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View Full Version : Heathkit/Altec Legato AS-21 v. Altec 846A Valencia



closdesducs
07-13-2013, 08:44 AM
I have an opportunity to acquire a fairly clean Heathkit Legato AS-21 that features two Altec 414, an 811 horn and an 806 driver per cabinet. I presently thoroughly enjoy a pair of Altec 846A Valencia's paired with a Shindo Montille/Monbrison setup and a Wright WPA 3.5 set of 2A3 monoblocs paired with a Wright WLA12 line-stage

I'd appreciate any member's listening experiences with the Legato and how it performs and compares to the Valencia's.

Kind regards,
closdesducs

vinny
03-06-2018, 01:21 AM
What do you think since you own both?

hjames
03-06-2018, 07:04 AM
What do you think since you own both?
The original post was from 2013 and he was considering the purchase of Legatos ...
And, were they the original Legatos, or the later ones?
His last visit was Jan 2018


I have an opportunity to acquire a fairly clean Heathkit Legato AS-21 that features two Altec 414, an 811 horn and an 806 driver per cabinet. I presently thoroughly enjoy a pair of Altec 846A Valencia's paired with a Shindo Montille/Monbrison setup and a Wright WPA 3.5 set of 2A3 monoblocs paired with a Wright WLA12 line-stage

I'd appreciate any member's listening experiences with the Legato and how it performs and compares to the Valencia's.

Kind regards,
closdesducs

http://www.heathkit-museum.com/hifi/hvmhh-1-c.shtml

http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/5-hour-trip-heathkit-legatos.220954/

vinny
03-17-2018, 04:42 PM
The original post was from 2013 and he was considering the purchase of Legatos ...
And, were they the original Legatos, or the later ones?
His last visit was Jan 2018



http://www.heathkit-museum.com/hifi/hvmhh-1-c.shtml

http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/5-hour-trip-heathkit-legatos.220954/

I know but no other further mention so not sure if he bought or not in this site.

closdesducs
04-03-2018, 10:35 PM
Hi vinny and hjames,

I did acquire the Legatos in 2013 but I was in the midst of selling my SoCal home and buying a place in NorCal but not being able to actually move north until early 2017. It's a long, convoluted story but I currently have the Legatos in storage and have not been able to play them since acquiring them. My current home is small compared to my previous place and I've been running a pair of Altec 846A Valencia's that pair well with my Shindo tube system (I still have the Wright tube amps but they too are in storage).

At some point, I may run them but the current set up sounds so good that I haven't been compelled to get them out of storage. If I do, I'll be sure to post my impressions here.

Happy Listening,
closdesducs

hjames
04-04-2018, 02:46 AM
Hi vinny and hjames,

I did acquire the Legatos in 2013 but I was in the midst of selling my SoCal home and buying a place in NorCal but not being able to actually move north until early 2017. It's a long, convoluted story but I currently have the Legatos in storage and have not been able to play them since acquiring them. My current home is small compared to my previous place and I've been running a pair of Altec 846A Valencia's that pair well with my Shindo tube system (I still have the Wright tube amps but they too are in storage).

At some point, I may run them but the current set up sounds so good that I haven't been compelled to get them out of storage. If I do, I'll be sure to post my impressions here.

Happy Listening,
closdesducs

Well, I am currently working with a pair of Heath AS-101s (basicaly the same as Valencias) and a Jolida integrated amp with a quad of Genalex Gold Lion KT-88 tubes.

How do you like them?

closdesducs
04-04-2018, 10:06 AM
I actually own two pairs of 846A's. The first pair I acquired from the son of the original owner up in Oregon in 2012. Other than a little fading on the top of one of the speakers due to sunlight exposure, they were in great shape. I ran those speakers initially with my Audio Research SP-10 and SP-11 preamps, a pair of ARC M100 monoblocks (or an ARC VT100 mkiii) and a Thorens TD-124 turntable with a Soundsmith re-tipped Denon DL-103 cartridge. Speaker cables and ICs were Cardas Golden Reference. Occasionally, I would swap in a McCormack DNA-1 solid state amp to give my tube amps a break. The Valencia's had great synergy with all three amps.

I thought I was "set" system-wise, but I made the "mistake" of visiting Matt Rotunda of Pitch Perfect Audio's San Francisco showroom in 2013 (He's since relocated his showroom to LA). I was introduced to and blown away by his amazing line of Shindo amps and preamps. Instead of the 100 wpc and 300 wpc of the Audio Research and McCormack, the Shindo Montille (with NOS Mullard EL84 tubes) was 15 wpc and the Shindo Cortese put out 10 wpc. But paired with the very efficient Valencia's, they took my system to a whole new level. It's my understanding that Ken Shindo used Altec 604's in voicing his amps and preamps and modded Valencia's and Flamenco's with his own custom stands and crossovers so I was reassured that there would be great synergy between the Shindo amps and preamps and my Valencia's.

Matt has a great "trade up" program, so what was initially a Shindo Monbrison preamp paired with a Shindo Montille push-pull amp is now a Shindo Vosne Romanee preamp and a pair of Shindo Lafon WE300B SET monoblocks (all of 8 wpc). I loved my Audio Research system (and still do, I just wish I had a bigger house to set them up in) but with the Shindo system, the music (I tend to listen to jazz, women's vocals, Hawaiian slack key, R&R, R&B and classical) is beautiful, haunting, emotionally involving and never fatiguing.

In 2017, a friend from Chicago visited and was blown away by my Shindo setup. After he and his family left, I saw a Craigslist ad and made another "mistake" of going to see them at this estate store in Sacramento. They were absolutely pristine so I put a deposit down thinking my Chicago friend would end up taking them. Well it turned out he's several years away from building a new home so he decided not to buy them. But I couldn't walk away from such a pristine pair, I ended up buying them and hauling them home.

So now they sit side-by-side with the other pair of Valencia's. I have a pair of Mast Mutter custom 846A crossovers that I acquired from a fellow Shindo and Altec Valencia owner on Audiogon, so I hope to A/B them one day. I also plan to play with things like stands to raise the speakers about 12" to 15" off the floor.

I've owned several speakers through the years; Vandersteen 3A's, Snell Type A, Snell Type E, Klipsch Heresy, Quad ESL 63's and Quad ESL 57 (both of which I still have), and the Legatos, but other than possibly acquiring a gently used Devore Orangutan O/96 speakers way down the road, the Valencia's are a perfect match to my Shindo system and have taken me off the "need to find the next component to upgrade" treadmill and allows me to just enjoy the music.

Happy Listening,
closdesducs