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Author Topic: Altec 604's - the various models  (Read 34854 times)

John Klett

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Altec 604's - the various models
« on: December 20, 2004, 06:19:19 PM »

Altec 604 HISTORY

Read and comment - additions or corrections?

the Altec User's Boardwas a good start for this and then I added and corrected as I saw fit.

great source for Altec info...

http://www.hostboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/forum/f/ 3729

Altec 604A (late 40's)
   HF horn: 90h40v
   X-over:
   Power:
   Impedance: 16 ohms
   Weight:
   Magnet: Field Magnet (I think)
   Response:
   Free Air Resonance:
   Frame:
   Cone: all paper cone
   comment:   


Altec 604B (early 50's)
   HF horn: 90h40v
   X-over: 1000 Hz
   Power: 30 watts
   Impedance: 16 ohms
   Weight: 40 lb.
   Magnet: Alnico
   Response: 30Hz - 16kHz
   Free Air Resonance:
   Frame: wrinkled brown paint
   Cone: all paper cone
   comment:   


Altec 604C (mid fifties)
   HF horn: 90h40v
   X-over: 1600 Hz
   Power: 35 watts, 50 peak
   Impedance: 16 ohms
   Weight: 40 lb.
   Magnet: Alnico
   Response: 30Hz - 22kHz
   Free Air Resonance:
   Frame: green hammer-tone
   Cone: all paper cone
   comment:   close sounding to the newer models
      604C updated many times by Altec


Altec 604D (looked just like 604C)
   HF horn: 90h40v
   X-over: 1600 Hz
   Power: 35 watts, 50 peak
   Impedance: 16 ohms
   Weight: 40 lb.
   Magnet: Alnico
   Response: 30Hz - 22kHz
   Free Air Resonance:
   Frame: green hammer-tone
   Cone: all paper cone
   comment:   604D was in the 1957 catalog and was not superceded by the 605 until 1959
      after that 604Ds were built one-off for special customers i.e. recording studios


Altec 604E Super Duplex  - 1964-65/late 60's
   HF horn: 90h40v
   X-over: 1500 Hz
   Power: 35 watts, 50 peak
   Impedance: "8 to 16 ohms" was really nominally 16 ohms
   Weight: 34 lb. including network
   Magnet: Alnico V magnets
   Response: 20Hz - 22kHz
   Free Air Resonance: 25Hz
   Frame: light grey paint
   Cone: paper cone with an "accordian edge" cloth surround
   comment:   stamped basket diameter is 15"
      harder to front load


Altec 604E2 Super Duplex   
   HF horn: 90h40v
   X-over: 1500 Hz
   Power: 35 watts, 50 peak
   Impedance: "8 to 16 ohms" was really nominally 16 ohms
   Weight: 34 lb.
   Magnet: Alnico V magnets
   Response: 20Hz - 22kHz
   Free Air Resonance: 25Hz
   Frame: cast frame grey paint
   Cone: paper cone with an "accordian edge" cloth surround
   comment:   later 604E called 604E2 had the later 16" cast basket and tangerine phase plug


Altec 604-8G - early to late 70's
   HF horn: 90h40v
   X-over: 1500 Hz
   Power: 65 watts
   Impedance: 8 ohms
   Weight: 40 lb.
   Magnet: Alnico V magnets
   Response: 20Hz - 22kHz
   Free Air Resonance: 25Hz
   Frame: cast frame dark grey paint
   Cone: paper cone with an "accordian edge" cloth surround
   comment:   Sensitivity was improved - 100 dB SPL, 4 ft. on-axis 1 watt input
      (pink noise band limited from 500-3000khz)
      cast basket easily rear or front-mount
      "tangerine" phase plug came in 1976 with no change in model number
      604-8G's can be found w either circumferential phase plugs
      or newer radial phase plugs with no indication on the driver label.


Altec 604-8H
   HF horn: 60h40v "Manta Ray"
   X-over: 1500 Hz
   Power: 65 watts continuous
   Impedance: 8 ohms
   Weight: 34 lb.
   Magnet: Alnico V magnets
   Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
   Free Air Resonance: 30Hz
   Frame: cast frame dark grey paint
   Cone: paper cone with an "accordian edge" cloth surround
   comment:   Last of the alnico magnet models
      Tangerine phase plug
      introduced the newer Mantaray horn


Altec 604-8K (80's/90's)
   HF horn: 60h40v "Manta Ray"
   X-over: 1500Hz
   Power: 75 Watts continuous
   Impedance: 8 ohms
   Weight: 34 lb.
   Magnet: Ferrite Ceramic
   Response: 40Hz - 20kHz
   Free Air Resonance: 28Hz
   Frame: cast frame dark grey paint (16")
   Cone: paper cone with an "accordian edge" cloth surround
   comment: radial phase plug
         more sensitive "SPL" ratings than previous model 604's
     smoother HF dispersion due to the CD "Mantaray" horn
     improved cross-over networks


Altec 604-8L
   HF horn: 60h40v "Manta Ray"
   X-over:
   Power:
   Impedance: 8 ohms
   Weight:
   Magnet: Ferrite Ceramic
   Response:
   Frame: cast frame dark grey paint
   Cone: paper cone with an "accordian edge" cloth surround
   comment:   a K with a higher LF power voice coil
      uses Pascolite Alluminum H.F. Diaphragm


Altec 604-16X
   HF horn: 60h40v "Manta Ray"
   X-over:
   Power:
   Impedance: 16 ohms
   Weight:
   Magnet:
   Response:
   Frame: cast frame dark grey paint
   Cone: paper cone with an "accordian edge" cloth surround
   comment:   



Altec 604 Parts
Great Plains Audio
http://www.greatplainsaudio.com/

604-E, 16LN
WOOFER / R604-16E / 16Ω
TWEETER / 34852** / 16Ω


604-HPLN
WOOFER / R904/604-8HP / 8Ω
TWEETER / 34852** / 16Ω

604-8G
WOOFER / R604-8G / 8Ω
TWEETER / 34647** / 8Ω


604-8H
WOOFER / R604-8H / 8Ω
TWEETER / 34647** / 8Ω

604-8K
WOOFER / R604-8K / 8Ω
TWEETER / 34647** / 8Ω

R604-16HPLN, 126HPLN, 16X
WOOFER / R604-16HP / 16Ω
TWEETER / 34852** / 16Ω

604-168X
WOOFER / R904/604-8HP / 8Ω
TWEETER / 34852** / 16Ω

**NOTE: Requires diaphragm kit




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RMoore

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2004, 07:11:27 PM »

the 1st studio I was ever in and where I worked on a bunch of projects over the years as muso was at the old Mushroom studio (in their pre-Neve desk era) up in Canada:
http://www.mushroomstudios.com/
The main speakers they had there were insane - we called them the 'CHUDS'.
'Put it on the CHUDS!'
As in cannabalistic humanoid underground dwellers..that B film.
I guess you had to be there, but the term made perfect sense at the time.
Never heard anything like it since..
Anyway - learned later on that they were Altec 604 big reds..
Ahh - memories of the good old days & the CHUDS Smile
Cheers,
RM
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People's Republic of Ryan

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Jolly Ted

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2004, 10:48:11 PM »

Great information John! Thank you for this!

I LOVE the Big Red's...I would love to get a pair for my mains in our new room. I will check out your links too.

Thanks again!

Ted Jolly

Dominick

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2004, 11:01:14 PM »

Hi John,

A 604 compendium! Thank you.
Here are some additions & corrections.

1943
Field coil Altec Duplex 15"  Model 601
Completely different from the 12"  601A introduced in the mid 50's.
Power rating: 25 watts
Xover: 1200 Hz
Multicell HF horn
Network input impedance: 12 ohms
http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/altec/catalogs/1943/pa ge04.jpg

1944
Original Model 604 (not "A")
Alnico magnet
Power rating 25 watts
Xover: 2000 Hz
Multicell HF horn
Network input impedance: 20 ohms
Free air resonance: 38 Hz
http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/altec/catalogs/1945-dupl ex.htm
Note: Model 605 was a cabinet back then.

1949
Model 604B
Multicell HF horn

Model 604C
Sectoral HF horn
Same HF horn used until Manta Ray introduced on 604-8H
http://alteclansingunofficial.nlenet.net/Duplex.html

Model 604D
Free air resonance: no greater than 40 Hz
Cone: paper w/ viscous compliance damping and annular spider
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-8/354094/altec604scan.jp g

re: 604 vs. 605
It seems Altec tried to phase out 604 production with the introduction of the 605. The 605 was 3 dB less efficient due to it's smaller magnetic structures. Hence the special order 604D for professional users who required the efficiency.. Altec reintroduced the 604 as a standard cataloge item with the "Super Duplex" 604E .
604 - 802 HF driver (15,250 gauss) / 515 LF driver (14,750 gauss)
605 - 806 HF driver (13,000 gauss) / 416 LF driver (12,000 gauss)
http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/altec/catalogs/1971-ho me/page24.jpg

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Dominick Costanzo

Level

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2004, 11:08:57 PM »

I have worked in a bunch of studios with 604 varients. Enclosures makes huge differences but we used nearfields and referenced balance on them.

They are broad, papery deep and clean.


They were not the loudspeaker to finalize on...just some inner clues could be given.


They are overpriced, over rated, but kinda fun, pounding and tizzing away. Snappy, papery, and broad. Big assed boom boxes.

Mix precision to them, it would translate to an old console stereo...but not now.
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lord

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2004, 11:32:24 PM »

Level wrote on Mon, 20 December 2004 23:08

Enclosures makes huge differences but we used nearfields and referenced balance on them.



I have been wondering what the differences are between the early altec cabinets and the latter Urei models. I have liked working on the latter, but most studios were probably junking their altec mains shortly after I was born...

There are a lot of these speakers still floating around. Are they still worth working on, with so many modern alternatives?
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Level

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2004, 01:33:47 AM »

Quote:

There are a lot of these speakers still floating around. Are they still worth working on, with so many modern alternatives?


That is one hell of a loaded question, depending who answers it and the "nastalga" factor of old (and tired) alnico and brittle and weary cones, crossovers with out of calibration caps and just pure age.


I have seen some 604's (forget the actual series) go for close to 10,000 USD a pair and others go for 600 a pair. In 1988, I could have bought all I wanted for 20 buck a piece as they were considered totally inadaquate for high fidelity and compared to an 8 inch coaxial ceiling speaker only could cover 5X more area.

My oh my do times change peoples perceptions and they are still the same damned old speakers.

Yes, they were very nice in rise time and dispersion in their day..but you are totally right, the new stuff totally is much more acurate and durable (and perdictable) than the old stuff.


As an older dude, an older corvette or a nice shelby cobra stirs emotion but put me in an Infiniti G35 coupe or a 2005 vette and watch them eat dust, especially in cornering!

This does not mean I would take a sledgehammer to a victrola in favor of a cheap CD player.

To collectors, it is just that, a collectable piece, like a 57 chevrolet, old GTO or a mustang convertable about 1967.
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RMoore

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2004, 06:14:25 AM »

FWIW - in the 604 equipped studio I was in , as far as I recall, serious mixing and balancing was done w  nearfields & the big reds were the 'fun' speakers to get a rush from on playback during tracking or after a mix was set up....man it was sure impressive..an exception to this was 'industrial-dance' type productions where mixing using the big reds gave a good idea of how the mixes were going to perform cranked on a dance club PA system.
CHUDS!
RM

BTW - it did happen on many an occasion where mixes sounded like the most incredible thing on Earth with the BIG RED hammer of the Gods factor & once the record came out and you listened at home or the car it was like - oh, so this how it sounds?
Often kind of a letdown...
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People's Republic of Ryan

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lord

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2004, 09:53:48 AM »

Thanks Bill ... I'm always ready with a loaded question. Don't worry about me dropping $10k on a 40 year old driver any time soon.

Ryan ... awesome info as usual. (I don't expect cEvin Key by the joint any time soon so I guess I shant be needing the goth club boom.)
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Dan Kennedy

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2004, 11:43:11 PM »

If anybody wants a good 604C in original Altec plywood
lemme know...
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Level

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2004, 11:46:31 PM »

I will pay shipping...is it free??

hehehe.

For a single driver, it is a good center channel for a large scale film mastering facility (like 35 feet back)
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RMoore

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2004, 08:35:34 PM »

< Ryan ... awesome info as usual. (I don't expect cEvin Key by the joint any time soon so I guess I shant be needing the goth club boom.) >

Thats funny you sussed out what projects I was referring to!

FWIW - the days of the chuds are gone as since then, times changed, people moved away, passed on, label situations changed - and not to mention the infamous rise of the DIY home studio!..

The last time I was at CK's Subconscious Studios over in Hollywood -  Mackie monitors were being used..
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People's Republic of Ryan

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By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
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sdevino

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2004, 09:44:03 PM »

I have a pair of 1979 Urei 813c's with Altec 604-8G's in them.
They are useless for mixng other than feeling the bass for reference sake.

But they are pisser to crank up old ACDC and Aerosmith in while playing some guitar in the control room (late at night with no one around).

I only paid $1500 for the pair a few years back. Bargain if you ask me. My local speaker shop still has parts etc at very reasonable prices.

Steve
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Steve Devino

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Otitis Media

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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2005, 12:33:09 PM »

sdevino wrote on Sat, 25 December 2004 21:44

I have a
But they are pisser to crank up old ACDC and Aerosmith in while playing some guitar in the control room (late at night with no one around).



They're great for getting all the "producers" in the CR to quiet down when you're trying to do a vocal!  I actually think the Ureis sound good.  Nowhere near as accurate as the Earthworks in your room, but they move a darn sight more air and can be more exhilarating to listen to.  And I'm not afraid of damaging them with high playback levels...
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Dan Roth
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Re: Altec 604's - the various models
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2005, 12:35:17 AM »

Attached is a page from a 1980s Altec Lansing catalog showing the 604 range, with limited spec data. If anyone is interested in the full catalog in pdf form, I'll try and uplaod somewhere. It's about 20MB.
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