I am new to the forum. In the past month I have made a lot of changes. I acquired 1980 La Scalas, which replaced my heresy's. I have did the usual upgrades to the speakers.
I have Crites sonic cap AA cross over rebuild and his steal stamped woofers, which both had a big improvement over the tired motor run caps and damaged original woofers.
My stereo components are...
-Recapped Mcintosh mc240 amp
-Recapped Mcintosh MX-110z tuner pre
-Marantz CD5004 cd player
My La Scala came with the k77 round magnet tweeters, very closely matched in sensitivity and in very good shape.
In the past 2 weeks I have tried different tweeters upgrades from two different sources. Reason, I am doing this, is because there lacks any direct review of the these two tweeters here or in Audiokarma.org.
To start of, I do like the K77 round magnet tweeters, Dynamics and attack are very good! It has PWK sound. Other opinion or preferences from others, there sharp sounding, honky, percinig, stressed.
That could change drastically by your other components in the system or recordings.
K77 as we all know has it limitations, Run out of steam at 12k-14k, Can't take much power etc.
Now the reason I was looking for a tweeter upgrade was to find a less harsh 10k-20k end. As I said before I do like the K77 but I could hear the weaknesses.
For 2 weeks I looking at my tweeter options that was a internal drop in replacement. I read both of the sources sites, looking at the forums for positive reviews and negative reviews.
I won't be comparing these new tweeters head to head but compare them both to the k77 tweeter.
First I'll start with installation and physical quality
I am going to start with the CT-125 because it is the mostly mentioned and most popular upgrade in the forum.
When I got in them in the mail they looked well-built and were literally a drop in replacement, no wires to attach or odd screws or adapter or anything. Really made it easy to install.
Bolt in, hook to the cross over and done! It made my speakers look original.
Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter
When I got the Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter in the mail. They were well packed, little more tightly and safely then the CT-125. You could see an high quality of the drivers, Heavy and very compact, sleek looking. The new designed horn looked pretty cool, well carved out of wood. These were little more involved to install, the horn had original holes and two new side holes so you could mount with new holes or use your originals. I used the the originals. But the Screws from the k77 horn were way to short! I made a 15 min trip to home depot got some longer screws and few slid on ends. I took the tweeter wire off the k77 and mounted the slide on ends on the original tweeter cable, hooked it all up. Not as much of a drop in installation as the CT-125.
Figure out the wires and get longer screws. A beer went long with this installation. With the Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter the horn is flush with the cabnet has a nice finished design.
Gives the speaker little bit of an updated look.
I used Paul Simon, Fleetwood mac and Santana as references. Remember sound differences are compared to k77 not to each other. I am 29 have good hearing. My k77 tweeter little less sensitivity then the square k77m.
Ok so it took me 15 min to install these bad boys, super easy. Warmed up my tubes, for 15 mins. Took a listen... It was totally different sound then k77. Listened to fleetwood mac,
It was very smooth! That in your face klipsch sound was gone... Voices sounded mellow, instruments sounded smoother. I changed it to Santana, same result, K77 has the dynamic punch, hear the bell getting hit in the song right in front of you. With the Ct-125 it sounded feathery light. K77 was shot of vodka, Ct-125 was a sex on the beach. What I was hearing was less sensitivey, with a higher requency response. At the same time instruments sounded more distant, less dynamic. Midrange and bass became more present. Gave the speaker a whole warm fuzzy midrange bass feeling.
Now for opinons, I listened to them for hours. I couldn't engage in the music anymore, Maybe as background music, lack of dynamics was very disappointing. I felt like I was listening to 1960's speaker, smooth mellow but not engaging, with higher highs just at lower volume. It wasn't a Klipsch anymore. I installed k77 in one speaker to compare in mono. Dynamic were back! feathery detail was gone, but rather have dynamics, Honestly I felt like the lower sensitivity gave it me an impression it couldn't keep up with rest of the speaker. I was happy with the bass with k77 so with the ct-125 too much of it.
At first I couldn't believe how it sounded so different, I thought maybe something was wrong. Checked the wires etc.. Called the manufacture, about my impression and concern, didn’t get much help,
Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter
When I installed these guys I waited the 15 mins. I played Santana first. Wow it sounded like a klipsch speaker! Dynamic, had a natural balance, compared to the k77, voices were calmer.
K77 everything sounded dynamic, with the Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter was just as sensitive, honestly more dynamic as in it felt like these was a lot more depth. K77 would bark at you at times but the Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter would choose when to be in your face or not based on the recording. Sound stage improved vastly over the k77 tweeters! I could hear breathing or mistakes in the musicians playing. It also had the light highs when then recorded called for it. Very good tweeter! If the k77 was a shot of strait vodka. The Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter was a fine 25 year old scotch smooth warm with a nice bite and sensce in depth flavors.
It's all about the music!
Both make good products and have different view points and goals. Now the CT-125 is very well regarded tweeter! If your looking for a midrange bass rich speaker, very mellow, very far away from k77 ct125 is for you. But if your looking for dynamic klipsch sound, I like very dynamic speaker, I feel like the Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeter is a drop in replacement for that. It updates the k77 from 1957. Just like how sonic caps improved the motor run caps. Updated technology. I love this tweeter! I really can’t stop listening to my stereo now. Fatigue is gone but the dynamic are all there with all the extra details in the high end. In terms of price. I paid $220 for the Eliptrac HF B&C DE120 tweeters CT-125 is $160. The B&C DE120 drivers $70-80 alone but the APT50's are $25-35 drivers. From a technical point there just more quailty in the B&C DE120 driver.
Post some pictures soon!!