[rollei_list] Re: Completely OT- Loudspeaker info a pop up question

  • From: "Richard Knoppow" <dickburk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 14:23:59 -0800

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Jensen" <jwjensen356@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 11:28 AM
Subject: [rollei_list] Re: Completely OT- Loudspeaker info a 
pop up question

>A friend of mine had a Voice of the Theater system,
> the industrial grey model.  A momster corner horn
> assembly.  When stereo records came out he chose to
> get rid of it, he was not about to have two of them in
> his living room.
> JJ
   The smallest of the Voice of the Theater, the A-7 was a 
reasonable size for home use but the ones used in movie 
theaters were monsters. Most theaters used the A-4 or 
multiples of it. This is a box about 7 feet high and about 3 
feet wide and three feet deep. A very large theater migh 
have four of these (A-1) sytem with one or more large 
multi-cell high frequency horns on top. Other manufacturers 
made similar systems but Altec was probably the most often 
   Actually, I have two ancient (c.1937) RCA theater 
speakers in storage. These are the same size as the Altec 
A-4, designed to just fit through a standard door.
   The large Altec system had some problems not least of 
which was mechanical integrity after a time. This could 
cause resonances from loose panels, etc.
   One problem with theater sound systems until fairly 
recently was that many of them were ancient and often 
broken. I know of theaters who had torn cones in their 
systems for years. They just didn't want to spend the money 
to fix them.
   Modern theater speakers are built on a differnt 
philosophy than the old ones. They must reproduce a wider 
range of frequencies and efficiency is not so important as 
it was when amplifier power was very expensive.
   Standard optical sound tracks up to the 1950s were cut 
off at 50 and 8000 hz (Western Electric or Westrex) and 60 
and 6000 (RCA). Most theater reproducers were cut off at the 
low end to avoid thumping from the optical noise reduction 
system then in use. Nonetheless, some of these old tracks 
sound remarkably good.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA

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