Dec 302015

I’m really impressed with the quality of Gary Fischer’s restoration of the Altec-Lansing A5 Voice of the Theatre (VOTT) loudspeakers that I purchased from him, so I wanted to tell you a little bit more about Gary and his restorations.

Jeff's A5 VOTTs with grills in place.

Jeff’s vintage Altec-Lansing A5 VOTTs restored by Gary Fischer Speakers.

To serve as the basis of my A5 VOTT Project here at Jeff’s Place, I wanted to get a pair of vintage Altec A5 VOTTs that were as original & pristine as possible, and Gary Fischer did a beautiful job of providing me a restored pair of A5’s with all original components.

Jeff's A5 VOTTs without grills.

Jeff’s A5 VOTTs without grills.

Gary Fischer has been restoring Altec-Lansing Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers now for over seven years from his place of business near Butler, Pennsylvania, and has restored over 50 pairs of loudspeakers for customers around the world.

When you order a pair of restored vintage Altec A7 or A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers from Gary, you can pick out your complement of vintage components for them (as available), or Gary can make a recommendation for you.

An Altec-Lansing A7 or A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeaker system consists of two bass horn cabinets, two Alnico low-frequency drivers, two crossovers (Altec calls them ‘dividing networks’), two high-frequency horns, and two high-frequency Alnico compression drivers.

To source the vintage Altec-Lansing components used in his restorations, Gary works with a collector who buys out closed theaters’ sound systems, and has “a vast collection of vintage Altec systems, cabinets, components, and hardware” available for Gary to choose from.

Every Voice of the Theatre speaker system Gary builds receives what he calls “an investment grade restoration.”

Gary says, “Every speaker is sanitized, refinished, and painted to factory color. Every component is thoroughly checked, replaced, or repaired if necessary. Every part of a restoration is original Altec and nothing else, except the paint obviously.”

For example, for one of Gary’s typical restorations of an Altec-Lansing A7-500 Voice of the Theater loudspeaker system, the speaker system would consist of two 825B cabinets, two 416-8A Alnico low-frequency drivers, two N501-8A crossovers, two 511B high-frequency horns, and two 800 series high-frequency Alnico compression drivers with aluminum high-frequency diaphragms.

Altec 825B bass horn with 515B Alnico driver.

Altec 825B bass horn cabinet with 515B Alnico driver.

To serve as the basis for my A5 VOTT Project here at Jeff’s Place, I chose two 825B cabinets, two 515B Alnico low-frequency drivers, two N500C crossovers, two 1005B horns, and two 288C Alnico high-frequency compression drivers, which is a classic Altec-Lansing A5 Voice of the Theatre combination of components.

Altec 1005B horns & 288C drivers.

Altec 1005B horns & 288C drivers.

Altec 288C 24-Ohm compression driver.

Altec 288C high-frequency compression driver.

Pricing depends on the availability & demand for the particular components you choose for your A7/A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeaker system. For a restored pair of A7-500 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers as described above, the price is approximately $3000 USD, and for the A5 I paid $6525 USD.

The Voice of the Theatre loudspeaker systems are large and heavy, so shipping costs can be substantial if you live far away from Gary like I do. Crating and shipping my loudspeakers came to $1326 USD via Old Dominion Freight Line, who delivered them to my door on a semi-truck with a lift-gate, and then placed them in my garage for unpacking using a pallet jack.

A5 VOTTs 3

Shipping containers containing the 1005B high-frequency horns (left) and the 825B bass horn cabinets (right).

In my next post I will cover the details of Gary’s restoration process using my A5 VOTTs as examples.

Thanks for stopping by!

 Posted by at 3:56 pm

  4 Responses to “Gary Fischer’s A5 ‘Voice of the Theatre’ Restoration Part 1: Introduction”

  1. Santa must have a pretty big sleigh! Sure look good after you got them unwrapped

  2. I have an original set of these speakers in working condition, and I’m interested in selling them. Any ideas of where I should post?

    • I would recommend Audiogon, Jason.

      Be sure to list exactly what drivers, crossovers, enclosures, and horns are used in your VOTTs in order to aid buyers in deciding if they would be interested in buying them or not, and also describe any maintenance you have done on them, like replacing the diaphragms on compression drivers, etc.

      That information, along with photos validating the information, would make for a decent audiogon advertisement.



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