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We had a series of tornadoes hit the eastern part of the Kansas City area, two nights ago. Late last night, a fellow put up for sale on Craigslist, a pair of VALENCIAS, showing them in front of his mobile home, whose roof and side wall were missing - blown AWAY while he and his girl friend were inside, ( thinking they were living their last moments on this earth. )
They survived, lovely !!! - and the boyfriend offered his ALTEC Valencias late last night, and I was the first caller.
Picked them up today. Is that " doghouse " on the rear cover STOCK ?? This rather nice kid had this pair of ALTECS for ten years, bought 'em from the original owner.
If that back cover is not stock, it would appear to me that the original owner was modding the Valencias, perhaps to use the slightly larger 802D, ( which has a better, more extended top end than a 806-8A. ) An 806-8A came stock with this speaker.
When the original owner sold these to the nice young man, it came with the stock 806-8A, and ( non - stock ) 500 HZ crossovers, and 800 HZ 811 horns inside the enclosures.
IF the " doghouse " in the picture is not STOCK, I am IN BUSINESS .... to add larger 802s that will FIT..
These speakers are for a friend. I am working very happily with VOTT A7-800s these days, 515Bs and 802Ds.
But have NO practical experience with Valencias. Can anyone with Valencia experience tell me about my photographed rear cover, stock or modded ?? Many thanks in advance.
I heard a set of Valencia (416Z-16 , 806-16A w/aftermarket diaphragms, 811-A horn, 800Hz x-overs stock wirings) at a local vintage hi-fi retailer. The back panels didn't have the extra mod blocks
They had a soft , rolled off top end.
Those speakers need some EQ to flatten out the mids, maybe the 30923 altec compensation circuit would work and could be done for cheap $$$.
Upgraded to 802's, still try the compensation circuit.
Good description and comment. Yes, we will do some things to them.
The 806 driver is not as robust, and it needs to be changed out, entire speaker BEGS to be well-REWIRED, recapped, put on risers, etc etc etc.
Thanks for posting.
That is not stock. The Valencia came with the 806A driver which was a bit longer than the dept of the enclosure so Altec in their infinite wisdom cut a hole in the rear panel and stapled a thin (3/16" - 1/4") plywood patch over the hole to seal it and allow clearance for the 806A. Problem is that the plywood might have well been a drum head as it was not very solid. For mine I removed the thin plywood and attached a solid 3/4" plywood piece in it's place. My brother went further with his and switched his 806's for 802's and it ended up looking something like the picture. If I still had my Valencia's today, I'd replace the 806's with 902's as suggested ... not sure if the clearance problem would still exist but the hole that Alec cut in the rear panel and thin plywood would still be there requiring the same fix.
Thank you for confirming. Just as I suspected only, the original owner did that as a ( nice looking ) mod, and sold off the speaker with a 500 HZ crossover and 806-8A when it was time to unload the boxes.
Valencia 806A. Lots if you Google.
Yep original owner modded box, neatly, painted it black. 802Ds will fit now !! Cool.
Its so STRIKING to me, looking at the photos from the URL you kindly referenced, seeing such a CRUMMY set of STOCK Altec crossover-to-drivers wiring, ( that MOST everyone puts up with, on such speakers ). Most ALTEC users never gave wiring, internal, much thought !!! NOT I. Not Joe Roberts. I routinely couple my amp-to-crossover and crossover-to-drivers MUCH MUCH better. Heck - 99% of the ALTEC users never heard what their wonderful ALTEC drivers can do !!! Sad to think about, but also hilarious.
To start, double-up (parallel) two 12 AWG runs to each 416 speaker polarity - Wonder soldered right to the terminal that holds the voice coil wire. This ALSO eliminates the less-than-ideal ( unsoldered ) stock ALTEC connector on the speaker's frame. Be sure to loop and tie wrap reinforce those heavy leads to the frame for mistaken tug. ( Double 12 AWG equals 9 AWG .) Mil Spec m22759/11 12 ONLY, need the silver, and maybe 16 AWG of the same stuff, single run, to the compression driver. Fulton lengths, of course - 57 1/8th inches if you don't know, from pre-1978 folks !!
Eliminate the 802D "press to fit" connector also, Wonder solder DEFTLY - QUICKLY, large iron, right to the aluminum diaphragm tabs, rags over diaphragm to avoid solder splatters !!!
Photo above is the positive woofer's terminal I will Wonder solder to, with rags over the cone to protect it when soldering ( only ).
Joe Roberts will cheer when / if we ditch the 811 horn!! Working on that, but a John Inlow paper walled Tractrix horn won't quite fit inside de box.
Ohh my goodness, I have gone off-topic,"hi-jacking" my own thread with my own personal agenda, whatever that might be. ( Better sound???? )
Jeff, That cone doesn't look right. It may be a non-standard part. Check the cone number on the rear of the cone.
LF driver: 15 inch 416-16z
Cone assembly number: 20884
Thanks for pointing that out. I never checked these speakers out carefully when purchasing them. They were moved into a filthy garage, after the tornado, and it was difficult - and frankly, I was too hurried, to check them out well. `My mistake.
After the acquisition, in photos from that one open enclosure, I finally saw that number on the rear cone. In my photo it looked to me to be non-ALTEC like, as far as the font. As a result of your post, I just pulled all the drivers for close inspection. Yes, mah, both woofers have been re-coned, and poorly IMHO . The spiders are "sucked-in ", on both woofer drivers, up to about 1/8th to 3/16ths of an inch, and so, the voice coil is off-center in the gap by that amount. Not acceptable.
I have various options, including GPA re-magnetizing and reconing these properly. Or, I can part out the units.
On a temporary basis, I pulled the woofers out of the boxes. I will reverse-weight these cones, to try to ameliorate the bad " off-set " of the spiders and outer surrounds. Will also need to figure out what to do with these. I only paid $250, per side, so I should come out quite OK, no matter what.
In relationship to the stock ALTEC OEM build, what sort of cone does GPA install in these, now a days?? Can anyone with recent GPA rebuild experience chime in, clue me in ??
Regards and thank you all in advance,
At the going rate for used 416s these days you will be pretty safe with GPA recones. You will get the best cones currently available, and you will get performance pretty much as though they were new. The cost will be not much more than the cost of some ratty old used ones, and the resale value will be higher. While super clean originals always bring the highest price, GPA recones are surely the best sounding next best option.
That was so kind of you to post. Its re-assurance that is " music to my ears " !!
I spoke to the person, ( who is intending to use this Valencia pair I bought for him ), and we decided today to call GPA tomorrow, and have them re-do the woofers, and FIX us up - with either a rebuilt pair of 802s, 808s ( diaphragm converted ) or a brand new pair of GPA's 902-8As. We will be done with concerns of driver quality ( and-have a better high end, than the 806-8As will have ).
Thanks, lovely to hear from you. Appreciated.
Best to call GPA direct(Emailing is a waste of time) re 416 re-cone options, also remagnetising.
My father has a REAL pair of original valencia speakers, your pair Jeff looks like its been modified and the LF driver originally was without magnet covers so someone replaced the drivers at some point :( the original with the original crossover with hf pot IMO sounds very good, but most people who owned them used them for garage bands and abused the crap out of them ...my fathers pair is virgin! never been blasted out plus seems to be an easy to drive speaker too he listens about 6 hours a night not music but cable tv
now my fathers pair is not like whats in the above literature my fathers has no round ports only slots on either side of the 811 horn.
The 846b and 846U had tuned-pipe ports for better bass response, and foam grilles.
846Bs(5 models) all had 806-8A HF speaker and over time 416-8Z(15inch), 416-8Z(16inch), 416-8A(15inch), 416-8A(16inch), 416-8B.
846Us(5 models) were the Unfinished-Birch variation of the 846B
They are excellent performers in stock form.
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