View Full Version : Altec 879a Santana


RuSsMaN
05-08-2005, 01:33 AM
Not anything I had ever seen before.

15 inch 'bi-flex' woofer, and a cone tweeter. Sealed box, VERY efficient, and sound like hammered shit. Wood cabs are excellent (and actually very pretty), and the tops are a leather looking / vinyl feeling job. Grilles complete, but looks like the bottom corner of one was used as a feline scratching post. Spring connectors, and they sit on a built-in riser.

Any info floating around on these? Care to wager on an ebay over/under?

Cheers,
Russ

dingus
05-08-2005, 01:41 AM
....and sound like hammered shit....
is that a good thing or a bad thing, and how do you know what that sounds like?

tentoze
05-08-2005, 01:45 AM
Local shop has had a pair of those for over a year- didn't listen to em, and at $275, they could keep em for another millenium.

NOSValves
05-08-2005, 09:53 AM
sound like hammered shit

Man I love your style please define what hammered shit sounds like LMAO !!!

spkrman57
05-08-2005, 10:42 AM
The pair I came across became a subwoofer enclosure for a 15" woofer and I kept the dead tweeters in to cover the hole and keep it sealed.

I had the 420A bi-flex drivers reconed to 416's and used them in a different system(A7)

The cabinet is the best part of this system.

My apologies to anyone who likes them, but compared to Altecs other great offerings, these did not rate up high with me. That does not mean they are no good, just not my cup of tea!

Ron

dgwojo
05-08-2005, 10:46 AM
My apologies to anyone who likes them, but compared to Altecs other great offerings, these did not rate up high with me. That does not mean they are no good, just not my cup of tea!

Ron
I'm with you on this one Ron, I could find other good uses for the cabinets though, like maybe for a 604, my wife thinks her house plants would look good on top of them and there would be little risk of water stains!! Dave.

RuSsMaN
05-08-2005, 11:44 AM
Glad to see I'm not alone on the 'sound'. My best description would be all midrange, and a very forward midrange at that. Highs are on the shrill side, and the bass doesn't match the woofer size, or the real estate these things take up. The cabinets do have a major cool factor though. Great woodtone, and they seem pretty well built.

Kind of disappointing to me, as I did get a LITTLE excited about the condition, not only of the cabs, but the drivers look like they just came out of the factory.

I'm going to run them on the bay, local for the set, or ship the drivers only. Maybe I'll end up with a pair of subwoofer cabs?

Cheers,
Russ

shrinkboy
05-08-2005, 11:53 AM
isn't the 879a the one also known as the Santana? a friend offered me a set a long time ago, but didn't have the vehicle of appropriate dimensions to get them home w/o bashing into each other...

RuSsMaN
05-08-2005, 12:03 PM
Yes, as the thread title suggests. I'm going to give them another whirl tonight, but so far I haven't been able to finish ANY one song.

shrinkboy
05-08-2005, 12:19 PM
oooops! didn't see the 'santana' part....i just saw the opportunity to wield my vast knowledge of vintage audio and went for it.....you know, russ, you coulda just ignored that, just let me go on in my insular little world. but, no....

spkrman57
05-08-2005, 12:35 PM
There was another Santana cabinet with 12" and tweeter in a slightly smaller sized cabinet(ported if I recall from memory). I have these also without drivers somewhere in my house(????where?????) I think these were the Santana II's!

Ron

tentoze
05-08-2005, 02:11 PM
I'll stick with me Bozaks. I doubt they'll get any better, Russ. Flip em.

spkrman57
05-08-2005, 02:51 PM
I'll bet the vintage audio collectors overseas in Asia will grab up the 420A biflex pretty quick. The tweeter is just your average "garden-variety" phenolic ring, nice but not great.

Ron

Andyman
05-08-2005, 05:07 PM
I sold a set a few years back, but could remember if it was whole or parts. I do recall that a tweeter was blown in one and I scrounged one from another set of bookshelf Altecs I found, which also had one blown tweet. Those tweeters really were nothing special, just crappy cones; I would have expected better in Altecs.

I think I had these jammed in my living room with some JBLs, some Maggies and the IMFs I sold to Pete, and they didn't really float my boat back then. My faves were the JBLs with 15" woofers and the 175 potato smashers.

RuSsMaN
05-08-2005, 06:34 PM
Is that what I have, 420a Biflex? If your sure, it would save me the hassle of taking the front baffles off. Then again, they love pics of the mag structure and basket....

spkrman57
05-08-2005, 07:12 PM
Russman,
The back of these drivers are identical to the Altec 416. That is why I had them reconed to 416's. Bill at great plains could do that for you if you wanted to use them in a Model 19 or A7 type design.

E-bay will bring better $$$ from the Asian collectors than the whole system is worth most likely. I would love to have the cabinets from those though! Too bad you are too far away from me.

Yes, they should be 420A's and share the same frame/magnet structure as the 416's!

Ron

kyle
05-08-2005, 10:59 PM
I have a pair of the 420A's in a 10cuFt cabinet with a pair of goodmans 12" triax. The bass is very good. It's tighter and seems more extended than my 604-8g's. I don't think they work all that well in small boxes.

RuSsMaN
05-08-2005, 11:08 PM
Yeah, I pulled the front panels off tonight - and it became VERY apparent that the cabs are WAY too small for this woof in a sealed box design. I will say they couldn't have crammed anymore fill in, so they tried at least.

Listed on the bay tonight HERE. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5773268404)

Cheers,
Russ

dgwojo
05-08-2005, 11:36 PM
Excellent pics, WTF kinda camera you using?? :yes:

Andyman
05-09-2005, 03:20 AM
Damn, Russ, you sure got a lot of uncles

spkrman57
05-09-2005, 07:00 AM
Dig the simple crossover on that, single cap to the tweeter.

Those 420A's recone to 416 really easy, or e-bay them and have nice sub cabs.

Ron

Wedweb
07-19-2005, 08:41 PM
I'm looking at these. They are very close by and I can pick them up. He had these up for ebay before but didn't make his reserve. Are these 420a's like he said. I don't really see the duplex part. Let me know and that will help me wether or not to bid on them? Thanks.

Bo

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5790062578&category=50597&rd=1

dgwojo
07-19-2005, 10:50 PM
I'm looking at these. They are very close by and I can pick them up. He had these up for ebay before but didn't make his reserve. Are these 420a's like he said. I don't really see the duplex part. Let me know and that will help me wether or not to bid on them? Thanks.

Bo

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5790062578&category=50597&rd=1
Without seeing the back of the woofers, I'd assume they're 420 speaker frames reconed and coiled with 418/421 musical instrument parts, not exactly great for home use, and, they're not bi-flex's. The 15" 420A frame and motor are the same as the 416A. IMHO, the 420A bi-flex never put out much bass, if you're buying these for the cabinets they might be OK, sound wise, probably not very good!! The attached pics are of the later 16" model 420-8B with a bi-flex cone, and the other images are the 420A. :yes:

sansui9090
07-20-2005, 12:00 AM
I see your bids are up to $300 already........ not bad for a pair of speakers that you can't stand the sound of.
I used to have a pair if altec Santiago's..... great at low listening volume..... turn them up and they sounded nasty.
I sold them for a good price, so all good in the end .:)

Pickoid
08-04-2005, 07:41 AM
Well.... I found another pair of these Altec Santanas yesterday in a local Dallas thrift shop. Price is very, very low. The cabs are not in as good a shape as the ones Russ had. They were situated such that I could only see the drivers in one speaker without moving a mountain of stuff. The woofer looked fine in the one I could see - tweeter was covered by a piece of stapled cloth. I have no interest in them, not even flipping the drivers on eBay for profit. If anybody has any interest in picking these up, PM me and I'll tell ya where they are.