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Thread: Altec model 14-tweaking

  1. #1

    Altec model 14-tweaking

    Greetings,I purchased my first set of altecs a couple months ago on e-bay,when i tryed them out with an old el-84 scott amp,I LOVED the wide soundstage they sent out.After they were moved to a new location they were hooked up to a 300b integrated single-end 9-watt stereo amp,and am trying to get the best sound out of them in that mode,the frequency knob controls dont seem to adjust much,and sound like they need a cleaning.On another web site a guy said he upgraded his crossover with auricaps and mills resistors,saying this made them sound better.I added a set of binding posts to the cabinets,to utilize better speaker wire [straight-wire pro-12s added some needed low end]but want to still improve the mids and highs.The 14s may be happier with more power,those of you who have run them know,these are neat speakers and it would be nice to get them singing at their best.Any tips,advice,or past experience with the model-14s would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    First off: welcome to the forum!!

    Your SET amp is gonna have a hard time giving you the headroom you need. You can tweak the knobs all you want, but...
    Having an amp that provides "just enough" power or even adequate power wont get anything singing like an amp that has WAY more power than you need. A high quality, powerful amp can transcend that muscle with a relaxed confidence at any volume level- even at very low volume levels.
    I don't know a lot about the 14's, but as with anything vintage- start by going through it all first. Try bringing it up to a clean original state of operations before making any mods. You need to give a tired set of speakers a "fair shake" before assuming it needs a lot of changes. Know what I mean? After that- you can do whatever you like (much to the agony of the purists) if it doesn't suit you.

    I hope a resident Altec expert can chime in to address the specific questions regarding your model. Enjoy your stay!

  3. #3
    I don't know about the altecs but its REAAAAALLLLLLYYYYY hard to beat the sound of a good el84 based amp.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    lummi island, WA 98262
    The 14 needs at least 50 watts to begin to work right. The controls were really not heay enough, but one can still get new ones from someplace like Mauser. I would find a good clean SS amp for them unless you can afford a 50W minimum tube amp. Jim

  5. #5
    Senior Member LE15-Thumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Winnipeg, Canada
    The 14's need a lot of stuffing.....not in the box, but in front of the drivers

    Especially in that "Nails on Chalkboard" thing they call a horn. They can actually be used in place of Q-Tips to clean out that stubborn wax deposit; of course with the 14's you usually get a good dose of blood to go with it.

    I suggest about 20lbs to do the job properly. Ram it in there with a hydraulic log splitter

    Sorry Jaybea, just pullin your chain.....welcome to the forum
    "Give me JBL, or give me death"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    lummi island, WA 98262
    In my opinion, the HF of the 14 is really pretty good. It's got a great horn driver and the horn isn't that bad. The deficiency of the unit is the crossover, needs some upgrading, on my list, but, way out there. The basic crossover is very simple, the overdrive protection circuitry is rather complicated and that part works just fine.

    By removing the loading cap on the horn driver, shortening the screws, reattaching the diaphragm, putting a full size cover on the driver with a felt absorbtion pad inside, the HF is a bit smoother. I would not do this without an upgraded crossover as it slightly reduces power handling. Probably best to leave it alone unless you want to enter into the arcane world of crossover design. JIM

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