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Thread: Restoration Altec Valencia 846B

  1. #1
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    Restoration Altec Valencia 846B

    Hello,

    I bought a Altec Valencia 846B in fairly good conditon. The enclosure is quite dirty and needs care.

    How can I professionally clean fresh up the "hand rubbed oiled walnut" without doing any harm.

    Another question is, the resin of the bass drivers surroundings (impregnation) seems still a little wet...is this normal? On one driver some of it was flowing to the bottem over time and created a small puddle in front of the driver. I think of getting this, heat it and applie it again on the surrounding of the driver (maybe with a brush)...

    Best regards

    Ron

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fangio's Avatar
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    You might want to

    - post some pics of your new acquisition so we can see the grade of care that will be neccessary for the veneer

    - do a search for 'goo' or 'goop' on this site and see what comes up.


    Yes they remain more or less sticky, it's not an uncommon prob for Altec (and JBL) woofers with accordion surrounds. This has been covered more than once, here is a start

    http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...ad.php?t=20146

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    I removed all the dust etc...doesnt look too bad. Just a small dings in the veneer here and there. The main thing is, that the veneer looks liked darkened over time. I want to bring out more of it's natural structur.

    The sound is very good. Do you think the drivers need service / remagnetising after all the years?

    Is there any possibility to tell the manufacturing year by serial number?

    Best regards

    Ron

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fangio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xronx View Post
    The main thing is, that the veneer looks liked darkened over time. I want to bring out more of it's natural structur.
    I don't think that can be achieved without some sanding.

    The sound is very good. Do you think the drivers need service / remagnetising after all the years?

    Is there any possibility to tell the manufacturing year by serial number?
    Which drivers do you have in there? Dependent of usage, diaphragms do wear out with age. About re-mag, read here:

    http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...75&postcount=2

    Basically this is less relevant for drivers with an underhung design and vice versa. Re the manufacturing dates, hopefully Altec connoisseurs will chime in here as I'm not familiar enough with their history.

  5. #5
    Senior Member diamondsouled's Avatar
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    Howard's Restor-A-Finish will sometimes clean up dirty and or dried out veneer without having to break out the sand paper:

    http://www.howardproducts.com/restora.htm

    Use the neutral one if you want to maintain the same darkness.

    My Valencia's have the same sticky stuff on the speaker edges. It doesn't cause any issues that I'm aware of, unless it drys out for some reason and gets stiff or brittle.

    If you want to date the speakers check out the Altec catalogs in the library here for a general age.

    Cheers

    Lar

  6. #6
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    I've had good luck with minor cleaning using a bit of very very fine grade steel wool and Howards orange oil.
    Sometimes I oil down the veneer first, then gently rub along the grain for embedded paint drops and such



    Quote Originally Posted by diamondsouled View Post
    Howard's Restor-A-Finish will sometimes clean up dirty and or dried out veneer without having to break out the sand paper:

    http://www.howardproducts.com/restora.htm

    Use the neutral one if you want to maintain the same darkness.

    My Valencia's have the same sticky stuff on the speaker edges. It doesn't cause any issues that I'm aware of, unless it drys out for some reason and gets stiff or brittle.

    If you want to date the speakers check out the Altec catalogs in the library here for a general age.

    Cheers

    Lar
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, 4b NRB, B&K 5ch amp, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

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    Thanks all for the advice...

    I contacted a local wood worker (experience also in speaker cabinet making) and he can refurbish the speakers...maybe a natural shellac coating might look nice.

    I have 416-8Z and 806-8B. Sound is getting better as it seems...I dont miss my Cabasse Iroise 500 at the moment...

    In the beginning the sound was a little dull and defocused but now its getting very appealing and has a good in room presence.

    Do you think the speakers will run driven by a 300B or F2a SET? Or will the 16Ohm version better suited?

    I like to get a Shindo power amp as addition to the Shindo preamp I use but my actual cabasse will be not a good match for 8W...especially the impedance might be critical?

    The 30W of my VAC PA-60 KT88 in triode mode had no problem to drive the Valencias, also the Cabasse was a good match.

    Best regards

    Ron

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    Member ROSSO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xronx View Post
    Thanks all for the advice...

    I contacted a local wood worker (experience also in speaker cabinet making) and he can refurbish the speakers...maybe a natural shellac coating might look nice.


    Ron
    If they only need cleaning, they can be safely cleaned with 0000 ("four ought" over here) steel wool and turpentine. Wipe them down with a terrycloth towel followed by resealing them by rubbing with the same grade steel wool saturated with a drying oil, either Tung Oil or Boiled Linseed Oil. Be sure to wipe down the excess before it drys (within 30 minutes) Tung oil drys without darkening while linseed oil will darken with age, which is usually not a bad result for black walnut. I routinely carefully machine sand veneer cabinets with 150 grit, followed by 220 grit followed by rubbing with the previously mentioned steel wool. Whatever is done needs to be done with a steady hand and light pressure. The veneer is only 1/42" thick (0.60 mm). I personally would not use varnish, shellac or polyurethane.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fangio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xronx View Post
    I have 416-8Z and 806-8B. I dont miss my Cabasse Iroise 500 at the moment...
    Do you think the speakers will run driven by a 300B or F2a SET?...I like to get a Shindo power amp as addition to the Shindo preamp I use...The 30W of my VAC PA-60 KT88 in triode mode had no problem to drive the Valencias...
    That changes the situation significantly – pictures are a MUST now.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangio View Post
    That changes the situation significantly – pictures are a MUST now.

    Haven't made pics of the Valencias yet (will add later) but here's some shot's of my system...

    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    Hi xronx,

    nice pics!

    Could you just keep us updated about the finishing of your Valencias and what the woodworker really did? I bought some 846B Valencias too some months ago in a very good condition and would also want to give them a final finish since the veneer has become a bit dull. Nevertheless the veneer is in near mint condition besides some small nicks and scatches at the edges which I want to repair with a "veneer reparation stick" as it is literally translated from German ("Furnierreparaturstift"), something like a wax stick in the veneer colour to fill up and correct small damages.

    By the way, I am using Shindo Claret and Concertino 300B and cannot complain about max spl (C: , all the opposite, my 8Ohms Valencias are matching perfectly with the amps.

    I personally agree with ROSSO and will not apply a varnish or laquer but try to apply some oil that can be polished to a certain shine, but most important, that can easily be repaired even on smaller areas if ever needed.

    Do your Valencias still have the original foam grilles? These have gone away in every Valencia I have seen besides the ones in the Altec brochures.

    Best regards, Antonio

    PS: what kind of Shindo pre are you using

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    Hi Antonio,

    I will contact the wood worker these day and will keep the thread updated on it and post pics soon. I also have the org. grills, but not the sculptured 3D grills as seen in the catalog. Since my Valencia seems to be a rather early B Version, it has a flat piece of thin wood covered with cloth, attached on the speaker with velcro strip "Klettband". I can make pictures of that too. I think its very easy to build this DIY. I ordered some white vintage speaker cloth to make it more appealing.

    I use a Mazeris Bellevus preamp (the version with output transformers). If I get the chance I really would like to check out a cortese power amp.

    My thoughts on speaker/amp matching have been not too much about maximum SPL but rather on frequency anomalies due to impedance issues. My friends Silvaweld 300B sound very good and clear on his Audio Note speakers but thick and locked in on my cabasse, even if max. SPL isnt too bad.

    Best regards

    Ron

    P.S. Which drivers are mounted in your valencia? Do you use the org. crossover?


    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio View Post
    Hi xronx,

    nice pics!

    Could you just keep us updated about the finishing of your Valencias and what the woodworker really did? I bought some 846B Valencias too some months ago in a very good condition and would also want to give them a final finish since the veneer has become a bit dull. Nevertheless the veneer is in near mint condition besides some small nicks and scatches at the edges which I want to repair with a "veneer reparation stick" as it is literally translated from German ("Furnierreparaturstift"), something like a wax stick in the veneer colour to fill up and correct small damages.

    By the way, I am using Shindo Claret and Concertino 300B and cannot complain about max spl (C: , all the opposite, my 8Ohms Valencias are matching perfectly with the amps.

    I personally agree with ROSSO and will not apply a varnish or laquer but try to apply some oil that can be polished to a certain shine, but most important, that can easily be repaired even on smaller areas if ever needed.

    Do your Valencias still have the original foam grilles? These have gone away in every Valencia I have seen besides the ones in the Altec brochures.

    Best regards, Antonio

    PS: what kind of Shindo pre are you using

  13. #13
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    So here is a picture of one of the beauties The acoustic foam looks kinda weird but I had no black roomtuning element on hand...hmmm the condition looks much better in reality, the flash of my camera seems to highlight every grain of dust.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    hi ron,
    thats a good idea to use the damping stuff for the foam inlets, mine are still as new. I had some lowther bicor 200 before and the difference is more than astounding. sonically they go very well with the shindo concertinos.

    i was in love with the mazeris once, especially with the ones with ot, but never could affort them (i missed one chance to get them cheap second hand but at that time i was on a budget):

    i still use the original xovers but had to replace the 8µf capacitors with some Siemens MKL (had them lying around) since one of the originals broke when i disamantled the xovers to clean the lpads (these were scratching a bit). i would very much like to know how they would sound with shindo xovers and cabinets. a guy from usa send me once some pics from his valencias rebuilt by shindo with custom xovers.

    the chassis in my valencias are 416-8A and 806-8A as you can see from the pics. the speaker pic is from the seller since i haven't got an own picture yet.

    best regards, antonio
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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