Jump to content
The Klipsch Audio Community
Sign in to follow this  
MI6

In The Early 70’s

Recommended Posts

I am 68 in human years, and reading all of the wonderful and enthusiastic reviews about  Klipsch speakers

makes me long for a pair of CW’s in my listening room. To get to my point, I believe there was a concerted 

effort by audio sales people in the 70’s to cup their hands around their mouths and decry the honking sound

that you get from horn speakers. This really sunk in. I was to avoid horns at all cost. And it did cost me through-

out my lifetime  that simple sales trick sent me on an odyssey to search for the holy grail of sound.  Just  asking 

now if anyone here in this forum were duped by the same sales trickery.? Appreciating any thoughts on this or 

anything else. Just a newbie looking for insight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a couple of different stereo shops in the Flint area, one being a Klipsch dealer. The other one wasn't, and if you mentioned Klipsch in that store, they would do the same cupped hand thing. Luckily I ignored them and bought Klipsch anyway.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes.  The year was 1979.  The place was Sheffield Audio in Houston.  The person doing the propaganda delivery was actually my best friend at the time--an EE who mentioned in passing that they were somehow "colored" in their delivery (they weren't--in fact it was the other loudspeakers that were).  That poor decision cost me almost 30 years of not owning Khorns. 

 

But it was my mistake for not trusting my ears, because they were playing in a well set up room with a Belle in the center doing center channel duty on some nice Phase Linear preamp/amplifiers, level matched with other loudspeakers in the room (the needle meters on the front of the amplifiers went from moving a lot when using other loudspeakers, to basically not moving at all at almost zero power when listening to the Khorns/Belle--about 83-87 dB average at the listening positions).  I was ready and I had the cash--just not the resolve.  I was also living in apartments at the time (Houston, Galveston, Alvin, etc.) so the Khorns would have been a handful and make it a bit more difficult to find an apartment to accommodate them.  But they would have been sublime.  Instead I went down the conventional route: AR90s (small) and Magnepan MG-IIIa's (not small). 

 

I guess it turned out well because I focused on my career and racing sailboats instead, then later marriage and kids.  When it turned to empty nesting I again was able to afford the time and monetary resources for Jubilees.  I've been enjoying them every day for the past 11+ years.  Best buying decision that I've ever made.

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

Chris

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am left wondering where that "coloring" from impediance matching ideology came from...

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This in fact still occurs. Our local independent electronic/home entertainment shop retails Klipsch, Paradigm, Monitor Audio, Definitive Technology and Sony ( as well as an assortment of lifestyle blue tooth products). Before purchasing my RB 61 IIs a number of years ago,they had a sales guy who more or less loathed the Klipsch sound and bent himself backwards trying to steer me to Paradigm (extremely good speakers to be true). The ol' cupped hand demo came up. 

This shop has always been stellar, a family owned business with the second generation gradually taking over. Their staff are paid very good salaries - not commission and are exceptional in product knowledge. The fellow I dealt with had a very short tenure at the shop.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Physically, I believe that the cupped hand thing came from horn loudspeakers that were poorly designed/implemented that were everywhere during that time--especially in school gymnasiums and football fields.  The poorly performing PA and other commercial sound horns typically had a terrible "sound around the corner of the horn's side walls" issue, a.k.a., the cupped hand thing. 

 

Marketing guys and salesmen at the hi-fi shops picked up on it in the 1960s-70s to pooh-pooh larger horn-loaded loudspeakers--particularly Klipschorns (which always stomped the "little speakers" that brought the very large price margins for hi-fi stores).  The salesmen knew what they wanted to sell you couldn't compete any other way--except "being smaller".  If you're going to lie--lie big and the customer will likely believe you more than not. 

 

Chris

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome.  Did you finally get horns, or are you looking for encouragement?

 

Fortunately, I was never duped by the cupped hands trick.  My first exposure to Klipsch were the McIntosh powered Klipschorns at Almas Hi-Fi Stereo in Birmingham, MI in the late 60s.  

 

As a new teacher, I had neither the resources nor the space for Klipschorns, so I bought Bose 901s.  Fortunately, entering law school forced me to sell the 901s for what they cost me.

 

I soon hatched the scheme to buy 4 Speakerlab SKhorns for a mobile DJ biz.  The SKhorns are long gone, but since then, I’ve owned every version of Klipsch Heritage.  Color me pleased.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chris A said:

I focused on my career and racing sailboats . . . 

 

What kind  Chris?  I started with the gateway drug, an Optimist Pram and progressed from there.  I regret not taking the time to teach my sons to sail.  I get nostalgic just hearing flagpole halyards clang against the pole.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the early 80s I experienced the same cupped hand demo in various audio shops.

I always thought they were talking bad about a product line wishing they were able to be a dealer for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank goodness I was spared. Shortly after purchasing some Mac gear and Bose 901s I went to a dance party(hey it was the 70s) and had my first encounter with LaScalas. No salesmen gimmicks at the party. After inquiring what the heck are those and where do you get them I shortly thereafter had my own pair. And still have them to this day. The 901s were sold pretty much for what I paid for them. Good riddance.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know E... I want those LS you have just sitting there :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DizRotus said:

What kind  Chris?  I started with the gateway drug, an Optimist Pram and progressed from there.  I regret not taking the time to teach my sons to sail.  I get nostalgic just hearing flagpole halyards clang against the pole.

In high school, I started on the family's Catalina 22.  In college, it was 420s and 470s intercollegiately:

orangebluematch.jpg

 

470s looked like this:

 

int470D.jpg

 

After graduation, I was into racing "hot rods"--NACRA 5.2 on Galveston bay (I took the pix):

 

1085325597_NACRA698ClearLake.thumb.jpg.6e149aa7044c7a1b9241eb1d3f08bcd2.jpg

 

and the original Windsurfer (Canyon Lake with a friend on my board when I took the pix):

 

1468822782_WayneonWSCanyonLake.thumb.jpg.0aded5eebaf08f2fee8ed87bca366bf6.jpg

 

and then NACRA 5.5 (18^2 meter)...that looked very similar to this:

 

85652-nacra18sq-jpg.JPG

 

All the while, I crewed steadily on a J24 that looked something like this (crew of 4-5):

JBoats_J_24.png

 

(...the future wife in wide angle on the J24...)

1843956829_SydWideAngle.jpg.e7b88b077941cfaf418c6723754385bf.jpg

 

...then crewed for a couple of years on a Tartan Ten that looked something like this (crew of 7-8):

main.jpg

 

Then I had kids...

 

Well, that was a fun exercise.  Thanks for helping to resurrect those memories.

 

Chris

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Chris A said:

In college, it was 420s and 470s intercollegiately:

 

Almost bought a 470,  liked that trapeze.  My pram didn't have one. :D  The photo is not my pram built by my late father circa 1957. 

 

FF2D9F0C-DB0E-4E12-AD89-D7031D7B434C.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played the trumpet ( a horn) as a teenager. I heard of this cupping idea.  I related the cupped hands trick to putting a mute in my trumpet.  The sound was the same.  Without the mute the horn opened up in all of its majesty, as do these horns.

Just remember to not cup your hands over your Cornwall’s horns and you’ll be fine.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ran into the cupped hand thing in several stores, none of which carried horn loaded loudspeakers.

I wondered how many of those guys had actually heard good, fully horn loaded loudspeakers.  I know a couple who admitted they hadn't.   One of these worked in a high end/"golden ear"/boutique store in another city and had been trained by the owner to do the cupped hand thing.  The only horn speakers he had heard were some truly horrible midrange/tweeters in a friend's parents' Magnavox.  To me, they seemed to pump a great amount of distortion through those (cheap ?) horns.  When he heard by the grapevine that I had purchased Klipschorns, he said, "Oh no" and opined that they were terrible speakers, without ever having heard them.  Finally, he drove for about 3/4 of an hour to hear a pair of Khorns.  He liked them.

 

The cupped hand bit didn't fool me, partly because I heard either Klipschorns or La Scalas (often both) at:

  1. ProAudio Electronics
  2. Berkeley Custom Electronics
  3. The Listening Post
  4. Christopher's Audio
  5. The Good Guys
  6. Poor Richard's
  7. Westportal Audio
  8. Sound Genesis
  9. An audio store in La Cumbra Plaza, while on vacation.
  10.  Federated

I had also heard fully and partly horned speakers by JBL, Altec, etc.

 

Nothing like hearing them.  The good ones have a certain something that convinces me the instruments are real. 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This unfortunate account can somewhat be laid at the doorstep of Klipsch. Klipsch has never done much in the way of marketing/promotion, etc. They did not educate the buying public allowing for salesmonkey charlatans to undermine their speakers and handed companies like Bose billion dollar markets. To this day I doubt if many movie theater attendees know that they’re hearing Klipsch products. If ever a company survived based upon consistent performance of a product line it is Klipsch. Still, imagine going to any bank with a business plan for commercial sound products and having zero marketing schemes in play. 

 

Never experienced the ‘cupped hand’ horn spiel. My parents owned custom made jbl speakers driven by Fisher tubes. That was my listening baseline that was not surpassed until the early 70’s.  At a Federated store I was introduced to Klipsch. They carried the full Klipsch line and the khorns stood head and shoulders above everything else..... and still do as far as I am concerned. Was not able to buy khorns for 20 more years. On my 3rd set now.🥳

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Chris A said:

Yes.  The year was 1979.  The place was Sheffield Audio in Houston.  The person doing the propaganda delivery was actually my best friend at the time--an EE who mentioned in passing that they were somehow "colored" in their delivery (they weren't--in fact it was the other loudspeakers that were).  That poor decision cost me almost 30 years of not owning Khorns. 

 

Chris

Chris, our paths cross again. In was 1968 in Beaumont at Brock Audio that I chose Bozak B-400OA speakers over Klipschhorns for my first major audio system. I was young and uninformed and persuaded by Bob Brock. Bozak is long gone but Klipschhorn is still relevant. What a mistake. But all is well that ends well. I now listen to Klipsch Palladium speakers with McIntosh gear and my listening enjoyment is sublime.     

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A dealer here in town came close to the cupped hands, accordion surrounds thing... shunning horns.   I had k-horns at the time.  Funny thing though after that they did say the negatives, they did bring up that there is something about minimal movement of drivers afforded by horns and their low distortion.  Go figure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 1:51 PM, rmlowz said:

In the early 80s I experienced the same cupped hand demo in various audio shops.

 

I had a guy try to pull that stunt on me about 5 years ago. Old school audiophool salesman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...