Altec 417 for the classic Santana tone?

flatfeet901

Member
Messages
30
I'm trying to get in the ballpark of the classic Santana tones from the mid 70's. I've heard that an important component that many seem to overlook while focusing on the Mesa Boogies and the Yamaha or PRS Guitars is the Altec 417 speaker.

For those that have tried one of these, do they help capture some of that elusive tone that Carlos was famous for during that era?
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,277
It's [edit — 417C] a loud clear alnico speaker. When it went out of production, most converted to EV-12Ls. The difference wouldn't be apparent in a mix, ime.
 
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SoPhx

Member
Messages
711
I used to use two BF Deluxe Reverbs back in the late 70s, both loaded with 417s. They kinda did that Santana thing with my SG Special.
 

stevie2600

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
402
An Altec isn't going to give up the goods until you crank it to louder volumes than a lot of situations would reasonably allow.

Seek out an old beat up JBL E120, and have Thom at Tone Tubby recone it for a few Benjamins. Carlos used those for years after giving up on the Altecs. I have a bunch of well worn hempified JBL's. They are incredible.

Great Plains Audio might also be able to tell you what Carlos has been using, specifically. They did some custom Altec 417 clones for him in the last few years.
 

MoBigBro

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,097
Didn’t he used to use 15” Altecs in his old Boogies?

I'm really fond of vintage 15" Altecs! I think they are great for Carlos tones and for almost everything.
I would love to try a vintage 12" Altec but, unfortunately, I don't own any.

Cheers,

MoBigBro
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37,098
I used to use one.
I was not going for Santana tone.
It was a loud clear, more of everything, sort of speaker with a wicked on -axis beam probably in the 2-3k range.
They likely cut through nicely for Carlos.
V30's are more mellow.:) Really. Less toppy.
 




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