The Altec Lansing 621 3-Piece Speakers
everyone remembers the explosion Altec made on the computer sound world with
their now legendary ACS-48s. They encompassed so many things great and didn't
break the bank at $149.95 list price. That was way back in the late 1990's.
So what has Altec been up to lately? The 48s are long since gone and a newer,
sleeker lineup has replaced the older, mostly white and boxy-looking sound
reproducers. Enter the 621s. Will they stand the test of time (a nearly impossible
task in the computer world) like their predecessor?
essence of the 48s still exist. A mid-size dedicate woofer in a non-shielded
wooden box with two satellites round out the still entirely too rare 3-way
configuration. The asking price remains the same after four years at $149.95.
So what did Altec do? Merely re-package the classic into new skins?
- Power Output:
113 Watts RMS @ 1% THD, 143 Watts RMS @ 10% THD, 200 Watts Total
6.5" Woofer, 3" Midrange, 1" Tweeter
- Input Impedance:
- S/N : >65dB
- List Price:
unit is the heaviest beast I've ever tested. Weighing in at 17 lbs., the apparent
heft is quite a welcome change from many of the welter weight cheap plastic
enclosures that seem to dominate the market. The front panel easily pops off
to reveal the woofer's top-ish mounting location (the rear has the port at
the bottom). A welcome improvement is the re-positioning of the feet so the
unit sits upright, therefore creating far less of a footprint.
are much larger than most, standing over eight inches tall and can be tilted
back or stand perpendicular to the typical computer table. They too have similar
removable covers and when pulled off, reveal the rare two way design. Unlike
the 48s however, the 621s have a separate controller module. The 48s had their
volume and mute controls built into the right channel satellite. These significant
beasts weight in at approximately 2½ pounds each.
one of the very few companies that doesn't rate their gear based on fabricated
specifications. For example, I've tested many speakers that claim hundreds
of watts of "max power" or "peak music power" and those
numbers are completely meaningless. After all, who listens at 100% distortion?
10% distortion involves serious cracking sounds and a few others that turn
most people's stomachs, so I usually refrain from exceeding (or caring) about
distortion levels over 3%, which is where most sine waves aurally and visibly
(on an oscilloscope) commence to clip.
form let's examine Altec's power claim:
In scouring Altec's literature
I almost passed out due to overwhelming surprise when my eyes met the quoted
power FTC specifications along with useable power ratings.
The power module appears
to be the exact same unit as in the 48, but I'm willing to bet that a few
modifications have been made to achieve the low frequency extension other
than raising the woofer's Q factor.