Altec 414 + JELabs OB?

Discussion in 'High Efficiency' started by TubeHiFiNut, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Paging @je2a3 :)

    Have you ever experemented with running the Altec 414 in the OB you published on your site?

    I'm wondering what that would sound like paired with an Altec 32B horn with 802 driver? Maybe run the 414 full range and use a cap ( in the best @J-ROB and @je2a3 tradition, of course ;) ) to high pass the 32B at ~3khz?

    Thoughts? :)
  2. Not JE2a3, but I’ve thought of the same thing. If we can run a 755 or 604 from the open baffle, why not a 414/802/32? I also thought about this in a 2.5 way configuration. Over on the AK forum I think Zilch recommended running a 9844 in a 2.5 way configuration: crossing the 802 to a single 414 rather than the pair in parallel. The second 414 can be brought in at 150hz or so with a single inductor. I think this may be particularly effective in an OB. You’ll still be limited in actual deep bass <50hz, but your midbass should be satisfying.
  3. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you, @Roscoe65 :)

    The more I think about this, the more it appeals to me. :)
  4. If I recall correctly, Salectric ran a 414A/32A/802D on an open baffle for a bit. I think he may have posted in over on Audiocircle.
  5. I’ve had thoughts along this line.
    414z run “full range” OB on top of MJK H-frames, but instead of Alpha 15, I was going to use my 605b. Push the cones with plate amps for bass support and cross to the horn from the 414z with a cap and l-pad at 3k-4k.
    Just got a pair of 32C from Maine and 902 from the west coast as an option.
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  6. Hello, my first post on the forum. I have been following some of the discussions but had troubles getting my account confirmed.

    That thread on AC was mine, not Salectric's (but he did hear that experiment). I first got into DIY speakers with a variety of open baffles, but that experiment with the Altec 414 and 802 on 32b horn was my last OB. It didn't sound bad, but when I put the 414 in a box it made a huge impression about the beautiful sound that you're missing on OB with these vintage high efficiency woofers. Not just the bass extension, but I felt the impact and tactile quality just wasn't there on OB, even with a fairly wide baffle.

    Also tried helper woofers with a plate amp, but maybe I never tried a good enough amp or helper woofer, because nothing ever quite matched what a big ugly box could do. OB has a lot of appeal so I'll keep watching what others come up with.
    StevenZ, Salectric and TubeHiFiNut like this.
  7. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to The Haven @Michael V :)

    Thank you for the feedback on using the 414 in an OB - good information indeed. :)
  8. Sorry for not giving proper credit Michael!

    I think you may be right that the 414 seems to like a medium sized (3-4cuft) vented box.
  9. je2a3

    je2a3 Junior Member

    Sorry for the late reply, I just got home last night from a busy week of rehearsals and concerts at a music festival in Central, PA.

    Thanks to @Roscoe65 + @Michael V for your input!

    I never had a chance to try the Altec 414 in an OB. But I have a friend in Manila who used the OB/414 + the dreaded 511/902 combo for a number of years. But he has since reverted back to OB/755Cs. However during the 8 years I spent in Manila my mono system was based on an Altec 605B/OB. I agree that given the proportions of this OB plan one cannot exploit the fullest bass potential out of a 12" - 15" Altec driver. I was able to live with that compromise because one of the most memorable speakers I ever owned before I got into DIY Audio were the original Quad ESLs. To my ears the presentation of an OB is very similar.

    I'm still wondering which came first, G. A. Briggs SFB3 or the Quad ESLs? The dimensions are almost identical.
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  10. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    The Quad ESL57 is also a personal favorite of mine. :)

    Add to that the really solid and extended bass my listening room supports and I may be satisfied with the low end of the 414 in an OB.

    What the heck.....nothing ventured, nothing gained. :)

    But first.....the Lowther PM2A/Medallion speakers are being beckoned by my new 2A3 amp. ;)
  11. Don’t most all OB midrange speakers need help on top and bottom? Especially the bass?
    I listen to 605b OB with Markwart xover and a pair of no name subs. I’m not smart enough to know how “correct” it is, but I like them.

  12. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    To quote my accountant, "It depends". ;)

    I'm currently running a 12" University 6201 coax in the JE Labs OBs:


    Given that this was in no way an optimised set-up, it still sounded pretty good.

    Properly set up (IMHO) against the side walls, all speakers moved out from behind them and then positioned an optimal distance from the back wall, the JE Labs OB is capable of decent low end. Better, IMO, than the narrow baffle OBs.

    Just my opinions..... :)
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  13. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

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  14. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you, Mark.....appreciate the data. :)

    I've never understood the fascination with narrow baffles in general. There have been some speakers with narrow baffles that have appealed to me and many with wider baffles that have appealed to me.

    Of the OBs I've heard, the JE Labs OB has, by far, provided the best balance and overall sound.

    Just my opinion.
  15. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    Don't get me started :p

    In seriousness, I mean, there are two different issues, right? Diffraction effects, in which case a small/narrow baffle is favored, and LF extension, which favors a wide/large baffle. Can't have a one size fits all solution for 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz :)

    One might be able to get close enough to satisfy oneself, though. :)

    There are at least two other things going on, too,I think:

    1) the quality of the bass produced by loudspeakers/woofers with fairly high Qts (>1 sometimes >> 1).

    2) a psychoacoustic effect -- the brain (mind?) tends to insert the fundamental tone when a series of harmonics are heard, but the fundamental is not. I read about this in one of Daniel Levitin's books (probably This is Your Brain on Music) and I thought it was interesting and rather profound.

    If you really ever want to get really down and dirty in OB land, there's a zillion page thread Somewhere Else on the topic.
    Note I am not recommending that you do this -- I am just sayin'. ;)
  16. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you, Mark....I have been through whatever there was on that thread prior to the start of The Haven. ;)

    To me, the JE Labs OB provides the best my ears. But I love Quad ESL57s. :)

    Guess this is why we have so many different speakers out there to choose from. ;)
  17. je2a3

    je2a3 Junior Member

    Not just open baffle, old speaker cabinets up until the early 60s were also "proportionately" wide. Typically there was always a nice warmth to their sound regardless of whether they were loaded with WE/Altec drivers or not.
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  18. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    Yes, good point.
    My old Maggotbox console downstairs, e.g., was an open baffle, with a (large) perforated "Masonite" back panel and nothing else between the back side of its woofers and the outside world -- but the baffling provided by the cabinet.

    I guess one might consider the Masonite back to be some sort of lossy, aperiodic thingy... but I think that'd be awfully optimistic. ;)

    [​IMG]EL84PPstereoconsole by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
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  19. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Niiiiice....... :)

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