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LaScala for this room


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9 hours ago, Westcoastdrums said:

If you love your Cornwalls, don't sell them, it's very likely you MAY not love LA scalas. They are a VERY different sound.

I have La Scalas, Heresys, and home-built Cornwalls. I completely agree with you. My 1988 La Scalas have been difficult for me to make sound right. I’ve had my 1982 Heresy pair for 12 years and they were always great speakers. Moved into a house from years of apartment living and decided to get a pair of La Scala. I thought I loved them at first and then went down the rabbit hole of “upgrades” to correct some harshness at louder volumes. Then I moved to a house with a basement and space for a second setup. I built a pair of Cornwall clones using the leftover La Scala parts. I was blown away by the Cornwalls, not expecting too much. I found that I preferred their sound over both the Heresy and La Scala, especially at volumes over 80dB. That got me to messing around with the La Scalas again, changing the attenuation on the mids from -3 dB to -6 dB (Type A/4500 x-over). That helped the mid harshness, but something in the bass just sounds “off” to me at higher volumes. It’s best described as a nasal boxy sound, similar to boom box speakers from the ‘90s. Right now I’m waiting on parts to build an AL-3 crossover with steeper slopes to see what that does. My La Scalas sound great at low volume. They just get a little screwy above 80dB. The Cornwalls, however, sound perfect to me at any volume level and they have great full bass. When I want to crank it, I go for the Cornwall system. Even when I had the Heresy pair hooked up, I tried convincing myself that I couldn’t possibly prefer them.

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Are you using a subwoofer with your La Scalas?  From everything I’ve read, the Cornwalls do have a much punchier bass response than La Scalas do, but the limited LS low end is more tonally accurate than what comes out of the Cornwall.  That said, for playing high-energy music, even at low volumes, La Scalas really do need the help of a sub.  If you like to listen at louder volume levels, a second subwoofer is worth considering, for a consistent soundfield throughout your room as much as for increased volume.  At high levels, it might also be possible to hear and appreciate the lower distortion that you get from two subs instead of one.

 

I’d suggest adding a sub or two before doing any more mods to your Scalas.  They are what they are, with clear and strong minds and highs, but limited bass response.  Reducing the squawker output does reduce the shoutiness that’s sometimes encountered.  It was certainly true in the case of my 1970s La Scalas.  Doing that, and replacing the old caps and replacing the tweeters with the Crites CT125 units was all it took to make those Scalas much more  pleasant to listen to, now allowing for hours of music enjoyment.

 

I reduced the squawker output with a triple layer of thin grille cloth, but the effect was the same as lowering the squawkers’ output at the crossovers.  Those were the simple tweaks that seemed to have the most noticeable improvements per dollar.  Later, I bought a pair of K510 horns and K-69-A drivers, plus an E/V Dx-38 electronic processor/crossover and a second Yamaha power amp to match the one I already had, and soon the speakers became 510 JubScalas.

 

That set of mods turned good speakers into great speakers, but they still needed a subwoofer to fill out the bottom two octaves.  I chronicled all that in another post, so I won’t repeat it here.  The bottom line is that modern recordings, with their ability to cover the full range of musical frequencies, need and deserve a speaker system that’s capable of reproducing every note of the music that’s in them, fully and accurately.

 

At least one hi-if magazine purist writer (from The Absolute Sound, possibly) had his mind changed when he finally took the time to seriously listen to a sound system with a fully and properly integrated subwoofer (or maybe two subs.  I don’t exactly recall) in it.  He found that the effects of the sub reached all the way into the midrange, giving a depth and authority to the sound that he hadn’t realize was missing.  As well, with orchestral music recorded with the whole orchestra in one room at the same time, the subwoofer provided subtle cues to the size and even shape of the performance space.  He was amazed, as you might expect, and became a serious subwoofer fan that day.

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I’m currently using an SVS SB-2000 sub with the La Scalas, crossed over at 65Hz. I’ve found that setting to be the best seamless transition point. I’ve seen others recommend crossover settings as high as 120Hz, which I’ve tried, but that’s just way too much bass overlap. Even 80Hz is too much. It has been my intent to get a second sub but other priorities keep coming up. I think it should be a crime to listen to La Scalas without using a sub. I’m going to see what the AL-3 crossover does, since that’s the closest design to what my La Scalas originally had (Type AL).

 

Out of all the mods I’ve done to these La Scalas (and I’ve done them all) the one thing that made a difference was upgrading the tweeters to CT-120 from Crites. Next would be the A/4500 crossover with -6dB on the squawker. I have the A55G mid drivers and original K-55M and I cannot tell any appreciable difference between the two. Initially I thought the 55M sounded harsh with a Type AA crossover. I put them in my Cornwalls with B-2 crossover with low expectations, but the 55M sounds fantastic in those. Not shouty at all. I swapped the 55M back to my La Scalas with the A/4500 crossover at -6dB and the sound is exactly the same. My theory is that maybe the A/4500 rolls off the squawker and keeps the mid from coming back to life at 9kHz. 
 

I must say that the La Scala has been a great teacher, along with the people on this forum.

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On 1/14/2022 at 12:43 PM, wuzzzer said:

If I'm not mistaken LaScalas are the same width as Cornwalls.  They are taller and quite a bit deeper, though.

 

According to the LaScala spec sheet attached and measurements of my Cornwall's, Cornies are taller (38-35 1/2), wider(25-24) but LaScala's are deeper(24 3/4-16). So they'll be out in the room a little more, which shouldn't be an issue.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

I think your better judgement will thank you....

I do too.

 

Preliminary agreement in place for them to arrive tomorrow. The only potential issue is that in the seller's listing he indicated that the woofer is a "K-22-E". We'd been texting back and forth and he seems quite knowledgeable but when asked about what I assume is an error he went silent. Doesn't necessarily mean anything as it was late, and he promised more detailed pictures before he brought them, so I'm thinking I'll have it cleared up today. And no, I won't be buying them if there's anything other then a 33 in there. I have no interest in replacing drivers.

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Well, for whatever reason I've not heard back from the seller since having a good text convo with him last evening.  Kind of typical CL flakiness. In any event, partly out of planning for things to keep moving forward, partly out of boredom, I decided to see how the Cornwall's would look in their permanent home in my second system assuming that either this time, or at some point in the future I do end up with LaScala's. Overall, I'm quite pleased. They sound good, and fit fine even in the smaller space. And this will be the gear that will accompany them, while the main system will consist of MC30's. Those are currently back at Audio Classics, where they were recently purchased from, for repair and updates. Don't get me started. In the meantime, Allison One's being driven by a Mc MC2120 is in the main room. I won't bore you with pictures of that.

 

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When you get the La Scala's listen to them for a bit before adding a subwoofer.

 

I know you probably are against the subwoofer idea but hear me out. I listen to a lot of different music genres but the majority of time it's Classical and Jazz. With music where you do not think you need a subwoofer let me tell you they still can still greatly improve the sound. Do not cross the sub too high, most have a filter adjustment where you want the woofer to begin providing output, try between 40Hz-70Hz to see what works best.

 

For reference La Scala is only good for 50Hz and up. Low A on a piano is 27.5Hz, low E on a 4 string Bass is 41Hz. You do not necessarily need to listen to EDM or Hip-Hop to need a subwoofer, since adding one with La Scala's it has greatly imporoved all music I have listened to especially at lower volumes. It just sounds MUCH fuller. After you are use to the sub try shutting it off, you will notice a big difference and instantly turn the subwoofer back on.

 

My $.02

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1 minute ago, captainbeefheart said:

When you get the La Scala's listen to them for a bit before adding a subwoofer.

 

I know you probably are against the subwoofer idea but hear me out. I listen to a lot of different music genres but the majority of time it's Classical and Jazz. With music where you do not think you need a subwoofer let me tell you they still can still greatly improve the sound. Do not cross the sub too high, most have a filter adjustment where you want the woofer to begin providing output, try between 40Hz-70Hz to see what works best.

 

For reference La Scala is only good for 50Hz and up. Low A on a piano is 27.5Hz, low E on a 4 string Bass is 41Hz. You do not necessarily need to listen to EDM or Hip-Hop to need a subwoofer, since adding one with La Scala's it has greatly imporoved all music I have listened to especially at lower volumes. It just sounds MUCH fuller. After you are use to the sub try shutting it off, you will notice a big difference and instantly turn the subwoofer back on.

 

My $.02

 

Thanks.

 

I will keep an open mind to a sub(what do you recommend without breaking the bank and not terribly huge?)but I really don't think I'll need one. I'm also going to try out the Allison EQ  unit which I linked above that I'm currently using with my Allison One's and we'll see. If I still feel I could do better with a sub, I'll consider it.

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or those keeping score, the seller did get back to me, admitted he made a mistake and it is the 33 woofer in his LaScala along with the other original drivers and crossover. Serial numbers 11R405 and 406. Wood is a bit in need of some touch up but all in all seems through pics to be in decent shape.

 

Spoke to a local friend who has been an active buyer/seller of vintage gear for many years about subs. He has several options that he can hook me up with if need be and has a lot of experience with Klipsch speakers . His opinion is that while the LaScala is bass shy, the MC240, and once I get them back from restoration the MC30's both provide enough bass grunt that he doesn't believe one will be necessary. He's also very familiar with my room, listening habits, etc.

 

When I was buying my Allison One's, I got several folks advising that I'd need a sub. I listened for awhile before acquiring the aforementioned Electronic Subwoofer and was perfectly satisfied with the bass output. The ESW improved on it some and I enjoy having it in the mix, but could easily be without it. It will be interesting to see how it interacts with the LaScala's.

 

 

 

With any luck looks Friday is the day. I'll report back as I know you all are on pins and needles😉

 

 

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28 minutes ago, nickyboy6100 said:

Those look really nice. La Scala bass is some of the sweetest. 

Good to hear!

 

I'm back and forth about actually buying these. I want to because I'm very curious after reading so much good, and not so good, things about them, what it takes to make them sound good, etc. I want to compare them with my Cornwalls. But I also have a pair of speakers that I keep referring to(Allison One's) in a addition to my Cornwalls that I was thrilled to find and enjoy very much. Maybe now more then ever when using them with a great tube amp. Frankly, if I hadn't gotten the Cornwall, I would've probably never had bought the MC240. And If I hadn't bought that, I probably wouldn't have bought the MC30's. But I wanted to compare. Which is precisely why I'm getting the LaScala's. I have no idea if I'll like them more or less then the Cornwalls or A1's, but how will I know if I don't try them in my room, with my gear, and my ears? I figure worse case scenario I don't like them, I should be able to move them pretty easily to somebody else.

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34 minutes ago, geoff. said:

...you would always wonder “what if” had you not bought them.

 

Contrary to popular opinion, ignorance is not bliss. So I’ve been told by more qualified individuals.

My thoughts exactly.

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