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Thread: My Heathkit Legato Restoration!!!

  1. #1
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    My Heathkit Legato Restoration!!!

    I acquired this Heathkit Legato speaker a few years ago along with a beautiful Altec 830A Laguna "clone". I got some great information here regarding the Laguna and mentioned that I would post some pictures and details of the Legato restoration. I am FINALLY getting around to it tonight even though it all happened a while back. I got both speakers from the estate of the owner who was using the very mismatched (Looks) set as a stereo pair which is also what I am doing. They sound wonderful together. The Laguna basically only needed cleaned and it was ready to go. The Legato ,however, required a little more TLC but turned out great. It looked kinda rough but turned out to be in excellent condition. I will post details of what I did and pictures of the process and hopefully someone will find it to be interesting.


    • Finish was rough but it turns out that the wood was in great shape and the defects/scratches were only in the varnish
    • The woofers, horn and crossover were all in near mint condition and only required some light cleaning
    • Grill cloth was missing and there was only some foam protecting the speakers (did a great job as cones were perfect)
    • Speakers were date stamped Nov. 1956 so this was an early Legato (which is also supported by the low serial numbers)



    • This was sold as a kit from Heathkit and the model number was HH-1-C (Appears to have been sold from 1956 through 1961)
      • 16 ohm
      • Mahogany or blonde finish
      • rated to 50 watts
      • 25 to 20,000 cps
      • 41" x 22 3/4" x 34"
      • 195 lbs
      • (2) 15" Altec LF Drivers #401-17 which are Heathkit branded 803A's
      • Altec HF Driver #401-18 which is Heathkit branded 802D
      • Horn is #400-1 Heathkit Branded Altec 511
      • Network is Heathkit

    • Mine is probably from 1956 or early 1957 as date stamp on woofers in NOV 1956
      • Woofer serial #'s are 316 and 322 (I have seen these with serial #'s over 4000)
      • Horn Serial # is 138
      • HF Driver serial # is 95
      • Woofer cones are stamped 20750



    This is what I did:

    • Replaced the grill cloth
      • this required taking everything out of the cabinet to remove the front mounting board that the grill cloth attaches to as it was not possible to remove from the front due to cabinet design
      • luckily this was a kit and everything was screwed together and came apart pretty easily
      • overall grill cloth was not that difficult to replace just time consuming

    • Once I had everything out of the cabinet I stripped off all the finish with gel paint stripper
      • took a few coats on each side and was time consuming
      • Stripper lightened the cabinet so now it looks closer to cherry than dark mahogany (which is perfect for me)
      • Luckily there were no scratches in the actual wood - they were all in the varnish finish
      • Stripping the decorative pieces in the front was time consuming but they were flawless when done
      • entire cabinet was cleaned inside

    • I put multiple coats of Danish oil on the outside of the cabinet and it turned out great
    • Cleaned all speakers thoroughly and carefully
    • I stripped the legs for the cabinet and wire wheeled and spray painted all the metal parts
    • Put everything back together
    • Original fiberglass was wrapped in cheesecloth and placed back in cabinet
    • wire wheeled all screws for cabinet as well as speaker connection strip on back
    • I cleaned and polished the cover on the back for the HF Driver


    Overall this speaker turned out much better than I thought it would and I am extremely happy with it and it sounds fantastic


    This is Pre:

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  2. #2
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    These are During:
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  5. #5
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    The Finished product:

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  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    And finally paired with my "Laguna" and my Fisher x-101 ST

    Thanks for looking!!

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  8. #8
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    Thanks for Posting!

    Beautiful Work!



    PS; my guess is the compression driver is more likely an 802C ( based on the raised // embossed // styled // Altec lettering )

  9. #9
    Senior Member srm51555's Avatar
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    Nice work!

  10. #10
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    That cabinet looks great with the ivory grille cloth, good choice. It would be awesome to come up with another to match it, but holy smokes, that speaker looks like it was in a museum it's whole life. It'll be tough to find another as nice.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earl K View Post
    Thanks for Posting!

    Beautiful Work!



    PS; my guess is the compression driver is more likely an 802C ( based on the raised // embossed // styled // Altec lettering )
    Thanks! Yes I see what you mean about it being 802C. That helps support the fact that its an earlier Legato

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by srm51555 View Post
    Nice work!
    Thank you. It was a lot of fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty jefferson View Post
    That cabinet looks great with the ivory grille cloth, good choice. It would be awesome to come up with another to match it, but holy smokes, that speaker looks like it was in a museum it's whole life. It'll be tough to find another as nice.
    Thanks! There were some remnants of the original grill cloth and it was much darker. The one I picked has a very light brown shade to it and worked well. I am keeping my eyes open for another to match it for sure

  14. #14
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Very cool project and nicely done!
    Thanks for sharing!


    Widget

  15. #15
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    In a word WOW! Looks fantastic!!

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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