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mea2112

Did Klipsch Make The Older Style Metal Badges?

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Or, were they made by another company?

 

Assuming the laser badges (on the Heresy) were only used from 1976-1978, is it possible any of the Heresy's from those three years had other metal badges put on them for any reason?

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Laser badges?  What are you calling the "laser badges"?  It wasn't until January 1977 PRODUCTION dates that the pie-slice "PWK" logo was TOTALLY discontinued...by direct order from the honchos, even though there were more pie-slice logos remaining!  Although a number of those shipped in 1977 still had the old logo on them, because they were made earlier.  And it is HIGHLY possible that you will find many Heresys and other Klipsch speakers with the earlier pie-slice logo on them, simply because people liked it better, especially the employees...so many employees who bought speakers had somehow "acquired" a handful of those logos as soon as they saw the new logo come out...and many employees bought a new pair of speakers EVERY YEAR they worked there, then sold them after keeping them for a year, at a profit (since we only paid 40% of MSRP for the employee discount)., in order to finance an upgrade to different Klipsch speakers or for whatever reason.  Here is the way MANY employees who worked there for a number of years did things:  Buy a pair of decorator or walnut heresys, sell them the next year and take that money and buy Cornwalls, sell those the next year and buy LaScalas, sell THOSE the next year and buy either Belles or K-horns.  That way you ended up with K-horns with just the initial investment out-of-pocket of 40% MSRP for a pair of Heresys!  If employees were there LONG enough, after getting the K-horns, then they would start furnishing other rooms in their house with Klipsch speakers, annually...using the same routine to upgrade to what they wanted in those rooms...OR give them as presents to family members for graduation, etc...OR they would just buy a pair to sell the next year at a profit!  And if you had enough pie-slice logos in your "stash", then everything you bought had them on it!  Pie-slice logos were not metal, though...they were plastic.  It wasn't until they came back out with the PWK signature series that they became metal.

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Ok, I remember those, which were rapidly replaced by the same basic thing but with the PWK logo in the square at one end.  They were NOT popular...especially among the plant employees, who felt it was a statement being made at the time which excluded PWK, himself.  I won't go into ALL the details, but PWK owned the TM for HIS logo, but, at the time these particular logos came out, he no longer had control of the company, itself.  Many plant employees felt it was a slap in PWK's face...and I will leave it at that!  BUT, it all had to do with TM rights/ownership...and...The fact that the dealers and customers ALSO wanted to see the PWK logo on the speakers eventually led to the badge which immediately followed the "laser" badge.  And, since turnabout is fair play, PWK got paid for the use of the PWK logo included on the replacement rectangular badge, since he owned the TM for it. Corporate politics can lead to strange things.  That is just ONE of the reasons why MOST of the employees liked the pie-slice logo better...simply because we liked PWK better!

 

To answer your original question, Klipsch did NOT actually MAKE the badges, they out-sourced them....just like most companies do, since it is cheaper in the long run to do so.  They likely submitted a design or a sketch, then approved what was sent back or requested changes UNTIL it was approved, then the company they out-sourced to made as many as were ordered, and shipped them to the company.

 

As an aside...to this question of yours...I will throw this into the mix:  I was working at Klipsch from 1976 to 1983.  During that entire time, the crossover network PRODUCTION, was done as a "cottage industry" outside the plant.  MOST of the networks made (if not ALL of them) were made by employees and/or their families as an additional means of income.  They got the parts at the plant and took them home and assembled them, then returned them to the plant for testing...prior to installation in the speakers.  SOME employees just made some of the parts for the network boards and driver installation, such as the wiring...they got spools of wire, cut the wire to length and crimped/soldered the connectors to the wires, and brought them back to the plant.  This was also a "cottage industry" situation.  The pay for this was "piecemeal", IOW they were paid for each item completed (and if something tested bad they had to correct it before being paid for it).

 

The cottage industry work did not bring regular employee benefits, one of which was health and dental, which was always GREAT compared to what was generally available in the area. Lots of the employees actually started working at Klipsch due to the great benefits the entire area knew the company provided.  Wages were not high, but other things like the bonus plan and company benefits were there to make up for that.  So jobs at Klipsch were considered premium compared to almost anything else in the area.  When companies do this, they generally end up keeping GOOD employees, and when they need MORE employees, they have no trouble at all being able to pick and choose from all the people who show up to apply due the reputation they have in the way they treat employees.  PWK knew this and that is why he insisted on this the entire time he owned the company.

 

Some have said (to include PWK, himself) that he was not a businessman, but he really WAS a good one!  PWK would never admit it to others, and just would say that he was an engineer and others handled the business end of things, which was only PARTIALLY the truth!

 

 

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Great stuff. Thanks for all the information!

 

I recently bought a pair of nice 1976 Heresy's mainly because of the low price ($125) and I knew I could sell them for a nice profit. But, I've become really fascinated with the whole Klipsch story and the history behind Mr. Klipsch and the company and I will not be reselling these except to finance a pair of the next model in the Klipsch line.

 

My speakers definitely had one of the elongated badges (the grills have glue strips as long as the elongated badges) and probably the laser badge since they were built in 1976 but there's no doubt the later metal badge $T2eC16h,!zQFIb2lB7sgBSb16WLPv!~~60_57-1.jpg with PWK would be just as nice.

 

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We were originally told to exhaust the pie-slice logos BEFORE going to the so-called laser logos, then things changed and we were told to just use the new logos, and STOP using the pie-slice logos.  Before that some speakers got the pie slice (if that was what was in the final assembly person's bin), and those who were out of the pie slice had only the new logos.  I am sure this created confusion at the dealers, since they were getting speakers with non-matching logos in each shipment as their orders for the Christmas rush arrived at the END of 1976.  ONLY the fine-veneered speakers were made up as pairs!  Most of what we sold were decorator Heresys.  So about the time the questions started being asked by the dealers, the decision was made to COMPLETELY stop using the pie slice logos, except for special order requests (e.g....some people would have a single cornwall originally bought for a mono system or for a center channel, and later order another one for a stereo system pair).  Klipsch prided itself on its valued customers, so we tried to oblige their wants/needs...to the point of even keeping old router jigs around for discontinued Cornwall motorboard lay-outs, in order to make the special order match the already-owned original.

 

Keep in mind that the first time the rectangular logos were used was NOT in January of 76...it was closer to the END of 1976.  And the order to totally STOP the pie-slice logo use was as late as December of 1976, but the speakers built for the Christmas rush were MOSTLY built in the late summer through November of 1976.  The December-made speakers seldom made it to the dealers until the following year.  We mostly shipped truckloads for the "Christmas rush" time frame, and those truckloads had been speakers made, and boxed  up to three or so months earlier, unless they were a special order...which generally shipped out pretty quickly.

 

This is how things were every year...we started building like crazy all summer long...to have enough speakers ready for when the dealer orders came in...and it would get to a point where we just had to STOP building because there was no place to put the completed cabinets, awaiting sanding, and no place to put the completed speakers which had been boxed and were stacked all the way up to the roof over in shipping...waiting for trucks to move them out...so we could start building again.  Everything was backed up and no place to put anything else.  So, they would have us doing other things...and/or we would have a temporary "voluntary" lay-off so that everybody did NOT have to be laid off, until there was something we could do about building MORE speakers again.  We built LOTS of speakers while I was there, and that was during a time frame when other audio-related companies were going UNDER due to the economy at the time.  Klipsch was no exception, but the workers were EXTREMELY productive in those days!  It was nothing unexpected to do 10+ hours a day, M-F and at least a half a day on Saturday...often a whole day on Saturday!  It was feast or famine, MOSTLY depending on whether there was enough room to put anymore speakers someplace, while waiting for them to be picked up!  And when the trucks started rolling in, we were ALL rocking and rolling LOADING them...to get them THANGS outta the way so we could build some more!

 

 

 

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Great stuff again. Thanks again!

 

FWIW here are the tags (?) from the back of my Heresy's. 

I know they were built in 1976 but what day and/or month I don't know.

 

20161021_191620_resized_2.jpg20161021_191605_resized.jpg

 

 

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it is easier for shipping to see the same number to designate pairs...pair 49...to come through Gwin at final assembly....for that day.  Gwin has been hesitant to join the forum, but I am trying to talk her into it.  Same thing for Judy H.  Both of these folks COULD be at the next Klipsch gathering in Hope...since they aren't far away...trying to talk them into that, too!

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Thanks again. That would be pretty cool if you could convince those two to join the forum. 

I bet they would have some interesting stories to tell!

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For the record, the only logos I can confirm to be made in-house (and not necessarily exclusively) were the clear plastic Rebel plates.  It is possible that the clear plastic K-horn logo was also made in-house.  The last attachment is his homemade pantagraph for logo duplication.

Indy 028.jpg

DSC00039.JPG

DSC00037.JPG

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