Feb 012018
 

The vintage Altec Lansing 832A Corona’s arrived from LA Jazz Audio this morning via R+L Carriers, who were very helpful and polite, and brought the pallet with the Corona’s right up to my front door for easy unpacking -great service!

LA Jazz Audio did a nice packing job, and I was able to quickly remove the outer packing materials to reveal the speakers inside.

The speakers were carefully wrapped and shipped upside down to ensure there was no damage to the wood cabinet legs.

After removing all the padding and wrapping one vintage 832A loudspeaker was revealed!

Then two!

I hooked them up with some Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables and we gave them their first listen.

The vintage Altec’s acquitted themselves quite well, especially considering we were just giving them a quick check to make sure everything was working ok after their long trip.

George, Ron, Pete, and Rahul stopped by to give me a hand for the unpacking party – thanks guys!

We moved the Westminster’s aside so we could get a little better placement for the Corona’s, and it yielded substantial gains in sonics & musicality – very promising!

To get vintage Altec’s really singing a crossover-ectomy is required, and Pete Riggle already has been doing some crossover calculations to see what it would take to adapt the Hiraga crossover design to an 800Hz crossover point (Rev 0 is below).

I’ll continue to play them for a while in the main music system for a little fun & games, then they’ll move into my bedroom system until their turn comes up in the crossover queue!

It’s been a while since I’ve had such a “small” pair of loudspeakers in my living room system!

I’ll have much more to say about the vintage Altec 832A Corona loudspeakers in the near future!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!

 Posted by at 2:01 pm

  14 Responses to “Today’s Fresh Catch: Vintage Altec Lansing 832A Corona loudspeakers!”

  1. Hi Jeff, those are really cool looking, with a very mid century modern vibe to them! Can’t wait to read your impressions of them. Who is LA Jazz … do they have a web presence?

    • Hi Hans,

      As far as I know, LA Jazz Audio doesn’t have a website. They specialize in vintage audio gear and have some impressive offerings.

      If you search for them on eBay you can see what their current offerings are, and if you search for them on YouTube you can see all kinds of interesting demos on their channel.

      Tell them Jeff sent you! 😉

      Altec had furniture maker Glenn of California build the cabinets for them. Glenn of California made some nice furniture back in the day. They were at the forefront of the California Modernist design movement in the 1940s and 1950s, which you can clearly see reflected in the Corona’s cabinet style.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  2. Jeff,
    They look great, do you plan to try them in the corners?

    jack

    • Hi Jack,

      That’s the plan, but I haven’t had a chance to do that yet.

      This evening I moved them back much closer to the front wall and that helped their overall tonality. I suspect they’re really nice as a corner horn, but I’m pleasantly surprised that they do so well in free-standing mode.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  3. Feels like when I first got my Shindo 753 with the legs. I was pretty worried that the legs might give way. Great looking speakers,can’t wait to hear your opinion of these ‘small’ speakers!

    • Hi Nick,

      I’ve not had the pleasure of listening to the Shindo 753’s, but they sure are gorgeous!

      The vintage Altec adventures I’ve been doing have been really fun. These old Altec’s have tons of performance potential, but it takes a little bit of effort to realize what they’re truly capable of, in the form of some new internal wiring, Hiraga-style crossovers, and a few other attention to detail sorts of things with the cabinets.

      All of my three pairs of vintage Altec’s, the A5 VOTT’s, the “A7” VOTT’s, and now the Corona’s, have uniquely different sonic & musical personalities.

      My A5 VOTT’s sounded absolutely dreadful with the stock wiring and crossovers (N500C). They were possibly the worst sounding pair of loudspeakers I’ve ever heard. A pair of modified Hiraga-san style of crossovers and some new internal wiring (WE16GA), and now I marvel at how good they are every time I listen to them.

      My Stokowski “A7” VOTT’s were the best sounding of the three with the stock crossovers (N500D), and I’m really excited about building some new modified Hiraga-style crossovers for them in the upcoming Duelund crossover project using the tinned-copper components. I suspect the result will be spectacular.

      The Corona’s sound pretty decent with their stock crossovers (N800F), but the 800Hz horns are noticeably different sounding than the 500Hz horns.

      Pete’s working on a modified Hiraga-style 800Hz crossover design for his Valencia’s, which should work well for the Corona’s too, given the similarity of the their components.

      Lot’s of fun to come!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  4. Nice score!

    As a 16ohm Valencia owner, that Hiraga crossover modded by Pete is all kinds of exciting for me. I’m really looking forward to reading how this little adventure plays out over the coming month(s) so I can potentially replicate the crossover for my 846As.

    • Hi Grant,

      I’m excited too. Pete’s really good at getting the Hiraga-style crossovers dialed in to complement various Altec’s.

      I’m really looking forward to hearing Pete’s adaptation of the Hiraga-style crossovers for the 800Hz Altec horns like the 811B, it’ll be fun!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  5. Jeff,

    How would you characterize the sound contribution of the Hiraga crossover versus the sound of high frequency with the Altec crossover? I’m wondering if the Hiraga circuit sounds anything like the Altec 30904 attenuator equalizer network. The circuits seem to have the same goal attenuating the midband and lifting the high end. The 802D driver in the Corona probably has more headroom than the 806A driver in my Valencia 846A.

    Regards,

    Don Neal aka Idler

    • Hi Don,

      The Hiraga-style crossover in my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers sounds dramatically different than the N500C crossovers they came with.

      The N500C crossovers are forward in the highs, edgy, and generally unpleasant. Their best use is as a doorstop! 😉 Granted, they were 60+ years old, so no doubt their aging caps played a role in their lackluster performance.

      In contrast, the Hiraga-style crossovers that Pete Riggle built for my A5’s sound smooth, natural, spacious, and are worlds more musical than the stock Altec crossovers.

      In fact Pete, Ron, George, Rahul, and myself had a ball listening to the American Epic performances on Blu-ray yesterday, and we were all enchanted by the performance!

      We also did a bit of brief listening to my Stokowski A7 VOTT’s with stock Altec N500D crossovers streaming jazz, and they sounded reasonably good. Not in the same league as the Hiraga-style crossovers though. I’m really looking forward to our upcoming Hiraga-inspired crossover project for the A7’s using the new Duelund tinned-copper components, which I think will be really something special.

      The 832A Corona’s 60 year old N800E crossovers are a bit tired I think, and the highs are a little course and lean compared to what I hear with the Hiraga-style crossovers.

      I’m really looking forward to hearing Pete Riggle’s Hiraga-style crossovers for Altec’s with 800Hz horns, I think it will really transform the speakers much in the same way the 500Hz versions did my A5’s.

      Should be fun!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

    • Hi Paul,

      LA Jazz Audio has a YouTube channel that they post videos of their offerings to so people can get an idea of what they’re about.

      It’s a nice touch.

      Best,

      Jeff

  6. Hi Jeff, can you do a comparison with the VOTT and Corona’s? I would love to get a pair of vintage speakers ,,, the VOTT’s are a little too big for my space, but the Corona’s would work perfectly and also go with our interior as well as we are collectors of mid century modern furniture.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Hans,

      I plan to do that very thing!

      My Corona’s are mint, but being 60 year old loudspeakers they need a little tender-loving-care to get the most out of them. I want to put in some new Duelund DCA internal wiring, new sets of binding posts, and pair them up with some new crossovers.

      Once I’m done with that I’ll be better able to tell you what they’re capable of and how they compare to the Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers.

      The Corona’s would go great with your mid-century modern furniture!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

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