View Full Version : Altec 1233E

04-20-2016, 04:58 PM
Hi! 2nd post, still an amateur in sound matters, but learning...
I hv found a very interesting article that helped me a lot to understand speakers:


Anyway, my post is about the Altec 1233E ( does anyone know what the E stands for?) that is for sale near my home. I know this is a PA speaker ( is it?) but i find it very similar to the Altec Valencia at least in design.
Is this a " HiFi" speaker worth buying? Here the specs:

Altec 1233E Musical Sound loudspeakers System
Model: Altec 1233E
Frequency Response: 50Hz to 15 KHz
Power Handlng Capacity: 120 Watts
Sensitivity: 100dB
Impedance: 8 ohms
Crossover Frequency: 1200Hz
Dispersion Angles
Horizontal: 90
Vertical: 40
ER15-Type LF
908 High FrequencyCompressor Driver
811B Horn 1200 Hz
Cabinet Type: Vented
Finish: Black Spatter Texture

I could only find a picture of the Altec 1233 not of the 1233E, this is from the web as seller has the speakers packed.

04-22-2016, 09:34 AM
I've serviced the 1233 in numerous church installations and can say without doubt that they are not optimum for HiFi in their factory configuration. As you stated, they were designed for ProSound use. In unaltered condition, I found them to be quite harsh in the mid range frequencies and severely lacking in lower bass response. This is due to the fact that they are equipped with musical instrument bass drivers and "Symbiotic" diaphragms in the 902 drivers. The mid range harshness is exacerbated somewhat by the 1200Hz crossover frequency.

Making them into useable HiFi speakers is not impossible, but will require more modification than you might be willing to do, and might not be financially viable in the end. For example, hi frequency response will benefit greatly by ditching the Symbiotic diaphragm for the Great Plains Audio 34647 (or, better yet, swapping the drivers for the Radian 450PB-8); swap the MI woofers for Altec 416 (and appropriately re-porting the cabinet); design a new network crossing at 800Hz and incorporating a Zobel network and the CD equalization properties as seen in the Hiraga and Zilch Z19 crossover networks.

Your only other resort would be to use the speakers with an active EQ/RTA speaker management unit such as the Behringer DEQ2496. I've been able to use this unit many times to coax some rather objectionable speakers into something more listenable. It's not a silver bullet, but it will make appreciable improvements.

Of course, the best thing to do would be to audition the speakers in person using your own electronics. Who knows? You may love them just as they are. Personal taste is just that.

Others will surely post with their own take on the matter, but the above has been my personal experiences along with the input of others with much more technical knowledge and experience than mine.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.


04-22-2016, 06:56 PM
Thank you GeeDeeEmm! Definitely very helpful. You are right, there would be a lot of work to do to turn them into HiFi ones. Even though I'm not against putting some extra work and time, I would do it to improve a natural born HiFi speaker. Thank you again for sharing your experience with these units.

04-23-2016, 05:29 AM
One other thing to keep in mind that I failed to mention is the simple parts value. If these are selling cheap enough, they would be worth having for the horns, drivers, boxes, and possibly the crossovers. Even those woofers have some resale value for classic guitar amp builders/owners. You could use all those components (except the woofers) in a future build. Don't pass them up if they are cheap enough to be below the parts values.

04-23-2016, 11:04 AM