Best Altec Lansing Speakers Ever (Vintage) - 2022 Edition | Start with the DJ (2023)

Best Altec Lansing Speakers Ever (Vintage) - 2022 Edition | Start with the DJ (1)

Altec Lansing was dominant in the US in movie theaters and "higher-demand" studios and homes from the 1940s through the late 1970s.

It then fell in connection with purchases from various technology/investment companies, with engineers fleeing to other companies like JBL, EV and others.

Any day of the week, the older Altec Lansing outperforms the other companies with better active filters and PEQs in terms of audible distortion and frequency response.

Altec Lansing is in a class of its own for high-sensitivity vintage loudspeakers.

The popularity of Altec Lansing theater loudspeakers among audiophiles waned in the mid-1950s with the promotion of the Acoustic Research/Janszen hybrid dynamic/electrostatic loudspeaker.

Horn-loaded loudspeakers (for example, all at Altec) gained a reputation for harshness on HF and midrange coloration, and consumer demand for them all but dried up by the mid-1970s.

My colleague has a 15″ Lansing element from the 1930s and several Altec Lansing 311b, 604, 811b, Model 19, plus a few other models.

In this article, I'll do my best to pick out the best vintage Altec Lansing speakers and review the ones I've tried.

1. Altec Lansing Modelo 19

This is a speaker for the audiophile as well as the casual listener. It has a fantastic design as it is a simple two way type.

However, this is not just a simple two-way speaker.

The heritage behind the Model 19 is theAltec Legacy Voice Theater🇧🇷 This is a scaled down version of the venerable VOTT, but with better frequency extensions.

The "Tangerine" horn driver has extended range capability that not many, if any, had when they were initially built. At the time, it was revolutionary for a horn driver of this size to retain the farthest high frequency capability this driver offered.

The horn lens has excellent dispersion characteristics for excellent room coverage and smooth frequency response. The horn is efficient and has a design well established by Altec. Pairing the 811 lens with this controller was pure audio art!

(Video) Review: Altec Lansing Stage-Gig

The 16″ Altec woofer offered excellent high-end range to better match the bass capability of the big-horn combo.

Combining this particular midwoofer with that set of horns made perfect sonic sense. They mixed and matched so well that their sound is renowned in the audiophile community; Finally, truly BIG sound in a sleek, precise package.

Another plus is that this midwoofer was beefy and had true 30Hz bass capability; even better than all that, it could be loud with an efficiency of 99 db., which again helped pair it with the ability for breath combos to play loud and clear.

The 15″ bass driver produces some of the cleanest, clearest bass I've ever heard.

The speakers will pressurize the room, rocking it with deep bass where the source calls for it, but the bass is free from rumble or excess. They have slam galore, but also finesse.

As good as the driver combination was, the crossover made it all possible, an extremely smooth transition assisted by a pair of L-Pads, where it was possible to adjust the higher frequency ranges or even the lower vocal ranges.

The crossover was a charm for me and gave these amazing speakers their soul of sound reproduction.

Another amazing thing is that you don't need a big muscled amp - a simple, modest, well made tube amp plays easily with them.

Cabinets came in either robust oak or elegant walnut wood styles. They were very stable and heavy. They didn't rattle or get stuck, but they did provide a solid platform for the lower bass extension port to accommodate the drivers in wonderful style.

They were great pieces of furniture and looked great with beautiful workmanship and exquisite construction. Although they housed the drivers, they extended and allowed sound to flow and feel like no other speaker made since.

In short, the Altec Model 19 is in a niche of its own. It's one of those speakers that you remember when and where you first heard it.

You remember BIG, probably most of all: BIG sound, cabinets, everything! You remember the huge bass, the clean and clear vocals. You are captivated by a sound that is more than unique.

2. Altec Lansing 604-8G (Modelo 17)

One of the first true coaxial loudspeakers, Altec's Model 604 was adopted for home amateur use and, after various modifications, is still widely used today for monitoring record recordings.

This loudspeaker is a duplex (coaxial, concentric) loudspeaker in a 620 cabinet sold as the Altec 17 model.

(Video) Massive Speaker Tour - 51 Pairs - JBL, Tannoy, Altec, B&W, and More

It is large (40″x26″x18″) and has an entrance door. It features a multi-cell horn/bass driver placed concentrically in the middle of a 15″ bass driver.

All drivers include Alnico V magnets (2.5 times more energy than a ferrite magnet of similar weight). The huge alnico magnets are one of the reasons it's so sensitive (105dB), from 30Hz to 22kHz.

In fact, one of the greatest orators in the world today. Altec was ahead of its time, leaving most of today's speakers to shame.

These speakers do everything great, from sparkling highs to incredible mids and rumbling basic realism.

I have yet to hear a speaker that can play them in the areas that count. They are especially good on vocals. It's so terrifying as if the voices were right there in the room.

All in all, these speakers are awesome. You can perform macro and micro dynamics like there is no tomorrow.

Offers the power of music. Play effortlessly with ease, making the preamp flow effortlessly.

It has tonal accuracy, amazing transients, low distortion at all volumes, clarity and coherence.

Due to their age, they are not easy to locate, and most of these gems were shipped to the Far East, where they are highly prized, but if you search hard enough, you can still get them.

If you find a pair, be sure to try them out. You'll probably get hooked too.

3. Altec Lansing 301

The Altec Lansing 301 is Altec's mid-range consumer line. Its appearance is normal (a simple box), with minimal internal reinforcement.

The diffuser woofer is made of carbon fiber, which combines lightness with a remarkable degree of rigidity in search of the perfect woofer: true piston action.

Carbon fiber construction eliminates deterioration, warping, and stress on the woofer cones.

In Altec Lansing 301 Acoustics, the midrange drivers and tweeters are made from a thermosetting plastic called polyimide, which is resistant to temperatures up to 600°F.


On the surface of this plastic is a 4 micron thick layer of titanium, one of the strongest and lightest metals I know of.

Additionally, the voice coil of each HF loudspeaker operates in a fluid ferromagnetic medium, which provides effective damping and heat transfer from the voice coil to the surrounding magnetic structure.

In other words, speakers are made to absorb all kinds of overloads!

To say the Altec 301 speakers sound distinctive is to say you've never heard them before! Listening to them, that “upper class” person marvels at the delivery of sound material.

It does not mean that these Altec Lansing 301 return us to the primitivism of audio. No, they have a very different sound than what we consider acceptable today. You'll hear the "rich sound" of the Altec Lansing 301 speakers.

They sound very interesting, almost aggressive in an energetic and incredibly lively way!

They reproduce some songs very fluidly, with the treble more open and with a degree of transparency and almost electrostatic detail.

Woofer quality is surprisingly good, considering its simple enclosures. Altec Lansing 301 loudspeakers deliver a clean 28Hz.

Records with strong bass sound good, but those with mid-bass aren't as good anymore.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the Altec Lansing 301. While the Altec 301s do some things worse than any audiophile speaker I've ever heard, they pack a strong personality (well, call it colorful if you want).

4. Altec VOT 7

These are the PAs. theater voice They have 808-8A high frequency drivers, 511-B speakers, 15″ E/V woofers and Altec N501-8A partition network.

They are wider than a door frame and are over four feet tall. They are definitely not small speakers.

My friend put genuine new drivers in the speakers as they needed to be replaced when he bought them. The speakers sound better than any speaker he owns or uses.

They are very efficient and can be driven at very high volumes with amplifiers of 5 to 10 watts per channel.

(Video) July 30, 2022

The sound is so alive it feels like you're listening to the band live or in the studio.

Altec horns have the sweetest highs I've ever heard and will send shivers down your spine. We connect them to aYamaha M45 Amplifier, preamp and an old Pioneer CD player.

If you can find a pair of VOTs I recommend buying them. You'd have to spend at least $3-4k to find a new pair of speakers that come close to the VOTs of the preamp, and even then, I don't think you'd do better.

I plan to purchase two VOT A-7 loudspeakers with 811 horns and 802D drivers and 515B woofers with 500Hz ALTEC crossovers.

These speakers will sound great. It seems that the older they get, the better they sound. I was told that ALNICO magnets sound better with age.

A Brief History of Altec Lansing

Altec spun off from Western Electric. So Altec bought the Lansing company andcalled the company Altec Lansing🇧🇷 JB Lansing then dropped out and started JBL.

The products that Western Electric made were not for home use, but were used primarily in theaters such as movie theaters, so the unit price of the product was an order of magnitude different than for home use (only rented, not sold). .

Because of this, they were able to advance product development and it is said that by the 1920s and 1930s they had already established technology equivalent to today's loudspeakers.

ALTEC was originally a “theater sound equipment maintenance company”. Still, due to his commercial success and financial strength, he purchased the manufacturing rights to Western Electric products and became independent of Western Electric engineers.

In 1983, Altec abandoned attempts to bring its products to the consumer market and continued to supply equipment to professional users even after its sale to Gulton Industries in '84.

In 1985, car audio manufacturer Sparkomatic bought the rights to market consumer loudspeakers under the Altec Lansing name. They put together a line of publicly available systems and introduced them at CES '86, the Model 301, for all to hear again.

Altec Lansing ruled cinema audio

Until the early 1950s, the undisputed best archival sound of the day was optical sound glued onto reels of film.

The sound of the 1940s Disney film 'Fantasia' could easily pass for genuine hi-fi today. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was then also in film sound that Altec Lansing's "cutting edge" technological developments took place.

The biggest player at the time, from the 1930s to the 1980s, was undoubtedly Altec-Lansing, who produced variants of the 'Voice of the Theatre' theme, all originally two-way horns based on a 15-unit unit. inches in a cabinet. Very little bass reflex complemented by a short front-loaded horn with a horn-loaded driver.

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And originally, always with the obligatory diaphragm frequency of 500 Hz prescribed in all cinema manuals to guarantee homogeneous sound coverage in the theater.

ver,Esit was the thing and can, in many ways, wreak havoc in today's hi-fi because it prevented a frequency cutoff in the most sensitive area of ​​the ear, not the reason for the choice, just a lucky side effect.


What are the best vintage speakers of all time? ›

  • Klipsch, Altec Lansing, JBL, Advent, Acoustic Research, and more classics that won't bust your budget. A great stereo system, the saying goes, is only as good as its speakers. ...
  • Klipsch. ...
  • Acoustic Research. ...
  • Advent. ...
  • Altec-Lansing. ...
  • Cerwin Vega. ...
  • JBL. ...
  • Kenwood.
Dec 1, 2021

Is Altec Lansing made by JBL? ›

JBL was founded by James Bullough Lansing (1902–1949), an American audio engineer and loudspeaker designer best known for establishing two audio companies that bear his name, Altec Lansing and JBL, the latter taken from his initials.

Does Altec Lansing make good speakers? ›

I love these speakers when they work. They have great sound quality, and we listen to both audiobooks and music on them. They are fantastically portable, small, and work great for our camping trips. They'll play for a few hours and don't take a lot of juice to recharge.

Is Altec Lansing the same as JBL? ›

Altec Lansing had a problem with that name's similarity to trademarked brands they had developed, so James Bullough Lansing renamed his new company "James B. Lansing Sound, Incorporated". Eventually, this became shortened to JBL on product branding and then officially as the company name.

What are good speakers to start a DJ cheap but good? ›

Summary: best budget monitor speakers for DJs & music producers
  • Pioneer DJ DM-50D.
  • Mackie CR5-XBT.
  • M-Audio BX5 D3.
  • JBL 305P MKII.
  • KRK Rokit 5 G4.
  • Yamaha HS5.
  • ADAM Audio TV5.

What happened to Altec Lansing speakers? ›

In 2005 Altec Lansing Technologies was acquired by Plantronics, 2009 bought by Prophet Equity, and has been owned since 2012 by the Infinity Group, a company which acquires struggling companies.

How long does Altec Lansing speaker last? ›

Many Altec Lansing Bluetooth speakers can last around 20-30 hours on a single charge. Some of the cheaper Altec Lansing speakers only last 6-10 hours on a single charge.

Who are Altec competitors? ›

Altec's competitors and similar companies include JCB, Konecranes, Palfinger and Terex. Altec is an equipment and service provider for the electric utility, telecommunications, contractor, lights and signs, and tree care markets.

Why JBL is the best? ›

Its long-lasting battery life of over 14 hours makes it great for long listening sessions. It also comes with a PartyBoost button, so you can connect it to other PartyBoost-compatible JBL speakers like the JBL Xtreme 3 and the JBL Pulse 4 when you want to amplify your audio across a larger space.

What does JBL stand for in speakers? ›

Founded in 1946, JBL is an American company that now sells its speakers all over the world. The abbreviation JBL stands for James Bullough Lansing; the name of the person who started the company.

Who is the best speakers of all time? ›

In that vein, we compiled some of the greatest public speakers of all time, people whose words changed the course of societies and defined eras.
  • Winston Churchill.
  • John F. Kennedy.
  • Socrates.
  • Adolf Hitler.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • James Baldwin.
  • Mister Rogers.
Sep 5, 2017

What is the best stereo speaker in the world? ›

What Are the Best Speakers In The World?
  • Definitive Technology BP9080X (Our Pick)
  • Salk Silk Monitors (Best Bookshelf Speakers)
  • KEF Q950 Floorstanding Speaker (Best Floorstanding Speakers)
  • JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor.
  • Klipsch R-28PF Surround Sound Floor Standing Speaker.
  • Gershman Acoustics Grand Avant-Garde.

What is the best DJ speaker brand? ›

  • Editor's Choice: QSC K12.2 Active Loudspeaker. ...
  • Premium Choice: Behringer EUROLIVE B112D Active PA Speaker System. ...
  • Best for Deep Bass Sounds: Bose F1 Model 812 Flexible Array Loudspeaker. ...
  • Best 15-inch Powered Speaker: Electro-Voice ZLX15P Loudspeaker. ...
  • Best Value: QSC K10.2 Active Loudspeaker.

Which company is best for DJ speakers? ›

Overall, here are our top picks for the best DJ speakers for house parties:
  • Yamaha DBR10 (Our Pick)
  • Electro-Voice ZLX-12P (Best Value)
  • Proreck Club 3000 (Premium Choice)
  • Mackie C300Z.
  • Alphasonik PKG 15''
  • QSC K10 (Most Portable)
  • Rockville BPA15 (Best for Bass)
Nov 18, 2022

How many watts is a good DJ speaker? ›

Also, make sure you don't connect too many speakers to one amp. An average DJ speaker will handle up to 300-400 watts RMS before failing, but this varies depending on its design and construction quality.

Which speaker is best for bass? ›

Deep Bass Speakers
  • Marshall Emberton 20 W Bluetooth Speaker. Black, Stereo Channel. 4.4. ...
  • LG Eclair (QP5), Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, eARC, HDMI, BT, U... Black, 3.1.2 Channel. 4.4. ...
  • Rutashy RTY-TS 50 120 W Bluetooth Tower Speaker. Black, 2.1 Channel. 3.7. ...
  • Mivi Fort S200 soundbar with wired subwoofer, Made in I... Black, 2.1 Channel.

Which speaker is best for sound? ›

The 6 Best Home Speakers - Winter 2023 Reviews
  • Best Home Speaker. Denon Home 350. SEE PRICE. ...
  • Best Mid-Range Home Speaker. Sonos Move. ...
  • Best Lower Mid-Range Home Speaker. Amazon Echo Studio. ...
  • Best Budget Home Speaker. Amazon Echo Gen 4. ...
  • Best Cheap Home Speaker. Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4. ...
  • Best Home Decor Speaker. IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf.

What is the oldest speaker brand? ›

Thorens is one of the oldest companies on this list, having been founded all the way back in 1883.

How do I update my Altec Lansing speakers? ›

Click on your speaker's name to see information about the device, including firmware version and MAC address. At the bottom the screen, you will see options to “Update Bluetooth” and “Update Firmware.” Click on “Update Bluetooth” to check for an update.

What speakers are made in Italy? ›

  • AQUAELITE. Gavirate / Italy.
  • Carimali. Nonio / Italy.
  • DAVIDE GROPPI. Piacenza / Italy.
  • Essenze di Luce. San Giovanni al Natisone / Italy.
  • Garvan Acoustic. Faenza / Italy.
  • Gruppo Treesse. Nepi / Italy.
  • In Stock. / Italy.
  • K-array. San Piero a Sieve / Italy.

What is the difference between Altec Lansing A5 and A7? ›

The difference between A5 and A7 is the HF horn: the former uses one of the multi cells, the latter the sectoral type horn. By definition, then, the one on the left is an A7 type.

Are old speakers worth it? ›

There are many differences between older speakers & newer speakers which includes that particular speaker's sound signature, the build quality, its size, and simply the way it looks. Though vintage speakers tend to have a warmer sound and are larger, newer speakers tend to play higher frequency sounds more efficiently.

Do old speakers still sound good? ›

Your old speaker set will use up a lot of energy to produce lower quality sounds. Conversely, newer models make the most out of every wattage of power by producing more decibels per watt used. The presentation of speaker systems has also witnessed significant change.

How long do DJ speakers last? ›

Depending on the materials they're made of and the environmental conditions of where the equipment is used, high-quality speakers typically last up to 40-50 years before showing any signs of damage.

How much is Altec worth? ›

Altec revenue is $3.5B annually. After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found the following key financial metrics. Altec has 1,550 employees, and the revenue per employee ratio is $2,258,064. Altec peak revenue was $3.5B in 2021.

Who owns Altec Industries? ›

Where is Altec from? ›

Altec is proud to call Birmingham, Alabama its home for more than 85 years. From our humble beginning in the heart of the South's steel city to worldwide leader in manufacturing, the community of Birmingham has helped forge Altec into the company it is today.

What type of Bluetooth speaker is the loudest? ›

The SOUNDBOKS (Gen. 3) is the loudest Bluetooth speaker we've tested. With a measured max volume of 110 decibels, this powerful party speaker has no trouble getting loud.

What is the highest audio quality for Bluetooth? ›

The higher the maximum data rate the codec can manage, the less data it has to discard, and the better the sound can be. All Bluetooth devices include the SBC codec, which has a maximum data rate of 345 kilobits per second, or kbps—about a quarter of the data rate CDs deliver.

How can you tell if a Bluetooth speaker is good quality? ›

The most important thing to look for in a Bluetooth speaker is the sound quality of the device. To ascertain the audio quality, you must pay attention to the total harmonic distortion which should be less than 1%. Another important thing to note is the frequency range, which should be between 100Hz to 20kHz.

Is JBL or Bose better? ›

JBL speakers come with subwoofers, and the bass effect is better than Bose speakers. On top of that, the JBL speakers are also larger than Bose speakers, and their radiators have higher vibration levels to emit better and deeper bass tones.

Why are Bose speakers the best? ›

Bose speakers are the best in terms of sound quality. They have a very good bass and treble, which is why they are preferred by many people. The clarity of their music is also amazing as compared to other brands available in the market today.

Why do people love JBL? ›

JBL Speakers have become the most trusted brand in the audio market because of the quality of sound they provide, regardless of the price tag of the product itself. A signature sound, JBL speakers assure an enhanced audio experience for consumers, no matter whether they are at home, on the road or throwing a party.

What are the loudest speakers in the world? ›

  • Soundboks Gen 3.
  • Ultimate Ears HyperBoom.
  • JBL Partybox 310.
  • Sony GTK – XB90.
  • JBL Boombox 2.
  • Anker Soundcore Rave Mini.
  • Sonos Move.

Is JBL high end? ›

JBL Synthesis is also absolute high-end audio with a professional backbone. Horn-loaded compression drivers are more the rule than the exception in the professional world, but are rarely used successfully in high-end loudspeakers. JBL has been an exception there for years.

Are JBL speakers worth buying? ›

If you don't already have a Bluetooth speaker and are looking for an affordable speaker to knock around on your next adventure, the JBL Flip 5 is absolutely worth it. It has a tough waterproof fabric, good sound, decent battery life, and its portable size makes it a great option for just about everyone.

What are the best speakers of all time? ›

What Are the Best Speakers In The World?
  • Definitive Technology BP9080X (Our Pick)
  • Salk Silk Monitors (Best Bookshelf Speakers)
  • KEF Q950 Floorstanding Speaker (Best Floorstanding Speakers)
  • JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor.
  • Klipsch R-28PF Surround Sound Floor Standing Speaker.
  • Gershman Acoustics Grand Avant-Garde.

Do vintage speakers sound better? ›

There are many differences between older speakers & newer speakers which includes that particular speaker's sound signature, the build quality, its size, and simply the way it looks. Though vintage speakers tend to have a warmer sound and are larger, newer speakers tend to play higher frequency sounds more efficiently.

Who is the best public speakers of all time? ›

In that vein, we compiled some of the greatest public speakers of all time, people whose words changed the course of societies and defined eras.
  • Winston Churchill.
  • John F. Kennedy.
  • Socrates.
  • Adolf Hitler.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • James Baldwin.
  • Mister Rogers.
Sep 5, 2017

Why are vintage speakers better? ›

Older speakers also had more bass responses than today's models because the recording industry at the time used less bass-boosting technology. As a result, vintage speakers typically produce more powerful lows and allow listeners to hear the difference between upright bass and double bass.

What is a high end speaker? ›

High-end audio is a class of consumer home audio equipment marketed to audiophiles on the basis of high price or quality, and esoteric or novel sound reproduction technologies.

Which speaker has the highest sound? ›

5 Best Loudest Speakers In India February 2023
  • Amazon Echo Studio.
  • JBL Boombox 2.
  • Sony SRS-XB33.
  • Sonos Move.
  • Anker Soundcore Rave.
Jun 11, 2022

What has the best sound quality? ›

A lossless audio file format is the best format for sound quality. These include FLAC, WAV, or AIFF. These types of files are considered “hi-res” because they are better or equal to CD-quality.

What is the average lifespan of a speaker? ›

Depending on the materials they're made of and the environmental conditions of where the equipment is used, high-quality speakers typically last up to 40-50 years before showing any signs of damage.

Who is the most sought after public speaker? ›

Top 50 Most popular motivational speakers
#1 Bear Grylls#2 Tony Robbins#3 Mr. T
#4 Cesar Millan#5 Dave Ramsey#6 Nick Vujicic
#7 Eckhart Tolle#8 Deepak Chopra#9 Kevin O'Leary
#10 Malcolm Gladwell#11 Gary Vaynerchuk#12 Robert Kiyosaki
#13 Eric Thomas#14 Paula White#15 Barbara Corcoran
29 more rows
May 22, 2017

Who is the best public speaker 2022? ›

#1 – Tony Robbins

He is the author of six internationally bestselling books and has delivered his messages of empowerment to more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video, and life training programs. More than 4 million people have attended his live seminars.

Do expensive speakers make a difference? ›

More-expensive speakers tend to incorporate improvements in design and materials that may make a big difference in the sound.

Do speakers deteriorate with age? ›

Some parts of speakers need periodic maintenance while other parts last for decades. Some parts fail from age with or without use while other parts will never wear out.

What makes a speaker high quality? ›

Every speaker produces certain frequencies that are louder or softer than others. Assuming that your ultimate goal is accurate audio reproduction, the less variation in loudness between frequencies—in other words, the flatter the frequency response chart is—the better the speaker quality.


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