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should I buy la scala's


fatso
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Don't have enough time to do proper research. model # is 11R559.

From the limited research that's a 1977 model.

questions are crossover life, woofer surround life, horn life.

I will listen before buying and know that no one can answer theses questions for sure.

fair price if all is in order?

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First off, almost 40 years old - I would have the crossover redone. Best improvement right off the bat. The rest should be alright if taken care of.  Fair price depends on location but anywhere from $1500 to $2000. You didn't say condition of cabinet but should be nice condition for that range of prices. LaScala's are fabulous speakers when set up correctly!

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First, crossover life. Most of the crossover parts rarely need to be replaced. The parts that do need to be replaced every 15-20 years are the capacitors. They're not expensive, and you can just buy some new ones with the same values and solder them in. There's a forum member who sells kits comprised of new Sonicaps, small plastic saddles to mount them, and the necessary zip ties, for a fairly low price.

Woofer surround life: unlike most speakers, which have foam surrounds that dry out and fall apart after 10-15 years, the K-33 woofers in La Scalas have doped paper surrounds. The "dope" is a sticky substance that protects the paper from drying out. Those woofers normally never need their surrounds replaced. I have a pair of 1974 La Scalas that have the original woofers (as far as I know. I haven't opened up the doghouses (woofer compartments) to check.) and they sound fine.

This type of speaker is also used in many musical instrument amplifiers. They're built to last, and they really do last for generations.

Horn life: the early model La Scalas have cast aluminum mid/squawker horns. Their model number is K400. The later models have resin/plastic horns. Their model number is K401. Both types sound the same, and both types should last indefinitely.

The tweeter horns should also last indefinitely. The bass horn is part of the cabinet, so unless the cabinet is somehow damaged, the bass horn should last forever.

The tweeters themselves have the number K-77. They do not last forever. Stock replacements are available, and upgraded tweeters are also available. I replaced my old K-77s with Crites CT125 tweeters a few months after I bought the La Scalas back in 2006, and found they improved the clarity and extended the high frequency response, since the K-77s don't do much above 15 kilohertz or so.

So that's it. Check that the tweeters are working by stuffing a towel or something similar into the mid horns to muffle them so you can hear the tweeters clearly.

If the speakers sound fine, they are fine. If the capacitors in the crossovers are original, they should be replaced, but if the speakers sound fine, that can be done whenever it suits you. The same goes for the tweeters.

As for price, that will vary greatly, depending on condition and location. The prices would range from about $500 for a rough pair to maybe $1500 for a pair of really beautiful La Scalas of 1970s vintage.

You mentioned just one serial number. Are you looking at a single speaker, or is there a pair for sale?

Hope this is helpful.

There is a little bit more, now that I think about it. The cabinets are made of Baltic birch plywood. It's a good material, but it can be damaged by rough handling or submersion by flooding. Check the corners of the cabinets especially when you're looking for damage, and check the edges of the panels for any signs of delamination, particularly in the lower areas.

Any damage can be repaired, but in some cases it's not economical or good value to do so. Like any used item you may want to buy, it's usually much less expensive to pay a bit more for an item in top shape, rather than buying a fixer-upper that may need more time and money spent on it than it's worth.

Edited by Islander
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cabs look pretty good, corners are sharp no dents or dings. Tops look like they may have been used as coffee table, but not terrible,

Electronics look a little "old", I guess they are at 40 years (although I remain young at a slightly more advanced age). 

You guys have given me an ulcer cause I can't afford these things but have been dreaming of owning a pair of La Scala'S or Klipschorns for decades.....

 

When I asked about horns I guess I meant drivers not the horns, they are cast metal and should last for centuries. The mid's are K55V's and look ok from the back.

 

How easy is it to access the woofer and from where?

I will test before I buy and they are light birch and its a pair with sequential S/N's

 

@islander who sells the kits and how much?

 

 

The worries, the worries

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fatso, don't worry. It feel odd to address someone that way, but that's your forum name, so I shouldn't worry. Nobody should worry!

If they look and sound fine, and the price is right, buy them and enjoy them. As I mentioned in my previous post, if the speakers sound okay, you can do any repairs and upgrades when you feel like it and it suits your budget.

La Scala speakers are one of the few consumer items that can be seen as an investment. They depreciate very little (new 1974 La Scalas cost $1050 a pair in 1974), and you may wind up passing them on to your descendants. They are the ecological choice for many reasons: they're made of non-endangered wood, they last so long that the energy used to build them has long since been amortized, and they were built with very little waste, thanks to Paul Klipsch's excellent engineering for production.

The La Scalas have extremely high sensitivity relative to most consumer speakers. This helps them to reveal detail in recordings that less sensitive speakers miss. That high sensitivity also means that they use a small fraction of the electricity required by most speakers, so you'll be doing your part to reduce the nation's energy consumption. The cost of maintenance over the decades is also very low.

As for sequential serial numbers, it's not that important with La Scalas. Klipschorns were sold as pairs, so they were nearly always sequentially numbered in a pair, but with other Heritage models, you'd likely just get the two nearest the front, or on top of the stack.

It's typical to see everything in the top section covered with dust. Just get in there with the vacuum cleaner and gently clean up the area.

Here's where you can order the capacitor replacement kit. All you need is basic soldering skills to install the new caps. Bob has a 100% positive feedback rating because he's a good person to do business with.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rebuild-Kit-Klipsch-Type-AA-Crossover-Network-Sonicaps-/381243013179?hash=item58c3dab83b

As for woofer access, there was a change in the mid-'70s from the older "top-loader" type cabinet to the newer type, in which the woofer is accessed from the bottom of the cabinet. My La Scala Timeline bookmarks don't seem to be working, so you'll have to check and see which type you have.

If there are screws all the way around the lid of the cabinet, it will be a top-loader. You can remove the top panel and then have very easy access to the HF section, including the crossover, squawker and tweeter. You will see a raised panel on which the crossover is mounted. That panel is the access cover to the doghouse. You can undo the screws and remove the panel to inspect the woofer. However, the gasketing material will probably fall apart and need to be replaced, so if the woofers sound fine, you may not want to bother if you have not bought them yet. Before re-attaching the cover, you'll need to clean its surface and the surface it mounts to. Modern closed-cell neoprene weatherstrip makes an ideal new gasket material.

If the cabinet's top panel is not designed to be removed, lay the speaker gently on its side and see if the woofer access cover is on the bottom of the cabinet. If so, you can remove the cover and inspect the woofer. Once again, the ancient gasket material may be damaged in the process.

The woofer has 8 mounting holes, like most large woofers. However, Klipsch only uses 4 screws to secure the woofer. This seems to work fine.

Don't worry and feel free to ask more questions. Also, Welcome To The Forum!!!

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The worries, the worries

 

First of all, welcome. 

 

Second of all, get them.  They hold their value very well, and the sound is incredible.  Islander's post #4 (directly upstream ^^^) is a classic, and should be pinned to the opening page of the Two-Channel Forum.  It's great information in as concise a way as I've ever seen.

 

The only worry is if you have a room with corners.  They prefer a large room, but they shine when placed in corners.

Edited by wvu80
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Welcome to the forum...

Islander through out some great info for sure....

Lots of good peeps here and a lot of good info.....

My LaScala's were the 1st Klipsch I got some 24 years ago...I loved em when I first heard them and still love em today. I have no plans of ever selling them they are like part of the family.

That's my youngest daughter sitting in the bass bin of one of them. My wife and I would find her sitting in them when we played music. She's 22 now I don't think she will fit now...

Anyway to answer your question......GET EM.....

MKP :-)

Edited by MORE KLIPSCH PLEASE
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You guys have given me an ulcer cause I can't afford these things

If you can't afford them right now, why not wait for the right deal to come along.  I didn't ever think I would own LaScalas but the right deal came along and I bought a pair....then the right deal came along and I purchased a third one.  It's hard to be patient though.

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