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Uncertain about my choices, and want opinions


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Hey folks, I could use some advice. TheEar, HornEd, HDBRBuilder, DeanG, and any others I haven't mentioned.. please chime in.

Six months ago, I did something drastic-- well, for me, anyway. I decided to upgrade my HT speaker system, and took advantage of ordering Lacalas before the price increase took effect. I ordered five black lacquered LaScalas (w/o grills) to be exact. The idea was to mate them with my Sunfire components and a Sharpvision Projector and have an absolutely kickass 5.1 channel HT-- PLUS an excellent party system.

(<--- look at the moniker, folks... ex bartender/ club manager = partyman)

HOWEVER....recently 'tas come to pass that

1) I AM getting married!

2) I put my house up for sale this past weekend.

3) While we intend to build a new house on her property, my fiance's present house is, err, small. Very small!

4) My partyin' days are at an end.

Now, my quandry: Although the LaScalas are in the pipeline, so to speak, I have the opportunity to exchange a complete, unsold, KSP400 system, plus some extra goodies-- Kimber interconnects, NAD DVD changer, and Panamax surge protector, for my as yet undelivered LaScalas.

Yes, I've listened to both systems. Well, not exactly-- I've listened to paired LaScalas.. I've listened to stacked LaScalas-- 4 speakers configured in two towers-- it's like front row, center, at a live concert! That's why I bought 'em in the first place!

The KSPs-- Outstanding HT performance! Don't need extra subs... but I'll probably keep one of my Sunfire subs for reinforcement. In two channel...refinement! Excellent imaging. They'll play loud.. but not L-O-U-D!! They look good--( real Mahagony..WAF factor.) And they'll fit in her living room--- as opposed to the LaScalas having to go into storage for the next couple years until we can get the new house built.

So, folks... give your opinions! I like both systems, albeit for different reasons. I know the strengths and differences of both. If they were cars, I'd call the Heretage setup a Ford Pantera, or Shelby Cobra-- LOTS of balls, screw the finess! The Synergy Premier system-- an "S" class Mercedes, maybe a "7" series BMW-- a good bit of balls, with A LOT of finess!

Help me to make a more informed, or at least opinionated, choice!

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I dont think your choice is going to have much to do with sound. You chose the LaScala's for a reason, partying mainly it seems and that has now changed.

AS I understand it your new house is not big enough for the full setup with the LaScalas and it seems you want surround sound - not stereo.

If it were me, painful as it may seem, I would take the practical approach and go for what suites your current needs rather than something that might be usable if and when you move in a couple of years.

One question though. Would it not be possible to simply cancel the order and then have the freedom to choose any system rather than keeping the order going to swap for a very specific system. On the other hand if you like the German option - go for it.

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Hey Max! Nope... cancelling the order isn't an option... I pre-paid.I can trade for "in store credit," but I can't get cash. I like both systems. They're both excellent... but for different things. Would SHE come around to either system... probably. The LaScalas are big and ugly (black lacquer, after all) and there are 5 of them. And she would NEVER crank 'em up. But even at low volume, with their crispness and dynamic range-- I can see coming home from work one day and having her say, "Wow! I've never heard this CD 'til I played it today!"

On the other hand, The KSPs are tall, but skinny; they're big speakers, but take up little space, and look "good"-- real wood, Mahagony finish and all. They, too, have pretty good dynamic range at moderate volume, and I can picture her telling me, "Wow, my CDs sound great on these!" (Carwise-- she'd rather drive a truck... go figure!) 14.gif

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Man, am I confused.

You ordered five (5) Scalas in black. Before the price increase I know the Scalas were $2800 a pair in raw birch. So, a ballpark figure means you got close to 8 grand tied up into this deal -- and you are going to do an in-store trade on some KSP400's, dinky NAD player and cables?

Am I missing something here?

I'm also gathering that you presently have two (2) Sunfire's.

The KSP400's are a powered tower. If you move those into a small room you are going to have all kinds of problems. Boom, bloat, and a thick, syrupy soundfield. The other thing is the very high crossover between the horn and mid-drivers (3 Khz). This might work in a smaller speaker, but in a tower, with a 15" driver pounding the MDF -- that midrange is going to be pretty muddled. Klipsch only made these for two years, and the system is at least 3 years old. This, combined with the fact that you already have two Sunfire's -- doesn't really sound like a good move to me.

So what's the deal here? This clown is trying to move some stuff that's already in the store and he can't get rid of, and then lands your 5 Scalas?

Screw that.

Surely you can get two Scalas in this house. Why not take two, and sell the other three outright? Hell, with the price increase, you shouldn't have much trouble moving them for what you paid.

Doesn't this guy have any RF7's in the store?

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You wanted opinions so I'll give you mine.

I do not have near as much listening experience as some of the people on this forum but I do love the LaScala speaker.

If it were me I would try every option available to keep the LaScala's. I had a Chance to buy some at a very decent price about a year ago but I was living at home and thought, Well I don't really have the space for these. Ever since then I've been wishing I had gone ahead and bought the LaScala's. Like you said, you just hear parts of a CD you didn't realize were there. My mind has been going crazy wondering if a chance to get some at a cheaper price is going to ever come along again. I just recently purchased a pair of heresey and they sound great but still not like those LaScala's. If I had the chance again and I didn't have the space right now I would propably pay for them and put them in storage.

Oh well just my two cents.

btw congrats on being engaged and all that.


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FWIW. I purchased a set of KSP400's a year and a half ago "new" for $700 out the door. I took them back 2 weeks later because I love the heritage sound and finally found some LaScala's. Your in-store credit should net you a lot more than the discontinued 4 years ago KSP's. You could have the KSP's and a plasma coming your way(or at least a nice B&K amp).

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I am not trusting your rep at the audio store in this deal.

If you decided to buy the LaScalas and bought something else you will be disappointed. Get her used to big speakers.


1. Keep 5 LaScalas, put 3 in storage.

2. Keep 2 and sell 3.

I went from KSB 3.1(old version of SB-3) to RB-5 to Chorus II.

Should have bought Hereseys, LaScalas, Fortes or Chorus from the beginning of the experiment.

Not a bad experiment though, I now have an HT room(RB-5) and a 2 channel room(Chorus II).

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You're not going to get many nods for the 400's here, simply because not many have heard them. I've got 'em...they're great for HT, La scala's probably better for 2 ch. (Cornwalls here). Price-wise, I think you ought to get a bit more with the 400's...unless the package includes a C-6 and 2/S-6's.

The 400's are EXCELLENT speakers! Ask BobG! More rare than La scalas, too...

Good luck!!


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Hmmm, hope it's not too late to throw in my two cents. I agree with the crowd, five old price/new LaScalas are worth more than they are offering. Sure the obsolete 400's are great speakers... particularly at close out prices... but the LaScalas are a design that were made decades before the 400's... and are still being made. If the LaScalas are a real problem just sell the contract to someone who really wants them. If you were willing to pay money and wait... you can bet there are plenty who will pay more money to wait less time.

Personally, I would tend to keep the LaScalas but if the wood finish is that much of a turn on... used LaScalas can be had in lots of flavors. As a Klipschorn and Belle lover, I have to admit the LaScala has great sound with more flexible placement potential that is hard to beat. And that old PWK sound has had me in its spell for better than four decades... and if you keep the LaScalas... chances our your unborn babies will party to them within the next two decades.

You will probably do better by selling your contract for NEW "unused" speakers than selling them after they arrive as unused "used" speakers. So, if some other configuration strikes your mutual fancy... then sell the contract and use the cash to make your best deal for the building at hand. Starting her out on a quality Klipsch journey with a natural upgrade path seems to be your best route. The 400's, great as they may be, are now audio dinos and not likely to hold thier value. Take it from someone who knows the ear value of strategically placed passive subs fired by 1,000 clean watts... you can take your present subs and build a better "housetrap" of spousal ear joy. Why, in my experience, some of them train faster than you might have expected. Happy homemakeing, Klipsch style. -HornED

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Yes, fini, just read it this morning... Glad you enjoyed my pre-school adventures with the winery business... and hope your mother-in-law finds it amusing as well. Just now I am having a bout with blood glucose stabilization using advanced techniques but once I re-establish control I look forward to rolling your way. Actually, I have some business to do in Petaluma in the next few months.

I have never heard a KSP-400 in a home environment... only in the poor environs of an audio store. However I have done extensive research on subwoofers... including as many as five then top-of-the-line Klipsch's in one system. One of the configurations that I tried had five Klipsch KLF-30's mounted atop the five subs. In my experience, being able to position the subwoofer apart from the tower had some advantages in avoiding ruinous standing waves in my particular environment. Obviously, acoustics play a large part in assessing subwoofer configurations. In talking with Klipsch staffers, they gave high marks for the KSP-400's in every area... except sales. In the retail business, the value of display space is such that a product must earn that space by how many turns of that product occur in a given time. On that basis of retail product viability the KSP-400 line just couldn't cut it.

I don't mean that as a slam against the speaker. Lots of worthwhile products failed to meet the retail "turn" test and were pulled off of shelves early. Here in the good old U.S.A. the introduction of rolls of toilet paper came with a lot of promise in the days when indoor plumbing was still somewhat rare. As best as marketeers of the time could figure, consumers just couln't figure why people would pay for something that they were already getting free by subscribing to catalogs! Even though catalogs didn't have slick pages in those days, there is no doubt that the folks who snapped up the clearance sale toilet paper cleaned up on the deal. 16.gif

Every once in a while you find audio equipment that just seems to be a custom fit in someones space and taste parameters... and that's great... in fact, isn't that purpose the most common denominator of why we were attracted to this forum? Hey, if KSP-400's float your boat your sailing better than you would be up Bose Creek paddling with an Acoustimass.

An issue that exists in better quality subwoofers mated to better quality speaker systems exists in the purity of the subwoofers ability to not broadcast sounds. As you know, sounds below about 80Hz cannot be detected by the human ear for directionality. Thus, truly great subwoofers may be placed anywhere in the room and the ear will associate those sounds as coming from the direction of a speaker that is broadcasting the associated sounds and harmonics of the low sounds above about 80Hz. As I understand it, the KSP-400 broadcasts the whole range of sound from subwoofer to tweeter from its location which, at least theoretically, would be a handicap in idealized orchestral placement pperception and a wide variety HT applications.

Bear in mind that our "party hearty" friend asked me, specifically, as one of the folks he wanted to respond to his question. Since, in this case, the question seems to be two fold... preserving flexibility of the speakers chosen to many potential listening configurations PLUS the question of how much value was being received in the trade-off seemed critical to the decision. KSP-400's must be good speakers given the quality of folks that own them... but I am suspect of their versitility. Also, despite their high marks as speaker systems, they are a relatively long discontinued product that have been bought for far less in-the-box at clearance sales. In fact, fini, superior audio shopper that you have proven to be... I would venture to say that you got a better deal on your KSP-400's than the one illustrated on this thread.

I look forward to hearing yours at our earliest mutual opportunity. Until then, KSPeace brother! -HornED

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Ed, One reason I'm looking forward to having you by, is to get your valued opinion on where to place the speakers (and screen) in this room. Currently, the configuration is way less than ideal, located in a room that is open to the dining room and kitchen, half-vaulted ceiling, acoustically bouncy, asymetrical (in the room) placement. I find the sweet spot by looking for where the kids spilled the jelly...you get the picture.


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Keep the Lascala's. You will have a great 2 channel system. They don't take up that much room. They are your kids. You wouldn't get rid of your dog if she thought it was too big. She took you in sickness and health. You will be sick if you ditch the Lascala's. Think about getting some tubes.

Stack 3 in a bedroom. You will end up using them.

You are going to loose your butt on this deal. In a couple years you may be able to sell and recover.


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My advice is to not get married! I got married about 3 months ago and let me tell you...things are totally different! Sex...Whats that? Affection...whats that? My cat shows me more affection. Date all your life. That was you won't have the ball and chain and you can still have fun. She totally takes everything over when you get married.

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Wow, folks! Some interesting opinions out there! Just for the record, I am aware that the KSPs are discontinued product... in fact, I used to be employed at this particular audio store when they were current. The owner and I know each other well. There would be other equipment included in my swap, if I choose to do it-- enough to make the exchange more than fair.

As it is, however, I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I chose the LaScalas in the first place, what equipment I presently own, and what my options might be for the next couple of years. I think I'll be keeping the LaScalas. I already have a KLFC7 center and a pair of KSPS6 surrounds, so I could use a single pair of the LaScalas as mains and be quite happy for awhile. The others will just have to wait in storage for a time.

I appreciate all the advice... including the musings of RJB and VDBO...(Tina and I have a long history, guys. We've known each other for over 12 years, and have a ten-year-old daughter. We're also a little older now-- I was 24 and she was 19 when we met-- so our perspectives have changed, somewhat.)

I think that I just needed a sounding board-- selling a home, getting married, --(and getting laid off from work)-- all in the same timeframe is pretty stressful!

Thanks, All! And happy listening!10.gif

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Partaymon... looks like you found the "handle" now all you need do is work the lever and you will be through the trying times into life's finer accomplishments. If you have known the lady that long... chances are that having a pair of LaScalas for her "private partay" is just what the love-bug ordered. If your building the marriage heritage... why not have speakers to match?

May this Orange Blossom Venture turn out to be your lifelong partay, mon! -HornED

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