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Thread: Altec Lansing 1234

  1. #1
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    Altec Lansing 1234

    Hello, I am new on here and I am considering buying a pair of very large Altec 1234 speakers for my garage outdoor system. I will be using a Mac MC2200 amp and a C26 preamp which I bought back in 1977. I went to see the speakers and the seemed very bright to the point of sounding distorted to me. It may just be
    that I am not used to that much output or maybe they need new diaphrams. I really am not sure and would appreciate anyone`s input regarding these speakers,
    thanks.

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    Senior Member Altec Best's Avatar
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    The Altec 1234 weren't really designed for Hi-Fi they were for sound reinforcement.. Depending on the model they should have either 808 or 908 HF drivers and Musical Instrument Bass Drivers 421 or 921's..

    IMHO not really what you want for Hi-Fi....

    http://www.greatplainsaudio.com/vint...spec_sheet.pdf
    "James B. Lansing" = Lansing Manufacturing ~ Altec Lansing ~ JBL

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    1200Hz crossover with a 511? Never noticed that before. Sort of odd. I guess it was for power handling with the small format driver.

    Francis
    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 netminder60 View Post
    Hello, I am new on here and I am considering buying a pair of very large Altec 1234 speakers for my garage outdoor system. I will be using a Mac MC2200 amp and a C26 preamp which I bought back in 1977. I went to see the speakers and the seemed very bright to the point of sounding distorted to me. It may just be
    that I am not used to that much output or maybe they need new diaphrams. I really am not sure and would appreciate anyone`s input regarding these speakers,
    thanks.
    Altec Best has a valid point. The 1234 system doesn't make for a good HiFi system, but using that system for a kick ass garage or out door system is just fine. However, since you're using an MC2200 to power them I would be hesitant to crank the speakers up loud enough to draw local law enforcement to your event. The 1234 was not designed to handle that kind of power.

    Installing new diaphragms may not be the issue. A blown diaphragm has no output save for either in intermittent break, or a V.C. that has become unraveled. The brightness may be in part due to the 511 horn. If the driver is operating without attenuation, the horn is in your face mode. If you proceed with the purchase, I recommend that you pull the compression drivers and clean out the air gaps. There is a document which explains how that is accomplished that can be found on the GPA site. If you're not familiar with handling compression driver diaphragms I recommend that you have the procedure performed by someone who is. In the blink of an eye a screw driver can be drawn to the phase plug and put a dent in the diaphragm.

    Good luck, H.F.

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    Altec 1234

    Thanks for all your advice. I have decided to pass on those as I would like something nicer sounding. I used to own a pair of Altec 19`s which I bought at the same time as my Mac stuff
    way back in 1977, I loved those speakers but had to sell them. I have often thought of building speakers from scratch or perhaps buying older cabinets and then picking up the pcs to finish
    them. Can you make any kit recommendations or combinations of drivers/crossover in either JBL or Altec that fairly easy to find over time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by netminder60 View Post
    Thanks for all your advice. I have decided to pass on those as I would like something nicer sounding. I used to own a pair of Altec 19`s which I bought at the same time as my Mac stuff
    way back in 1977, I loved those speakers but had to sell them. I have often thought of building speakers from scratch or perhaps buying older cabinets and then picking up the pcs to finish
    them. Can you make any kit recommendations or combinations of drivers/crossover in either JBL or Altec that fairly easy to find over time.
    You have two choices. Ebay for empty vintage cabinets with the possibility of getting pealed on shipping, and for what ever empty cabinets are worth depending on the condition. Or, build your own if you have the facilities. With that the options are endless, as prints for many vintage JBL and ALTEC enclosures can be found with a mouse click.

    The next questions; is what type of styling do you like, and what type of components. Personally, I'm a big fan of Mid-Century modern. So much that I built a pair of ALTEC 831 Capistrano's, except mine were built to accommodate the GPA 604-8H III. The boxes were re-tuned out the bottom, rather than around the horn as ALTEC did, a horn that I didn't use. Aside from the fact I'm a huge ALTEC fan, using the 416 would be a good choice, or the 414 if smaller woofers are your desire. Anything by JBL will obviously be vintage, with pricing subject to the whims of sellers and auction bidders. Brand new 416's can be purchased from Great Plains Audio, under warranty. The same for compression drivers. Whether it be an 811, 511, or 2345, they can be found on Ebay as well. A few models of JBL Bi-Radial horns can be purchased through Parts Express, along with after market knock-offs.

    H.F.

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    Project speaker

    Actually I would be happy with something similar to the 19`s. They also had one called the seventeen which might be an easier project for me.
    The JBL L300 would be very sweet but I`m sure it would be very expensive and difficult.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Altec Best's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horn Fanatic View Post
    You have two choices. Ebay for empty vintage cabinets with the possibility of getting pealed on shipping, and for what ever empty cabinets are worth depending on the condition. Or, build your own if you have the facilities. With that the options are endless, as prints for many vintage JBL and ALTEC enclosures can be found with a mouse click.

    The next questions; is what type of styling do you like, and what type of components. Personally, I'm a big fan of Mid-Century modern. So much that I built a pair of ALTEC 831 Capistrano's, except mine were built to accommodate the GPA 604-8H III. The boxes were re-tuned out the bottom, rather than around the horn as ALTEC did, a horn that I didn't use. Aside from the fact I'm a huge ALTEC fan, using the 416 would be a good choice, or the 414 if smaller woofers are your desire. Anything by JBL will obviously be vintage, with pricing subject to the whims of sellers and auction bidders. Brand new 416's can be purchased from Great Plains Audio, under warranty. The same for compression drivers. Whether it be an 811, 511, or 2345, they can be found on Ebay as well. A few models of JBL Bi-Radial horns can be purchased through Parts Express, along with after market knock-offs.

    H.F.
    I agree with H.F. on this you can build your own 19's..And we are talking about brand new drivers as well.. Bill at GPA is building the old Alnico 802-8G's again and also the 416-8B's also Model 19 crossovers.. I think I have recently seen someone on eBay building 19 cabs I will see if I can find the link..If I come across the link will post it.

    Here is a link from GPA's classic series drivers HF and LF drivers.

    http://www.greatplainsaudio.com/classic.html
    "James B. Lansing" = Lansing Manufacturing ~ Altec Lansing ~ JBL

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    Poject 19

    Very exciting, thank you for that info. I will go through the process of getting pricing of components and see how it adds up.

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