These were a good thrift shop find, but when I got them home I was disappointed in how they sounded. Some paper cone drivers turn cardboard-tough over the years, and these 35-year-old beauties had this problem with each woofer.
How did they sound? They sounded hollow and flat, uninspired. All drivers appeared to be in decent functional condition - i.e. not blown, but these had seen better days. Old speakers, any audio gear really, fall out of spec with time. With speakers it can be the drivers were exposed to heat (kept in an attic for 20 years), sunlight, moisture, etc. The crossovers too fall easy prey to the ravages of time (had to get one good cliche in here). Capacitors dry up or leak, wiring connections become weak, oxidation on the inside of the voice coil causes poor connections with the. . .you get the message.
Anyway, I wanted this to be a fair review on these nice speakers and take into account all of these variables. I ended up giving them back to the same thrift shop. Perhaps they will find a home with someone who has the patience to rebuild them. I hope so.
If you have any photos or stories about your Altec 890C Boleros, please leave a comment or email me.