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Stereophile review of Klipschorn

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Did JA measure everything with "... the speaker sitting on a furniture dolly in his driveway," with no room gain and no boundary gain?

  • The sensitivity? 
  • The frequency response?

 

Was that the kind of furniture dolly that is a platform with rollers, and an air cavity underneath?

 

Couldn't he have at least used an artificial corner?

 

Why not include a graph of the response in Art Dudly's room (as is usually done in Stereophile), from the position of Dudly's ears, with the Khorn pushed into a corner, but toed-in ideally? 

 

I get much, much flatter response than JA, using the old tweeter, etc.(AK4) using a calibrated mic and REW.

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6 hours ago, garyrc said:

Why not include a graph of the response in Art Dudly's room (as is usually done in Stereophile), from the position of Dudly's ears, with the Khorn pushed into a corner, but toed-in ideally? 

 

This is something I really thought would  have been helpful to the review/measurements though wasn't included.

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After reading the review, I have to say that it certainly appears halfhearted, looking at Mr. Atkinson's "measurements".  He knows that the Klipschorn requires a room corner to complete the bass extension, yet he has Dudley drag one of them out on his driveway to measure frequency response...(?)  Is this merely poor judgment or lack of interest in doing a good job? I do see the focus on step response and highlighting the large time misalignments inherent in the Khorn, but that review was written 33 years ago by Richard Heyser in Audio magazine, which I assume they had a copy of.  Heyser did an excellent review--33 years ago--but it appears that Atkinson hasn't learned much new about corner horn loudspeakers since. EDIT: you can find a slightly better reproduced version of the Heyser Khorn review in this pdf file, starting on the 66th page of the file:  https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Audio/80s/Audio-1986-11.pdf

 

Turning to Mr. Dudley's portions of this review: his apparent difficulties and poor decisionmaking regarding amplifiers and room/corner position extended to him never posting a picture of his final Khorn room placement.  It doesn't appear to me that he ever got the Khorns to sound good in his listening room.  It also appears that he thinks that connecting high dollar tube amplifiers will solve his room and room placement problems (most importantly--frequency response issues), which is an amateur's mistake.

 

For a magazine that purports itself to be the voice of experience and technical understanding of loudspeakers and room acoustics, translating complicated reality into something that its readers can grasp--it didn't succeed here. It appears that they can't continue to learn about their problem domain...after all these years.  Burnout? 

 

Thank goodness they didn't try to review a Jubilee. I can see Mr Atkinson now, trying to attach accelerometers to the bass bin...somewhere.
 

Chris

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According to my architectural manuals a 17 foot room dimension is the worst for sound reproduction that you can use for any speaker system.

JJK

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According to my architectural manuals a 17 foot room dimension is the worst for sound reproduction that you can use for any speaker system.

JJK

 

Say what?

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    While I think some of you have a good point that the measurements could have been done in a better way, I don't find these results surprising.  The Klipsch Heritage line has never measured particularly well when it comes to frequency response, impedance and phase angle.  It is the fact that they sound so amazing despite all of this that, to me, validates PWK's design philosophy.  There have been tons of speakers that have come and gone since the birth of the K-horn that measure much flatter and with better phase coherency.  None of them have the visceral impact or clarity of a K-horn.  There is a reason people still love Klipsch.

   Of course, you can always do what many here have done (and what Klipsch themselves have done with the Jubilee).  Take what is great about Klipsch and combine it with new technologies like modern compression drivers and DSP active crossovers to solve these issues.  Now you can truly have your cake and eat it too.  You get the unmatched sensitivity and dynamics of a horn loaded speaker, with much better FR and phase response.  Why shackle yourself with the limitations of 60 year old technology?

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A legend in his own mind.   K's Eight feet apart and he actually tried to pull them out 3 feet from the corner?  Closed backs or not, I cant imagine how thin that must have sounded.  I bet he has a lot of fruity stuff hanging on the walls resembling his cardigans instead of any room treatments.  He may have a lot of time under his belt in the Audio Mag business and testing, but he sure bungled this test up.   Just another mustard sniffer that should be scolded by his peers

 

"

Because of the Klipschorn AK6's bulk—each weighs 220 lb—I drove my test gear the 177 miles to Art's place and measured the speaker sitting on a furniture dolly in his driveway"
 
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I believe that if you read carefully, Dudley was talking about the front face of the Khorn from the front wall.  That makes a little difference--about 2 feet worth of difference, to be more exact.

 

However, I've found that you need to have the bass bins well within 12" (~30 cm) of the corner seam of the room (or wall/backstop...such as a large tapped horn subwoofer as I have in my setup) to avoid midbass frequency response issues and added phase/group delay response issues.

 

Not having a picture of his room with Khorns and placement them WRT the room corners with the acoustic treatments being used to control the midrange floor/ceiling bounce issues...this is an error on Stereophile's part.  People who are considering buying Khorns should immediately be able to see this, not have to imagine it in their mind's eye...

 

Chris

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Because of the Klipschorn AK6's bulk—each weighs 220 lb—I drove my test gear the 177 miles to Art's place and measured the speaker sitting on a furniture dolly in his driveway.

 

So, rather than measure them in situ, Atkinson and Dudley manhandled an AK6 out of the house and onto the driveway?  Surely the DRAA MLSSA  could gate the room reflections. 

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Like the Klipsch instructions for the K-horns say---they must be placed in a corner, period.

JJK

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2 minutes ago, JJkizak said:

Like the Klipsch instructions for the K-horns say---they must be placed in a corner, period.

Not true, period.

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Seems they were probably 8 inches or so from the front wall.  Who knows from the sides.  

I myself hated khorns when they were too close together and the room width would make it too close together.

 

Seems too much was made of trying to use lower powered tube amps.  I didn't see anything about using a high quality SS amp, particularly when John A's measurements talk about the low impedance which would require more juice compared to the results gained.

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he did end the article saying anyone with a taste for realistic playback owes them a listen....doesnt sound bad to me. I dont think he necessarily listened to them in an ideal environment, and just maybe he had an axe to grind having been denied the chance years before to review the prior version...but it's a generally favorable review...

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I woldn't trust him to measure his dog.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, seti said:

I woldn't trust him to measure his dog.

 

 

 

=== yep, I thought he was barking up the wrong tree —

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I stopped with all the reviewers years ago. I read enough reviews to know there’s too many variables including the reviewers themselves to make most of their reviews worthless outside their experiences.

 

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I've always found that if you have to ask the questions "Why do they...?", "Why did they...?", etc. the answer, almost always, is money.  They don't want Klipsch stacking up anywhere close to the performance of "The Big Boys" that this magazine relies on for capital. 

 

How much does Klipsch spend in advertising with this rag?  Especially when compared to the select higher end equipment manufacturers?

 

This 'writer' knows on which side his bread is buttered, and he intentionally makes the Klipschorn performance numbers look bad by his laughable testing techniques.  It's not only cynicism on my part, I fear.

 

We tested this on a street corner in Hoboken, and here are the meticulously acquired results...

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Really, the article when looked at as a whole wasn't as terrible as some of the individual (methodology) aspects by themselves which should've made it bad.

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On 8/14/2019 at 3:22 PM, Arkytype said:

Because of the Klipschorn AK6's bulk—each weighs 220 lb—I drove my test gear the 177 miles to Art's place and measured the speaker sitting on a furniture dolly in his driveway.

 

So, rather than measure them in situ, Atkinson and Dudley manhandled an AK6 out of the house and onto the driveway?  Surely the DRAA MLSSA  could gate the room reflections. 

 

I wonder if perhaps they measured them on the way out the door for the speakers.  Doesn't seem logical to do that otherwise.

 

The (other) main issue that I have with the testing, apart from them not having a cube corner is that of measuring only one side opening.  Perhaps there being only half the output being measured is automatically accommodated when he made the splice in the charted curve?

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  I subscribe to Stereophile to look at two of JA’s measurements. First is the dac measurement of a -90.3 dB1K  Hz sine wave with a 16 bit signal and then again at 24 bit. The drop in noise floor in dB can be divided by 6 to see the resolution of the dac.

  The other is the impulse test on speakers. The tests on the Forte III and the AK6 are the worst I have seen for impulse test results. I guess the people here who say the Klipsch Heritage speakers sound better with the tweeter physically aligned with the mid driver may be on to something. May try his on my Heresy and La Scala.

  But, not surprised by the listening results. The reviewer used to have his own rag. All hair shirt gear. Art Dudley must have tin ears. All the gear he really praises seems to get a “sample may be broken” when JA measures them. Total distortion and noise generators. 

  The listening with the AK6 away from the corner gave expects results, limited low end. The tests done in the driveway are not as bad as you might think.  The standard for speaker testing is an anechoic measurement. No walls.  An AL5 might do much better in AD’s driveway. 

  Do not know distance from the speaker to listener, but I think my LS II are better integrated when they are 8 - 10’ away. And 8’ apart. Toed in about half way to listener. 

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