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  1. #1
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Memorable Speaker Audition

    I've got a fever and the only prescription is more.......speakers.

    I am looking for a new direction in my two-channel system. I still have my old faithful stereo pair, but they are designed to produce their huge sound field by reflecting sound off the outside and rear walls. Since I have gone with a full home theater including black curtains on the walls, their effect is ruined in my room.

    That being said, I have been listening to most every pair of speakers that I can. One of my recent and most surprising speaker auditions happened just this past week and it was a pair that I would have never thought to listen to normally.

    A new friend repairs and restores vintage AV gear. When I went for a visit he had a pair of Altec-Lansing Valencia 846B studio monitors sitting in his listening room. These square box monsters were used in recording studios, commercial theaters, and other commercial sound-reinforcement applications. They include a large horn to cover the high and mid frequencies and a 15-inch woofer.

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    Although they will not win any beauty contests against many of the better speaker manufacturers, they sounded wonderfully rich and imaged like few speakers I have ever heard.

    What speakers have you heard that really impressed you? What did you like about them and did you buy them?

  2. #2
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    When the lights are out, who cares what they look like as long as they sound good
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  3. #3
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Vaughn View Post
    When the lights are out, who cares what they look like as long as they sound good
    True, very true.

    I forgot to mention that he wasn't running them as is. He had a sizable B&W sub sitting behind them and a dedicated tweeter that sat on top. He was tri-amping them with Crown amps in conjunction with an external electronic crossover.

    I was impressed with the sound.

    He and a buddy of his are using them as the starting point to building an all Altec D'apolito array. He sent me this photo a few days later where he basically took a second pair of the 846Bs and sat them on top of the others, upside-down. In effect making them into a D'apolito configuration.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    Good thing you don't have earthquakes in Georgia!
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  5. #5
    Moderator jerrich's Avatar
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    Very reminiscent of the old school Heathkit Legato speaker system. It was basically an Altec theater system with a huge horn over dual 15" woofs. It was my intro into HiFi back in the late 50's and I've never heard its equal since. Anyone remember them?
    JR

  6. #6
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrich View Post
    Very reminiscent of the old school Heathkit Legato speaker system. It was basically an Altec theater system with a huge horn over dual 15" woofs. It was my intro into HiFi back in the late 50's and I've never heard its equal since. Anyone remember them?
    JR
    That was way before my time Richard
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  7. #7
    Owner-Publisher Jerry Del Colliano's Avatar
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    Well what speakers are you looking at?

  8. #8
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    To this day I have three very memorable speaker audition moments:

    1. The first time I was a guest at Jerry's house (renovation) where he had a pair of WattPuppies in his living room powered by a pair of Mark Levinson monos running through an all Meridian digital front end and we played Audioslave until our eyeballs were fired back into our brain stems. I had never heard such effortlessness. Yes it was loud, louder than I had ever listened to music before, but it was NEVER painful or harsh, just totally musical and utterly involving.

    2. Jerry had just finished his addition to his old house (same house as above) and Bob Hodas was wrapping up the tuning of Jerry's reference theater (of which I got to sit and watch). Upon Bob's exit Jerry fired up "Hella Good" by NoDoubt. I've chased that sound ever since. Revel Salon2s have never sounded as good as they did that day, in that room.

    3. The first time the late Brooks Berdan played me Wilson Alexandrias via an all Jadis SET tube system and dropped the needle on Amos Lee's self titled debut album. I saw God (I think).

  9. #9
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Del Colliano View Post
    Well what speakers are you looking at?
    I ideally want the fit and finish of a Focal or Revel and the value of a GoldenEar or Tekton in one speaker.

    I really don't know at this point. I wish I could audition all of the above and a pair of electrostatics.

  10. #10
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    WOW Andrew, Wilson Alexandria, Watt-Puppies, and Revel Salon 2 is quite the list.

    Based on your name drop, I am really enjoying listening to Amos Lee's debut album. Thanks.

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