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Thinking of picking up a pair of Allison Ones


samberger0357
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Would love to get thoughts on this pair. Would require a 2 hour roundtrip drive, and am already pretty full up on speakers, but I've read great things about them and they don't show up on the West Coast much.

 

https://modesto.craigslist.org/ele/d/empire-allison-one-speakers/7397783557.html

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If the drivers all work as well as they look you would be in for an audio treat!

There is evidence that a couple of the midrange and tweeters had dented domes that were pulled back out pretty well.

That pair was or still is listed on EBAY, which is where I first saw them. (They’ve been out there for many months)

The only thing I don’t get is why the cabinets are so ratty, especially the one damaged on the corner. I also remember the seller talking about replacing one of the rear terminal screws.

I would not go higher than 500 and see if they can be demoed before you take?

My pair sold for 750 and the cabinets didn’t have a scratch on them. I also gave him a spare, newly refreshed woofer included that I had no use for.

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37 minutes ago, newandold said:

If the drivers all work as well as they look you would be in for an audio treat!

There is evidence that a couple of the midrange and tweeters had dented domes that were pulled back out pretty well.

That pair was or still is listed on EBAY, which is where I first saw them. (They’ve been out there for many months)

The only thing I don’t get is why the cabinets are so ratty, especially the one damaged on the corner. I also remember the seller talking about replacing one of the rear terminal screws.

I would not go higher than 500 and see if they can be demoed before you take?

My pair sold for 750 and the cabinets didn’t have a scratch on them. I also gave him a spare, newly refreshed woofer included that I had no use for.

Thanks. Yes I was alerted by another that these have been listed for awhile now. That, the issues you mention, and the sellers non response after a full day to my inquiry, in addition to the long ride to see them has made me decide to pass. 
 

Your response has provided some good info if another pair shows up at some point so thanks for that.

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5 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

Thanks. Yes I was alerted by another that these have been listed for awhile now. That, the issues you mention, and the sellers non response after a full day to my inquiry, in addition to the long ride to see them has made me decide to pass. 
 

Your response has provided some good info if another pair shows up at some point so thanks for that.

You are quite welcome!

It is rather sad to see very little these days, in the way of really nice Allison….spare drivers or full systems.

I’m full up myself on “inventory”, but it’s a pet peeve of mine to keep looking.

 I recently found a pair of speakers in the UK. that bear the Allison name but were never marketed here in the USA. No one left that I know except Tom Tyson perhaps that could shed light on that.

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2 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

Well looks like these will be mine after all. Should have them Friday. Quite excited. Will report back.

Congratulations!

You know what you're up against aesthetically. 

The biggest concern of mine with the big 3 way Allison's has always been voice coil rubbing on the midrange drivers. Not exactly sure why it happens. The tolerances on those mids and their unique design also has them more vulnerable to this IMHO. (as opposed to conventional cone drivers)

I did find someone who could realign the mids and test them with a signal generator. 

At least if you encounter this there are only 2 in each system, so odds are in your favor. 

Once you have evaluated the drivers and are running without issues I would suggest continuing a search on Craigs list and other places for a spare three way tweeter and midrange. The market has almost totally dried up so this will be quite the challenge. 

 

Bill

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10 hours ago, newandold said:

Congratulations!

You know what you're up against aesthetically. 

The biggest concern of mine with the big 3 way Allison's has always been voice coil rubbing on the midrange drivers. Not exactly sure why it happens. The tolerances on those mids and their unique design also has them more vulnerable to this IMHO. (as opposed to conventional cone drivers)

I did find someone who could realign the mids and test them with a signal generator. 

At least if you encounter this there are only 2 in each system, so odds are in your favor. 

Once you have evaluated the drivers and are running without issues I would suggest continuing a search on Craigs list and other places for a spare three way tweeter and midrange. The market has almost totally dried up so this will be quite the challenge. 

 

Bill

Thanks Bill. While this is the first I've heard of this issue with these speakers(and I've been reading up A LOT on them over the last week) I'll certainly keep it in mind, and will be listening closely for any type of problem when I try them out briefly before buying them tomorrow.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, samberger0357 said:

Thanks Bill. While this is the first I've heard of this issue with these speakers(and I've been reading up A LOT on them over the last week) I'll certainly keep it in mind, and will be listening closely for any type of problem when I try them out briefly before buying them tomorrow.

 

 

Little has been written about it true….I started with the Allison:One in 1977 and first encountered the issue with one mid in the 80’s.

Around 1998 when I involved myself in the forums I started to encounter a few other guys who had experienced the issue 

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18 minutes ago, newandold said:

Little has been written about it true….I started with the Allison:One in 1977 and first encountered the issue with one mid in the 80’s.

Around 1998 when I involved myself in the forums I started to encounter a few other guys who had experienced the issue 

Good to know. Thanks again.

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Got them! Seller was a terrific fellow. Turns out he's an active buyer and seller of quality vintage gear, as well as a restorer.

 

He buffed out much of the scuffs/scratches that were evident in his Craigslist listing, so that they look practically new . The grilles are fragile as noted, but they still work fine, and I've decided to keep them on.

 

The sound is glorious as advertised. Incredible dispersion, clear highs and big fat lows, albeit not bloated at all. And they can play very loud. 

 

Even got the original manual and brochure.

 

I couldn't be more pleased.

 

 

 

 

A93621-DA-976-E-408-C-94-C0-CB9-B722-C4-A9-C.jpg

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3 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

Got them! Seller was a terrific fellow. Turns out he's an active buyer and seller of quality vintage gear, as well as a restorer.

 

He buffed out much of the scuffs/scratches that were evident in his Craigslist listing, so that they look practically new . The grilles are fragile as noted, but they still work fine, and I've decided to keep them on.

 

The sound is glorious as advertised. Incredible dispersion, clear highs and big fat lows, albeit not bloated at all. And they can play very loud. 

 

Even got the original manual and brochure.

 

I couldn't be more pleased.

 

 

 

 

A93621-DA-976-E-408-C-94-C0-CB9-B722-C4-A9-C.jpg

Wow!

Almost shocking how nice he got those looking!

What the seller does also explains why they apparently are “plug and play” so to speak without issue it seems.

There is a big reason also that goes towards that…. Those are the later versions of the A1. Biampable (though unnecessary) and improved crossover switch controls from the first generation. Additionally the outboard connections to the tweeters and midrange drivers have been done away with. (rear spades).

The Allison:One remains one of finest speakers on the planet that makes a piano 🎹 sound like a real one better than almost anything I have ever heard.

If I had not had the rarest opportunity to acquire the IC20, My A1’s would still be here!

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4 minutes ago, newandold said:

Wow!

Almost shocking how nice he got those looking!

What the seller does also explains why they apparently are “plug and play” so to speak without issue it seems.

There is a big reason also that goes towards that…. Those are the later versions of the A1. Biampable (though unnecessary) and improved crossover switch controls from the first generation. Additionally the outboard connections to the tweeters and midrange drivers have been done away with. (rear spades).

The Allison:One remains one of finest speakers on the planet that makes a piano 🎹 sound like a real one better than almost anything I have ever heard.

If I had not had the rarest opportunity to acquire the IC20, My A1’s would still be here!

Yes he really did an incredible job. I got lucky on these for sure. As you can see, other then the chip on one of them which I may try to repair, or not, these look incredible. Even the grilles which have a couple of small cracks are still very presentable.

 

For years I had hoped to find a good condition pair of AR LST's but it just never happened. But these have put that quest pretty much to bed.

 

Thanks again for all your help and advice here and on AK. Much appreciated.

 

 

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D74614-FB-3843-4-BD6-BB99-9-E376506002-A.jpg

E5629-B11-4573-462-A-8048-1-B70-DFF40756.jpg

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13 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

Yes he really did an incredible job. I got lucky on these for sure. As you can see, other then the chip on one of them which I may try to repair, or not, these look incredible. Even the grilles which have a couple of small cracks are still very presentable.

 

For years I had hoped to find a good condition pair of AR LST's but it just never happened. But these have put that quest pretty much to bed.

 

Thanks again for all your help and advice here and on AK. Much appreciated.

 

 

306-C62-AA-7-D74-404-C-ABAC-4-BCECCE7-EA91.jpg

D74614-FB-3843-4-BD6-BB99-9-E376506002-A.jpg

E5629-B11-4573-462-A-8048-1-B70-DFF40756.jpg

I can think of a half dozen ways why you now have a superior loudspeaker over either LST. The engineering for superior bass reproduction rests with the A1

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1 hour ago, newandold said:

I can think of a half dozen ways why you now have a superior loudspeaker over either LST. The engineering for superior bass reproduction rests with the A1

Wow that is high praise indeed!

 

A question on placement if you don’t mind. I have limited space as to where any of my speakers can be placed, especially these which should be kept away from corners. In the picture above they are placed about 10 feet apart. In back of them are curtains and windows. So no hard wall to place them against. The alternative is to place them on each side of the fire place under the end corners against each white pillar. This gives them the advantage of having a more solid back to be against but closes the distance between them. From reading the manual it seems Allison thought you could put the One anywhere even in a different room, pointing away from the listener as long they stay at least 2 1/2 feet from corners and as close to a solid wall as possible. I now have them in the second configuration and they sound fine but I keep thinking it would be better if they were further apart. 
 

Would love to get your thoughts on this and anything else regarding placement and crossover controls settings which I seem to like best in the flat setting. 

1CE33488-F50E-4D7D-A585-A23FCDAF50B5.jpeg

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55 minutes ago, samberger0357 said:

Wow that is high praise indeed!

 

A question on placement if you don’t mind. I have limited space as to where any of my speakers can be placed, especially these which should be kept away from corners. In the picture above they are placed about 10 feet apart. In back of them are curtains and windows. So no hard wall to place them against. The alternative is to place them on each side of the fire place under the end corners against each white pillar. This gives them the advantage of having a more solid back to be against but closes the distance between them. From reading the manual it seems Allison thought you could put the One anywhere even in a different room, pointing away from the listener as long they stay at least 2 1/2 feet from corners and as close to a solid wall as possible. I now have them in the second configuration and they sound fine but I keep thinking it would be better if they were further apart. 
 

Would love to get your thoughts on this and anything else regarding placement and crossover controls settings which I seem to like best in the flat setting. 

1CE33488-F50E-4D7D-A585-A23FCDAF50B5.jpeg

IMHO….the 2 1/2 from the corner (and a few inches more could be ok) is the better configuration no doubt. The floor/wall corner proximity is the larger consideration 

Right now, those curtains are enough of a wall….I would think of them that way and not sweat it.

”Flat” is the way to go on the crossover setting. I would alter that with your tone control when necessary. (If)

One of the hardest things to do with the A1 is to make them sound “bad” no  matter how they are positioned.

I had them on adjacent walls in my old house for years and though hardly optimal, they still sounded sweet. 

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47 minutes ago, newandold said:

IMHO….the 2 1/2 from the corner (and a few inches more could be ok) is the better configuration no doubt. The floor/wall corner proximity is the larger consideration 

Right now, those curtains are enough of a wall….I would think of them that way and not sweat it.

”Flat” is the way to go on the crossover setting. I would alter that with your tone control when necessary. (If)

One of the hardest things to do with the A1 is to make them sound “bad” no  matter how they are positioned.

I had them on adjacent walls in my old house for years and though hardly optimal, they still sounded sweet. 

Ah great! Thanks so much for your insight and patience with my questions. I do enjoy experimenting but it's so valuable to me to hear other's opinions who obviously have had a lot of experience with the particular piece of gear that I'm attempting to get just right. You have been a big help, and I'm very appreciative.

 

As you can see, each speaker in my original configuration is about midway between the side wall and fire place side. The distance from the wall to the fire place on both sides is less then 4 feet, so if I put each speaker 2 1/2 feet from the side wall, they will be much closer to the side of the fire place. Do you think that's the same concern as a wall corner, or I just concentrate on getting it as far away from the real wall as possible. Or, just leave them be between wall and fire place?

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3 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

Ah great! Thanks so much for your insight and patience with my questions. I do enjoy experimenting but it's so valuable to me to hear other's opinions who obviously have had a lot of experience with the particular piece of gear that I'm attempting to get just right. You have been a big help, and I'm very appreciative.

 

As you can see, each speaker in my original configuration is about midway between the side wall and fire place side. The distance from the wall to the fire place on both sides is less then 4 feet, so if I put each speaker 2 1/2 feet from the side wall, they will be much closer to the side of the fire place. Do you think that's the same concern as a wall corner, or I just concentrate on getting it as far away from the real wall as possible. Or, just leave them be between wall and fire place?

Giving up too much by having them on top of the fireplace as pictured. 
Given the room constraints you could get them a bit closer to the corner than two and a half and still be fine. I would forget the fireplace as being a concern. 
The room is smaller than I first realized, but don’t worry it’s big enough!

What’s the depth?

Another way the A1 can shine is on adjacent walls….That potentially could be great in there but requires some creativity especially with the furniture and doorways, etc.

 I lived with an adjacent configuration with the A1 for 14 years (a fireplace was also involved.) It was really quite nice!

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32 minutes ago, newandold said:

Giving up too much by having them on top of the fireplace as pictured. 
Given the room constraints you could get them a bit closer to the corner than two and a half and still be fine. I would forget the fireplace as being a concern. 
The room is smaller than I first realized, but don’t worry it’s big enough!

What’s the depth?

Another way the A1 can shine is on adjacent walls….That potentially could be great in there but requires some creativity especially with the furniture and doorways, etc.

 I lived with an adjacent configuration with the A1 for 14 years (a fireplace was also involved.) It was really quite nice!

Thanks again!

 

I have them both about 26"  from the side walls and there they shall stay. They sound wonderful, and given the limitations of my room as good as I'm going to get them.

 

 

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After 5 days these speakers have really woken up. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe that the seller, other then testing them out some after taking care of the surrounds basically let these sit and never really used them much, if at all. When they first arrived they sounded very good, but I was a little disappointed in the bass, which had me tinkering with placement more, and also the crossover controls. But after a couple of days, things really started to improve. Not only was the bass noticeably better but overall separation was also. Just seemed like the proverbial veil had been lifted and what I was finally beginning to hear was what all the accolades I've read about these speakers coming true. Now, after a couple more days, these speakers just sound terrific! Seemingly a different speaker since arriving on Friday. I'm not a big believer in break in, but either I've simply gotten used to what they doing from the beginning, or they simply have gotten better.

 

Whatever the case, I could not be happier.

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12 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

After 5 days these speakers have really woken up. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe that the seller, other then testing them out some after taking care of the surrounds basically let these sit and never really used them much, if at all. When they first arrived they sounded very good, but I was a little disappointed in the bass, which had me tinkering with placement more, and also the crossover controls. But after a couple of days, things really started to improve. Not only was the bass noticeably better but overall separation was also. Just seemed like the proverbial veil had been lifted and what I was finally beginning to hear was what all the accolades I've read about these speakers coming true. Now, after a couple more days, these speakers just sound terrific! Seemingly a different speaker since arriving on Friday. I'm not a big believer in break in, but either I've simply gotten used to what they doing from the beginning, or they simply have gotten better.

 

Whatever the case, I could not be happier.

I’ve used a subwoofer with all my Allisons since 2001. A lot of guys used the Allison ESW, but it makes an old speaker work harder to produce more bass.

Sub. integration was the best upgrade I had done with these speakers. It was so impactful I had revisited most of my collection, hearing things in the “low band” I had previously missed.

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1 hour ago, newandold said:

I’ve used a subwoofer with all my Allisons since 2001. A lot of guys used the Allison ESW, but it makes an old speaker work harder to produce more bass.

Sub. integration was the best upgrade I had done with these speakers. It was so impactful I had revisited most of my collection, hearing things in the “low band” I had previously missed.

Thanks for your comments. As always appreciated.

 

I'm not looking to improve the bass response at this point. Really the point of my comments were to point out how, somewhat surprisingly to me the speakers had opened up and produced a sound that included a lot more bass then when they first came into my life almost a week ago. I've experienced break in with other components in the past, some very subtle, others less so. But usually with used gear that hasn't undergone any type of major surgery there's no noticeable change from when I get it. Sometimes older tube gear responds to new or fresh tubes, but that's about it. So hearing these speakers really start to generate a true, room filling experience with a very authoritative bottom end that was not there when I first started using them has been quite interesting to me. And very satisfying.

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On 11/10/2021 at 10:50 AM, samberger0357 said:

Thanks for your comments. As always appreciated.

 

I'm not looking to improve the bass response at this point. Really the point of my comments were to point out how, somewhat surprisingly to me the speakers had opened up and produced a sound that included a lot more bass then when they first came into my life almost a week ago. I've experienced break in with other components in the past, some very subtle, others less so. But usually with used gear that hasn't undergone any type of major surgery there's no noticeable change from when I get it. Sometimes older tube gear responds to new or fresh tubes, but that's about it. So hearing these speakers really start to generate a true, room filling experience with a very authoritative bottom end that was not there when I first started using them has been quite interesting to me. And very satisfying.

When going from fireplace to closer to the corner, you “loaded” the bass which would explain the bass response increase.

For sure your positioning now is about as optimal as you’re gonna get.

The woofers could be a little stiff after being refoamed. 
Do you know if there is any “mileage” since that was done?

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1 hour ago, newandold said:

When going from fireplace to closer to the corner, you “loaded” the bass which would explain the bass response increase.

For sure your positioning now is about as optimal as you’re gonna get.

The woofers could be a little stiff after being refoamed. 
Do you know if there is any “mileage” since that was done?

Thanks, and good point, although the bass has improved, along with everything else even since repositioning a few days ago.

 

As I indicated, I don't believe there was much mileage on them after they were refoamed, and I didn't get the feeling that they had been much used since he them months ago. He is a pretty active trader of gear. He gets it, restores it, and then moves on to the next piece. I'm wondering if there was even some reforming of caps going on.

 

In any event really enjoying them.

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/5/2021 at 4:27 PM, newandold said:

Those are the later versions of the A1. Biampable (though unnecessary)

Just thought I'd add that while I completely agree with this statement, they sure do sound great biamped with a McIntosh MC2120 on the mid/highs, and a MC2300 on the bottom. Both amps have gain controls, and the 2120 has switchable input sensitivity  so that I can get it down to .75v which is close to the 2300's .50v .

 

Happy holidays everyone!

B7014-AD8-6629-45-EF-B8-D2-03-D612-F5-B820.jpg

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14 hours ago, samberger0357 said:

Just thought I'd add that while I completely agree with this statement, they sure do sound great biamped with a McIntosh MC2120 on the mid/highs, and a MC2300 on the bottom. Both amps have gain controls, and the 2120 has switchable input sensitivity  so that I can get it down to .75v which is close to the 2300's .50v .

 

Happy holidays everyone!

B7014-AD8-6629-45-EF-B8-D2-03-D612-F5-B820.jpg

Is that the latest with the AR’s removed?

They are great speakers, but the A1’s need no help!

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