Restoring Altec Lansing


Active Member
Aug 31, 2006
One of friends is helping someone to restore the Altec Lansing Voice of theatre in a home cabinet.

On opening up the speakers it was found that the internal cabling has to be changed & the xover capacitors need to be replaced.

My friend has some siltech internal cabling lying around hence he is going to use the same.

The Xover is of model nos is N 801-8A. The cap for HF reads 18microfarad & 125v & surprisingly it's the same for LF( Should'nt it have a diff value?)

The main question being what brands of caps should we be looking at & where can we source them? what would be the cost?
Can we change the values of the cap & if so what can be the change in the sound?

Pl let me know if more info is required.
I would be quite interested in the progress of this restoration. For crossover quality capacitors, please look at partsexpress or madisound, they have a good collection. They will also ship you to India.

How is the shape of the driver units? Are the diaphrams in good condition?

Hey! The drivers & every thing is in good condition.

We were looking to try mundorf etc to improve upon the sound & may be get it to sound more mordern. But then we are not sure if that would be the right thing to do. Hence we are looking at trying Jentzen or Solen.


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What drivers are there in the Altec VOTT?

I am guessing that they will be Altec 802 or 806 compression drivers and 416 woofers and 811 horn.

For home use I would not use the VOTT cabinets but go for the Altec Model 19 or similar cabinets.I also like to crossover at 1200HZ as that sounds best with the 811 horn.

Clone/copy an Altec model 19 crossover and that is the best there is .

Vintage Altec Model 19 Crossover Schematic

The stock Altec pro crossovers are basic second order 12db crossovers and that is why you have the same value caps .The stock crossovers limit the performance of the Altec drivers.

The 811 horns ring like crazy .You need to damp them.Lots of info on the sites I have given links to.

As for caps.I like the oil caps Ashok was kind enough to send me.I have tried TRT Infinity,Hovland and others but the oils beat them all.

@Ashok good to see you back.I promise that your radio will be shipped out this week.

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Thaks a lot rajiv.
Our Xover looks the same, as the one at audio karma & we are also were looking at the jantzen caps. We had been confused as to use better caps & inductors or try & stick to the orginal stuff & retain the originality. But i think it has been decided to try & use better components.I've been busy & my friend has been taking car of the whole project.
Will check more & post details.
Hi Neo,

If you could list the model nos. of the woofers and compression drivers I will be able to suggest ways to improve the Altecs.

The stock crossovers even with improved components are still not the best.

The cabinet is 878b santaigo, the x-over is n801-8a, woofer driver 416-8a & compression driver is 807-8a.
The inductors used are 2.20mh

The Santiago used the 411 woofer not the 416 woofer.It is a good woofer designed for sealed cabinets.If your speakers have the 416 then they must have been changed at some point.The 416 is better .

The 807 driver uses a Symbiotic dia.which is Aluminuim with a plastic surround.It is designed for higher power handling,but does not have extended highs but are smoother in the mids.It will fall of rapidly after 14Khz.For better highs you can change out the dias to Aluminuim from GPA or use a tweeter with the 807.

I would go with new Aluminuim dias from GPA.They are about $150 a pair.The Chinese knockoffs on ebay sound bad.

To start with stick with the original crossovers just change the caps to good but not expensive polys.Then listen to the speakers for some time and get a feel of what they sound like.They may be a little forward in the mids,but that can be corrected with changes to the crossover.

Ask a lot of questions on the Altec forums and the folks there will provide you with tons of info_Once you dial in the Altecs they will sound great.

PM me for any help you require .

Hey! Thanks. With changing the dia of the horn would'nt we have to change the cabinets dimensions?
Hey! Thanks. With changing the dia of the horn would'nt we have to change the cabinets dimensions?


Sorry for the confusion.

I should have used the full term (diaphragm) instead of the abreviation dia.

Dia. refers to the diaphragm (the dome shaped membrane which vibrates and makes the sound) inside the driver.

Changing the diaphagram will not need changing cabinet volume. All Altec 1 inch exit drivers diaphagrams are interchangable.The foll. link will be helpful.


Wow Rajiv

I'm impressed by your depth of knowledge on these vintage drivers!

Must make a trip( pilgrimage?) to Madras ( note not Chennai-we old timers who used to know the Ghost who walks, still prefer Madras to Chennai!) check out your system(s).

we old timers who used to know the Ghost who walks, still prefer Madras to Chennai

At least as long as Madras does not get it's own version of the enforcement
brigade, you/we are safe :)
Hi Rajiv,

This is JK from Surat.

Sir, I need your help in Altec Lancing restoration project.
Can I have your personal email address?

My email address is [email protected]

Awaiting your response!


If anybody here ever require genuine American speaker recones for Altec..... Cones, Coils, Spiders, Dust-Caps, Gaskets, Surround Treat lacquers & Diaphragms. It is available thru me.
" Hunter Audio Loudspeaker Reconers "
Call 9331927102 (Vicky).
Maybe you can help me.
I live in Santiago, Chile and I am an ALTEC lover. I am in the process of recovering some components and build new projects.
I have this parts:
2 pairs of 416- 8A woofers
1 pair of 416-8B woofers (mint)
2 pair of 811B horns
1 pair of 806-8A drivers
1 pair of 807-8A drivers
2 pairs of 801-8A dividing networks
1 pair of N-1600-D dividing network
1 800- 8K diving network (model 846-B Valencia), but in very poor condition.
1 pair of 846-B cabinet that I need to restore.
I was planning to build 2 pairs of Valencia 846-B similar speakers.
Do the 801-8A crossovers match in that project ?? I saw that those are OK for the 807-8A drivers but not sure if will work properly with the 806-8A.
I know that the other crossovers N-1600-D are for the 604.
Do you know the differences between the 801-8A from the Santiago speakers versus the 800-8K from the 846-B Valencia ?
Best regards
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