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Klipschorns with... two, three, or five channels?


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Edster....there is a much better solution. I don't want to start a flurry of 'discussion' as there are some 'purists' who insist upon not modding what PWK designed so this is just my personal opinion, not saying it's better, not saying it's worse, just that it works for me! With that disclaimer, I will tell you that the Klipsch fibreglass/wood horn is IMHO, not without it's own issues. They have a tendency to 'clack', and have been replaced with Altec 511B horns. The 511B's have almost identical sonic properties. Same size, same curvature, 500hz horn, but they are again IMHO, a much more solid unit. Less prone to 'flexing' and shape distortions. True, they can ring like the bejesus if not properly installed, supported and dampened. However, the result is once again IMHO a tremendous, spacious and glorious sound. Little bit of 'shoehorning' required to get it into the Belle without disrupting the original visual presentation, but I'm here to tell you it can be done!

T. Brennan, Al K, feel free to help me out here. I know that you two use the 511's, anything to add?



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Soundog, I actually tried to get an update on the old '55 PWK paper from the folks at Hope & Indy... but they just sort of dodged the bullet by saying that the article was written before the advent of multi-channel and the application of modern acoustics techniques to balance rooms. But they would also not impugn the paper's integrity.

In fairness, there are few business in the electronics industry (with the possible exception of ceiling fans) that would want to stick by a technical paper that was over a half century old! But, somewhere in the moldy recesses of my mind... I think PWK might have something going here. My thought is that if there is any "natural" benefits from a minimum 32' diagonal... wouldn't it be a good place to start.

I will be moving into new space for health reasons sometime this year. One of my priorities is finding someplace that I can build a "socializing" room with at least a 32' diagonal and see what happens. From Floyd Toole's papers, even if the old approach doesn't work "re-Toole-ing" the room to this millennium specs should.

One concern I have is that K-Horns in '55 had a much larger fiberglass & plywood exponential horn in those days. Having mains 27' apart seems like a real challenge for my Belle center... but I have a lot of confidence in the ability of my vintage Cornwalls to bring up the rear.

Every time I see your Soundog avatar I am reminded about the first time I went into the Lower East Side of Manhattan to help Paul (a young, socially aware landlord)... we were jumped by a gang of Puerto Rican and black kids (the leader lived in Paul's tenement).

They served notice on their intent by breaking Paul's nose for openers. It seems Paul was about to be taken for a ride... and I was to go along in their "lack of witness protection" program.

Although their black warlord was making hokey kung fu moves toward me he didn't touch me so I thought their might be a chance at dialogue. I suspect the warlord was a little hesitant because I was being very calm and in those days in good shape having won a college scholarship as a heavyweight boxer and a combat vet.

The P.R. gang leader was quite surprised when I challenged him (in a friendly way) in Spanish with P.R. slang... to go into an empty room and talk to me alone. Well, he did, and that is when I learned that Paul had gotten a very good deal on the building because person or persons unknown blew up the previous owners car... with him in it!

I let him know that to my knowledge, Paul wasn't a slumlord but a carpenter who came to the City to study Karl Marx... and put everything he could borrow into buying this building hoping he could improve living conditions for the tenants. Well, 15 minutes later we were in the gang leaders apartment celebrating a new beginning.

The story is a lot longer... and ended with the gang members helping a group of young landlords clean up a small portion of the Lower East Side... at least for a time. You see, my favorite ex-wife was born in Ponce, P.R. and grew up in Spanish Harlem... before fleeing the ghetto by virtue of a scholarship to Fordham and a career in the Army Nursing Corps. She went from 2nd Lt. to Lt. Col. in less than thirteen years... and her high school counselor advised her to go to the garment district and try to get someone to teach her how to use a power sewing machine to keep off welfare.

Well, soundog, I may have to go to Klipsch Purgatory for being off the subject... but my wife's story was an example of how many worthwhile lives are thrown away by lack of opportunity. You seem to be someone who has gone out of his way to stop that waste... and it is a privilege to know that you care.

cwm40.gif if I can find/create a 32' minimum diagonal space... it would seem that scraping the bottom beneath the Klipschorns will be an interesting challenge. Any ideas? cwm15.gif HornEd

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I am using a 511B with a K55 driver in my center channel ...it works great even though the K55 goes down to 400hz.

The dispersion is wider and it sounds better on vocals. Multi-channel SACDs seem to centralize the vocalist to the point where if you disconnect the center channel the vocalist practically vanishes.

Of course, DVDs, Videos and TV puts the actors and vocalists in the center channel also, so this is a good solution for me. Greater clarity and dispersion without altering the sonic mid range match.

I do not see a great advantage in altering the cosmetics of my Khorns to accommodate the 511s since they are only 12 feet apart. But I bet you would need this to use the 27 foot PWK setup which was based on the older wider horns.

Al did a great job with his Belles but then, since they crossover at a higher frequency; he could use better drivers with them so this makes the effort more worth it.


Thanks for the link; the Toole lecture papers are fascinating and informative.

I wonder whether the PWK dimensions conform to some of those "ideal" room ratios I've seen but cant seem to find at the moment. Wish I had the organization and retrieval capabilities of you, Gil, Homeless and others.

That man with the menacing kung fu movies reminds me of one of my nightclub bouncer who appeared as a heavy in several Bruce Lee movies and was actually a kung fu master. He used to piss me off always doing those moves in my face but then it probably helped keep the troops in line.

His brother was my head bouncer and was a former heavy-weight contender. With them I would tour the 70s after-hours clubs of New York including those in Harlem and Bed-Sty and the Lower East Side (where there were clubs that were not to be believed). The experiences have served me well in the work I do.

For me to build a new house with a custom designed and dedicated home theater will take definite divine intervention and a miracle (people spend more on those then my whole house cost!) so keep me informed of your quest.


Soundog's HT Systems

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Favorite Bruce Lee movie quote:

Dan Wallace walks up to Bruce Lee and speed breaks a board in his face. Bruce Lee says: "Boards don't punch back."

Bruce Lee the person had several interesting things to say. The ones I remember:

"Empty heads have long tongues"

"A man is destined to achieve great things - if he has the courage to conquer himself."



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I've been toying with the idea of building a new home theater room around four Klipschorns, two Imperials, two Universities, and some LaScalas. The room is about 23' by 36' with six false corners to toe in the Imperials and Klipschorns. The center channel K-Horn will have a screen in front of it. The 23 foot wall will be the front stage. The 36' lenght will just give me enought room for two rows of seats. The second row will sit on a raised floor which will continue to the back of the room. This way the rear speakers will also be raised.

Being a Cabinet and Kitchen designer, I have connections with many of the local builders. I drew up one set of house plans that I have to drop off to a home builder friend of mine to price. Those plans only show an open shell of the room and detail the rest of the house. I want to build the room myself. I don't trust anyone elce to get it right.

I also drew up a set of plans to remodel my present home, so I can fit in a simular room. I have to have him price that out too.

This project may be on hold for a while. My oldest son will be entering college next year. Ouch! And, my accountant is working on a plan to help me find investors to help be buy out the cabinet manufacturing business that I'm currently running. I'm doing this along with my own small custom cabinet business. So I have alot going on right now.

I do have the Home theater room drawn up a couple of ways , so I'll know how to build it once the shell is up. Email me with your address ,if you have any interest in seeing it. I'll mail you the drawing, once I find them and blow off the saw dust.




This message has been edited by Q-Man on 03-01-2002 at 11:43 PM

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Q-man, my address will be emailed as requested. I understand your concern... part of my life was building multi-family rental properties for retention... and the attention to cabinetry and finish carpentry detail my residents happier so they tended to stay much longer.

Unfortunately, failing eyesight and health has prompted me to leave my woodshop to my son. It's in a separate building in a hilltop compound I built in San Antonio thirty years ago. I just couldn't stand doing lesser quality work.

After seeing photos of some of your existing stuff... and the audacity of its placement... you are truly a hero of mine... no fluff intended!

BTW, I noticed that on the '97 K-horns I just bought that the wiring is all Monster cable... and, by the seller's photo, it looks professionally done. I didn't think Klipsch was using Monster in '97.

While on that subject, I think I would like to build a pair of walnut faced false walls for the K-horns. Since the actual "wall" area required by the K-horn, as seen in PaulK's own home, is really quite small and not even as high as the speaker itself.

So, I was thinking of creating a decorative walnut panel that perhaps would curve together in the style of a Gothic arch. Any ideas?

Of course, the timing is perfect since I am planning a similar thing. I have found Dr. Floyd Toole's papers particularly helpful. Do you? I like your second tier riser idea. I will probably raise my side surround and rear speakers to aim the exponential horns to a target about a foot above and a foot behind where the "primary head" will sit in the sweet spot. I actually use a laser pointer on a pan head tripod and move the speakers until the beam is in the heart of the horn.

Thanks for sharing. HornEd

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Both pairs of my K-horns are factory wired with Monster cable. The newer pair is 97,98,or 99, with AK-3 networks. The older pair has the AK-2 network. The banana plugs from the top horn section to the lower bass horn are a loose fit. Take the fine point of a knife and spread open the male insert, so it fits tight. Mine would vibrate loose and fall out.

My false corners are 54" high, 36' deep TV side , and 58" deep on the wall side. They have a top on them that extends over almost all of the top of the K-horn and all the way back to the back wall. This top works out nice. It's serves as a shelf for the LaScala front effect speakers and some other equipment.

I'll include a photo of it in my mail out to you. I have a photo CD with a couple photos of the front end and about 20 photos of the assembly process of the University bass horn cabinet. I took the photos for John Warren, but I didn't send them to him yet. I was going to try to post them first. If I send the CD to you , do you think that you could post them for me?

Maybe some of the others will like to see them.

My 13 yr. old son is starting to pick up this insane habit. The other night he was looking at the false corners and said. "They might make good subwoofers." " You should put a couple of 18" drivers in each one of them." Now, why didn't I think of that? I figured it out , and each false corner has 72 cu. ft. of sealed air space in them. Seems like it will be a waste of space not to take advantage of it. It should have been incorporated in the design from the start. 72 cu. ft. should be enought for the right driver to get down to 15Hz. with low distortion and good output. Everytime I think that I'm satisfied and finished, something elce comes to mind.




This message has been edited by Q-Man on 03-03-2002 at 08:03 AM

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Q-man, your last email got through... and I sent a reply. A construction accident down the street cut my high speed line and it has not been dependable ever since. I changed my Forum email address to eddennis@msn.com (which oddly enough I can receive over my high speed line) but for some reason, the Klipsch membership area keeps giving out the rcn address with that is not working properly.

Thanks for your persistence, Q., I am eager to see your stuff. cwm35.gif HornEd

This message has been edited by HornEd on 03-04-2002 at 03:47 PM

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Also note,

Whenever I try to use "reply" to an email I get from HE it goes to the "@rcn" address and invariably fails. I always have to type in the correct email address after deleting the one that automatically goes into the "TO:" box after clicking "reply".


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Just a suggestion -- since you are having the room built, you might want to make sure that the other two room corners are K-horn compatible. I know you only have two K-horns now, but you never know when that great opportunity may come along to add onother pair, and if it does, you'll be glad you were prepared.

By the way, my '87 Khorns are also wired with Monster Cable. I think the Khorns have been that way for a while, Klipsch just didn't start advertising it (and offering it in their lower models) until recently.

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As usual, our favorite Forum bunny has hopped onto the heart of the matter. Yes, JMON, that's exactly why my K-horn-hero Q-man and I are exchanging emails.

My version is still in quite a state of flux, but I plan to post it as significant issues are resolved. Thank for your continued helpful interest in my audio odyssey.

cwm3.gif HornEd

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