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Are these La Scala heritage speakers worth buying? (need restoration work)


suntzu
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Dear forumers,

 

I've been a Klipsch heritage speaker fan for life. Now I have an opportunity to purchase these vintage La Scala speakers. But I'm uncertain how much cabinet restoration work is required.

I'd appreciate some advice if the speaker cabinets can be restored. 

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/XuyAhx5iQRUTnLbD7

 

Problem areas

  • There's chipping of the wood at the bottom of right speaker
  • The base platform looks damaged. Is that fine? Can it be easily replaced?
  • Will application of tung oil revive the wood?

 

Other than physical imperfections the speakers sound fine and I enjoyed the sound. I have a bigger space to put these La Scalas. That should allow the speakers to breathe better.

 

Appreciate all the advice you can give if these speakers are worth it to buy. i need to make a decision soon. Thank you all!

 

 

 

 

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There is more work than you realize. Very importantly it depends on your expectations (do you want them to look, perfect, good, okay, passable ....). The board on the bottom is not easily removed and replaced. Depending on how deep the damage is, it might be patched with bondo or epoxy (again it depends after a closer look at the condition). What you have shown is way beyond a quick fix with tung oil. 

 

My friendly advice (from what I can see) is to keep your expectations low and patch what you can and apply some paint. Trying to make them "stand out" cabinets with a nice veneer would take a good deal of time and money. The cabinets would look nice but you would not be able to recover the money & time invested if you came to sell them later on. 

 

It looks like an interesting project (but bigger than you realize),

-Tom

 

I just saw the asking price - ouch!. I get the sense, that these are not in the USA. If so, I have no idea what the local availability and prices might be. 

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It seems to me you want someone to push you over the edge to buy them.  I'll say, buy them.  This is particularly so if they are near you (no shipping) and you've heard them to be sure everything works.  And if it not too be a strain on the pocket book.  Return to factory condition is a tall order and actually can't be acomplished. 

 

If there is gross damage to the wood which requires filling, then they are never going to look perfect.  But if you're looking from across the room a filler may pass muster.

 

It may be that you can use iron-on birch edging on the exposed ply edges to help with damage and thereby spiff up the appearance overall.

 

It is difficult to ascertain damage to the base.  The original facrtory piece is just a piece of plywood.  The seller has put them on some sort of riser with claw and ball legs.  Sort of funny.  But the factory piece could be fixed up with edging and maybe some black or tan paint.

 

There are many wipe on finishes, some called "tung oil" or tung oil varnish.  I use more modern stuff.  In any case it will somewhat darken the wood and increase contrast.  Test on an inconspicuous area.  

 

WMcD

 

 

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Those things have PATINA! I think they look like weathered, aged; they have character. I don't think you should consider covering them with veneer. Their natural skin looks cool.

 

Sure; you could apply a patch or filler to the missing, chipped parts if you want but don't go all fastidious-crazy. I'd merely sand them lightly to perhaps smooth out or hide any water stains or discoloration then apply some sort of wood preservative such as the aforementioned tung oil, or lemon oil, etc.

 

Personally, I don't think the price is that bad.

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18 minutes ago, PrestonTom said:

There is more work than you realize. Very importantly it depends on your expectations (do you want them to look, perfect, good, okay, passable ....). The board on the bottom is not easily removed and replaced. Depending on how deep the damage is, it might be patched with bondo or epoxy (again it depends after a closer look at the condition). What you have shown is way beyond a quick fix with tung oil. 

 

My friendly advice (from what I can see) is to keep your expectations low and patch what you can and apply some paint. Trying to make them "stand out" cabinets with a nice veneer would take a good deal of time and money. The cabinets would look nice but you would not be able to recover the money & time invested if you came to sell them later on. 

 

It looks like an interesting project (but bigger than you realize),

-Tom

 

I just saw the asking price - ouch!. I get the sense, that these are not in the USA. If so, I have no idea what the local availability and prices might be. 

Hi Preston,

 

I truly appreciate your comments. They're what I'm looking for. Now I realise it's not a quick fix. You saved me a lot of time and sweat labour and I have reduced my expectations accordingly.

 

I live in Southeast Asia. We rarely see La Scala's here. It's onerous and expensive to ship them from the good old USA. 

 

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Short of, maybe, the most recent La Scala IIs, those are the best of the La Scala lineage, with the K-77-M tweeter, solder terminal K-55-V squawker and Type AA network.  They are about 315 units older than mine.  Mine were a little beat up when I got them.  They had some large chips out of the point of the "dog house" in the bass horn.  I hired a skilled cabinet maker to repair them and finish them in Minwax red mahogany with the results you see in my avatar.  You can look at other pics in my profile.  I'm not sure I can find the flaws after 20 years (!! 😱). 

 

The chips can be repaired with wood filler and patient, careful sanding and finishing.  I only wish I had known La Scalas could use bass horn braces before I made mine pretty.  If you refinish those, I recommend adding the braces Mr. Paul experimented with. 

 

msg-43-0-95880000-1424364411_thumb.jpg

 

The asking price is some above the $1400 you might expect in the U.S., then you aren't in the U.S. 

 

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Mine appear to have been finished over with 1/4" ply, and mouldings around the fronts, i would think vaneer might be a more desirable finish, but i feel mine look pretty attractive with this method.  I can't say that ive seen this suggested or done on here. I purchased these from another forum member, and whoever did them up seemed to do a pretty good job.  When i was replacing the woofer gaskets it appeared the cabinets were at one  point pretty beat up, with chipping near the bottom. IMG_20191017_083315672-min.thumb.jpg.ede505ad74d810068945b66d75039d91.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

Hi guys,

Terribly sorry I've taken so long to reply.Thank you for all your advice and feedback!

 

Well this is what happened. I wanted these speakers really badly because they rarely appear in Singapore and the La Scalas asking price wasn't terribly expensive.

But because I didn't act immediately, someone swooped in to buy the pair. Since then I've been moping around my house (Covid 19)  for the past few months recovering 😉

 

You see my hands were kinda tied. I already own a pair of Klipschorns and the missus put her foot down and asked why I needed another pair of Klipsch heritage speakers. All rational explanations fell on deaf ears. We even had a little falling out because of this. I was so desperate I even called a hifi buddy to see if I could get these speakers and park them in his house!

 

Anyways that's the story. Missus and I are fine. Klipschorns are still singing in my room. But damn I keep thinking about the missed La Scalas. Maybe I could have disguised them as antique furniture cabinets and snuck them in.

 

 

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