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BrianJacobs

lascala imaging improvements (AKA best $100 you can spend)

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while I await my ES crossovers from ALK I have been playing with my series I LaScala's trying to improve the imaging. One well know mod is to wrap the K400 in Dynamat, I did that and listened to it for a few days,  it was great with no negative impact and it did clean up the sound a bit.  After enjoying the horn mod I decided to dynamat the upper box, the imaging is even better but you do loose some efficiency and some mid range, over all the modded side was a consistent 1dB lower, but the sound was yet again improved, modded the other side and imaging was yet again improved to the point they hardly resemble a stock LaScala, the listening fatigue is nearly gone.

 

After talking to my local hifi shop that carries Klipsch, Vandersteen, Revel,B&W and Wilson we talked about the huge lengths companies like wilson and Vandersteen go to in dampening their cabinets, and with the theory that vibration leads to distortion my last and final mod was to dumpster dive my garage, I found some barbell weights and egg crate foam. A single 10# weight placed under the K400 in each speaker on a piece of egg crate to reduce vibration and additional foam randomly stuffed  in the upper cabinet to reduce sound escaping out the back of the upper cabinet now makes for a little less efficient but much more accurate listening experience. 

 

Note: I do use a sub so I was not concerned with the loss of bass 

Power comes from a Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum rolled with KT120s so speaker efficiency are not a top priority with 100watts. 

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Leads to resonance...

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1 hour ago, Schu said:

Leads to resonance...

semantics, with resonance comes distortion/unwanted sound. 

Edited by BrianJacobs
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14 hours ago, BrianJacobs said:

semantics, with resonance comes distortion/unwanted sound. 

My father taught me about resonance when he asked me to please use my meat cutting knife at a different frequency while sawing off a bite to eat to avoid swaying then whole dinner table!

Life lessons!

John Kuthe

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14 hours ago, jason str said:

Enclose the top section and brace the bass bin.

I did not want to enclose the upper section, one, I am lazy and that is work, two, filling the cabinet with foam should do the job. The bin brace is being considered. My thought on this was how much better could I make them with as little effort as possible.

 

If you are going to go through the trouble to dynamat the horn, the rest of the work is literally an extra 10 minutes and just as transformative as the horn mod. 

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What does filling with foam and/or enclosing the top section accomplish?

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2 hours ago, glens said:

What does filling with foam and/or enclosing the top section accomplish?

It creates a mess and lowers the re-sale value. 

Seriously, the possible benefits from these "dampening schemes" for the top section are very suspect. 

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Whereas bracing the bins can be a huge improvement.  How much improvement could depend on condition of the cabinets (loose joints).  

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1 hour ago, PrestonTom said:

It creates a mess and lowers the re-sale value. 

Seriously, the possible benefits from these "dampening schemes" for the top section are very suspect. 

I used egg crate foam, not spray in foam. Even the dynamat on the interior is removable if someone wanted. That said, I dont plan on ever selling them, unless I can get a pair of Alexandrias. 

 

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4 hours ago, glens said:

What does filling with foam and/or enclosing the top section accomplish?

 

It eliminates the top section acting as a Helmholtz resonator.

 

Notice the back on the La Scala II ?

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44 minutes ago, jason str said:

 

It eliminates the top section acting as a Helmholtz resonator.

 

Notice the back on the La Scala II ?

how dare you rationalize me upgrading my la Scalas by pointing out that PWK did the same thing later by going to a two piece structure  and closing the back.

 

These changes certainly reduced the resonance from the bass bin on the upper cabinet, and enclosing the cabinet certainly kept noise in and reduced any "bipolar" affect.  Now, if only klipsch had ALK do their crossovers they would sound as good as mine will. HAHA 

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I believe a well known member of this forum and Klipsch employee got tossed out of PWK's house for asking about dynamat on horns.... If you bolt down a horn it does not ring....

 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, seti said:

I believe a well known member of this forum and Klipsch employee got tossed out of PWK's house for asking about dynamat on horns.... If you bolt down a horn it does not ring....

 

 

 

 

As stated in my OP, it certainly reduces efficiency, and efficiency is the one thing Klipsch is very proud of. Unfortunately the K400 horn while very efficient can give you a headache almost as fast as Mike Tyson. Everything I did made my speakers much much less efficient than factory, but I am pushing them with 100watts, I have more head room than I could possibly need, what I do have now is a speaker that sounds beautiful, much more tame than stock and is still more efficient than most anything else around.  These speakers are great, they still do not hold a candle to a pair of Wilsons or speakers at $100,000 and up, but for what I have into these speakers I am not sure there is anything that compares. 

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15 minutes ago, BrianJacobs said:

As stated in my OP, it certainly reduces efficiency, and efficiency is the one thing Klipsch is very proud of. Unfortunately the K400 horn while very efficient can give you a headache almost as fast as Mike Tyson. Everything I did made my speakers much much less efficient than factory, but I am pushing them with 100watts, I have more head room than I could possibly need, what I do have now is a speaker that sounds beautiful, much more tame than stock and is still more efficient than most anything else around.  These speakers are great, they still do not hold a candle to a pair of Wilsons or speakers at $100,000 and up, but for what I have into these speakers I am not sure there is anything that compares. 

 

Cross the K-400/K-55 over at a lower frequency to reduce much of that harshness you are speaking of. The K-77 will need to be replaced for this modification.

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3 minutes ago, jason str said:

 

Cross the K-400/K-55 over at a lower frequency to reduce much of that harshness you are speaking of. The K-77 will need to be replaced for this modification.

yeah, I am running Crites CT120 in place of the K-77. ALK is building me an Extreme Slope network now, would love to replace the cast K400 with a wooden one, but no one sells them anymore.  My big goal with this part of the project was how much of an improvement could I make for as little money as possible. I had other people judge L to R comparison to remain objective. If I were smarter I would have a controlled environment with sound meters and so on, but I am not, and at the end of the day I am not selling anything and dont really care if anyone takes advantage of my work or not, but it is fun to share with sometimes like minded hobbyist. 

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8 minutes ago, BrianJacobs said:

yeah, I am running Crites CT120 in place of the K-77. ALK is building me an Extreme Slope network now, would love to replace the cast K400 with a wooden one, but no one sells them anymore.  My big goal with this part of the project was how much of an improvement could I make for as little money as possible. I had other people judge L to R comparison to remain objective. If I were smarter I would have a controlled environment with sound meters and so on, but I am not, and at the end of the day I am not selling anything and dont really care if anyone takes advantage of my work or not, but it is fun to share with sometimes like minded hobbyist. 

 

No need to replace the K-400 or K-401 horn, just cross it over at a lower frequency.

 

The LSII is crossed over @ 4000 Hz and the Crites A-4500 @ 4500 Hz for reference.

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I'd asked about one aspect of the top section treatments and got what I expected.  In asking this now, I have no plausible conclusion already in mind.  How does wrapping the exterior of a horn decrease its efficiency?

 

Further, along the same line:
 

On 7/30/2019 at 3:55 PM, BrianJacobs said:

... A single 10# weight placed under the K400 in each speaker on a piece of egg crate to reduce vibration and additional foam randomly stuffed  in the upper cabinet to reduce sound escaping out the back of the upper cabinet now makes for a little less efficient but much more accurate listening experience. 

 

I cannot conjure up a single reason why deadening the upper cabinet in that manner would decrease the efficiency of the speaker.  Please enlighten me.

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3 hours ago, BrianJacobs said:

Unfortunately the K400 horn while very efficient can give you a headache almost as fast as Mike Tyson.

 

Tom Brennan used to call it a chainsaw between the eyes.

 

Like many, I found the mids about 3db too hot. Adjusting that downward improves the overall tonal balance, with more bass without splitting your head. I use 3.5 watt amps and can rock pretty well and get no headaches. The k400 isn't a bad horn at all.

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3 hours ago, BrianJacobs said:

As stated in my OP, it certainly reduces efficiency, and efficiency is the one thing Klipsch is very proud of. Unfortunately the K400 horn while very efficient can give you a headache almost as fast as Mike Tyson. Everything I did made my speakers much much less efficient than factory, but I am pushing them with 100watts, I have more head room than I could possibly need, what I do have now is a speaker that sounds beautiful, much more tame than stock and is still more efficient than most anything else around.  These speakers are great, they still do not hold a candle to a pair of Wilsons or speakers at $100,000 and up, but for what I have into these speakers I am not sure there is anything that compares. 

 

How do you know it's the K400 that is giving you a headache? 

 

Just out of curiosity,

  • Have you tried a K400 in one and whatever is Al's best in the other, with the same model driver? 
  • Did you run a sweep on your speakers, from your MLP, with the speakers in their usual location?

Don't get me wrong, I have heard La Scalas sound harsh on occasion, but I've heard them sound wonderful much more often.  I have quite rarely heard Klipschorns (with the same mid horn and driver) sound bad, maybe 5% of the time.  Program material?

 

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