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Just acquired some circa 1980s LaScalas


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@billybob just WHO is THEY?  😂

 

Congrats on your Raw Birch LS!  Here's a link and you can sort things out regarding your factory info.  Gotta get those feet wet sometime!  lol

I have a pair of 81 RB-LS and love them.  Be glad to help you out if I can. 

 

I don't think you can msg me yet due to being new and kinda "restricted" on your posts.  The restrictions help keep the flies away or so it seems.  When you can msg me feel free to do so should you like. 

 

My cabs are in a lot better shape than yours.  I didn't refinish mine and never will.  Lugged too many RB in my life.  I wouldn't know how to act w/veneer.  lol 

 

Many in here have done that and there are a lot of hands on examples in the threads.  You'll also see some pics of a LOT of beautiful work by many members.  So the coolness factor is there too.  Where you go and what you do with them is up to you.  Everyone sees and hears differently so there's that!  lol

 

Where ya from?  Fill us all in a bit so we know what we've got on the hook.  What gear do you have?  2-channel?  home theater, turntable, albums, cd's, etc.  😂

 

 

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We are going to want some pics of the damage overall. Sure you will vacuum them some and in 

the rear. Do take some care around the capacitors in the electronics in the rear, and a picture of each.

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The good news is that a bit of cosmetic damage won't stop your 1979 La Scalas from sounding as good as they did when they were new.  With an upgrade or two, maybe even better!

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7 hours ago, bsac335 said:

I just acquired a pair of circa 1980s vintage LaScalas. THey are pretty beat up. 

 

Just curious on any tips on restoring them?

 

 

Bring out the sander and the wood filler , or better yet add 1/4 inch to half inch pre-veneered wood panels --to spiff the cabs

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7 hours ago, bsac335 said:

I just acquired a pair of circa 1980s vintage LaScalas. THey are pretty beat up. 

 

Just curious on any tips on restoring them

 

First thing is to test the speakers , to check if anything needs repairing , once everything sound great ----you remove the drivers and woofers , horns , and crossovers and the cabs rehab can start  -

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I ended up with a pair in worse condition. I went the bondo / Duratex route. Invested maybe $100. Turned our nice if you like that look.

Veneer is very expensive currently but coming down a little. Can't help you as to how much someone would charge to do the work.

 

In the end I also added some alum trim. 

 

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Hi:

 

I also just picked up a set of Lascalas (s/n 8657579 and 8657580), which were made in early 1986. They're my first Lascalas. They're in Raw Birch cabinets. Based on the serial numbers, I had expected them to have AL2 networks, but the networks are just marked AL.

 

I hope you'll entertain some questions I have.

1) The speakers didn't come with grills and I didn't see where grills would attach. However I've seen photos of Lascalas with grills. Should mine have grills or not?

2) Would AL2 networks be marked as AL2, or might they just be marked AL?

3) There is a 3/4" plywood panel on the base of the cabinet (slightly smaller than the cabinet footprint). Is that original, or would it be something added by a previous owner?

 

I have lots of other questions (about what's original. recommended upgrades, refinishing/restoring the cabinets, re-capping or replacing the networks, documentation, etc), but I'll hold them for future posts. 

 

I'm a newbie to the forum, so please pardon me if I should have created a new thread about this, rather than jumping on this one. 

 

Thank-you,

Dave MacKay

near Toronto, Canada

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maple veneer was $60.00 per 4x* sheet and I used 3 sheets to re-veneer mine.

 

The outsides are easy the inside areas around the dog house are a real pain. A good veneer job requires some form of pressure while the glue is setting up about 24 hours and that is very hard to do in the dog house area.

 

 look for a cabinet maker or furniture refinisher  not cheap

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On 7/12/2021 at 9:54 AM, bsac335 said:

Thanks. THey work great. Anybody have an idea what it would cost to have someone put a veneer on these speakers? I don't have the skill for that.

 

Another way to go is to apply actual wood to the sides of your Scalas.  The side panels are just a bit flexible, since they're a large unbraced area and are only 3/4" thick.  The La Scala IIs addressed this by being built of 1" MDF, which is very stiff.  Since the walls of the bass section of the cabinets form part of the woofer horns, some owners have experienced some resonating at very high volume levels, and some have added wedges between the doghouses (where the woofers live, lol) and the sidewalls to eliminate this.  This requires 4 wedges, of slightly different sizes, since manufacturing tolerances mean that the distances between the doghouse walls and the cabinet sidewalls vary a bit.

 

To be honest, I've never experienced this, but my La Scala IIs do seem to have stronger bass tones than the original La Scalas.  All that to say that there's another way to stiffen the Scala sidewalls, and that's by adding an extra layer on the outside of the sidewalls.  You can choose whatever kind of wood looks good to you, or even real fine to you.  Plywood is generally recommended, because it resists warping better than some solid wood panels, and it's what your speakers are made of, Baltic Birch plywood to be specific.  You could go 1/4" or 1/2", and you could notice some subtle bass improvements.  Solid wood or plywood beats veneer for a few reasons.  If it ever becomes necessary, you can sand it down a bit, while veneer is too thin to allow that, plus solid wood is tougher than veneer.  It has to be properly glued and screwed on, but you should only ever have to do it once, and it will make the speakers look better.  The sidewalls on my original La Scalas always look a bit skinny, while the LS2 cabinets look just right, to me anyway.

 

You may come across references to a 148 Hz peak in the Scalas' frequency response.  This is a consequence of the dimensions of the LS (and LS2) bass horns.  It is not caused by any resonance, real or imagined.  Some people can hear that peak, while some listeners never notice it.  Don't now go listening for it, okay?

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21 hours ago, Dave MacKay said:

Hi:

 

I also just picked up a set of Lascalas (s/n 8657579 and 8657580), which were made in early 1986. They're my first Lascalas. They're in Raw Birch cabinets. Based on the serial numbers, I had expected them to have AL2 networks, but the networks are just marked AL.

 

I hope you'll entertain some questions I have.

1) The speakers didn't come with grills and I didn't see where grills would attach. However I've seen photos of Lascalas with grills. Should mine have grills or not?

2) Would AL2 networks be marked as AL2, or might they just be marked AL?

3) There is a 3/4" plywood panel on the base of the cabinet (slightly smaller than the cabinet footprint). Is that original, or would it be something added by a previous owner?

 

I have lots of other questions (about what's original. recommended upgrades, refinishing/restoring the cabinets, re-capping or replacing the networks, documentation, etc), but I'll hold them for future posts. 

 

I'm a newbie to the forum, so please pardon me if I should have created a new thread about this, rather than jumping on this one. 

 

Thank-you,

Dave MacKay

near Toronto, Canada

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Hey, Dave, welcome to the Forum!  You'll find we have quite a few Canadians on here.  I live in Victoria now, but I've lived all over the GTA, from Downsview to Richmond Hill to Willowdale to near Yorkdale, even near Lakeshore and Bathurst.  I lived in Etobicoke for ten years, and bought my first house there.  Do you live somewhere in the GTA?

 

Enough about me.  Congrats on getting your La Scalas!  They're great speakers, so much so that after I got a pair of La Scala IIs, I kept the original La Scalas to serve as surround speakers.

 

Okay, to your questions.  First, I don't know when La Scalas started being built with grilles, but I think it was sometime in the 1990s.  I'm sure another member will know the exact year.  Yours don't have anything missing.

 

Second, I think AL2 networks (also called crossovers) are clearly marked as such, so you have AL networks.  The bad news about that is that the AL networks are generally described as the least popular ones.  The sort of good news is that your speakers would be due for new caps by now, so it's a good excuse to replace the networks.  Critesspeakers do a great job with service and supplies for Heritage Series speakers, and will sell you parts or complete networks.

 

Critesspeakers network page, with some history of what went in when:  https://critesspeakers.com/crossovers.html

 

Critesspeakers home page (Bob Crites is the person in the top picture, but sadly he passed away earlier this year.  His son is now running the business, but from all reports he's providing the same friendly and very knowledgeable help that his father provided.  I bought tweeters and cap kits from Bob in 2006, and I'm still saying good things about him, so that may give you some idea of the level of respect that they get and satisfaction that they provide to happy Klipsch Heritage Series owners):  https://critesspeakers.com

 

deang on the Forum is also a highly respected crossover wizard, and is also worth talking to. 

 

The panels on the bottom of the cabinets are probably the woofer access panels.  They're sealed on with weatherstrip-type material for airtightness, as well as the screws.  If you take the panels off, you'll probably have a sticky mess to deal with, as the weatherstrip may have deteriorated over the years.  It doesn't cost much to replace, but the cleanup of the panel and cabinets could take a bit of time.

 

The usual advice given here is to listen to your speakers before thinking about replacing anything.  For quite a while.  Get used to the way that they sound, so that you have a mental baseline to refer to if and when you make any changes.  It's hard to know whether a change actually made an improvement, or just a change, if you're not really familiar with what you started out with.  It doesn't hurt to make notes, either.  These are high-quality speakers, but there's a big knowledge base about them, so the successful upgrade paths no longer require guesswork and expensive try-this-and-try-that experimentation.  Sure, that can be fun, but getting something right the first time, and then sitting back with a big smile when you hear your favourite music sounding better than you ever remember it sounding is a great feeling.

 

In the meantime, it's a good idea to clean out the dust from the speakers, including around the networks.  Then, maybe check every connection screw for tightness.  Over the years, the softer metals, like in the spade connectors, can flatten out a bit, causing the screws to have a looser grip on them.  This can cause poor connections, so that you could get crackling, or drivers cutting in and out.  This is not good for them, especially the tweeters.  Keep in mind that the plastic barrier strip (that was a new term on me.  It's the little black plastic strip that your speaker cables attach to, and what the network attaches to.) is made of plastic that's old, and maybe dry and brittle, so "nice and snug" is the idea, not "reef 'er down".

 

Don't be shy to ask questions.  We were all newbies once, and I can honestly say that I've tripled my audio knowledge since joining the Forum, a month after I got my La Scalas.  They were my portal to this Klipschter madness, and I'm really glad to be here.

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On 7/11/2021 at 10:22 AM, Dave1291 said:

@billybob just WHO is THEY?  😂

 

I currently don't have any tube gear other than my Guitar Amp that could be used as an audiophile amp. It's a Carvin Tube 100 ( 100 watt head).

 

I also have a Fischer FM100 tuner.

 

Other than that my other gear is FET 1000 watt solid state amp. 

 

My center speaker is Klipsch Academy with the Bob Crites Titanium tweeter upgrade. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 7/11/2021 at 10:22 AM, Dave1291 said:

Congrats on your Raw Birch LS!  Here's a link and you can sort things out regarding your factory info.  Gotta get those feet wet sometime!  lol

I have a pair of 81 RB-LS and love them.  Be glad to help you out if I can. 

 

I don't think you can msg me yet due to being new and kinda "restricted" on your posts.  The restrictions help keep the flies away or so it seems.  When you can msg me feel free to do so should you like. 

 

My cabs are in a lot better shape than yours.  I didn't refinish mine and never will.  Lugged too many RB in my life.  I wouldn't know how to act w/veneer.  lol 

 

Many in here have done that and there are a lot of hands on examples in the threads.  You'll also see some pics of a LOT of beautiful work by many members.  So the coolness factor is there too.  Where you go and what you do with them is up to you.  Everyone sees and hears differently so there's that!  lol

 

Where ya from?  Fill us all in a bit so we know what we've got on the hook.  What gear do you have?  2-channel?  home theater, turntable, albums, cd's, etc.  😂

 

 

 

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