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Peter P.

What's Up With the KG SW?

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I know this is an old thread.  As luck would have it, I recently acquired a mint (and I mean truly mint as it has been professionally re-veneered in blonde oak) KG SW.  It is indeed passive and extremely musical when used with my (matching re-veneered) Heresy's.   This is more of a musical sub vs. a home theater type sub.  No bloom or bloat with this.  These seem to be relatively hard to come across.  Klipsch must have not made many.    That being said, I am changing my room to a HT setup so I will probably put it back into the closet or list it on ebay eventually.  

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3 hours ago, texas42 said:

I know this is an old thread.  As luck would have it, I recently acquired a mint (and I mean truly mint as it has been professionally re-veneered in blonde oak) KG SW.  It is indeed passive and extremely musical when used with my (matching re-veneered) Heresy's.   This is more of a musical sub vs. a home theater type sub.  No bloom or bloat with this.  These seem to be relatively hard to come across.  Klipsch must have not made many.    That being said, I am changing my room to a HT setup so I will probably put it back into the closet or list it on ebay eventually.  

You lucky bastid!

 

You described it perfectly; its sound is more suited for music. I love mine, coupled to a pair of Heresy II's. And yes; they're hard to find.  I've been searching for a second kg sw for 2 years to pair with kg 2.2's, without luck.

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12 minutes ago, Peter P. said:

You lucky bastid!

 

You described it perfectly; its sound is more suited for music. I love mine, coupled to a pair of Heresy II's. And yes; they're hard to find.  I've been searching for a second kg sw for 2 years to pair with kg 2.2's, without luck.

 

Have you seen this mintish looking one?

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25 minutes ago, billybob said:

 

Have you seen this mintish looking one?

Yeah; I did contact him when I saw the initial ad and unfortunately he's not interested in shipping. But thanks for looking out for me!

 

Interesting note: The model he has for sale does not appera to have a high/low output (+/- 3dB) switch, as mine does. Those binding posts are different than mine, too. Wonder why/when the changes?

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My search for a second kg sw subwoofer continues! I bought the first one on eBay in July of 2017 for $99 + $60 shipping = $160. I think I was the only bidder then. I had a benchmark now for pricing a second one.

 

I'd been watching eBay and craigslist religiously for almost an entire year, and losing patience. I was so tempted to just buy a powered sub and be done with it. But my patience paid off.

 

Another one came up on eBay last week. "I got this!", I said to myself; "no one wants these things."

 

Since I slept through math class, I over-bid what I intended to, and put forth $150 bid which in my mind included the shipping, but those weren't the bid rules.

Add the  actual $30 shipping and I'm at $180. Not too bad of a brain fart but at least I know it'll be mine soon.

 

Wrong!

 

Seems the bidders came out of the woodwork. It sold for $174.

 

Let's hope I don't have to wait another year for the next one.

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I have a KG SW WAL OIL and need to know the power requirements , thanks, it looks just like the one from BRANDON78 in the thread

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56 minutes ago, SPINDR said:

I have a KG SW WAL OIL and need to know the power requirements , thanks, it looks just like the one from BRANDON78 in the thread

Not real certain but, look at the 1st page here, or do a search of the subwoofer forum or even full forum. More than 1 topic thread here.

May even be a spec thread about. Welcome to the forum...

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Power Handling: 100W

 

If yours has the high/low sensitivity switch: 91dB/W/m in the low output, 8 ohm position, 94dB/W/m in the high output, 4 ohm position.

 

There is no minimum power requirement.

 

Frequency response, 38-150Hz. High pass and low pass filtering built in.

 

 

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Well, again old thread, but it's about an old product with pretty limited interest so...

 

I've been hit with kind of a speaker restoration bug as of late, as I've been building out a 5.1 surround system, and looking to make it a 7.1 using matched vintage speakers, not Klipsch but that's irrelevant. I do have an old KG SW and I don't know if it's universally true, but my black finish one, that has been man handled by movers coast to coast over the years was getting a bit scuffed up. So while In the middle of stripping polyurethane off of my originally oil rubbed walnut speaker pair I bought recently off of eBay, I decided to look at the old KG SW while the stripper was doing it's thing. Frankly I never knew they came any other way than black until I read this thread and always kind of just assumed it was made out of some hardwood plywood, which I always just figured was probably birch, or maybe paint grade oak. But thought, hey maybe I'll sand down the battle scares as they are not that bad really, just rather obvious on the thin black finish. They're scuffs not deep scratches, anyway so started on a short end and did some sanding there, light with a vibrating sander and under the black was a beautiful walnut veneer. I've also done the top now and as far as I can tell so far it doesn't appear to be one with some obvious flaws that got sent to get a coat of black spray to cover the sins of a veneering reject, but a perfectly respectable, pretty thick, walnut cabinet that just happened to get painted black, it even has pretty good matching on the top edge banding. Definitely a "well what do you know" moment when I uncovered that and gave it a quick rub of Wax'n'Feed and that old walnut that's been hiding there in plain site for decades came to life. Changes my whole view of this from something I always viewed as some utilitarian piece to hide somewhere to something that should probably be seen.

 

This sub has never seen a whole lot of use because it never really added much to the speakers I've used it with which easily go down into the low 40 to high 30hz range and I've always had it setup as intended, looped through with my other speakers where it seemed mostly to just steal the low end from them and relocate it as well as comprise their efficiency some. I've had multiple sets of speakers driven together for pretty much forever, and the sub would throw the gain balance off. So in my head, to try and finally put it to use, I thought maybe I'd put a plate amp into it to drive it separately from any of the mains off the surround sub output, or maybe find a power amp to add to my system though in either scenario I'd really be rendering the internal crossover pointless as either way I'd be feeding it specific frequencies through an electronic crossover, meaning driving the drivers directly and not through the internal passive would probably make the whole setup simpler. Also makes me wonder, I ran the dimensions through WinISD (speaker design software) just to see if the cabinet itself could be re-drivered and retuned to drop its output another octave by extending the ports, looks like you could fairly easily do that as there are several drivers that'd be happy to live in the sealed chamber volume and there seems to be enough volume in the ported section to extend the ports enough to make it work, though I do know such things are often viewed as blasphemy.

 

But reality is that what I really need is a home theater LFE sub, and what I originally bought this to be way back when I purchased this together with my first Dolby Pro Logic receiver and (dating myself here) high end S-VHS deck, which must be 20-25 years ago now. It's never really done what it was supposed to do very well. Interestingly even those early Pro Logic receivers, and we're talking way before HDMI or any kind of digital interconnect really, still had the sub as a dot one, a preamp out, but at the time powered subs were not really a thing yet, they would be soon after but I guess the idea was to buy an amp specifically for the sub. Also almost universally the center and rear outputs were of significantly less wattage than the traditional right and left and had significantly less dynamic range. So these loop through passive subs filled the gap because left and right was where the bass was coming from, even in a Pro Logic 5.1 system, there was no bass in the center and rears, it was cut off whether you had a sub in your system or not.

 

Now that I know that the KG SW is something more presentable than a black plywood box, I'd really like to breath new life into it and turn it into what I'd always hoped it would have been, something that can produce somewhere from the mid 20Hz range through maybe 60-80Hz, not a huge expectation I don't think. It has the volume and construction to do that with a pair of higher excursion 8" drivers (Tang Band and Dayton come to mind), and cut off at the top and bottom of that range shouldn't make things need work too hard and also not a whole lot of range things need to be flat across or particularly critical frequencies for accuracy. I basically want it to do just a bit more than one octave or theres abouts, well maybe one and a half, but about one octave lower than it originally did but originally it did a range of closer to 3. A home theater LFE sub is really intended to be a rumble box, a Low Frequency Effects box, and given that all the other speakers I have are more than capable of producing a clean flat response down below 50Hz, there seems like a lot of wiggle room to me. That lowest rumble and punch is really the only thing lacking.

 

Anyway, maybe asking for thoughts about de-Klipsching a Klipsch on a Klipsch forum is not the best crowd to get such advise from, but it is somewhat of a white elephant of a product from a blip in time where something like it had a place, and no longer does really, or did it ever? ...other than as a mate to a very specific product, the lesser of the KG line which don't seem to be the most desirable of Klipsch vintage models as they are not exactly what you think of when you think of vintage Klipsch. And kind of it's claim to fame was that those lesser KGs could be bought shielded, a feature nothing needs any longer, shielding so it didn't mess up your CRT tube TV. Don't get me wrong my main speakers in my surround setup are from Ohm Acoustics, who also did similarly (marginally) capable subs back then to compliment their (again for them) small shielded satellite speaker offering, and I would love to get a hold of one, but they are rarer than the KG SW and this maybe rare but I do have one, I don't think either are particularly valuable though. To be fair, it's also a product that, no place visible on it, if placed as intended by the manufacture, identifies it as a Klipsch product externally. The KG SW only has 2 stickers on the bottom, and one of those is just a plain white label that could have been printed on shipping label stock on a laser printer indicating what the functions of the completely unmarked crossover panel are. Even the original drivers look pretty off the shelf (they are dual voice coil though which to be fair was pretty unusual at the time), there are no Klipsch dust cap markings, or anything other than some rubber stamps on the back of the magnet. It's really an incredibly generic product inside and out, nicely built, and as I found out hiding under the not particularly impressive blackout treatment, was also nicely finished, but still generic. It just seems like a good candidate for up-cycling to me, especially since I've toted it around the country for a couple of decades.

 

So is it blasphemous or intriguing to hack at and modernize one of these to meet the expectation of the modern world? Or, well maybe I should say a modern application complimenting vintage equipment in that application, as I don't think there are many modern subs out there that expected to crossover under 100Hz.

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Very well written. A good read.

 

If you're a tinkerer, there's nothing wrong with trying what you suggest.

 

But I don't think your plan will work out. The tuning of the path size and length, the dimensions of the ports, and volume of the cabinet will be limiting factors. Changing drivers isn't going to get you lower as you're limited to those 8" drivers.

 

I would just buy a powered sub. And yes; they do crossover under 100Hz if desired.

 

I own both a KG SW and a powered subwoofer.

 

P.S. Loved your description on your KG SW restoration. Some day I hope to do something similar to mine.

 

P.S.S. What; no photos of your KG SW?!

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19 hours ago, skorpioskorpio said:

Now that I know that the KG SW is something more presentable than a black plywood box, I'd really like to breath new life into it and turn it into what I'd always hoped it would have been, something that can produce somewhere from the mid 20Hz range through maybe 60-80Hz, not a huge expectation I don't think. It has the volume and construction to do that with a pair of higher excursion 8" drivers (Tang Band and Dayton come to mind), and cut off at the top and bottom of that range shouldn't make things need work too hard and also not a whole lot of range things need to be flat across or particularly critical frequencies for accuracy.

Larger more powerful drivers won't change the Fs of the box.

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Well interestingly, when I run the volumes of the box, as originally built, the ports are not optimal for the advertised specifications, not even close actually based on calculations fed into modern subwoofer design software (WinISD). While I do not have the specs of the original drivers there is no amount of magic that would make those 2 ports optimal for a dual 8" bandpass enclosure by any stretch, so I think the design is more the result of trial and error, or perhaps just a wild guess than any sort of calculated engineering. Those ports are pretty generic, off the shelf PA parts, available back then, from music suppliers catering to the live sound reinforcement industry. So I think too much credit is being given to what the KG SW is and isn't. Interestingly though the box, mathematically calculates better with lower resonant frequencies and higher Xmax than not, and I am fully aware that to tune it I would need to alter the length and probably diameter of the ports, but that is pretty easy to do. As far as volumes of the front and rear chambers, they are perfectly respectable volumes for a high 20Hz sub with modern high Xmax drivers. As always in something like this the devil is in the port tuning which is almost always compromised to some level in a bandpass enclosure. Point is the enclosure for the intended function is, well, maybe better than it might seem, and surprisingly maybe better suited to 25-50Hz than it is to the 38-160Hz it was originally designed to do. Could it, when actually done end up sounding like bouncing a rubber mallet on the box, yea maybe, but the expectations are not that great really or in a particularly critical frequency range, I mean 25-50Hz is more rumble and rattle range than anything else. In music this is the woosh of the base drum, not the crack of the hit, or maybe a better example is in a concert this would be the residual rumble of the PA, that vibratory echo of the hall, and this is what an LFE is really supposed to be doing, get up past 100-125Hz where is more typical for subs supporting modern satellite systems and you hear real determinable sounds, train engines, construction equipment, etc. but below 50Hz is just rumble, added presence of something else, aftermath of explosions, the post rattle of the drop of the 16 ton weight. Anyway, this is how the Tang Band W8-740P graphs out in that cabinet with the ports flared, slightly reduced in diameter and lengthened to almost the full length of the box with a low and high cut at 20 and 50Hz:

 

WinISD-Graph.jpg.5c7316a28252660fef86d384b57fa441.jpg

Front and rear chamber volumes are unaltered and even getting rid of the low cut which isn't inherent and would need to be forced with electronics beyond the low pass crossover of a surround receiver, the driver remains well within specs, with a cone excursion right around a 9mm peak at 20Hz (The driver is capable of 12mm) and shouldn't ever peak much beyond 60 watts at 110dB which is beyond anything I'd ever drive it to. Certainly the math seems to support it being feasible and even seems to indicate it being an improved use of the cabinet as built. I think worth a try, I figure worst case scenerio is it sounds like garbage and I build a new sub with the drivers. There is lots of passive radiator designs using those drivers that are very proven to work well, which interestingly use about the same volume as this box has, so even in failure the box might get reused, just with the drivers (and radiators) mounted on the outside instead of as a bandpass.

 

Here's what it looks like after I cleaned up the other sides (except the port side):Klipsch-wood-side.thumb.jpg.2de348ac8e51299bbfcab9452d9cc8a4.jpgKlipsch-port-side2.thumb.jpg.def9f69b322f2c67867eaa230fd71852.jpg

 

Definitely not in pristine condition, but not bad for something that, frankly I never thought to treat all that well because in black it wasn't much to look at.  It's moved from Chicago > Atlanta > DC > Boston > Los Angeles > Atlanta > Tampa > Los Angeles > Atlanta, so it's held up pretty well considering I don't think it was ever wrapped or protected in anyway for any of those moves. It's always pretty much just been treated as it's own crate.

Edited by skorpioskorpio
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I think you should go for it then.  Post the results when you're done.

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Wow; the finish on that sub looks good. I've really gotta see what I can do with my secondhand kg sw...

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12 hours ago, CECAA850 said:

I think you should go for it then.  Post the results when you're done.

Yea, I did run the numbers through WinISD on other configurations of that boxes dimensions and looks like it would work best as a a re-tuned bandpass with a ported configuration coming in 2nd, with almost the exact opposite output curve, though a few dB higher and a little better efficiency. As a passive radiator configuration it seems to die out about where the box does originally in the high 30s and low 40s and even adjusting the box volume significantly up or down, or increasing the passives surface area and Xmax doesn't really get you out of that hole very much. You have to resort to heavily weighting the radiator to get out of it, and I'd have to seal off the ports which starts to muck with the one aspect of the box that makes it worth keeping, the veneer, though I guess I could make plugs from the parts I've have to route out for the drivers. As a big sealed 2 driver volume it doesn't do very well at all, even though those particular drivers are supposed to perform well in such a configuration, they can't hit anywhere even close to their resonant frequency and it starts trailing off pretty fast in the high 40s, which doesn't help me much at all. I mean it's kind of a pretty box now that I've uncovered it's walnut surprise, it's a good shape, for me anyway, as it'll fit under my sectional sofa's little chaise extension do hicky, being relatively short in height. Of course I'll never see it in it's walnut glory, but I'll know it's there, and I have been schlepping this box around the country for 20 some years, so there is that. Another thing that intrigues me about keeping it un-powered is that, given the location I plan to put it, it ends up being a pretty long cable run, about 60ft, as the short way around of about 10ft goes through a door way so to make the wires less intrusive I have to go the long way around. At some point I'll commit to running the wires through the walls and under the floor for all this, but I'm not there yet. Speaker wire loss is less than signal wire loss, and I'd rather just add a decent power amp next to the receiver than some generic plate amp in the box itself. Anyway, need to look for a power amp...

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13 hours ago, Peter P. said:

Wow; the finish on that sub looks good. I've really gotta see what I can do with my secondhand kg sw...

 

Right? who'd a thought? I would have been way more careful with it all these years had I known. While my other speakers have been carefully protected for every move, this poor old sub has been treated like the road case it looked like. Then an hour with a sander later, some slopped on oil and wax and it's suddenly a piece of furniture. 20 years of ugly and an hour and a half later and it's a whole other product. My guess would be, and this is just a guess, is that what's beneath the black on one of these could be walnut or could be oak as I can't imagine Klipsch specifically chose one over the other for the black ones, but you never know. Honestly, given one or the other I'm really surprised mine is walnut, the difference in cost of the 2 isn't insignificant, even 20 some years ago, oak ply cost 1/10th what walnut ply cost, even if both are just generic hardwood core, usually birch. Less of a difference in the cost of the veneer itself if just done in house, but still not insignificant. So much for the theory that companies will do anything just to save a few cents, huh? If you look at the long sides it's even book matched.

 

If you do do this, sand from the inside out, the edges are always more fragile and easier to sand through, and keep a vacuum handy and stop and vacuum off the black dust often or you won't know how far you've gotten. I did very light sanding with 80 grit until I just started to get through the color with the last inch and a half to 2 inches of the edges still pretty black, then 120 until the black was pretty much all gone, then 220 to even it out. I then switched to 320 to flatten out the grain and the sander I have I have steel wool pads for it so finished with that. It'll be pretty dry and dead at that point and then I used some Wax'N'Feed I bought long ago from Home Depot and it just all comes to life. This stuff is thick, probably about the consistency of shampoo but will soak in pretty quick and will dry to the touch in a couple hours. It'll also draw out the last of the black out of the grain. The wood will still take on oil afterwards so in that sense it's not quite like pastewax, it doesn't close it all up, so you can still treat it like an oil rubbed finish going forward.

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Thanks for the detailed refinish instructions! I'll definitely refer to this post when I get to work. While mine isn't black, it has some paint stains and many scratches, and I expect I'll be just as surprised at the results.

 

I was not able to remove one of the ports from the outside, and after removing the bottom screws I couldn't remove the bottom panel. Any secrets to removing the panel?

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On 9/28/2019 at 11:17 AM, Peter P. said:

I was not able to remove one of the ports from the outside, and after removing the bottom screws I couldn't remove the bottom panel. Any secrets to removing the panel?

I just picked up a kg sw. It did not come with the plastic ports. Can you tell me the dimensions of yours, particularly the length so I buy replacement parts? Thanks.

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On 9/27/2019 at 1:22 PM, skorpioskorpio said:

Here's what it looks like after I cleaned up the other sides (except the port side):Klipsch-wood-side.thumb.jpg.2de348ac8e51299bbfcab9452d9cc8a4.jpg

 

Looks GREAT! Always loved those SW boxes but have never been able to find one :)  Settled for one of those Chinese Klipsch subwoofers ... ugly :( 

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1 hour ago, Staples said:

I just picked up a kg sw. It did not come with the plastic ports. Can you tell me the dimensions of yours, particularly the length so I buy replacement parts? Thanks.

76mm (3.0") O.D.- this does not include the flange, just what fits in the opening.

181mm (5.0") length to the backside of the flange.

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