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Thread: Altec Lansing 846b Valencia Questions

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    Altec Lansing 846b Valencia Questions

    Greetings from Canada. I'm interested in some Valencias for sale near me. They have the 416-8B 15" woofer, original N-800 8K crossover, 811 B horns, 806 8A compression driver. My listening room is 18 feet wide and 29 feet long so I have a lot of room. What would be the ideal distance between the two speakers and ideal distance to the listener? What would be the optimum distance from the speakers to the wall behind them and to the side walls? Some commenters describe Valencias as having a very noticeable and shouty horn sound and an aggressive upper midrange and lower treble. Does a large room like mine help to mitigate these issues. Do new caps also help? Thanks for any advice.

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    Hi Cadguy,

    Welcome aboard the Lansing Heritage.

    With regards to the first few questions i suggest you have a look at the Valencia owner manual where you should probably find the relevant speaker placement info from the manufacturer. That manual might be in the library here or simply Google it.

    As for the horn its not evident that a large room would help mitigate those issues. Large rooms with listener at a distance are usually preferrable for horns as per horn guru Bruce Edgar. However, things can turn out to be bad sound wise depending on how live and reflective the room actually is. Hand claps might give you a clue about this.

    EQ applied to the horn could be an option to make it sound more acceptable. Or even having to do some acoustic treatment on the room walls at some point. Having carpeted floor, thick drapes/curtains and soft furniture to absorb some of the horn sound could also be a start, though you may still have to add some acoustic panels. Regards,

    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadguy View Post
    Greetings from Canada. I'm interested in some Valencias for sale near me. They have the 416-8B 15" woofer, original N-800 8K crossover, 811 B horns, 806 8A compression driver. My listening room is 18 feet wide and 29 feet long so I have a lot of room. What would be the ideal distance between the two speakers and ideal distance to the listener? What would be the optimum distance from the speakers to the wall behind them and to the side walls? Some commenters describe Valencias as having a very noticeable and shouty horn sound and an aggressive upper midrange and lower treble. Does a large room like mine help to mitigate these issues. Do new caps also help? Thanks for any advice.
    You might want to read all the comments made by LHF member "Chas" about his Valencias.

    He changed out the horn drivers ( for a pair of GPA 902-8a's ) and has been very enthusiastic about these speakers ever since.

    I can't remember if he did any work to the crossovers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadguy View Post
    Greetings from Canada. I'm interested in some Valencias for sale near me. They have the 416-8B 15" woofer, original N-800 8K crossover, 811 B horns, 806 8A compression driver. My listening room is 18 feet wide and 29 feet long so I have a lot of room. What would be the ideal distance between the two speakers and ideal distance to the listener? What would be the optimum distance from the speakers to the wall behind them and to the side walls? Some commenters describe Valencias as having a very noticeable and shouty horn sound and an aggressive upper midrange and lower treble. Does a large room like mine help to mitigate these issues. Do new caps also help? Thanks for any advice.
    I have a pair of A7's with the same drivers as the Valencias's. I use them in my workshop which is 18' wide by 30 feet deep, similar size as your room. The speakers are 9'-0" apart on the 18'-0" wide wall. They have been that way for over 10 years and I hear no reason to move or "upgrade" them. They sound really, really nice in that space.

    BTW, the 416-8B was used in the Model 19, I don't think they will fit in the Valencia cabinets without modifying the baffles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bedrock602 View Post
    I have a pair of A7's with the same drivers as the Valencias's. I use them in my workshop which is 18' wide by 30 feet deep, similar size as your room. The speakers are 9'-0" apart on the 18'-0" wide wall. They have been that way for over 10 years and I hear no reason to move or "upgrade" them. They sound really, really nice in that space.

    BTW, the 416-8B was used in the Model 19, I don't think they will fit in the Valencia cabinets without modifying the baffles.

    Thanks for all the great replies! The Valencias that I'm considering already have the Model 19 woofer installed and the seller states they are otherwise all original including the crossover.

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    Yes Earl, the GPA drivers are quite remarkable. My 846B’s now exhibit wide frequency response and low distortion to my ears. The irritating issues that are usually blamed on the aluminum horn cease to exist now. It’s a pity the GPA prices are so high now. I did change the crossover capacitors as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    Yes Earl, the GPA drivers are quite remarkable. My 846Bís now exhibit wide frequency response and low distortion to my ears. The irritating issues that are usually blamed on the aluminum horn cease to exist now. Itís a pity the GPA prices are so high now. I did change the crossover capacitors as well.

    Thanks! Chas for weighing in.

    Did you buy the 8 or 16ohm GPA 902's to replace the stock 806a ?

    I know the available depth ( from 811 horn- flange ) to the back wall is limited, I don't suppose you have an exact distance measurement ?


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    Hi Earl, I used the 902 8 Ohm version since the 806A was that impedance . No, I don’t have that dimension easily at hand, but if you really need it, I don’t mind pulling the cabinet out of my storeroom and removing the 811. Let me know.

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    Hi Chas,

    Thanks for the offer ( I'd like to take you up on some version of that ).

    So, I'm wondering if I might enlist your help as an active listener ( just you listening to your own system using different drivers I send you ).

    My thinking is this;

    I own a lot of 1" exit compression drivers and I'm wondering if you & I might collaborate to find a suitable ( iow; affordable ) driver to replace the HF anemic 806a.

    The way it would work is I would simply send a pair ( or 2 ) to your local drugstore post-office ( for you to pickup at your convenience ) >>> you do a bunch of listening > make notes
    > all with the of intent finding something that Cdn Valencia owners can use as an upgrade path.

    For Instance, I have a pair of Peerless compression drivers that I think very highly of ( I think they offer over 90% of the sonics of the Altec 802 ) at a fraction of a GPA upgrade.
    - They have plastic damped titanium diaphragms that I think sound great. They are shallow and I know they would fit inside the Valencia.

    I doubt there are many Canadian Valencia owners that would think the financial outlay that's now easily north of $2,000.00 Cdn was money well spent ( though maybe I'm wrong in my thinking ).

    Lets take this to PM to see if we might work something out ( I'm definitely "covid bored" and need a project >> apart from leaf raking ).


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    Yes Earl, the GPA drivers are quite remarkable. My 846Bís now exhibit wide frequency response and low distortion to my ears. The irritating issues that are usually blamed on the aluminum horn cease to exist now. Itís a pity the GPA prices are so high now. I did change the crossover capacitors as well.
    My A7's had 811B horns, but I soon swapped them for a 511B simply because they looked better on top of those massive cabinets. I've never experienced any irritating issues with the 511's, could the 811B horns be the culprit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadguy View Post
    Greetings from Canada. I'm interested in some Valencias for sale near me. They have the 416-8B 15" woofer, original N-800 8K crossover, 811 B horns, 806 8A compression driver. My listening room is 18 feet wide and 29 feet long so I have a lot of room. What would be the ideal distance between the two speakers and ideal distance to the listener? What would be the optimum distance from the speakers to the wall behind them and to the side walls? Some commenters describe Valencias as having a very noticeable and shouty horn sound and an aggressive upper midrange and lower treble. Does a large room like mine help to mitigate these issues. Do new caps also help? Thanks for any advice.
    I imagine a horn like the 811B would be "shouty" in a small room. I have a pair of JBL L101 with LE175 horns, they sounded very good in my living room, but when I tried them in a smaller room the horns sounded a bit harsh.

    Regarding the crossover capacitors, don't rush to judgement and rip the old ones out. Listen to the speakers as-is before making any changes.

    I'm somewhat of a noob when it comes to the technical aspects of audio gear and have read numerous forum posts regarding changing capacitors. After doing so on a few vintage speakers, I could hear no difference between new and old. Testing the old capacitors showed that they were still in spec. I did have a set of Wharfedale W60E 's from the early 1970's, one tweeter wasn't working but it had continuity. I traced the problem to a bad capacitor. I guess the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies to crossovers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bedrock602 View Post
    My A7's had 811B horns, but I soon swapped them for a 511B simply because they looked better on top of those massive cabinets. I've never experienced any irritating issues with the 511's, could the 811B horns be the culprit?
    Over the years I have used 806A on first, the 811B, then thinking the horn was the issue (as most folks seem to think) - I then moved to the 511B to no avail.

    These horns get no respect! With a GPA 902 bolted up they are stunning. And I’m used to 4345’s loaded with TAD TD2002 beryllium CD’s as my daily drivers.

    I was very fortunate to get a pair of the GPA’s prior to the massive price increase. Mind you, if my Valencia’s were used as my everyday system, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the money, even at today’s prices!

    Not having ever heard a brand new 806 right out of the box (circa ~1965!), maybe the aluminum diaphragms “work harden” over the years? There’s no way the HF response of these things in today’s world come anywhere close to meeting Altec’s published spec of 20Khz! One is lucky to reach 12Khz...

    I have also bolted up LE175’s by adding a third mounting hole to the 511B mounting flange. The results, to my ears were quite nice, the sound was big, warm and inviting. To me though, not really as detailed sounding as I prefer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    Over the years I have used 806A on first, the 811B, then thinking the horn was the issue - I moved to the 511B to no avail. These horns get non respect! With a GPA bolted up they are stunning. And Iím used to 4345ís loaded with TAD TD2002 beryllium CDís.

    I was very fortunate to get a pair of the GPAís prior to the massive increase. Mind you, if my Valenciaís were used as my everyday system, I wouldnít hesitate to spend the money even at todayís prices!

    Not having ever heard a brand new 806 right out of the box (circa ~1965!), maybe the aluminum diaphragms ďwork hardenĒ over the years? Thereís no way the HF response of these things in todayís world come anywhere close to meeting Altecís published spec of 20Khz! One is lucky to reach 12Khz...

    I have also bolted up LE175ís by adding a third hole to the 511B mounting flange. The results, to my ears were quite nice, the sound was big, warm and inviting. To me, not really as accurate as I like for my everyday system.
    I have a pair of Valencias sitting in storage without horn drivers or crossovers and had considered sourcing them from GPA, do you have an idea of the cost of the drivers? It's not posted on their website.

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    [QUOTE=bedrock602;432303]I have a pair of Valencias sitting in storage without horn drivers or crossovers and had considered sourcing them from GPA, do you have an idea of the cost of the drivers? It's not posted on their website.[/QUOTE

    Here you go:

    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Altec-Lansin...IAAOSwSvNejzmk

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    [QUOTE=Chas;432304]
    Quote Originally Posted by bedrock602 View Post
    I have a pair of Valencias sitting in storage without horn drivers or crossovers and had considered sourcing them from GPA, do you have an idea of the cost of the drivers? It's not posted on their website.[/QUOTE

    Here you go:

    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Altec-Lansin...IAAOSwSvNejzmk
    Holy-Moly......

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