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Thread: Hello Everybody. Just purchased a pair of Heathkit AS-21 (Altec) speakers

  1. #1
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    Hello Everybody. Just purchased a pair of Heathkit AS-21 (Altec) speakers

    I recently found this forum and thought I'd share these pics of my Heathkit AS-21s with you. I just got them from the gentleman who purchased them new.

    The drivers are Altec 806A w/811(?) horns and a pair of 414A woofers in each cabinet.

    I don't know much about the history of the speakers, their original cost or whether these would've been sold new in kit form or not. Any further information would be greatly appreciated!! Also interested in purchasing any original literature for them.

    Thanks for looking.
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    A few more...Enjoy.
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    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Wow those are the definition of pristine! Very cool indeed. Are you listening to them yet?

    Oh yeah, welcome!
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

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    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    From the Fall/Winter 1962/63 Heath catalog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1audiohack View Post
    Wow those are the definition of pristine! Very cool indeed. Are you listening to them yet?

    Oh yeah, welcome!
    Thanks for the welcome and the kind words.

    The speakers came with a McIntosh receiver which I've sent out for refreshing. For the time being I'm running them with a late-80s receiver I pulled out of retirement. I was worried about the crossovers but they seem to sound fine just as they are.

    @Don C- Thanks so much for posting that- it was very helpful. I'll be searching for a copy of that catalog.

  6. #6
    Junior Member closdesducs's Avatar
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    I scored a pair myself...

    From a gentleman up in the Bay area. They aren't in as pristine condition as yours and I am trying to research how to go about replacing the grill cloth which aren't as clean they could be. Anyone out there have any ideas on sources for black grill cloth that won't impart too much of a sonic signature?

    The wood finish for the most part is pretty good, but there is a dent on the front left vertical side of one speaker that I will attempt to fill in, re-sand and re-finish at some point in time.

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    Wow, nice find. I doubt you'll have any problems listening to those. Can't beat old altecs.. Very nice.

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    Congrats closdeducs. I've been enjoying mine- even with the mid-80s receiver. They're my first horn type speakers and can easily see why the design is well regarded.

    As to grille covering replacement- any acoustically transparent material should suffice. I'm no expert but don't believe removal of the old stuff should be necessary. In any case, I'd certainly never do it unless I was certain the original material could be salvaged and replaced.

    One thing I noticed is that my enclosures are insulation-covered only the floor and one side while yours don't appear to have any. I thought it odd the insulation was not all sides- and then I noticed yours don't appear to be insulated at all. I wonder which is the correct way.

    Recently a pair of the AS-21's bigger brother Legatos, the HH-1 were just sold on eBay which were completely stuffed with insulation. Does anyone have any idea whether stuffing the AS-21 cabinets would be advisable- the way the larger speakers were?

  9. #9
    Maron Horonzakz
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    Do not stuff the cabinets..just line the back and floor,,that would be enough,,,

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    Nice representatives, Eric and cdd! BTW, Wendell Fabrics has some metal weave fabrics that do justice to MCM speakers if you do go for a refurb... http://wendellfabrics.com/mellotonefabricsamples.html

    I thoroughly enjoy my AS21 mono setup.


  11. #11
    Maron Horonzakz
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    DAVE ,,YOU NEVER CEASE TO AMAZE ME,,,FOR FINDING VINTAGE STUFF,,,

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    Dave is a very knowledgeable collector - and without his council, I would not be the owner of these speakers today.

    I just noticed the rear panel is also lined with insulation as well- leaving only the top and one side panel bare. Just to be sure - is it correct for these two areas to be bare?

    Also- out of curiosity, does anyone know why is the bigger Legato is completely stuffed inside?

  13. #13
    Junior Member closdesducs's Avatar
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    Thanks AS-21 & sheltiedave...

    For the kind words and the information on the speaker fabric source! Both are greatly appreciated!

    Closdesducs

  14. #14
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Very cool cabinets! Did you ever get some dark grill cloth installed in them?
    I got a smaller pair of single driver cabinets a few years back - they had some really dingy white fabric with gold threads -
    I replaced it with cloth similar to the JBL Monitor blue and I thought the combination was really nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by closdesducs View Post
    From a gentleman up in the Bay area. They aren't in as pristine condition as yours and I am trying to research how to go about replacing the grill cloth which aren't as clean they could be. Anyone out there have any ideas on sources for black grill cloth that won't impart too much of a sonic signature?

    The wood finish for the most part is pretty good, but there is a dent on the front left vertical side of one speaker that I will attempt to fill in, re-sand and re-finish at some point in time.

    Name:  My Legato 1.jpg
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    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

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    Senior Member gdmoore28's Avatar
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    Glad you resurrected this thread, Heather. I haven't seen it before. I'm constantly amazed by the discovery of these classic pieces in such beautiful condition. And I'm surprised by how many must have been sold, considering their original prices. These represented a major investment by anybody of modest income.

    GeeDeeEmm

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