I have the opportunity to buy Altec A7 cabinets ($100 a pair) and Horns ($260 a pair) without any cones to either. The cabinets and grills are in great shape as is the Horn. My question is, is it worth a punt? as a DIY project that has to be done on the cheap. Any suggestions as to alternative cones/crossover would be greatly appreciated. The chap does have the crossover also, not sure what he is asking though. This is more of a whim purchase and not a necessity. I know one thing, it is going to be hard to slip them into the house without anyone noticing, lol...
Do it! The missing 15" woofers are readily available, and were commonly the JBL D130 or equivalent. If the horns are missing the compression drivers that should be there, those too are available. You should buy the x/o from the seller, but the A-7 x/o schematic should be easy to find on the 'net, and you can have a local ee build you a pair. If you don't like the resulting sound, you can always sell them to a local Rock band---they are a classic PA speaker. They do tend to dominate a room, though!
I found that my A7s I dragged around for PA use (mostly) from the early 70s well into the early 80s sounded amazing. Wooden...something...anyway mine were originally supplied with an Altec 15 which was just OK, but stick a JBL serious bass speaker like the D140 or later models in the things and you can do uncompressed bass slam to shake the neighborhood. I loved those things.
Thanks guys for your input, much appreciated. It seems like a good deal even if they only end up in the garage. He did sell off the cones separately, maybe made more money than selling the A7's as complete speakers one would imagine. As I have never heard a pair I do not know how they are with a Solid State amp as I am generally not to keen on tube amps, although I do have an very low hour Onix SP3 tube amp in its box somewhere. How are they with all types of music in a home setting? I have read they are a bit bass shy, is that the case? I do have Klipschorns if I want the neighbors to hear my music and get the animals running for cover, lol....
Bass shy? Um.... No. They have plenty of bass output. It's just that they don't go real deep into the bass region. 40-45hz is just about it. I had a pair of the home versions of the A-7. Large squatty cabs with walnut finish (846-B). I loved those speakers. That was about 45 years ago. There's a pair on Audiogon right now I believe that are selling just south of $3000.
A company out there called Great Plains Audio makes and sells vintage drivers for all the older Altec's with compression drivers. They sell the woofers also. Probably not cheap, but you know the drivers will work properly if you buy from them.
Man, those some big boxes. I haven't heard a pair in years. Very common as part of a sound reinforcement system in the early days. I suspect the aftermarket for crossovers could raise the bar. Also wonder if a sub would make sense at some point to give you the bottom octaves. The hard part will getting them past your spousal unit with a 'nah, no big deal, they disappear into the decor.' Go for it! :)
Very familiar with the Altecs, and have owned the Khorns and am a Klipsch Heritage fanatic. In a home environment, imo and ime the Khorns are much better. I believe you also own other horns, if I am not mistaken ( Oris ). Enjoy ! MrD.
I'll check Great Plains Audio, and look at what they have cost wise. I indeed do own Oris 150's, Klipschorns (standard), Nagaoka BLH, and a pair of Impulse H1's orf in another continent. I like the idea/price of the JBL 2225 woofers. I got to say my better half is not smitten with the Idea of another pair of speakers in the house.Thanks for all your responses.!
I've already purchased Horns and Beyma tweeters waiting in the wings for the Klipschorns, although I am not sure which route to take with regards to upgrades and $$$$. Lots of variables and lots of opinions. The Klipschorns I also purchased without ever hearing them or any other Klipsch for that matter. Guess I love horns lol.....
They are impressive but they have their place. I like them much better with the 500hz horns than with the 800 hz horns. Any that someone saw with JBL anything in them had been Frakensteined. That's OK, you just should know. They are very non linear. They are very bright. They have dynamic range like nothing currently being sold to consumers. If you use D130s they will be extremely hot in the mids. They tend to be anyway. Probably a JBL 130A or any number of Altec 15" or a lot of things being made today. They aren't accurate, but they are very impressive. If you want to play the dead like you are there. They will do it. they can use a good sub woofer, but it will need to be capable of significant output. A good 1/3 octave equalizer wouldn't hurt them any. They can be used with the horns on top or in the vent.
The K horns are very efficient. Paul Klipsh is famous for saying what the world really needs is a really good 5 watt amplifier. If you don't have the upper end, JBL or EV parts, or even Altec work well. Klipsh used EV. If you are thinking of adding cone tweeters, I don't think you will hear them.