Sophia Baby Electris is da bomb with these.
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Unoear - I had a chance to acquire a very nice pair of 16-ohm Valencias about a year ago and foolishly passed on the opportunity. They were being driven with Shindo electronics - the Cortese stereo amp and either the Monbrison or Masseto preamp. Incredibly musical combination! The Cortese is a superb amplifier; it was fantastic with the Valencias and the Shindo pre.
Hello 4musica44107 and Bnrlaw, thank you very much for your Shindo suggestions. In the past I have had the pleasure of having the WE 300bLTD and Lafon 300b amplifiers in my system. I have also had a chance to listen to the CC 80 and the Cortese. The Lafons and the Cortese were paired the Vosne-Romanee preamplifier and the A23 Solovox speakers and the WE 300b LTD was paired with the Petrvs preamplifier and the Shindo "Baby" 12" field coil Latours. The Shindo Cortese should match up nicely with the 16-ohm Valencias. I am also thinking of trying 2a3 and 45 based SET amplifiers. Bnrlaw...yes, the Aurieges and the Cortese are a really nice fit. The Valencias will be placed into a system that is going to go into a loft office space.
If you haven't already, go to http://www.diyaudio.com, http://www.altecheritage.org or http://www.audiokarma.org for several specific discussions about the 846A and B. I gutted the cabinets and I'm at present building two enormous Onken type enclosures for the 416Z bass driver. When they're done I'll put the horns with new drivers on top of and outside the cabinet. It's an ongoing project, but the plan is to bi-amp through an active crossover using diy 2A3 SETs for the highs and maybe Classe solid state monsters for the bottom. Once it's finished, I'll have to get the whole thing past my wife.
I acquired a very clean pair of 846A's last month from an original owner (actually his dad's speakers which were purchased brand new and subsequently passed on). They are in excellent condition down to the intact front lattice grills; I am driving them with an Audio Research VT100 mkii paired with my ARC SP-10 and an SP-11. Playback has been mostly analog with a Thorens TT and a Denon Dl-103R cartridge swapped out with an Ortofon SPU. I've been marveling at the Valencia's presentation. Eventually, I hope to pair these speakers with a Shindo Monbrison preamp and a yet to be determined SET amp; but for the time being, they are a joy to listen to and a lot of fun.
Would a SS amp like one of the Pass SIT, J, or the like, give the Valencia's more drive than Shindo amps? Thought I would bump this old thread for opinions. I have a Croft phono integrated that I really should try, but it's generally not partnered with high efficient speakers like Altec's. My thought is it wouldn't be the most quiet amp partnered with Altecs's.
Six years have passed (can't believe its been six years, time flies!) from my original response. Moved up the Shindo preamp food chain from a Monbrison to a Masseto to my current Vosne Romanee. And amp-wise, the Audio Research components have been gently stored in favor of a Shindo Montille to a Cortese F2a then the current Lafon WE300B monoblocks. The Valencia's in this pairing have more than enough drive for me (all genres but with an emphasis on jazz, R&B, classical and women's vocals). But for a period, I did run a McCormack DNA-1 SS amp with the Valencia's for grins and they responded very well too. If I hadn't happily tumbled down (up?) the Shindo "rabbit hole", the McCormack would have sufficed in my setup (it too is presently in storage).
I have read reviews on a couple of the First Watt amps that put out 5w or 10w per channel and maybe one day I'll try those out.
Best wishes on your quest!
Very nice closdesducs. I also went up the Shindo preamp line from Monbrison to VR. Then CC 34 to D'yquems. I have a desire to try a solid state amp like one of the First Watts, but I likely won't do that anytime soon. Have you tried the Werner Crossover for 16 Ohm Valencia's. I like what it does very much. I also now have my bottom wood trim removed, and have them on stands that are around 9" off the ground, I use A23 speaker cable, but switched out my Belden XO cables in favor of Duelend 16 Gauge. Those Lafon 300B's must be a match made in heaven with the Valencia's. Cheers
Would have loved to have heard your CC EL34's. I keep surfing Matt's gently-used section to see if any come up.
It's interesting that our audio paths have kind of paralleled each other. I have a pair of Mast Mutter custom crossovers for my Valencia's that I acquired from a fellow A-goner. I just need to muster some energy (and practice my soldering skills) to install them. I will at some point, raise the Altecs off the floor but will probably leave their skirts in place. Just haven't determined the right height to raise them to.
I too, am curious about the Duelend 16 awg speaker wires but took it one step further by acquiring a pair of 2.5M Western Electric KS13385L-1 26 Strand 16awg terminated in small spades at both ends from a gentleman in the Midwest who advertises here and on EBay. I've been running them in place of the A23's since April and they sound great! Once they broke in, such a gorgeous midrange and detail! I'm just about ready to swap back in the A23 to see if their bass is perhaps a bit more than the WE's. I saw a pair of Shindo silver speakers cables for sale recently on Audiomart but unfortunately didn't have the disposable income ready to splurge...
Thanks for sharing the details of your system and your modification efforts!
I've listened to the 846B in someone else's system and of course I own a pair of 846A's but have never listened to both side by side using the same system. But if you go to the Altec Lansing website at audioheritage.org, you will find others' thoughts and observations (I know because once upon a time, I had an opportunity to acquire an 846B even though I already had an A and asked the same question).