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Shorthorn discovery in house remodel


MMcCabe
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I am working with a customer on a house remodel.  He mentioned there were some built in speakers but he figured they were pretty old and wouldn't be good any more.  Much to my surprise, they were Klipsch.  The wiring from the amp was so old it was literally falling apart.  The placement of these speakers wasn't the best.  About 8' in the air, completely opposite each other and firing directly at each other, room is half brick, half drywall with an opening towards the kitchen.  I told the homeowner I would like these speakers.  It was a battle to get them out of the attic.  Had to cut a stud and some drywall just to get them removed since obviously more than 14" wide. They had to be either assembled in place or put in after the wall were built because they were too big to come through the hole in the wall and to big to go through the floor joist.  So my research has indicated these are Shorthorns.  I have pics of the labels.  One is serial # 26 Finish is M2  Box.  The other is serial # 39 Finish RAW.  I connected them to an old Cybernet CA-700 Integrated Amp and they sound good (Doobies Brothers and Steely Dan via iPhone).  Including several pics.  Please provide some history on these.  Curious why 2 different finishes and spread in serial #s???  Any other comments or thoughts appreciated. Thanks

 

Edited by MMcCabe
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Nice find.  Better than finding a dead body, rodent or otherwise, in the wall.  Smile.

 

Here is link showing a Klipsch catalog. 

 

http://www.itishifi.com/2009/03/1957-klipsch-brochure-klipschorn.html

 

As you might know they were meant to go in a corner and the ducts in the back are extended by the geometry of the walls.  From the picture you posted it is not really clear whether the cavity in which they were placed honor that principle.  Maybe there is space at the sides.

 

Generally these were created as a lower cost and lower size alternative to the K-Horn.  I have an article someplace which I'll look for over the weekend.  Back then PWK defended the design against an allegation that they were horn loaded in name only.  Later he expressed some disappointment that the bass response was like the hump on a camel.  Eventually the Heresy took over the low cost price point.

 

There is probably a slot in the rear maybe one-inch wide which extends up and down the height of the cabinet.  This is similar to the slot (bass reflex port) on early Cornwalls.  Therefore, in my view, it is more like a Cornwall with a horn loaded port.

 

Someplace there is an explanation that the squat type, which you have, would work as a riser under a TV set (maybe a 15 inch b&w tube, then).  So  people say it was the first home theater speaker.  There is merit to this because the TV audio signal was quite good, exactly like FM radio, but TV's had speakers equivalent to a clock radio or kitchen table radio.

 

As far as finish and serial numbers:  The installation may have been from the dawn of stereo.  People would buy a mono system and then add a second speaker and amp, or a stereo amp.  Therefore a purchase of two speakers at first buying was not that common.

 

WMcD.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for your insight.  Yes they were custom installed with wood paneling that created an enclosure that directed the sound from the ducts of the speaker out into the room. From the attic you could not see the ducts, they were sealed off.  I should have taken better pictures of them installed before I tore it all apart.  This is the only one of have from the attic side and it shows the curved board forming the enclosure.

 

Shorthorn back.JPG

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Another question I had was why I are there different tweeters?  The dark brown speaker on the right has a university 4401.  This is labeled on the tweeter itself and also tagged on the label.  The Raw speaker also say 4401 on the label, but it's a brown, unlabeled tweeter with a fiberboard surround.

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From the pics, it appears they were installed with the woofer to the "up" side, which is correct for a high or ceiling installation.  When you don't have FLOORspace, like in the K-horns, you can mount them UPSIDE DOWN (bass bin to the top) in the ceiling corners where the corner extension of the bass bin can still work...this has been done very many times in nightclub installations so that the sound is there but the speakers can't be in the way or get drinks spilled onto them...etc.  This allows the three planes of the CEILING corner to act in the same manner as the three planes of the floor corner do to extend the bass horn lens.  It is also recommended for non-horn-loaded bass extension...get the woofer and ports (if there are any) as close to the junction of those three planes in the corner of the ceiling.  In this case, a "false corner" was more-or-less incorporated into the installation and hidden by (I would assume) some kind of grille, since they were not exactly high on the WAF scale in appearance.  Whoever did this knew what they were doing and were following good principles as they understood them.

 

When stereo first came out into general use, it was still unclear exactly how to utilize it.  For example, some people used a speaker for the front and another for the rear...but it eventually settled into left and right.  For example, my 1960 Studebaker Lark VIII had a great tube STEREO AM/FM radio in it, but the speakers were not mounted to either side, but, instead one channel was in the rear and one in the front...rear deck and dashboard.  And it was ALL ORIGINAL equipment.  LOL!  It wasn't until a few years later that cars were being made with stereo speakers to the left and right.

 

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I haven't seen a Shorthorn in the 2.5 years I've been posting here.  I like to track various Klipsch prices but I don't have a clue here.  I don't know their desirability but they are most certainly rare.

 

Can anybody suggest where these fit into the lineup, price wise?  Above La Scala?  Below Belle? 

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Thanks for all the replies and welcoming comments.  This is a bit off topic, but how do I post a picture to my profile?  Seems like should be simple but haven't figured it out yet.  Then at the bottom everyone seems to post their Klipsch collection.  Not sure how to do that either.  If anyone is interested, my introduction to Klipsch was 1989.  I was still in high school and an older friend who had gone off to college but an old pair of Cornwalls.  I remember specifically listening to Doobie Brothers.  I'd never heard smooth bass like that.  My first set of Klipsch wasn't until about 3 years later when I bought a pair of KG4s at a pawn shop while I was in college.  Wished I'd never sold them. My first 5.1 surround systems didn't happen until after college and gainfully employed.  It consisted of 4.2 mains, 2.2 center and 1.2 surrounds.  I built a custom sub using 2 12" JLAudio car subs powered by Adcom 555II amp with an Audio Control Phase Coupled Activator.  I now have 2 Klipsch Home Theater systems.  Main dedicated sound isolated room with the Ultra2 THX system. 3 650s Mains, 4 525s surrounds, and 2 Dual 120 subs.  With that system I've heard sounds on albums I've never heard before.  Also have a 5.1 Klipsch inwall/in ceiling surround system.  So that's my Klipsch story and timeline. 

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