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Thread: Altec 846A Valencia binding post upgrades

  1. #1
    Junior Member closdesducs's Avatar
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    Altec 846A Valencia binding post upgrades

    I was fortunate enough to recently find a pretty pristine pair of 846A's and after a long road trip from their original owners, they arrived last week. I spent a thoroughly enjoyable weekend swapping in and out a couple of turntables and preamps to see what these speakers can do and came away amazed at how great a soundstage they throw and how much more detail these speakers put out relative to my existing speakers. I've been enjoying playing different music genres in both LPs and CD formats and the 846A's are definitely going to be keepers.

    The only thing I wish they had were binding posts that permit larger spades or bananas to be used instead of smaller sized spades. I normally use Cardas Golden Reference speaker cables in my set up, but since the 846A binding posts did not permit the larger Cardas spades, I ended up pressing into service a pair of Monster Cables that had been relegated long ago to the back of the closet. The Valencia's sounded great even with these slightly oxidized (read green-tinged) cables! I did a topic search but did not find any posts specific to this model. My goal is to be able to run these speakers using both Cardas GR cables with their 1/4" spades and Auditorium 23 speaker cables with banana plugs that I will purchase eventually. Would greatly appreciate your thoughts on which binding posts are of a material and build-quality/configuration that would compliment these speakers?

    I don't anticipate ever selling them, but I imagine their value would change if they are not NOS? Would you change out the back board and replace it with a similar board cut to accomodate the new binding posts and retain the old back board to be able to restore it to its original state, or would you do surgery to the existing back board?

    Thanks in advance and Happy Listening.

  2. #2
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    I'd build up a new terminal board, put the old one in a baggie and tie-wrap it inside so it doesn't get lost. Anything that lets you use your desired cables will then be an upgrade in the sense that it will let you play with the system in the way you're happy with. Glad you're enjoying them.

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    Senior Member Wardsweb's Avatar
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    Yea, like he said. If you have the little terminal strip with screws, just replace it with something like this:

    Name:  speakerterminal3.JPG
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    This one actually on a vintage amp but you get the idea.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Altec Best's Avatar
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    +3 Like has been noted glad to see someone else still enjoying these old classics.
    "James B. Lansing" = Lansing Manufacturing ~ Altec Lansing ~ JBL

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    Member theophile's Avatar
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    I love my 846A pair.

    When I finally made the decision to go active with mine, I had to decide whether to keep the speaker in original fettle or whether to fit two pairs of binding posts for the two runs of speaker cable for the individually amped drivers. I took the back panels to a local cabinet maker, actually they were kitchen fabricators. There the chippy drilled two holes for the new binding post assemblies that I had brought with me into the two rear panels that I had brought with me. In all it took about five minutes. The cabinetmaker simply asked my where I wanted them located on the rear panel. I indicated where I wanted them and he did the job while I watched and even attached the new binding post assemblies into place.

  6. #6
    Junior Member closdesducs's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody!

    For your great ideas and thanks Theophile for that idea of taking the back panels to a cabinet maker. Is there any chance of obtaining a photo of the back of your speaker?

    I was at the T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach a couple of weekends ago and got into a conversation with a WBT representative in the Kimber Kable room. One of his ideas was to run the speaker wire out through the existing hole and then set up the new binding post outside of the speaker enclosure. That would enable me to return the Valencia's to their original state if I ever decide to part ways with them (not too much likelihood of that happening <g>).

    He also showed me several different 5-way binding posts ranging from $20 to $60 per post, the differences being mainly the types of finish and the % of copper in its components.

    http://www.wbtusa.com/pages/0705cu.html

    Anyway, thanks again everyone for your thoughts. Here's a picture of the Valencia's "dominating" the living room. I haven't had much time to determine their optimal location relative to the back wall but a long weekend is coming up.

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  7. #7
    Member theophile's Avatar
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    Sorry no camera.

  8. #8
    Senior Member diamondsouled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wardsweb View Post
    Yea, like he said. If you have the little terminal strip with screws, just replace it with something like this:

    Name:  speakerterminal3.JPG
Views: 2309
Size:  6.9 KB
    This one actually on a vintage amp but you get the idea.
    Where can you buy those or are them custom made?

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