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  • Klipsch Employees

small bite. from the beginning product by product.  as i have told some close friends of mine, i had never heard of klipsch much less heard from klipsch.  i just a fresh engineer guy out of college, called by klipsch to interview.  i got to spend about 45 minutes with paul and in those 45 minutes, i came out of his office thoroughly convinced that the only way to design speakers was to use horns.  one of the first projects i worked with paul on was the midbass horn and woofer horn of the kp-600.  i know that some people ***** about the way i answer a question with a question (deano?) but that is how paul taught me.  it was quite cool and frustrating working with him.  but i am sure glad he pushed.  paul fingerprints are all over the 600.  the network that crosses over from the mids to highs was basically pauls idea.  at the time i came to work for klipsch, paul was constantly playing with networks.  he was really intrigued by steep slope networks.  m derived.  the manifold to put two 2" diap drivers together was totally designed by him.  i asked him if he would design and of course, he was holding class and i never realized it.  that manifold worked perfectly and provided addition up to the freq i asked.  it was in these details....this projects within projects......macro details today..........and nuances tomorrow....these nuances that paul would later remind ,me that i just needed, to concentrate on the 20%......

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...these nuances that Paul would later remind me that i just needed to concentrate on the 20%

 

You've said this many times, on the forum and in person.  Perhaps a brief class on some of 50,000 ft views of that 20% might help to increase the class size a bit.

 

When I go over to places like diyAudio, I see everyone doing everything imaginable, well over 90% of which is poorly thought out that is based on the 80% that everyone seems to think is important, but really isn't, and completely discounting the 20% that does matter.  

 

When I mention this on a forum, I get extremely nasty and cliquish responses instead of dialogues on why I said what I said, almost as if I was revealing unmentionable family secrets that elicits a  particularly nasty or vengeful response instead of a rational one. 

 

What's become clear to me is that these people really, really don't know what is important and what isn't.  Their requirements are really screwed up, they really never get it right, and they keep drifting in their audio journeys, never becoming satisfied with their purchases and projects, but nevertheless believing that the next project or purchase will give them satisfaction - without stopping to think about their firmly held beliefs about loudspeakers and audio.  I liken this to not being brought up in a community or faith where you're exposed to certain truths and insights while you're still young and forming your opinions, whereby you can accept the culture and the overall message that makes the really deep insights possible and ultimately successful. 

 

It's the things that are thought to be right requirements but that aren't, that are the source of all the trouble. 

 

Perhaps small doses of classes in the form of short articles (i.e., not on the forum but on the blog pages by Klipsch employees) that can be easily accessed by those visiting the Klipsch web site can find - like your mumps video, etc. is that way to communicate.  It might also help to avoid those behaving idiotically, believing that they know more than you on the subject of audio, i.e., extreme insulting behavior.  I see that kind of thing a lot, everywhere.

 

I know that I've learned a great deal from you and Paul (via you). I value that wisdom...that makes all the difference in the world.

 

Chris

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What's become clear to me is that these people really, really don't know what is important and what isn't.
 

 

Although their explanations are often quite lacking, I'm not sure we should be so dismissive of the "crazy audiophile" community. There are some very real things being pursued - it's the engineers job to sift through and identify where things can be objectively quantified, and then parse them through a system of compromises. Audiophiles aren't engineers - nor should they be. Bad explanations doesn't mean there isn't some meat to be explored.

 

The problem is that the audiophile circles and online forums necessitate taking stances of authority on subjects...often because so many people are dismissive of what people actually hear. I guess I've come full circle on this because I'll be the first to say that fancy power cords are unnecessary, and I'll even argue the technical merits that I'm familiar with, but the fact remains that proponents for fancy power cords do in fact hear a difference - and there's really nothing to be gained by trying to convince them that they don't. The human experience is so much more than being hit with exactly identical sound waves - that's why the exact same thing can sound different. It's actually why it often sounds different. A good businessman would be honing in on that all day long...

 

And I think that's why Paul was so successful....he operated on both sides of the coin and was really good at it.

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Although their explanations are often quite lacking, I'm not sure we should be so dismissive of the "crazy audiophile" community.

 

For some vague reason, that reminds me of an interesting but effective quirk of the engineer, audiophile, and businessman that in my experience never appeared to succumb to arguments of relevance (argumentum ad populum) for the sake of social acceptance:

 

Bullshit-Button-Lapel-1-Facebook-bw.jpg

 

;)

 

Where would we all be without his still relevant contributions?  I think a lot less further along than we are today.  That's something to aspire to: no BS in audio. 

 

RIP Paul, you're still remembered fondly.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris A
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  • Klipsch Employees

 

...these nuances that Paul would later remind me that i just needed to concentrate on the 20%

 

You've said this many times, on the forum and in person.  Perhaps a brief class on some of 50,000 ft views of that 20% might help to increase the class size a bit.

 

When I go over to places like diyAudio, I see everyone doing everything imaginable, well over 90% of which is poorly thought out that is based on the 80% that everyone seems to think is important, but really isn't, and completely discounting the 20% that does matter.  

 

When I mention this on a forum, I get extremely nasty and cliquish responses instead of dialogues on why I said what I said, almost as if I was revealing unmentionable family secrets that elicits a  particularly nasty or vengeful response instead of a rational one. 

 

What's become clear to me is that these people really, really don't know what is important and what isn't.  Their requirements are really screwed up, they really never get it right, and they keep drifting in their audio journeys, never becoming satisfied with their purchases and projects, but nevertheless believing that the next project or purchase will give them satisfaction - without stopping to think about their firmly held beliefs about loudspeakers and audio.  I liken this to not being brought up in a community or faith where you're exposed to certain truths and insights while you're still young and forming your opinions, whereby you can accept the culture and the overall message that makes the really deep insights possible and ultimately successful. 

 

It's the things that are thought to be right requirements but that aren't, that are the source of all the trouble. 

 

Perhaps small doses of classes in the form of short articles (i.e., not on the forum but on the blog pages by Klipsch employees) that can be easily accessed by those visiting the Klipsch web site can find - like your mumps video, etc. is that way to communicate.  It might also help to avoid those behaving idiotically, believing that they know more than you on the subject of audio, i.e., extreme insulting behavior.  I see that kind of thing a lot, everywhere.

 

I know that I've learned a great deal from you and Paul (via you). I value that wisdom...that makes all the difference in the world.

 

Chris

 

i totally get your frustration Chris but i wanted to keep it on topic.  and the topic that i want to address that stemmed from the other thread, people really dont know just how much paul was involved in the speaker designs after he let go of the "reins", so to speak.  besides, it baffled me too when paul would talk about the 20% (i had no idea what he was talking about) and i probably assume that his 20% isnt another company design philosophy's 0%.  and idiots will be idiots or in my case, boneheads.  i am not saying that what you have mentioned is a bad idea.  what i am saying that maybe its doable after this.  and i will say...some of that i just cant talk about.  ok with you?

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  • Klipsch Employees

 

What's become clear to me is that these people really, really don't know what is important and what isn't.
 

 

Although their explanations are often quite lacking, I'm not sure we should be so dismissive of the "crazy audiophile" community. There are some very real things being pursued - it's the engineers job to sift through and identify where things can be objectively quantified, and then parse them through a system of compromises. Audiophiles aren't engineers - nor should they be. Bad explanations doesn't mean there isn't some meat to be explored.

 

The problem is that the audiophile circles and online forums necessitate taking stances of authority on subjects...often because so many people are dismissive of what people actually hear. I guess I've come full circle on this because I'll be the first to say that fancy power cords are unnecessary, and I'll even argue the technical merits that I'm familiar with, but the fact remains that proponents for fancy power cords do in fact hear a difference - and there's really nothing to be gained by trying to convince them that they don't. The human experience is so much more than being hit with exactly identical sound waves - that's why the exact same thing can sound different. It's actually why it often sounds different. A good businessman would be honing in on that all day long...

 

And I think that's why Paul was so successful....he operated on both sides of the coin and was really good at it.

 

now doc...what coin are you talking about?  you think paul would sell expensive power cords?  or would he pull out the yellow button.....

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What's become clear to me is that these people really, really don't know what is important and what isn't.

 

 

Although their explanations are often quite lacking, I'm not sure we should be so dismissive of the "crazy audiophile" community. There are some very real things being pursued - it's the engineers job to sift through and identify where things can be objectively quantified, and then parse them through a system of compromises. Audiophiles aren't engineers - nor should they be. Bad explanations doesn't mean there isn't some meat to be explored.

 

The problem is that the audiophile circles and online forums necessitate taking stances of authority on subjects...often because so many people are dismissive of what people actually hear. I guess I've come full circle on this because I'll be the first to say that fancy power cords are unnecessary, and I'll even argue the technical merits that I'm familiar with, but the fact remains that proponents for fancy power cords do in fact hear a difference - and there's really nothing to be gained by trying to convince them that they don't. The human experience is so much more than being hit with exactly identical sound waves - that's why the exact same thing can sound different. It's actually why it often sounds different. A good businessman would be honing in on that all day long...

 

And I think that's why Paul was so successful....he operated on both sides of the coin and was really good at it.

Michael,

Your post got me to thinking! I do not hear a difference with fancy electrical cords and my limited back ground in Electrical Engineering points to that there probably couldn't be. In a similar fashion, in the past, I have argued with my good friend Scrappy Doo that the Paladium Top of the line PF-39 sounds like crap to me and a lot of others in the direct comparison that a lot of us experienced at hope. Your explanation of the Human experience component got me to thinking. I have touted my high IQ in the past, yet my son is 13 with Autism, MRDD, and is mentally 2.5 years old. How could he ever see the world as I do and yet, he is full of love and except for the fact that he will be dependent on me for the rest of his life and probably have to be institutionalized after I am dead, I still feel like he is lucky in a way not to understand all the things in my fellow human beings that piss me off! That was rather rambling, but I also thought of another time that I was listening to the radio and a woman was talking about her husbands olfactory sense of smell, stating he could physically smell when a woman was having a yeast infection and had proved it in an elevator when he whispered to her that a woman on that elevator was presently infected. The wife questioned the stranger who actually admitted to having said yeast infection. Not an ability that I would find appealing, yet think about it? Some dogs have one million times the ability to scent things that we humans can! I remember a case where a young girl was abducted by a van, raped, murdered and buried in a wooded area some 15 miles away and hours later, a blood hound was able to track the little girls scent to where she was buried by following her scent and officers stopping at every off ramp to see how the blood hound reacted to know when the van had pulled off. Think about that! one million times the scent capabilities! Most Dogs can probably taste food better with their noses than we can with our taste buds, it is no wonder that they tear into food items they like when we aren't watching. So if a dog can have one million times the smell of humans, what is to say there is not a guy out there that can smell a woman's yeast infection, and what is to say that there isn't a guy or two out there that can actually hear a difference in power cords and that it isn't just all in his mind? I do know at least for myself that it is a waste of money for me?

Hmmmmm.... Maybe I owe Scrappy an apology?

Roger

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what i am saying that maybe its doable after this. and i will say...some of that i just cant talk about. ok with you?

 

As is always the case when I make suggestions in your case: just throwing out ideas.  Clearly, what you can't talk about--you can't talk about.   I've already heard some of that stuff at the 50,000 feet view--that's been a big help.  My own recent past has had a whole lot of not being able to say anything to folks outside the org...approximately 40 years of it.  I'm enjoying not worry about that now. :)

 

Chris

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What's become clear to me is that these people really, really don't know what is important and what isn't.
 

 

Although their explanations are often quite lacking, I'm not sure we should be so dismissive of the "crazy audiophile" community. There are some very real things being pursued - it's the engineers job to sift through and identify where things can be objectively quantified, and then parse them through a system of compromises. Audiophiles aren't engineers - nor should they be. Bad explanations doesn't mean there isn't some meat to be explored.

 

The problem is that the audiophile circles and online forums necessitate taking stances of authority on subjects...often because so many people are dismissive of what people actually hear. I guess I've come full circle on this because I'll be the first to say that fancy power cords are unnecessary, and I'll even argue the technical merits that I'm familiar with, but the fact remains that proponents for fancy power cords do in fact hear a difference - and there's really nothing to be gained by trying to convince them that they don't. The human experience is so much more than being hit with exactly identical sound waves - that's why the exact same thing can sound different. It's actually why it often sounds different. A good businessman would be honing in on that all day long...

 

And I think that's why Paul was so successful....he operated on both sides of the coin and was really good at it.

 

now doc...what coin are you talking about?  you think paul would sell expensive power cords?  or would he pull out the yellow button.....

 

 

Did PWK ever shy away from understanding some audible artifact that he heard? I never met the man, but based on his writings he seemed pretty intense about the audible experience....no?

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what is to say that there isn't a guy or two out there that can actually hear a difference in power cords and that it isn't just all in his mind?
 

 

I have to be careful about what I share too, but let me just say that I have experience with systems where changing the cable, absolutely made an audible difference. It was so dramatic we didn't even bother conducting blind listening comparisons. It showed up on the measurements, and then it went away in the measurements when we remedied the issue. We did the listening tests after we thought we solved the problem just to make sure we were measuring the right variables. Actually now that I think about it, there have been several instances where this has been the case. Cables are a complicated subject.

 

The difference between the audiophile and the engineer is that the engineer stops to understand the fundamental mechanism at play. The audiophile with no technical background has a real experience that causes them to believe that the cord always matters. Why fault them for this view? Sure, it's a cognitive bias issue because it won't always be true....but then it's really no different than the cognitive biases employed by the know-it-all's that take pleasure in telling people how stupid they are because it doesn't fit into their limited understanding of how the world works.

 

There's a running joke about how us engineers gotta behave when we go visit customers in the field because we hear all sorts of stuff that makes us cringe. However, I have found that 99% of the time the whack job audio professionals actually have a ton of merit behind what they're hearing. Sure, they may not have a proper understanding of what's happening - but that's the problem with words. Do words ever accurately describe anything? These guys make their living with their ears and they're doing their best to describe what their ears are telling them. That doesn't make them idiots - quite the contrary actually - these guys are describing things that they don't have a predefined category and language to describe. I personally think that gives them a lot more credibility. We engineers just have to ignore the literal words they're using to describe the scenario.

 

Now that I think about it, PWK was probably too quick to flash his BS Button. I know very intelligent people that have been on the receiving end of his button, and I think PWK was in the wrong sometimes. Maybe PWK was trying to emphasize the things that he felt mattered more? That delves into the complexity of choosing compromises, which is going to be at the heart of every good engineer. PWK certainly wasn't reserved about his strongly held convictions, haha.

 

What I'm getting at is that there is going to be some truth in some specific scenario where each of the classical audiophile insanity actually makes a difference. The myths started somewhere with a little grain of truth. We can be close-minded and ignore that reality, or we can be open-minded and take advantage of that further understanding. As far as power cords go, I can tell you as an engineer that it's relatively straightforward to mitigate the issues posed by a power cable, but a lot of it depends on the specifics of the circuitry and surrounding environment. Sometimes the cable actually ends up being the limiting factor on performance....

 

My audio path has simply found me being too critical of some of this audiophile whackiness and so now I'm just sharing some of that experience and giving it a little bit more technical merit than it normally receives. Hopefully the cable pushers don't see this as a way to promote their product because the marketing BS surrounding all of that is super predatory and totally ignores the real mechanisms at play. This is why several of the "fancy cables" actually make things worse... oops?

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  • Klipsch Employees

Ok doc you are about to piss me off. In one breath you say you never met the man and then proceed to tell me that he flashed his bs button to soon. Pwk was my life and acoustic mentor. So be careful, bonehead. You are right. You don't know him. He was in his late 70's when I came to work for klipsch and he told me that he was STILL learning about horns. Of course if he heard it or if anyone heard it he would investigate. But when he flashed bs then it was bs. You are beginning to sound like some of the so called "experts" on this forum. And if paul in his late 70's was still learning where does that put you and me? As for me, an infantile novice.

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  • Klipsch Employees

Now back to our regular programming....cd horns were very popular at the time. We were looking at some cinema opportunities. My little acoustic brother mr Kerry Geist was looking into it. We got some of the popular horns at the time. And because of the constant polar response we got similar horns. Good polars. Poor acoustic impedance. Poor freq response. So what to do. I talked to paul and he of course reminded of his design goals. And he refused to tell me what he would do. He did give me some references to read. But he told me that he would not give me too many. He wanted a different conclusion. And as such said that reading too much would cause me to come to the same conclusion they did. Then one day dr Bruce Edgar came to visit paul. Paul called me into his office and dr Edgar asked me what I was up to. I told him that I was looking as some sort of combination of equations to try to ease some of the cons of dc horns. And dr Edgar said I have an article I want you to read.......and an avalanche started.

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Roy,

I really like how humble you are at your own capabilities and knowledge and I appreciate your personal insights on your mentor and friend that so many of us are intrigued with but never made the effort to experience. Myself for one was interested in meeting Paul, but not knowing how he was never made an attempt to contact as what could I personally offer that would have been of interest to him? Learning about how you handle yourself traveling through this brief life and learning of your approach to it makes me truly humbled yet jealous of what you shared with Paul :)

Good night my friend.... Rog

Edited by twistedcrankcammer
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And he refused to tell me what he would do. He did give me some references to read. But he told me that he would not give me too many. He wanted a different conclusion. And as such said that reading too much would cause me to come to the same conclusion they did.

 

I've had one boss/mentor that did that same thing when I was early in my career, and I thought he was being a bit pedantic.  However, it drove me to start finding better answers through first understanding what the real needs were and why the current solutions worked as they did...a major turning point.

 

Chris

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Thanks for sharing this, Roy, and please continue!!!  The most important things we will read on this forum will be written by your hand.

 

I had the rare privilege of meeting with Paul on several occasions both at our dealership and with customers at the factory.  I was always in awe . . . .

Edited by bhendrix
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In one breath you say you never met the man and then proceed to tell me that he flashed his bs button to soon.

 

 

...And if paul in his late 70's was still learning where does that put you and me? As for me, an infantile novice.

 

Keep in mind that second breath was referencing first-hand stories shared by others that were on the receiving end of that bs button... I can see now that I wrote that poorly and conveyed something other than intended, so I guess all I can do is apologize for derailing a thread. It's not worth trying to explain what I was driving at, but it was based on comments PWK made in the Dope From Hope and firsthand experiences shared to me over a glass of beer. Nobody likes airing dirty laundry so I'll just keep my mouth shut. It's more fun to learn about the cool things he did anyway.

 

 

As to your last thought, it may take a lifetime to forge a path, but I certainly hope it wouldn't take a lifetime to walk down it after it's been forged. If that were the case, then there would never be any advancements in technology - we would be too busy relearning everything. So if you're an infantile novice, then does that put me at the embryo stage? Something is broke if I'm coming off like an expert. What's wrong with sharing some personal experiences that challenge the status quo? That's the stuff I personally really enjoy learning more about...

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