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Thread: ALTEC MI cabinets

  1. #1
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    ALTEC MI cabinets

    Have not been here in a while, been off doing other things, getting back to audio once again.

    Lately I have been asked to do some live and recorded sound, something we did for years in my Dad's company. When out observing what others are now doing, I am appalled at the sound quality the providers are getting by with, the bad part is the customers do not seem to notice.

    I am also the only Argentine Tango DJ in North America that plays the original Argentine 78 rpm records, from which the Traditional Tango Music is from. The usual sound systems at the Tango Venues, Festivals and the like again are miserable, no bass, screechy, obnoxiously bright and hard sounding, etc, the "preferred" speaker seems to be Mackie powered units on a sticks.

    I am using converted old ALTEC Cabinets, a pair of Modified 1205 MI speakers with a 288 on the 511 horn, dual 418 woofers modified with long throw Voice Coils and LF cones, and BiAmped using 9944 amps, a set of rebuilt (formerly trashed) Malibu's with 802 drivers, Frankenstein Altec woofers, BiAmped with hot-rodded 1224 amps- a modified set of 9844's (on sticks) with 909 drivers, custom re-coned Eminence Neo 12" woofers, powered by Biamped 9442's- a set of MI Duplex Cabinets with 616 Duplex drivers- a set of custom dual 8" Neo Eminence woofers, small horn with Emilar Drivers, and more. My usual larger room set is the the 1205's, Malibu's, and the 9844's. My systems sound great, the Dancers and Promoters are amazed with the sound quality, even when the regular DJ's use it with their computer music sources. I use a Mixer with Custom Phono PreAmps, 4 Long Arm classic Dual Turntables and Shure V15, III, IV, and V cartridges, some with JICO 78 Supertrak Styli, not the usual DJ record front end. Sometimes I use 2/3 octave or parametric Eq, but not often. Needless to say, it sounds great. Sometimes I do some PA work or other music work too. If the event is big enough I have 210, 825, 816, bass horns, 299 drivers, 311, Multicell, and Mantaray horns and more. As soon as I find a couple of 9844 (844) cabinets, I am going to build up a set with 2 12's and a Emilar Bowtie Horn with an 802 on it.

    One of the problems of working an event is that the customers want something that looks Ok and can be put up quickly. So I find myself moving toward the all-in-one speakers rather than using component parts. The Malibu's and the 9844's seem to be used the most often. The 811 horn will push father than we might think it ought too, and the dual woofers hold the lower midrange together much better than a single woofer. Compared to the usual Mackies, little EV's, JBL Eon's and the like, my systems sound awesome.

    The Carnage of older ALTEC Cabinets continue, although at a slower pace than before, I still hear of Model 19's, Valencia's, etc, being parted out by people who are just interested in a quick buck and have no idea what they have. The same thing continues to happen to the MI Cabinets. When I find out about a set, I contact the parter-outers, just to find that smashed the cabinets and put them in the garbage. For me, the MI Cabinets are just what I am looking for, Vinyl Covered, have wheels, nice tow bars, bumpers. etc. I have 511's-811's plus they are not hard to find, and the woofers. Right now working on finding a place I can buy a good Neo Motor to use, so I can get the woofer lighter, alnico magnet assembly's are heavy, ceramic magnets are way heavier, not so much of an eager youngster anymore at 66 years old.

    So, if you know of any of the older, empty, ALTEC MI cabinets, or 9844 cabs. let me know, especially interested in 1202's or 1203's. Then I have to figure out how to get them here. Jim

  2. #2
    Senior Member gdmoore28's Avatar
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    Hi Jim!

    Interesting read. We're about the same age, so we likely have similar tastes in audio. I worked in prosound for a number of years as a salesman, installer, road rep, and end user in a number of bands where I was usually the only member that knew how to plug in an XLR, use an EQ or a run a RTA.

    In comparing your gear to the shoddy little EONs and cheap-end JBL and EV equipment, I'm not surprised that your customers are well pleased with your audio! You are apparently completely out of your competition's quality level.

    But, in my band days I had the opportunity to work with some equivalent-quality JBL, EV, Mackie, et.al. equipment, and the results were quite nice. Besides your competitor's lack of quality equipment, I suspect that what you are really up against is their lack of experience and exposure to quality sound. Many of them are likely working in the dark when it comes to simply setting gain levels, proper eq use, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    In the interest of promoting good sound - and sparing the ears of the public! - you might consider taking some of your competitors under the wing and showing them how to do it right. Especially the young guys. I'm already out of the game, and your days may be numbered, as well. Passing along the tricks of the trade to the up and coming young "engineers" would allow you to leave a hard-earned legacy to a new generation.

    And, maybe the next time they heft their speakers on the poles, their audiences can have the pleasure of enjoying the sound rather than seeking shelter from it!

    GeeDeeEmm

  3. #3
    Member Radley's Avatar
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    Hi, I bolted together a little horn system to do some occasional gigs. I used small L-brackets to hold the horns together with the bass cabinet on castors. It was just the right size to be able to tip back into my mini van. I also had a 12 space amp rack on castors that provided the drive. It was pretty simple to move around and I didn't have to resort to the speakers on a stick.Name:  Stud.JPG
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  4. #4
    Senior Member gdmoore28's Avatar
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    Which components are you using in your setup? Looks like a good portable rig.

    Is that you in the . . . uh . . . "cowboy" getup?

    GeeDeeEmm

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    Senior Member hsosdrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdmoore28 View Post
    Is that you in the . . . uh . . . "cowboy" getup?
    Vladimir Putin?

  6. #6
    Member Radley's Avatar
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    We can all dream, can't we?
    Nah, that was Mickey, the client and one time owner of The Stud.
    The "little system" is : Community VHF100 (HF), Community M4 (MF) and Community SB45 (LF). The rack had a Rane RPM26z (DSP), 2 Crown K-2's and a Yamaha M406 mixer.
    One is power limited by the generator, but with a M4 set up, it can get god awful loud with no distortion.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hsosdrum's Avatar
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    As I recall, that M4 driver is MF-ing huge (it even has a built-in handle)!

  8. #8
    Member Radley's Avatar
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    jimd, I'd love to see some pictures of your rig?

    Also, I'd be terrified of taking 78's out of the house- I can just imagine somebody pitching in to give you a hand and they drop the milk crate of records...

  9. #9
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    I made custom plywood cases with handles and interior foam padding for the 78's. They are not uncommon,, in Argentina, where I got mine. Here in the USA, they are much harder to find, and expensive. So far in 4 yrs two have gotten broken, I'm careful. If you go to Facebook, to Jim's Off the Record Tango DJ, you can see the setup and the speakers, etc., some of my writing. Still looking for 1202, 1203.1204, 1205 1234 and 844/9844 cabinets, more later.

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