Question boost highs on old school stereo setup

Dougie

Active member
Dec 3, 2021
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Hi. Newbie here. I want to boost highs in old school speaker setup. I have Denon AV3200 surround system. I have Altec 10" 2-way speakers in L and R and a Polk Audio powered subwoofer. I want to hear clear highs and sounds of drums and cymbals are buried in the mix. I am thinking to buy enclosed tweeters and connect them to surround channel, Next, a stereo 31 band EQ.

Any advice or comment welcome

thanks
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I'm not familiar with the Altec presentation. I know you can get separate tweeters that will lift the highs. Or maybe look at some horn-based speakers. I think others are better suited to advise on that
 

Dougie

Active member
Dec 3, 2021
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What sources are you listening to? Has something recently changed/broken, or have you just got fed up with how it has always sounded?
I had the system set up with full complement of speakers. Then I stored it away for 5 years. I just dug it out and am now re arming it. I never really got used to how it sounded before. I really like the sound of the Altec cabinets for rich mids and definitive bass sounds. But I am really missing the highs on the percussion instruments. My source at present is just CDs through the Marantz CD changer. thanks for the interest.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
I had the system set up with full complement of speakers. Then I stored it away for 5 years. I just dug it out and am now re arming it. I never really got used to how it sounded before. I really like the sound of the Altec cabinets for rich mids and definitive bass sounds. But I am really missing the highs on the percussion instruments. My source at present is just CDs through the Marantz CD changer. thanks for the interest.
Ok, so we can’t really be sure if your kit is doing what it is supposed to , or has deteriorated during storage. Its pretty hard to diagnose online without a comparison. Have you a friend, relative or Hifi store who can help out?

You really need to substitute each part of your system with something you think sounds like you’d expect. I don’t think I can be much help, sorry.
 

jembers

Active member
Dec 4, 2021
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Ok, so we can’t really be sure if your kit is doing what it is supposed to , or has deteriorated during storage. Its pretty hard to diagnose online without a comparison. Have you a friend, relative or Hifi store who can help out?

You really need to substitute each part of your system with something you think sounds like you’d expect. I don’t think I can be much help, sorry.
Seconded. I would in the first instance disconnect the subwoofer and concentrate on the Altecs. Can you look at the tweeters closely? Is there any sign of deterioration externally? I am not familiar with with you particular speakers but it's not unheard of for tweeter domes to be effected by (for example) detaching due to adhesive deterioration (I know of two people who'd have that issue with different brands of speakers they've had in storage), but really it could be anything. Try each speaker in turn: Do they sound muddy without the subwoofer? Are both the same or is it the one?
 
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Dougie

Active member
Dec 3, 2021
23
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Ok, so we can’t really be sure if your kit is doing what it is supposed to , or has deteriorated during storage. Its pretty hard to diagnose online without a comparison. Have you a friend, relative or Hifi store who can help out?

You really need to substitute each part of your system with something you think sounds like you’d expect. I don’t think I can be much help, sorry.
thanks for taking the time to reply
 

Dougie

Active member
Dec 3, 2021
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Seconded. I would in the first instance disconnect the subwoofer and concentrate on the Altecs. Can you look at the tweeters closely? Is there any sign of deterioration externally? I am not familiar with with you particular speakers but it's not unheard of for tweeter domes to be effected by (for example) detaching due to adhesive deterioration (I know of two people who'd have that issue with different brands of speakers they've had in storage), but really it could be anything. Try each speaker in turn: Do they sound muddy without the subwoofer? Are both the same or is it the one?
they are two way speakers, bass and mid range....I have listened without the subwoofer and they sound terrific. just the highs are buried
 

Dougie

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Dec 3, 2021
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"Two way speakers also have a tweeter....."

that's news to me....at any rate I want to boost the highs. thanks for your comment
 

Dougie

Active member
Dec 3, 2021
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Has each of your Altec speakers got 4 terminals?
If so, are there metal links in place between the terminal pairs and are the terminals firmly tightened down on them?
just 2 terminals (these are big old cabinets from the 1960s). the speaker wires are fastened tightly
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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Hi. Have you tried boosting the treble in tone controls? Otherwise you could use the front left and right pre-outs into another stereo amplifier.....
 

Gray

Well-known member
...these are big old cabinets from the 1960s
Any chance of posting a photo with grilles off, or quoting a model number so we could look up a photo?
Just to be clear about your lack of high frequencies. Are you saying the Altec's once sounded perfectly OK?

We don't like mysteries here, we'll get to the bottom of your problem.
 

jembers

Active member
Dec 4, 2021
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Just a thought....
You say you've not listened to the system in 5 years, and were not 'used' to how it sounded.
Are we talking specific tracks, or in general (where you are certain the top end is muddled?)

Have you listened to the same tracks on other formats (while the system was not up and running? - did this include the CD Player you mention?

Are you using the same discs (or perhaps two or three) you always have?

Presentation of tracks can vary, depending what you are listening on and what format (and the source)

The same track can sound VERY different on different CDs (especially compilation albums, more so more recent 'compressed' CDs)

In the first instance you need to be listening to a known source disc (or perhaps a couple) so you can quickly identify what's 'missing' (can you, for instance listen on headphones first of all and see if you can obtain a reasonably presentation of the sound you're looking for?) - this is not an exact way of identifying speaker faults as such but it is starting from the ground up. As already mentioned also see if you can play (the same) discs on other equipment and see how they sound.
 

Dougie

Active member
Dec 3, 2021
23
7
25
Any chance of posting a photo with grilles off, or quoting a model number so we could look up a photo?
Just to be clear about your lack of high frequencies. Are you saying the Altec's once sounded perfectly OK?

We don't like mysteries here, we'll get to the bottom of your problem.
thanks for your indulgence, Gray.

I think these speakers are perfectly OK in that they faithfully reproduce the recording as it was originally mixed. I want to boost the highs out of personal preference, I turned the tone controls all the way up (treble), but it doesn't cut it for what I want.

these cabinets are so old they don't have a removable grill. I ordered some super tweeters which will arrive next Friday. If that doesn't give me the results I want, I'll dig further into the cabinets and see if I can find more ID for the speakers.

I was hoping someone could opine as to the advisability of plugging the tweeters into the surround channels.

Thank you all.
 

Gray

Well-known member
I ordered some super tweeters which will arrive next Friday
What I'm hoping Dougie, is that either you didn't spend too much, or that you've got an easy return option - because I'm not optimistic.
The 'super tweeters' I know of reproduce ultrasonic frequencies, which is great if you're a bat.
Sadly, my guess is that you won't even hear them with your ear close up.
Piezo horn tweeters are a different (somewhat crude) story that I guarantee you'd hear...and they cost under a fiver each.
(I did actually put a couple into some cabinets to go on top of my speakers as an experiment).
They would connect directly across the terminals of your Altecs, no crossovers, no separate channel required for them.
They would most certainly boost your upper mids and treble frequencies - albeit not in the most hi-fi of ways - but if you want symbols and hi-hats, you'll have 'em

See what you think of the supertweeters first.
 
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Dougie

Active member
Dec 3, 2021
23
7
25
What I'm hoping Dougie, is that either you didn't spend too much, or that you've got an easy return option - because I'm not optimistic.
The 'super tweeters' I know of reproduce ultrasonic frequencies, which is great if you're a bat.
Sadly, my guess is that you won't even hear them with your ear close up.
Piezo horn tweeters are a different (somewhat crude) story that I guarantee you'd hear...and they cost under a fiver each.
(I did actually put a couple into some cabinets to go on top of my speakers as an experiment).
They would connect directly across the terminals of your Altec's, no crossovers, no separate channel required for them.
They would most certainly boost your upper mids and treble frequencies - albeit not in the most hi-fi of ways - but if you want symbols and hi-hats, you'll have 'em

See what you think of the supertweeters first.
I guess they aren't supertweeters.. they are :

"300 Watt Marine Tweeter Speaker - 3.75-inch aluminum bullet horn with 1-inch titanium dome tweeter, 2k-25kHz frequency response, 4 ohm impedance, rugged 20 oz. Magnetic Structure - Pyramid TW28 (pair) "

price was around $25
 
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Gray

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I guess they aren't supertweeters.. they are :

"300 Watt Marine Tweeter Speaker - 3.75-inch aluminum bullet horn with 1-inch titanium dome tweeter, 2k-25kHz frequency response, 4 ohm impedance, rugged 20 oz. Magnetic Structure - Pyramid TW28 (pair) "

price was around $25

thanks for the suggestion of adding the tweeters to the existing speakers...something I'm kind of afraid of doing is getting my gloves bloody doing surgery on these old babies.
Good.
So not only ultrasonic if they start down at 2kHz and not a stupid price like some 'supertweeters'.
You might have a chance with them.
Good luck - but note the next post.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
...P.S.
Must just point out though that, unlike the very high impedance piezo tweeters I was on about, yours are 4 ohm.
That means you can't just connect them across your Altec terminals - without considering the effect on the impedance.
 

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