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View Full Version : How to improve Altec Model 19 performance



wyan
08-14-2013, 09:46 PM
Hi, guys,


I acquired a pair of Model 19 a while back. I like its midrange a lot (relaxed and emotional like chats with a close friend) but sometimes I feel it leaves some room for improvement.

For the low frequency, the texture is rich and the presentation is quite musical. However, I feel it is never close to slamp or attach when neccessary.

For the midrange, the voice of a single male or female is second to none, but the chorus lack the power and splendor (it is a bit muffled).

And it lacks the super high.

My setup:

CD player: Philips CD-100 and Studer D730
Preamp: Jeff Rowland Capri
Power AMP: First Watt J2

My questions are:

1) Does the perfomace as described reflect Model 19's true potential?

2) How to improve it? (Especially the LF and Mid-Range Power and Speed). An update of crossover (with new caps)? An upgrade of better source (modern CD player etc)? Or adding a super HF and re-build the crossover?

3) Adding qualitied subs to the corrent setup? Something like wilson watch dog or a pair of Revel B15.

4) Leave it alone or break a bank and buy modern gears.

Thanks a lot.

fpitas
08-15-2013, 06:53 AM
A recap of the crossover may help, if that hasn't already been done. The caps don't age well, and a lot of people find that replacing them improves the sound. If you feel more ambitious, Zilch developed a crossover for the Model 19 that is pretty popular, the so-called "Z19":

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showpost.php?p=4415723&postcount=202

I have not heard the Z19, but you'll find plenty of information on the web using Google.

wyan
08-15-2013, 07:55 AM
Thanks. Where to buy the Z19 version of crosseover?


A recap of the crossover may help, if that hasn't already been done. The caps don't age well, and a lot of people find that replacing them improves the sound. If you feel more ambitious, Zilch developed a crossover for the Model 19 that is pretty popular, the so-called "Z19":

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showpost.php?p=4415723&postcount=202

I have not heard the Z19, but you'll find plenty of information on the web using Google.

fpitas
08-15-2013, 07:59 AM
Thanks. Where to buy the Z19 version of crosseover?

I'm not sure you can. It's the sort of thing you construct yourself, although perhaps you can find someone who makes them. If you simply want to buy a new crossover, try Great Plains Audio:

http://www.greatplainsaudio.com/

I have read that calling them works best, as they respond very slowly to emails.

wyan
08-15-2013, 08:22 AM
Thanks again.

As a newbie, a prompt response to your first reply was where to buy one. What a shame. :banghead:

I am reading the link you gave me about Z19, a lot of technical stuffs but it seems to be a worthy try (flat curve and biamp option). I might be able to find help from friends.

I did email GPA before and am not sure if their xovers can live up to my expectation.






I'm not sure you can. It's the sort of thing you construct yourself, although perhaps you can find someone who makes them. If you simply want to buy a new crossover, try Great Plains Audio:

http://www.greatplainsaudio.com/

I have read that calling them works best, as they respond very slowly to emails.

macaroonie
08-15-2013, 03:14 PM
Very worthwhile to apply dampening treatment to the horn. Car body bitumen based material does the job well. Apply liberally to the back of the horn and in behind the lips on the front.
This is pretty standard treatment for 811 and 511 horns.
Again if you google you will get where you need to be , this is a well trodden path.

M

fpitas
08-15-2013, 03:50 PM
It's true the horns can benefit from damping. In later years, Altec cut the welds in the front vanes of 511s and filled the gap with a hard rubber compound. 511Es received a coating of Aquaplas from the factory to minimize the ringing. Mounting the flange firmly to a panel will help, but a friend's 511s further benefited by coating the body and bells with this stuff:

http://www.amazon.com/QuietCoat/dp/B004ZFZARY/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

followed by a liberal coating of polyurethane construction adhesive on the body, and filling the bells with polyurethane.

wyan
08-17-2013, 08:32 PM
Macaroonie and Fpitas,

Thank you both for the advice on damping. Will try.

My audiokarma account was finnally activated. Quite lengthy and useful discussion of Z19 there. My impression is it will vastly improve the speakers. Now need to find parts and skill hands. :)


Cheers. Enjoy the music.


WYAN

hjames
08-17-2013, 09:36 PM
Macaroonie and Fpitas,

Thank you both for the advice on damping. Will try.

My audiokarma account was finnally activated. Quite lengthy and useful discussion of Z19 there. My impression is it will vastly improve the speakers. Now need to find parts and skill hands. :)


Cheers. Enjoy the music.


WYAN

Ah, the legendary Zilch xover for Altec 19s!
Good luck and - enjoy the music!

NickH
08-17-2013, 10:29 PM
If the diaphragms are old have have a lot of miles on them, new one might be a good idea too. And I'm betting your do by what you describing about the sound.

Nick

wyan
09-09-2013, 07:34 AM
If the diaphragms are old have have a lot of miles on them, new one might be a good idea too. And I'm betting your do by what you describing about the sound.

Nick

Nick, Thanks. Will certainly apply damping. :)

Guess what, I am buying super tweeters and Accuphase F15. Also, a friend has a pair of JBL LE85 and he is interested in swapping with stock HF driver to see the difference. And I have a First Watt J2 and two First Watt F5 clones ready. :) Also, I've found someone who can build a Z19 for me. Seems to be a lot of fun ahead. :)

Mr. Widget
09-09-2013, 09:32 AM
Nick, Thanks. Will certainly apply damping. :)

Guess what, I am buying super tweeters and Accuphase F15. Also, a friend has a pair of JBL LE85 and he is interested in swapping with stock HF driver to see the difference. And I have a First Watt J2 and two First Watt F5 clones ready. :) Also, I've found someone who can build a Z19 for me. Seems to be a lot of fun ahead. :)Cool... sounds like hours of fun!

Glad to hear the old Zilchster lives on...


Widget