View Full Version : I hate to say it but ...

04-24-2003, 07:58 AM
...my Klipsch Cornwalls literally blow away the Altec A-7-500-8's!!!!!

Some of you guys said that the Altecs are one of the best speakers of all time. No way.

I wasn't able to A/B the klipsch directly against the Altecs. But, I just removed the A-7's (they're sold) and replaced them with my beloved Klipsch Cornwalls.

I made the swap quickly so I could get a feel for the Klipsch against the Altecs.

The Altecs are ALL MIDRANGE!!!!!!!! They do that spectacularly well but they flounder when it comes to highs and even worse with the lows ...Plus, the A-7's footprint is ludicris for a home speaker. Not to mention they are ugly as sin! Grey boxes with an ugly horn bolted on top? No thank you!!!

Ahhhhhh, Welcome back my lovely Klipsch.

04-24-2003, 09:16 AM
Well can't please everyone we all have our own tastes. Glad you like the Klipcsh's.

"Plus, the A-7's footprint is ludicris for a home speaker. Not to mention they are ugly as sin! Grey boxes with an ugly horn bolted on top? No thank you!!!"

Well if you are designed for use behind a screen who cares what it looks like as long as it gets the job done. Can't compare the cosmetics totally different criteria. Pro Cinema vs. domestic use.


scott fitlin
04-24-2003, 09:45 AM
The A-7 was meant work properly in a fairly large room. In a small room where you dont have the footage for the projection the A-7,s are capable of, well, they wont work right!

Of course, add tweeters and subwoofers and the SPECTACULARITY becomes unbelievable! I always bandpassed my horns where the tweeters come in and that works well for me!

Todd W. White
04-24-2003, 11:01 AM
You are really needing a Model 19 - EXCEPTIONAL and BLOWS the Cornwall!

Mr. Widget
04-24-2003, 01:32 PM
"a Model 19 - EXCEPTIONAL and BLOWS the Cornwall!"

This is a much better comparison as they were both meant for home use and are both bass reflex with a horn loaded upper end.

I remember liking the model 19, but I felt it was still a little lacking in deep bass as well as the upper end of the frequency spectrum. Of course the Cornwall is lacking at the extremes as well.

I don't know about blowing away, but I would bet the Model 19 does have a superior midrange to the Cornwall. I certainly have to agree with BigBusa though, I do not see the appeal of the A-7 as a high fidelity system.

Every time I hear someone raving about A-7s I picture a semi-deaf old man listening to a hi-fi through a cone held up to his ear.

Ultimately, Rob is right we all have our own tastes and personal favorites.

04-24-2003, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Widget
I do not see the appeal of the A-7 as a high fidelity system.

Every time I hear someone raving about A-7s I picture a semi-deaf old man listening to a hi-fi through a cone held up to his ear.

HAHAH yeah ...

Nothing personal to those who like their A-7's. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to own some for a brief period. Now I'll know when someone starts raving about the Altec A-7 that they aren't really all that for home use IMO.

Maybe someday I'll find a pair of model 19's.

I have two upcoming speaker purchases to test the cornwalls against though ...A pair of Infinity RS 4.5 and a pair of Apogee Duettas (full range ribbon speakers). What a great hobby!

04-24-2003, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Todd W. White
You are really needing a Model 19 - EXCEPTIONAL and BLOWS the Cornwall!

Todd have you honestly a/b'ed the two speakers or is this just an opinion not based on facts? Just curious?

04-25-2003, 07:44 AM
In regards to Altec speakers I will try to be brief.

Years ago I was playing in a band and needed a PA for live ferformance. I responded to an advertisement....a recording studio was closing and selling off its monitors which had Altec drivers. I purchased them for little took them home and then tried them out. I was floored by the quality of the sound...the dynamics and clarity of the sound was incredible. I decided to compare them to my recently factory rebuilt (courtesy of Hurricane Andrews) Apogee Duetta sigs. To use Mr BigBusa terminology they blew away the Duettas in dynamics, clarity and even transients!!!! Specifically a cone driver having better transients than a ribbon was perplexing so I tried comparing the Altecs to full range electrostatics. Again much better dynamics, equal clarity and equal transients but with balls...very realistic dynamic transients. After kicking myself in the ass for days, for having spent over ten thousand dollars for fancy speakers when these monitors which I paid $40 a piece blew away, I decided to see the innards of the cabinets. They had Altec 416a woofers and 802D comp drivers with 811 horns.

It took me a while to understand how a dynamic driver could outperform the newer technologies. But it has to do with light rectangular wire voice coils in huge magnetic fiels and very light cones acting within
horns with very little actual cone movement therefore little distortion etc. Now granted JBL also has similar drivers and they are also very good. I like the altecs better as they are easier to work on. I ended up putting these drivers in an even more compact PA cabinet fully fiberglass stuffed and using them when we played. They consistantly outperformed all other bands PA speakers including EAW, Klipsch, JBLs (the new stuff). I had to continuously explain what they were because they sounded so good using just a 60 watt amp!!!!. Presently I use Altec A5s with multicell horns and 299 drivers with an EV 30W subwoofer. The subwoofer is a 30" driver with 100 dB/W sens , fs=16Hz in a vented 80 cubic foot enclosure. The room is a custom built 28x 38' with 16' high ceilings. In this setting nothing else beats the altecs including the Wilson WAMMS etc etc.

I am unable to fully explain Bigbusa difficulties with his A7 in comparison to the Corwalls. There could be many reasons.

scott fitlin
04-25-2003, 09:16 AM
In a proper room with proper setup Altec walks all over the others!

However, setup and room size is an issue with the Altec speakers! It aint just plug-N-play!

Mr. Widget
04-25-2003, 10:01 AM
Hi Scott,

You and Roland are talking about A-7s in a PA application, which is decidedly different than a typical hi-fi home use. I haven't heard A-7s used in PAs in many years, but I did like them in that application. I mentioned this in the interim forum.

I do wonder though, if it truly was a superior product why no one is producing a clone of it and taking over the medium sized PA market with it. I would guess that it is probably due to the A-7s rather large and inconvenient size. There are a host of smaller speakers on the market that even with a sub will take up less room in your van or on stage.

I agree that it does make a good midrange when augmented by a sub and ideally a super tweeter. The need for the super tweeter depends on how much you EQ and the type of venue. With today's music the need for the sub is absolute. If you try to get the bottom end out of them that people expect you will blow the woofers in no time.

Ultimately I am not sure they are the only way to get great midrange in a medium sized PA and since they are so large I guess most people would prefer something a bit more manageable that occupy a lot less real estate.


scott fitlin
04-25-2003, 11:40 AM
Ultimately it was a size and weight issue that made users decise to use smaller cabinets! And because there are power amps capable of delivering up to several thousand watts per channel, users felt they no longer needed to have to deal with the size and weight of horn loaded boxes to achieve serious output!

Even years ago there were complaints about size and weight! But in 1979 you didnt have the amplifiers we have now! That said, now we have the availability of mega watt amps and you see where sound has gone!

Altec bass horns were intended for medium to large rooms. The A7,s could fill a medium auditorium or dance hall with serious output! Another thing about horns is that even though the A7 is a relatively small horn it throw fairly far, and you get the sound 15-30 feet out into the room. If your in a near field situation, where you withing a few feet of the horn in a small den or room in a house your too close. In this application a direct radiator works better! The horns need footage for the wavelength to develop! In nightclubs Altec bass horns ( 210,s and 211,s ) used to be hung 25 feet over the dance floor aimed downward! We are talking about THEATRE size rooms and the physical location of the horns many feet away from the people, and they sounded great!

Another issue with horns is EQ and getting them to work right. Its a pain in the A... sometimes! Woofers like the 515B and 416,s dont need BIG wattage to make sound, and actually do better on the amps that were being used back in the day!

I have experienced BIG sub bass folded horns in small clubs that bought Berthas or levan horns because they were in Studio54 and Paradise garage and wondered why they didnt have the GARGANTUAN bass like the aforementioned clubs! The room was too small for these BEHEMOTH folded horns and the wavelength couldnt roll out properly. however they had the bass the club PAID big money for 1- 3 buildings down! If your room is too small to support the wavelength the horn doesnt work!

One other little thing! What sounds great in a Dance hall or concert situation doesnt neccesarily sound great at home! Many times the commercial gear can be overbearing in home use!

scott fitlin
04-25-2003, 11:55 AM
When your in an arena with clusters of horns hung above the center of say Madison Square Garden and there is a concert going on, the audience is a very considerable distance from any of the speakers!

This is what horns were designed to do, project the sound!

04-25-2003, 01:49 PM
No Mr Widget the A5s and EV30W ARE MY HOME HIFI set up but please note the room is 28'x38'x16feet high ceilings. Again they put down the Wilson WAMMS being much more dynamic this EV subwoof blends much better than the WAMMS separate subwoof.

By the way the WAMMS went for over $100K I have less than $1K in this speaker system altogether!!!. Again the Altec components outperformed the full range ribbons and full range electrostats in all categories!!!! These are not only PA quality drivers!!!. These were and are professional quality drivers usually set up by pros to get the max out of them. The Klipsch drivers do not begin to compare in quality. Please note this is not a put down of Mr Kipsch and his major accomplishment the K horn I have a lot of respect for him and his corner loaded horn which although imperfect was a great accomplishment in its time.

Can the altec speakers be improved? Yes the metal horns ring too much and the cabinets need further bracing. You need an efficient matching subwoof and some may like a supertweeter.
They are ugly and bulky in the industrial 210, A5 or A7 setup. For typical home use I would go with a bass reflex cabinet like the model 19. In reality they are the bargain in Audio at used prices. Most are being cloned again. Check the Iconic website.

scott fitlin
04-25-2003, 02:16 PM
I had Altec 511,s and 311,s. They did have a ring to them. In 1980 I switched to JBL 2395 lens horns with 2441 drivers! In this room they sound really good, but I dont think the 2395 is really suitable for home use, under most circumstances!

Roland, you happen to have a big room for your setup, which is what you need. How many people have rooms in their homes with 16`foot high ceilings?

My room has a low ceiling, only 9 ft high, but my Room is 90ft long by 50ft wide!

Mr. Widget
04-25-2003, 03:22 PM
"Again they put down the Wilson WAMMS being much more dynamic"

I have heard a WAMM system at a dealer showroom, I wasn't that impressed. I have heard several generations of the WATT/PUPPIES ditto, however one of the most impressive demonstrations of dynamics I have ever heard was the Wilson Audio X-1 Grand Slams playing in a 20 by 30 ft room with mega watt mega dollar electronics. They played a variety of pieces of music, none of which I can recall by name, but at one point on one track there was a drum solo that was the most dynamic demonstration I have ever heard. Those speakers had full command of that room and had there been a sheer curtain hiding them I would have bet big money that there was a sweating drummer on the other side of it.

Some will say yeah, but you were listening to over $200K worth of gear. This is true but we are talking ultimate performance. The "OK, but this or that is cheaper" argument is left at the door.

To me the bang for the buck club's membership is full of guys with old POS cars with a spare carburetor in the back seat so that they can get home. "Yeah man, but when it runs it is as fast as a ..."


Hey, I listen to big old fashioned horns myself, but I am not of the belief that all that is new is bad, and all the vintage stuff is holy. I agree with you and Scott that if you don't dampen the 511s they do tend to ring. As far as the EV 30" woofer is concerned, I have seen a couple but I have never heard one. Most people seem to think the motor is overwhelmed by the cone causing a bit of a mushy bottom end. Perhaps you have solved this in your cabinets. In a very large room such as yours I would guess that extreme LF is a bit limited even with a 30" woofer in 80!! cu ft. I would bet that a pair of 2245Hs in 10 cu ft each would go deeper, louder, and with better transient response.

Once again though, these systems are meant to please the owner. It sounds like yours is a success!

04-25-2003, 07:10 PM
Guys my wife calls me a black hole because I still have all the stereo systems I ever owned going back to the 70s. Nothing ever leaves.

I still like and appreciate the new stuff but discontinued my stereophile subscription years ago once I realized that I had been misled in regards to horns and other gear yet "tuning" ebony dots sitting on top of equipment were the rage at $100 a pop!!!. Mostly do DIY stuff now. Most of the old stuff is junk or collectible but some is truly outstanding...you probably know which is which. It just so happen that my system kicks butt and only cost $1K. The point is quality is not always related to price especially when dealing with used gear.

Yes you can get excellent dynamics like the Grand Slams via brute force amplification but most large SS amps could be better. I prefer to stay with hi efficiency speaker designs and use simple tube high quality amps.

Subwoofers for 105 dB/W sensitive speakers are always a problem. Have 2 JBL 2445s and will eventually set up as suggested for PA use but have heard them before... typical boomy thumping bass secondary to vented enclosure. The EV 30W is good but don't like the large enclosure. Can do better with multiple woofers in a manifold projecting into the sound room with rear wave going into the attic. These are infinite baffle subwoofers. Check out the "Cult of the infinitively baffled" site for the best in subwoofers. These subwoof drivers are a different design compared to hi efficiency drivers used above. They are designed to tolerate hi power have heavy voice coils and literally inches of cone movement to move the air required for for deep bass. Sub woof bass output is in the watts of power so hi power SS amps with hi damping factors rule. I will probably be using two manifolds of four 15"drivers each with two BGW 750 amps.

Altec hi efficiency stuff is not perfect but it provides me with a better foundation to work with than anything else I have tried. But I still like the ribbons even if they require biamp or triamp with SS amps. The electrostatics lack ultimate bass and highs are wimpy adynamic but have high resolution. What else is there?? Another magical box full of cone drivers recommended by the mags because they pay for a lot of advertisement....I seen this for over 30 years.....get real!!!

scott fitlin
04-25-2003, 09:06 PM
Great amp for sub bass! Round, warm , definition and all the right things! Great choice!

Guy L
04-25-2003, 11:58 PM
I hav sold my beloved Khorns,few month's ago.
Got Altec 604E with Mastring Lab crossovers and I don't even miss the Khorns.
The altec is much more balanced and has much better bass.
I also own a pair of C50's with S8R and they are also much better than the Khorns.

Mr. Widget
04-26-2003, 12:04 AM

Black hole huh? I have sold tons of gear to buy tons of other gear. Where on earth do you live that you have so much storage space?

A few years ago I owned a pair of Soundlabs electrostats that I powered with a custom built SS amp rated at 300-400 wpc. The speakers with this amp had an awesome sound. Huge, thunderous, fast , dynamic, my complaint was that I didn't like the smeared imaging caused by the backwave. I tried acoustic absorbers which helped, but they never really imaged to my liking. Unfortunately after a couple of years the amp died. I took it back to the designer/builder and he never fixed it. He was a bit of a flake. I tried several other large SS amps but none sounded as good. I have heard other electrostats, Quad, Acoustat, and Martin Logan, I like the sound quality of the Quads, but none of these could adequately reproduce the power and dynamics of "live" music.

I have never heard the Apogees but I have heard several different brands of 6' or so ribbons in various DIY set ups. They all had some pluses and some minuses. I never heard one I felt like owning.

You mentioned that Stereophile didn't like horns, well they are coming back into vogue with some reviewers. I remember discussing my strange affection for horns with my audiophile buddies before horns were cool again. They all thought I was nuts. While they are probably right, I must admit, the list of horns I like is much shorter than the list of horns that I dislike.

I currently listen to horn and non horn systems depending on my mood and/or the music I intend to listen to.

Mr. Widget
04-26-2003, 12:08 AM
"I hav sold my beloved Khorns,few month's ago.
Got Altec 604E with Mastring Lab crossovers and I don't even miss the Khorns.
The altec is much more balanced and has much better bass.
I also own a pair of C50's with S8R and they are also much better than the Khorns."

Post that on the Klipsch site and see if you leave with any skin on your body!


Guy L
04-26-2003, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Widget "

Post that on the Klipsch site and see if you leave with any skin on your body!

:D [/B]

:) I still like the guys over there.
I was the first one on their forum, who've changed the lousy type AA crossover and rebuilt it to the very simple 6DB/octave type A (like the one that PWK prefered).

I have done it,after listening to the 375 midrange and hearing "new" things on almost every recording.It did improve things dramaticly,but the mids still could'nt be compared to the 375.

04-26-2003, 09:22 AM
Guys there are many ways to Audio Nirvana. Just like you would not keep an elephant as a pet in an apartment you should not put an Altec A4, 210, or even A7. The right speaker in the right room is the rule. I always try for high efficiency if possible. It gives more freedom to use intrinsically higher quality smaller amps and why star out with dynamic compression anyway??

We all know the intrinsic advantages of horns but also 90% of them suck....so you must pick right. Round tractrix horns sound natural but are beamy and the mouth area overestimates cut off freq.

Hi efficiency via hi eff ribbons is also cool ie: ESG tweeters with 8-12" MR make a great speaker. BUT no matter what I still find you need al least three drivers for full 20-20k coverage. A dedicated sub with hi power voice coil and large cone excursion is a must to reach the 20Hz if you want it. That combination of subwoof, 8-12"MR, tweeter ie: ESG ribbon kicks butt in a smaller setting.

My first Hifi speaker which I still have was the ESS transtatic circa 1970. Back then ESS was making custom speakers using combinations of the best technologies. It had a KEF B139 oval woofer in transmission line which went flat to 20Hz. The tweeters were the RTR electrostatics x3 and MR was a KEF 5". I subsequently replaced the MR with a higher resolution focal unit. This speaker will still out perform 95% of speakers out there. By the way Carver's Phase linear 400 and 700 amps had just come out and Hafler's Dynaco 400 also. These were the first hi powered SS amps available and started the shift to low efficiency speakers like those Bose pentagonal ones.

Yes Scott the BGW 750 can drive four 15" easily whereas some other "higher" powered amps can not. Has to do with stored energy in the power supply transformer and caps and enough output transistors. I replaced the filter caps and quadrupled the capacity....will make a difference in subwoof use!!

Although I can afford expensive audio equipment I get more satisfaction via equalling or surpassing that quality via DIY when possible.

Yes Mr Widget in regards to the black hole and where I keep all this gear. Some day I will be crushed to death by collapse of the overtaxed attic...Seems an appropiate way to go!!

04-26-2003, 09:52 AM
A ludricris footprint? I say just a large box. Look at the typical high-end speaker setup; a couple mini monitors on silly looking stands. Recommended placement 2 or 3 feet from front and side walls. How much footprint do we have being used here? I would much rather look and listen to a pair of A7-500W-1 "Magnificent" in my living room than a pair of small bird houses.


Mr. Widget
04-26-2003, 10:26 AM
"Look at the typical high-end speaker setup; a couple mini monitors on silly looking stands."

Hey! That is what I have in the living room. My wife will allow my slightly larger than shoe box sized speakers in the living room even though I insist on putting them "In the middle of the room." but there is no way in hell she would let me put my "big ugly horns" in the living room.

Charley Rummel
04-26-2003, 10:54 AM
Yes, Mr. Widget, I too have been advised by my wife that my horn systems are not welcome in our living room ("...I don't want those big ugly things in MY living room!!!") , and hence forth they reside in our basement family room - which works out well.

The Wife Acceptance Factor is a big issue which a lot of us must contend with...


scott fitlin
04-26-2003, 10:58 AM
One of my personal favorites from BGW is their GTA amp. put 2 four ohm 18,s per channel and its got that MOOSE bottom and its sooo clean. Yeah, I know some of you are gonna say 2 ohms! But it works.

Tom Loizeaux
04-26-2003, 02:08 PM
I have learned that there is a strong subjective componant is responding to sound.
I have a pair of Altec Valencias in my living room. They use the 416 woofer, 806 driver and 811 sectorial horn. They do project and have nice transiants, but the thing I love about them is that they are classic designs that show that Altec's engineers' got it right! It makes me smile when I hear that "primative" 2 way system sound so good.
When I go down to my basement studio and listen to my bi-amped JBL studio monitors, either the 3-ways, or my newly aquired 4-way 4343, I have to tell you that these let me hear what's on the recording. More low bass, cean, clear mids, high frequencies that go beyond my ear's abilities. Though my JBL's are more modern then the Altecs, they are examples of top quality engineering and pro quality materials and construction that is hard to find today.
The Altecs are impressive for being so simple, but the JBLs deliver a sonic experience that I have never heard in any other speaker.


Todd W. White
04-26-2003, 03:11 PM
These discussions are not new - in fact, they go back over 50 years to the battles between Edgar Villchur and his crowd and the high efficiency (aka Altec) crowd.

Alexis Badmaeff wrote an article about it entitled, as I recall, "Is A Good Big Speaker Better Than The Best Small Speaker?" Villchur also replied, and they published it, too.

In short, Badmaeff excoriates the ideas that Villchur and the AR-type system proponents touted - you ought to see it, it is fabulous!

I have this article buried somewhere in the vault - I'll try to dig it out next week, scan it, and put it on my website.

I'll let you folks know when I get it done...

scott fitlin
04-26-2003, 04:50 PM
Back in the middle to late 70,s when my dad and my uncle were experimenting with different brands and types of speakers almost ALL of the salespeople and engineers that werent Altec dealers tried to tell them to go for better boxes ( direct radiator ) and more power! And every time they would bring stuff in here to demo, the Honky, nasal, beamy horn loaded stuff always won!

And Dad ALWAYS brought ME whenever there was an audition of this type! I was in my early teens, and If I heard something I liked better I didnt care cause I didnt have to spend the money! dad did! But the Altec VOTT and JBL lens horns and tweeters always seemed to be more present and alive! It wasnt just SPL, the Altec presented the music in a way that is believable! The ported boxes didnt have the same LARGER THAN LIFE OMG it SOUNDS SO REAL type of sound! And as much as this gear has a bad rap it didnt sound Honky, nasal or un- natural at all! Of course
to be fair we did EQ the room! But we would and still do have to do this with whatever i am using! But the sound was always the opposite of what the salespeople kept saying! Oh those Altec 421,s! they cant take any power! But we had plenty of level and more if we wanted it! But the ported boxes didnt throw as far into the room, and DID NOT have the same lower mid response as the VOTT horns! And this is exactly where the Altecs blew everything else away! Yeah, you could shove more power into the ported boxes with double 15,s and get down a little lower in frequency! But for this you traded in your drumfills leaping out into the room, just like a real concert! And the keyboards and vocals didnt have that " shes right here in the room In front of me " effect! Add to which, the Altec,s with their meager 150w per driver power ratings seemed to actually produce MORE sound than the ported boxes with 600w per two 15 inch drivers! A pair of 817,s on 1 crown dc-300A made BETTER mid bass than a pair of ported boxes with JBL 2225,s and a BGW 750 in this room! The Altec VOTT had MORE presence!

So, unless it really DID do something better I would always choose what we had! And I loved to get NEW stuff to play with. But I knew the stuff we have sounded special!

BTW, music really lives in the midrange, so if you dont get the critical midband right nothing else really matters! I do mean to say, I dont care how great the bass is, or how extended the highs, the midband both lower and upper MUST be right in order for everything to come together! And Altec got this right a LONG time ago!

Where it DID in fact get better was in adding subwoofers and supertweeters! Then the horns didnt have to work as hard, played easier and the whole room came together as the monster it still is!

And my Dad had a pair of the famed AR-3a speakers! In 1980 he got a BIG pair of JBL L-300,s and me and Dad loved the shit out of them! Mom prefered the old AR,s but she didnt like the bass from the JBL,s! Me and dad did, though! So, I knew the AR sound as well! It was ok, but it didnt light up the room like them JBL,s my Mom hated! She said once, it wasnt so much the sound of them as the size of them that offended her!

04-27-2003, 09:21 AM
Speaking of duettas, Look what I picked up yesterday!


Mr. Widget
04-27-2003, 11:10 AM
Where does the horn go?

scott fitlin
04-27-2003, 11:40 AM

04-27-2003, 01:28 PM
To try to compare the altec design to the large wilsons is close to the Insane catagory. Ive owned #19 and have had the chance to travel around and find a dealer who had the wilsons set up correct;y. With the proper elecrtonic on those newer wilson large those dam things completely dissapear in the room with dynamic impact that will knock you out.I heard the Wamm#4 with Large rowland monos I will never forget the sound. For 200,000 Id hope not

scott fitlin
04-27-2003, 02:00 PM
A few years back stereophile did a reveiw of some OLDER ALTEC speakers and published this statetment that the Altec came very close to the Wilsons in terms of Snap, immediacy, imaging and dynamics!

For 200 grand the Wilsons should be better then anything and NOTHING should come close, let alone VERY close!

That said, we had it right years ago. Yes it can always be improved, but if you know what to do with certain things you can get unbelievable audio for far less then the price of a HOUSE!

Mr. Widget
04-27-2003, 02:22 PM
I do not disdain "Stereophile" as many on this forum seem to. They make me laugh when they call an 85K amplifier a bargain. I usually consider what they say, I just don't consider it gospel.

I would gladly drop $500 on a pair of used TAD super tweeters if I could find them that cheaply, while most of my non audio friends think that $500 for a pair of complete speakers is plenty and some friends who think the entire system should be $500. It is a matter of priorities.

As far as Wilson Audio is concerned, they do make some very. very good speakers. I have not heard the later versions of the WAMM but I bet it is great. The X-1 Grand Slamm is one of the very best speakers I have ever heard. I have heard quite a few speakers over $15K a pair and all of them do some things right and none are perfect. Just like the Altecs and JBL that we love.

I enjoy building my own speakers, however if someone were to offer to trade a pair of Grand Slamms I would trade in a second, and no I wouldn't do it to sell them.

04-27-2003, 03:16 PM

Your Duetta sigs are identical to mine. They have very low sensitivity and will sound better biamped with high powered SS amps. The Duettas sigs are considered the best balanced of the Apogees. Have good resolution and remarkably deep bass for planar bipolar but need about three feet from back wall. But you will eventually miss your dynamic efficient speakers/horns and go back to either altec or JBL (and away from those K speakers).

Also small monitors can kick butt if they have the right efficient drivers and associated subwoofer. Try a Dynaudio D76 dome MR with ribbon tweeters or 5" JBL with supertweets you will find these monitors super accurate, efficient and tiny.

04-27-2003, 04:51 PM
Several points:

1) Most store stereo auditions are rigged!!

They will play a mastertape or super recording so their systems sound great but realize that this super recording will make even BigBusa's K Cornwalls sound excellent!!

Remember that the SOURCE QUALITY wether CD, LP etc determines 80% of the maximal potential sound quality. The speakers determine the next 15% and associated electronics ONLY 5%

Think about that when you buy Stereophile recommended $85K amps. HINT put your money into good sources and good speakers if you want quality sound!!

2) Quality is not necessarily related to price especially in used gear!!..... I have bought A7-5s for $100, EV 30W subwoofers for $50, 210 cabinets for 20-30 dollars.

3)Follow the profit and money trail!!
Obviously neither stereophile nor audio dealers make any money out of you buying the above equipment. Therefore equipment sucks!!


The following components will equal or surpass the WAMMs once properly tuned. NO you won't have Mr Wilson over the weekend to tune it for you!!

Altec 210 cabinet modified (shortened to 5 1/2 feet etc)with 416/515 drivers
300-500 cycle multicell with 290 driver with phenolic diaphragm or 288 with Al diaphragm
Horn tweeter
Infinite baffle subs 20 to 60 cycle

This 110 dB/w combination can be multiamp with DIY SET and PP DHT except the subwoofers which need SS hi power. A5 or A7s come close to above in quality

Price depends on how handy you are...but much self satisfaction
vs ready turnkey WAMMs

04-27-2003, 05:40 PM
Right on! This is the system I am using. I have not got around to building the subs yet. Thinking about the Edgar sub also. I have used many speaker systems over the years including many high end ribbon and panel systems and none are overall as good as this.I never heard the Wamms but the Grand Slamms didn't impress me that much for the asking price. For the amount I have invested in the Altecs this is almost a steal.


04-27-2003, 06:21 PM
Steve you have a huge room 50' x 90' x 9' and can appreciate this kind of system. Yes they need room to breathe. For others again don't put an elephant in an apartment...the right speaker for the right room.

By the way for those who love the Grand Slams so much try the KLONE audio web site for a DIY clone version. You can use the cost difference to build yourself a nice soundroom then you can step up to the Altec 210s. For those that do the Altec vs WAMM please use the difference to buy yourselves a house.

Quote of the month.

"Remember that when it comes to the ultimate sound you must throw the price out the window"

Sounds like it came from a Stereophile reader ....... talk about LOW WAF !!!

05-05-2003, 05:28 PM
You klipsh speakers are not the only units that have more lowend then the a-7. If you need to be reminded what SLP is i suggest the altec 1236 system. A7-x cabnet with ceramic lowend magnet drivers and 808 drivers. Listen to these at say 75 feet and then repost.