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View Full Version : Altec CARMEL any helpful thoughts ?



poacher
12-12-2011, 05:26 AM
Hi Guys
Just joined up to ask for any thoughts regarding the above.(took me ages to figure out which model they where)
Live in the Uk and picked up a pair a while ago in very tatty condition, from a dealer who new their worth, so not cheap.But Thought they sounded so good I had to jump in.
They just seem a bit slow in the bass,not sure if the cabinet is original,ie correct size.
Just wondered if there are any tweaks or upgrades of a not very technical nature ( ie not a crossover rewire for example )that could improve things.
Thanks in advance.

Fort Knox
12-13-2011, 04:54 AM
Hi Guys
Just joined up to ask for any thoughts regarding the above.(took me ages to figure out which model they where)
Live in the Uk and picked up a pair a while ago in very tatty condition, from a dealer who new their worth, so not cheap.But Thought they sounded so good I had to jump in.
They just seem a bit slow in the bass,not sure if the cabinet is original,ie correct size.
Just wondered if there are any tweaks or upgrades of a not very technical nature ( ie not a crossover rewire for example )that could improve things.
Thanks in advance.

The Carmel Altec I remember had ..way too much tweet ..and not enough ..Woof Woof!

Jim Hodgson
12-13-2011, 12:54 PM
The Carmel Altec I remember had ..way too much tweet ..and not enough ..Woof Woof!

Did you try the attenuators? LOL! I don't think most people would share this view, BTW. Most people seem to echo the OP ... slowish bass (and not deep enough), maybe due to 2 x 12" woofers per side? I suspect the Carmels might be better with one 12" per side and the 1" CD padded down (even more)? IDK ... then you'd have an "Avalon." Would be easy to try at any rate.

To the OP: I haven't "tweaked" mine in the typical sense (i.e., maintaining and improving what's there) ... rather, I've treated them as a platform on which to experiment (different drivers), expand (additional drivers), different crossovers altogether, pulling horns out, etc. Loads of DIY Altec systems for your viewing pleasure around the 'net using 414 or 416, 802 or 804 or 806, and 3000 or similar. This one is quite typical (probably because it is much copied): http://members.myactv.net/~je2a3/speakers2.htm I guess what I'm trying to say (instead of answering your direct question -- sorry) is that I wasn't as interested in improving my Carmels per se as I was in building a great speaker system. There have been times when my Carmels were very far from stock ... although they're pretty close to being back there now ... and about to change again(!)

You can find some (but admittedly not tons) of info on the Carmel by googling 838 and/or 9844 (the upside-down monitor version of the Carmel) ... and don't forget google images! You may get better results.

If it took you ages to figure out that your speakers are Carmels, then I have to assume the "Carmel" sticker is missing from the back panel. ;) That leads me to believe that your cabinets may not be original? Whatever the case, original cabinets should be roughly 31"W x 24"H x 16"D -- on ~5" legs, obviously.

On pricing, I figure that if a pair of 804s or 806s go for ~$400, a pair of 414s go for ~$250, and a pair of N800s go for ~$200, then you've got an ~$1100 pair of speakers(???) That's what I'd value them at, but I have definitely seen them go for +50% recently. You may well be paying a premium based on your location.

Good luck with these!

tomt
12-13-2011, 05:24 PM
They just seem a bit slow in the bass,



might be a case of system mismatch.

what amp are you using?

Fort Knox
12-13-2011, 06:20 PM
might be a case of system mismatch.

what amp are you using?


what horn are we talking about?

poacher
12-16-2011, 05:34 AM
might be a case of system mismatch.

what amp are you using?

Unison research simply 845

poacher
12-16-2011, 05:36 AM
Did you try the attenuators? LOL! I don't think most people would share this view, BTW. Most people seem to echo the OP ... slowish bass (and not deep enough), maybe due to 2 x 12" woofers per side? I suspect the Carmels might be better with one 12" per side and the 1" CD padded down (even more)? IDK ... then you'd have an "Avalon." Would be easy to try at any rate.

To the OP: I haven't "tweaked" mine in the typical sense (i.e., maintaining and improving what's there) ... rather, I've treated them as a platform on which to experiment (different drivers), expand (additional drivers), different crossovers altogether, pulling horns out, etc. Loads of DIY Altec systems for your viewing pleasure around the 'net using 414 or 416, 802 or 804 or 806, and 3000 or similar. This one is quite typical (probably because it is much copied): http://members.myactv.net/~je2a3/speakers2.htm I guess what I'm trying to say (instead of answering your direct question -- sorry) is that I wasn't as interested in improving my Carmels per se as I was in building a great speaker system. There have been times when my Carmels were very far from stock ... although they're pretty close to being back there now ... and about to change again(!)

You can find some (but admittedly not tons) of info on the Carmel by googling 838 and/or 9844 (the upside-down monitor version of the Carmel) ... and don't forget google images! You may get better results.

If it took you ages to figure out that your speakers are Carmels, then I have to assume the "Carmel" sticker is missing from the back panel. ;) That leads me to believe that your cabinets may not be original? Whatever the case, original cabinets should be roughly 31"W x 24"H x 16"D -- on ~5" legs, obviously.

On pricing, I figure that if a pair of 804s or 806s go for ~$400, a pair of 414s go for ~$250, and a pair of N800s go for ~$200, then you've got an ~$1100 pair of speakers(???) That's what I'd value them at, but I have definitely seen them go for +50% recently. You may well be paying a premium based on your location.

Good luck with these!
THANKS jim That was very enlightening.
I'll keep experimenting

david yost
12-16-2011, 09:40 AM
I got best results by putting my Carmels on enough cinder blocks to get the center of the tweeter horn at ear lever and then playing with the pots on the rear for best balance. Do your amps have taps for 8-16 Ohm speakers? If so, try them out--otherwise, you may want to experiment with solid state amplification and series resistance to flesh out the bass.

Good luck,
David

Jim Hodgson
12-16-2011, 12:37 PM
I got best results by putting my Carmels on enough cinder blocks to get the center of the tweeter horn at ear lever and then playing with the pots on the rear for best balance. Do your amps have taps for 8-16 Ohm speakers? If so, try them out--otherwise, you may want to experiment with solid state amplification and series resistance to flesh out the bass.

Good luck,
David

David makes a very good point. Tweeters at knee level are probably not ideal! I got a similar effect by pulling the horns out altogether, orienting the cabinets vertically, and compensating (very roughly!) for the resulting huge increase in port size. Basically, I made a pair of Malibus with exposed horns. This was an improvement ... plus, it garnered the coveted Japanese ultra-fi seal of approval. ;)

No, it didn't last. But, it was a fun stepping stone.

tomt
12-17-2011, 09:49 AM
Unison research simply 845

not likely a mis ...


might clean the attenuator potentiometer with contact cleaner.