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I've gotten pretty familiar with the Altec 344A Quartet amplifiers. I have a handfull of these Amplifiers and have always heard they were nice amps. I've been planning on getting involved for awhile now. Well I got around to it and found they're both beautiful and junk at the same time.
These amplifiers are now 60 years old.....
So I start playing with them and made all kinds of repairs to a pair of them. What I got was Beautiful sounding Junk,,,,,,( Yep, I found out with this experiment that I had only just begun My Marriage to these amplifiers. And the Honeymoon was over!.....)
They farted, spitted and popped at me while sounding gorgeous in between..... Yes, If you're interested in these amplifiers, Far as I'm concerned, There's only one way to do it. And that's to rewire them. The circuit boards are 60 years old now... The traces are junk and even cracked, boards are warped, Sockets suck and everytime you push a new tube in a socket, You damage the boards more.
With all that said, These are some pretty Gorgeous sounding amplifiers. So if you like nice sound and rare-ish amplifiers. I definitely recommend these amplifiers. But be warned that you either need good experience with tube amps or a quality tech at the ready.
Here's my pics of what I thought should be done with them. Note, The one amplifier is waiting for a JJ at this point in the project. Which has since been installed. I know I'm not Altec or anything, But I think I hit the Nail pretty square on the head with my build and these run solid as a rock now.....
I think these are a Very incredibly worth while project! hope this helps somebody out there.
Thank you very much for the compliments Guys. And Interstage You're Right, I don't think there's many that really know the capabilities of these amplifiers. The imaging is so wild, I had mike Lilley cracking up laughing at some of the weird sounds all over the room with a song I was playing.
And then one night I had Matt & Mike over. There was a song from bob James that ended with crickets. Matt's face went dumb because he couldn't figure out whether it was real crickets or the stereo.......)
Also an extra thank you to Interstage for giving me a push to complete this project.
From so-called junk to treasures, soundchaser's efforts paid off very well.
Not everyone is familiar with or knows the capabilities of these amps. The front-end preamp and tone control stages can be very versatile. However, the work involved to make these late 1957 amps reliable is extensive. A good comparison in needed resto effort might be the Acrosound amps and preamp. The Acro gear also suffers from crispy boards and poor tube sockets, as well as tricky wiring when restoring.
Soundchaser, You have done very well !...................................
And, click below.
Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger
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