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Thread: I hate to say it but ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member BigBusa's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but ...

    ...my Klipsch Cornwalls literally blow away the Altec A-7-500-8's!!!!!

    Some of you guys said that the Altecs are one of the best speakers of all time. No way.

    I wasn't able to A/B the klipsch directly against the Altecs. But, I just removed the A-7's (they're sold) and replaced them with my beloved Klipsch Cornwalls.

    I made the swap quickly so I could get a feel for the Klipsch against the Altecs.

    The Altecs are ALL MIDRANGE!!!!!!!! They do that spectacularly well but they flounder when it comes to highs and even worse with the lows ...Plus, the A-7's footprint is ludicris for a home speaker. Not to mention they are ugly as sin! Grey boxes with an ugly horn bolted on top? No thank you!!!

    Ahhhhhh, Welcome back my lovely Klipsch.

  2. #2
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Well can't please everyone we all have our own tastes. Glad you like the Klipcsh's.


    "Plus, the A-7's footprint is ludicris for a home speaker. Not to mention they are ugly as sin! Grey boxes with an ugly horn bolted on top? No thank you!!!"

    Well if you are designed for use behind a screen who cares what it looks like as long as it gets the job done. Can't compare the cosmetics totally different criteria. Pro Cinema vs. domestic use.

    Rob

  3. #3
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    A-7,s

    The A-7 was meant work properly in a fairly large room. In a small room where you dont have the footage for the projection the A-7,s are capable of, well, they wont work right!

    Of course, add tweeters and subwoofers and the SPECTACULARITY becomes unbelievable! I always bandpassed my horns where the tweeters come in and that works well for me!
    Last edited by scott fitlin; 04-24-2003 at 11:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Member Todd W. White's Avatar
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    You Need The Model 19

    You are really needing a Model 19 - EXCEPTIONAL and BLOWS the Cornwall!
    Todd W. White, Owner & Webmaster
    Altec Lansing's (unofficial) Homepage
    http://alteclansingunofficial.nlenet.net/

  5. #5
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    "a Model 19 - EXCEPTIONAL and BLOWS the Cornwall!"

    This is a much better comparison as they were both meant for home use and are both bass reflex with a horn loaded upper end.

    I remember liking the model 19, but I felt it was still a little lacking in deep bass as well as the upper end of the frequency spectrum. Of course the Cornwall is lacking at the extremes as well.

    I don't know about blowing away, but I would bet the Model 19 does have a superior midrange to the Cornwall. I certainly have to agree with BigBusa though, I do not see the appeal of the A-7 as a high fidelity system.

    Every time I hear someone raving about A-7s I picture a semi-deaf old man listening to a hi-fi through a cone held up to his ear.

    Ultimately, Rob is right we all have our own tastes and personal favorites.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BigBusa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mr. Widget
    I do not see the appeal of the A-7 as a high fidelity system.

    Every time I hear someone raving about A-7s I picture a semi-deaf old man listening to a hi-fi through a cone held up to his ear.


    HAHAH yeah ...

    Nothing personal to those who like their A-7's. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to own some for a brief period. Now I'll know when someone starts raving about the Altec A-7 that they aren't really all that for home use IMO.

    Maybe someday I'll find a pair of model 19's.

    I have two upcoming speaker purchases to test the cornwalls against though ...A pair of Infinity RS 4.5 and a pair of Apogee Duettas (full range ribbon speakers). What a great hobby!

  7. #7
    Senior Member BigBusa's Avatar
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    Re: You Need The Model 19

    Originally posted by Todd W. White
    You are really needing a Model 19 - EXCEPTIONAL and BLOWS the Cornwall!
    Todd have you honestly a/b'ed the two speakers or is this just an opinion not based on facts? Just curious?

  8. #8
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    Altec vs others

    In regards to Altec speakers I will try to be brief.

    Years ago I was playing in a band and needed a PA for live ferformance. I responded to an advertisement....a recording studio was closing and selling off its monitors which had Altec drivers. I purchased them for little took them home and then tried them out. I was floored by the quality of the sound...the dynamics and clarity of the sound was incredible. I decided to compare them to my recently factory rebuilt (courtesy of Hurricane Andrews) Apogee Duetta sigs. To use Mr BigBusa terminology they blew away the Duettas in dynamics, clarity and even transients!!!! Specifically a cone driver having better transients than a ribbon was perplexing so I tried comparing the Altecs to full range electrostatics. Again much better dynamics, equal clarity and equal transients but with balls...very realistic dynamic transients. After kicking myself in the ass for days, for having spent over ten thousand dollars for fancy speakers when these monitors which I paid $40 a piece blew away, I decided to see the innards of the cabinets. They had Altec 416a woofers and 802D comp drivers with 811 horns.


    It took me a while to understand how a dynamic driver could outperform the newer technologies. But it has to do with light rectangular wire voice coils in huge magnetic fiels and very light cones acting within
    horns with very little actual cone movement therefore little distortion etc. Now granted JBL also has similar drivers and they are also very good. I like the altecs better as they are easier to work on. I ended up putting these drivers in an even more compact PA cabinet fully fiberglass stuffed and using them when we played. They consistantly outperformed all other bands PA speakers including EAW, Klipsch, JBLs (the new stuff). I had to continuously explain what they were because they sounded so good using just a 60 watt amp!!!!. Presently I use Altec A5s with multicell horns and 299 drivers with an EV 30W subwoofer. The subwoofer is a 30" driver with 100 dB/W sens , fs=16Hz in a vented 80 cubic foot enclosure. The room is a custom built 28x 38' with 16' high ceilings. In this setting nothing else beats the altecs including the Wilson WAMMS etc etc.

    I am unable to fully explain Bigbusa difficulties with his A7 in comparison to the Corwalls. There could be many reasons.
    Roland

  9. #9
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    once again

    In a proper room with proper setup Altec walks all over the others!

    However, setup and room size is an issue with the Altec speakers! It aint just plug-N-play!

  10. #10
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Hi Scott,

    You and Roland are talking about A-7s in a PA application, which is decidedly different than a typical hi-fi home use. I haven't heard A-7s used in PAs in many years, but I did like them in that application. I mentioned this in the interim forum.

    I do wonder though, if it truly was a superior product why no one is producing a clone of it and taking over the medium sized PA market with it. I would guess that it is probably due to the A-7s rather large and inconvenient size. There are a host of smaller speakers on the market that even with a sub will take up less room in your van or on stage.

    I agree that it does make a good midrange when augmented by a sub and ideally a super tweeter. The need for the super tweeter depends on how much you EQ and the type of venue. With today's music the need for the sub is absolute. If you try to get the bottom end out of them that people expect you will blow the woofers in no time.

    Ultimately I am not sure they are the only way to get great midrange in a medium sized PA and since they are so large I guess most people would prefer something a bit more manageable that occupy a lot less real estate.

    Widget

  11. #11
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    yes.

    Ultimately it was a size and weight issue that made users decise to use smaller cabinets! And because there are power amps capable of delivering up to several thousand watts per channel, users felt they no longer needed to have to deal with the size and weight of horn loaded boxes to achieve serious output!

    Even years ago there were complaints about size and weight! But in 1979 you didnt have the amplifiers we have now! That said, now we have the availability of mega watt amps and you see where sound has gone!

    Altec bass horns were intended for medium to large rooms. The A7,s could fill a medium auditorium or dance hall with serious output! Another thing about horns is that even though the A7 is a relatively small horn it throw fairly far, and you get the sound 15-30 feet out into the room. If your in a near field situation, where you withing a few feet of the horn in a small den or room in a house your too close. In this application a direct radiator works better! The horns need footage for the wavelength to develop! In nightclubs Altec bass horns ( 210,s and 211,s ) used to be hung 25 feet over the dance floor aimed downward! We are talking about THEATRE size rooms and the physical location of the horns many feet away from the people, and they sounded great!

    Another issue with horns is EQ and getting them to work right. Its a pain in the A... sometimes! Woofers like the 515B and 416,s dont need BIG wattage to make sound, and actually do better on the amps that were being used back in the day!

    I have experienced BIG sub bass folded horns in small clubs that bought Berthas or levan horns because they were in Studio54 and Paradise garage and wondered why they didnt have the GARGANTUAN bass like the aforementioned clubs! The room was too small for these BEHEMOTH folded horns and the wavelength couldnt roll out properly. however they had the bass the club PAID big money for 1- 3 buildings down! If your room is too small to support the wavelength the horn doesnt work!

    One other little thing! What sounds great in a Dance hall or concert situation doesnt neccesarily sound great at home! Many times the commercial gear can be overbearing in home use!
    Last edited by scott fitlin; 04-25-2003 at 12:45 PM.

  12. #12
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    and consider this!

    When your in an arena with clusters of horns hung above the center of say Madison Square Garden and there is a concert going on, the audience is a very considerable distance from any of the speakers!

    This is what horns were designed to do, project the sound!

  13. #13
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    No Mr Widget the A5s and EV30W ARE MY HOME HIFI set up but please note the room is 28'x38'x16feet high ceilings. Again they put down the Wilson WAMMS being much more dynamic this EV subwoof blends much better than the WAMMS separate subwoof.

    By the way the WAMMS went for over $100K I have less than $1K in this speaker system altogether!!!. Again the Altec components outperformed the full range ribbons and full range electrostats in all categories!!!! These are not only PA quality drivers!!!. These were and are professional quality drivers usually set up by pros to get the max out of them. The Klipsch drivers do not begin to compare in quality. Please note this is not a put down of Mr Kipsch and his major accomplishment the K horn I have a lot of respect for him and his corner loaded horn which although imperfect was a great accomplishment in its time.

    Can the altec speakers be improved? Yes the metal horns ring too much and the cabinets need further bracing. You need an efficient matching subwoof and some may like a supertweeter.
    They are ugly and bulky in the industrial 210, A5 or A7 setup. For typical home use I would go with a bass reflex cabinet like the model 19. In reality they are the bargain in Audio at used prices. Most are being cloned again. Check the Iconic website.
    Roland

  14. #14
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Metal horns

    I had Altec 511,s and 311,s. They did have a ring to them. In 1980 I switched to JBL 2395 lens horns with 2441 drivers! In this room they sound really good, but I dont think the 2395 is really suitable for home use, under most circumstances!

    Roland, you happen to have a big room for your setup, which is what you need. How many people have rooms in their homes with 16`foot high ceilings?

    My room has a low ceiling, only 9 ft high, but my Room is 90ft long by 50ft wide!

  15. #15
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    "Again they put down the Wilson WAMMS being much more dynamic"

    I have heard a WAMM system at a dealer showroom, I wasn't that impressed. I have heard several generations of the WATT/PUPPIES ditto, however one of the most impressive demonstrations of dynamics I have ever heard was the Wilson Audio X-1 Grand Slams playing in a 20 by 30 ft room with mega watt mega dollar electronics. They played a variety of pieces of music, none of which I can recall by name, but at one point on one track there was a drum solo that was the most dynamic demonstration I have ever heard. Those speakers had full command of that room and had there been a sheer curtain hiding them I would have bet big money that there was a sweating drummer on the other side of it.

    Some will say yeah, but you were listening to over $200K worth of gear. This is true but we are talking ultimate performance. The "OK, but this or that is cheaper" argument is left at the door.

    To me the bang for the buck club's membership is full of guys with old POS cars with a spare carburetor in the back seat so that they can get home. "Yeah man, but when it runs it is as fast as a ..."


    Roland,

    Hey, I listen to big old fashioned horns myself, but I am not of the belief that all that is new is bad, and all the vintage stuff is holy. I agree with you and Scott that if you don't dampen the 511s they do tend to ring. As far as the EV 30" woofer is concerned, I have seen a couple but I have never heard one. Most people seem to think the motor is overwhelmed by the cone causing a bit of a mushy bottom end. Perhaps you have solved this in your cabinets. In a very large room such as yours I would guess that extreme LF is a bit limited even with a 30" woofer in 80!! cu ft. I would bet that a pair of 2245Hs in 10 cu ft each would go deeper, louder, and with better transient response.

    Once again though, these systems are meant to please the owner. It sounds like yours is a success!

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