Vintage American Made Cast Horns W Atlas SA-422 Drivers

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  • Item Category: Tools
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 26, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House
Offered at auction are a beautifully matched pair of classic very high quality American made cast aluminum alloy speaker horns and equally rare Atlas Model SA-422 compression drivers in perfect working condition. It is my understanding that these exceptionally well crafted horn designs were authorized / franchised by Altec Lansing, and made in America to be sold to such manufacturers as Kustom and Cerwin Vega to be used in their professional and theater loudspeaker systems. These horns are virtually identical to Altec 811 B sectoral horns, such as those used in classic VOTT Voice of the Theater enclosures, but allow the use of any standard threaded compression driver to be mounted to the throat without the use of adapters. Surprisingly, these models actually have a more refined overall build quality than many of the Altec models of that era, with much more exact and seamless weld lines, and smoother overall casting finish. These horns measure approximately 19" wide, 9" high, and measure 9" from the driver mounting plane to the back of the rectangular front surface (12 1/2" to the outer flare of the horn). Having this very similar size and identical performance specifications to the 811B design, plus the advantage of allowing the use of drivers such as Electro-Voice, Cerwin Vega, University, and of course Atlas, make these a very viable option for consideration in any vintage HiFI speaker design. The included model SA-422 Atlas mid-range drivers are the 8 ohm version of the Atlas drivers used in early model Klipschorns, and other Klipsch designs (which were 16 ohm versions designated by Klipsch as Model # K-55V) and have the same rated bandwidth (500hz to 5khz) and power handling. Both of these drivers are in excellent physical and electrical condition. Both have identical 6.6 ohm DC resistance, and neither have any issues or sonic aberration of any kind in use. I am a retired old school recording studio service/calibration tech, and I have used these drivers and horns for several years in my own custom three way home loudspeakers, utilizing vintage Goodmans Model Audiom 61 woofers separately bi-amped and electronically crossed over to these midrange configurations combined with a variety of both horn and conventional tweeters (driven only by SE Class A tube amplification). The most satisfactory combination I found was when these were driven from around 1200 hz up and crossed over at 5 khz using only a simple 1st order network crossing to (time and phase aligned) Stevens Toroidal horn tweeters or (my favorite) Classic Stromberg Carlson induction tweeters. With only a standard 8 ohm L-pad to attenuate the output to the level of the tweeter, I found these horns and drivers to be among the smoothest and most musically correct midrange combinations I have experienced. Perhaps, because of the symbiotic relationship of this specific matching, or in part because of the excellent sonic properties of the horns themselves (The use of thicker and denser casting, and more professionally finished surfaces than 811s) I have never experienced any of the classic complaints of horn systems such as ill defined ringing, response peaks resulting in "honk", or phase error induced non-linearity of any kind. In short, I believe that when used with carefully chosen ancillary drivers, and correct amplification, these units can satisfy even the most demanding of music lovers. Please Note: I discovered many decades ago that the coarse grills or screens used to filter out debris in the throats many vintage compression drivers (which were many times originally designed for abusive pro use) seldom do anything to improve the sound of such drivers. When used in a reasonably clean home environment these Atlas drivers come to life, revealing much more linear clarity, response smoothness, and harmonic musical content by the simple removal of this restriction. As such, these drivers are being sold with the screens removed. Cosmetically the drivers are in good overall condition, with no rust, corrosion, or other problems, but with some obvious scuffs and...