Altec Lansing A8 – VoTT: Holiday Update
I wanted to drop a quick note on the A8’s as they settle in. No surprise they took a week or more of constant play to settle down and shake the dust off. The new 909-16B’s have opened up quite a bit, and sound more natural to me. Their high frequency extension is apparent – no need for a third driver here. Keep in mind that I’m running the stock (approx. 40 year old) crossovers for now. Also, I’m waiting on my new amp (check out the progress report from Matt), so things are gonna change for the better again soon. I love the simplicity of this two driver complement. The stock 416-16C’s have also relaxed and sound fantastic. I’ve no idea how long they sat idle, but it definitely took this time for them to limber up. Dynamics have improved.
Again, I’m struck by the clarity and sensitivity of these low frequency drivers. I have not had such high quality and musical bass at home. And, the coherency between the two drivers – crossed at 800hz – is remarkable. For example, an upright bass sounds more life-like than ever. The seamless transition between the two drivers delivers exactly what I’d hoped for. When I goose the volume, the room fills with sound – the stage is pushing at the walls and ceiling.
I’ve got a small listening space. So, I’ve got them where the center of the drivers is 24″ from the side walls, and an equal distance from the front wall. I’ve not yet tested them up against that wall, but I’m curious how that would sound. More on that later. Overall, they are nicely balanced, and low end performance is excellent. These speakers mate with my room better than any others I’ve had here. It could be that the others had too much bass, or lower frequencies were loading the room too much. Not sure yet exactly which, but even at uncomfortable volumes, the bass does not get boomy. I trust much of this is those lovely woofers and the vented box.
One final comment on the limitations, or perhaps a lack there of, of the vintage Altec’s. – I’ve listened to everything from acoustic jazz, rock, metal and electronic music and am very satisfied with their sound. Bjork’s more electronic records sound fantastic – the synths and programmed drums sound tactile and quick. I am not missing the last several steps down toward 30hz. They don’t do everything well – no. Of course they don’t. I don’t care. They are so immediate, dynamic, tonally ‘right’ and musical that I am happy to leave the rest of the hifi sonic attributes behind.
Have a great Holiday – for those here at home.
As always, thanks for listening.