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  #1  
Old 11-18-2016, 06:27 PM
Sancho22 Sancho22 is offline
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Default Altec Valencia/Altec 604/LM 755 or O/96?

Hi everybody. I am aware o fthe posts about the match of o/96 and Shindo, Valencia and Shindo, but less so of 604 or the LM 755.

I could potentially get a very nice pair of 604 in a 620 9 cuft custom cabinet with Gret Plains Audio drivers for half of the price of used o/96 but twice the price of the Valencias (or 3 times if I find cheaper a pair of Valencias).
Which one would you guys think is best getting?

I have Shindo Montilel and Aurieges as well as Almarro 318b. Planning to get some McIntosh amps, MC30 or 225 or maybe 240 in the future.

I did not see much of published comparison between LM 755 and O/96 - any experience?
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:48 AM
Sancho22 Sancho22 is offline
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wow! 100 views no response.
Happy Thanksgiving all!
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2016, 04:22 PM
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Sancho22.......I owned a pair of Altec Valencia speakers for quite a few years and drove them with a McIntosh MA230 tube integrated amplifier (30 w/p/c). It was a wonderful setup that provided me with years of musical enjoyment. If you can find a clean pair of Valencia's at a fair price, that's the way to go.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:37 PM
Sancho22 Sancho22 is offline
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thanks Dan!
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:44 AM
Michael7 Michael7 is offline
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Hi, I am using a pair of Altec 604 alnico version. Monbrison preamp and 300B Sun Audio Uchida single ended amp with about 6wpc. I think the 604 needs a little bit more power then my SE amp can produce. But at lower volume levels it's very very good for my ears. The details and soundstage they produce as a point source is really nice. But the 604 lacks of deep bass. Lower than 50hz no way so far.

Maybe 10 or 20wpc can handle this speaker better at higher volume levels.
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:52 AM
Michael7 Michael7 is offline
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Can somebody confirm the 604 needs a bit more power than a SET amp to play well at higher volume levels and Deep bass beyond 50hz isnt makeable. I am using the 620 cabinet.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2016, 04:55 PM
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Default Not Quite an Apples-Apples and Oranges-Oranges comparison...

...so take my experiences, thoughts and observations FWIW.

I've owned a stock pair of Altec 846A Valencia's since 2012 that sounds sublime with my Shindo tube system, but also does very well with my backup gear which consists of older Audio Research tubed amps/pre-amps and a McCormick DNA-1 SS amp.

About a year after I acquired the Valencia's, a pair of Altec 604-8G's were available locally on eBay here in the Southern California area. I contacted the seller and he agreed to demo the speakers for me. When I arrived at his office, he explained that the 604's were original monitors from a recording studio that was no longer in business and had been dismantled. For the demo, the speakers were hooked up to a vintage Crown SS amp and a CD player. He played some CDs of my favorite music (jazz, women's vocals, classical, Hawaiian slack key) that I had brought with me.

I enjoyed the listening session but my take on the 604's (bearing in mind that a SS amp was driving them with a CD source of unknown quality), was that they very "truthful" speakers revealing both the good and bad, "warts" and all of the CD that was being played; whereas my Valencia's were more "musical", lush, and forgiving (i.e. good recordings were elevated and so so and mediocre recordings were easier to listen to).

The Valencia's filled and continue to fill my listening room and while the 604's achieved equally loud volumes, their sound was very directional, very focused. Qualities I imagine that would be greatly valued by a recording engineer.

Despite their sonic differences, I was still impressed by the 604's. Unfortunately the seller politely declined to accept my offer and pull the speakers off of eBay. I kept an eye on the 604's, but the final winning bid well exceeded my budget at that time.

With regards to the O/96's, I've heard them paired with Shindo gear on several occasions and have enjoyed their sound immensely as well. I would say their sound is more towards the Valencia side than the 604 side in terms of the Altec speaker spectrum.

Best wishes on your quest.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:34 PM
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Sancho, the 604 8(x) series had once been considered the definitive studio monitor and used in ~ 70% of mastering studios throughout a good portion of the 1970s. Aided by the latest technology, the current 604 8H & dividing network by Great Plains incorporates a number of improvements over the earlier Altec versions which many consider to be the finest Duplex of all.

As the tradeoff of high sensitivity horn type loudspeakers is some penalty to deep bass response and the 604 is no exception. Many owners place their speakers at or near room corners - and sometimes with a subwoofer. Rest assured however that a system of Altec 604/620 cabinets well calibrated and dialed in can yield some truly spectacular results.

The closest thing I've owned to the Valencias were a pair of Heathkit Legatos AS 21 which share the identical 806A HF driver & 811B horn of the Valencia but I found that combination too shrill for my liking on certain material, but not all music. I had all but given up on horns when a friend strongly suggested I try the Altec Model 14 which use the then-new Mantaray horn with Tangerine phase plug. The improvement was dramatic to say the least: all the realism and presence of the 811 but none of the piercing shrillness. The HF driver of 604 8H shares the near-identical Mantaray driver w/Tangerine of the Model 14 and as far as I am concerned, stands head and shoulders above the 811B.

Directionality is also somewhat improved over the older 811B but placement relative to listening position remains critical nonetheless.

Factory spec places sensitivity ~ 103 dB (IIRC) of the 604 8H @ 4 ft which means it should perform well with the SET unit of your choice. I run my own Model 14s, alternately, between a pair of McIntosh MC30 tube amplifiers and MC2505 solid state amplifier. I can hear no appreciable differences between the two after numerous instantaneous A/B comparisons, for whatever it might be worth.

The bottom line is that were up to me, I would go with the GP 604 8H and not look back.

HTH, Eric
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Last edited by 62caddy; 11-29-2016 at 08:48 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2016, 05:00 PM
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The 604E-H, and the Altec Valencia/Flamenco woofer have a free air resonance of 25Hz. In the 5-6 cubic foot cabinet don't expect much below 50-60Hz. However in cabinets up to 12 cubic feet you can get quite good bass. IMO 9-12 cubic feet would be ideal.

With regards to the Valencias or Flamencos these sound pretty good at low volume but can get shrill and shouty, and the sound field gets muddled and collapses when pushed hard. Replacing the crossovers will help you get closer to what they are capable of. I've personally drilled the rivets, de-tarred them, reverse engineered the circuit, and build my own optimized N-800-F OEM crossovers...over a number of iterations. The stock crossovers have ferrite inductors next to each other, very old electrolytic caps, and an old variable resistor. Also, with used pairs its very common that they need new HF diaphragms or a LF driver rebuild both of which can be done for very reasonable prices at Great Plains Audio. I found one of my LF drivers was rubbing and had Bill @ GPA do them. He also remags Alnico magnets if he re-cones.

So, In short I don't think you can go wrong with either a 604, Valencia, or Flamenco. But either way you'll benefit from larger cabinets and better crossovers which is going to be the big value equalizer. The 604 are better near and mid field and the 2-way design might be better in a mid-large room.

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Last edited by junker; 12-04-2016 at 05:48 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2016, 06:10 PM
Michael7 Michael7 is offline
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Would you recommend to remag the alnicos? Is it a Big difference? Maybe thats the reason why my 300B SET feels a bit underpowered for my ears.
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