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Mallette

Old Horns

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I am considering a pair of Khorns model KC-BR serial 8P633. Cost would be around 1500.00 plus 200.00 shipping.

Assuming the drivers and cabinets are in good shape, is this a good deal? Should they be upgraded and at what cost?

I join the group in missing Mr. K. Certainly 98 years is an enviable life span. One of life's great priviliges was a personal tour of the Hope plant with him in about 1972. I still have the 8 card and other materials in gave me that great day, and I've been waiting 30 years to acquire these speakers.

Best regards,

Dave Mallett

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David A. Mallett

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I would grab them because they are classics, bu beforewarned that the big old horns of Klipsch's Heritage series "does sound different from just about any other line of speakers, from Klipsch or from anyone else." But that difference is a matter of taste. One man's wine is another's vinegar.

The Khorn has two horns and a horn-loaded bass woofer, making the huge triangular beast incredibly sensitive to input. Its awesome efficiency puts the big old horns into an entirely different league than regular cone and dome boxes.

The Khorns are rated at 104 decibels (dB) per one watt, when measured at about three feet (one meter). This means the unusual style of stereo speaker will need only about 0.00196 of a watt to reprise an average slow C weighted 73 sound pressure level (SPL) in a carpeted 14 by 17 room with eight foot ceilings. Typical music peaks 15 dB higher than that average SPL will require all of 0.063 watts, depending on the frequency.

Theoretical microsecond pulses up to 103 dB, like a gut punch from a kick drum, for example, will require a mere 2 watts. Listening at painful loud levels requires surprising little power. A mind numbing level of 118 dB, certainly beyond the limits of UN guidelines for torture, needs only a brief spurge of 64 watts to reproduce. Even the momentary 127-dB pulse of a live orchestra at full crescendo takes only about 512 watts.

What this means is that Khorns do not need awesome power, but they do need really good power at low levels. Almost all normal listening will be done with less than one watt. Their sensitivity reveals all front-end flaws. Because of their ultra-low power requirements and reveling nature, big old horns are very favorably matched to flea powered tube equipment. It is a classic combination dating back decades.

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Colin's Music System Cornwall 1s & Klipsch subs; lights out & tubes glowing!

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Thanks for the response.

The completed system will be driven (temporarily by a Harmon-Kardon 12 solid state) by a rebuilt (Van Alstine) Dynaco ST-70 with a Van Alstine updated Dyna preamp (PAS-4i). I will be using Frazier Monte Carlos (purchased in 1970) in the rear with a Hafler Dynaquad (purchased in 1976 for 5.00) in the rear. Hope to add a Heresy or better as a front center at some point to satisfy the spirit of the Master.

It will be quite a vintage system. I've a Rega Planar 3-Grado LP turntable and an Empire/Grado for 78's.

Going to be quite a vintage system!

Dave

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David A. Mallett

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Dave,

To my way of thinking, anytime a pair of k-horns in good shape can be gotten for $3,000 or less is a great deal. Especially when you consider the the new ones will run over $3,000 APIECE!!...and add to that the newer ones will have veneered MDF instead of veneered poplar lumber core for the panels, it makes a deal like that much sweeter!!

My experience with veneered MDF shows that evaporating chemicals in it will, over time, cause separation of the veneers as the exhausting gases of the chemicals become trapped under the adhesive securing the veneer to it...causing the veneer to bubble-upwards, separating from the MDF. This just doesn't happen to veneered lumber-core plywood nearly as frequently!! The denser the wood type of the veneer (ie., rosewood is denser than oak), the more profound and quicker the separation will occur, since the denser veneer allows less permeability for the exhausting gases.

As for changing anything out, my opinion on that subject is to leave things alone, providing they work fine...with the possible exception of replacing cross-over networks with some ALK's, if wanted. Even then, retaining the original cross-overs for intrinsic purposes. There are alot of owners of older k-horns who now wish the previous owners had left them in "stock" configuration...something to consider. Smile.gif

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

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Dave

I agree with HDBR.

I have never been a fan of the newer Khorns since the switch to MDF.

It looks like you are going for a vintage setup. If so - buy these nice vintage khorns.

I have found the die hard 2 channel tube and vinyl guys prefer the older plywood khorns with the aluminum K-400 horn.

30 years is a long time to wait - but after you do it right, you will agree it is best not to compromise.

JM

This message has been edited by j-malotky on 05-10-2002 at 02:15 PM

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Thanks for the reply (also to HDBR).

Yep, guess I am old vinyl guy. I've several hundred CD's, but only a few of them and the ones I've recorded on location sound as satisfying as records...that includes 78's. I've never heard a transferred 78 sound as good as the original. Further, at 50 cents to a few dollars each, LP's are the biggest bargain on the planet. Nice to live in a large metro area for that one reason.

As to two channel, I'm not that dedicated to it. I certainly prefer it to crappy digital extraction. As mentioned in an earlier post, I'll be useing my vintage Hafler Dynaquad (a completely passive phase extraction circuit) to feed a pair of Frazier Monte Carlo's (about 1970) in the rear. Very satisfying addition of depth.

BTW, when I visited Mr. Klipsch in 1972, he had a Frazier Midget with a handle on it he used to demonstrate corner bass re-enforcement. As I'd just purchased my Fraziers a year or so before, I was delighted he said that Jack Frazier was one of the few designers he had any use for. They still sound great within their range.

Best regards,

Dave

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David A. Mallett

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Dave,

One thing about Mr. Paul that I always admired was his straightforward honesty. He never considered himself the perfect speaker designer...he was often known to personally recommend another speaker designer's model to those who he felt could better utilize another company's speaker than they could utilize a Klipschorn or any other model his company made. Instead, Mr. Paul would be the first to admit if he felt another designer had a good product! His attitude was his own perseverance with the aid of divine guidance brought forth his successful designs, nothing more, nothing less. And he welcomed other ideas anytime he saw merit in them! BUT, there were a helluva lot of ideas from other speaker designers over the years that he saw little merit in...therefore his motto of "bullshit"! Smile.gif LOL!

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

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Well, I've acquired them for 1677.00 delivered. Hope to have them in a couple of weeks. Will report.

Best regards,

Dave

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David A. Mallett

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Oh...I forgot to say THANKS for all the prompt input.

You guys are great!

Dave

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David A. Mallett

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Congratulations Dave. I'm sure you'll be very happy with your purchase.

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David,

You got a great deal and you are going to love those speakers!

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2 Channel System:

'78 Khorns w/ALK networks

Welborne Labs Moondog 2A3 amps

AES AE-3 Superpreamp DJH mods

McIntosh MCD 7007 CD

McIntosh MR-78 Tuner

DIYCable Twisted Cross Connect Speaker Cable

DIYCable Superlatives (preamp/amp)

DH Labs Silver Pulse interconnects (sources/preamp)

f>

s>

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HDBR posted something I hadn't noticed before:

quote:

Originally posted by HDBRbuilder:

...the newer ones will have veneered MDF instead of veneered poplar lumber core for the panels....


Approximately when did the change from lumber core to MDF take place?

quote:

My experience with veneered MDF shows that evaporating chemicals in it will, over time, cause separation of the veneers as the exhausting gases of the chemicals become trapped under the adhesive securing the veneer to it...causing the veneer to bubble-upwards, separating from the MDF.


Is there any extra care necessary to lessen this potiential problem?

Mike

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Mike,

I don't know when the changeover to veneered MDF panels occurred, but was sometime after September, 1983(when I left) for heritage series.

As for being able to do anything to stop the separation of the veneer from MDF...not much one can do, except try and keep speakers in controlled-temp environment with low humidity. The warmer the room where they are, then the more chemicals "gas-off" from the MDF, thereby leading to higher chance of veneer separation!

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If you want to send a private message, or have already done so, be aware I have not as yet been able to retrieve them. Send e-maill instead, please...just note Klipsch forum in the heading so it doesn't get deleted.

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Mallet, I think our Khorns are just about twins (mine are 8P644/645 ... they were made the same day, I'm sure).

Our version had the squawker that was occasionally susceptible to "honking" ... You might want to search on "p-traps" ... or buy a pair of Al K's networks ... trust me, you won't be sorry ... They sound great.

This message has been edited by Chris Robinson on 05-17-2002 at 08:44 PM

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Just what is "honking?" Doesn't sound very nice. The serial number doesn't seem to correspond to those in the table posted to the list. When were they made? I assumed the '70's.

Dave

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David A. Mallett

Average system component age: 30 years.

Performance: 21rst Century

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Letter format for 1962-1983:

A=62

B=63

C=64

D=65

E=66

F=67

G=68

H=69

I=70

J=71

K=72

L=73

M=74

N=75

P=76

R=77

S=78

T=79

U=80

W=81

X=82

Y=83

Date Format Beginning 1984:

DOY= day of the year

YY=year (i.e. 99,00)

Y2Y1= Y2(2nd digit of year), Y1(1st digit of year)

WW=week of the year

Cipher Code Key:

1962-1983 - ##letter#### (20Y1234)

1984-1989(?) - YY WW #### (89281234)

1990-1997(?) - DOY Y2Y1 #### (135791234)

1998-2000 - YY WW #### (00281234)

Hope this helps...Wes

Note: This message will self-destruct within 24 hrs.cwm35.gif

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KLIPSCH IS MUSICf>

My Systems f>s>c>

This message has been edited by ShapeShifter on 05-18-2002 at 12:09 PM

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Dave, not to worry too much. It was an abberation of our midrange horn. Not commonplace, but occasional.

There were situations where the upper end of the squawker would get "extended" and start singing around 8 or 9K Hz. You would know it if you heard it, and it is a lesser probability occurance.

Just search "P-trap" and you'll read all about it.

BTW, I think we have a VERY GOOD vintage year. I love mine. Great wood, great drivers, great sound.

Email me if you want to get into particulars.

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Most reassuring. Didn't figure PWK would let much of an issue get by.

I'd love to know everything you do...

Dave

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David A. Mallett

Average system component age: 30 years.

Performance: 21rst Century

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The big day at last. Horns awaiting pickup at DFW airport. Dave awaiting friend with pickup truck. Listening room is all arranged, leads and corners bare. Fraziers are mounted in the rear above the doorways pointing directly at the sweet spot and hooked with Quadaptor. Even with the volume at the lowest they were a bit loud with the Rectilinears due to their efficency (96db). However, that will be no issue with the Klipsch. Still amazed at how great the old Fraziers sound compared to anything else in my collection, at least until today. Hopefully be able to post the listening results later in the day.

"Every time a bell rings a human gets his Klipschorns."

Dave

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David A. Mallett

Average system component age: 30 years.

Performance: 21rst Century

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