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Thread: Thoughts On Altec 729A Acousta-Voicette EQ

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    Thoughts On Altec 729A Acousta-Voicette EQ

    Hello Forum, Just wanted to get some input about the Altec 729A Acousta Voicette Eq. I just purchased one off Ebay that is NOS still in original box, never been opened. The ad only had a picture of the box and label, still sealed. It is supposed to come with everything Altec put in the box. I will be receiving it by the end of week.

    I was seeing if anyone had good/bad experiences with this unit.

    Thank you
    David

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    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Many years ago, in 1977, we were using that EQ! For what it cost, compared to the professional mono version Altec had, or the White 4200A or Urei 539, and needing 2 of these to one 729A, the Acousta-voicette 729A is a really good sounding EQ. BUT, there are a couple of things that kept it strictly a consumer audio piece of gear. First off, it can only be hooked up in a processor loop or tape loop, you cannot run your preamps main outs into it and then from the EQ to your crossovers, which is how the pro units are hooked up. Second, it doesn't have the adjustable high and low pass filters, which can come in handy. The pro EQ,s have the additional HP and LP filters. Third, the 729A highest and lowest filters are 63hz and 12.5k, the pro units have 40hz, 50hz and 31.5, as well as 16k filters. I use the 31.5hz and 50hz filters for a smidgen of cut, so I need them.

    If you don't miss what it doesn't have, or hooking it up in your preamps tape loop or processor loop, it is a good sounding EQ! Being a CUT ONLY with make up gain type EQ, you may need an RTA to successfully EQ your system, and after you have curved your system, you have up to +20db of restoration gain available.
    scottyj

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    Thank you for the input. I am new at the vintage sound. I don't have any pro equipment just consumer stuff. The best pieces I own is 2 sets of Altec speakers. 831A- Capistrano's that I had removed the drivers and built a set of A7's for the house from 1968 plans, and a set of Valencia drivers put into bass boxes I built from Altec plans with the horns on top.

    I Don't mean to sound stupid, but what is a RTA.

    Thank you again

    David

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    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    RTA stands for REAL TIME ANALYZER. What you do with a device like this is, you would plug a pink noise generator into an aux input of your mixer or preamp, turn up the volume, and you will hear noise, but it is full frequency spectrum noise, from 20hz to 20khz. Then you have a special microphone that plugs into the real time analyzer itself, and you will see the RTA,s display light up, and all the bars of light are marked a specific frequency. You will some see some frequencies light up more than others, and some light up less. This is the full frequency response from your speakers visible as bars of light on the RTA screen, and you can then adjust the individual frequencies on your EQ as necessary.

    And being that the EQ you bought is CUT ONLY, it is a bit harder to use than a standard Cut/Boost EQ! CUT ONLY means the frequencies can only be cut, from 0db to -15db, you cannot boost individual frequencies with this type of EQ! IMO, though, these types of EQ,s sound better, PROPERLY USED, than cut/boost EQ,s.

    Then after you use an RTA, you would then do two things, you will use the GAIN controls to restore any EQing losses, as after you have cut several frequencies, the overall level of sound will drop. So, if your using an RTA which shows you the decibel level you flip the in/out switch of the EQ, you see what the overall level is WITHOUT ANY EQ, and then switch the curved EQ back in, see how much the level drops, and use the level controls to bring the EQ,ed level back up to what it was BEFORE you eq,ed the system!

    Then you LISTEN to music, good recordings, preferably music you are very familiar with, and FINE TUNE by EAR! A smidge more cut at a particular frequency, or a slight push up on a filter, till your room sounds proper to you.

    If you have a good set of speakers, with good playback gear, and you EQ properly, a cut only EQ will yield you very good, and very clean results.
    scottyj

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    Thumbs up

    Thank you much for taking the time to explain everything to me. I will have to get a pink noise generator and an RTA. My wife is going to have a field day with killing me.

    Thank you again

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by dnpainting View Post
    Thank you much for taking the time to explain everything to me. I will have to get a pink noise generator and an RTA. My wife is going to have a field day with killing me.

    Thank you again

    David
    Your very welcome.

    BTW, also, you may not have to be executed by your wife, you should be able to get an RTA software program that you can use on your computer to do this. Much less expensive than a serious RTA unit, and I am sure that there is software based programs for computers ranging from economical to astronomically priced. If you can find something cost effective for you, it will get you most of the way there!
    scottyj

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    Thank you again for the information, I will look into software programs. My wife is still going to kill me though.

    David

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    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Again, your welcome. And just to let you know I moved the thread out of the Lansing General Product Information section to the EQUALIZERS section and left a re-direct in the old space.

    David, WELCOME TO LANSING HERITAGE, your in the right place, and you'll find your way around.

    And, since you built yourself some A7,s style cabinets, YEAH you got a good EQ! The A7 has a BIG peak at 1k, that cabinet was designed to give VOCALS presence as a VOICE OF THE THEATER speaker, and your EQ will help smooth out the response and you will enjoy listening to music more than without the EQ, properly used, of course!

    At this time, you have one other thread in this section, but this thread contains the answers to your questions, so I am going to just delete the other thread. It's all good.

    scottyj

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    Thank you Scott for all the help and moving the thread to the right place, I am really enjoying this forum. You can learn alot here. You take care and hope eventually I can participate in the discussions more as I learn more. Still trying to build up a nice vintage system for myself without making the wife too pissed.

    David

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    David, The 729A will perform what you ask of it, however to get good results you need a CALIBRATED microphone - which tends to be pricey - otherwise you may be trying to tune out the bumps in the microphone response. I bought a used 729A decades ago. The signal to noise ratio is not much better than 85 dB and that can be audible when playing CDs unless you take the time to really understand how noise accumulates as it progresses through all your electronics. ie. turntable to preamp to equalizer to power amp to x-over to speaker. If the levels are adjusted correctly a good sig to noise is realized, but if you hear "frying" on quiet passages you will have to find where you went wrong. What I found on mine was that I had to hit the input of the 729A quite high ( I think 1 to 2 volts ) otherwise when you increase the gain to make up for the loss inserted by the EQ sliders you will be increasing the noise as well. I used to think that someday I would build a quieter power supply, but I'm not sure that would fix the problem. ( 1970s technology ) One more thing, don't try to over equalize. The room can become unstable especially if you are using a turntable. Just take out two or three of the largest peaks or the peaks that annoy you the most. And HAVE FUN. Tip: Have your wife help in the tuning - women often have better hearing than men especially as we age AND she just may lose her desire "to kill" you. - Rabidfox
    Last edited by Richard Frantz; 08-11-2010 at 08:30 PM. Reason: I missed a point.
    Rabidfox

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    Thank you Richard for the advise on the eq. Just to let you know, I finally received the Equalizer, NIB NOS, still sealed. Very nicely wrapped in original packaging, all cables and owners manual and Frequency Response Charts were in the box as well. Plugged it in to see if it would power up......DEAD. So I did testing on Caps, No good (Not Surprising), the Transformer seems to be working though. I can't locate specs on the transformer, so I can't tell. It is a Peerless 7437 just below that number is 7335. I get power up to the up to the Rectifier, I still need to see if I get power to the 2 Large Capacitors. I also need to test the Transister. I just ordered all new Caps, and resistors for the power block. I hope that is the only problem. If anybody ever needs a copy of the manual or schematics, let me know and I will email them to them.

    Thank you again!

    David

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    Hello I'm a newbie and so excited to interact with other members

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