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upgrade that's not feeling like an upgrade


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21 hours ago, guf said:

Mid horn is attenuated to 12 following AL's advice. 


The driver is brought down to be balanced with the bass section, which is 104dB. But you pulled them out of corners and away from the walls, so you lost some room gain. So let's call it 101dB. The mid driver is 108dB.  So, you do the math. Which makes more sense, -6 or -12?


If away from walls and/or corners, -3dB on the tweeter makes sense.

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Oh! I love test questions.... -6?  


My instinct said to go lower and I had been enjoying at -9 all evening. I think in his manual he says there is no right answer so to try different numbers. I will follow your suggestion and try -6 today.  I was running the La Scala at 0 on the tweeter. I think my preference is to run a little hot.  And my room is treated and more dead then alive sounding. And if I'm running external subs that could allow for lower attenuation as well?  Thanks for helping me understand.  

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2 hours ago, Deang said:

He's right within reason, since rooms and the way people hear can vary quite a bit. I tell people to trust the math and use that number as a starting point. 

To make matters worse recordings have a lot of variations which makes deciding the best balance by ear a challenge as well since the tap options are acting somewhat like tone controls.



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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I can tell you about my experience with customizing some LaScalas:


Started with a new mid horn (EV SM120A), plug and play: big improvement

Improved tweeters (Beyma CP25): big improvement

ALK Universal crossovers: big improvement.

John Allen A55G drivers: big improvement again.


Substituting the old, beat up, vibrating LaScala bass bins with Peavey FH1: improvement in rigidity and overall bass smoothness, but big step back using 1st order Universal crossover between bass and mids: the FH1 goes higher in frequency, and outputs mids simultaneously with the midrange horn - with a serious arrival time offset, creating intermodulation and a "wha wha" sound >> the cure: going active at 400Hz, with a 4th order (24dB) Linkwitz-riley slope.


Active crossover: all actives (analogue) I've been using until recently solved the crossover issue but brought other issues (noise floor, distortion, electronic colouration) to the sound; going for a better active x-over (sublime acoustic K231) solved that issue and I'm in audio bliss again


I'm not time-aligning yet I get lifelike, enveloping imaging - it could be better, but I chose to sacrifice ultimate depth of soundstage in order to NOT use digital / DSP based crossover. The imaging I get is good enough to my ears.


The mids and high horns, in my system, are much more "aligned" than in the stock LaScala/Klipschorn due to the relatively shallow but wide open profile of the SM120 horn, and the deeper profile of the Beyma tweeters, in effect reducing the distance between their respective throats, when they are bolted to the same baffle.


Using mids and tweeter horns that have similar dispersion curves (specially at and near crossover frequency) is definitely a good idea.


Next step for me will be to replace the K33E woofers with Kappa 15C.



To summarise, it's difficult to change everything at once and expect a immediate improvement; step by step is the best way to do it, except if you clone a proven recipe.

It is also possible to get good sound without time alignment but not if your drivers/horns (I insist on the HORN part: just because a crossover has a certain electrical slope doesn't tell you what the ACOUSTIC slope will be with the horn; that is the reason why you may use 1st order with a LaScala bass horn, and not with the FH1 version) are outputting simultaneously a wide range (due to low crossover slope) AND do so with considerable physical delay.


I'm summarizing a lot (it's been a 20 years journey since I bought the stock LaScalas) but still, I hope this helps.


Edited by Rolox
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On 12/4/2019 at 8:39 PM, mikebse2a3 said:

To make matters worse recordings have a lot of variations which makes deciding the best balance by ear a challenge as well since the tap options are acting somewhat like tone controls.



My take on this is that the goal when using tap settings is to balance drivers relative to each other, NOT to tune the sound "brightness" relative to your preferences / room acoustics. That is NOT the goal and is NOT going to give satisfactory results IMHO. The way drivers interact and interplay is the important issue, and that is how the TAP settings should be used. If your mids are too hot (again, summarizing) in regard to the rest, it will make the sound shouty and nasal no matter what recording you play.

It took me months to find the correct midrange tap settings relative to the tweeter, and the correct low-pass to high-pass level through the active crossover. Even a basic RTA app helps assessing what is going on. Sometimes a perceived midrange problem can come from a misbalance somewhere else in the audio range, for example, and it can prove extremely difficult to try and do it only by ears.

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Not to change the focus of this thread but rather to bring a more philosophical perspective....


"A man with no watches never knows the time. A man with 2 watches is never sure". (unsure of original source)....and related is Occam's Razor which, at it's most basic, "keep it simple".


In essence, there appears to be a number of variables going on here, many of which interact and/or impact the others. I commend you on your effort to improve the sound of your system with the new additions, but I don't envy the effort (and frustrations) in getting it right, again.


BTW - Always wanted bigger Klipsch (would have settled for Heresys). Alas, never lived in a place to do them justice (had to settle for going over to a freind's house who did buy them after my recommendation).


Wish I had technical insight to help you out. I'm an engineer but not my area of expertise.


Best of luck in sorting it out. I am envious of your audio environment....cheers....

Edited by stepher
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