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View Full Version : Altec Monterey/834A



audiomagnate
11-21-2013, 10:51 AM
There was a pair on ebay that happened to be local so I bit. I can't find much info on these, but they sound very nice. It seems they were designed to be positioned on their sides to keep the horn horizontal. I'm still trying to get the grills off without damaging anything. The bass response is amazingly bad. It's just not there. It sounds like they're pretty much done by 80 Hz or so, which is amazing for a speaker this large. They're fun with the subs turned on, in a retro kind of way. I'm very glad I bought them. They are solid wood so refinishing should be easy with no worries about sanding through veneer.

louped garouv
11-21-2013, 05:08 PM
looks similar to bolero...

what # are the woofer units?

be. real careful if those are the mini sectortal tweeters, they re pretty fragile
and VERY inconvenient to have serivced, if it is even still possible...

audiomagnate
11-21-2013, 05:20 PM
looks similar to bolero...what # are the woofer units? be. real careful if those are the mini sectortal tweeters, they re pretty fragileand VERY inconvenient to have serivced, if it is even still possible...The woofers are 402A's. The tweeters are 3000B's the later, fiberglass version of the 3000 that is not multicelled like the original metal version. They use the same delicate microphone diaphragm as the original 3000. They are much older than Boleros. They can be found in the 1959 Altec catalog, which isn't in the library here. If someone knows how to get the grills off without damaging them, please let me know and I will post nudies of the fronts. I guess I need some vintage Altec badges now.

EDIT:
I've been listening to these tonight with a mix of analog, digital and TV sound. I have to keep the subs on, as these really are bass shy in my room. I realized after a while I was too close at around eleven feet. Standing well behind my normal listing position they really start to give a glorious movie theater type sound. They have an annoying peak in the midrange I have to track down, but it doesn't really get going too often. I think it might be around 4 K. I'll hook up my 31 band tonight and start playing.

audiomagnate
12-03-2013, 09:25 AM
I found an ad on page 41 (43 of the pdf) in this November 1959 issue of HiFi-Stereo review. http://vintagevacuumaudio.com/vintage-magazines/hifi/1959-11-hifi-stereo-review.pdf MSRP was $174 each or $2,971.31/pair in today's money. I really want to restore these to original condition and use them in the bedroom. But first I need figure out a few things:

1. How do I get the damn grills off? I removed two wood screws from the back of the baffle which secure the frame to the cabinet, but they still won't budge. I can't find any other screws. Did they screw and glue? I sure hope not. I want to remove the cloth and clean it with Oxy Clean, and to get it out of the way for the cabinet refinishing process.
2. They were available in blonde, mahogany and walnut. Mine are solid wood which is definitely not walnut or mahogany. Has all the veneer been removed? I really am lost on this one. Someone at some point smeared some walnut stain on them at some point, the only evidence of "restoration." I want them to look "factory fresh". Electronically and acoustically they are perfect and look brand new and untouched inside.
3. Does anyone know what types of caps are in that metal case. It is a pair of 2 mfd caps.

The tweeter attenuator works perfectly, with no noise, which is amazing to me, after working on ARs on such. The quality of components must have been top notch.

These deserve a first rate restoration (IMO of course) and any insight would be greatly appreciated.

louped garouv
12-03-2013, 10:50 AM
surprising that the bass is shy, later 406 variants don't seem to field that sort of comment...
maybe something is amiss?


looks to me like to 402s ( and all other components) are mounted from the rear of the baffle,
as opposed to later 406 variants, which in my experience were front mounted...

louped garouv
12-03-2013, 10:52 AM
how about an isolated photo of the box with caps you are asking about?

it could help. :)

audiomagnate
12-03-2013, 01:44 PM
how about an isolated photo of the box with caps you are asking about?

it could help. :)

Here you go. As far as the lack of bass, that comment was made when I had them way up the air, three feet from the back wall and mounted horizontally. After I moved them into the bedroom and mounted them vertically one foot off the floor and up against the back wall, the bass is back. They still don't go anywhere near as low as the contemporary AR3, but they sound much better balanced now. They certainly don't suffer from "one note bass," they just don't do much below 50Hz. These are really growing on me, and I can't wait to hook them up to a period correct tube amp.

louped garouv
12-06-2013, 09:04 AM
are you measuring, (empirically evidencing) the in room response of the two being compared with objective measurement equipment, or are these comments to be taken as more subjective perception /observations?

just for clarity's sake....

by the way, "boundary loading" may be coming into play with the change in response based upon placement...

audiomagnate
08-18-2014, 09:01 PM
are you measuring, (empirically evidencing) the in room response of the two being compared with objective measurement equipment, or are these comments to be taken as more subjective perception /observations?

just for clarity's sake....

by the way, "boundary loading" may be coming into play with the change in response based upon placement...

I have 20 to 30 pairs of speakers in the house, and I have no problem figuring out if a speaker is bass shy or not. These are bass shy. Can someone help me get the grills off?

audiomagnate
04-10-2015, 05:25 PM
Got the grilles off today. You have to take EVERYTHING out of the cabinet to get to all the retaining screws. I'll post pics when I'm done restoring them.

macaroonie
04-11-2015, 05:52 PM
I have 20 to 30 pairs of speakers in the house, and I have no problem figuring out if a speaker is bass shy or not. These are bass shy. Can someone help me get the grills off?


I'd be curious to see a list of that inventory. I wonder if you will trump our friend in Portland ? :)