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tlscapital

Quest on a pair of 15" 'La Scala' clones with double woofers.

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Those BIG 'La Scala' loud speakers have been attracting my curiosity for too long now. But one needs the space/room to place and play them. To this day, my final tweaked phono set-up does the job better than ever before. With the work in the house slowly but surely progressing, I intend to move my phono set-up in the dedicated music room/basement anytime soon. 45 meter square big, fully dampened and isolated, my 12" Leak Sandwiches (15 Ohms) first generation clearly won't suffice in there. Apparently I play my music loud...

 

Recently I finally got the opportunity to purchase "clone" variation (am tight budget wise) done by a Klipsch enthusiast who DIYed some just for the fun/sport of it. Based in Belgium (as I am) he managed to get Klipsch drivers for the horns and similar mids, but went for DAS-35 'G' woofers as those were readily available in Belgium (avoid import duties and fees) and whose specs are close to the OG. Yet we've tested them and found the bass response less "punchy" than on original Klipsch 'La Scala' fitted with K-33 woofers.


Still in the process to pay for them month after month, I will only be able to bring them 'La Scala' clones home within 2 to 3 months. The time to be in the position to install them as well. Evidently I will try them first as they are. But to be honest "punchier" bass will be very quickly an issue for me I am afraid as I got use to love my clean, tight and punchy Leak 'Sandwich' bass response. Important for the whole playback dynamic as well. Now in anticipation I am trying to rule in and out what tweak could correct/improve that woofer/bass situation.

 

First I was thinking to purchase 4 used K-33 but most are to be find in the USA and custom fees and taxes will be an overkill. Even their closest (evidently appreciated differently) generic replacements, Crites 15" woofers, are sold only in the USA. So at this stage I am left with my imagination to figure other ways to give those 'La Scala' some "fast bass" responses. I was thinking to "couple" the back-end of the woofers to their "triangular" inner cabinet angle with blocks of wood and a threaded bar to tight it all rigidly. Like in my Leak 'Sandwiches'. Thoughts ?

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Welcome to the forums...

 

I'm trying to imaging exactly what you are thinking of, but not quite sure. The main resonance one has/gets in a LaScala cabinet are the sidewall panels.Some put in braces to keep those from vibrating.

 

Bruce

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Maybe listen to them first and see if you actually perceive an issue.

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The limitations of the original production LaScala folded bass-horn design will be the main issue (if you perceive one) with your love of the deep bass because the bass starts to fall off in those speakers around the 60-75 hz mark and it falls off rapidly.  The option is USUALLY to supplement with subwoofer(s) below that point...and what I have seen is that many crossover the sub-woofers at around 75hz or a bit higher.  The up-side is that what bass the LaScala DOES produce will be clear and tight!  Keep in mind that this is strictly due to the bass horn lens design, so changing out the woofers in an effort to increase bottom-end won't make much difference, if any at all.

 

BTW, I loved my time in Belgium working with the 3rd Para-Commando in the mid-1970's!!  Great guys!!  And Diest (near-by Schoffen) was a serious party town for its size!

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The Eminence Kappa-15C i supposed to be a really good alternative.

129 € at Thomann

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Marvel said:

Welcome to the forums...

 

I'm trying to imaging exactly what you are thinking of, but not quite sure. The main resonance one has/gets in a LaScala cabinet are the sidewall panels.Some put in braces to keep those from vibrating.

 

Bruce

 Hi Bruce, well to be honest I am not quite sure how they will sound once installed in my dampened music room/basement either. It was just the comparison with real 'La Scala' and these DUY clones 'La Scala' whose bass where less punchy... I thought this would be due to those DAS-35 'G' woofer's signature. Even though I'm having some difficulties understanding how far such dynamic differences presents themselves through those resonant woofer's cabinet enclosures...

 

As said, evidently I will first learn to listen and understand them as they are before tweaking into them to improve them if ever. I've seen those "braces" in some 'La Scala'. The idea to couple and tighten the woofer cabinet structure suits me. Just like in my actual Leak 'Sandwiches' (first generation) where they tighten the back panel of the cabinet to the back of the woofer's magnet. So I might consider a lateral panel in the triangular woofer's cabinet of those 'La Scala' clones. Tim

Edited by tlscapital

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20 hours ago, CECAA850 said:

Maybe listen to them first and see if you actually perceive an issue.

Yes. I always do and even more so since I started my tweaks on my "vintage" tonearm and turntable. This I do step by step to evaluate and try to understand what is at game there and if ever not good; unwind and bring it back as it was before. This 'La Scala' move is a big one for me. So maybe I am kinda anxious and wonder too much. Mind you I already bought a more powerful second hand amp to drive them with hopefully enough ease and all is going to be installed in my new music basement/room for a first time ! So many unknown outcomes... 

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1 hour ago, tlscapital said:

Mind you I already bought a more powerful second hand amp to drive them with hopefully enough ease

 

I use 3.5 watt amps... but more can be good.

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1 hour ago, Marvel said:

 

I use 3.5 watt amps... but more can be good.

That's right.  I've got 6 wpc on mine.

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38 minutes ago, Marvel said:

 

I use 3.5 watt amps... but more can be good.

This is what I read a lot. And it makes sense. But so are my actual 15 Ohms first generation Leak 'Sandwich' speakers. As they were intended to be played with low powered tube amps. But driven with my transistor "modern" 'Exampli' amp from Etalon, that I play with the volume knob most of the time half way up, I had the gut feeling that in the bigger and dampened music room/basement, I'd need more power (amp) and bigger resonant boxes (speakers) to fill-in the room with music.

 

So first I had the opportunity to purchase second hand this amp 'Integral' 2, also from Etalon Mfg. whose neutral and transparency in sound benefits wonderfully my vintage records with depth, dynamic and clarity. Testing it on my Leak 'Sandwich' speakers made me realize that it stressed them. So started my quest bigger floor standers speakers and stumbled on this  "affordable" opportunity pair of clones 'La Scala'. Even if the amp ex-owner told me to go for low sensitivity speakers...

 

Bare in mind that I'm playing the volume half way on my actual amp. This is almost loud enough for me in my actual small room. Higher, I start to get unpleasant distortions. Normal since the amplification process remains "linear" until the first quarter of the amp power ability. After that distortions appears. So based on my experience with my actual phono set-up and the technical explanations I've read, I've set for this 'La Scala' clone trial (on a budget). Even if it's an expensive trial one can say !

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9 minutes ago, tlscapital said:

This is what I read a lot. And it makes sense. But so are my actual 15 Ohms first generation Leak 'Sandwich' speakers. As they were intended to be played with low powered tube amps. But driven with my transistor "modern" 'Exampli' amp from Etalon, that I play with the volume knob most of the time half way up, I had the gut feeling that in the bigger and dampened music room/basement, I'd need more power (amp) and bigger resonant boxes (speakers) to fill-in the room with music.

The Lascalas are completely different animals to what you have now.  You're in for a treat.

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La Scalas are rated at 104db at 1 watt. You reall can't imagine the dynamics you can get with speakers like that.

 

What are the Leak's... maybe 88? I can't find the sensitivity for them anywhere.

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5 hours ago, Marvel said:

La Scalas are rated at 104db at 1 watt. You reall can't imagine the dynamics you can get with speakers like that.

 

What are the Leak's... maybe 88? I can't find the sensitivity for them anywhere.

3 direct radiators.  I can't imagine it's much more than that.

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12 hours ago, Marvel said:

La Scalas are rated at 104db at 1 watt. You reall can't imagine the dynamics you can get with speakers like that.

 

What are the Leak's... maybe 88? I can't find the sensitivity for them anywhere.

 

Leak didn't give specs for the 'Sandwich' Wattages ability. That which is logical as it can only be an approximative "specification" if ever.

 

And for some other reason they did not to give any sensitivity figure either. That which was in 1962, date of their birth, likely less relevant.

 

As I said, they where aiming to be paired with low powered tube/lamp amp. So rating on the higher sensitivity sides of things I believe.

 

While doing them a recap, I've decide to test different caps configuration and went for a 'series' config instead of the original 'parallel' setting.

 

This made the odd but yet vigorous 'Sandwich' twitter "sing" out loud. That which evidently increased it's 'sensitivity' potential to new levels...

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, CECAA850 said:

3 direct radiators.  I can't imagine it's much more than that.

 

Can you please elaborate what are '3 direct radiators' ?

Edited by tlscapital

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1 hour ago, tlscapital said:

 

Can you please elaborate what are '3 direct radiators' ?

 

A quick Google for direct radiator brought up https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/direct-radiator/ which is relevant to this discussion.

 

A direct radiator speaker is less efficient in converting electrical energy into sound energy than a horn loaded speaker.

 

Klipsch Heritage speakers (Klipschorns, La Scala and Belle) are horn loaded and have extremely high efficiency, typically > 104 dB at one meter for 1 watt input.

 

The British speakers from the 1960s, Goodmans, Celestion, Leak, Wharfdale, Tannoy etc. were direct radiator for the woofer (although some Goodmans and Tannoys had horn loaded tweeters) and were typically 16ohm 20watt maximum power with a sensitivity of 90dB to 94dB per watt at 1 meter.   In other words, 1 watt into your new La Scalas will be at least 10dB louder than 1 watt into your Leak Sandwich speakers.

As far as I can recall, the 16ohm speaker impedence allowed the valve amplifiers of the day to perform at lower distortion levels than 8ohm speakers.

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Yes, the Lascalas should be twice as loud as the Leak's with the same power applied.

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11 minutes ago, Wirrunna said:

 

A quick Google for direct radiator brought up https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/direct-radiator/ which is relevant to this discussion.

 

A direct radiator speaker is less efficient in converting electrical energy into sound energy than a horn loaded speaker.

 

Klipsch Heritage speakers (Klipschorns, La Scala and Belle) are horn loaded and have extremely high efficiency, typically > 104 dB at one meter for 1 watt input.

 

The British speakers from the 1960s, Goodmans, Celestion, Leak, Wharfdale, Tannoy etc. were direct radiator for the woofer (although some Goodmans and Tannoys had horn loaded tweeters) and were typically 16ohm 20watt maximum power with a sensitivity of 90dB to 94dB per watt at 1 meter.   In other words, 1 watt into your new La Scalas will be at least 10dB louder than 1 watt into your Leak Sandwich speakers.

As far as I can recall, the 16ohm speaker impedence allowed the valve amplifiers of the day to perform at lower distortion levels than 8ohm speakers.

 

Thanks for that. OK, never heard the term "radiator" for speakers before. Now I know. My Leak 'Sandwich' are the 12" version rated at 15 Ohms first generation with 2 radiators (woofer + tweeter) only BTW. No medium ! Yet I manage to achieve a 2-D sound image on my monaural playback.

 

My actual 'Exampli' transistor amp is truly an odd animal. Minimalistic small Romanian company build, they are often compared to tube/valve amp for their sound characteristic and sonic signature. So clear and dynamic, they are capable to be all that while remaining musical if I may say.

 

This "small" model of Etalon amp rates 40 Watts per channel and my Leak 'Sandwich' speakers can follow up there (surely more than 20 Watts capable) but as I said, distortions appears above half way (is it 20 Watts ?) which is normal. This does not fit my 'clear, dynamic & neutral' sound.

 

Most say that my actual 'Exampli' amp is powerful enough to drive those 'La Scala' clone speakers. Yet I doubt that the nominal 10 dB increment the 'La Scala' will bring should suffice for volume in the music room/basement that is twice as big as the room it is in now and fully dampened... I might be wrong though.

 

One day soon I'll be able to tell though. Hopefully I'll have both pair of Leak & Klipsch speakers and both amps 'Exampli' & 'Integral' 2 to try different combinations. But my expectation there lead me to understand that my Leak 'Sandwich' won't be able to fill in the 45 meter square room/basement.

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1 hour ago, tlscapital said:

Yet I doubt that the nominal 10 dB increment the 'La Scala' will bring should suffice for volume in the music room/basement that is twice as big as the room it is in now and fully dampened... I might be wrong though.

You realize that 10 dB is twice the volume correct?

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3 minutes ago, CECAA850 said:

You realize that 10 dB is twice the volume correct?

 

Yes and no. Not only is my future music room/basement twice as big as the room my phono gear is "installed" in presently (an office with tile floor and metal file lockers, nothing acoustical) BUT and that factor is not the least to be taken into account; it is totally dampened with carpet (given to me by a friend who dismantle exhibit podiums) on the walls and ceiling. And linoleum on the floor ! So the music basement room is rather well dampened and the 'horn' should play their parts and the BIG bass (double woofers) cabinet to fill in the room.

 

It is rather hard for me to imagine how quality phono playback will happen in there... That is why my belief led me to get a "bigger" amp as well to feed the speakers at loud enough for me volume yet at low regime to avoid the higher regime distortions to appear. But this is merely beliefs on my behalf. So I could be told else and eventually will be proven wrong. The thing is that I'd rather avoid upfront to be left with phono issues not allowing me to enjoy my music then and there for too long as I was at times during my tweaks with no functional turntable... 

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