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View Full Version : Altec vs. JBL vs. TAD



RacerXtreme
12-29-2005, 04:46 AM
"Discussions on Building or Modifying Custom Systems Using JBL and Altec Components"


Hmmm..... New category. All right............ I'll start. Picked up some 15 cell Altec horns & 288B drivers. Thought about stuffing some new diaphragms in them and adding a pair of 2405 slots on top. I'm aware of the "cell lobing" problems that are inherent in multi-cell horns, and obviously the age of the technology we're talking about, but many "audiophiles" still consider the Altec 288 to be a decent driver in today's world.

To my ear, large format JBL comp. drivers sound a little better.

Crisper........cleaner........... etc... But sometimes what you hear is the opposite of what you find on a graph. Many individuals on this board seem to like 2440 JBL drivers. Personally, I don't have any experience w/ them. Just found some old graphs. Bolted up to the same Altec 329 horn, an Altec 288 appears to have a wider frequency response than a JBL 2440 and doesn't fall away as fast at some of the higher frequencies. It appears like it should be the better driver. But that's only on paper, not in the real world. Anyone have experience with these two drivers?

For what some of this stuff has been going for on Ebay, I might sell the Altec's and buy some JBL's. Or........... TAD comp. drivers with Beryllium diaphragms. The tar-filled Altec's are vintage and cool, but massive and very, VERY heavy. With four Altec 210 VOTT cabinets underneath them, they give me a full blown Altec A2 system.

I had four of the ten cell 1005B horns years ago. And 11 or 12 Altec 288's. So I know what they sound like. Tried aluminum and Titanium diaphragms. Was a little bummed out at the amount of power the 288's could handle.

So keep 'em or sell 'em ??? I do like JBL's 2360, 2365, and 2366 horns. Maybe some 2445 drivers ? Or 2440's ? Or suck it up and spend some $$ on the TAD's ? In the long run, I think that's probably the best way to go. Don't have much experience with them, but from what I hear they are in a league of their own.

Suggestions ? Comments ? You guys have a lot more experience with this stuff than I do. What do you think?

Thanx.

norealtalent
12-29-2005, 05:53 AM
I've compared the 2435 drivers to 2445's, 2482's, 2420/le85 on several different horns. Have not YET tried the 2441's but thus far beryllium gets the smooooooth award.:applaud:

NICE category!!!

sa660
12-29-2005, 05:59 AM
My brother tried the following on the Vitavox 15cells:

1. JBL 2450
2. Vitavox S2
3. WE 2090 similar to 288C.
4. JBL 2441
5. JBL 2445.

This is the order of preference.

RacerXtreme
12-29-2005, 06:34 AM
Really...........

I would have never guessed they'd finish in that order.

:blink:

sa660
12-29-2005, 06:37 AM
TAD 4001
TAD 4002
SONY SUP-T11

GOTO Drivers,
AEL drivers,

speakerdave
12-29-2005, 10:41 AM
Just found some old graphs. Bolted up to the same Altec 329 horn, an Altec 288 appears to have a wider frequency response than a JBL 2440 and doesn't fall away as fast at some of the higher frequencies. It appears like it should be the better driver. But that's only on paper, not in the real world. Anyone have experience with these two drivers?

This test was done with the 288-G. Beginning with the G, the 288 series had larger more powerful magnets and extended HF response, so it is not accurate to lump all 288's together in referring to this test as if it applied to them all.

The JBL 2440 was also advanced upon with the 2441 using an aluminum diaphragm with a different surround design, also yielding extended HF response.

I've read the test report and I find it useful only as a source of a response curve for the 288-G and that's it.

As far as comparing JBL 2441 and 288-G, all reports are that it is a tossup. Of course the horn and crossover would need to be the same for a direct listening comparison, and that is an impossibility.

David

Steve Schell
12-30-2005, 10:55 AM
RacerXtreme, the onset of h.f. beaming in the individual cells occurs at about 7kHz. Many feel that it is of no consequence if you bring in a tweeter about there. I ran multicellulars full range on top for years in a living room setting and never found the beaming to be a problem. Here is a case where an anechoic polar response plot doesn't necessarily collelate with what we hear up close, though it might matter in the far field of the theatre applications these things were originally designed for.

Your Altec 288Bs might need to be modified for use with replacement diaphragms. I believe that the Bs have the tighter gap of the original 288 and earlier Lansing drivers, and they may have a shorting ring inside that limits the gap depth as well. Bill Hanuschak at Great Plains will be the best source of knowledge on these issues, as well as the source of supply of the best replacement diaphragms.

Are your original diaphragms shot? Collectors go ape for these drivers with original diaphragms, believing that they sound better than later ones.

Are your horns 1505s or 1503s? Tar filled or later versions?

RacerXtreme
12-30-2005, 12:42 PM
Hey Steve,

yeah, the original diaphragms are shot. The horns are tar filled 1505B (15 cell).
I've already talked with Bill H. at Great Plains. If I buy new diaphragms from him (about 100 bucks) and get them re-magnetized (20 bucks) he will modify the 288's to accept the newer diaphragms for free. Just out of curiosity, do you like the JBL 2440 / 2441's or the Altec 288's ? Obviously..... it matters what horn it's bolted to.


c-ya


Guy

suimei
10-05-2007, 09:08 AM
Now I compare altec driver with SONY driver.

speakerdave
10-05-2007, 09:45 AM
Now I compare altec driver with SONY driver.

Welcome to the forums!

Are these the final two--i.e., have you already eliminated the JBL and TAD drivers, preferring these two?

Well, what do you think? I see you have an adaptor (necessary, obviously) in line for the Altec. Of course, there must be some effect on the sound, but the comparison would still be of interest.

There are not many of us, if any, here who have experience with the Sony driver, so this will be informative for us.

David

suimei
10-05-2007, 10:51 AM
Welcome to the forums!

David

Hi David,

I have tested other drivers.


2440 w/ 2350
2440 w/ Ti diaphragm
2450 w/ 2350
TD-4001 w/ TH-4001My impression are

2440 had a poor HF response.
2450 had a noisy HF.
TD-4001 had an artificial voice.

Zilch
10-05-2007, 11:19 AM
Put Aquaplas-damped "-SL" diaphragms in 2450 to calm the HF. They surpress spurious resonances:

http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=3450

caladois
10-05-2007, 11:32 AM
Hi David,

I have tested other drivers.

2440 w/ 2350
2440 w/ Ti diaphragm
2450 w/ 2350
TD-4001 w/ TH-4001My impression are

2440 had a poor HF response.
2450 had a noisy HF.
TD-4001 had an artificial voice.

Really interesting observation. 2350 was quiet a hard sounding to my hear. I think the 2441 was the most suitable for this application.
TH4001 need somme equal to be honest. Correctly filtered, they worked fine.

What do you think of the SONY SUP-T11 ? I own a pair, but I am looking for the best horn to associate ?

speakerdave
10-05-2007, 01:49 PM
Put Aquaplas-damped "-SL" diaphragms in 2450 to calm the HF. They surpress spurious resonances . . . .

Ditto this, though I am using them as treble low passed at 10K. Quite satisfactory.

Basically, I have not heard a convincing demonstration of the krinkled surround and rattling membrane for high frequency extension.

David

Ian Mackenzie
10-05-2007, 02:19 PM
The Tad 4003 is a different sound again. I understand the earlier Tad's were a lot less satisfying.

Ian

speakerdave
10-05-2007, 02:59 PM
The Tad 4003 is a different sound again . . . .

That's what I hear.

David

Zilch
10-05-2007, 03:28 PM
Ditto this, though I am using them as treble low passed at 10K. Quite satisfactory.

Basically, I have not heard a convincing demonstration of the krinkled surround and rattling membrane for high frequency extension.Drop in ZilchLab next time you're down this way, David.

Ian and several other members heard them in 2452H-SLs running full out here a couple of weeks ago on nice Harman Consumer horns, and Mr. Widget had a brief audition subsequently, as well.... :yes:

speakerdave
10-05-2007, 04:14 PM
Drop in ZilchLab next time you're down this way, David.

Thanks for the invite.

blackwell
10-10-2007, 08:39 AM
With the 2405's on top, assuming you rolloff the top end of the multi-cell, you should have no problem with lobing. The 2440's with the old softer Al diaphragms were really nice, rolling off on their own at about 5K. The newer Al and Ti diaphragms start biting at you though. The TAD TD-4001 is the hands down winner. You need to get an extra set of horn throats and cut them down and re-flange them for a 49.4mm throat. With the TAD's though, you will definitely have to roll off the high end and add the 2405's to prevent fingering, or lobing at 6 or 7K up.

Eric

scott fitlin
10-11-2007, 02:19 PM
I have TAD 4002 neo drivers, and they are very good. They most definitely do go up higher than my Al 2441,s, but I find them too polite sounding. The JBL still has more percussive, dynamic response. TAD is more resolving, and has more upper end response, but less lower midrange body.

I roll my mid horns off at 7K where my 2404 comes in. Thats a good operating procedure, it works.

However, I can fully understand and appreciate home users liking the TAD 4001, 4002, and 4003. They are smooth, and to me they are the compression drivers that dont sound like compression drivers. They are so smooth and non fatiguing and highly resolving, but sometimes, they are just too polite for me.

One thing I did, with a friend, we took two TAD 4002,s took the throat adpators off, making them 1.5in exit, and mounted them on suitable TAD horns! The HF improved dramatically. Lower mid response wasnt as good as 2in exit drivers, but, it was really good. Tweeters may not be neccesary with this setup, but proper xover alignment and EQ are critical.

scott fitlin
10-11-2007, 02:27 PM
Just FYI, Radian makes some really nice sounding compression drivers too. And they are cost effective.

Im not suggesting they are better than JBL or TAD, just a cost effective and good sounding alternative.

merlin
10-11-2007, 02:52 PM
One thing I did, with a friend, we took two TAD 4002,s took the throat adpators off, making them 1.5in exit, and mounted them on suitable TAD horns! The HF improved dramatically. Lower mid response wasnt as good as 2in exit drivers, but, it was really good. Tweeters may not be neccesary with this setup, but proper xover alignment and EQ are critical.

The 1.5" exit 4003 is a real honey but still benefits enormously from a tweeter IME. The only JBL I've heard that might make me go back is the new 476Be - if it's ever available.