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dubgrass33
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Big Altec cabinet question

To make a long story short I decided 2 weeks ago to enter the world of high end audio. This all sprung from a desire to dust of the old vinyl. I haven't even bought my first turntable yet and today I found an old Altec "voice of the theater" cabinet...It's nice. speaker system is model 820a. Cabinet is 821a. My question: What do I do with this thing? Right now I'm playing mono mixed CD's like the Beach Boys and old Phil Spector stuff. I know I will never find and could not afford another one of these. How do I listen to stereo recordings on it? Will twisting the right and left channel wires together mess up anything? Thanks.

brsanko
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

yes hooking the two channels of your amp together will probably ruin your amp. You could get a rca Y adaptor and run the two channels of your CD player together and connect it to one channel of your amp I don't think that will hurt anything. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. To really enjoy the sonics of this gem I would personally recomend a tube amplifier. As it is very efficient a few watts will do. You could probably find one for a couple hundred bucks on ebay. In the mean time enjoy whatever you have. Just curious where did you find this beauty.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

You can split an output with a "Y" connector. You should not combine an input with a "Y" connector.

With one speaker you can listen to mono.

brsanko
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

I stand corrected. Well if you have a computer you could copy all your CDs to wav files mix them down to mono and either connect the computer straight to your amp or burn mono CDs. Sure sounds like a lot of work though decide for yourself if it's worth it. Or you could use this as a center channel in a surround sound system don't know how you'd match your other speakers to it or where you'd put your TV. Or you could put it up for sale on ebay and buy a great system with the procedes. Bet you could get a couple grand for it. Or take an old CD player you don't care much about and use my original idea with the Y cable bet it wouldn't do much damage for a while. Now I'm rambling and talking out my rear end. It's a beautiful speaker and I bet it sounds fabulous. I hate to see it not used.

dubgrass33
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

Thanks for the ideas. Someone on an Altec board thought I could get $3k-$5k for it, but this thing really does sound wonderful and would be a shame to sell it. Good thing I have good mono recordings that I love. I will try mixing down some of my stereo stuff into mono. I found this at a Salvation Army sale. It was $40. The lady said..."Hell, give me $30...I need to get this out of here." So far it sounds incredible, even on my crappy DVD player through my Onkyo receiver. Fellow Newbs take note: BUY GOOD SPEAKERS!! It's already a world of difference, comparable already to some of the setups I've auditioned at my local Hi-Fi shop... Pet Sounds(mono) in DVD 24bit 96khz sounds outstanding...can't wait to hook up a real turntable and tube amp. Which brings me to my next question: Can I use any old tube amp? I have one from a Hammond a-100 organ. It drives the organ signal into the built in speaker cabinet.

brsanko
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

you could try the organ amp just make sure the impedance of the organ speaker is similar to that of your speaker. Not sure what kind of bandwidth you'll get out of the amp but the midrange should sound spectacular.

stereophillips
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

KAB makes a switching device that takes a stereo signal and gives either channel or a summed channel output. You could downmix stereo to a single channel that way.

Mind you, I haven't heard the device, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

You can buy a stereo to mono transformer, if mono is truly in your future. They are reasonably cheap. You should be able to find one at any decent shop that does whole house installations. They are used when only one speaker is installed in a bathroom, hallway, etc. Possibly Parts Express might have such a creature.

Elk
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

What a delicious, gorgeous speaker!

You may already knows this, but whatever you use to mix stereo to mono will once in a while sound dreadful. Some stereo mixes do not have good mono compatibility due to phase issues, etc.

Thus, if something happens to sound bad - frequencies missing, sounds dropping out, etc. It isn't your equipment!, and it is the stereo source itself.

The first time I heard this I was convinced that something had died in my equipment - only to later learn that only this particular recording just didn't like being summed to mono.

brsanko
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Re: Big Altec cabinet question

I say first step get that turntable and start scouring your local record shops, goodwill, salvation army, ect for some great old mono records. If I'm not mistaken you can get a mono cartridge that is compatable with most stereo recordings. Then again maybe the quite making them in the '60s what do I know I was born in the '70s. Check it out. Sounds like you already have some great stuff in mono on CD.

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