View Full Version : What are they and are they worth fixing?

05-05-2008, 07:52 AM
I discovered these speakers built into the wall in our house, with the cabinets extending into an attic space. The cabinets are a nice mahogany or walnut or similar finish. There are no identifying marks on the front of the speaker, and in the attic where the cabinet is it's very dark and dusty. Our house dates back to 1961 so I imagine the speakers are of similar vintage. The one in the photo is missing one bass driver, and the other bass driver's surround has decayed. I'm sure the other speaker is in similar shape.

Any thoughts on what these speakers are and whether it's worth hunting down replacement drivers? A friend thought they were Altecs but not sure. Thanks!

05-05-2008, 08:44 AM
looks like there used to be a horn where that panel is. There is an altec laid out that way but it did not have foam bass surrounds. I think what you may have is an old pair of altec cabinets with A N Other drivers loaded in.
Pull the bass units that you have and look at the back / magnet. There is sure to be a label of some sort.:)

05-05-2008, 09:36 AM
Looks like they -were- Altec Carmels:
414z x2, woofer
806 or 804A, compression driver
811b, horn
N800F, crossover

would have had a grille cloth over the front and either short legs or a small plinth
to set on (to get it off the floor a bit).

without the drivers or crossovers, the cabinets might be worth saving from the fireplace,
but just barely, and only if they're not messed up.

You could easily spend more than they're worth (as a unit) to replace the drivers and crossover.

05-05-2008, 11:00 AM
There are grilles that cover them. It is clear now that the midrange and treble drivers were a substitute. If I pitch them and start over, I'll have two large holes into my attic that nothing else will perfectly fit, so I may go the route of making these work if only for grins.


05-05-2008, 03:19 PM
You can certainly substitute parts and not restore, for much less, if you want to fool
with it. Personally, I'd stick with the 811b horn and work from there... since the hole is
already there.

Have fun! :)

05-08-2008, 10:14 AM
The cone mid looks to be a Infinity Midrange from a Qb speaker. I handled a pair of them last year.

05-08-2008, 10:32 PM
Looks like the horn was replaced with a Philips cone midrange and dome tweeter.. Made in Belgium during the 1970s:banghead:

05-10-2008, 09:09 AM
Thanks for all the good information. I guess eBay is the best place to find a set of the original horns... any other leads?

05-14-2008, 11:53 AM
That is the same component set as the 9844, you could look at Skywave-Rider and Zilch's tutorial in the DIY section for a good set of possibilities for that cabinet. You are probably looking at a minimum of $125 per piece, 4 woofers 2 horns, 2 tweeters 2 crossovers, it sounds like a lot but there are many who would agree it is worth it, and it would be better than something you could buy retail for that money.

You could also just remove the baffle and stick a smaller speaker in there and put the old grill back:blink:

05-14-2008, 01:17 PM
The Carmel/9844 is a beautiful speaker. You may well love it. And since the cabinet/baffle is simple, it's a matter of finding woofers (they are always on EBay), which you can buy new from Great Plains Audio, and the horns (also on ebay often,) and the drivers (ditto; additional possibilities on my thread below.)

When you say the cabs extend into the attic, well, I can't imagine how that is. They are flush mounted into the wall, right?


05-14-2008, 04:38 PM
Thanks for all the tips and resources, great forum.

I'm looking forward to hearing how these speakers sound. It'll be a fun project. So far I've found the two horns and two tweeters, looks like the woofers will be next on the radar.

It is weird how they extend into the attic. They're built in flush with the wall in a room with a vaulted ceiling, and their cabinet extends into attic space above an adjacent room, basically sitting on the rafters / ceiling of that room... which puts them at about 7 ft off the ground. Not a great place acoustically I realize. But it will be cool to get them restored back to original, which is what we've kind of done with the 1961 house as well.

05-15-2008, 10:59 AM
Neat. So the orientation with horn on the bottom is the way to go!

05-19-2008, 02:51 PM
I see quite a few different variations of the 414 woofer for sale- is it essential to stick with the 414z that seems to be what was original, or is any 16 ohm version okay?

05-19-2008, 07:18 PM
You should get a matched set of 4!
I believe Altec improved the performance of their drivers over time, so imho you would be best off getting the end of the 414 series, the 414-16e, others might prefer the Alnico drivers.
Do you have the crossovers or will you build new?
If you are reusing the crossover that might limit your possibilities, but it might be good to start fresh there.

You might also look into the 3124, slightly less efficient, but lower FS and much better power handling, harder to come by however.

05-19-2008, 09:42 PM
What did Altec use those 3124's in/for?

05-20-2008, 06:57 AM
I've found original crossovers as well.