Zero Distortion: Altec Assault and the Magic of Misho (Audio Antiquary)

http://zero-distortion.org/altec-assault-and-the-magic-of-misho/

Warning: This is a long article, so you can take breaks while reading it, as it covers different sections:
  1. Introduction to Misho (AudioAntiquary) and the Altecs, his background owning Altecs, Bionor, WE 16a, etc
  2. Compares of his electronics against Audio Note Neiro 2a3, Allnic Phono, and comments from users who own it with Kondo and CJ GAt II
  3. Tour of various other Altecs and VOTTs in EU
  4. My own decision to go with dual woofer FLHs
Altec Cover.jpg
 

Comments

bonzo75

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#21
How about the Audionet Integrated Amp, the Humboldt?
I have no exposure to other audionet gear. The stern and Heisenberg are silly price stratosphere.
 

bonzo75

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#22
Rey is closed box. As such I have no interest.
 

Folsom

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#23
@Ron Resnick

I should warn you that Ked's description of QTS is wholly wrong. He described common characteristics around some drivers he reads up on, but even those are big misunderstandings. Q is a measure of damping so in this case it is "TS" or "total speaker" as in the total damping effect of the driver/speaker. Damping is a function of electrical and mechanical. It gets more complicated from there. Typical compression horn drivers have a low QTS because the magnets are massive so that electrically they are very damped - the magnets force the centering of the voice coil. It's more complicated than that, though.

A relative example of relationship to bass is that a driver with high QTS (low damping) are able to play lower towards and possibly past their FS (Free air speaker resonance). That makes high QTS potentially useful for bass (but not necessarily good).

Luckily for Ked the people on the forum he frequents will make sure he makes everything work out to be stellar good whether he gets into T/S parameters deeply or not.
 

bonzo75

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#24
@Ron Resnick

I should warn you that Ked's description of QTS is wholly wrong. He described common characteristics around some drivers he reads up on, but even those are big misunderstandings. Q is a measure of damping so in this case it is "TS" or "total speaker" as in the total damping effect of the driver/speaker. Damping is a function of electrical and mechanical. It gets more complicated from there. Typical compression horn drivers have a low QTS because the magnets are massive so that electrically they are very damped - the magnets force the centering of the voice coil. It's more complicated than that, though.

A relative example of relationship to bass is that a driver with high QTS (low damping) are able to play lower towards and possibly past their FS (Free air speaker resonance). That makes high QTS potentially useful for bass (but not necessarily good).

Luckily for Ked the people on the forum he frequents will make sure he makes everything work out to be stellar good whether he gets into T/S parameters deeply or not.
We are talking about the woofers not the mids compression drivers?

I agree with damping. Low QTS drivers are very damped. That doesn't change the fact that they have to move very less to create bass. Also, very damped drivers if run with SS amps actually show a bass roll off, and are best run with low power tubes.
 

Ron Resnick

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#25
Rey is closed box. As such I have no interest.
I am citing Rey, just like you cited Rey, solely for the point about M-T-M.
 

Folsom

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#26
We are talking about the woofers not the mids compression drivers?

I agree with damping. Low QTS drivers are very damped. That doesn't change the fact that they have to move very less to create bass. Also, very damped drivers if run with SS amps actually show a bass roll off, and are best run with low power tubes.
All drivers play by the same rules for QTS. That's how we design stuff using the T/S parameters. Q is a measure of damping with speakers, nothing else. But that damping has effects that affect a lot.

One of the functions of having really low Q (high damping) is that to keep linearity you usually need a low xmax because the the huge magnetic force is pretty concentrated. In a compression driver that's fine, they move almost imperceptible distances to get to blistering loud levels. It should be noted bigger magnets = higher sensitivity. That relationship is why it's hard to get super sensitive very low bass playing drivers, the QTS fights you by increasing. (there are ways to still get there somewhat, but it's more difficult)

Moving less to create more bass is a function of being in a structure that doesn't waste energy, it isn't an effect of damping itself. Take a driver in any kind of horn and remove it and you get less bass... It has to have higher excursion to get the same amount. It's a relationship of surface area to travel and how much of that energy is useful is how much it's concentrated and not cancelled out.
 
Likes: Duke LeJeune

KeithR

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#27
Let's ask LL21 to explain what he and I mean about tall loudspeakers portraying "scale and grandeur." In loudspeakers I truly believe that height matters.

It was you, actually, who sensitized me to the concern of woofers in the bottom of the cabinet causing the sound to seem like low frequencies are coming from the bottom of the cabinet. I fully appreciate that you don't have that concern with these FLH open baffle dual woofer speakers. But a double-box, M-T-M design (like Rey) takes the issue completely off the table.
A double box, MTM design changes the simple crossover to a complex one and won't be SET friendly. So no free lunch.

Check out the back of Jeff's speakers next time you're over - it apparently was difficult for Greg to get the crossover right. And he designed all the JBLs for 30 years and isn't some DIY guy.
 

bonzo75

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#28
What the Altec 815 does is it has the two woofers next to each other rather than one below each other. This might have some minor coherence benefit though can't be sure.
 

Folsom

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#29
A double box, MTM design changes the simple crossover to a complex one and won't be SET friendly. So no free lunch.

Check out the back of Jeff's speakers next time you're over - it apparently was difficult for Greg to get the crossover right. And he designed all the JBLs for 30 years and isn't some DIY guy.
It's possible to do an MTM as single order.
 

Ron Resnick

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#30
A double box, MTM design changes the simple crossover to a complex one and won't be SET friendly. So no free lunch.

. . .
I agree -- this makes sense. Still, I would probably be willing to accept those trade-offs. If one wants to even think seriously about competing against Evolution Acoustics MM7 and Rockport Arrakis and VSA Ultra 11 I believe one needs the height.
 

bonzo75

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#31
I agree -- this makes sense. Still, I would probably be willing to accept those trade-offs. If one wants to even think seriously about competing against Evolution Acoustics MM7 and Rockport Arrakis and VSA Ultra 11 I believe one needs the height.
Height is the least. These are very big sounding. I haven't heard the Arrakis, and you haven't heard this, but none of the other Rockports come close to any of these. Mike's is better because of his room, other stuff, and Mike, the MM3 in Dartzeel's room is not close.

So it is pointless to mention the Arrakis to think it will be remotely competitive.
 
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Ron Resnick

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#32
Height is the least. These are very big sounding. I haven't heard the Arrakis, and you haven't heard this, but none of the other Rockports come close to any of these. Mik's is better because of his room, other stuff, and Mike, the MM3 in Dartzeel's room is not close.

So it is pointless to mention the Arrakis to think it will be remotely competitive.
I know that these vintage speakers have a "big" sound. I am citing those tall speakers solely for the proposition that, to me, "scale and grandeur" require height. To me the "scale and grandeur" attribute is separate and different from the "big" sound attribute.

I thought you were proffering your design as a true competitor even to these commercial state-of-the-art speaker systems. That is the reason I mentioned them; not to suggest that they will sound the same as an all-out-assault vintage-type system.
 

bonzo75

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#33
I know that these vintage speakers have a "big" sound. I am citing those tall speakers solely for the proposition that "scale and grandeur" require height. To me the "scale and grandeur" attribute is separate and different from the "big" sound attribute.
The dual woofer front loaded horns is not always vintage. Tad are not exactly vintage. They are as tall as anything and can be placed apart much farther from each other than Arrakis or any similar speaker and that gives massive scale. Your horn scale is limited only by the size of your room. Same with Cessaro or pnoe, you could place them in 100 feet rooms. With respect, you are focusing on what you think is an attribute which is not. It is an attribute when you compare the Arrakis to am Avior size speaker, that's about it, and which big planars have an advantage in, but this is easily matched when you get to big horns and exceeded when you have room size.
 

LL21

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#34
Height is the least. These are very big sounding. I haven't heard the Arrakis, and you haven't heard this, but none of the other Rockports come close to any of these. Mik's is better because of his room, other stuff, and Mike, the MM3 in Dartzeel's room is not close.

So it is pointless to mention the Arrakis to think it will be remotely competitive.
How do they compare with the Infinity IRS V/Genesis 1s? Those are the largest, most spacious and effortless i have heard...not perfect either...but certainly in term of effortless scale for certain kinds of music, they were impressive as they should be given how gi-normous they are.
 

Ron Resnick

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#35
The dual woofer front loaded horns is not always vintage. Tad are not exactly vintage. They are as tall as anything and can be placed apart much farther from each other than Arrakis or any similar speaker and that gives massive scale. Your horn scale is limited only by the size of your room. Same with Cessaro or pnoe, you could place them in 100 feet rooms. With respect, you are focusing on what you think is an attribute which is not. It is an attribute when you compare the Arrakis to am Avior size speaker, that's about it, and which big planars have an advantage in, but this is easily matched when you get to big horns and exceeded when you have room size.
Yes, if we are talking even bigger horn systems then I understand and I agree.
 

bonzo75

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#36
How do they compare with the Infinity IRS V/Genesis 1s? Those are the largest, most spacious and effortless i have heard...not perfect either...but certainly in term of effortless scale for certain kinds of music, they were impressive as they should be given how gi-normous they are.
I haven't heard those. Big dual woofer front loaded horns sound better than Henk's grands which were my favorite on the big and ballsy scale before (comparing on those two parameters. They of course sound better on tone, flow, detail, nuance, coherence, dynamic range and micro and macro dynamic scale.
 

bonzo75

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#37
the GIP silbatone dual woofer FLHs cost 150 - 200k

GIP.jpg
 

bonzo75

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#38
Yes, if we are talking even bigger horn systems then I understand and I agree.
Also cost of components in any of these horns will be far higher than what goes into the speakers you are talking about, as is the decades long expertise that has gone into each driver and design
 

LL21

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#39
I haven't heard those. Big dual woofer front loaded horns sound better than Henk's grands which were my favorite on the big and ballsy scale before (comparing on those two parameters. They of course sound better on tone, flow, detail, nuance, coherence, dynamic range and micro and macro dynamic scale.
Thanks...make sense. So I can get an understanding of the kinds of size horns you are talking about...exactly what are the dimensions of the speakers you consider all-out assault? I have seen the Bionors in photos and realized they are truly living room sized.

One of the things I admire about the Arrakis and also the even-smaller XLFs is their ability to deliver so much in a [relatively] compact foot print and reasonable height.
 

bonzo75

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#40
Thanks...make sense. So I can get an understanding of the kinds of size horns you are talking about...exactly what are the dimensions of the speakers you consider all-out assault? I have seen the Bionors in photos and realized they are truly living room sized.

One of the things I admire about the Arrakis and also the even-smaller XLFs is their ability to deliver so much in a [relatively] compact foot print and reasonable height.
That is very easy when you have a closed box. Which to me is also sonically the issue. Plus their disparate drivers, complex crossovers, and lack of coherence that I hear, and I don't like their tone, style of bass, lack of ease.
 

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