Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: What are they and are they worth fixing?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    12

    What are they and are they worth fixing?

    I discovered these speakers built into the wall in our house, with the cabinets extending into an attic space. The cabinets are a nice mahogany or walnut or similar finish. There are no identifying marks on the front of the speaker, and in the attic where the cabinet is it's very dark and dusty. Our house dates back to 1961 so I imagine the speakers are of similar vintage. The one in the photo is missing one bass driver, and the other bass driver's surround has decayed. I'm sure the other speaker is in similar shape.

    Any thoughts on what these speakers are and whether it's worth hunting down replacement drivers? A friend thought they were Altecs but not sure. Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Senior Member macaroonie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    near Glasgow Scotland
    Posts
    1,962

    Altec

    looks like there used to be a horn where that panel is. There is an altec laid out that way but it did not have foam bass surrounds. I think what you may have is an old pair of altec cabinets with A N Other drivers loaded in.
    Pull the bass units that you have and look at the back / magnet. There is sure to be a label of some sort.

  3. #3
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,314
    Looks like they -were- Altec Carmels:
    414z x2, woofer
    806 or 804A, compression driver
    811b, horn
    N800F, crossover

    would have had a grille cloth over the front and either short legs or a small plinth
    to set on (to get it off the floor a bit).

    without the drivers or crossovers, the cabinets might be worth saving from the fireplace,
    but just barely, and only if they're not messed up.

    You could easily spend more than they're worth (as a unit) to replace the drivers and crossover.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    12
    There are grilles that cover them. It is clear now that the midrange and treble drivers were a substitute. If I pitch them and start over, I'll have two large holes into my attic that nothing else will perfectly fit, so I may go the route of making these work if only for grins.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,314
    You can certainly substitute parts and not restore, for much less, if you want to fool
    with it. Personally, I'd stick with the 811b horn and work from there... since the hole is
    already there.

    Have fun!

  6. #6
    Senior Member duaneage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The First State
    Posts
    1,584
    The cone mid looks to be a Infinity Midrange from a Qb speaker. I handled a pair of them last year.
    Why buy used when you can build your own?

  7. #7
    J.A.F.S.
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Back in the audio lab.
    Posts
    382

    Talking Philips drivers

    Looks like the horn was replaced with a Philips cone midrange and dome tweeter.. Made in Belgium during the 1970s
    Amazed I'm still alive!
    Tim

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for all the good information. I guess eBay is the best place to find a set of the original horns... any other leads?

  9. #9
    Senior Member hmolwitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Darien CT
    Posts
    327

    That is the same component set as the 9844

    That is the same component set as the 9844, you could look at Skywave-Rider and Zilch's tutorial in the DIY section for a good set of possibilities for that cabinet. You are probably looking at a minimum of $125 per piece, 4 woofers 2 horns, 2 tweeters 2 crossovers, it sounds like a lot but there are many who would agree it is worth it, and it would be better than something you could buy retail for that money.

    You could also just remove the baffle and stick a smaller speaker in there and put the old grill back
    Harry
    Last edited by hmolwitz; 05-14-2008 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Typo

  10. #10
    Senior Member Skywave-Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    313
    The Carmel/9844 is a beautiful speaker. You may well love it. And since the cabinet/baffle is simple, it's a matter of finding woofers (they are always on EBay), which you can buy new from Great Plains Audio, and the horns (also on ebay often,) and the drivers (ditto; additional possibilities on my thread below.)

    When you say the cabs extend into the attic, well, I can't imagine how that is. They are flush mounted into the wall, right?

    http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...ad.php?t=18913

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for all the tips and resources, great forum.

    I'm looking forward to hearing how these speakers sound. It'll be a fun project. So far I've found the two horns and two tweeters, looks like the woofers will be next on the radar.

    It is weird how they extend into the attic. They're built in flush with the wall in a room with a vaulted ceiling, and their cabinet extends into attic space above an adjacent room, basically sitting on the rafters / ceiling of that room... which puts them at about 7 ft off the ground. Not a great place acoustically I realize. But it will be cool to get them restored back to original, which is what we've kind of done with the 1961 house as well.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Skywave-Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    313
    Neat. So the orientation with horn on the bottom is the way to go!

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    12
    I see quite a few different variations of the 414 woofer for sale- is it essential to stick with the 414z that seems to be what was original, or is any 16 ohm version okay?

  14. #14
    Senior Member hmolwitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Darien CT
    Posts
    327
    You should get a matched set of 4!
    I believe Altec improved the performance of their drivers over time, so imho you would be best off getting the end of the 414 series, the 414-16e, others might prefer the Alnico drivers.
    Do you have the crossovers or will you build new?
    If you are reusing the crossover that might limit your possibilities, but it might be good to start fresh there.

    You might also look into the 3124, slightly less efficient, but lower FS and much better power handling, harder to come by however.
    Harry

  15. #15
    Senior Member Skywave-Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    313
    Harry,
    What did Altec use those 3124's in/for?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •