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danalog02

Speakerlab K horn rebuild help

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Hey all. Need some help identifying and sorting out some drivers for rebuild planning purposes.

 

I was graciously gifted these Speakerlab Khorns by @rigma and @MZKITTY a while back, and they are in need of a rebuild. Before I start getting into woodworking with a carpenter friend of mine, I want to make sure I have all my speaker / crossover ducks in a row. Some various parts were stripped from these kit speakers over the years, so here's what I have and what I'm trying to identify. Ideally, I'd like to have a complete set of what I would need to build a 70's era Klipschorn, sound-wise.

 

I have 1 x tweeter. In the pic below it seems to be a knockoff (possibly EV) of a K-77-M. Don't know if it works or not.

I have 2 x midrange horns, cast aluminum H-350 Speakerlab brand. I hear they're good quality.

I have 2 x midrange horn drivers. They appear to be Speakerlab HD350A's (?) which are equivalent or rebranded EV 1823Ms I believe. Don't know if they work or not.

I have 1 x 15" woofer, sealed up in one of the bass bins. I haven't opened it yet, but I suspect it may be a Speakerlab K-33 style speaker, either a W1504S 4-ohm or a W1508S 8-ohm. Not sure if it works, so I may be looking to just get a used pair of K-33 replacements or Crites equivalent CW1526.

 

I don't have any crossovers at all, but I hear the Speakerlab crossovers were the weakest link in these clones, so I'll probably be looking for a used pair of Type A (maybe?) or something. Is there a way to test the tweeter and midrange drivers without a crossover or will I damage them?

 

I'll take all the advice I can get. My plan is to enclose the bass bins sort of Jubilee style and leave them open top (no midrange or tweeter enclosure) and build a small frame to hold the midrange and tweeter.

 

Please see the attached collage for some pics. I'd upload more, but it seems to be limited for now, at least for me at my level.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Daniel Harrington

Murfreesboro, TN

20200301_131336-COLLAGE.jpg

Edited by danalog02
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Just for reference, here is a pic of what it is now, and what I'd like to shoot for. The dusty, disassembled photos are basically how it is now. The bass bins with the ports/wings are how I would like to enclose them (no corners to utilize in my living room, they'll have to stand alone) and the really super nice K-horns with the orange horns are the open top style I'd like to go with.

IMG_1364-COLLAGE.jpg

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My Speakerlab SKhorns had the EV T-35 tweeters and the same aluminum 350 squawkers horns.  My squawker drivers were Atlas/K55.  I don’t recognize the drivers in your photos, but I’m certain others will.  My guess is you’re fine with A or AA networks.  I’d confirm the impedance of the woofers, whether 4 ohm or 8 ohm.

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My recommendations.

 

Make sure the bass horns are air tight and don't rattle.  Do not use pure silicone; it doesn't bond well and won't last but a couple of years.  Look at Gorilla glue and similar professional construction adhesives.   It needs to flow into the cracks.

 

Check and try out the woofers you have, but plan on replacing them with Crites steel woofers or real K-33s.

 

Don't recognize the squawker drivers.  Replace them with, in order, solder terminal K-55-Vs, HPS-4000 A55Gs, push-pin K-55-Vs/Atlas PD5-VHs.  Line the opening in the motorboard with heavy felt.  After they are up and running, test the squawker horn for vibration and wrap with automobile damping material if it tingles your hand too much. 

 

E-V T-35s ARE K-77-* and are not knock-offs.  Keep them and get them mounted flush with the front of the motorboard.  An upgrade would be B&C DE-120-8 drivers on a tractrix tweeter horn. 

 

Build/rebuild Type AA networks.  Alternatively, I can send you a schematic of a modified DHA my brother and I did that is similar the an AA, but with smoother impedance. 

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1 hour ago, JohnA said:

Alternatively, I can send you a schematic of a modified DHA my brother and I did that is similar the an AA, but with smoother impedance.

 

It is an excellent crossover, too!

 

Bruce

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The EV 1823 wouldn't be a bad driver to try out, but they start dropping after 2Khz. I use some EV 1828 drivers with my beater La Scalas.

1823 EDS.pdf

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1 hour ago, JohnA said:

Check and try out the woofers you have, but plan on replacing them with Crites steel woofers or real K-33s.

 

The Speakerlab woofers were held in high regard by many.  If they seem fine, I would leave them alone.  They would be the last thing I’d change.  If they need to be replaced, the Crites woofers are very good.  I’m sure I could not distinguish their performance from Kosher K33s.

 

Bruce seems to have identified the squawker drivers.  I suspected they could be EV.  As he suggests, give them a try.

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I only have 1 of the Speakerlab drivers. The other one is gone. Can anyone compare the Speakerlab mids (EV 1823M) to the K-55 or another similar Klipsch driver?

 

As far as the crossover, I'd rather buy an existing pair (AA or similar) and modify if necessary as I don't have enough experience to build one.

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Just now, danalog02 said:

I only have 1 of the Speakerlab drivers. The other one is gone. Can anyone compare the Speakerlab mids (EV 1823M) to the K-55 or another similar Klipsch driver?

 

As far as the crossover, I'd rather buy an existing pair (AA or similar) and modify if necessary as I don't have enough experience to build one.

 

Which driver do you have one of?  If the woofer, I’d get a matching pair from Bob Crites.  While you’re at, I would recommend his replacements for K55s and a pair of his 120 tweeters, as well as a pair of networks.  Turns your project into a bit of stone soup, but you could sell the Speakerlab bits on eBay to recover some of your investment.  If you get everything from Bob, you know it will work well together.  Good luck and keep us posted.

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I have one K-77 style tweeter, 2 Speakerlab horns with midrange compression drivers and 1 15" woofer. Price being a major factor, I'm trying to pull together the rest used where I can. I'll probably buy a pair of Crites 15" woofers so I know they both work and match up, sound-wise. If the mid horns are working I'd like to use them and I'll try to find a matching K-77-M tweeter for the existing one. I just wanted help identifying, testing and finding replacement parts for what I had (minus the 15" woofers), and figuring out which existing crossovers will get me in the ballpark of it working.

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What a wonderful project.
Comments.  
Speakerlab did sell T-35 as an option.  There was a base level horn tweeter which really seems dinky to me in comparison.  Back in those days I bought some T35s from a dicount house.  Some had the EV label and others did not.  PWK cherry picked the best and relabeled them K-77.  You can find any of these pretty easily. I'd say stick with them to keep things "stock."

 

Those mid drivers could be an EV unit.  There was an issue with 1823s in that they had a smaller diaphragm IIRC and didn't go down to 400 Hz.  The Klipsch factory used them on CWs.  So I'd stick with Klipsch type units.  The solder tabs are best or the EV M types.


Yes, I don't see any reason to replace the aluminum horns. A lot of people add clay damping.  

 

Not everyone likes the Speakerlab woofers.  Dr. Bruce Edgar said the only was of fixing the situation was to smash them with a sledgehammer.  PWK published a Dope from Hope about an unidentifed near copy (must have been the SK) and the curves were not so good.  You can find the TS parameter on the Speakerlab site.  The TS parameters are not even close to the Klipsch. Therefore, go with the Crites units.

ll
Sealing potential flaws in the seams is an interesting problem.  Let me suggest the most liquid superglue (viscosity of water) because it will probably be drawn into a flaw by capillary action.  


Titebond yellow glue is good if you can use the  tip for force it into a gap.  It  will fill a gap if you can get it into a gap.  And do we know there is a gap? Easy cleanup.  Universally used by woodworkers in initial building.  


Gorilla Glue is very nasty stuff.  It has the appearance and viscosity of honey and is sticky like honey and epoxy.  After a while it foams like shaving cream.  Impossible to clean up.  Irritating to skin.  If you feel you need it, try it on a small project.  Wear gloves.  Probably a good choice for construction projects.

 
I had posted the Speakerlab K manual and you might find it helpful.  It seems impossible to get to all the seams particularly because of an option to make a notch in part to allow a path to the interior of what I'll call the prisms.

 

Keep us posted.
 

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7 hours ago, WMcD said:

Those mid drivers could be an EV unit.  There was an issue with 1823s in that they had a smaller diaphragm IIRC and didn't go down to 400 Hz.

 

The 1823/ 1828/ and k55 will all go low enough, and are about the only 1 inch throat drivers able to cross around 400hz. My 1828s are smaller than the k55, but work ok. If you already have the 1823s, I would try them. I think they will roll off earlier than you want.

 

John Allen's drivers would also be a possibility and are a great option but you will be buying new for those.

 

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Ok, based on responses and a side conversation with @jimjimbo here's what I think the plan is:

 

1. Acquire another K-77-M squareback tweeter similar to mine, replace diaphragms and test.

2. Test both EV 1823M mid compression drivers and replace diaphragms if necessary.

3. Purchase 2 Eminence Kappa 15C woofers from Parts Express and install as they are a known variable, well-liked and I know the bass bins to be accurate to early Klipschorn specs as they were built by @rigma.

4. Acquire two used AA crossovers and tweak crossover as needed to complement different rolloff of EV mid compression drivers. (I still need to spec this out, is there anyone who can help me with a crossover map to make sure these three (tweeter, mid, woofer) are working together? Then I need to figure out what changes might need to be made on a AA crossover to make it happen.

 

I purchased a cheapy multi-meter to do some testing, but I also heard something about a 9-volt battery test for tweeters maybe?

 

If I pick up another K-77-M and get a new matched pair of diaphragms for it and my existing tweeter (see pic above) they should be ok together?

 

I'm not worried about tweeters going above 18khz or so as I can't hear up there anyway.

Edited by danalog02

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Buying a pair of diaphragms for the K 77’s is almost going to be as expensive as purchasing a used good pair. I would investigate that.

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I'm seeing a pair of Speakerlab HT350, HT3500, EV T35 & K77 diaphragms on ebay for $35 shipped from cyrothesailor.

 

Will that work?

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22 minutes ago, danalog02 said:

4. Acquire two used AA crossovers and tweak crossover as needed to complement different rolloff of EV mid compression drivers. (I still need to spec this out, is there anyone who can help me with a crossover map to make sure these three (tweeter, mid, woofer) are working together? Then I need to figure out what changes might need to be made on a AA crossover to make it happen.

 

I purchased a cheapy multi-meter to do some testing, but I also heard something about a 9-volt battery test for tweeters maybe?

 

I would start with a Type AA crossover with new caps as they sit before going through radical design change, personally.,

 

Also NEVER EVER use a 9v battery to "pop test" a tweeter.  A 1.5v or AA or AAA will work just fine with less current and voltage.  A 9v is ok for maybe a woofer but that's about it.

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So just making sure I have this right. The tweeter I have is an EV T35 with the square back, correct? Klipsch designation would be the K-77-M?

 

Anyone know why this one has a big letter "R" on the back?

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No idea about the R, but it has been posted here that Klipsch added an "R" to warranty replacement parts. 

 

A K-77-M is a T-35 and uses a T-35/T-350 diaphragm.  That diaphragm has ribbon leads and a higher power rating than the earlier diaphragms with hair like leads.  Bob Crites posted that an off-site producer made T-35 diaphragms  that could not meet original performance specs and were often for sale on eBay.  Caveat emptor. 

 

Kappa 15Cs are not the best choice for Klipsch bass horns because of the short Xmax.   Crites steel woofers are K-33-E clones and only cost $5 more.  Good used K-33s are often available on eBay for $20 less.  Buy the ones with square magnets. 

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25 minutes ago, JohnA said:

 

 

Kappa 15Cs are not the best choice for Klipsch bass horns because of the short Xmax.   Crites steel woofers are K-33-E clones and only cost $5 more.  Good used K-33s are often available on eBay for $20 less.  Buy the ones with square magnets. 

Which is why I only recommend them for LaScalas, Belles, and my Quarter Pie Bass horn, and NOT for Klipschorns!! Go with the Crites CAST FRAMES

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