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Thread: Altec Boleros

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tom Brennan's Avatar
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    Altec Boleros

    I'm gonna pickup some Boleros next week. They have a killer 10" with the magnet structure from the 414. Who can tell me about the tweeter or any other interesting info?

  2. #2
    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Altec Bolero tastest

    Hey, Tom...

    I don't know anything technically specific, regrettably. However, my dad had a pair that I loved during my teens - then the estate settled in my lap. I shipped 'em home, with great anticipation. The 10 PR I thought would give good, solid bottom.

    My listening experience, however, was disappointing. The LF was muddy, and lacking. As well, that horn seemed to roll-off too low, such that the Bolero's lacked good soundstage, and briliance. They go plenty loud, but they couldn't touch either my 4312's L/R, and certainly not the 4313B's - cabinets that were in-hand for A/B comparisons. I gave them a fair test, A/B, flat and exact same placement. I tried and tried, but finally nostagia lost...

    Maybe your experience will be quite different - it is all so individual, as we know...
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  3. #3
    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Bolero brochure...

    I omitted providing a Link to the Lansing Heritage Library site, where there is only a little on the Bolero's...

    Altec 1971 Home brochure, p23

    I may have something in my files - I'll look, today.

    Let us know what your impression is when you get them. I might have been drunk...
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  4. #4
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    Hello Tom-

    I have seen and heard many years ago, but left with little memory of the impression (I remember they were a pretty decent bench just a tad low).

    There is a pair for sale in St. Louis area I could take a look at or you could contact direct at:

    http://www.oldhifi.com/gearpage.html

    I have dealt with the gentleman in the past - mail me for any opinion.

  5. #5
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    According to the driver reference on our site, the original 890B used the 3000G compression driver/horn. The later 890C used a driver that is unknown to me - part number 21517. What's interesting is that this driver is listed as "unrepairable" and must be replaced if it fails.
    Regards

    Don McRitchie

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom Brennan's Avatar
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    Thanks fellas.

    When I get them home I'll see what they're like.

    I was wondering about the horn-driver on the 890C because it looks kinda "Hepnerish", which isn't bad. But Hepners could be fixed.

    These Boleros should work well horizontally on bookshelves where I now use Heresies, my big speaker days being over.

  7. #7
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    I had a pair of 601D's that were coaxials using the 3000. I popped one of the tweeters and called Great Plains for help. The guy I spoke to said they were unrepairable and that the voice coils were actually from a dynamic microphone element!

    Watch out how hard you drive them!

  8. #8
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    Yes, Bill can no longer replicate the diaphragm used in the 3000 series horns. However, when they were in production, they did make and sell replacement diaphragms. As GPA indicated, they were actually a microphone diaphragm. However, what is unique about the 890C is that, even when in production, the diaphragms were not replacable. I'm curious at to just what this driver was since I don't know of any other horn that Altec made that was designed from the start to be disposable.
    Regards

    Don McRitchie

  9. #9
    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Tom Brennan
    These Boleros should work well horizontally on bookshelves...
    They may, indeed. I A/B'd them in floor positions with both 4312's and 4313B's. Anxious to know what you think...

    ...my big speaker days being over.
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  10. #10
    Member Todd W. White's Avatar
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    The 3000 series tweeter element IS still available!

    Bill Hayes at MicroMike Labs has them, and can repair them for you!!!!

    Bill was Head of Acoustic Research at Altec from 1972 - 1982, and was an employee in the Acoustic Lab from the middle 1950's.

    He bought all of the Altec microphone parts when Gulto (EV) bought Altec Lansing in 1984 and started servicing them himself.

    He's a one-man shop, so don't expect a one-week turnaround, but his work is EXCELENT, and he is a GREAT guy and a good friend!

    His contact info is:

    Mr. Bill Hayes
    MicroMike Labs
    1537 West Cris Place
    Anaheim, California 92802
    Telephone: (714) 774-0342

    Tell him I sent you.
    Todd W. White, Owner & Webmaster
    Altec Lansing's (unofficial) Homepage
    http://alteclansingunofficial.nlenet.net/

  11. #11
    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Bolero and Corona brochure...

    ...as promised
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  12. #12
    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    ibid, p2
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tom Brennan's Avatar
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    I got the Boleros over the weekend, up in Dexter Michigan, a pretty little town near Ann Arbor.

    Anyway I'm most pleased with the sound. They are sitting horizontally on bookshelves at ear height. They are driven by a DIY 15wpc gain-clone amp Kurt Chang made and gave me.

    Bass is more extended than my previous speakers, Klipsch Heresies. The Boleros have a more natural and robust tonal balance. The bass is tight and well-damped, very good for a speaker this size.

    Midrange is very present and has that big Altec "technicolor" sound. These speakers are definately real Altecs. They sound great playing LDs and DVDs. Ben-Hur, Cleopatra and How The West Was Won sound very good.

    The woofers are interesting. Besides the powerful motor from the 414 they have 2-profile cones; straight-sided until about 1/2" past the dust-caps and then concavely curvo-linear. These are NOT your normal 10" woofs and evidence a good deal of engineering thought and quality construction.

    The "mystery tweeter" sounds very good; highs are delicate and nicely detailed with subjectively good extension. I have the tweeter level controls set on the minus position.

    The tweeter has a conical initial horn flare, just like a 1" compression driver. Then comes a seperate cast horn flare. I was gonna remove one of the tweeters to get a look but they are glued in as well as screwed so I'm leaving them alone.

    All in all I'm very pleased with these speakers. The Heresies are going in the closet or out on loan. I'm back with real Altec sound in a small package. Anybody considering a bookshelf speaker should consider these, they're sleepers.

  14. #14
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Well it's no wonder they have extended bass. They have the 10" Altec free-suspension phase inverters!

    Got to love that adspeak.

    Widget

  15. #15
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    Dang it Tom - I thought we finally had you at the best bookshelf with the Heresy...

    I guess I'll wander up the road and look at a pair (with 3.5 pair of Heresy I guess another bookshelf won't hurt) of the Bolero. I may be a hard sell....

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