Jump to content

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


rooze
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Chris A said:

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

Thanks Chris, lots of good information to digest. A quick google search and it would seem the K-402s are quite hard to come by used, and the Axi2050s are readily available but would run about $2k for a pair. I would then need an active dsp/XO. Can you recommend one suitable for this application? The miniDSP I use isn't really of good enough quality, though it might work short term. The DEQX units seem popular and the 2 way units are reasonable. Beyond that I've no real experience with digital XO/EQ aside from the Lyngdorf and Tact boxes I owned many years ago.

 

Oh, and yes, you've hit the nail on the head with your comment about phase-coherent designs. I'm spoiled in many ways with what the Dunlavys do with soundstage reproduction, but obviously they can't hold a candle to the Khorns when it comes to dynamic realism.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A Xilica XP series unit would be my first choice.  Beyond that, there are a few slightly less capable options, most notably those crossovers employing 48 kHz internal sampling rather than the 96 kHz of the Xilicas.

 

Chris

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The foam trick assumes your walls are fairly square and free of tough spots like windows, doorways, etc.

 

Given your current placement,  the left side with the window casing would rule that option out IMO.

 

With the sealed back, you also will have some flexibility in determining how far out in your room the "sweet spot" is with the stock setup.

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, hanksjim1 said:

" ... didn't get the "magic" until I really pushed hard and pressed them into the corners ... "

 

Yeah, I had to push really hard to compress the pipe insulation ... or rather my wife and I pushed, really putting our backs into it.  The cat was invited, but declined to help.  The room was especially built for Khorns, so the corners were especially smooth.

 

I still wonder if a) the old solid neoprene rug pads were a better way to go.  Klipsch used to recommend them OR  b) closed cell neoprene; I don't think it's available in pipe insulation.  

 

Oh, and I usually hear good things about sealed backs BUT I've occasionally heard that they aren't quite as good as good corners.  IMO, even with closed backs, they still should be in, or very near, corners, to get more boundary gain in the bass, but toed in more optimally.  My hypothesis is that best results in the OP's situation would be with artificial corners -- reaching out even farther than the ones PWK designed, maybe 5 feet into room or more, with absorption positioned as shown in the photo in my post, and toed in so the main listener is looking right down the horns, clearly seeing the bug screen, if any, and the diaphragm, with a treated room, nothing between the speakers, Audyssey XT32 with the App, OR full range Dirac OR using REW with at least 3 mic positions, OR _______________.  By spending days weeks juggling room treatment, Audyssey, and a little bass boost post calibration, adjusted by ear, I am satisfied that, with my unaltered Khorns (AK4 upgrade installed), classical, jazz, and Blu-ray movies sound close enough to the myriad ways live music sounds in various venues, providing the recordings are good enough.  Wow, what a sentence.  Joyce and Faulkner wrote longer, but better, ones.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amazing stuff above, thanks.

 I haven’t come across anything so far on isolation feet for Khorns, are there any tips for using pads, footers, springs etc between the bass cabinets and floor?

It would need to be something that could be placed in position but still enable the speakers to be pushed snug into the corners, so I think spikes or cones would be ruled out.

Meanwhile I’m following up on the various ideas above to see what’s involved etc.

I powered the new (to me) Allnic amps up yesterday for the first time and although the tubes need some break in time they sound very good. Finally that’s one step forward...

682B8A37-19B9-46DB-B0B5-E3437C2C55D9.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finished modding my '87 Khorns this week. Very pleased with the sound of the new components. Volti horns, Al's Extreme Slope Crossovers, BMS 4592 mid drivers, DE-120 tweeter drivers and DaveA's tweeter lenses.

 

I have a  pair of Crites crossovers in the Garage sale section that I bought earlier this year  should you want to go that route. You would need to pair with DE120 tweeter drivers.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/23/2021 at 7:02 AM, rooze said:

 

 I haven’t come across anything so far on isolation feet for Khorns, are there any tips for using pads, footers, springs etc between the bass cabinets and floor?

It would need to be something that could be placed in position but still enable the speakers to be pushed snug into the corners, so I think spikes or cones would be ruled out.

 

 

The small polished metal sliders that came attached to my Khorn (normally invisible) might be enough.  If you can get the help of a friend or neighbor or Kong you might be able to tip back a Khorn to take a look, if you really need to.  They have been adequate to allow sliding my Khorns, both on the wall to wall carpet, and on the wood floor at our former house.

 

If not, you might investigate sliders at Amazon.  They have several kinds.  The part that goes against the bottom of the Khorn is squishy, but pretty firm, and the plastic surface slides easily.  Amazon has several kinds.  If you get very dark colored ones that won't show, you might get away with leaving them under there -- unless they facilitate the Khorns being propelled out from the corner by the bass, and right out the front door.  Since my Khorns cause my pants legs to flap in the breeze at 13 feet, that's a distinct possibility. 

 

 

 

easy slide furniture appliances move heavy

Furniture Moving Kit (16 Piece) for Carpeted and Hard Floor Surfaces Felt Pads Suitable for All The Furniture Sliders

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get pool noodles for sealing corner. Get furniture grippers if they sit on hard smooth floor. The 4500 hz mod for crossover will help a lot. Loosen and retighten all screws on crossover. Make sure horn screws are tight. Bass bin needs sealing horizontally also with pool noodles. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the above.

I had to google “pool noodles”... you live and learn:)


For the footers i was thinking of something that might actually improve the sound, rather than something to aid in sliding the speakers.

Folk go to great lengths with more conventional speakers trying things like brass cones, springs, etc. I wondered if there was a common choice of device among Khorn owners.


Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Congratulations on the khorns.  I too have 1993s!  let me start by throwing my two cents in about your specific questions and then add a few lines:

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

Toe in is worth a try for the imaging issues and should improve a bit the bass performance,  I got some amazing improvements in spatial effects when I toed mine out just a bit, your case may be the same. 

 

- 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? 

I didn’t get much benefit from swapping upgraded crossovers (in my case some ALKs) not that they were bad sounding but, in the end, the original AK3s sounded really good, I would only swap out or "upgrade" if you have evidence that a cap is leaking or out of spec.  I even tried an active crossover for a while and in the end...went back to stock.

 

- 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. 

My gut feeling is...no. there are some people who have swapped out components; speakers, etc. for a benefit but think about this only if you really are thinking of DIYing a speaker and in that case, why not just design one from the bottom up.  I had a tri amped, active crossover, speaker with JBL 2404H tweeters, Altec 311 horns with 290 drivers and the khorn bass bins and went back to nearly stock. 

 

- 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?

Not sure I would do it for sound improvement, I understand the idea but don’t think it will get sonically what you are looking for in this case.

 

In the end the khorns have a specific sound, including some limitations in the high end that I am not sure can be resolved easily.  Many here have a series of tweaks they have tried, some feel they triumphed, some admit failure.  I enjoyed the more than a decade of tweaking I did and, as I said, ended up back to a largely stock system with selected components I liked best (and closets full of speakers. amps, etc.). I am currently enjoying the music more than ever and now accept some of the imperfections in my system's reproduction capabilities.  I continue to audition components and systems in retailers and other homes and have yet to find anything that gives me the effortless volume, visceral impact and detail my system does (in my home, with my music, etc.).  I continue to read and search for the mix of upgrades that might give me that last 5% on the top end I am looking for and for that reason follow this forum still after so many years....

 

But my advice is usually the same, if you like the Klipsch house sound, it is worth the time to find optimal ancillary componentry and even to try a few mods (crossover, drivers) but my advice is also to keep everything you begin to swap out and you might just end up as I did going back to stock and enjoying the music with the Klipsch house sound. But think long and hard if this Klipschorn is YOUR  house sound, some find panel speakers are more their cup of tea (I was nearly there with my maggies, a subwoofer and some Mcintosh amps!).  You can get another 5% (maybe 10%) more out of the khorns but if you don’t "see the finish line" from where you currently are I say change the playing field with some panel speakers, or even some big dynamic multidriver speakers.

 

Please keep us informed as you go through the process of deciding, many of us watch with great interest progress by others as a guide for us.  Best of luck and warm regards from sunny El Salvador, 

Tony

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

im a little late to seeing this,  i owned 2 pairs of K-horns, 1982 AA & 1994 AK3, i had many of the same issues described by the OP & was not willing to spend thousands of dollars to do the higher end upgrades like new horns & drivers & active x-overs or the slightly cheaper changes to x-overs & tweeters etc but still have the mid horn issues.  my room size is similar, a basement with ~21'x14'x8' with doors on the right side to other rooms but rear small wall had perfect corners with pipe insulation on backs of speakers.  with all the hype i read over the years about K-horns i was underwhelmed & not happy after a few years with them & sold both pairs.  the AA pair were not intended as keepers due to cosmetic issues but the AK3 in oiled walnut were intended to be keepers but had too many issues to be happy with them forever.. dont get me wrong they do many things very well but too many things not very well.  

 

a little background, ive owned many combinations of speakers & gear over ~30 years in this hobby, all probably considered mid-fi to many on here, no tubes or fancy high dollar cables etc, just decent quality solid state amps & pre's & speakers.  i also like to listen on the loud side to mostly classic/newer rock music but also some heavier rock & even some jazz.  gear is stuff like adcom 555ii amps & pre amps from mid to late 80's, rotel of same era, onkyo M504 amp & have owned all kinds of other klipsch speakers from KG5.5 to fortes, chorus, epic cf4 & many other smaller ones, also have definitive technology bi polar speakers more for home theater but also great for music, & had big cerwin vegas in my younger days.  ive been to countless A-list rock concerts & local bands in a bars & also play drums & have friends that play drums on a local & nationwide level, im pretty familial with what very loud music sounds like when it sounds good & also when its bad. im no pro but far from a beginner when it comes to klipsch or music reproduction in general... 

 

with that said, the K-horns were great at the kick drum hit you in the chest type bass & also very good at lower freq bass, but in my room the bass was very location dependent, meaning you could move just a few feet in one direction & it was almost non existent, go a few more feet & it was overwhelming, im sure that was due to the room dimensions & no real sound treatments but it is full carpeted & has a big couch & other furniture to soften it some.  the things they did bad i just couldnt accept & was just as described by rooze, the mids were very congested, harsh, unbalanced & fatiguing at mid to high volumes on almost all music, i had to EQ the bass up quite a bit to be more balanced at all volumes.  this was even on stuff considered good recordings,  im aware there are good & bad recordings but when 50-75% of what sounds fine on other speakers sounds like crap on K-horns thats not a plus in my opinion.  yes i could spend thousands on tubes & other gear or speaker upgrades but thats just not realistic for the average person in this hobby.  the whole "they are revealing of bad recordings" thing may be true but when the same music on the same system in the same room sounds good on other speakers including big high efficient klipsch models like cf4 & chorus etc, they are not enjoyable to listen to.   

 

all in all i did like them for what they did good, very efficient, great bass & strong mids (too strong)... & they looked great in the room!  i occasionally miss them but then i remember all the things i didnt like or that didnt work in my room so i sold them when i had an offer for double what i paid.  i now have chorus 2 in their place with mid level dual SVS subs & am much happier in every way.  i sold my epics & some other gear to buy the K-horns & in hindsight that wasnt a wise move, for everything the K-horns did good the epics did almost as good but for what i didnt like on the K-horns the epics did very well, no harshness up loud, excellent imaging, no time alignment or congestion issues, could be towed in/out with no effect on bass, most music sounded good, even "bad" recordings.  the chorus do most of those things very well too.  that is just my opinion & i realize the room was a big factor but they just didnt work for me for many of the same reason rooze mentioned.  im sure in a different room with a different system the K-horns would have done much better but its pretty common that many people have the same issues with K-horns & thats why they are so often modded with aftermarket parts to fix or improve these downfalls of what is otherwise a great speaker. 

 

i just wanted to comment based on my experience with K-horns of the same era in a similar room listening on the louder side, i hope rooze can figure out a way to address the issues he mentioned & ultimately be happy with them.       

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...