View Full Version : What is the difference between Altec woofer 416-Z and 416-16Z?

10-06-2005, 11:49 AM
What I saw from the picture is 416-Z is green frame and 416-16Z is black frame.
How about the magnetic (alnico?), cone (paper ?), diameter (15"?), what year and lastly sound quality?
Please advice.
Thank you for your kind help in advance.

Don McRitchie
10-06-2005, 12:27 PM
First off, the Z means that the driver was sold from the factory installed in a speaker system. Altec would save a couple of bucks by not installing the cosmetic magnet covers on such systems since the backs of these drivers were not intended to be seen. Originally, all Altec bass drivers were rated as 16 ohms. In the mid 60's, they were changed to 8 ohms and most drivers then had an "8" in their name like the 416-8A. From the name, I would guess that the 416-16Z dates from this time or later (particularly since you say that it has a black frame which definitely came later). Even though nominal drivers were now 8 ohm, Altec would make a limited number of 16 ohm drivers for systems that were intended to have twin woofers (like the Malibu), yet still use the now standard 8 ohm cross-overs.

The green 416Z would be an earlier 16 ohm driver that dates prior to the mid 60's swith to 8 ohms. The complicating factor is whether the coil on a 16 ohm 416Z is the same as the later 416-16Z. The short answer is that I don't know. I know for a fact that when JBL switched from 16 to 8 ohms for the nominal impedence of their drivers, it was strictly the result of a change in measurement standards used to describe impedence. There was no difference in the actual drivers. I don't know enough about Altec drivers to say if the situation was the same there. If it was, then the 416Z and 416-16Z are likely different electrically even though they both carry a 16 ohm rating. BTW, both drivers should have Alnico motors since they predate the late seventies switch to ferrite with the 416-8C.

Is that clear as mud?

10-07-2005, 09:17 AM
416-16Z's are 16 inch frames, at least the ones I have are. Sonically they are not quite the same as my 416-8B's.... close but not quite equal. Anyone have insight on this?


10-07-2005, 05:46 PM
Thanks so much for your advice Don McRitchie and Cyclotronguy. That are much more clear to me.
Cyclotronguy, 416-16Z is 16" frame....416-Z is 15" frame???
This means that I cannot easily replace 416-Z with 416-16Z in the cabinet..I have to do some more wood work, isn't it?
Many thanks for your advice,
Best Regards,

10-10-2005, 09:36 AM
Sorry for my lack of clarity. My examples of 416-8B and 416-16Z are both 16 inch frames. They do not however sound quite the same. Both sets have been rebuilt by GPA.


10-10-2005, 10:32 AM
416/515 drivers from ALtec regardless if 15" or 16" frame will bolt up the same. The 16" frames are like the old Cragar rims on cars back in the early 70's, would accept a multitude of bolt patterns.


10-11-2005, 08:16 AM
Hi Cyclotronguy and Ron,

Thank you so much for the clear info. I'm getting to understand the difference better and better.

With Kind Regards, Mongkol:D