Happy Thanksgiving - I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe!
Last weekend, on a cold rainy afternoon in Northeast Ohio, Skelt had me over for a demonstration of his vintage Klipschorn-based 2/6.1 system. We mainly listened to vinyl with the Klipschorn's powered with a vintage Dynaco ST70 tube amp. CDs and home theatre were handled via a preamp/crossover to the 6.1 theater system, where a stack of solid state amps powers the Klipschorn's, a LaScala center and Forte surrounds (except for the massive powered SVS subwoofer). Skelt has a garage Klipsch system we listened to for a minute with (I believe) Forte's and an MWM bin. Between listening sessions and chatting about gear, Skelt showed me some of the klipsch speaker projects he has going on outside his current setup. Skelt basically runs a small Klipsch museum out of his house with gear ranging back from the 50's and I was lucky enough to hear it all except for Jubilee's and Belle's (he sold his previous pair of Belle's a while back, hasn't gotten his hands a pair of jubilee's yet!). I'm grateful for the thorough introduction to the Klipsch full range horn sound in a home setting.
The Klipschorns were effortlessly loud!, dynamic and full sounding on everything we tried:
Nektar - A tab in the ocean (original pressing sounding warm and analogue)
The Levin Brothers - Special Delivery CD (raw, uncompressed live jazz trio recording, dry and digital recording)
Santana - Abraxas (MFSL One Step, great album, amazing AAA analogue recording if you haven't heard it)
The Field - Thought Vs. Action (vinyl pressing of the Axel-Wilner techno project from mid 2000's, wanted to toss something heavily electronic their way, Klipshorns handled the record with ease, very impressive live club sound, I was surpised the bass did not cause issues with the turntable)
Nina Nastasia - The Blackened Air (Steve Albini-engineered/produced, my copy is a bit worn but another great album with impressive sound)
Lord of the Rings (Blue Ray, 6.1 surround, like being in a theatre. I'm not familiar with reviewing 6.1 mixes but the sound easily beats almost all 2-channel movie mixes i can think of, the SVS subwoofer is like an air conditioner during some of the heavier sub moments of the movie, very fun experience)
///[Skelt, with your setup, I would love to hear the Steven Wilson DVD-A surround mixes of XTC, Gentle Giant, Yes, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, as well as his own projects, sound like through your surround rig! There are also great surround SACD's of Pink Floyd/Roxy Music/Steely Dan, might be worth venturing into with a proper 5.1/6.1...]\\\
The listening session gave me the impression the recordings i was familiar with still sounded like themselves through Skelt's rig, other than how full they were compared to my home setup with more impactful and deep bass. I'm not a strict audiophile by any means, i listen to plenty of poorly recorded rock/pop, and lots of new music and enjoy it. I wanted to play more poor recordings but we ran out of time. I'm not sure what a horn system brings to even badly recorded music, other than just more of a clear window into what's there and not there. I''m hoping to gain more macro/micro detail out of all music from a horn system. Aside from my main speakers (Rega R7), I'm used to mainly listening to music at work through my Audeze iSine20 in-ear planar magnetics. They lack bass to be sure and impact being headphones, but they sound so clean, distortion-free, effortless and true-to-the-recording, I don't miss the bass. I think that's what i'm trying to get with a horn speaker system, low distortion, in-phase, effortless sound.
That demo also has me thinking about how Klipschorns compare to Jubilee's... I'm curious how the Klipschorn 1-15" bass folded horn compares to the Jubilee 2-12" folded bass horn, or how the 402 horn compares to the upper range of the Klipschhorn? Benefits of 2-way vs 3-way speakers? I wonder if a fully active crossover for the klipshorns would make improvements? I understand Skelt's next steps may be considering some of the Volti audio Klipschorn upgrades, not to detract here but if anyone wants to share their best Klipschorn upgrades for Skelts benefit that would be fun to read. I know the questions asked above are answered here on the forum, I've read comparisons some and understand the benefits of the Jubilees design over the Klipshorn, best way is to listen to them. I'm still hoping for the opportunity to demo Jubilee's.
I've been considering moving towards either horn loaded system or open baffle for high efficiency, both of which have the benefit of removing some room acoustic issues. I travelled to Michigan on Halloween morning to listen to a pair of Spatial Audio X5's owned by an AudioCircle forum member. They are a 3way open baffle speaker, 97.5dB. Its unfair to compare them with the klipschorn's, but they sounded fantastic and I could see being happy with them as well.
I've been following the 402 MEH diy thread with interest, and may decide to head in that direction. No bad choices going forward, all good.
THANK YOU SKELT!