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Altec 417

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jammin'John, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    I have one of these and her 15 inch sister. I was wondering how efficient it is and how much tube power it would take to get it to speak.
    I'm playing Tweed clones and P90 Tele's.
    So far I know that it's a 60 watt,aluminum voice coil. I would want a paper dust cap.
    Thoughts ?

    JJ

    https://greatplainsaudio.com/services/
     
  2. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    Mine looks like this.

    [​IMG] JJ
     
  3. kafka

    kafka Tele-Afflicted

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    The spec sheet says 100dB at 1W. So, kind of average. I just picked a Series II up, but haven't had a chance to mount it yet.

    https://greatplainsaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/400-Series_MI_Spkrs_spec_sheet.pdf

    I've always subscribed to the idea that an aluminum dust cap is inherently shrill, but I've recently had an experience that has caused me to rethink that. I mounted a K120 in a closed back 2x12 with an Eminence Man O' War, and found it to be a lush, rich combination, with no peakiness whatsoever. Moreover, these two speakers which aren't all that similar alone sounded much more similar when together in the cab. My gut, pseudoscientific explanation is that the closed volume of air causes the two speakers to work with each other where they're similar, and against each other where they're different.

    Now, you're working with Tweed Fendroids, which I assume are open backed, so my experience can only be so similar. However, my recent experience with another open backed amp (Bartel Roseland) has me seriously looking at the relationship between the cab and the speaker.

    Anyway, it's just no longer obvious to me that aluminum dust caps are inherently shrill. The seems there are some contexts where they aren't. I think if you have a cab that works with it the right way, you can probably do things with them that you can't do with a less rigid cap.
     
  4. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    I have one that was reconed with a paper dust cap. It's being placed into a custom built cab housing a 1956 Gretsch Executive.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Does anyone have first hand experience with great plains audio reconing a 417 to share?
    How much did it cost?
    How does it sound?
    Have you compared it to an original Altec cone 417 in good shape?
    IIRC I've read mixed reviews of the GPA cone kit.

    And how about first hand experience with local aftermarket recones?
    Anybody have a great sounding (like an original or close) recently reconed 417 that has an aftermarket (not great plains audio) cone and VC?
     
  6. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

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    I have a pair of the 12" 417's and a pair of the 15" 418's The 417 I have in a closed back Fender cab and I usually use them with my Tremolux. One of the 15" 417 is in my 1962 Fender Pro. I tried the orig. P15N and a JBL D130F in the pro and finally settled on the Altec. Now I usually like a clear punchy tone but I do find the Altecs are great clean or with a nice little rough edge ala the Tremolux. All in all I think they are great speakers.
    Thanks john
     
  7. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    A recone from Great Plains is $119.10.
    I have not done it because I'm looking for input here in this thread. I have a 12 and a 15. I have a late 50's Jensen P15N in my Tweed Pro.

    JJ
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not a bad price if it brings back the great sound of a great speaker, but add in two way shipping and there's a lot of options for great speakers in the $150 range.
    My vintage alnico EV SRO with one of the last factory recones done at Orange County cost me less than $150 shipped.
    All my Celestion Golds, Celestion blue, and Red Fangs also cost me less than $150 each shipped.

    I'd still like to get one of several Altecs reconed, but have too many more pressing needs ahead of that one.

    I'd love to hear from players who have compared good originals to these recones side by side!
     
  9. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    A celestion blue for $150 ?

    JJ
     
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ime, that is more than I would give for one...and yes, I have compared them to other speakers...same Vox with Blues running other speakers for comparison.
    In two weeks, I worked on two Modern AC30’s theaters identical except one had bLues and the second had Wharfdales. I preferred the Wharfdales. Others’mmv....obviously. I have some vintage Silver Bulldog Celestions from the ‘60’s that are great speakers.
     
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  11. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    They never stop raving about that 15 watt Celestion Blue !
    My Weber Ceramic Blue Dogs and Silver Bells are great.

    JJ
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah a real UK made Blue, used on ebay a few years ago. Takes some shopping but the deals happen now and then. I've bought a bunch of Golds which i like better, the Blue is not quite harsh, but just loud and viciously detailed, bright, clear, fast, and maybe even a little clangy, but not in a bad way, unless you're a neck pup with the tone rolled back player.

    I have an early '60s Silver Bulldog that is now scratchy but sounded great for a few years of my stewardship. Hard to say how close it might have been when new to the current Blue. I've read that Celestion nailed the original sound, but we who like vintage gear sound might be liking well broken in sweet sounding speakers.
    A couple of times I've come into some hardly used 30-40yo speakers, and they do sound far brighter than well used versions.
     
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  13. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    Any more Altec 417B Dia Cone experience ?
    The only negative I can see is it's HEAVY !

    JJ
     
  14. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know @Wally likes these, and I have seen him recommend Great Plains Audio (among others) elsewhere on the forum (for this exact speaker, I think).
     
  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have an Altec 417-8H in a Mesa Boogie MK 1 RI. I chose it over the EVM 12L which came with it. And I really like EVM's.
     
  16. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have 4 of the 417-8C speakers with metal dust caps and consider them my favorite all-time speaker. I don't find them shrill at all with the alum caps, they are a very warm speaker. I have them in both cabs and combos and always looking for more.

    As to the re-cone, there is actually 2 answers: Costs about $125 plus shipping to / from, but they will not sound the same again as the original re-cone kits are no longer available. The kit that is available is actually a little different. There was an original kit on ebay just last week, you might want to see if it is still there, but according to the shop I spoke to in Minnesota, the current kits work, but they are not the same as the originals.

    As for power rating, I think your will fine up to 60 Watts. They are rated higher, but they are old speakers and likely can't handle the original ratings any longer. I saw that with the JBL speakers in a lot of Twins where the new owner cranks it up and blows them out as they just were not up to the original power rating anymore....sort of like a teen buying a car with 200,000 miles on it and doing burn-outs.
     
  17. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    Are the trebles smoother ? Do they compress a little at high volume ?
     
  18. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    Great Plains is the only place with original cone's. Are you saying that they ran out ? Are you inferring that they don't sound good ?

    JJ
     
  19. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I just got a reconed Altec 418B. I specifically asked that a paper dust cap be put on it. Plenty of treble and real smooth. I also did this with a JBL K120 to smoothen out the top end.
     
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  20. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    Smooth,no ice pic trebles ?

    JJ
     
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