Altec Public-Address in the Seventies

Above: this one caught me by surprise.  Neil Young endorses Altec PA kit in 1971.  We see the Altec 1210A console and 1205A powered speakersApparently Don Ellis and Merle Haggard were also endorsers at the time. 

Today: some early ‘seventies adverts for Altec PA gear.  Altec equipment was no longer state-of-the-art studio gear by this period, but they seem to have enjoyed continuing success with sound reinforcement.  For a full catalog download that discusses much of the equipment featured, click here and visit this earlier post.

Above: The Altec 1217A.  Powerful enough for ‘Boogie Rock.’

Above: Altec’s young and photogenic employees circa 1974

Above: (it’s 1974): ‘Rock’s grown up.  The Group’s grown up… Altec was there when the magic of rock and roll arrived. Woodstock.  Monterey.”

5 thoughts on “Altec Public-Address in the Seventies”

  1. If you haven’t tried it, many of the 60s and 70s Altec power amps, the solid state ones designed to run off single ended battery supplies when the power quits, are superb for guitar when used with a good preamp (Mesa, Alembic or clone thereof, any of them really). They have a full output transformer just like a tube amp and load up just like one too.
    Don’t attempt to modify the amp or to run a pre off the +24 vdc charger tap. There is some design in there that is not obvious. And don’t drop the power voltage to lower than 110 volts either. That will eventually cook the power transformer, many of which have thermal links in them which don’t reset. (I had one rewound, $200….)

    1. The 1593B, 1593C, 1594B are what you want. Similar models (the E versions) do not have voice coil taps (4, 8, 16 ohm) and some of these have been refitted with output transformers for 70/100 volt only operation so examine carefully.

      With the right preamp such as the Alembic Fender clone or similar or a Champ with a dummy load and L pad off that, the sonics are astonishing. It works well with a wide variety of guitars but very especially with Rickenbackers and ES-335s.

      These things are quite rugged and very reliable and can be repaired fairly easily by anyone who can read a schematic and use a scope. However, if you lose an output transformer you are in trouble.

      1. are you still looking for the Altec amps?
        I have e 1593B, 1594B for sale
        i can send you photo’s if you want

  2. Stunning equipment, I have a set (2) from ALtec 1221A…self powered speaker with electronic crossover and EQ from my keyboards set, and a 16 Channel Carvin concert console…awesome…¡¡¡ the best in audio for profesional…The best…To me…¡¡¡ Yeah…

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