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1993 Klipschorns - New Experience With Klipsch Speakers, Looking For Help, Please!


rooze
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Hey Y'all,

 

I'm looking for some help/guidance with a new journey involving a recently acquired pair of Khorns. I think the basic questions are - am I wasting my time given the parameters of my room, and if not, how do I get these bad boys to play nicely with the rest of my system?

 

Info provided for context - 

 

  • I've enjoyed this hobby for over 40 years and trying new gear is a big part of the fun, though as I get older, hauling 200LB boxes around is becoming a bit of a drag!
  • I've used many different speaker systems over the years including Magnepan 3.6R, Carver Amazing Plats, Apogee Caliper Sigs, custom stacked Oris 150 horns, Dunlavy SC-III, Merlin TSM and VSM, Sonus Faber Cremona M and Electas, Quad ESL57 and more.
  • My weakness is for scale - wide/deep soundstage with good dynamic ability. The Carver Amazing Plats did scale and dynamics well, but needed a large room.
  • My room is well treated but less than optimally proportioned. 16'x17'x8.5'. I have double doors which can be opened into the adjacent room, but these doors sit on the left side of the room, so not ideal for symmetrically placing speakers.
  • I listen quite loud at times, playing lots of 70s/80s classic rock such as Genesis, Floyd, Tull, Rush etc. I've a good assortment of folk music from performers like Nick Drake, John Martyn, Ani Di Franco etc, Jazz, big band stuff, limited classical.
  • I run a small blog website for a hobby, where I document my experience with new gear, this leads to my turning over gear more often than one might do normally - it gives me new material to write about. 

 

Just prior to the Klipschorns arriving, my system looked like so:

 

  • Dr. Feickert Woodpecker / Kuzma Stogi 12 VTA / Benz Micro LP-S
  • Manley Steelhead RC / Allnic Audio 1202
  • Denafrips Terminator DAC
  • Denafrips Gaia DDC
  • SMG i5 Sonic Transporter (Media Server) with UltraRendu.
  • Emotive Audio Epifania linestage
  • Thor Audio TPA-60 EL34 monoblocks
  • Dunlavy SC-III (occasionally replaced by Merlin Music Systems TSM BME standmounts)
  • 4 Subwoofers in a DBA, using miniDSP 2x4HD. Front two subs are passive Aerial SW12s driven by a Crown XLS1202 and the rear pair are active HSU subs. The miniDSP runs from the preamp direct and I do not have DSP on the main speakers, which run full-range. This bass setup is to overcome the peculiar room induced bass nodes associated with an almost square room. Bass is very good using this system and I don't have it doing much work.
  • Various cabling from Cardas, ESP, Harmonic Technology, etc, and I use a PS Audio P10 conditioner.
  • Various room treatments include QRD panels, home-made bass traps etc.

 

Anyone still here? LOL.

 

OK, so enter the Khorns. 1993 vintage, matched pair, mint condition. 

 

I quickly sold my Thor monoblock amps and I've tried a couple different amps with the Khorns, best of which was an Art Audio Carissa Signature 845 amp. Unfortunately that developed a fault after a few hours and had to be returned.

 

I've an Aric Audio KT88 120 SE, which is being used while I'm awaiting a new set of Emission Labs 300b XLS tubes for my Allnic A-6000 monos. So my comments below about sound quality relate to using the Aric Audio with EL34 tubes, about 16w/ch.

 

The Allnics are a little on the high-powered side at 50/60w, but I need them to drive my Dunlavys also. At the time of writing, I haven't heard the Allnics with the Khorns, the tubes are due to arrive later today.

 

Placing the Khorns where they belong in the corners is slightly problematic. There's a door and a rail that keeps them from sitting dead-snug. But they're within 0.75" of being tight against the corner walls, on both sides of the room. (photos below).

 

This creates a peculiar intersection point which is around 4-5 feet forward of my chair. My chair is roughly 15' from the front wall behind the speakers. I've tried moving closer to the speakers, but I prefer the position around 14-15' from the front wall.

 

Sound.

 

  1. The main issue with the sound is that they become congested in the upper mids and HF when playing complex passages loud. It sounds almost like an amp clipping, which I know is not the case. From reading around I gather that the 'squawker' is less than optimally designed and that it may be necessary to change this.
  2. I think the bass response is very good. Nice tone and timbre, extension is helped marginally by the subs. 
  3. Midrange is clear, warm and smooth on simpler music, actually quite transparent and revealing of detail/nuance, but again, it becomes congested quickly when playing something 'busy' sounding and gets irritating quite quickly.
  4. Highs can be hard sounding. Though clear and detailed, the hardness becomes an issue on horns/brass. Anyone familiar with Jeff Beck's lead guitar work on Roger Waters' 'Amused To Death', will appreciate his maestro performance, but it's a little too hard sounding when played at volume on the Khorns.
  5. Dynamics are excellent. Playing classical or a well recorded movie soundtrack such as 'Gladiator', it's quite impressive.
  6. Imaging isn't very tightly focused, I didn't expect that it would be.
  7. Stage depth is probably a 6/10 compared to using my Dunlavy SC-III which are a 9/10.

 

Overall they're musically enjoyable and impressive on certain types of music, but they're not giving me goosebumps on anything but a select few tracks, and on some of my older 70's stuff, it can quickly become fatiguing.

 

Questions that spring to mind:

 

  1. Am I fighting a losing battle with the room size and shape?
  2. Is it worth sinking more money into these to try and improve things, if so, where to begin?

 

On upgrades, I've read a lot of stuff around here and some of it has been helpful while some of it leaves me confused.

 

- Should I try to construct the 'false corners', at which point I can experiment more with toe-in?

- Is the Crites crossover kit worthwhile? My thought is that I'd only be benefitting from new caps, since the rest of the components look basically the same. For $400, I could probably source more exotic caps (V-Caps maybe) and replace them myself. Thoughts?

- Is the $1000 Volti XO the way to go, from Greg Roberts? At the Volti website he seems to be backing away from A La Carte and pushing a complete rebuild kit costing $4K. I can't justify that, or anything close to it at this point.

- I may be able to move my gear off to the side of the room, but it will require purchase of a 15' pair of RCA's. I reckon on around $750 used price. Is this worth it or not?

 

Any thoughts on how to embark on an upgrade path would be appreciated. Given my comments on the sound, where might be the best place to start? Or, if you think the room will always be too much of a constraint, then please say so.

 

Thanks for any help!

 

Cheers

Rooze

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Congrats on the Khorns. When you say loud, how loud is it? The Khorns can play much louder than you think they are playing, and then cause problems, i.e., the throat on the midrange horn an overload and sound congested. You can also overload your ears.

 

70s music might be excruciating, as the Khorns are very revealing.

 

It might be possible that the caps on the crossovers need replacing. That's about all that can actually fail or get out of spec. I would not spend the $4k for the Volti crossovers.

 

I'm not into fancy cables, so I'll leave that out for now.

 

The room isn't optimal, but I know folks have had Khorns in smaller room and been happy. are there any room treatments? [I just saw the diffuser on the back wall.]

 

Bruce

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2 minutes ago, Marvel said:

Congrats on the Khorns. When you say loud, how loud is it?

Thanks, Bruce.

I'll get the SPL meter out to double-check, but probably 90-95db with 100 db peaks. The 'overload' does appear to be directly proportional to volume, and I don't think it's the room being over-driven as I'm used to playing loud. 
I've the QRD panels on the wall behind the listening seat. I then have two fairly large bass absorbers in the corners behind the chair. Then two QRDs on the side walls which are setup to catch first reflection points for my Dunlavys. Then I've a few of those nice looking square panels which you can see in the last photo on the wall behind the speaker. I don't think they do much of anything. The room is fairly well damped. I don't hear a lot of slap-echo nor ringing from the room itself. And LF is managed by the miniDSP 2x4, setup with REW (EQ).

 

Rooze

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8 minutes ago, Marvel said:

All the gear in between could cause imaging issues, though.

Yes, I'm seriously thinking of moving everything off to the side and just keep the monoblocks in between the speakers. But what a pain!

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Too many variables! Way off the WAF chart! Zero hope for your recovery! That last part is a compliment. : )

 

The easy loudspeaker solution for your situation are high scorers on the Spinorama chart and out from the walls. This would exclude the Klipschorn. I too am new to the Klipschorn and it's a completely different ballgame, though if played correctly will win the World Series against your competitors in a walk. IMNHO. Optimization will require quite a bit of patient study (start with @Chris A 's FAQ's) followed by a divide-and-conquer approach that may frequently challenge what you thought you knew. I'm finding the journey extremely enjoyable, which is necessary or you'll go crazy and/or give up.

 

God bless you and your precious family - Langston

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rooze, welcome to the forum.

 

Similar to you, I am familiar with quite a few different speakers over the last 40 years. BBC LS3/6, Quad ESL57, Alnico Tannoy Canterburys, LS 3/5 to name a few. All these different speakers have their specific strengths and their specific weaknesses.

The best allrounder is probably my Klipsch Jubilees with TAD 4002 drivers since 2008, but the Jubilees need a bigger room than I have to integrate the room into the sound, or otherwise as in my case you get a sound impression that is very impressive but doesn't include the room...like a huge very cool sounding headphone where everything is right in the sound...but without including your room. In other words, you slip into the recording but the music doesn't blend with my small room that measures about 5.30 meters by 5.80 meters. I enjoyed that for 10 years but I took a step back and use my 1977 Lascala, which basically have the same squaker and tweeter as your Khorns. The Lascala (as well as the Khorn squaker and tweeter section) are much smaller than the Jubilees and the sound marries with my room. For me personally, that is an important characteristic that sound reproduction should have. (I will keep my Jubilees but I am waiting for a bigger room in the future to run them again).There are 16 years between your and my speakers and they have different crossovers etc. E.g. I suspect you have those EV ceramic squaker drivers. BTW today Klipsch uses the same alnico drivers in the Khorn as Atlas did in the 70s.

To make it short, I can understand your irritation very well, because I experience it very similar.

 

To describe the status quo, my 1977 Lascala are the best speakers I've ever had for not listening to music too loud. It is perhaps paradoxical because many people believe that a Klipsch heritage speaker can play very well loud. But my experience is that it plays best soft to medium loud. Actually not much louder than a normal direct radiator. Only, the Lascla does it much better. The dynamics are overwhelming, the sense of space and at the same time the physicality. Maybe this is the secret. Many speakers that can do 3D space have too little body and many speakers with body have too little sense of space. The Lascala and the Khorn deliver both...and so effortlessly.

But it quickly becomes shrill and unpleasant when it gets too loud. In my case maybe even more than with your xover because I have the AA xover which has even less steepness at the midrange.

The rule of thumb is the higher the slope of the crossover the better it sounds loud. but the smaller the slope the better the sense of space, impulse, integrity and timbre when listening softly.

What can you do. First of all, i would start with seemingly trivial things. change the rubber rings that sit between the squaker driver and its horn. that can make a lot of difference.

And then, either you go the classic way and you build yourself an (easy to make) AA crossover with new Atlas drivers (the same alnico as before your EV driver was used) today they are called PD5VH, as Klipsch uses them again today. (BTW your xover was developed as the following network because the EV driver is louder). This way does not make them probably less shrill when playing louder but even more detailed when playing at lower to mid spl.

The next point is the tweeter. There are many alternatives now...also here in the forum. But I am still very emotionally attached to my Alico K77 (your 1993 Khorns have ceramic magnets K77, but that is not the cause of your impression that it can quickly become shrill, only the alnicos I prefer sonically).

So the alternatives re tweeters of Crites or Dave A may allow high volumes without sounding shrill, but I do not know them personally (yet).

There is a large group that favors an active DSP control but I personally love it passive and analog. 
An alternative might be a modern tractrix horn as a two-way system, but that would most likely be digitally active again. What I wouldn't do is replace the capacitors to polypropylene types because they have a higher Q and they can make the horns sound even shriller.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Marvel said:

Would you leave the amps up in the front?

 

Did you make the large QRDs?

Yes I'd leave the amps up front, tucked back to the wall.

I didn't make the QRDs, I did paint/finish them. They're about 200lbs each so moving them around isn't too practical..

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44 minutes ago, KT88 said:

rooze, welcome to the forum.

 

Similar to you, I am familiar with quite a few different speakers over the last 40 years. BBC LS3/6, Quad ESL57, Alnico Tannoy Canterburys, LS 3/5 to name a few. All these different speakers have their specific strengths and their specific weaknesses.

The best allrounder is probably my Klipsch Jubilees with TAD 4002 drivers since 2008, but the Jubilees need a bigger room than I have to integrate the room into the sound, or otherwise as in my case you get a sound impression that is very impressive but doesn't include the room...like a huge very cool sounding headphone where everything is right in the sound...but without including your room. In other words, you slip into the recording but the music doesn't blend with my small room that measures about 5.30 meters by 5.80 meters. I enjoyed that for 10 years but I took a step back and use my 1977 Lascala, which basically have the same squaker and tweeter as your Khorns. The Lascala (as well as the Khorn squaker and tweeter section) are much smaller than the Jubilees and the sound marries with my room. For me personally, that is an important characteristic that sound reproduction should have. (I will keep my Jubilees but I am waiting for a bigger room in the future to run them again).There are 16 years between your and my speakers and they have different crossovers etc. E.g. I suspect you have those EV ceramic squaker drivers. BTW today Klipsch uses the same alnico drivers in the Khorn as Atlas did in the 70s.

To make it short, I can understand your irritation very well, because I experience it very similar.

 

To describe the status quo, my 1977 Lascala are the best speakers I've ever had for not listening to music too loud. It is perhaps paradoxical because many people believe that a Klipsch heritage speaker can play very well loud. But my experience is that it plays best soft to medium loud. Actually not much louder than a normal direct radiator. Only, the Lascla does it much better. The dynamics are overwhelming, the sense of space and at the same time the physicality. Maybe this is the secret. Many speakers that can do 3D space have too little body and many speakers with body have too little sense of space. The Lascala and the Khorn deliver both...and so effortlessly.

But it quickly becomes shrill and unpleasant when it gets too loud. In my case maybe even more than with your xover because I have the AA xover which has even less steepness at the midrange.

The rule of thumb is the higher the slope of the crossover the better it sounds loud. but the smaller the slope the better the sense of space, impulse, integrity and timbre when listening softly.

What can you do. First of all, i would start with seemingly trivial things. change the rubber rings that sit between the squaker driver and its horn. that can make a lot of difference.

And then, either you go the classic way and you build yourself an (easy to make) AA crossover with new Atlas drivers (the same alnico as before your EV driver was used) today they are called PD5VH, as Klipsch uses them again today. (BTW your xover was developed as the following network because the EV driver is louder). This way does not make them probably less shrill when playing louder but even more detailed when playing at lower to mid spl.

The next point is the tweeter. There are many alternatives now...also here in the forum. But I am still very emotionally attached to my Alico K77 (your 1993 Khorns have ceramic magnets K77, but that is not the cause of your impression that it can quickly become shrill, only the alnicos I prefer sonically).

So the alternatives re tweeters of Crites or Dave A may allow high volumes without sounding shrill, but I do not know them personally (yet).

There is a large group that favors an active DSP control but I personally love it passive and analog. 
An alternative might be a modern tractrix horn as a two-way system, but that would most likely be digitally active again. What I wouldn't do is replace the capacitors to polypropylene types because they have a higher Q and they can make the horns sound even shriller.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the great info. Lots of good points to think about. I've flipped between "these are not the right speakers for me, get rid of them"....to "these have unlimited potential, stay with them and put the effort into them"... your post is adding weight to the "get rid" argument, purely because I'm not sure I have the time and patience to do what's needed to make them work....and the money...

 

I think listening loud is not something I'm willing to sacrifice. I have a dedicated music room, no neighbors and the type of music I listen to begs to be played at realistic levels. So if that's a limitation then it would be a deal breaker.

Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, Langston said:

Too many variables! Way off the WAF chart! Zero hope for your recovery! That last part is a compliment. : )

 

The easy loudspeaker solution for your situation are high scorers on the Spinorama chart and out from the walls. This would exclude the Klipschorn. I too am new to the Klipschorn and it's a completely different ballgame, though if played correctly will win the World Series against your competitors in a walk. IMNHO. Optimization will require quite a bit of patient study (start with @Chris A 's FAQ's) followed by a divide-and-conquer approach that may frequently challenge what you thought you knew. I'm finding the journey extremely enjoyable, which is necessary or you'll go crazy and/or give up.

 

God bless you and your precious family - Langston

Thanks for the tips. I've seen a lot of Chris A's content so I'll continue to read his contributions. 

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1 hour ago, rooze said:

Thanks for the great info. Lots of good points to think about. I've flipped between "these are not the right speakers for me, get rid of them"....to "these have unlimited potential, stay with them and put the effort into them"... your post is adding weight to the "get rid" argument, purely because I'm not sure I have the time and patience to do what's needed to make them work....and the money...

 

I think listening loud is not something I'm willing to sacrifice. I have a dedicated music room, no neighbors and the type of music I listen to begs to be played at realistic levels. So if that's a limitation then it would be a deal breaker.

Thanks again.

Even if I personally do not have the experience. If you like the Khorn at lower spl before you sell them I would try a B&C D120 driver based tweeter from Dave A or Crites. Don't change anything else. It's very possible you'll like the Khorns very much loud with it too. Why I intervene, you will hardly find another speaker that can be so good loud, not even Tannoys. And buying these tweeters (leaving everything else as it is now) would be a great opportunity for small money in my view. As I said, your xover should already be able to allow greater volumes. It would be a relatively small investment. I hear from your descriptions and all your previous speakers that you are very "tweeter spoiled". It wouldn't be a big financial risk because you can sell the original Khorns and there is a big market for the new tweeters, at least here in the forum where you can also advertise.

I have considered exactly this option for me personally for the future, but first I am on the way to reconstruct my 1977 lascla completely original (two steps missing) before I will do similar experiments because I also like to listen very loud from time to time.
You won't get such a bass fundament anywhere else. All direct radiators do not have this force, energy and speed as a klipsch bass horn. Believe me, the step back to other speakers will caress your soul at first but you will miss that experience, even if you have 18“ direct radiators and 1000 watt amplifiers, it will never have that lively foundation.

 

The issue is that the K77 tweeter is a very ambivalent story. on the one hand, it fits perfectly with the klipsch sound, its impulse, its radiation behavior, that's what i love about the K77. On the other hand it is the culprit for this effect that it can get shrill and aggressive when it gets louder. It is the K77 that - after several evolutionary stages - even if I find the very early alnicos the best - was finally exchanged for a completely new tractrix tweeter development by Roy Delgando in the current Khorns and Lascalas. But the K401 squaker horn remaines with great success.

BTW I don't know all the devices from your list but Khorns love tube amps.

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9 hours ago, Marvel said:

All the gear in between could cause imaging issues, though.

 

9 hours ago, rooze said:

Yes, I'm seriously thinking of moving everything off to the side and just keep the monoblocks in between the speakers. But what a pain!

 

  • Yes, Roy Delgado, chief engineer at Klipsch told someone on the forum (Chris A?) that Khorns sound best with nothing between them.
  • Since Klipsch advises using rubber (pipe insulation, used to be rubber rug runners -- see Dope From Hope) to seal the Khorns to the walls making up the corner, they must think it's important to have the Khorns tucked in tightly.
  •   @Chris A also recommends 2 ft of absorbtion on either side of the cornered Khorn starting at the point a yardstick placed flat against the mid/tweet mounting board would touch the side wall, and extending 2 feet along the wall into the room: image.png.d3673aa11953affe599275eb9a5d0a5e.png
  • Thesis:   One of harshest critics of any shortcomings says, on his website, the midrange driver is good, and the tweeter is not the first thing to replace.  He feels the K400 or K401 mid horn is the Achilles heelAntithesis:  When Klipsch updated the Khorn a little more than a year ago, they replaced the tweeter, and left the K401 alone.  Synthesis: Hegel's eyes are crossed, as usual.
  • I have Khorns (obviously) in a big Music room/Home Theater, and have occasionally played things with 110 dB peaks, with no additional distortion, but my music is chiefly classical and jazz..
  • You say your bass is fine, but you might try running the Khorns with an 80, or 70 or .... 40 Hz cut off, and see what happens.  I stubbornly ran mine full range for a few years, then tried crossing it over at all of the above crossovers, and found 40 Hz to be the cleanest, clearest, tightest in my room anyway.  The sub then takes it down an octave++ to 16 Hz, with minimal multipath problems.
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9 hours ago, garyrc said:

 

 

  • Yes, Roy Delgado, chief engineer at Klipsch told someone on the forum (Chris A?) that Khorns sound best with nothing between them.
  • Since Klipsch advises using rubber (pipe insulation, used to be rubber rug runners -- see Dope From Hope) to seal the Khorns to the walls making up the corner, they must think it's important to have the Khorns tucked in tightly.
  •   @Chris A also recommends 2 ft of absorbtion on either side of the cornered Khorn starting at the point a yardstick placed flat against the mid/tweet mounting board would touch the side wall, and extending 2 feet along the wall into the room: image.png.d3673aa11953affe599275eb9a5d0a5e.png
  • Thesis:   One of harshest critics of any shortcomings says, on his website, the midrange driver is good, and the tweeter is not the first thing to replace.  He feels the K400 or K401 mid horn is the Achilles heelAntithesis:  When Klipsch updated the Khorn a little more than a year ago, they replaced the tweeter, and left the K401 alone.  Synthesis: Hegel's eyes are crossed, as usual.
  • I have Khorns (obviously) in a big Music room/Home Theater, and have occasionally played things with 110 dB peaks, with no additional distortion, but my music is chiefly classical and jazz..
  • You say your bass is fine, but you might try running the Khorns with an 80, or 70 or .... 40 Hz cut off, and see what happens.  I stubbornly ran mine full range for a few years, then tried crossing it over at all of the above crossovers, and found 40 Hz to be the cleanest, clearest, tightest in my room anyway.  The sub then takes it down an octave++ to 16 Hz, with minimal multipath problems.

Great info, thank you!

I don't have an easy way to implement the crossover on the main speakers, but it's something I can look into. I do have miniDSP with XO capability but it's out of the main signal path and controls the subwoofers only.

 

I'll research the horn/driver options more, and I'm also considering a reversible method of adding backs to the speakers, so I can play with toe-in and get a feel for how that affects frequency response. Lots of options...!!

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Strongly suggest you add the backs (false corners)...I installed my khorns with the foam pipe insulation that many recommend, but didn't get the "magic" until I really pushed hard and pressed them into the corners, making a much more airtight seal...changes the entire high/low frequency balance...the bass was totally different and the shrillness disappeared for me (except on bad recordings)

 

Suggest you try this first before other mods...couple cheap sheets of 3/4 " mdf and "Bob's your Uncle"

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23 hours ago, rooze said:

Sound.

  1. The main issue with the sound is that they become congested in the upper mids and HF when playing complex passages loud. It sounds almost like an amp clipping, which I know is not the case. From reading around I gather that the 'squawker' is less than optimally designed and that it may be necessary to change this.
  2. I think the bass response is very good. Nice tone and timbre, extension is helped marginally by the subs. 
  3. Midrange is clear, warm and smooth on simpler music, actually quite transparent and revealing of detail/nuance, but again, it becomes congested quickly when playing something 'busy' sounding and gets irritating quite quickly.

 

It actually could be an amplifier clipping if using amplifiers with less than ~8 w/channel of clean output.  It could be that you don't hear that clipping using other loudspeakers of lower efficiency because their clarity is so much lower.

 

The issue with the K-400/K-401 midrange horn is twofold:

 

1) It loses vertical directivity below 2.1 kHz (due to the limited size of its mouth in the vertical direction), thus putting a lot of acoustic energy on your ceiling and floor.  You can help with controlling this excess energy on the floor easily (thicker absorption material on the floor near the loudspeaker), and something on the ceiling to diffuse the 400-2100 Hz energy better.

 

2) It's not time aligned with the tweeter and bass bin.  This produces the timbre shifts and the "stuffy" sound that you have identified.

 

The best solution is a pair of K-402s with Celestion Axi2050 drivers, bi-amped (bass bin and HF K-402) using good direct-coupled amplifiers.  These would probably be the best sounding that you've ever heard-no kidding. 

 

The range of lesser solutions is enormous.  I really don't recommend half-measures if ultimate sound quality--like the Dunlavy SC-IIIs and the little speakers-on-a-stick are your prior reference for sound quality.  You're apparently used to hearing phase-coherent loudspeakers, and the bi-amped K-402/Axi2050/Khorn bass bin will provide that if using a good DSP crossover

 

You really need horn-loaded subs in order to keep the distortion levels down to reasonable levels.  Otherwise the little direct radiating subs stick out like a sore thumb.  I recommend tapped horn subwoofers, but any front-loaded horn subwoofer combinations having lower end cutoff below 20 Hz is probably the only reason to use subs with the Khorns (IMHO). The Khorns are good down to 32 Hz in room corners.

 

23 hours ago, rooze said:

4. Highs can be hard sounding. Though clear and detailed, the hardness becomes an issue on horns/brass. Anyone familiar with Jeff Beck's lead guitar work on Roger Waters' 'Amused To Death', will appreciate his maestro performance, but it's a little too hard sounding when played at volume on the Khorns...

6. Imaging isn't very tightly focused, I didn't expect that it would be.

7. Stage depth is probably a 6/10 compared to using my Dunlavy SC-III which are a 9/10.

 

All of these problems will be solved with the K-402/Axi2050 horn/driver (bi-amped) on top of the bass bins.  Save your pennies and do it all at once--and you'll thank yourself later.  You can store the passive crossovers and top hats for resale later if you wish--via reassembling the them on top.  The top hats just unbolt from the bass bins and can be stored away.

 

23 hours ago, rooze said:

Questions that spring to mind:

  1. Am I fighting a losing battle with the room size and shape?
  2. Is it worth sinking more money into these to try and improve things, if so, where to begin?

 

It's clearly not a losing battle but it takes some surgery to solve the problems you have brought up, above, assuming that you've imprinted on phase-coherent loudspeakers.  The K-402s (Klipsch won't let you buy these with the Axi2050s the last time I looked, but you can ask if they will put the new "K-693" drivers instead of the K-691s) are the solution, IMO.  If the price is too high from Klipsch to do this, then just buy the K-691s on the K-402s with a stand (also known as a KPT-402-HF assembly), then buy the Axi2050s separately then integrate them, replacing the K-691s, then sell the K-691s off separately.  You'll never look back after doing this, and I'd go as far as to say that you will never want for better loudspeakers--ever again.

 

You can talk to user @Delicious2 about using the K-402s on top of the Khorn bass bins.  I don't think he's used Axi2050s, but he's used very good replacement compression drivers in the place of the K-691s, IIRC.

 

Chris

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3 hours ago, hanksjim1 said:

Strongly suggest you add the backs (false corners)...I installed my khorns with the foam pipe insulation that many recommend, but didn't get the "magic" until I really pushed hard and pressed them into the corners, making a much more airtight seal...changes the entire high/low frequency balance...the bass was totally different and the shrillness disappeared for me (except on bad recordings)

 

Suggest you try this first before other mods...couple cheap sheets of 3/4 " mdf and "Bob's your Uncle"

Ok, thanks. Can you please clarify - the foam pipe insulation with the cabinets pushed tight is an alternative to installing backs or false corners, correct? 

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