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Thread: Altec 305

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Altec 305

    I came across a pair of Altec model 305 for a price I just couldn't turn down. Do I need another pair of speakers, certainly not but curiosity got the best of me. Besides, I`ve never had an Altec speaker before so here was my chance. What caught my attention was the condition this pair was in. Aside from rotting surrounds, they are in near mint condition and came from the original owner. Considering the condition of the surrounds, I didn't dare play music through them but I did run some low level pink noise to verify that all of the components were operational.

    I know these aren't highly collectible or even desirable given that there is practically nothing out there in terms of information on that model or series for that matter, they couldn't have been too popular either so I wasn't expecting much out of them.

    For those who are unfamiliar with that model, it's a 3 way sealed enclosure with a 10" carbon fiber woven woofer, a 2" and 1" Mylar dome mid and tweeter. The cabinets are finished an all 6 sides with a gorgeous Walnut veneer with a very nice overall fit and finish. The only thing that seems out of place is that a stamped basket is used on the woofer. I would think that a cast basket would have been more appropriate but it does have a good sized magnet, probably in the order of 30 ounces or so and a 2" VC.
    The mid resembles a compression driver with the back plate removed. The Mylar diaphragm is mated to a small accordion spider type surround which I found interesting.

    Anywho, fast forward a couple of weeks and I install the new foam kit and fire up the system, having no idea what to expect.. I am so happy that what I heard put a smile on my ears
    The immediate first impressions were how seamlessly the 3 drivers integrated and how well they imaged even with a very basic positioning of the speakers. A very forward of the speaker plane and quite dimensional presentation, something that I look for in a speaker. They are decently lively,detailed and dynamic too.
    There isnt a whole lot happening below 45hz or so but what is there tight and tuneful, I suppose things will change some after the surrounds loosen up a little.
    I have to say that I havent been this surprised since I had some JBL S38`s a little while back.

    I really have no idea how this model was regarded in it`s heyday but Im hoping someone might chime in with their experiences or perhaps point me in the direction of some documentation.
    Here are a couple of pictures.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    Nice find!

    If you had not put a name on these, at first look i would have guessed they were ADS speakers, similar to member Seawolf's pair... Regards,

    Richard

    ALTEC LEGACY 8bc731eb-71f2-499f-8fc8-164acab15bd1.pdf

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Nice find!

    If you had not put a name on these, at first look i would have guessed they were ADS speakers, similar to member Seawolf's pair... Regards,

    Richard

    ALTEC LEGACY 8bc731eb-71f2-499f-8fc8-164acab15bd1.pdf
    Hey Richard, thanks for the attachment. I believe that those are a later "S" series which are rear ported. I dont know if there are any other differences however. Any idea when these may have been produced? I would guess during the mid 80`s or so.
    Your right about the ADS resemblance, it`s close. I wonder who copied who?
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    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Mike,

    I believe (somewhat remember) there was a press release when the Altec A7 was re-released by Altec Lansing Technologies if i'm correct. Then by searching for that press release there will be a date on it. This should give you the approx. release date for the 305 also. Regards,

    Richard

  5. #5
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Look at Post-1996 section, 2nd paragraph, of the following link, its more like 2004 than 1980's:


    www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altec_Lansing

    Regards,

    Richard

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    The link didnt work for me.
    I doubt that these are of a 2004 or even 1996 vintage, nothing was made in the USA in those times

  7. #7
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Sorry about the link, but you can still enter that address in your browser and get to the web page given.

    RE "I doubt that these are of a 2004 or even 1996 vintage, nothing was made in the USA in those times"

    Well you seem to be wrong about this one: "The new Legacy A7 is a meticulous re-issue of this classic Altec speaker. Manufactured in the USA, ..." Its in the PDF i posted in post # 2. As for the other boxes mentioned in that PDF there's no indication. Could be a yes or a no...

    The Aphex 124A devices i purchased have manufacturing dates in 2005, both made in the USA! The even more recent Ashly SRA series amps, as well as the Rolls Mosfet amps i purchased are also made in the USA. So its not that evident nothing was built in the US in those times, or even nowadays.

    Btw like your Avatar pic as this seems to be the famous Clair Brothers Audio S-4 cab. Still available used from Clair Brothers Audio for $2K, but at 425 Lbs each its not an easy one to move around... Regards,

    Richard

    https://clairusedgear.com/collection...ts/products/s4

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    That was a feeble attempt at sarcasm, of course the USA produced quality gear back then and still does.

    I did some more research into that series and between that and what i recall from what the elderly gentlemen I got this pair from, he claimed that he had them for "forever" which in my interpretation is before the new millenium. The Altec name, at least was used to produce speakers under the ownership of Sparkomatic in the mid `80s.

    I was able to get that link open, an interesting read for sure but I dont recall any mention of Sparkomatic, I`ll have to revisit it again. The original line couldn't have been all that bad if they reintroduced it in 2004 in the Legacy Line along with the iconic A7.

    Ah yes, the Clair S4, brings back many fond memories. I had many opportunities to use that system back in the day. They were a lot of fun to mix on but standing underneath a cluster of 24 of them always made me a little uneasy.

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