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Finally took my own advise and went bi-amp with my Paramour 2A3's and my PP EL84 Baby Huey amp. Crossover is from JE-Labs web-site. Sounds "awesome" to borrow a "millennial" term. I don't find any discontinuity so far with a SET & PP. Altec 414Z in a petite onken cabinet with a 802D and plastic 32B horn. Preamp is 6V6 in triode mode ( DIY Audio)
I've included a crappy photo from my basement dungeon where I'm allowed to play. So far this has been lots of fun. Piano & vocals are really really nice and everything has a "live" feel to it. Very happy. Bass is very adequate for my purposes. Perhaps a super tweeter in the future and also I may fart around with and autoformer in the crossover. So far I'm using an 8ohm L-pad. Right now I'm having a lot of fun to care about this.
A special thank you to JE-labs for posting crossover information and to Joe Roberts.
Good work Frank.
Love the 32B horn. I have both the metal and plastic versions. Many like the plastic the best, including Joe Roberts.
I took a leap of faith with the Onken cabinets as a pair came up for sale locally including the Altec drivers I also wanted.
[quoted from an earlier post]
Congrats ... this would be a dream come true for me :)
I'm curious whether you've experimented with solid state amplification? My understanding is that this is what the original Onken (and probably the scaled-down "Petite") was designed for. (I've been told that this is a point that got lost when the original article was translated from French to English and perhaps abbreviated a bit.) Anyway, you might give it a try ... easier than increasing the size of the cabinet! :)
Thanks for the comments.
As of yet I have not tried solid state amps with the Petite Onkens. I too have also have read (forget where) about the ss-amp preference & hence my "leap of faith" that these would work out with my existing tube amps. So far I'm very pleased at the results. I personally have always had a hard time changing stuff out for new/different, before first exploring a way to incorporate what I already have instead first.
The only changes I've made were the inclusion of K75-10 caps (bypassed with FT teflon caps) into the 6v6-preamp & 2A3 amps. Voices and piano now sound very natural & dynamics are better than before. Some may hate the K75-10's but I happen to like them (with a bypass cap 1/100 value). I also included them into the speaker crossover (bypassed with SSG-3 caps). Flame me if you like regarding bypass caps. So I guess I'm voicing or tuning the system to suit my ears.
Perhaps one day I'll dip my toes in the SS water but for now it can wait.
At some point you might try a small block of acoustic foam in the bend of the horn.
Excellent! I'm jealous of your "man cave." ;)
Those are the "petite" onkens? Lordy, how big are the full size? I have always heard they are great speakers.
Linked below are the "normal" Onken plans but in cm dims. Not too far off from what I have.
Very nice Frank! I bet the speakers sound very nice. Did you try any other cabinets with the 414 before settling on Onkens? What volume are the Onken cabinets?
Lastly, you said you are running the 414Z more or less full range. Are you using an electrical rolloff filter, either before the amp or after, or are you just referring to the natural rolloff in the woofer response?
I took a leap of faith with the Onken cabinets as a pair came up for sale locally including the Altec drivers I also wanted. I already had the 32B horns and did a quick calculation that I couldn't build them for what they were being sold for ..so.... I held my nose & hoped it would turn out ok. I was lucky.
My setup is presently far from optimal and perhaps even wrong but it does sound very nice.... the fun part will be tweaking. Another fun part is that it sounds nice at low listening levels not like my previous set up Theater 4Pi speakers.
Presently I have RCA spliters (I know that's sub optimal) from the 6v6 preamp feeding both the Paramour 2A3 & PP-EL84. The PP-EL84 is going direct to the 414 with no crossover in between. The 2A3 amps have a crossover after them & before the 802 & 32B ( please see image I've modified from the JE-Labs website & hopefully it will be ok with him). The 802's are 8 ohm and my 414 16 ohm.
Once again a big thanks to JE -labs.
Gotta work on the vinyl front end now....ha....i'm as slow as molasses
Onken cabinet outside dimensions are 24.5"x 17.25"x 33".
Centre of 414 is 12" from top of cabinet and I have the cabinet raised about 4" from floor
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