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Thread: escape from MID-FI HELL advice please

  1. #1
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    escape from MID-FI HELL advice please

    breaking away from mid-fi hell. I am looking to set up a JBL/Altec based system paired with a sweet el84 or SET amp... on a budget (LOL...I know). I have heard the Altec model 19s, and a couple of JBLs (4343 and something else ?? ) and was floored by how damn good they sound. Very similar if not better sounding, in some respects, than the Devore/shindo/leben modern rigs, costing an easy 5 multiple of the vintage gear prices, I have heard.

    I ask for advice because, as you know, with vintage gear it is difficult to audition several speakers, given their limited availability, let alone auditioning various speaker amp combos. There is a pair of 4315Bs available locally, however I am not sure if that is an ideal speaker to pair with a lower power tube amp given its sensitivity rating. the price is right however, and it would be substantially more expensive to move to the 43XX series 15" higher sensitivity models or even the model 19 (have yet to find one for less than $2500, ebayers and classified guys have just gone INSANE with their pricing, everyone is a flipper seems like).

    I am also interested in fixer-uppers, but am hesitant to follow that path since original cone/surround/spider etc..kits are not available for most and I have no real reference for original re-cone sound vs generic/aftermarket re-cone sound. Is there a source for these original parts, how "close" can you get with aftermarket parts, and is there a good source for those as well?

    Well the floor is yours, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    With free advertising on CL and ebay any bozo can ask any amount for anything. For old gear Audiogon may be better; it seems to have somehow held stupidity at bay (heh heh). None of the people who were not around at the time seem to be aware that one key thing about the old gear was that it was CHEAP! I would suggest you go over to the Audio Karma forums and track down the late Zilchmeister's econowave speaker system. It is a way to tap into the spirit of the 50's 60's pre acoustic suspension dome tweeter speaker ethos with a mixture of modern and classic components and minimum expense.

    Quote Originally Posted by archiekaras View Post
    breaking away from mid-fi hell. I am looking to set up a JBL/Altec based system paired with a sweet el84 or SET amp... on a budget (LOL...I know). I have heard the Altec model 19s, and a couple of JBLs (4343 and something else ?? ) and was floored by how damn good they sound. Very similar if not better sounding, in some respects, than the Devore/shindo/leben modern rigs, costing an easy 5 multiple of the vintage gear prices, I have heard.

    I ask for advice because, as you know, with vintage gear it is difficult to audition several speakers, given their limited availability, let alone auditioning various speaker amp combos. There is a pair of 4315Bs available locally, however I am not sure if that is an ideal speaker to pair with a lower power tube amp given its sensitivity rating. the price is right however, and it would be substantially more expensive to move to the 43XX series 15" higher sensitivity models or even the model 19 (have yet to find one for less than $2500, ebayers and classified guys have just gone INSANE with their pricing, everyone is a flipper seems like).

    I am also interested in fixer-uppers, but am hesitant to follow that path since original cone/surround/spider etc..kits are not available for most and I have no real reference for original re-cone sound vs generic/aftermarket re-cone sound. Is there a source for these original parts, how "close" can you get with aftermarket parts, and is there a good source for those as well?

    Well the floor is yours, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    For Altec parts at least, you can probably get what you need at Great Plains Audio: http://www.greatplainsaudio.com/
    Oppo BDP-95 DCX-2496 RMX-850 Parasound A21 First Watt J2 Dayton RSS390HF-4 MTM Quads of SEAS W18E001 511Bs TAD TD-2002

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    Quote Originally Posted by fpitas View Post
    For Altec parts at least, you can probably get what you need at Great Plains Audio: http://www.greatplainsaudio.com/
    Thanks for the link !!!!!!! Very usefull if I go the ALTEC route.

  5. #5
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archiekaras View Post
    Thanks for the link !!!!!!! Very usefull if I go the ALTEC route.
    I think a high sensitivity Altec woofer would be a good fit for the amps you are interested in... certainly because high sensitivity works well with lower power but also because these woofers roll off at the low end. In my experience most amps of the types you are interested tend to fatten up the bottom end which won't sound very good through a more full range system.


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    High sensitivity on the Model 19 or valencia, could be good for what I want to do.

    I have been scoping out a pair of model 19s with a little cab damage, once I know some more details and listen to it might be a go. Was also looking at some 4315s, but it seems like a 5-20 watt el84 amp/other SET amp will not really drive the JBL 4315s with their 89DB sensitivity.

    BTW what is a fair price for the 4315s and the Altec Model 19s, if they are in decent shape.

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    Is it difficult to open the cabs of the model 19s to see what is inside, I def want to have a look what is inside before buying though the seller may not want to rip them apart for me. I have heard of people using dental mirrors to look through the ports and see what is inside. With all the BS going around I want to make sure I get what I pay for...OR MORE

  8. #8
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    good thinking....
    a dental mirror in the port to id the woofer...
    flashlight down the 811 throat to identify the tangerine phase plug that should accompany the compression drivers...

    Will show the good s expected...

  9. #9
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    Sadly those model 19s I was scoping sold ! I talked to the guy on Fri to set up a visit ( he is far...how far will you travel for hifi? LOL) he sold them off on Sat. The price was good, but I just could not make it out there immediately...it is a pisser to say the least. Still thinking about the JBL 4315s, those are still available, and also far away.

    I have read some fairly negative commentary on the 4315s on this forum, with the biggest complaints being the analytical characteristic as well as it lack of ability to reach into the lower octaves and deliver the bass performance of its bigger brothers.The lack of replacement cones/surrounds for the 4315 also does scare me some. 4343 or other big 15" models are a little out of the budget for now, they and the model 19s may also need more room than I can give them at present (thought I would have made an exception for the price that I was offered before they sold ). I have heard the big 43XXs and they are the real deal, ditto for the model 19...I guess if I am going with a smaller sized 12" model speaker I will have to put some more thought into if will deliver what I want. I will listen to the 4315s and let my ears decide.

    As for the smaller 12" models like the 4311, 4312, L100, or something like a Dynaco A25 A35 etc... I have very little experience, do they hold up ? I feel as though those smaller models will be a far cry away from a 15" JBL 43xxs. They also are about half as efficient so the planned SET amps might not be ideal partners for them. Would love to hear from anyone who has moved up the JBL line and extensively listened to the 12" and 15" models with or without SET / EL84 based amps.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator jblnut's Avatar
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    Maybe you want to look into the 4425/4430 as a possible option ?

    jblnut

  11. #11
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    I guess it would help to know what "mid-fi Hell" you are coming from ?
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

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