Altec Lansing 440-A

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General information[contribute]

The Altec Lansing 440-A is a valve amplifier. It was manufactured from 1955 to 1955. In 1955 its price was $139.

James Wong (June 15, 2009): Designed for use with either Altec's 350-A or 340A mono power amplifier, the A-440A preamplifier offered two low-level inputs for either magnetic phono cartridges or microphones and three high-level inputs for TV, tape, and tuner. All five inputs had level-set controls on the rear panel and the input source could be selected by a front panel rotary switch; the first three positions for the high-level sources and the last five positions for the low-level sources with varying turnover equalization. The large knob at the centre of the control panel was multifunctional. As well as turning the power on and off it also functioned as either a loudness control or an uncompensated volume control, depending on the position of another switch below and to the right.

Two cathode-follower audio outputs were provided; one for the power amplifier and another for tape recording; the latter being unaffected by volume or tone controls.

The hinged front panel could be closed, covering all controls excepting the volume/loudness and AC power control. In the mid fifties, Hi-Fi was considered to be a 'man's pursuit' and it is interesting to read the following reference to this hinged panel in the accompanying test report:

"..We should imagine that it would make considerably less terrifying the idea of operating a hi-fi system to the lady of the house, or to anyone not initiated to the intricacies of control preamplifiers. The Chief Engineer, upon leaving for the office, need only set up the other controls properly and close the panel. There will then be no more controls to operate than on an AC-DC table radio or a phonograph..."

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