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Chief bonehead, May 21 in General Klipsch Info
I guess it is worthwhile to comment on what I saw in this video that perhaps others that are not as sensitive to what PWK was saying might understand.
What appears to be an "old man" trying to answer the questions from the interviewer (who clearly wasn't Jim Hunter--unless he had his voice fixed an octave higher or so... 👧) was actually diplomacy...in my view. The question was three times asked, "what makes the Klipsch loudspeaker sound so much better--in layman's terms?". Three times he answered: "the absence of distortion." I think he became a little irritated the third time this question was asked, and he had answered it twice before (the reason for his pause in answering the third time), so he stopped to think about his answer so that he wouldn't say something that he would later regret. (At least, that's what I see in this recording.) If I get to that age, I'm pretty sure that I'll probably not be nearly as diplomatic if the same sort of event occurred.
I believe the answer was startling--and not at all what the interviewer was expecting to hear (the reason why she asked two more times--because she was convinced that he didn't answer the question). So the Klipschorn was developed to avoid the kinds of distortion that were present in almost all other loudspeakers of the day (and since that time). This is startling and surprising, I believe, and the interviewer wasn't expecting the answer.
"The absence of distortion" answer that was not accepted initially (or the second time around) implies many put up with so much distortion from loudspeakers...that they've grown accustomed or acclimatized to that distortion over the years. They no longer think of it as distortion because that's what they've listened to during their lives.
I believe that most people have become much more accustomed to hearing that distortion than the "real thing"--i.e., natural or acoustic recordings of acoustic instruments and voices. I think the reason is due to not listening to the "real thing--unamplified". PWK always said that his customers should go to real concerts to re-calibrate their ears. He wasn't talking about going to a concert where the musicians were using amplified instruments or voices--rather just the opposite. Here's the dilemma: if all you've heard is distorted music from loudspeakers--how do you prefer non-distorted music?
It's also of interest that many professional musicians (the type of musicians that play non-amplified instruments, that is) prefer the sound of the Klipschorn over other loudspeakers. This has been noted over the years, but the "talking heads" that review for magazines and produce the type of loudspeakers that create the types audible distortion that PWK was talking about--don't want to talk about the type of distortion that PWK was talking about--because their favorite loudspeakers would be revealed to have truly massive amounts of these types of distortion (as compared to well designed horn loaded loudspeakers).
What kind of distortion was PWK talking about? Well, most people automatically assume that it's harmonic distortion, but the really objectionable type is modulation distortion, because it isn't harmonic in nature. Well-designed horn loudspeakers basically do not exhibit modulation distortion, and all direct-radiating loudspeakers do--audible modulation distortion, that is. This is because the horn loading of the diaphragms increases the impedance match to air enough that the efficiency of the driver/horn only has to move about 1/5th the distance for the same on-axis SPL as using the same driver in direct radiating mode. This is the real difference between direct radiating loudspeakers and well-designed horn loaded ones: modulation distortion. This is the type of distortion that PWK was mainly talking about. Compression distortion is also a factor, but typically not to the same degree as modulation distortion, unless the direct radiating loudspeaker is quite small in its lower frequency driver diaphragm areas.
As far as the center loudspeaker question that the interviewer asked, I think that PWK saw that the conversation was probably going to be too difficult to productively discuss if the preceding answer was so difficult for the interviewer to accept. I think he punted when the more complex question of center loudspeakers came up. I would have punted, too, I think.
Not certain the interviewer was actually versed with speakers in general and much Klipsch in particular and terminology.
As Valdemar stated, "You do not question me correctly."
PWK was in a Fantastic shape for an 80 + year old Man who did so much in a very short lapse of time , 45 years in business at the time of this interview -
In the 1960s, Paul Klipsch was found in his office, stripped down to his skivvies with the thermostat set too high. He was trying to determine why early calculators would quit when operated at high temperatures. He later sent a letter to the manufacturer, explaining the source of the problem.
Mr. Paul does not need translating.
On 5/20/2021 at 7:17 PM, Chief bonehead said:
Thanks Roy this is pure gold. My favorite part is where PWK imitates a phonograph don't know why but it cracks me up love it and perfectly done. His patience is very high and keeps trying to explain distortion to her.
I love his patience, you can see him trying to figure out how to explain to an average person what he is thinking.
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