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Klipschorn

 
Old 01-26-2013, 06:43 AM
  #1  
Couchcoach
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Default Klipschorn

have a pair of 1989 horns-awesome stereo speakers but we live in a multi channel world. has anyone figured how to come up with a center that will hang with these corner loaded giants? and i am not going to rebuild my room with 3 corners.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:24 AM
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wc11
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Problem is the 105db efficiency of the horn & with most center channel speakers being a couple of 6" drivers with a typical 89-92 db efficiency, you'll have to crank up the center output and push down the front mains to equal out. I'm sure you know this but you need double the power for 3db.
Center is mostly dialogue anyway but it'll get drowned out.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:42 AM
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Consider a high sensitivity full range driver. My current HT setup consists of a pair of back loaded horns with Fostex FE206ES-R 8" drivers for LR and a 3rd FE206ES in a custom cabinet that lies under the screen. The Sachiko horn laid flat suits this application perfectly. The drivers have a 97dB sensitivity which is high enough to be easily driven with a couple of Watts of power (SS or tubes).
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:05 AM
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oddball, mid-fi/(low-fi), gimmicky/pretty patio furniture is better for serving ice tea in the summer with sound coming through. but in a modern home theatre setting, this stuff will be fair at best. spl/sensitivity advantages isn't much of an advantage if additional speaker boxes aren't equalized. not to mention that more transducer/crossover/speakerbox resistance isn't an issue the decent amps can't overcome.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:41 AM
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chuck911
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Klipsch made his name back in a time when amplifiers of more than a few watts were rare, and even those few were capable of more than say 10W for brief peaks. Modern stringent standards of RMS continuous were undreamed of back then. In that environment, a pair of Klipschorns, with their 106dB/1watt full range output was not only state of the art, but for lots of music lovers the only hope of achieving satisfying levels of good quality sound in their homes. Times change. The state of the art has long since moved on from efficiency, to todays goal of recreating a 3D soundstage with perfectly palpable presence. Klipsch has not advanced towards that goal. Its as simple as that.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:49 PM
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triode
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Originally Posted by chuck911 View Post
The state of the art has long since moved on from efficiency, to todays goal of recreating a 3D soundstage with perfectly palpable presence.
I could not disagree more. Nothing sounds deader to me than mondo SS arc-welder amps driving hopelessly insensitive cones 'n domes or 'stats. Like a wet blanket was thrown over the speaker baffles.

On the other hand, my full-range 107dB horns (with active/EQ'd cone subs below 170Hz) can bring the thunder with 18 SET watts per channel - and have superb detail, tonal accuracy and "palpable presence" to beat the band.

I see soundstaging as a nice parlor trick, and my rig does it fairly well, but what separates live music from reproduced sound - to my ears - is that ineffable sense of the music breathing, with unfettered micro- and macrodynamic ease. And high sensitivity speakers coupled with Class A, no feedback amplification deliver that best.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:23 PM
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Triode, you may disagree all you like, but with your 18 watts you're basically reinforcing my point that horns are good with low power amps. And they are. Fact of life. Right up there with the fact they do not recreate the original environment in all its 3D glory. If that was a parlor trick then it sure is funny humans evolved hearing able to discern the locations of sounds so well. Drop your car keys in the dark and you will know where they landed by your ears. That's no parlor trick, just superb physics and biology in action. The same is true of sounds from instruments and voices. When captured on tape and played back, if one set of speakers fails to reproduce it accurately it really doesn't serve the interests of truth to excuse the lack of fidelity by saying the more accurate speaker is really just a parlor trick. Sure there are lots of great attributes of triodes and horns, but as you've just admitted accuracy is not high up on that list. The market has spoken its preference and for the most part moved on. That's all I was saying.

And just so you know, I don't have horns but I do have tubes, and a (mostly) tube phono-stage, so don't put me in the arc-welder camp. I just enjoy a balance a little less euphonic and a little more recreative of the original recording space.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:02 PM
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Back to the original topic and off of poop talking.

You might look for a horizontal Cornwall from the 70's to update and run as your Center, this is my dad's solution to bringing his 80's cornwall system into the home theater world. It kicks a lot of ***! He runs the 3 cornwalls across the front along with Heresey's for the surrounds in 7.1.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:52 AM
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Why would you not run one of the Klipsch center channel speakers such as the P27C, Rc64 or the RC62, all three of these are horn loaded and have a 98 - 99 db sensitivity. Probably the closet you will get. You can balance the Klipschorns with these center channel. Get yourself a reasonable db meter.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:55 AM
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triode
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Originally Posted by chuck911 View Post
Triode, you may disagree all you like, but with your 18 watts you're basically reinforcing my point that horns are good with low power amps. And they are. Fact of life. Right up there with the fact they do not recreate the original environment in all its 3D glory. If that was a parlor trick then it sure is funny humans evolved hearing able to discern the locations of sounds so well. Drop your car keys in the dark and you will know where they landed by your ears. That's no parlor trick, just superb physics and biology in action. The same is true of sounds from instruments and voices. When captured on tape and played back, if one set of speakers fails to reproduce it accurately it really doesn't serve the interests of truth to excuse the lack of fidelity by saying the more accurate speaker is really just a parlor trick. Sure there are lots of great attributes of triodes and horns, but as you've just admitted accuracy is not high up on that list. The market has spoken its preference and for the most part moved on. That's all I was saying.
Umm, I never "admitted" that accuracy is unavailable from horns. Mine can cast an apparent 3D image way behind, left or right of the speakers, just like countless polite monkey coffins so beloved by the imaging uber alles crowd. And my horns also bring incredible, palpable detail to the party; having owned, heard and sold many other well-regarded high-end speakers over the past few decades, I am quite confident that my Avantgardes are more "accurate" than any of them (even the thrice-the-price Wilsons we used to sell to the doctors and lawyers hereabouts). And you may be familiar with Magico, currently revered maker of uber-expensive cones 'n domes...did you know that their top-of-the-line, cost-no-object speakers are...horns?

What I did say is that soundstaging is a neat parlor trick, but is less important to sonic accuracy than are truth of timbre and realistic dynamics. The main reason that someone (even a complete audio novice) walking on the sidewalk by an open window can tell that, for example, a real trumpet is being played inside the building - and not a stereo system reproducing a trumpet - is the lifelike, unfettered dynamic ease of the live instrument, an ease which they've never heard from a loudspeaker. Soundstaging has absolutely nothing to do with that, it's clearly a secondary (more likely tertiary) consideration in reproducing an orchestra at full tilt, or a live blues record, or a closely miked vocalist.

The "market has spoken" because SS power became cheap and mass market mags (Julian Hirsch crowd) insisted that measurements of THD, etc. trumped actual...listening. Using your analogy, one would also conclude that a Toyota is superior to a Porsche, because they sell scads more of them. I guess the market spoke there, too...we should trade our 911s for Camrys and get with the program!

When experienced 'philes hear properly set up, full-range horn rigs, their jaws drop and many plan to sell off their cones 'n domes so they too can have flesh and blood reproduction in their homes. It's the kind of sound that reminds people why they got into audio in the first place.

Sorry, I have no high-sensitivity center channel ideas for the OP - perhaps Klipsch makes one to match their current home theater L&Rs, which as I recall are still highly sensitive (>93 dB?), though likely not approaching the K-horns.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:51 PM
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the old debate of ACCURACY and EUPHONIC.
I have systems that did bith. I have arc welder of every brand worth mentioning as well as all the tubes dating from marantz 8&9. to each his own.

I loved accuracy and listened to ear piercing WATTS puppy or AE1 with Spectral
I love transparency of the Logan's
the caramel of sinus faber

theynALL had problems. u just pick what u can tolerate the most. bare in mind 99% of today's recording are sj*tty. my goal is just to prevent my ears from bleeding too much.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:43 AM
  #12  
crispy98007
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Default Really your only choice - Klipsch La Scala

Hi,

New here. I have a pair of circa 1986 Klipschorns that are fantastic, been in the audio industry 35+ years, sold Klipsch since those days in Toronto, Canada. They're triamplified active, something virtually nobody has done or knows how to do. Yes the crossovers are taken out and I'm using an Accuphase F-25V electronic crossover, 6 Jeff Rowland monoblocks, and the whole thing has been rewired with Cardas Neutral Ref speaker cable. The woofers are JBL 2216H, not the stock drivers. I've time-aligned the tweeters too, they now sit in their own boxes on top of the speaker at the rear, so the midrange and tweeter voice coils are in the same vertical plane. Feel free to ask more if you're interested, I have pics too.

In any case, to answer the original question, the real solution is a Klipsch La Scala as a center channel speaker, either of the same vintage, or new. Without getting too technical, it uses the same drivers as the K-horn, at least comparing model year to model year. You'll get the same voicing and virtually identical sound, and importantly the same efficiency. It's kind of like tires on a car, the car will DRIVE with different tires, it just won't feel right. Same with a home theater system. The same brand and model is the ideal match, you want the same sound coming from behind you as from in front of you, and that includes the center channel.

So the ideal setup with K-horns is 4 of them, 2 in the back and 2 in the front, and use a La Scala as a center. A sub to keep up will be the problem, I'd put the money into a better amplifier rather than a single cheesy sub. The only difference between the Klipsch models is the La Scala uses 2 folds in the bass horn, whereas the K-horn uses 3, so the low end response goes to 45Hz instead of 35. If you can use the same amplifier and speaker cables that's even better. As close to identical you can get in practice is best, period. Of course, your final result depends on the quality of everything else in the chain. If you absolutely CAN'T use a La Scala for the reasons of space or budget, a Cornwall or even a Heresy is your next best choice, although the drivers are different, but at least they're horns and almost as efficient. Or finally, a large Reference series speaker would do too. The further you stray from identical, the more difficulty you'll have tweaking to get it to sound it's best.

I'm running a 2 channel setup with a six-figure front end, so I kind of know what I'm doing; a 5.1 setup I won't do because a) I don't have the room nor b) have another $100K to throw at the system. Besides, it sounds so holographic now that I've never heard anything better in the decades I've been doing this. The Esoteric P-01/D-01/G-0Rb CD playback system has no peers, IMHO.

I'm also considering putting the latest midrange / tweeter drivers in my cabinets. Anyone know why they've changed the crossover points over the years? Is it trial and error on Klipsch's part, or are the new drivers that different that they had to? Mine are 400Hz/6KHz, the newer ones are 450/4.5K. Any replies are deeply appreciated.

Oh, and yes, I really want a 911 again. I miss my '87 Ruf modified Carerra TERRIBLY. Someday.

Happy listening.

Last edited by crispy98007; 08-13-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:54 PM
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M. Schneider
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Check out one of the old sckol 10" or better yet 12" Tannoy drivers. The dual concentric Tannoy's in a horn loaded cabinet are the bomb for the 300B tube crowd, not unlike the Klipschorn folks.

You might find an elegant solution with an older no longer in production Tannoy model System 10; Used as a center channel. Its a simple, very sturdy, well made base reflex enclosure with a 10 inch dual concentric which is bi-wire, bi-amp able in a small enclosure. The "dual" of a dual concentric is a wave guide horn - driver combination located on axis of a 10 inch woofer in this case. The resultant response in both efficiency and acoustic polar patterns is not unlike the Kilpschorns.

Couchcouch / OP -
You don't show your fellow forum readers where you are located,, Ooops not a paid subscriber either. If you were anywhere near the Atlanta area, I'd offer to loan you a System 10 studio monitor for trials. Its not for sale however, seriously.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:16 PM
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Crispy98007, you have very nice taste (ears) in audio/video gear indeed. !

Have you auditioned any of the Ed Meitner gear? Mr. Meitner is the founder of EMM Labs. My kit is made up of the Esoteric DVD playback, EMM Labs dac's/pre and ATC 100 active's,,,, all in a nicely constructed room.

"The Esoteric P-01/D-01/G-0Rb CD playback system"
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:44 PM
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Mike S,

Thanks, I'm thrilled with it. I've been sort of not really actively involved in the very latest playback gear but I did hear a top end EMM at a client's house back about 4 or 5 years ago and I wasn't totally blown away. I haven't heard his new stuff and honestly am not that familiar with it. I've had Ed's stuff on and off dating back to the 80s and although he had some interesting stuff, it never made me want to go out and buy it. I did hear the DCS Purcell (which is also dated now) and I've never cared for delta-sigma DACs, no matter their implementation. 1-bit stuff has always sounded bright and thin to me, whereas the R2R Burr-Browns were always much more full and weighty in the bottom end. The D-01s use 8 paralleled multi-bit DACs per mono chassis, and I've yet to hear better. What's Ed up to these days anyway? I know this is off topic somewhat, so...

I have to disagree with your choice of Tannoys as a center channel for Klipschorns. Only the Tannoy's tweeter is semi horn-loaded by the woofer itself, they're highly directional speakers and have exceptionally good pinpoint imaging if you sit in the exact "sweet spot", but as you move off-center it's a radical change. The nice thing about K-horns is you can walk around the room and the sound doesn't change much, and by the nature of the folded woofer horn design, the walls coming out of the corner form part of the bass horn, so essentially you're sitting inside the horn itself. The Tannoys are strictly bass-reflex designs and do not have any horn loading on the woofer. At 92 or so dB efficiency 1W/1M they're simply no match for the K-horns at 104-105, and the sound is completely different. I used to sell the Tannoys as mixing monitors and they did a great job as long as you sat in the dead center of the sweet spot, but I don't think it would made a good center channel for K-horns. Again, the Klipsch La Scala is your best bet, since it uses the same drivers as the K-horn, has the same efficiency, same tonal balance, same everything,just less low-end response because of a 2-fold bass horn instead of 3. It's all about matching. The La Scala can also be free-standing instead of having to be in a corner, but it should be raised off the ground by toes/cones to reduce floor coloration. By the way the best room for these speakers is when the walls and floors are stone or brick, and the walls are slightly non-parallel. And with vaulted ceilings...wow. Just my 2 cents (ok 3 lol).

My favorite Tannoys were the 10s, the 8s didn't have enough bottom end, and the 12s didn't have any midrange dispersion...too beamy (and sluggish). Just an opinion.

ATCs are transmission-line speakers, aren't they? Nice...put some woofers in the floor with the rear in the house ductwork...I've seen it done! Holy bass, batman!

By the way, Mike...the new Transparent Reference XL AES/EBU cables...oh my gawd... :-)

Last edited by crispy98007; 08-14-2013 at 11:14 PM.
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