View Full Version : Altec 19 Question

02-27-2005, 10:11 AM
I am about to purchase a pair of these. Many have stated that these spekers need room to breath. What would be a good distance that they should be apart and what would be a good room size? My living room is about 16W x 21D.

Steve Gonzales
02-27-2005, 08:27 PM
Any speaker regardless of size takes time to set-up properly. I realize these 143lb beasts are not something that you can easily just move around. There is a thing called "corner loading" that reinforces the Low frequency when you place a speaker in a corner due to reflections bouncing off the back and side walls. This can make the LF to become boomy or with a move of a foot or so in one direction, be just right. Try them in the corner and listen to a good, dynamic recording and listen for that boomyness. Usually a slight toe -in is preferred to aim the horns at the "sweet spot" (your listening position). Play with them as much as possible, taking your time with critical listening. Start with them at least a foot and a half from the back and side walls and work from there, adjustments can be made to the mid and high frequencies on the speaker itself and also with your tone controls. I like to start with all of them set flat first and make gradual boost or cut in small increments to suit my taste. There are factors in each unique acoustic enviroment that dictate what settings to use combined with your own unique taste,so, this information is just the baseline point in which to work from. Good luck and post your questions, and I or someone else will help you further in your quest. I hope you have a high quality amp and preamp with at least 200wpc. And last but not least, Welcome to the LHS!, Steve G;)

BTW:16x21 is a really nice sized room for these wonderful giants

02-28-2005, 07:55 AM
I will be running them with one of my vintage Scott amps. The 299B or the 233. Why do you recommend 200 watts for a speaker with such a high SPL level?

02-28-2005, 10:18 AM
Hello Dylanl

Your not going to know what the deal is until you get them home. I have some large speakers I use in my HT set-up and they can get in closer than you would think to the walls. Depending on the low end you may want to get them in close to get a little room gain. My basemnnt is 13X22 and I have 2 complete systems an HT and seperate stereo crammed into it. Both work just fine in that space.


Steve Gonzales
02-28-2005, 02:16 PM
I like to have some dynamic headroom with my choice of amps. With this type of general question, it is merely suggestion, not absolute. More than likely, you already had a spot in mind in which to place the 19's (where they'd fit) and you know what your own demands are. I just like to make sure that they're not going to be driven ,by say a, Marantz 2270 or such. I don't equate high SPL to the watts per channel. A good system needs that extra power to produce the momentary peaks that can soak up more power than you think even at moderate listening levels.

02-28-2005, 03:28 PM
I am with Steve on this one. I have only 70watt on my amplifier, which is more than enough 360 days a year. The other days are like hell. When I want to play loud music it should be me stopping, not the equipment.

02-28-2005, 07:49 PM
We'll according to you guys I willl be under-powered. I am not sure what the Scotts put out as far as watts but the 233 has more power than the 299B. I do think push pull should be better than single ended.

Steve Gonzales
02-28-2005, 08:00 PM
On what you are trying to achieve and what loudness levels are "normal" to you. I've heard the the 19's driven by a 350wpc amp in a 18'x22' room and although loud at 250wpc+, they were able to handle it and it wasn't so loud as to drive you out of the room. A 65 watt average will have multi hundred watt peaks. You're just going to have to wait and hear for yourself as Rob suggests. You are in a BIG "what if "area, all you can hope to gleen from our input is a baseline, as I mentioned before. Get them home and tinker, then if they're fine as is, post it or if not, ask more questions that are not so much speculation, but based on actual observations. In any case, you are going to love them once you get it all figured out!. I will keep an eye on this thread and help if need be. Good Luck!.

02-28-2005, 10:37 PM
Y'all need SPL meters....

"Oh, shut UP, Zilch!" :p

02-28-2005, 11:51 PM
Y'all need SPL meters....

No way. Would be up in the red insanity area. :)

scott fitlin
03-01-2005, 10:25 AM
We'll according to you guys I willl be under-powered. I am not sure what the Scotts put out as far as watts but the 233 has more power than the 299B. I do think push pull should be better than single ended.I like push/pull amplification, especially on the low end, but for the mids and highs single ended sounds sweeter to me!

Youll have to do a fair amount of switching gear in and out, to find what pleases you in your listening room the most!


03-01-2005, 12:16 PM
Scott, you read my mind. I agree 100%. I should have these home soon so I will post back later with a little better feel for what is going on.

Thanks, All

03-01-2005, 04:20 PM
Re room size 16x21 should do the Model 19s justice. As for the distance apart you should try for 6 feet (min)-10 feet(max), this is measureing from the center of the woofers. I'll have to second Steve Gonzales and cast my vote for a quality amp with plenty of headroom (250wpc).

03-01-2005, 06:37 PM
What does that 250 watts do for the sound comming out of the horn?? I personally do not like horns and SS together. Tubes and horns just seem to have a much smoother sound.

03-01-2005, 09:15 PM
IMHO You just have to aquire the right SS Amp. There are plenty of fine units out there. You get the sound you pay for???:hmm:

03-01-2005, 11:42 PM
Dylan re placement you should also consider locating the speakers 3 feet from the wall as a starting point and move them in or out until you get the desired results. Back to amps for your Model 19, in order to realize the full potential of those 15" woofers you need an amp with plenty of power. The horn is only half of the Model 19s speaker components and if your set on tubes you might want to consider biamping, powering the horns with tubes and the woofers with a SS amp. Another option would be a tube preamp and SS amp. Right now I'm biamping my JBL L200b with two Yamaha MX-2000 130 watt class a amps and I can hear a much fuller bass from the 15" woofers then with a single amp. The biamping also made for a perfect sonic balance between the horns and the woofers. Even if you intend to listen at low volume you will hear a big difference from your woofers. I'm sure other members can suggest quality high powered SS amps (vintage or pro) that won't cost you a fortune. IMHO Our Altec Lansing and JBL speakers are close if not the same models as used in pro applications ( ie recording studios) and I doubt you will find very few tube amps powering the studio JBL or Altec speakers.

03-04-2005, 07:25 PM
I have them home and hooked them up to the 20 watt push pull Scott. They sound fantastic I could not be happier. I am not going to dout all of you with your thoughts of 300 watts but these sound so smooth with the tubes. I just do not see how SS has the edge here. The bass is also incredible and that was my biggest concern.

Just so you know I am comparing these to my set of Khorns in the basement. The rooms are different but the Altecs are bringing much more to the table than I ever expected.