8G comes in at 103db!

In the NEW A7 do they have the woofer padded down electrically in the xover? usually they do that with the horn, but not the woofer.

Anyway the 828 is the same cab as the A7 and both use 515-8G,s! Why is there a 6db difference in acoustic output? This only translates into the 828 putting out 4 times as much spl for a given input as the NEW A7!

I am not buying into this. I must say that this is beginning to remind me of TODAYS practices of making claims of products performance.

I DO NOT BUY INTO 97DB 1w@1m being high efficiency!

Mr. Widget
05-24-2003, 10:20 PM
Hey Scott, maybe 97dB is a typo! It seems unlikely that the new 515 woofer would be so inefficient that with the gain of the bass horn it would still only be 97dB.

Just a thought.

scott fitlin
05-24-2003, 10:41 PM
Lets see what they have to say about it! I will call them Tuesday and get the info Im looking for! they are here in Pa. so Ill call em!

But what if it isnt a typo?

I have heard people tell me that 97db IS high efficiency. I will find out for sure though what the deal on the NEW A7 is!

And that $8600 price tag is way out of line ( IMO ) to really sell many of them!

Mr. Widget
05-24-2003, 11:13 PM
"And that $8600 price tag is way out of line ( IMO ) to really sell many of them!"

Looking at the photos of the new A-7 I understand why the price is so high. It is expensive to cast those horns and the drivers look well made too. The cabinets are not cheap to construct either. All in all I think they have done what looks like a fantastic job recreating a legend.

Unfortunately I doubt that there are many who are willing to pay the bill. If one is willing to wait you can find perfectly fine examples of A-7s for under $1000 a pair. That will be hard to compete with.

05-25-2003, 12:57 AM
Could have come in at 1,995 Ea, with the cost of bulk buying of wood it would bring the cost down alot lower, they only have about 600.00 in matereials per cabnet so why are they trying to add 5 times profit margin. The R&D has long been done they just pretty much built the same product that was already built at one time. So i don`t understand the plans are available for anyone to build these cabnets and you can get these drivers raw frame and you can locate the horns raw as well so why such a high price to pay for these when they can be built by anyone for alot less plus there not even the same product as years past.
You look thru this site at the original specs of the 515 and these newer drivers are not the same as what there offering years ago, so why is it so hi in price for what is not even the genuine article at 97DB, they were much higher in efficiancy years ago for original 515s.
I own Original 421-8LF never reconed in A-7s and it is about 102-103 in efficiancy and these newer 515s are only 97db is this because these cabnets are ceiled and you are losing 3db there. I know the 515 is a diff driver than the 421LF but even the original 515 are higher in efficiancy than these newer drivers are whats the deal?.

05-25-2003, 09:44 AM
For usable specs you need the following for example:

35Hz to 22KHz +/- 3 dB with a sensitivity of 97dB @ 3ft from 35 Hz to 22 kHz. If you dont specify the +/- dB or specify the freq range of the sensitivity it is worthless. Generally it is understood to be like +/- 3dB and sens usually measured in midband 1000Hz.

Big difference in sensitivity from 105dB @1000Hz to sensitivity measured at 35Hz.

Without having the details of how the measurements were made
they are not very useful.

scott fitlin
05-25-2003, 11:35 AM
They rate the sensitivity as 97db @1w@1m. Very standard. usually they use band limited noise. So I have to assume they did measure at 1khz!

Now, I HAVE been told by people that the literature in OUR library is inaccurate! lets take the 421-8LF for example. I read that these drivers were 102db. I also have an ENTIRE dealers looseleaf from 1978-79 containg the specs for ALL the Altec products of that time! All of em! My literature coincides with the literature in OUR library. But ya know what? Ive been using 421,s since 1977! Our original system had A7,s with the 515B,s. When we built our big " DISCO " system the 421,s were the most unbelievably efficient woofers there were!

These days Im told the 421-8LF is a 97db driver. And the information I am reading about the past is wrong! Well, Its not! Because my ears KNOW as well as measurements tell, they produced SO MUCH sound with Amps like DC-300A,s!

Not to mention that I also have two original 421-8LF,s never reconed from 1980! What a difference to some of the recones you get today! I dont use these as I dont want to blow them, but man, they rock with almost no power! And they sound so good, very full and warm, and they reproduce the low mids effortlessly! And articulate bass lines! No holes in the sound! At all! And the dynamics! These OLD ones give you that illusion of " YOU ARE THERE "! The vocals and keyboards are fantastic!

Maybe they made a TYPO, and I will find out! But if 97db is the true sensitivity of the NEW A7,s it isnt high efficiency! I kind of cant see the sensitivity of a system like this as being that low, but I dont know much about this new system either!

What I am saying is that for the price they want ( it does look good cosmetically ) is HAS GOT TO BE THE REAL McCoy!

I am skeptical. Like I said before, I have been told the info on our site is wrong, yet I have a full looseleaf of ALL Altec products from 78-79 saying the same thing as what I read here. But I have the advantage of being an end user from all the way back then, and my EARS can tell if it has the right stuff!

scott fitlin
05-25-2003, 11:53 AM
If anyone wants to decipher EXACTLY what Im saying PM me and Ill loan you my Green Hornet Decoder Ring!

I know I may be opening up a can of worms!

scott fitlin
05-25-2003, 12:07 PM
if the sensitivity rating is indeed a " TYPO " it does seem unusual, considering how much attention they paid to every other detail. And they def rate the other 515-8GHP woofer as being 104db sensitivity!

They didnt proof read before they put it up on the site?

scott fitlin
05-25-2003, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Roland
For usable specs you need the following for example:

35Hz to 22KHz +/- 3 dB with a sensitivity of 97dB @ 3ft from 35 Hz to 22 kHz. If you dont specify the +/- dB or specify the freq range of the sensitivity it is worthless. Generally it is understood to be like +/- 3dB and sens usually measured in midband 1000Hz.

Big difference in sensitivity from 105dB @1000Hz to sensitivity measured at 35Hz.

Without having the details of how the measurements were made
they are not very useful. By the way Roland, I do own and use a 1/3 octave RTA and mic as well as the noise generator. Not only is the sensitivity of my newer reconed Altec drivers different, but so is the frequency response! This aint my ears talking, but what I see on a scope. It isnt like I just started doing audio the other day!

Todd W. White
05-25-2003, 03:34 PM
Hello Fellows!

I am working on a response to the appearance of this ad. It should be ready this time tomorrow, unless I have to wait until Tuesday to get some information I'll need to give you a proper analysis of this critter.

In the meantime, suffice to say I am VERY suspicious! Here are a couple of things that I notice outright -

1. It says the entire unit is made in the USA, and the components are made on the original Altec tooling.

Unless Bill at GPA has been hiding something from me (something I do not think he would do), I SERIOUSLY DOUBT that these are NEW products made on the original Altec tooling which HE owns.

I strongly suspect that they are NOS parts with new cabinets and crossovers.

2. I am bothered by the specifications - years ago, when THE Altec Lansing sent out new spec sheets on the A7-8G, as it was then called, Dr. John K. Hilliard and I both sent long, detailed letters to Ted Uzzle and Dave Merrey excoriating them over the flaws in the technical specifications.

I am looking for a copy of those letters now, but I distinctly remember that the efficiency ratings were WAY TOO LOW on that spec sheet, which might account for the goof on the new "Altec" Legacy A7.

Dr. Hilliard and I BOTH castigated them for changing to the 515-8G, which was NOT originally designed for the A7. In fact, the A7 originally used an Altec 803-series woofer, followed by it's successor, the magnificent 416-series of woofers.

"Magnificent" - now WHERE have I heard that before?????? :rolleyes:

Simply put, the A7 doesn't work as well in the LF output department with the 515-G series woofers as it did with the 416's.

The only reason that I can come up with that they are using it is because THAT is what the current guys at ALPro remember, so when the folks at Sparkomatic (ooooops! - I mean Altec Lansing Technologies) asked them for the spec's, they, in their naivete', gave them a list with the 515-G series in it.

3. They claim that the TANGERINETM Radial Phase Plug is theirs - it's NOT - it's BILL's!!! Not only that, but the Trademark is NOT theirs, either! They did NOT buy it when they bought the 6 the DID buy from Telex! They don't own MANTARAYTM, either!

Personally, I find everything that ALT & ALPRo are doing as a disturbingly dishonest attempt to make people THINK that THEY are THE Altec Lansing everyone's heard about!

I'll have more by Tuesday evening.....

Until then, I offer my standard CAVEAT EMPTOR!!!!!

scott fitlin
05-25-2003, 03:47 PM
So I see I am not the ONLY skeptic! All I know is what I know from all my years listening and using various audio components and speakers! And Altec ( real Altec ) is my favorite!

They paid TOO much attention to every other little detail ( IMO ) to have overlooked or made a mistake with something as critical as the systems sensitivity. And even if they didnt make a mistake, it just dosent sound correct the specs they are publishing!

Now, lets say they are NOS components! The specs still dont jive with comparable systems specs from years ago, info located in OUR library! A7 cabinets with 515-8g woofers should still yeild more then what Altec Lansing Technologies is printing!

As I said before, they paid TOO much attention to every little detail to really have overlooked this!

But if these speakers are as good as they claim,. they really do need to be in a proper showroom setup correctly to be auditioned and heard! I would never purchase something THIS expensive sight unseen!

I have two woofers from Iconic Mfg and they ARE indeed EXTREMELY efficient. Their output jives with what I read posted on their site.

Todd W. White
05-25-2003, 06:29 PM
Thanks Scott,

I think it is important to point out that THE Altec, escpecially past the late '70's, was VERY good and VERY consistant in their specifications!

For YEARS, they were the ONLY professional loudspeaker company to use the AES standard methods for rating their products' power handling capacity and frequency response!

My old friend Jerry Hubbard was VERY meticulous about this, hence the tremendous amount of detail in the specification sheets in later years. The goof on the A7-8G system was NOT his - it lay flat in the lap of the marketing people, as I recall.

What's really funny about all of this is that ALT is NOT actually going back to a "classic" A7 for it's model!

The original, REAL A7's used an 811 horn, 800 cycle crossover, and a different woofer than the one they are offering! :p

Later, THE Altec offered the A7-500, using the 511 horn and a 500-cycle crossover, which worked well in cinema applications, but wasn't nearly as musical, IMHO.

The home versions of the A7 used various crossover frequencies and woofers, but the best sounding ones, IMHO, were the ones with the 811 and 800-cycle crossover.

All that being said, the CLASSIC A7 has -

1. A small-format 802/902 driver (NO rear loading cap, hence the "T" designation).

2. An 811-series horn (interesting how they didn't fix the problems with the 511 - I'll bet it STILL rings like a cowbell!).

3. A 416-series woofer - the most popular and BEST sounding being the 416A and 416-8B.

One would THINK they'd have done their homework more thoroughly!

This new mutant clone uses a 515-G series woofer, rather than the 416!

Yes, the 515-G series IS more efficient and sounds better in vented bass horns than ANY of the other 515's that THE Altec ever built, and yes, all of the big VOTT's used some version of the 515, but the A7 was a DIFFERENT critter...

The A7 was a small version of the VOTT, intended for use in small motion picture theatres. The added bass that comes from the wings on the larger systems was not available from the A7, because it was designed to go into rooms that wouldn't accomodate them.

SO - Hilliard put a DIFFERENT woofer in it, one that had better LF response, and was nearly as efficient (extra efficiency was deemed unnecessary, since the A7 was supposed to go into a smaller room), amd the extra low end offered a reasonable and acceptable compromise.

The 803, and especially it's progeny, the 416, did really well in the A7 system.

I'll have more soon......

scott fitlin
05-25-2003, 07:11 PM
Very interesting! I also had the 811,s for mids years ago.

My favorite woofer was always the 421 series. I know it isnt 100% accurate, but its efficiency and its sound, well, it was good for dance music! Real good.

Now I have another question. What are those ribs behind the flange of the 511 horn on the new Alpro version? These werent on the originals. Do they make any kind of sonic difference?

Now I have to say this. At this time it is starting to appear that there are TOO many different Altec,s coming to market. And this IS what will kill it all! The vintage guys are gonna see things that tip them off to differences from Years ago. And if the NEW stuff doesnt sound right, be it Alpro, Altec lansing technologys, GPA, Iconic or whatever, it will reflect not only on the Particular brand that was purchased, but any system bearing name or resemblance to Altec products! You know Im right!

I do know its getting very confusing, and angering as well. If sombodys gonna make the stuff, make it right the first time, or dont make it at all!


Charley Rummel
05-27-2003, 01:14 PM
Hi, fellow Lansing Heritage contributors:

Does anybody have any comments to share based on first-hand listening experiences with the new A7?


scott fitlin
05-27-2003, 01:55 PM
where they have them set up? I would love to audition these.

BTW, I didnt mean to be negative, but I find discrepancy abound! Mis printing specs, the company should know exact figures.

They may sound absolutely amazing, I wish they had a showroom.

Mr. Widget
05-27-2003, 03:38 PM

Did you contact them to help clear up the many questions?

scott fitlin
05-27-2003, 04:01 PM
I didnt get a chance to call today. But, I know that even if the 515-8G woofers sensitivity were only 97db free air, horn loading it would give an acoustic gain of 3-4 db! So, the LF section should really be more like 100-101db. if the woofer has a higher free air sens, then you will get even higher efficiency.

However, in light of their claim to have manufactured this classic speaker system to exacting specification of the originals, using original tooling, and the highest quality materials, you gotta stop and wonder why they dont know the CORRECT specifications ( sensitivity ) of their products!

I WILL make that call tommorow, and I will also ask them where I can hear them, but I gotta agree with Todd on one of his points. These may be in fact copys using NOS components.

Todd W. White
05-27-2003, 06:13 PM
:( Well, turns out Bill DID make the drivers and horns for these clones - not sure how many he sold them, but I suspect it was only a few...

As I stated before, when THE Altec Lansing published new spec sheets for the A7-8G in the late 1980's, they made SEVERAL mistakes on the the spec sheets (no - they were NOT accurate "corrections" of previous errors!), something Dr. John K. Hilliard and I both screamed loud and long to them about...

The SAD thing is that Sparkomatic (Oooops - I mean Altec Lansing Technologies) probably did NO real testing of "their" A7 - they just copied one that they had...

If I were rich enough and dumb enough to buy one of these, I would AT LEAST want to -

1. See the TEF or anechoic frequency response of the ENTIRE SYSTEM.

2. See the polars, especially at crossover.

3. HEAR them IN PERSON in a controlled listening environment.

4. Expect to see it in a solid-wood (no ply) walnut, oak, cherry, or mahogany cabinet, suitable for a rich guy's home environment! The old Altec MAGNIFICENT was JUST such a critter (although it seems to me they used non-voided plywood, but no matter - it was SOLID and BEAUTIFUL!). ANYTHING BUT BLACK SPLATTER-TEXTURE!!!!! For the HOME? Tell, me, what WERE they thinking????

5. Expect to have a high-level security system installed in my home as part of the whopping $ 4,300.00 EACH these bozo's are charging for the thing! :D

6. Get a vasectomy and make sure I had no offspring :eek: - kids and grandkids would be VERBOTEN! around these things, especially if they are in furniture quality cabinets! :p

Tom Brennan
05-28-2003, 05:56 AM
Man, a couple of you guys are having babies here! If Altec wants to put the 515 in the speaker and call it the A7 then that's that, they get to do that. They ARE Altec and can do as they will.

Todd, you act as though this was a personal affront. First you were critical of Altec because they just made computer speakers and now you're critical of them because they're making a good speaker. What's it gonna be buddy?

Overpriced speakers should be no shock to anybody, at least Altec is doing better than giving you Vifa tragic domes and chinless 6" woofers for your money. What kind of junky drivers would VonFalkenhyn or VonManstein, or whatever that Junker's name is, give for this kind of money?

Todd W. White
05-28-2003, 08:52 AM

Not only is it a personal affront, it is an affront to -

1. The inventors and developers of the REAL A7.

2. The people who sold and distributed the A7 over the years.

3. The current owners of REAL A7's.

4. Anyone who values classic designs.

It's kind of like REAL Coca-Cola and "New" Coke - neither of what they are selling now really IS the bona fide thing.

Tom, these people are NOT Altec!!!

According to the legal department at Telex, who DID own it at the time, THE Altec Lansing Corporation that WE all think of when someone says, "Altec" ceased to be - period - on March 6, 1996.

Therefore, Altec Lansing Technologies, which had been leasing the rights to use the NAME for home, car, & computer products, could NOT have purchased the actual company, because the company did not exist!

Not only that, but they did NOT purchase ANY -

* Product Designs
* Patents
* Literature
* Parts
* Tooling

- or ANYTHING else that pertained to the REAL Altec Lansing Corporation!

This, of course, includes any rights to claim that THEY are THE same company as the old one!

If you will read the matierials on the link below, you will find that ALT merely purchased the following trademarks owned by Telex that were still alive and pertained to the Altec Lansing BRAND at the time of the sale. They did NOT buy the actual company!

Instead, they bought these trademarks and any goodwill they might engender:

1. Altec
2. Lansing
3. Altec Lansing
4. Voice of the Theatre
5. Voice of the Highway

(They got DUPLEX later)

Click Here To Read The SEC Copy of the Sales Agreement Between Telex & ALT (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/857668/0000950124-00-003247.txt)

Tom - the reason so many of us are appalled at this is that, IMHO, the folks at ALT are pretenders to the throne - they want everyone to think that THEY are THE Altec Lansing, and, therefore, are due the same honor and respect as the real company, which no longer exists!

To me, as one who grew up in the industry, and was an Altec contractor for many years, this is offensive.

It's also dishonest.

I think that if they want to iintroduce an A7-type system, that it's their business, and they can do it all day long, for all I care -


Just my thoughts... :rolleyes:

scott fitlin
05-28-2003, 08:57 AM
Take me. For instance. I find many discrepancys. I knew the sensitivity rating is a mistake, but as you say Tom, they are THE Altec. They should sound great, but I wonder about companys that dont get their own info correct.

Bill made the Drivers! These should be good, real good! At least THE Altec knew enough to get the right drivers!

$8600! Yeah ,bud, for that kind of scratch you bet your A... they should have posted specs on everything, polar patterns, freq vs impedance plots, the whole shebang!

Im calling them today to find out more and see about auditioning them!

Tom Brennan
05-28-2003, 09:54 AM
Todd---Well I own A7s and I don't feel an affront. This is the way business is done in this country, they come and they go. When you buy the name you ARE the company.

I presume the people who designed the original are dead and long past being offended.

And if the "real" Altec company was so sacred then the people that ran it should have done a better job. They're not gonna pay your rent, what do you care about them. Nobody cares. At one time Altec was bigger than either JBL or EV, then in 20 years they screwed-up and went down the tubes and now I see EV all over the place (and sounding damned good too by the way).

Look, they're buying the drivers from your buddy, right? They're giving him business and putting a good product back on the market. Would you be happier if one couldn't buy new Altec speakers? Do you feel this reintroduction of classic Altec product under the Altec name is competition for your pals at Iconic? Perhaps that bothers you?

You shouldn't take this personally Todd, it's only business.

scott fitlin
05-28-2003, 10:53 AM
I called three different numbers, and no one knows about this A7!

Technical support asked me If im sure they make this. He checks website and says Oh, well, you have the WRONG Altec!

9 grand, huh?

it definitely IS listed on Altec lansing,s technologies website, but not on Altec Pro! I called Altec Pro, and couldnt get an answer from them either. WHY?

Bill REALLY did make the drivers for them, so thats a plus, but why cant I get info on these?

Todd W. White
05-28-2003, 12:19 PM
Knowing that what I am about to say will confuse (and probably upset) some, and be understood by perhaps only a few, here goes -


I take exception to your post as follows:

1. When you buy a name, it does NOT automatically mean you bought the COMPANY - it means you bought just that, A NAME.

Altec is MORE than a mere name - it is MORE than a series of well-designed and well-built products!

Altec is a FAMILY!

There is a deep, inexplicable, familial connection between the designers of the classic Altec products, the people who built them, the people who sold them, the people who installed them, and the people that used them! In fact, they are all SO intertwined that they are more like a family!

This is why it killed us to watch the folks from Extra-Viscious and later Mark IV castrate the real Altec Lansing - we KNEW that they neither knew nor cared ANYTHING about the company they were emasculating - they were just selling carboard boxes! In fact, they could have been selling concrete blocks, and it wouldn't have mattered to THEM, as long as they made MONEY!

Yet, we were powerless to stop it.

The truth is, what Altec did and was really WAS sacred, as you say, to everyone but the management of the last 20 years -

It was sacred to the designers of the products,

It was sacred to those who built the products,

It was sacred to the contractors who sold and installed the products,

It was sacred to the technical support people,

It was sacred to the people who repaired the products,

In fact, it was sacred to everyone invloved in the process EXCEPT the people EV brought in to run it!

The management team that presided over the swallowing up and demise of the REAL Altec Lansing Corporation is the same one that is operating the new "Altec Lansing Professional!" And, while they continue to attempt to foist upon the buying public that THEY are THE same COMPANY, WE KNOW that, quite simply. THEY ARE NOT!

2. One does not have to be offended personally for the actions of ALT to be an affront - you're just a better man than I. ;)

3. The fact that my friend is building these products is proof that this means more to me than just seeing great products get back on the market - if THAT were the ONLY thing I was concerned with, I wouldn't be making such a fuss about the issue!

But it is MORE than that - it is a matter of honesty, principle, and integrity!

The folks at ALPro, as I have stated before, STOLE Bill's idea from him, IMHO, and then pitched it to ALT, got themselves jobs, and are proceeding to take the manufacturing to China (and elsewhere) with nary a care in the world what it means to Bill!

For them, you're right - it's ONLY BUSINESS!

This, alone, is downright despicable, and someone ought to be honest enough to stand up and say that it is WRONG!

4. The fact that Iconic Mfg. Co. is planning to sell Bill's products in systems, etc., has nothing to do with my being upset about ALT & ALPro's behavior - Iconic does not CLAIM to be Altec, nor does it CLAIM to be building Altec products!

But ALT & ALPro do!

The difference is that Iconic is doing what it does in the light - they openly tell people where their loudspeakers are made and by whom!

ALT & ALPro don't say ONE WORD about Bill & GPA!

You see, my friend, this is not "only business" for me, and countless others like me, this is an attack on my family and friends, some of whom are dearer to me than anyone in all the earth...

scott fitlin
05-28-2003, 12:38 PM
I have made several attempts to contact the RIGHT Altec and get info on these speakers, as well as finding out about the actual availability. No one knows anything! The best answer I got today was from Bill at GPA and he told me he made the drivers for them.

As for purchasing, they dont really seem to be available as no one seems to know about these.

Altec Lansing technologies says its not THEIR product, yet they have an A7 icon located on their website taking you to the ONLY available info on these speakers.

I would have thought they would jump at the chance to sell a pair of A7,s right off the bat!

Maybe Todd is right and all this is, IS a cover to keep the trademarks and patents going? :confused:

Todd W. White
05-29-2003, 04:43 PM

I had the same experience when I called ALT today - they didn't know WHAT I was talking about! :D

The whole thing sounds VERRRRY suspicious!

05-30-2003, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by scott fitlin

Maybe Todd is right and all this is, IS a cover to keep the trademarks and patents going? :confused: [/B]

Hi from France,

From what I know, if a company do not use and sell any products under a registered brand, one can claim that this brand is unused and get it withdrawn from the records!

Once it is done, you can deposit the same name and have for quite free!

Yuri D. Gutsatz Jr.

05-30-2003, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by Todd W. White

Instead, they bought these trademarks and any goodwill they might engender:

1. Altec
2. Lansing
3. Altec Lansing
4. Voice of the Theatre
5. Voice of the Highway

(They got DUPLEX later)

Hi from France (again),

In a word, how much have they paid for those brands?


Todd W. White
05-30-2003, 04:32 PM
According to the document on the SEC I found, they paid 1 MILLION DOLLARS (US) for them, plus the international TM's that they had!

Mr. Widget
05-30-2003, 05:02 PM
If they are introducing the replica A-7s to protect that investment, I can understand why! It is too bad that they aren't making a better attempt at keeping the brand alive.

On the other hand there is no reason why they can't market a 5.1 plastic speaker set up that is essentially a glorified boom box and call it the A-7 voice of the Theater. That would really be a crime, but it is theirs to do as they please...they bought it!

Don McRitchie
05-30-2003, 08:00 PM
This past January at CES, I had the chance to meet with Eric Langberg and Robert Puzey of ALT. Eric is the Director of Engineering for ALT and was responsible for the concept of the Legacy systems. Robert is a product manager responsible for development of the systems.

They were quite open in discussing the project background and their explanation made sense to me. However, you can judge for yourself. The primary objective is to maximize the brand equity inherent in the Altec Lansing name. They are aware that there is a long legacy behind the Altec name that is virtually unknown in their current market of multimedia systems. With their recent outright purchase of the Altec trademarks, they feel there is an opportunity to build on this investment.

Statement speakers that embody the heritage of the company provide an opportunity to widen the perception of their current market beyond just multimedia speakers. It appears that they have plans to re-enter the broader consumer electronics market, and highlighting the past role of Altec Lansing in that market gives them a leg up in establishing the brand. They have no illusions that the new A7 will generate significant sales numbers. It is simply a flagship for subsequent mass market systems.

This is no different from JBL, Klipsch or any number of other speaker manufacturers with built in brand equity and a mass market focus in their products. JBL does not build the K2-S9800 solely for the revenue it generates and neither does Klipsch with the Khorn. Sales are measured in terms of a few hundred units per year for these systems. Their great value is in enhancing the brand profile for their more mass market products that generate millions in sales.

Regarding ALT's consumer phone centre lacking knowledge of the new system, this is not surprising. Back in 1996, I contacted JBL about their then new S3100. It was introduced on their website as available in the US at a price of $7,000/pr. This was obviuously long before our site and before I had any contacts at JBL. I made numerous phone calls, talked to numerous people from a number of different departments at Harman Consumer. None knew anything about the system. I was some time before I was put in touch with somene deep in the bowels of Harman International that at least had access to a spec sheet, even though he personally knew nothing of their availability.

A examination of the $7,000 price of JBL's S3100 indicates that ALT's price of $8,000 for the A7 is not out of line. This is not to say that it is a good buy for readers of this forum. It's just that this is a reflection of the actual costs. Material costs for low volume products are a minor component of the overall costs. The low volumes means there are no productivity gains to be had from mass manufacture. In particular, the A7 enclosure is very complex in its construction that is almost entirely hand built with very high labour costs. Development costs have to be spread over a very small number of units, as does marketing, inventory and on and on.

Mr. Widget
05-30-2003, 09:30 PM

Thanks for originating this thread. One of the things that I appreciate about this forum is the vast pool of information that is brought up on a variety of topics. Your MODERATE tone is also always welcome.

" A examination of the $7,000 price of JBL's S3100 indicates that ALT's price of $8,000 for the A7 is not out of line. This is not to say that it is a good buy for readers of this forum. It's just that this is a reflection of the actual costs. Material costs for low volume products are a minor component of the overall costs. The low volumes means there are no productivity gains to be had from mass manufacture. In particular, the A7 enclosure is very complex in its construction that is almost entirely hand built with very high labour costs. Development costs have to be spread over a very small number of units, as does marketing, inventory and on and on."

So true! As one who makes a living producing small numbers of things I was surprised that they could produce a new A-7, drivers and all, for this price. It isn't the cost of wood and steel it is the labor. As you aptly put it, it may not be a great buy, but heck it may introduce a new generation of people to the the types of speakers we all enjoy.

I hope you're right and they do try to revitalize the Altec tradition. I think it would be great if like JBL they update their statement products too. Maybe down the road they even come out with a modern horn system the A-10...

05-30-2003, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by Todd W. White
According to the document on the SEC I found, they paid 1 MILLION DOLLARS (US) for them, plus the international TM's that they had!


They only paid 1 MILLION $ for such a legend?

If I knew it was for sale at that price I would bought it as the requested price is nothing compared of what can be done with this brand: ALTEC LANSING.

If you know them that well, ask them if they a ready to sell it back again?

I know ALTEC LANSING since 1975 and the French distributor (Georges KENDIRGI) gave we the opportunity to exhibit my first amplifiers on his stand while a fair in Paris.

I even built some speakers with references YGR511 and YGR811, at that time all my amplifiers were named MODEL 1830 – MODEL 1848 – MODEL 1789 and so on.

Years later, I realised why I called them that way!

I was so much impressed by ALTEC LANSING that I took their way of labelling their amplifiers and speakers!

Being the owner of such a brand the only think to do is to rebuild some of the best speakers they had with updating the xovers with better capacitors.

About their amplifiers, the 9440 was a great one. It would be a pure wishful thinking manufacturing them again ant marketing them at a reasonable price.

Keeping the good AB technology as we do in our amplifiers, launching several amplifiers built with the state of the art components under the brand of ALTEC LANSING …

Well, let’s stop dreaming … poor ALTEC LANSING, what have they done not to be anymore on the top of the basket and manufacturing plastic speakers for computers!

Can one imagine FERRARI building dinghy toys cars?


05-31-2003, 04:58 AM
To these business men buying the name was, as Don said, strictly for the purpose of "Maximizing the brand equity inherent in the Altec Lansing name". But if one knows the history of this legendary company going back to the WE days and now sees it delegated to mass production of cheap plastic computer speakers one can appreciate how sad it really is.

The "Legacy series" unfortunately seems nothing more than attempts to protect and capitalize on the use of the name again. Their attempts for oriental production of the older Altec drivers with its variable and questinable quality again points out their only interest is profit. Wiser business men would have united with knowledgeable ex altec individuals and together come up with outstanding new versions of the older gear. The quality drivers were always there all that was needed is fine tuning. Instead it seems that Iconic will be more representative of the tradition of Altec with its emphasis on quality and performance.

Only time will tell if ALT and Iconic will be sucessfull in this area as they seem to be in the middle of no man's land....Too big for home too small for theater. Large speakers for home use may be a thing of the past with only a small "HI efficiency" market available. Most sound reinforcement and theaters nowdays
use extremely hi power tolerant speakers not the highly resolving more delicate altec drivers.

Personally I like and use these drivers but certainly there is a lot of competition out there. Nevertheless quality, performance and service should win out in the end.

Todd W. White
05-31-2003, 08:16 AM
Thanks for the reply, Don.

However, while JBL and Klipsch have every right to build and sell products from their past that made them famous, even though they cost too much and don't sell very well (EV does this, too), the people at ALT DO NOT!

The folks that own JBL, Klipsch, and even EV actually OWN those companies - ALT merely bought a BRAND NAME!

Yet, when you look at the historical timeline on their website, they show a decade-by-decade "history" of "THEIR" accomplishments!"

The fact that the history is quite inaccurate notwithstanding, THEY are THE Altec - they are mere b]PRETENDERS[ /b] to the throne!

This is the main reason what they are doing bothers me tremendously - they are being VERY deceptive and downright UNTRUTHFUL about themselves, and have no legitimate claims to being THE Altec we all think of when the name, "Altec Lansing" is mentioned!

CAN they come out with an A7 to bolster their place in the minds of the unlearned as to "their" legacy?

Of course!

But the question REALLY is: SHOULD THEY?

And the answer to THAT question is


scott fitlin
05-31-2003, 01:29 PM
That Altec products of the past sounded truly superior to many so called state of the art components of today. I, personally know of many engineers and sound men who lament at not having the CHOICES available anymore.

As far as selling power, if the " Voice of the Theatre " used creative marketing and the products sound was Superior to other speaker systems available today, it can sell! After all, a Highly efficient speaker doesnt need as much amplifier power to work and produce desired SPL! Therefore, you wouldnt need amps that are Extremely powerful and Extremely expensive to boot!

The market may not be as huge as back when Altec and JBL ruled the entire world, but there are contractors and clients who can hear the difference and would want it!

7 years ago every contractor and DJ installer was specking JBL for nightclub use. This has changed tremendously. Now EAW has captivated that segment of the market. And EAW isnt cheap! But, everyone has been disatisfied with JBL products of the current line, and many feel EAW sounds better. So, they spend even more then if they had bought JBL.

I would love to see the return of Altec to the marketplace, but stuff thats really good. Not just a name! to some, sound still counts!

05-31-2003, 03:55 PM
Putting down ALT becomes counterproductive when done past a certain point. The fact is that wether they have the moral right or wether we like it or not ALT IS putting up a version of the old A7-500. If only doing it to protect the VOTT name etc ...so be it. The question remains what if anything alse are they planning and what effect will this have on their Iconic counterpart??

From the preliminary info available from Iconic they seem to be heading in the right direction making superior drivers, correcting known defecits in the old altec products and slowly cranking up for more productivity. I hope they not only provide commercial products and service but also start their own line of home products and DIY updates to the old Altecs. I suspect as with any new start up business that cash flow is limited nevertheless I wish them the best.

In the end quality performance and service at the right price will win out not put downs !!!!!

Todd W. White
05-31-2003, 05:19 PM
True, ALT does have a not-made-or-designed-by-them clone of the A7-500, but it IS sad that the moral climate of the world today causes most people not to see anything wrong with what their doing and claiming.... :(

As far as Iconic Mfg. Co. goes, most of you know I am helping them write specification sheets, technical information, etc. To that end, let me say that they are developing some EXCITING products! They are also working on updates to the website, replete with pictures and detailed specifications.

Some of the products that Iconic will sell have, as Roland mentioned, corrected known defects in the older designs that were not allowed to be dealt with over the years for various reasons. Other items include retrofit crossovers for older systems. Component parts for DIYer's and contractors will be available (some already are), and some have already been shipped to customers.

I have even suggested they introduce a new "Magnificent Home Theatre Loudspeaker System"tm!!!

The cabinets would be correctly tuned and restructured under the personal supervision of Mr. Jim Dickinson, widely known for his expertise in the subject.

Available in ANYTHING BUT black splatter-texture paint, Iconic's Master Cabinet Maker, Dave Florio, could build the MAGNIFICENTtm in virtually ANY type of wood you might want - "CUSTOM-BUILT FOR YOUR DECOR!"tm

Wouldn't THAT make the Mrs. happy!

In addition, it would have a superior passive crossover designed for specifically for the MAGNIFICENTtm by Jerry K. Hubard.

Coupled with a price that is drastically less than the "Legacy A7, this could be a winner!

If there is enough interest, Iconic Mfg. Co. would probably do it!

Let Jim Dickinson know if you're interested. His e-mail address is:


05-31-2003, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by scott fitlin
That Altec products of the past sounded truly superior to many so called state of the art components of today.

Hi from France (while you are still sleeping this Sunday morning),

It is true that almost amplifiers and speakers built today and claiming their watts are sounding very poor!

That is why, for my own use I’m listening my amps with 4355 JBL speakers!

I know than a day or an other, I do not know exactly when, we will come back to quality and what was done in the 70’s since that time quite nothing “new” was placed on the market.

Watts and today SPL means nothing real. I do remember that JBL and ALTEC provided their speakers specification white pink noise signal and a 24h/24h use while today the same SPL is given at 1 kHz for less than a minute use!

In such a case there is at least 6 or 9 dB difference: the use of a real 250W amplifier is by far more enough (add 9 dB to those good watts with huge transformers and real can capacitors delivering good Amperes) and one will hear the difference.

We had last year a tremendous break with defective Far East capacitors we used as quite everybody.

In a word, several thousand of capacitors leaked or exploded and we had to face the problem: what the hell is going on (labelling error from the “manufacturer” and wrong specifications).

As we had to prove to our worldwide customers that we were a big enough company to face this dramatic situation, we decided to go back to PHILIPS and we had two wonderful surprises:

They were only 5% more expensive than those Far East capacitors and they sounded GREAT.

We kicked out all those Far East components, just keeping the plastic (AC cords and fans).

And we discovered how fine our amplifiers sounded!

It is the same for speakers, cabinets and whatever is needed to build good quality audio gear.

Imagine: Remove all the brands printed on quite all Peavey, Crown, JBL, Harman Kardon, etc … stuff.

Will you buy it with an unknown brand? No…

All those brands are living on their legend and will die, that is why as ALTEC is perhaps coming back again the worst thing to do, for the brand, is to place cheap and so called ATLTEC stuff on the market.

I’m gonna have some croissant for my breakfast with a cup of coffee.

scott fitlin
06-01-2003, 01:07 PM

10-18-2005, 10:47 AM
the so called a7's are now $12,200


louped garouv
10-18-2005, 12:04 PM
I am sure that their market is not professional sound contractors. I am not sure who is their market. Collectors want originals, and the audiophiles who like the A-7 sound are a very small number who either already have originals or don't have room for them anyway. I really can't imagine that they sell more than a handful worldwide.

In 1995 Schwinn reproduced their 1955 Black Phantom bicycle. They did a fantastic job making some of the parts here with the remainder being made to original specifications using original drawings or actual tooling in Asia.

The retail price was $3000. While it seemed high, it was commensurate with production cost. They sold a few at that price and eventually had to discount the rest.

I will be shocked if Altec doesn't discover the same thing.

I guess they are going for the 'elite' pricing model before the discounts come...

10-18-2005, 12:13 PM
i was wondering, had anyone been able to buy one or two of these

scott fitlin
10-18-2005, 12:16 PM
i was wondering, had anyone been able to buy one or two of theseI called Altec lansing several times about these! They never seemed to know about those A7,s! I aksked the lady on the phone how a company can have something advertised on their website that know one at the company seems to know about!

I geuss ill call em again!

10-18-2005, 12:27 PM
$8,600 for a pair and a full one year warranty.

On the site I see they are $5.800 and when I compare that to the other altec floorstanding speakers [$1.600 anyone for a pair], I know which ones would satisfy me more!

Would you rather have a mediocre surround set, or a pair of VOT?


10-18-2005, 12:33 PM
i'd go for vott,however, not from the 'kra-co-o-matic'

(kracotec?) crowd

Now, has anyone been able to buy these from this version

of altec?

scott fitlin
10-18-2005, 12:36 PM
OK, this time she gave me the number to Altec Pro in Oklahoma City!


Lets find out what the lead time on these are! :D

10-18-2005, 12:53 PM
ask 'er how many they have sold
`````````````````````````````````````````````````` `

advance warning on this


and this


scott fitlin
10-18-2005, 12:57 PM
And so, I called Ok city! The gentleman on the other end, he knows about the A7, and tells me it can be built, and is built to order! BUT, he also told me I should call Altecs consumer division, pro doesnt handle this! I told him, I just got off the phone with consumer, and she gave me your name and number! So, he gave me a name with another number at Altecs consumer division in Pa, and told me to contact her, but if I run into anohter brickwall, he gave yet another guys name and extension to call. he told me that if I couldnt eventually get what I wanted from these people, to call him back, and he would then get to them to get to me to get me what I want!


louped garouv
10-18-2005, 01:02 PM
I know that you know that I know that you know...... :D (I like the eddie murphy version of GHEY Ralph and Kramden the best)

how lame -- and for 12Gs (retail) worth of speaker -- you would think they would be bending over backwards.....

Hey Scott, if you ever get ahold of anyone who knows what is going on, can you also see if you can order parts; ie mount kits, HF driver, embelms etc

good luck and godspeed!

scott fitlin
10-18-2005, 01:09 PM
Oh, I asked about the woofer, horns, and comp drivers! He told me they are all made to original Altec spec by an Oklahoma outfit, whose employess worked for Altec, and when Altec closed down, they bought the tooling to produce Altec drivers and woofers. This part IS true! I know the man, I have his work, he does make Altec stuff, as close to original as ever you will get from new products made today.

But the cabinets are built by a company out of Chicago!

However, the story reads like a Dr. Seuss book. From near to far, from high to low, to here and there, I cant find these speakers anywhere!

10-18-2005, 01:09 PM
that is Good News!

till they deliver tho...





scott fitlin
10-18-2005, 01:15 PM
that is Good News!

till they deliver tho..

6 week lead from time the order is placed to delivery!