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Cornwall with Altec 511b horn


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I have bought a pair of Altec 511 horns i i want to put them on the top of my CWs. This is Cornwall E speakers - i think is european version of CW 1. Speaker setup is: K-55-V, K-77 and K-33-P.
Last year i have upgraded caps on the crossover, wich is type B. Do i need new crossover for 511b? I will be greatfull for help and all of sugestions for this upgrade. All changes i want to do it myself.



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You my not need to change the crossovers, but you will need an adapter for the K-55-V driver to the 511b horn since the bolt patterns are different.  Even with an adapter, you may need to drill new holes in the flanges of the horns.


I switched to 511b horns in my Khorns over 15 years ago and did not change the crossovers (AK-3 crossovers, K-55-M drivers).  They sound great.


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I messed around with 511's on top of Cornwalls with the adapters to use the K55 drivers. The throat is much more open, giving a open airy sound but less focused. I didn't change anything in my B2 crossovers for the experiment. I think it sounded balanced enough. I guess the open throat could reduce the efficiency compared to the stock klipsch horn. I tired of the sound after the newness faded and put it all back to stock. It's a fun thing to try and really gives your Cornwalls a taste of the big Altec sound. 


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bigger is better but bigger is not always better and the Altec 511b (and the 811b) has a very long history of ringing issues which are virtually impossible to make go away 100%. If you want to go bigger use a better horn. Some love them many do not, the 811b was in my first set of purchased loudspeakers Altec A7 and I would never go back to either a 811b or a 511b. I like large format two way loudspeakers. I even like small format two way loudspeakers, I have a set of Tannoy Revolution series XT Mini  (and a pair of XT6 as well) and have owned a lot of other dual concentric Tannoy in the past starting with a pair of 1947 12" silver, monitor gold, HPD in various sizes as well as some non DC Tannoy models and I find the Revolution XT Series to be the best sounding DC the company has ever made at any price.

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I have used the 511 horn in quite a few applications, including with a few Klipsch speakers (Bell, LS) & I found it far superior to the standard factory horns. The 511 is a much better sounding horn than the 811......a lot more open & less fatiguing. I think you will find it to be a big step forward for your CW's. 


In terms of the ringing associated with the 511....yes, it does exhibit a fair amount of ringing but can be tamed quite successfully & then it becomes a very smooth & open sounding component. All sorts of things have been tried to reduce the ringing, but I took the advice of one of the old Altec guru's Jim Dickenson, which was paint & sand & I quote below.


"Layers of latex paint and sand.

I've done it to all my horns, 511's and 811's and it works beautifully.


Best done on a hot day, or with a heat lamp.

Any latex paint will do.

Glop on a layer of paint, then follow with sand. I made a salt shaker out of a jar with holes in the lid.

Let it dry between coats. It takes about 6 coats.


Dead like wood when done.


And it's cheap!"


This process really works well.....you can put on as many coats as you like & by the time you've finished they will be noticeably heavier & as dead as a door nail. 

The only downside is that after this process they won't look very pretty, but usually the horns are mounted inside a box of some sort.


If you want an unbiased opinion on the sound of this horn I suggest you visit the Altec Users Board.....https://www.hostboard.com/forums/f700/altec-users-board.html


No changes necessary to your crossover....they will work just fine. 




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