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View Full Version : New Poll At My Altec User's Board, And I'd Like YOUR Opinions!



Todd W. White
08-02-2003, 12:18 PM
Hello Fellow Altec and Lansing-related Speaker Fans!

I am conducting a poll on my Altec User's Board that asks the following:

------------------

First - if they could be manufactured again, and at a reasonable price, which one(s) would you like to see made available, and would consider purchasing? No matter WHAT the brand name USED to be, please list -

A. The individual loudspeakers components that you would like to see re-introduced and would consider purchasing.

B. The loudspeaker systems that you would like to see re-introduced and would consider purchasing.

Second - if they could be manufactured and made available, again at a reasonable price, please list -

A. The individual loudspeakers components that you would like to see introduced and would consider purchasing.

B. The loudspeaker systems that you would like to see introduced and would consider purchasing.

Lastly - would it make a difference to you if these products were made in the USA or some other country, like, perhaps, China?

Now - if it's a speaker or system that you feel would be marketable, even thoug you, personally, might not buy them, go ahead and list them, too - I'd like to know what everyone thinks about these issues.

I look forward to your replies.

--------------------

Guys, I'd like to have YOUR opinions, too, either here or at the message board, so let 'er rip!

Here's the direct link to the poll:

Altec User's Board Poll (http://www.hostboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=3729&t=501)

PSS AUDIO
08-02-2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by Todd W. White
Lastly - would it make a difference to you if these products were made in the USA or some other country, like, perhaps, China?


Made in China, why not made in somewhere, you know the land over there behind the hill...

Made in my kitchen will sound better!

Let's be serious. Made in USA, in EEC (not all countries), yes I do agree.

Tom Loizeaux
08-02-2003, 09:20 PM
I think Altec should re-issue what they did best...studio playback. I think they should re-introduce the 604, but it should be the best 604 ever, maybe teamed up with another 15" woofer.
I think Altec has lost too much ground in theatre sound, sound reinforcement, and even sonsumer stereo for them to re-emerge in those markets. If they make a great 604 in studio monitor cabinet and maybe also sell an active crossover made specifically for that cabinet, to deliver 30 to 20K Hz flat, they may be able to re-establish themselves in the pro audio market.
Should they consider making it "off shore"? If they can surpass TAD's quality, then yes!

P.S. They must, of course, get completely out of putting "Altec" on computer speakers!

Tom

Mr. Widget
08-03-2003, 01:12 AM
"I think Altec should re-issue what they did best...studio playback. I think they should re-introduce the 604, but it should be the best 604 ever, maybe teamed up with another 15" woofer."

Tom, that was called the Urei 811. They go for much less than vintage Altec 604s because they don't have the vintage mystique. There are probably those that swear that the Urei product was somehow inferior to the Altec, but most informed listeners would agree that the Urei was a definite step forward and still there is little demand for them. I agree with your premise, but I doubt there is a market for it big enough to support the tooling effort and set up costs.

Personally I think a new Altec Model 19 might do well in very small numbers for the high efficiency set.

PSS AUDIO
08-03-2003, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by Todd W. White
No matter WHAT the brand name USED to be

Beside the fact you can consider building, whatever you will sell, in China, you also consider not marketing the items with the ALTEC LANSING name printed on it, just follow my advice:

FORGET IT.

I am in the audio industry since more than 25 years now and building a name is very difficult.

Who leads the market?

Old brands do! Can you write down more than 5 brands launched in the past 15 years?

NO.

From what I know the brand ALTEC LANSING is not for sale!

If it is just let me know as I'm ready to buy it back and launch back the ALTEC LANSING legend as there is still something left about it (I know several fellow guys involved in the luxury market that will help me to get it out of the world of darkness).

Robh3606
08-03-2003, 09:31 AM
Hello Mister Widget

"Tom, that was called the Urei 811. They go for much less than vintage Altec 604s because they don't have the vintage mystique."

I have a JBL based 811C "clone" and it is one nice sounding system and you can get them cheap if you keep your eyes open.


I would like to see the last version of the ALtec Coax available. But I have to agree it may not be viable. You are seeing more and more on Ebay don't know if it is because they are comming to the end of life or are just being replaced with newer better smaller monitors.

Now this whole made in China thing. There is nothing at all wrong with stuff made in China. My company just set-up a factory there and I got to help with the set-up and was over there about 18 months ago. Motorola, HP, Palm they are all there in a big way. The only problem is raw materials, training and infrastructure such as machine shops. The bottom line is if the company going over does the factory set-up and training right you will get good product. This whole "Made in Japan" attitude is not waranted. The workmanship can be excellent.

PSS AUDIO
08-03-2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Robh3606
Now this whole made in China thing. There is nothing at all wrong with stuff made in China. My company just set-up a factory there and I got to help with the set-up and was over there about 18 months ago. Motorola, HP, Palm they are all there in a big way. The only problem is raw materials, training and infrastructure such as machine shops. The bottom line is if the company going over does the factory set-up and training right you will get good product. This whole "Made in Japan" attitude is not waranted. The workmanship can be excellent.

Lets meet again in 2-3 years time and I doubt you will have the same words!

As a manufacturer, I have no needs manufacturing my amplifiers in China as one the box is made and the transformers winded we need less than an hour to place all the components on the PCB, have it soldered, place the heat sink with the output power devices, check the board, build the amplifier, test it and place it in his box.

www.poshing.com.cn

Read their price list too...

I have a lot of other examples, just think about it guys (are you aware that now that Mackie was sold to some invertors they are now closing on of the factory just to get build their items in China too?).

I met several professional end users in fairs, all of them are asking me: Yuri, are your amplifiers built in China? If there are just shake hands and good-bye, if not let’s have a talk together.

It means that they do not want any amplifiers made in far east countries!

White collars lying in their office knowing nothing more than the word immediate profit means are driving all those companies to bankrupt.

In the close future they will of course earn more money, but will collapse in the next decade.

There is a huge crisis in the audio industry, several companies are passing from hands to other hands, and some will soon close …

The survivors will rule, I hope so, the market.

I doubt any manufacturer manufacturing in countries such as China will ever.

This is my personal opinion.

Robh3606
08-03-2003, 11:46 AM
Hello Yuri

"Lets meet again in 2-3 years time and I doubt you will have the same words!"

With all due respect unless you have been there to China and have actually seen the factories going up and had a chance to look at the finished goods right off the line your really don't know. You are working on other peoples opinions and have not had the first hand experience to form your own. I am not suggesting that you do or that your opion is not valid. Just that you should be more opened minded. Their Audio industry may not be mature but they will have a big advantage with the technology being given to them with free training. I work in the Time and Frequency business and do a lot of wireless work. The multinationals are going to China for labor cost issues. They are also looking at a huge potential market where they get incentives from the government for manufacturing there. First one in the door gets a great advantage in future market share. Every single Disco/Night Club that I was in used JBL Pro speakers. Bad business move?? I think not.

'As a manufacturer, I have no needs manufacturing my amplifiers in China'

Granted you may not. If you can stay competitive and support the volume at home no reason to go elsewhere. If you are in a low volume niche you probably have nothing to worry about. They won't bother with a small market share venture. No $$$$$

"I met several professional end users in fairs, all of them are asking me: Yuri, are your amplifiers built in China? If there are just shake hands and good-bye, if not let’s have a talk together."

Substitute Japan:bash: for China and go back 30 years. Same mentallity about Japan in the 70's. Look where that got them. Almost cost the US their auto industry. How does Japan stand in the Electronics industry today? Do not underestimate their potential.

Just my opinion too.

Rob:)

PSS AUDIO
08-03-2003, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by Robh3606
Substitute Japan:bash: for China and go back 30 years. Same mentallity about Japan in the 70's. Look where that got them. Almost cost the US their auto industry. How does Japan stand in the Electronics industry today? Do not underestimate their potential.

Hello Rob,

The main difference is that Japan tried and achieved becoming a regular leader in economy, and in the 70’s they were just trying their best by copying!

With China the main difference (you as other think that you will have their market, but you do not know oriental mentality) is that you are giving them for free your knowledge to get their “low cost” labour!

By the way there are a lot of other countries with low labour in the world (Sri Lanka).

What people like you (it is not pejorative) do not know yet is that you will NEVER get their market.

It is not because you see one or two clubs with JBL Pro speakers that all of them will get them in the future!

This is just to let you think that you will have it, but never Europeans or Americans will have the market as it will be held, witch is normal (people are so cupid that they are ready to swallow everything) by themselves!

It means that they had for free our technology, we trained them too, and they even made a little money by selling us back what they built cheaper than others.

Chinese are not idiot and they take what we are giving them for free and will keep all the benefit.

This what I am against!

I am not against any type of economy in China.

Mr. Widget
08-03-2003, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by Giskard


"White collars lying in their office knowing nothing more than the word immediate profit means are driving all those companies to bankrupt."

"In the close future they will of course earn more money, but will collapse in the next decade."

Quite true, they are more than simply willing to mortgage all our children's futures, they are actually doing it. And doing it with reckless abandon.

"I doubt any manufacturer manufacturing in countries such as China will ever."

I disagree. I believe as America and Europe continue to sell off their long term futures for the fruits of today China will rise to dominate the globe. In fact, I have no doubt about it given current events.


Unfortunately I must fully agree with what you are saying Giskard.

I don't blame the Chinese at all. They are a relatively poor nation with millions of people willing to work hard to improve their situation. Of course there are laundry lists of problems in China and many are real threats to individual's human rights as well as the global environment. I hope and expect the improved living conditions brought about their economic gains will create an internal pressure to improve both these areas.

The real issue as I see it is the trashing of good companies to make a quarterly profit that has been far too prevalent in American business for quite a while now. Exporting jobs is a problem, but it is an extremely complex one that I don't think anyone fully understands the global macro economic impact. Our current tack is leading to a nation that creates intellectual property and provides services with little or no physical production. (Yes we still have a manufacturing base, but it shrinks each year.) We can't assume that this direction can be held indefinitely. Despite our arrogance to the contrary we don't hold all the world's best minds within our borders. It is not like a vast pool of oil sitting under Texas... oh yeah we've depleted that one. Ok I'm really about to go off the deep end.

Robh3606
08-03-2003, 01:26 PM
Hello Yuri



"It means that they had for free our technology, we trained them too, and they even made a little money by selling us back what they built cheaper than others.

Chinese are not idiot and they take what we are giving them for free and will keep all the benefit.

This what I am against!"

Oh yes we are with both hands!! I don't like it either. I have to agree with down the road it could get real rough.


"What people like you (it is not pejorative) do not know yet is that you will NEVER get their market.'

We may tempoarilly which is all the bean counters are concerned about not 10yrs from now when they have the technology and no incentive to buy from us. So again I agree you can never predict what's going to happen. If Japan is the model we are screwed.


Hello Mr Widget

"(Yes we still have a manufacturing base, but it shrinks each year.) We can't assume that this direction can be held indefinitely."

You could not have said it better. My friend is a machinist. We were talking last year and I asked him what the future was in his profession if a kid was interested. He said "well let's see, no trade schools to speak of and no one coming up as apprentices" because there was no one doing them anymore. As far as he could tell they were all going for the money and didn't want to get there hands dirty. He is in his 40's. Scarry!! Don't know about what you guys do but a good machinist can be worth his weight in Gold for us.

Try to find a job for a young kid?? I was working when I was 12 with a paper route. My son can't even get a paper route have adults doing it now. I used to cut lawns ,rake and shovel snow. Can't cut lawns now either have lawn services doing that. So how can a kid learn a work ethic with no jobs, no apprenticeships??? Yeah as a parent I can help but nothing is like a real job.

Rob:(

Todd W. White
08-03-2003, 01:39 PM
Well, here goes my long rant about this subject - just remember: you guys started this, not me - I just asked a question! ;)

:( Sadly, what Giskard and Mr. Widget say are true - the U.S. is losing it's manufacturing base RAPIDLY!

The thing that floors me is that the government is allowing it -- NAFTA & GATT are killing us!

Some say, "Well, why not go over there? After all, it will open up whole new markets for our goods!"

The thing that crowd seems to miss is this: WHAT THINGS DO WE MAKE IN THE U.S.A. THAT THE POOR PEOPLE IN CHINA, SRI LANKA, MEXICO, ETC., CAN AFFORD????"

The answer is: NOTHING!!!!

None of the common laborers in the underdeveloped countries can AFFORD to buy our products, and, when we move our factories overseas (thanks to the generosity of the Overseas Development Fund of the U.S. government, which PAYS companies to shut down their factories here and move offshore), then WE have NO way to manufacture them HERE, which hurts everyone HERE!

Witness the recent revelation that BOEING is going have 30% of it's new airplane made in JAPAN!

What would happen if the Korean Communists take over Japan, how will we get parts for our planes?

The day is coming, I fear, when America will be caught with it's pants down, and now way to defend itself - WE'RE LOSING THE WAR THAT IS BEING FOUGHT FOR OUR BORDERS, OR LANGUAGE, AND OUR VERY CULTURE ITSELF!!!!

Now, what does that have to do with speakers?

EVERYTHING!

You see, when WE cannot make loudspeakers (or anything else, for that matter) in THIS country, WE are the ones who lose!

Parts, service, long-term product support - all of these things have to be handled HERE, and if the products are made SOMEWHERE ELSE, how can it help US, long-term?

The answer is, IT CAN'T!

If anyone is going to make REAL, HIGH-QUALITY loudspeaker products, the BEST place to do it is HERE!

Not in Communist China!

Not in Mexico!

Not in Sri Lanka!

Not in Malaysia!

And, pardon me, but not even in Japan!

Or anywhere else, for that matter!

This is not some bit of racist bigotry, far from it! This comes from a desire to see our country survive! Without the United States, the whole world economic system would COLLAPSE, and OUR economic system czan NOT survive without a strong manufacturing base!

Someone says, "Well, we're turning into a SERVICE oriented economy now, so we don't need to have all of the manufacturing doen here, like we used to."

BUNK!

Let me ask you who believe that the U.S. economy can survive without the strong manufacturing base that we once had two questions:

1. HOW can we afford to pay for what we need to buy if no one can afford our "services"?

The bulk of the world is poor, and will remain poor! So, pray tell me,

2. HOW are people who make ONE DOLLAR A DAY going to be able to afford to pay US for our services?

The answer is THEY CAN'T!

We need to be building EVERYTHING we need HERE, and elect politicians who will keep their sworn duty to preserve, defend, and protect the Constitution of the United States, and provide for the common defense of the people of the United States by protecting our markets from being flooded with cheap products built by, albeit hard working, people from countries where there IS NO -

> OSHA
> EPA
> FDA
> etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum

Our country is losing ground daily in the manufacturing arena, and the speaker industry is another casualty of the ongoing attack on America!

Don't believe me?

When was the last time you could buy an AMERICAN MADE television set? I have two Zenith's, made in Springfield, Missouri: Zenith was the last company to stop making the here in the USA.

Who would have thought that the country that INVENTED TELEVISION would cease one day to make them?

How about home stereo?

Name the last manufacturer of REAL home hi-fi equipment that is made HERE and is available to the general public in outlet stores!

How about radio's? Where are the companies like -

> Zenith?
> Philco?
> Hallicrafters?
> Crosley?
> RCA?
> H. H. Scott?
> Majestic?
> Silvertone?
> National?
> Atwater Kent?
> E. F. Johnson?
> Motorola?
> Etc.....


If they still exist, they're not made HERE!

For crying out loud, you can't even buy a wristwatch that is made in America anymore! Elgin, Illinois, which was home to the Elgin watch company, is a shadow of it's former self, now that there are no watches being made here!

How about alarm clocks?

Shoes? - My Converse All-Stars, which I have worn all my life, are now being made in INDONESIA!!!! Why? Because the U.S. government PAID Converse to CLOSE their AMERICAN factory and move it there!

How about Hershey bars?

Are you aware that HERSHEY doesn't make their candy anymore? It's all done by outside vendors - THEY USE OEM COMPANIES TO MAKE THEIR CANDY!!!!!

If you knew how much of the the parts for the speakers and speaker systems that say "Made In The U.S.A." come from overseas, it would make you SICK!

No, beloved, we need and MUST build SOMETHING here in the U.S.A., even if we are the ONLY ones who do it!

PSS AUDIO
08-03-2003, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by Todd W. White
No, beloved, we need and MUST build SOMETHING here in the U.S.A., even if we are the ONLY ones who do it!

Todd,

Why do I claim that PSS is the world's N°1 French amplifier?

By the way, what about the brand ALTEC LANSING as, if you cannot it stick it on the goods, in my opinion, it us useless starting building wherever you want whatever you plan to sell!

Unless it is for sale again…

PSS AUDIO
08-03-2003, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by PSS AUDIO
By the way, what about the brand ALTEC LANSING as, if you cannot it stick it on the goods, in my opinion, it us useless starting building wherever you want whatever you plan to sell!

By the way, what about the brand ALTEC LANSING as, if you cannot stick it on the goods, in my opinion, it is useless starting building wherever you want whatever you plan to sell!

Todd W. White
08-03-2003, 02:50 PM
At this point, Sparkomatic (oops - I mean "Altec Lansing Technologies")owns the ALtec Lansing brand name.

HOWEVER - I have known of severe infighting inside the company for some time, and heard recently that a large number of their Milford employees were fired. I am trying to verify this as I write.

As far as having the AL brand name on the products -

1. I agree that it would help sales tremendously, but

2. Sparkomatic (aka "Altec Lansing Technologies") has done a LOT to damage the reputation of the marque, and, in so doing, is alienating a lot of the loyalists. Not only that, but their "pro" line is not doing as well as they hoped, I'm told.

3. I think the REAL issue is that of QUALITY: Quality of design, quality of manufacture, quality of service, and, of course, quaility as it pertains to performance. If a customer KNOWS that he is buying, for example a REAL 416, made by former Altec employees on the REAL tooling that was used to make the old ones, with the same (or better) QUALITY as Altec did, I think they will buy them, anyway!

4. IF the day should come when Sparkomatic (oops - I meant "Altec Lansing Technologies" again) lets go of the name, for whatever reason, then it WOULD, I agree, be nice to get the name back and treat it properly.

Mr. Widget
08-03-2003, 03:18 PM
Todd,

I think one of the problems is that a typical American consumer doesn't understand quality. We live in a culture where people know brand names but can't decipher real quality. The advertising industry promotes image and name recognition and there is no one that teaches us how to really look for quality. If you want a good shirt they teach us to buy one with the label proudly displayed on the outside. Very few people take the time to study the stitching and quality of fabric or even know what to look for.

I agree that quality is all that we have to offer because ultimately there is no way we can compete on price. We replace highly paid workers with robots, but so do they. Ultimately if we want to maintain a high standard of living we can only compete with quality. The premium Japanese car companies have successfully done this. First by selling superior quality at a loss and slowly building a brand and now they have turned the 50's -60's "Made in Japan" to mean quite the opposite.

As far as producing quality speakers here in the USA, JBL still exports to Japan. TAD's new home speakers are designed here, with drivers being made in Japan, the cabinets being built by robots and humans in China, and finally assembled wired and adjusted here. Any sold in Japan will then be exported to Japan.

It can be done! We just need to teach the American public to look past name brands and search for quality. Or we can all go to work for Walmart and buy pretty mediocre merchandise that we see advertised on our big screens.

Widget

Mr. Widget
08-03-2003, 03:28 PM
Then there is the issue of should the dinosaurs of audio be brought back.

Personally I wish A-7s, 604s, and Model 19s were all still available. (Have you heard any more about the A-7 reissue?) I wouldn't buy any as I already have too many speakers and tend to lean toward JBL anyway. I also don't know a single person who would buy them. My friends either lean to the exotic audiophile stuff or are content with small contemporary stereos that couldn't compete with any college dorm system of the 70's.

I am sure a few could be sold, but it would need to be a very small operation to survive. If you are leaning in this direction I wish you all the luck and will gladly support the effort.

scott fitlin
08-03-2003, 03:36 PM
No longer listed on their website!

Todd W. White
08-03-2003, 03:40 PM
Yeah, it's still there - you can find it on the ALT page -

http://www.alteclansing.com/legacy/index.asp

I don't think they've sold one pair.

Bill made them enough horns, drivers, and woofers for 6 sets, I think, but they - neither ALT or ALPro - are ordering ANYTHING from him at all!

scott fitlin
08-03-2003, 07:08 PM
It is on alteclansing.com. But I could swear it was also on Altecpro.com! And its definitely not on Altecpro.com.

For $8700/pr how many could they sell without a showroom for people to hear them? No one I know would spend this much money sight unseen or heard!

makes me wonder WHAT their marketing strategy is! Or IF they even have a marketing strategy!

Todd, what exactly is Altec lansings idea behind this whole re issue thing? is it for real?

Todd W. White
08-03-2003, 07:13 PM
Personally, I believe they are doing it in order to satisfy the United States Patent & Trademark office (USPTO).

In order to legitimize their claim to the old (REAL) Altec Lansing trademarks they bougth from Telex, they have to USE them.

So, by having a "Voice of the Theatre" system for sale, they are USING the TM, even if they don't sell any...

It's all a show, as far as I am concerned...

Mr. Widget
08-03-2003, 07:18 PM
"So, by having a "Voice of the Theatre" system for sale, they are USING the TM, even if they don't sell any...

It's all a show, as far as I am concerned..."

Wouldn't it be cheaper to stick a VOT sticker on one of their crappy little speakers? I am sure that would protect their TM.

Robh3606
08-03-2003, 07:30 PM
"For $8700/pr how many could they sell without a showroom for people to hear them? No one I know would spend this much money sight unseen or heard!"

Why on earth would you price them so high. All they have to do is see what the vintage market is doing. Seem's way crazy when you can get the original for so much less. Does the remanufactured driver costs warant those prices. Say $1500 a driver and driver/horn combo so 3K which may not be that outlandish with the limited production run. $5700 for the plywood???

Rob:)

Tom Loizeaux
08-03-2003, 07:49 PM
Back to "the speakers Altec should make":
I still feel the 604 should be seriously considered. I also agree that the Altec Big Red and Altec/Urei monitors helped keep Altec's name in the pro audio world for a number of years after the rest of Altec fell by the wayside. The 604, by itself, would not put Altec back in the studio monitor world - but building a top quality studio monitor might.

As I thought about this I came to a few realizations. First, 2-way full range monitor designs are very difficult to pull off. It seems to me that a 3-way design that would use a 15" woofer, similar to the JBL 2235H, would be a good foundation. The Altec co-ax design is good, but maybe a 12" version would provide a better mid and upper end in a extended range 3-way system. If the woofer could cover 30 to 300 hz (probably bi-amped), then the 12" could cover between 300 and 3K, making the compression driver on the small co-ax horn only have to cover 3K to 20K. If the woofer could be put in it's own cabinet and the 12" co-ax and passive crossover in another, then these could be arranged to fit into the most common studio cutouts or soffit mounting arrangements. These cabinets could also be stacked, with the 12s on top, when a taller tower floor-standing confiruration is desired.
As long as these products are well designed and constructed, and deliver pro performance, Altec has a chance to get back into the pro audio world.
Just a few thoughts on this subject.

Tom

Robh3606
08-03-2003, 08:08 PM
Hello Tom

Is the large format monitor dead?? I just think its rather odd JBL doesn't offer one. Don posted Drew Daniels is discouraging people from building his system on the site and pointing them towards the new 12" 3 way monitor which by the way has a matching sub. The word is it simply outperforms the older designs. I have seen a rash of monitors comming right out of studios. So would they have a market for a 15" based monitor or are we it???

Rob :)

boputnam
08-03-2003, 08:48 PM
"Is the large format monitor dead?? I just think its rather odd JBL doesn't offer one. " No, but it depends upon your ZipCODE. The large format monitors, at least the 4344 along with some others, is available in Japan.

Seems JBL thinks we have gotten beyond our size issue... :biting:

Robh3606
08-03-2003, 09:51 PM
Hey Bo

"The large format monitors, at least the 4344 along with some others, is available in Japan. "

Yes but for consumption of the masses not as a Pro Monitor. So who would be buying them the Studios or people like us who are smitten with the stuff?? What do they use in Japan by the way?? Are they using them there to master new material?? Now theres a thought!


"Seems JBL thinks we have gotten beyond our size issue... "

What size issue:montyp:

Rob :)

Don McRitchie
08-03-2003, 10:49 PM
Is the large format monitor dead??

Yes. The large format monitor as a viable market segment for JBL is pretty much dead. Even in the heyday of the 43xx, studio installations made up less than half of the sales of these systems. More 4343's went into Japanese homes than ever went into studios.

The large format monitors gave JBL their first major inroad into the pro market. JBL leveraged this by making the monitor line their initial installed sound product line as well. 4350's found their way into discos, theatres and many other pro sound applications. When JBL developed dedicated speakers for these markets, it obviously ate into the demand for monitors. Coincident with this was the shift to near field monitors as the primary studio tool.

Currently, main monitors are only used in large commercial studios. The number of such studios worldwide is around 2000. This is a very small number for a mass produced product. On top of this, the current trend is towards custom designed monitors. Enclosures are custom built and systems are designed around the architectural requirements of individual studios.

That being said, JBL has not totally abandonned the market. Mark Terry, the President of Harmam Pro and JBL Pro told us that his goal is to have a flagship JBL product that represents the state of the art in every market in addtion to their more mass market offerings. In the studio field, Peter Chaiken, the Director of Broadcast and Studio for JBLpro has worked with George Augspurger in testing new JBL drivers in custom studio installations. If anything comes of this, it will likely be studio specific drivers as opposed to complete speaker systems.

Mr. Widget
08-03-2003, 10:58 PM
"I have seen a rash of monitors coming right out of studios. So would they have a market for a 15" based monitor or are we it???"

Well Rob, I think you nailed it. We are it.

I think it is pretty obvious that JBL would still be selling large format studio monitors if the studios wanted them. As Bo pointed out they still make some for the export market. If there was any real demand, they would still be selling them to studios here as well.

I was reading an article in Mix magazine a while back and they were interviewing some studio designers. In the section where they discussed the monitors they referred to "those large soffit mounted speakers that everyone hates". Apparently they prefer the small near field monitors produced by everyone including JBL.

TAD, Meyer Sound, and Westlake are all still making large format horn based monitors, but in current studio shots I see a lot more dome based systems from Dynaudio and others. The big horns with their inherent colorations don't seem to be in big demand. That is part of the reason we have so many to choose from on eBay.

scott fitlin
08-03-2003, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by Todd W. White
Personally, I believe they are doing it in order to satisfy the United States Patent & Trademark office (USPTO).

In order to legitimize their claim to the old (REAL) Altec Lansing trademarks they bougth from Telex, they have to USE them.

So, by having a "Voice of the Theatre" system for sale, they are USING the TM, even if they don't sell any...

It's all a show, as far as I am concerned... IT IS a charade! I called them again, trying to find out availability and such! Whoever Im talking to at Altec Lansing has NO IDEA of this speaker!

And Ill call again, too.

But, all these various Altec incarnations leave me feeling somewhat skeptical! Add to which the other things Ive already mentioned to you, Todd, and I wish you guys luck. And IF your goods are proper I WILL be looking into purchasing.

You guys have your work cut out for you!

PSS AUDIO
08-04-2003, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by Don McRitchie
Currently, main monitors are only used in large commercial studios.

Don,

Where can one find all those names an address?

4345
08-04-2003, 04:19 PM
I think JBL would be the most qualified to build a vintage type speaker. They are still made in the USA and have the best brand name in the world.

My suggestion would be an Alnico "377" driver. Same magnetic structure as a 375 but with an updated diaphram.

Also an updated 15" woofer with an Alnico magnet. Without the foam surround. I HATE FOAM.

Perhaps they could combine the two components in a nice enclosure.

Given what you see 150-4's and 375's go for on E-Bay, they should have no problem selling TONS of them.

Unfortunately, it seems as if JBL either does not like money or has no idea what is going on in the world of audio. I would imagine they could sell more of the speakers described above in a week than they will sell of the Revel speakers in a year.

Don McRitchie
08-04-2003, 04:29 PM
Where can one find all those names an address?

I have no idea. Mark Gander, Vice President of Marketing for JBLpro made the comment that there were less than 2000 major studios worldwide. They obviously need to know the size of their market for product planning, but I did not dig further to find out the origin of that statistic.

MikeM
08-04-2003, 04:41 PM
I think there will be a very limited market for the duplex and large 2 way monitors. we are talking pry 10,000 a pair most people are not prepared to spend this . Ive owned The duplex and large 2way systems. they are great in their time and prefer the altec compession drivers over regular jbl. The altec fanatics know ware to get them if they need them!

Mr. Widget
08-04-2003, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Giskard
"Unfortunately, it seems as if JBL either does not like money"

Sure they do, they simply choose not to sell their high end product to a country full of Walmart shoppers.

"or has no idea what is going on in the world of audio."

JBL definitely knows what is going on in the WORLD of audio. Again... that WORLD doesn't include a nation full of Walmart shoppers. Besides, the United States taxpayers are too busy wasting billions of dollars blowing up and then rebuilding Iraq. They don't have leftover cash to waste on loudspeakers, school programs for their children, or development of alternative energy sources.

I am sorry Giskard, but I have to violently agree with you.

The way I see it, if we spent the 3 to 5 billion a month we are spending in Iraq on finding alternatives to oil, we wouldn't need to be in the Middle East looking for oil, supporting bad governments like the Saudis, who scare, kill and piss off a bunch of people who then kill, scare and piss us off, Sadam wouldn't have been able to get so powerful because he would have been the leader of a farming nation instead of an oil machine... oops I went too far again!

Widget

Mr. Widget
08-04-2003, 07:12 PM
Actually it does relate back to Altec. As Altec became more and more involved with the US Military Industrial Complex they lost a bit of their focus in other areas. When the Cold War ended so did their military contracts. That was the end for Altec. Had they stayed a smaller company designing and building the world's finest theater sound systems, we would probably be listening to movie soundtracks mastered on Altecs and played back through them as well!


Oh, did I mention I used to live in Berkeley? I'll get off my soap box now.

scott fitlin
08-04-2003, 07:26 PM
Had they done this or that....

Had they not been bought up by Gultan, then by Telex...

But all this has happened, and the once great Altec company is no more. And its a name that has been trashed as well, by manufacture of computer speakers and other walmart type items!

My question is can Altec really be brought back to life, and can they manufacture components that are the best product for the job?

Secondly, do the parties involved have means neccesary for competitive marketing strategies that are so important to succes of great products!

Lets look at JBL for a minute. They may not be the JBL of the past, but they sure got great marketing. As far as marketing goes, JBL, ( Harman ) does KNOW what they are doing!

I remember the early 90,s. And unlike the 70,s and 80,s, when Altec was a revered brand, installers and contractors no longer held Altec in such high esteem! This is definitely an area which will require hard work! The products that come to market will have to be of the HIGHEST quality! Can Iconic, or GPA manufacture this class of product, even if they dont sell in the tens of thousands?

And, of course, can they actually manufacture goods that have the sound Altec had?

boputnam
08-04-2003, 07:59 PM
Regrettably, that won't get the attention of us large-format JBL hounds - we don't shop at WalMart. Giskard is right - with everyone shopping for bargins regardless of country of origin, margins must be kept thin to keep prices from reaching astronomical levels, and with that, there is simply not enough volume to justify an American-based business plan. Large format fanatics are either unfortunately - or blessedly ;) - few in number.

Cabinet size simply is an issue. Even though everyone that hears the 4345's has to wear lobster bibs at the house, they go home to their cute little 5.1 systems and pathetic sound - but at least it doesn't interfere with their decor. We are using the 4345's as a focal point - to do otherwise is missed opportunity. But most maintain their decor as if Sunset Magazine is doing a photo-shoot in their 'hood. How moronic.

Don sums it up: Even if we're lucky enough to have Harman/JBL re-invigorate the true - true - Pro line, it will be components, and not systems. Big stuff just won't sell.

It is beholden on everyone with large format monitors to record what they can about the species - but that's only if we think someone later will care...

Signed,

Darwin :smthsail:

scott fitlin
08-04-2003, 09:19 PM
I believe there is a small "niche" market that will buy purpose built items. But, its not a giant market like it once was.

So you have to keep the company of moderate size and do small production runs.

If the products sound of the utmost quality, they will find their respective homes. Theres always a nighclub, auditorium, theatre, amusement park, or whatever that wants the BEST!

And then there are hi fi gurus that gotta have it no matter what. Again, a small market, but one that does exist!

For me, the real question is, can they make goods that make me say I HAVE to HAVE this? Or, will it just be wannabe copycat clones?

Big Stuff can sell in smaller numbers. As long as Big stuff is the Best Stuff.

4345
08-05-2003, 04:08 AM
JBL definitely knows what is going on in the WORLD of audio. Again... that WORLD doesn't include a nation full of Walmart shoppers. Besides, the United States taxpayers are too busy wasting billions of dollars blowing up and then rebuilding Iraq. They don't have leftover cash to waste on loudspeakers, school programs for their children, or development of alternative energy sources.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Giskard,

Sorry to get your feathers ruffled. However, I disagree with you. It is easy to blame it on the consumer. Perhaps the Marketing folks at JBL who designed the K2-S9800 blame the consumer as well. The truth is, that they just are not giving the American consumer something they want to spend big bucks on.

Not all Americans shop exclusively at Walmart. If that were the case, we would not see so many Lexus' or Mercedes' on the road. You can't buy them at Walmart!

JBL would be smart to design a speaker based on its classic designs. Perhaps a 15" and 2" driver in a traditional style cabinet as I described ealier. Price should be around 10K retail.

Other companies are doing this quite effectively. Mcintosh, Harley Davidson, Fender, Gibson, Neumann, AKG, BMW, to name a few, are building vintage style equipment and selling it well. NO! I don't want to buy a pair of Revel Speaker to go with my Mcintosh tube amps.

Not only does this marketing strategy result in strong sales today, but will help maintain the brand name for the future. Perhaps JBL does not see the need for maintaining its reputation for quality in the consumer market. Given the growth in home theater and other forms of home entertainment, I think this is a mistake.

Mr. Widget is right about Altec. They forgot about certain segments of the market when other segments were doing well. Later, this blew up in their face. JBL might be able to learn a lesson from Altec's mistakes.

John Nebel
08-05-2003, 10:42 AM
Google searches for studio monsters often show recording studios bragging about their equipment or else Japanese audio stores.

Does anyone have an estimate of how many of the large systems remain in the US?

I'd bet that most of the systems which were made have survived although they may have left the country. People do seem to treat these systems with a good deal of respect.

The market does appear to be in equilibrium - there are about the right number of systems available, however, current prices are a bargain compared with replacement cost so there is probably not a lot of room for new manufacture.

John Nebel

Mr. Widget
08-05-2003, 11:37 AM
" The market does appear to be in equilibrium - there are about the right number of systems available, however, current prices are a bargain compared with replacement cost so there is probably not a lot of room for new manufacture."

I am afraid for those that want to venture into this market that John is right.

Every hifi store I go into says that if it wasn't for HT they would be closing their doors. Many of these shops still carry fine music playback systems, that they carry out of their own personal passion. This explains why you can't find a decent piece of audio gear in a Walmart type of store like Best Buys. They have no passion.

Hey 4345,

What have you got against Revel? Their $10K speakers are quite good. I have been disappointed by some of their newer less expensive models, but their high end models are great.

GordonW
08-05-2003, 03:52 PM
Dunno, I work at a hi-fi store, and I can tell you, if it wasn't for 2-channel audio, we'd likely not be here. Home theatre buyers are too fickle in the beginning, and unwilling to change/upgrade things once they're installed. OTOH, 2-channel music listeners, are STILL buying such unheard of things as turntables (we sold more of those in the last 12 months than any year in our history), relatively large speakers (Tannoy, Vandersteen and Boston Acoustics), and lots of related items such as phono preamps, integrated amps (we sell at least 3 NAD integrated amps for each NAD HT receiver!) as well.

I'm seeing signs of saturation in the HT market- seems like everyone that wants one, HAS one. OTOH, it's not that the 2-channel market is dead... it's that a lot of the big (and some not-so-big) companies have forgotten what makes the music listener tick: EXCITEMENT. It's all about making things BETTER. Better built (which is why we restore and sell LOTS of vintage gear!), cooler looking (interesting cosmetics, such as the S&S German-built racks, Rega electronics, VPI Aries/Scout turntables, etc), or just plain more reliable and better sounding. There's a LOT more to audio, than the "generic black boxes" sold at Wal-mart, Tweeter or Best Buy... and a few people figure that out, every day...

There are still the faithful out there... and from what I'm seeing, I wouldn't be surprised by a bunch of the current "HT in a box" owners, to one day decide "why do I NOT have better sound?"... I'm seeing signs of that (a "flight to quality" as would be put in stock-market terms) here and there... I just want to be there, when they do decide that, in mass.

Regards,
Gordon.

Mr. Widget
08-05-2003, 04:36 PM
Gordon, that certainly sounds encouraging. Usually they say that California leads the trends. I hope in this case that it isn't true. Virtually all of the better stereo shops here have a turntable. A few even have one that is hooked up to a preamp with a phono section. It is really a bummer to go into the room that used to showcase the best speakers and systems and now see a huge display of some sort with a booming sub and last weeks action DVD playing.

Don't get me wrong, there are actually still a couple of very good audio stores left in the Bay Area, but they are becoming more and more rare.

Back once again to Altec, do you think your store could or would sell an 8 to 12 cubic foot Altec type system. There is a store near my home that had a heck of a time getting rid of the demo pair of Tannoy Churchills they had. They were trying to demo them in their hall because all of the demo rooms were full of @#$%.

Tom Loizeaux
08-05-2003, 06:45 PM
Not all recording and mixing studios are dumping their large monitors...just JBL large monitors! I've seen a number of studios replace JBL large monitors with large Genelec monitors! It's not the size they are unhappy with, I just think they want to show their clients the "latest and greatest" - to give their clients the comfort of "these tracks must be great, they were done at a state of the art studio!"
Of course WE benift from these "cast off" JBL monitors, but JBL needs to look at these markets and decide if they want to be a player. All their low end consumer gear puts their credibility in question.

Tom

boputnam
08-05-2003, 06:49 PM
Hey, Tom...

VERY succinct.

Much as we love "benefitting" from the cast-off of large format monitors, we would prefer to not lose the wellspring...

I like to think of us here as "leading-edge old school". Sure, it's not the "latest and greatest" now, but when "they" finally come around to really listening, IMO they will be stunned that all the HT gear and digital processing only masks the depth and clarity provided by old school large format JBL.

"Welcome home, boys - now where you gonna get this gear?"

GordonW
08-05-2003, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Widget

Back once again to Altec, do you think your store could or would sell an 8 to 12 cubic foot Altec type system. There is a store near my home that had a heck of a time getting rid of the demo pair of Tannoy Churchills they had. They were trying to demo them in their hall because all of the demo rooms were full of @#$%.

Dunno, really, about something quite THAT big (that's big even by historical comparison! )... but I can say, we've sold some pretty large stuff, such as Vandersteen 5s (not that physically large volume, but do weigh 300 lbs EACH), and Martin-Logan Odysseys (6.5 foot tall electrostatics)... and we regularly get people in, that are willing to spend considerable hundreds of dollars restoring old big-iron speakers of many kinds (anything from McIntosh ML2Cs to Pioneer HPM200s to Altec A7s to Empire Royal Grenadier 9000s... I figure that anything with either a 15 inch woofer or more than 1 10-12" woofer should be "politically incorrect" enough to include :cool: ) because they can't find anything they like in affordable big speakers to replace them... tha is, if they actually can FIND a new anything big, beefy, remotely competant and affordable in the first place...

Funny you should mention Churchills... we actually had a pair of those on display at our store, on loan from the regional rep, for a while. We still get people in, that ask when we might get another pair. If you want just sheer entertainment value in a speaker (as in a speaker that leaves pretty much everybody with a big $#!!-eating grin on their faces :D ), that's definitely the real deal...

Regards,
Gordon.
would be quite happy living with a pair of Churchill Widebands... yesiree!!

scott fitlin
08-05-2003, 10:13 PM
If GPA and Iconic can come to market with product thats so good, there will be people willing to pay for it, as well as make space for the big speakers.

Like I said before, they may not sell in the tens of thousands, but they will find their place!

Quality will dictate sales! If its GREAT, itll sell, if it aint it wont! Period!

4345
08-06-2003, 11:26 AM
Mr. Widget,

Revel speakers are not bad. They are just too similar to all the other cone & dome type speakers out there. It would be nice to be able to buy new JBL HORN type speakers at a somewhat reasonable price.

I don't think Revel is what the JBL fan is looking for. It would be as if Harley only sold mopeds.

Rather than waste a lot of effort on copying what is already on the market, JBL could have created a line that capitalized on their heritage. I think large format horn speakers are what made JBL great in the past and are what seperated them from the competition. I think this is still true today.

mikebake
08-06-2003, 09:56 PM
"It is beholden on everyone with large format monitors to record what they can about the species - but that's only if we think someone later will care..."

Some will.....................my sons are likely candidates.............daddy has shown them the magic.............
MBB

Ian Mackenzie
08-07-2003, 04:39 AM
Guys,

You raise some interesting perspectives.

I have been just looking at the Synthesis JBL Home theatre range which appears to fill the void of large format speaker and contemporary consumer requirements for loud/ high performance in the latest format 5.1 (or 7.1 as JBL market with Harman)

An interesting point is JBL use many of the time honoured technologies, 2 inch compression drivers, titanium tweeter and 18 inch subs, its just been juggled for moden times.

Perhaps us old timers need a wake up call, or think laterally and start thinking about B460 style subs, and a mix a cone/ horn loaded front/rears mains in moderate dimensioned boxes.

Now wouldn't this make a cute diy JBL project, couple of 2118/2108, 2105's, 2307 horn/2426 driver and 035Ti tweeter!

Just an idea to help stimulate the debate along

Ian

Tom Loizeaux
08-24-2003, 09:14 PM
I want to add a "maybe" for Altec to re-issue.
I put on a Michael Hedges "Beyond Boundries" CD today and sat in front of my old pair of Altec Valencias.
Wow! I was stunned with the clearity, smoothness, and dynamics of these old standbys.
And when you realize that these were inexpensive and sold at discount stores in the '60s and that they were very basic and simple speakers, it makes me wonder if maybe these should be re-issued!

I said in this thread earlier that two-way systems had a lot of challanges; well I think the Altec Valencias met those challanges very well. The 416A and 806A were great componants. If re-issues had that kind of quality, I can't see how these would not get a serious following. (They are digital ready!)

Tom

boputnam
08-24-2003, 10:14 PM
Hey, Tom...


two-way systems had a lot of challanges I recall a post here - some time ago - by one of the "esteemed" who attributed to Greg Timbers (I think...) a comment - that Timbers felt a properly designed two-way system was near perfection. I have searched the Forum for that quote, alas, to no avail. People come and go so quickly here... (thanks, Dorothy!). ;)

Listening more-and-more to the venerable 4301B's while in the shop, I get a sense of what Timbers might have been thinking of... "Wow" simply isn't enough...

scott fitlin
08-25-2003, 03:57 PM
Properly designed two way systems can in fact sound extremely good! Very seamless and coherent!