Altec Lansing Stonehenge IIs - The Beginning of the End? . . .

 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 586
Registered: May-05
OK folks,

My buddy just picked up the Altec Lansing Stonehenge IIs woofers and did a quick check on the drivers. He believes the drivers are OK and they can be reconed fairly inexpensively. So, it appears that within 2-3 weeks the ALs will be back in my hot little hands in "like new" condition. PETER, I know you're green with envy. LOL

Then, he's got a Fisher X202(?) that he's bought and will need to replace caps, clean-up and perform some minor repairs. He'll sell it to me for his cost, we'll see where that is but it's way under my existing budget and there could be that incredibly rich, warm "tube sound" in the old house again.

Also, he just listened to the Ascends HT set-up and he was reasonably impressed with their performance, especially given their size and price point. (Thought you would appreciate that Ed.)

BUT he said when I get the Fisher and ALs home, I may just may want to go to a Plasma HDTV and 2 channel sound and he thinks I'll like it better. So, the tube amp matched to ALs in a separate room is the plan. (Don't ask what it cost me Art to get the wife to go for this.)

And, I'm taking this route with little or no risk. If I don't like the sound of the Fisher amp, I can return it to my buddy and pay nothing and he'll let me try one of his other tube amps and I'm only out the cost to recone the ALs. Then, if I don't like the sound of any of his tube amps, highly unlikely I suspect, then I can look for a solid state amp and pre/pro that I like or go back to the SS multi-channel amp and pre/pro approach and keep my HT and stereo integrated.

Stay tuned and in about a month or so we'll see if audio nirvana is back in the Dakulis house and I've reached the beginning of the end OR will it be the end of the beginning and the hunt for audio nirvana continue in the original direction with SS components? The search for the Holy Grail of Audio has many dips, turns, u-turns and off road adventures, you see. LOL
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 6103
Registered: May-04


You might want to discuss the idea of "Old School" tube sound vs. "New School" tube sound. The choice of individual components before the output tubes and the choice of tube type/brand will influence what you are going to hear from a tube amplifier. If he is returning the Fisher (or any of his tube amps) to vintage condition, you will have an end result which is quite different than if he used contemporary metal film resistors and poly caps. Neither direction is necessarily right or wrong, just different.


One of the simplest ways to alter the sound of a tube amp is with the tube choice. Read about the type of tubes (input, driver, rectifier and output) the Fisher will be using and you will see a description of a Svetlana tube sound that is very different from a NOS or a generic tube.

Not all people agree with the idea of passive components influencing the sound; and your friend may be someone who feels a tube is a tube as long as they are the same type. If that is the case, this could affect how you feel about the finished product.


 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 588
Registered: May-05
Jan,

As usual, thanks for the incredible insight and I don't know the answers. But, he's a couple of blocks away so I can go and find out. Bob is an interesting guy, late 50s and long time tube audio aficionado, and I suspect he's probably going to move towards vintage condition with old style parts.

This is just my guess as he has purchased old stocks of American tubes and some Russian tubes in the past that he uses in his renovations. I know for a long time, he was really into the old RCA "black bottom" tubes? Is that the right reference? He would buy out electrical/TV places around the country as they were closing up shop. So, he's stockpiled tubes, sold tubes, etc. for some time.

Also, when I mentioned the concept of buying a used Jolida tube amp and paying him to mod it, he just about came unglued and said he could get much better sound of rebuilt Fisher than I'd ever get from a modern "cheap" amp that was modded. So, I'll look into it further and I'll report back when I know more. Thanks again, Dave.
 

Gold Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 1440
Registered: Feb-04
Dave,

It all sounds like a fun project! You might find yourself hunting for more vintage Altec Lansing's for HT!
 

Silver Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 593
Registered: May-05
Peter,

I would if I could BUT there's no way those puppies will fit in the WAF HT Entertainment Center, unless I chop them up a bunch. Hey, just kidding, about chopping them up that is!!!

I'm hoping it's a fun project and brings back the familiar sound, depth, breadth and life of live music. The HT system has a nice sound but your ear tells you that it's not quite the right, natural sound. So, I'm back on the hunt.

BTW, Bob suggested going back to the ALs and losing everything else for HT and he said I would be surprised how real the sound was from a quality pair of speakers. We'll see but I don't think I'll go quite that far. Again, the whole WAF with the speakers in that room. LOL
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