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Islander

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Islander last won the day on July 2

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About Islander

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    Male
  • Location
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
  • My System
    402/K-691 JubScala IIs + Paradigm PW-2100 V.2, powered by Yamaha MX-D1 x 2, EQ'd by Electro-Voice Dx38, controlled by Yamaha RX-A2060, fed by Technics SL-1210M5G, Panasonic DMP-UB900 & Yamaha DVD-S550

    6.1 Surround: above plus Belle (centre front), La Scalas (left and right surround), Heresy III (centre rear)

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  1. That does sound logical, Dave. My 402s aren't aimed quite that far apart at the moment, but I may try that next. I'm experimenting with the tweeters first, and once I'm happy with them, I'll get some help to lift them down and then aim the bass horns to match. In what way did you find with your 402s needed to be aimed differently from most speakers?
  2. Delicious2 asked: Is a laser level better than a pointer (cat toy) and why? There's no need to get that technical. I think the laser level may be better than a cat toy because it has a flat bottom surface, so when I hold it against the side of the speaker cabinet, it's pointing the same direction as the speaker, with no wobble or pointing off somewhere. When aiming the tweeter horn, I hold it against the base that I made. Those levels aren't that expensive, either. Mine was something like $6.99 on sale at Canadian Tire. I suppose that you could tape the laser into position, but I haven't found it necessary. As for aiming it through the hole in the centre, sure, why not? I've been using the inner sides, and that has worked out fine for me. I recline the sofa to my usual listening degree and note where my head would be. It's good enough to just place a sock or towel, or whatever's handy, to mark the place my head occupies. Then just make sure that both speakers are aimed equally far from the sock/head. I've found that aiming the speakers straight at me results in a sweet spot that's barely the width of my head. Therefore, I aimed them further outwards from the on-axis direction. That's where the experimentation comes in. Move one speaker so it's aimed a certain distance from your head, and match the other one an equal distance away on the other side. Then listen. Listen for a week or more. Walk around the room. Then maybe try a slightly different aiming direction, and listen to that for a while. Keep in mind that there's no ultimate perfect orientation for your speakers. Find one that works for you at that time. Later, you may want to try something a bit different. If it sounds good to you, it is good. Have fun!
  3. No problems with mine, either. Sometimes I wonder about painting them, though, because the ground-off molding lines, with the look of irregularly edged stripes across the backs of the horns, look like they just came out of the molds and were given a quick smoothing grind. Then, before they went to the finishing area, they were pulled aside and sold. That's my impression of the looks of both the 510 and 402 horns. Luckily, the front sides look better, and they do sound great. When using nuts and bolts on a plastic object, like these horns, instead of using the usual split washers that require the nuts to be tightened until the washers are squeezed flat, I like to use Nyloc nuts, the ones with the nylon inserts in their tops. The nylon (which I've seen in white, black, and blue) is smooth when they're new, but when they're turned onto a bolt, the threads of the bolt press into the nylon, increasing the contact surface and the friction. This works to keep them from unscrewing. In typical metal-to-metal applications, the nuts and bolts are tightened normally, but in applications where not much clamping force is required, like securing plastic horns to their metal or plastic bases, you don't need to tighten them nearly as much. The only limitations are that they can only be re-used a few times (always buy extras), and they can't be used in hot applications, like on exhaust manifolds. When securing my horns, the Nyloc nuts allow me to snug up the nuts not much more than finger tight, and still know that they won't come loose, in spite of whatever vibration they may experience. After 11 years, the nuts on my 510 horns that hold them onto their bases are still tight. The reason for using nuts that stay snug even when they're not that tight is to almost eliminate any chance of cracking or deforming the plastic. Cracking can easily happen if nuts and bolts are tightened too much on plastic pieces. As well, the relatively soft (softer than steel) plastic can deform under the pressure, causing the nuts to come loose over time, especially if vibration is added, like with machinery running on or near the piece. There's much less vibration in an audio application, but it's still there, so it should be considered. I didn't think a simple nut recommendation would run that long, but there you go. And people think that mechanics "work with their hands", without much thinking...
  4. Now I'm wishing I had weighed mine before I bolted on the drivers and bases. However, the dark shiny finish is a good clue. They look very much like my non-mumps K510s. Thanks, Chris!
  5. I had a 35" CRT TV sitting on top of my Belle centre speaker for a couple of years with no issues, other than its crushing 180-pound weight. Maybe the distance from the K-55V was enough to keep it out of trouble, since the tube was above the TV's speakers and base, so it was nearly a foot above the driver. Now it's supporting a 120-pound plasma TV, so it's probably much happier. The new LED TVs are much lighter again, and unlike CRT TVs, don't leak magnetic fields at all. BTW, your picture shows a K-55V, not an M-55V. Most Klipsch driver and horn part numbers start with K, for obvious reasons.
  6. La Scalas use a pro 15" woofer, not a typical home audio model, so a pro 10" woofer won't necessarily sound any better.
  7. I use a laser level to set the direction of my speakers, and I just hold it against each speaker while I tug it this way or that as needed. These are La Scala IIs, and the previous owner put rubber feet on them, which makes it a bit more difficult. With the first-gen La Scalas, their metal button feet made them easy to move on the carpet. With the 402s you can easily swivel them as needed. The direction of the bass bins is less critical, so you could just match up the bass horns with the tweeters. As for settings, I just use the ones provided by Roy (Chief Bonehead), and the system sounds great. That McIntosh amp looks great. BTW, I checked out the Listen button on the product page, and now I'm listening to McIntosh Music, their streaming channel. Have you checked it out?
  8. Are you referring to the infamous "Brown Note", as demonstrated in an epic episode of South Park?
  9. When I moved into my condo apartment in 2001, the building was overdue for a refit, and the insulation in the windows was worn out, to the point where street noise and cold drafts came right in, like it or not. Background noise was not a constant, since it got quiet late at night, but during the day, it was annoying. Nearly a decade later, we got a major overhaul happening. When it came to the windows, we got the very latest super-insulating types, but the frames were so bulky and sturdy that they looked like they came off an armoured car, because the frames were wider and the glass area was smaller. There were grumbles, but when the new windows were closed, we were amazed. You’d look out a window, and see and hear cars and trucks going by, but when you closed the window, with its new double row of rubber weatherstripping, it was like the sound was suddenly turned off. Wow. No grumbles after that. As well, there were no more drafts, so more cosy meant less expensive to heat. Win-win! For me, the much lower noise floor was an unexpected bonus. Now I could hear finer detail in the music, which was and is great. The new windows meant my sound system now had greater dynamic range. I could also listen at lower volume levels and still hear everything, plus when I turned it up a bit, the extra volume was much more noticeable. This is old news to some of you, but to me, this was the first instance of an audio upgrade that didn’t need to be plugged in.
  10. For me, 12 gauge is the minimum size of speaker cable to use, and tinned copper never corrodes. As for those super-expensive cables, I suspect that not many are actually sold. They’re more likely made to show what the company can do, to raise its profile, and to make its cheaper cables seem better by association. “These are from the company that makes $30,000 speaker cables, so their engineers must be really smart, so this entry-level cable must be better than entry-level cable from companies that only know how to make $5,000 cable.” Or something like that.
  11. How do you identify which version of 402 you have? I bought mine used in 2017, but I think the seller had them for a year or less. That’s just a guess, though. It would be good to be sure.
  12. I recommend the Karma Kable as well. The SS refers to the colours, Silver and Smoke. Either 10 or 12 gauge would be great. I’ve been using some 8 AWG Karma Kable for about 15 years, and when I bi-amped the La Scalas in the process of converting them to JubScalas, I went with 10 AWG Karma Kable for the tweeters. No corrosion, since the very fine copper strands are tinned, and those fine strands make the cable very flexible and easy to work with. You can cut it easily with a box cutter. As well, the Karma Kable is in a twisted pair configuration, which rejects interference, which has to be a good thing. As for terminations, I ordered the Audioquest BFA bananas. They’re a bit different from the banana-shaped bananas, in that they’re hollow cylindrical tubes, but they have a much larger contact surface, and can be adjusted with needlenose pliers to fit tighter or looser. You can order them from several suppliers. If you go with 8 gauge cables, they’ll fit in, but the set screws will stick out so far that the little sleeves won’t slide back on. No problem, it’s easy to find heat shrink tubing, in either red or black, so that makes a tidy job. The connectors for the speaker end are called barrier strip spade connectors or spade lugs, since that’s what the black plastic box-like thing is, a barrier strip. Getting the right size can be tricky, since they have to be just right to fit into the barrier strip. I wound up going to a couple of local car audio shops. The bonus is that they’re super cheap, like a few pennies each. They come in crimp on or solder on. Either works fine, but it’s worth it to spend the $5 or so for a crimping tool, since it will do a better job than regular pliers. An Internet search may turn up some audio grade spade lugs, but make sure they’re the right width, because they come in too wide, too narrow, and just right. Hope this is helpful. Lastly, lots of folks will tell you 16 gauge lamp cord is fine, because the masters of audio used it forty years ago, just like performance cars used to have 8” wide wheels and tires. Yes, lamp cord will definitely do the job, but the bigger cable will do it better. This is a site for fans of high performance speakers, so why wouldn’t we want to address any little detail that could limit the performance of our speakers, especially when it doesn’t cost much? CAUTION : Flame War Alert!
  13. Does the Super Heresy, in any version, sound better than the Heresy III?
  14. Years ago, in the 1980s, I bought a Yamaha EQ-70 equalizer to use with my 1977/78 Yamaha CR-1020 stereo receiver. It improved the sound, and I was able to add some bass that the speakers were lacking. I found out later that those “pre-Klipsch” speakers started rolling off at 70Hz, in spite of having two 10-inch woofers. In 2004, I bought a used 1998 Yamaha RX-V392 entry-level AV receiver. To my pleasant surprise, it sounded better than the CR-1020. However, when I added the equalizer, the sound gained a veil over it. The clarity that I liked was subdued a bit, and the fine details weren’t there anymore. I disconnected the EQ. The next year, I bought a new 2005 RX-V750 AVR, which sounded even more clear than the 392, so no EQ-70 with that one, either. My conclusion was that 1970s receivers are products of their time, and sounded great to us, until we heard more modern gear. The late ‘90s AVRs are better, the mid-2000s ones are better still, and the 2016 RX-A2060 that I’m listening to right now is the best one yet. Okay, the 402 JubScalas with K-691 drivers and the rest of the gear are also a lot better than the speakers I started out with, so there’s that. The point is that the engineers at audio companies show up at work every day and try to find out how to get clearer, more realistic sound from the gear we buy. After 10, 20, 30 years, the improvements are obvious. Old gear works well with old gear, but not so much with new gear. If you’re going to use an equalizer today, with today’s gear, it needs to be top-shelf quality if you don’t want to mess up the sound you already have. The digital ones seem to offer more than the analog ones, without messing up the sound, like the Dx-38 that goes with these speakers, or the new Xilica models that everybody seems to love. That’s my opinion, anyway. As for my old EQ-70, I used it to EQ my sub for several years, reasoning that details at bass frequencies are hard to pick out. It did serve well, in coordination with a sound level meter and a test CD, but when I got this current receiver, I didn’t bother hooking up the EQ, and now it’s collecting dust on a shelf.
  15. As well, what happens when the store moves its inventory around, like when hockey season gives way to baseball season? Do all the stores have to inform Big Marketing Brother, who lives in The Cloud, what they’re doing? Can BM Bro say no? In that case, do they just leave things where they are, until the next hockey season starts up, in two or three months, up here in the Great White North?
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