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1956 Klipsch Shorthorn, VA.


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Thanks for the posting!

 

The Shorthorn is now loaded in my van. No photos yet but it's in very nice condition. Peeking through the back vent shows the 15-inch driver is an EV 15W, mid-range looks to be the University on an aluminum horn but can't see a label. Tweeter has a great looking PWK badge but is probably the University model. Can't remember the part number, but I saw it. Two labels are on the outside, indicating the final inspection on this one was done on 12/15/1959. I believe the label said this was the "WO" model. It looks to be walnut, so that's maybe what the designation indicates. This is a very interesting old piece. Not really made to be taken apart though! What I can see, the surround on the woofer appears to some sort of waxed cone material and looks to be in great shape. The whole thing looks like a time machine. There are two small tears in the grille cloth and half-inch piece of veneer missing on the front. The front badge is period-cool! Hope to have heard it and taken photos perhaps by Tuesday. Anyone familiar with these? I'm a JBL guy so on this I have no expertise. 

 

Edited to include photos of the actual item for sale:

 

Shorthorn%20right_zps6ft5fcvv.jpg

 

Shorthorn%20left_zpsd8qyqabq.jpg

 

Shorthorn%20badge_zps2s7zcfmb.jpg

 

Shorthorn%20EV%20woofer_zpsckig7vjs.jpg

 

Shorthorn%20baffle%20flash_zps2pdwpr8s.j

 

Shorthorn%20inspection_zpsf3vduife.jpg

 

Shorthorn%20label_zpstayw1dqa.jpg

 

Shorthorn%20top_zpskja8yilf.jpg

 

Shorthorn%20chip%20detail_zpssccit70p.jp

 

Thanks. 

Edited by 4345
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The original parts were:

Stephens Tru-Sonic Model 103LX
university 4401
university SA-HF

 

They changed the parts config around ~1959.

 

Attached is some info.  They came in factory made and kit form with 12" and 15" versions.

Mine is pictured and is the prima vera 15" version.

post-51180-0-99520000-1456644052_thumb.j

post-51180-0-76400000-1456644060_thumb.j

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Thanks for the info. I've established this one dates to 12/15/1959 and according to a PDF linked to this site, the correct 15-inch driver at that time was the EV 15-W, which this one has. I'll get some shots of the cabinet labels later today. 

 

According to the January 1958 price list the EV was the correct driver for the K-Ortho-15 drive system.

 

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If you ever want/need to open the cabinet, first remove the side grills (L brackets top and bottom). This will expose the screws that fasten the front panel.

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

Thanks for the welcome and the information.

Peeking inside the rear grilles it looks like the woofer is attached with bolts from the front and little square nuts on the back of the driver which don't appear to be captivated, so I'm assuming the entire front baffle plate must come off after removing the side grilles? I saw the L-brackets and figured they must have intended for them to be removable. I'll have a bit more time to investigate, and hear the speaker, in the next couple of days. 

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If you ever want/need to open the cabinet, first remove the side grills (L brackets top and bottom). This will expose the screws that fasten the front panel.

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

I'm assuming the entire front baffle plate must come off after removing the side grilles?

 

Yes. You may want to lay the speaker on it's face first, since the front baffle is pretty heavy with the horns, drivers and woofer attached.

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I've established this one dates to 12/15/1959 and according to a PDF linked to this site, the correct 15-inch driver at that time was the EV 15-W, which this one has. I'll get some shots of the cabinet labels later today.    According to the January 1958 price list the EV was the correct driver for the K-Ortho-15 drive system.

I'v always liked the looks of the Shorthorn, and nice, smooth linear sound including in the bass.  I've only heard the 12" version w/the EV 12B bass driver, but the 15WK is peerless in bass production and overall clarity IMO.  The mid horn is probably the K-1000, so the 1000Hz X-over point sends the bus driver output almost into the treble (1000 Hz is the almost the fundamental of the soprano's "high C."  The bass driver is thus critical for the midrange.

 

Most likely, it's actually the EV 15WK, not the 15W.  If you look real closely with a flashlight through the back slot, you should see the "K" stamped in the rear speaker label right after the printed 15W.  Apparently EV didn't print a separate labeling.

 

There was a thread not long ago saying how Klipsch replaced the surround of the 15WK with a different, orange-colored cone material for a lower freq response.,  So, yours probably has the orange surround.  I myself wouldn't take it apart to find out.

 

Too bad you can't find a companion Shorthorn for stereo, but it probably would need an identical bass driver to sound right.  If you're real lucky, a Shorthorn Model T w/a 15WK would really be the ticket IMO.

Edited by LarryC
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Glad to be of service 4345, nice to see this went to someone who would appreciate it.

Haven't found it a permanent home, yet. Have yet to have time to hear it myself. I did take it by a local Klipsch dealer to see if they had any interest in having it to enhance the PWK heritage at their shop by public display but the owners weren't there and the representative suspected they had little interest in vintage anything. Nice store though. If it were mine and I could have such a beautiful piece of furniture connected to the heritage of one of my product lines, I wouldn't think twice about it. I guess that's why I'm not in the audio biz! 

 

Looking forward to having more time to play with it later this week. 

Edited by 4345
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've edited my post above to include photos of the actual item.

 

This is the first chance I've had to actually get it inside and hooked up. There's a lot going on right now and no room to move! I took Mungkiman's suggestion and removed the grille, which actually is attached to the baffle with six screws only accessible after you remove the L-bracket screws and then lift-off the top along with the side grilles. I didn't feel it was necessary to remove the baffle as the iPhone flash shots clearly show the EV woofer (zoom in to see the EV logo on the dust-cap!) and two upper-frequency drivers. I've also read that there's a special adhesive that attaches the baffle to the cabinet and acts as a seal, so I didn't want to disturb it, ITIS.  I'll shoot through the back opening with a flashlight when I can get to it showing the plates on the drivers. 

 

I'm listening to it right now with one channel of a Stan Getz album (Moments in Time) playing from my iPod through a Crown D-45 amp. Volume controlled by the Crown input attenuators. I did set the iPod EQ to Loudness to get a good balance. The Shorthorn is very bright at low volume if not given some EQ right out of the iPod. Probably benefits greatly in the low-end when situated in a proper corner placement. Seems to be quite efficient, though, and all drivers are working rather sweetly. Horns on horns have always been a favorite of mine! 

 

Still looking for a good home for this one. I figured the local Klipsch dealer might showcase it in their showroom for the paltry sum it would cost them. I'll try to contact the principal there and make him an offer he shouldn't refuse. Right now I'm enjoying the thrilling return to yesteryear that this beautiful piece of audio history provides. 

Edited by 4345
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Took the best pictures I could through the back vent holding a flashlight in one hand and an iPhone in the other. You can clearly see the label on the EV woofer with the embossed "K" after the model. The tweeter shows the PWK label on a K-77 driver. I couldn't see any label on the mid-horn, and didn't take a shot of the crossover. The woofer magnet assembly is rather large! Not a lot of room in there for anything any larger. 

 

Shorthorn%20woofer%20rear_zpsrmqixgbc.jp

 

Shorthorn%20tweeter%20rear_zpsfcik1b2l.j

 

Now listening to Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio. My wife even asked me to leave it on for a while. She was mellowing out to the music. 

Edited by 4345
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