Altec 417 8c speaker..Open or closed back cab?

thelionsden

Member
Messages
918
Hi guys,

I used to play a 1976 Marshall JMP Master model through a pair of these 12in alnico spkrs in a Twin cabinet back in the 70s and I liked that sound a lot. I just bought a pair to see if I still like them and I wondered what your experiences were with them...what type of cabs you liked best, what amps, what kind of tones they produced etc....

Thanks!

Dennis G
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Hi guys,

I used to play a 1976 Marshall JMP Master model through a pair of these 12in alnico spkrs in a Twin cabinet back in the 70s and I liked that sound a lot. I just bought a pair to see if I still like them and I wondered what your experiences were with them...what type of cabs you liked best, what amps, what kind of tones they produced etc....

Thanks!

Dennis G

I'll bet you're still gonna like 'em now if you liked them then.
That's always been one of my favorite speakers, and I've been using them since the middle 70's too.

I'm not going to pretend to tell you what you're going to like or with what amp, but my own preferences have moved toward single speaker open back for cabinets, with the amp (whatever) in the 30 to 50 watt range.

Some speakers sound fine to me paired up in larger cabs, Celestion or Vox for example, but the Lansing stuff, including the JBL's sound better to me these days in smaller cabs one at a time.

If you're in a situation where you can turn up a two 6L6 type amp far enough to get some heat on a single Altec in a smallish open back cab, I think that that's probably the best sound you'll get from that speaker.

I prefer them reconed with a paper dome instead of the aluminum, but that's just me. . .

I've used them in pairs with bigger amps with the stock aluminum domes, and they sound great like that as well, but they do like to be pushed a little, and the paper dome, single speaker, open back configuration performs with a little more distinction for my tastes.
I'm pretty sure you're gonna enjoy them however you use them, but please give the "one at a time" idea a shot at some point.
If you decide they're not for you, pm me and I'll relieve you of your burden.;)
Hope that helps.

peace sk.
 

thelionsden

Member
Messages
918
Thanks Steve,

I have a Two Rock 1x12 I will try one in.. I also have a Bogner Cube 1x12 Thiele design which works great with my Marshall 2061x and my Two Rock Custom as well.. Maybe I will put one in each and try a mini stack one open one closed... :^) I also have a Matchless ESD open 2x12 laying around but I have been using predominantly 1x12 setups as well with my amp mic'd under the stage. I also just picked up an early marshall 1936 closed back 2x12, so I have a lot of options. Seeing that I have the cab mic'd under the stage (close mic only) and do not actually hear the cab itself, do you find that a 2x12 or 4x12 makes for a bigger sound even though only one speaker is mic'd?

Blessings!

dennis
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Thanks Steve,

I have a Two Rock 1x12 I will try one in..

That's the same cab I've got my fave paper dome Altec in, sounds great.
You can go smaller without hurting anything with the single 12.
The old Mesa Boogie ext cab which is around 15 by 18 and a bit, and about 10 deep sounds fantastic too, but it's so low to the ground that it's not my first choice onstage.

I also have a Bogner Cube 1x12 Thiele design which works great with my Marshall 2061x and my Two Rock Custom as well.. Maybe I will put one in each and try a mini stack one open one closed... :^)
The Thiele cabs are OK with the Altec, not my fave combo, but at this point we're splitting hairs about personal preference. I loved my Thiele cab with an EVM12-L in it, paired with almost anything else as long as I could run the two speakers on different amps to get a handle on the balance.
These days I shy away from running sealed/ported enclosures and open back cabs on the same amp, again cause I find the balance difficult.YMMV.

I also have a Matchless ESD open 2x12 laying around but I have been using predominantly 1x12 setups as well with my amp mic'd under the stage. I also just picked up an early marshall 1936 closed back 2x12, so I have a lot of options.
I haven't had much luck with any sealed 2/12's, but who knows?
I'll bet the Matchless is a fine cab, but I've got no personal experience with that one so I gots to pass. . .

Seeing that I have the cab mic'd under the stage (close mic only) and do not actually hear the cab itself, do you find that a 2x12 or 4x12 makes for a bigger sound even though only one speaker is mic'd?
I did the iso thing with a 2/12 for a couple of tours, and was never really thrilled with the results. If I had to do it again, and I hope I never have to, I would probably start with as small a single 12 as possible and just try to get the mic in the right place. A lot of the complexity I was hearing on that AC-30 sized 2/12 went missing in iso, kind of a waste of a good cab.
Anyway, that's my two cents. Grain of salt etc.

peace. sk
 

revgsmall

Member
Messages
2,106
I'll bet you're still gonna like 'em now if you liked them then.
That's always been one of my favorite speakers, and I've been using them since the middle 70's too.

I'm not going to pretend to tell you what you're going to like or with what amp, but my own preferences have moved toward single speaker open back for cabinets, with the amp (whatever) in the 30 to 50 watt range.

peace sk.

Hey Steve, I once jammed with you in Jackson Wy. when you were touring with Little Women and we were the opener. You ended up playing with us for a night and you had two very old Mesa Mk I's and very heavy gauge stringed guitars. You played them very clean for the most part, did those old Boogies have the Altecs and do you still have those amps?
 

thelionsden

Member
Messages
918
Well, I put one in the Two Rock cab tonite and thy sound very detailed and awesome on cleans but very bright which makes for some harshness with overdrive tones. These are aluminum domes. I presume the paper domes are a lot less brite? Are original recone kits still available or is someone else making them? anybody you recommend for the job? I have an experienced speaker guy in town here, maybe it is a no brainer job for him. i will call him tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! :BEER

dennis
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Well, I put one in the Two Rock cab tonite and thy sound very detailed and awesome on cleans but very bright which makes for some harshness with overdrive tones. These are aluminum domes. I presume the paper domes are a lot less brite? Are original recone kits still available or is someone else making them? anybody you recommend for the job? I have an experienced speaker guy in town here, maybe it is a no brainer job for him. i will call him tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! :BEER

dennis

You can still get those reconed, for sure.
If you've got a guy in town that you trust, just ask him to replace the metal dome with a paper one. Shouldn't be any problem at all.
Might as well do one paper and leave one stock and compare them.
Again, I don't want to tell you what you're gonna hear or like/dislike about the diff, but when it's staring you in the face you'll have a big bright alnico speaker and a big smooth alnico speaker when you step on it.
They're both cool, and you probably will have a preference. . .

There is one counter intuitive strategy for "taming the dome" that's worth a shot, and that's turning the bass way down on the amp. The speaker seems a little less upset by hard use with less bass on the amp, and such artifacts that remain are more easily trimmed without resorting to radical attenuation of the treble. Trying to mellow the thing out won't always work if the wacky dome behavior is a result of too much cone excursion, right?
I figured that out with the JBL D-130's, but it seems true of the Lansing family of speakers in general.
Start with no bass and work from there, see how you do.

Try the same routine with the paper dust cap when you get it, it's still applicable if you're running a single speaker kind of hot.
Good luck!

peace sk.
 

thelionsden

Member
Messages
918
well as it turns out the first speaker of the pair that I put in the 1x12 seems to have issues. Hence the brightness to the point of distortion I was hearing. It is reading quite a bit lower impedance then the other as well. one was 4.6 and the bright one 3.8. I put the other one in and it is much better! I took them up to the speaker guy at my electronics gurus shop and he concurred about the brightness and sensed a borderline rub. The electronics expert said (I am paraphrasing of course so if I say this wrong don't hold it aginst him) that that probably indicates some shorts in the coil due to heat changing the length and therefore the impedance of the coil. Problem is a recone may cost as much as what I paid for it... waiting til tomorrow for prices on the parts. The guy I got them from is very cool and understanding and offered to refund the money, pay for the recone or give me another that he just pulled out of another twin. That pair measures respectively 4.4 and 4.6. Haven't decided what to do yet, of course there are the considerations if I want to use them as a pair they will no longer be matched if I get the recone. I really only need one so getting a refund would be cool too. But having a spare is not a bad idea...maybe I should swap him for the one of his that reads 4.6, but more long distance shipping again. Does anything ever go right!? :D

On the plus side,I have been using the better one in my 2rock 1x12 with my K&M Custom and my TLE mod Ethos (which sounds amazing into the Custom clean channel) And the tones are sparkling on clean with very smooth overdrive characteristics as well. I think these might be the best speakers I have experienced with a D style amp. I know that the EVM12 are highly recommended and it is true that although I don't really like the ev with anything else, it really sounds good with my ayan D replica. But this Altec sounds even more musical and sweet on the top. I am very pleased that I own one good one of these, hopefully soon to be two. :)

Dennis
 




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