Jump to content

LaScala for this room


svberger
 Share

Recommended Posts

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.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

 

post-2552-13819248668176.jpg

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...