Dating an Altec Lansing 417-8C?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by gmm52, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. gmm52

    gmm52 Tele-Meister

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    I am considering an Altec Lansing 417-8C for sale locally. It is virtually identical to the one below, but I cannot find a serial number anywhere. Did Altec Lansing produce these speakers for a time without serial numbers? Is there any way to date this speaker? Or what range of years could it be? There is a number on the cone that reads 21320-2. It has an aluminum dustcap.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hmmm.
    It's old.
    I have three about that age and one that's even older.
    Plus an 18".
    The one in the pic is a good age/ vintage/ year/ era.
    What I'm saying is there are no plexi era/ tweed era/ hand wired era; better versions of this speaker.
    I forget how they are numbered or dated, but most important is the cone, since most have been reconed and original Altec cones are long used up.
    There is however another company that bought the tooling and makes cones as well as speakers, unless they also went under.
    I'd google altec reconing service etc and you'll find references to the company.
    I'd get one reconed but it's expensive including shipping both ways.

    I would not pay much for one that needs a recone, there are plenty blown examples out there cheap AFAIK. Not seeing a resurgence recently. The aftermarket speaker choices have exploded and there are plenty of great speakers for less than the purchase, shipping to the buyer, shipping to the speaker reconer, reconing, shipping to the buyer again; of a blown Altec.

    Also beware of sellers claiming the speaker is in good working condition!
     
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  3. gmm52

    gmm52 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the reply. I have the speaker here on trial (seller is actually a friend.) and it appears to be in perfect working order. I've been partial to EVM12L and EVM12S for a while, but this speaker is of a completely different sonic character, and I'm liking it. I'm using a Blackstar HT40 (current favorite amp) to drive it.

    Do you know when production ceased? In other words, what's the latest year this speaker could be?
     
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  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The manuf@cturer’s EIA code is right there on the frame....391926. 391 is the code for Altec Lansing. The date code is 926... I am going to guess that is from the 26th week of 1969...but I could be wrong about that.
    Great Plains Audio is producing Altecs and do reconed of th eold ones. I really like Altecs in guitar amps as long as they do not have the metal dust cover. Metal dust covers were invented by Altec for use in the 600B that was introduced in 1947 as the first speaker of its type. Th emerald dust cover is used to accentuate the high end and can e harsh with distortion. Ime and imho, one thing a guitar amp doesn’t need is more treble and a harsh distortion. Ommv....but I am 68 and still have my high end hearing.
    I bought a 600B at an estate sale for $1....yes, it needs a recone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  5. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Holic

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    Trying to date an Altec Lansing speaker? Seems like it has too many pointy bits to ever have anything more than a platonic relationship with. Never enjoyed the taste of metal either. Just one man’s opinion.:cool:
     
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  6. 68silverw/black

    68silverw/black TDPRI Member

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    We can see that she is old and has a nice back end but I hope she is cute in the front.
     
  7. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

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    Nice speaker, one of my favorites. Enjoy!
    Thanks John
     
  8. gmm52

    gmm52 Tele-Meister

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    Hi Wally, thanks for the reply. I probably should have been a bit clearer that the speaker in the photo is not the one I have here. It's just a picture I pulled off the web that was identical to the one I have (meaning same frame, same badge) only it does not have a serial number anywhere on the frame as far as I can tell. Maybe it's hiding somewhere, but it's not in any of the usual places.

    A 600B for $1?? Not too shabby :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  9. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The code is right on the frame as mentioned, that is my favorite speaker and is currently in use in 2 cabinets and 3 amps in my home...including the little Blues Jr. I wouldn't worry about the actual date as those speakers haven't been produced since the '70's I don't believe so they are all old speakers now.

    I actually prefer the metal dust covers and don't find them harsh at all, but every ear is different. A couple of things to keep in mind as you decide:

    1. They add a lot of weight to a combo with that huge magnet
    2. The frame is larger than modern speakers so it can be a tight fit for some combo units
    3. Although re-cone kits are available, they are not the same cones. I spoke to Great Plains about it years back and they told me that they could recone, but the kit will not be a direct match so the tone will change

    All that being said, I love those speakers and haven't destroyed one yet.
     
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  10. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Curious, what is the price they are asking? They seem to fetch about $175 around here, but I have always purchased cabinets that housed a couple for cheaper. I ended up wtih a 4x12 with those speakers 3 years ago for $300 as it was too freaking heavy that the guy was sick of dragging it around. Only one speaker had any issues and it was just a minor tear that I repaired, so I started slamming them into various amp cabinets for cheap.
     
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  11. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  12. gmm52

    gmm52 Tele-Meister

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    Asking $250 CDN (about $190 US), but we'll probably do some kind of trade.
     
  13. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    $190 US? It is priced right then, worth grabbing by trade or cash. Really great speaker
     
  14. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a 417-8H that's currently in a Mesa Boogie MK 1 RI. I was going for the Santana thing. I'm selling the Boogie and will put the EVM back in it and keep the Altec. I'd put it in the 1 x 12" cab I have, but it doesn't fit. Good speakers. They are often found in early Mesa Boogies and (dare I speak the name?) Dumbles.
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Those are prices for good working condition, but they do blow and then the value is more like $50.
    I got one working but tired a couple of years ago on eBay, after the price kept getting lowered for weeks and it came to me for about $40 including shipping.
    Blew shortly thereafter!
    What the seller said was it works but really needs a recone.
    Buying at the high end of the value range you want to inspect very carefully both amped and by moving the cone with your hands.

    I looked at a pair of alnico EV SRO a few years ago listed as good working condition, same thing where they had VC rub.
    I found another SRO with an as yet unused correct recone from Orange County with a real EV SRO cone and not a 12L cone, paid solid money because these old high power alnico cones are just not available any more.
    The frame and magnet is almost a doorstop if the moving parts are worn.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  16. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That goes for all purchases of used gear, you have to check things out or be rolling the dice. I will say that the Altec speakers were a very well constructed speaker rated for a true 75w and seem to survive better than any Jensen or other vintage speakers that I have purchased. It is brutally expensive to recone a JBL speaker of that era, but the recone costs on the Altecs are actually pretty reasonable...although not quite exact replacements. I was quoted 3 years ago $75 each to recone so if you can get a deal on a blown one it can still be worth it. I have been told that the reconed units still had a great tone to them, just not exactly the same.
     
  17. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Holic

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    I've got an identical pair of Altecs in my '73 SFTR and think they're great speakers. Mine have the aluminum cover, but personally I don't find them overly bright, and think they have a well-balanced and smooth tone. I believe mine are about the same age as the amp, but they are still going strong and as far as I can tell are quite robust. Provided it's in good shape, and you like the tone, $190 is a fair price for a big alnico speaker like the 417-8c.
     
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  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Gmm52...apologies...I should have caught the ‘virtually the same’ note in your OP. IMHO, the date matters not with these speakers.
     
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