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Thread: 604E or 605?

  1. #1
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    604E or 605?

    Hi, guys. Newbie here... I'm looking to start on a project involving the Altec Duplex drivers and I've narrowed down the choices to the 604E and 605... if you'd weigh in with pros & cons of each driver (i.e. I've heard that the 604E's bass is more substantial but 605s have better midrange?)

    Thank you very much!

    P.S. - is it pretty much the consensus that the Mastering Lab crossover is the best available for the 604E? thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member stephane RAME's Avatar
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    A specialist ALTEC 604-605
    Link http://home.earthlink.net/~jmarkwart/
    Stéphane

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by latestyle View Post
    Hi, guys. Newbie here... I'm looking to start on a project involving the Altec Duplex drivers and I've narrowed down the choices to the 604E and 605... if you'd weigh in with pros & cons of each driver (i.e. I've heard that the 604E's bass is more substantial but 605s have better midrange?)

    Thank you very much!

    P.S. - is it pretty much the consensus that the Mastering Lab crossover is the best available for the 604E? thanks!
    I wouldn't get hung up on the ML crossover, although I would have to say, if it's anything like as good as the one they did for the Manley/Tannoy ML10 nee Tannoy SGM Monitor 10B, it is very good indeed. They will cost you nearly as much as the drivers, if you can find them. There is a so-called back-engineered schematic of it on the internet, but I believe it has never been verified. The 604-8G was used in the original UREI monitor with a horn change and a time-aligned crossover. The schematic for that is available at the JBL PRO website. There are other options for crossovers for most of the Altec coaxials developed by Jeff Markwart.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~jmarkwart/ (Also referenced above by Stephane Rame.)

    As for the differences in general between the 604 and the 605, search and read on these forums and also this thread on another forum:

    http://www.hostboard.com/forums/alte...-vs-605-a.html

    I think the consensus is that the 604-8G is the better sounding, although certainly some prefer the 604E. It is the latest one with a 16 ohm woofer, and that may make it preferable for use with tube amps.

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    I've listened to both of them and the 605s are real dogs. They were the downfall of the Altec as the prefered studio monitor and opened the door for JBL to make their entrance. They have no highs to speak of. IMO maybe with a tweeter they could be passable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toddalin View Post
    I've listened to both of them and the 605s are real dogs. They were the downfall of the Altec as the prefered studio monitor and opened the door for JBL to make their entrance. They have no highs to speak of. IMO maybe with a tweeter they could be passable.
    It's true they downsized the 604E and it's true American studios were pretty set on the 604s at the time and it was not a good move looking back, but the 605 is no slouch....and if you want to get the speakers EMI qualified for recording the Beatles....don't get the 604s ...get a pair of 605s....
    And if it's true the 605 uses a 416 motor...then in a bass reflex cab the 605 may be a better choice.

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mac View Post
    . . . . And if it's true the 605 uses a 416 motor...then in a bass reflex cab the 605 may be a better choice.
    I don't buy it. The woofer cone in the later 604's has an accordian surround and an FS of 25 Hz. It does just fine in a bass reflex, as has been demonstrated thousands of times. I have listened extensively to 604-8G's in bass reflexes. They were perfectly fine. In fact, if someone needs to use a box that is on the small side for some reason, the 604's will be better. I've listened to both 803's and 515's in A7's, which is both a horn and bass reflex, and the 515's are better. In point of fact, use of any 604's in anything other than a bass reflex enclosure is extremely rare.

    The larger magnets in both the woofer and compression driver of the 604 help the higher frequency extension of both, and both are needed.

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    Senior Member Tom Brennan's Avatar
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    My experience is that in the 825 cabinet the 416 certainly goes lower than the 515 does. I've tried it both ways; 416 is more robust but the 515 has clearer mids. Best bet is to use 515s and subs. My opinion.

    I owned 605As for many years and enjoyed them a great deal. Bass was subjectively deep and robust in Barzilay reflex boxes, midrange was clear and realistic and the highs were somewhat soft giving the speaker a warm character. Once in awhile they'd do that wrap around depth and image thing, depending on the recording. That effect can be spooky.

    The speaker's weakness is the highs, no doubt of that. I tried outboard tweeters but never liked that, passive compensation on the treble driver brought out the highs better, so did active EQ.

    I never heard 604s during all the time I owned the 605s so I'm not qualified to pass judgement on which is better.

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brennan View Post
    . . . . Once in awhile they'd do that wrap around depth and image thing, depending on the recording. That effect can be spooky . . . .
    Yep.

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    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    Hey Tom,

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tom Brennan
    . . . . Once in awhile they'd do that wrap around depth and image thing, depending on the recording. That effect can be spooky . . . .



    Can you expand on that concept, phenomena? Causes? Fixes? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Coaxials only?

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    Senior Member Tom Brennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLRaiser View Post
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tom Brennan
    . . . . Once in awhile they'd do that wrap around depth and image thing, depending on the recording. That effect can be spooky . . . .



    Can you expand on that concept, phenomena? Causes? Fixes? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Coaxials only?

    Well the 605s did that trick better than any other horn based system I've heard, perhaps their being coaxial was a reason.

    My new Martin Logans do that trick quite often, sound from many recordings sounds like it's coming from beyond the speakers and even at times from the side and behind, almost like surround sound. The result can be a huge soundfield with great depth and layering. Perhaps this comes from the speakers being dipoles and having rather narrow dispersion.

    I'm not sure this is accurate reproduction, probably not, but it's fun to listen to and it does have the effect of bringing out detail in the music.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brennan View Post
    Well the 605s did that trick better than any other horn based system I've heard, perhaps their being coaxial was a reason.
    I think it has more to do with the room and speaker placement. I have heard that effect with many different speaker designs, and I have noticed a lack of it from speakers that have previously created that effect when they were moved to a different room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brennan View Post
    I'm not sure this is accurate reproduction, probably not, but it's fun to listen to and it does have the effect of bringing out detail in the music.
    This phenomenon along with holographic imaging and "disappearing" speakers are the sorts of things that "audiophiles" seek. None of these abilities are necessary for you to enjoy a system and you could argue they may distract you from the music, but in general I find these effects quite mesmerizing and on the right recordings they can really draw you in.


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  12. #12
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Punch the "SRS" matrix stereo button....

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    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave View Post
    I don't buy it. The woofer cone in the later 604's has an accordian surround and an FS of 25 Hz. It does just fine in a bass reflex, as has been demonstrated thousands of times. I have listened extensively to 604-8G's in bass reflexes. They were perfectly fine. In fact, if someone needs to use a box that is on the small side for some reason, the 604's will be better. I've listened to both 803's and 515's in A7's, which is both a horn and bass reflex, and the 515's are better. In point of fact, use of any 604's in anything other than a bass reflex enclosure is extremely rare.

    The larger magnets in both the woofer and compression driver of the 604 help the higher frequency extension of both, and both are needed.
    Yeah, I know all this....BUT I don't buy your argument that 515s beat 416s in all applications....

  14. #14
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    If 416's are better than 515's in some application I still don't think it's a basis for saying 605's are preferable to 604's--that's all.

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