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Custom Chorus II / KI-396 Hybrid


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So I made some progress on the 2-way Chorus II project, weather was bad so I had to do the wood work and painting in my living room, did a pretty hack job to make less of a mess, really just need to do some more sanding and a couple more coats of paint and they would be fine but was eager to give these a listen since I finally collected all the needed parts. 

 

First impressions are they are considerably less sensitive than my 335's-- have to turn the volume up quite a bit more but the bass is much more present, I had to turn the loudness feature off on my pre-amp and it sounds perfectly balanced without it on. Still burning these things in but so far I really like what I'm hearing. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, geoff. said:

Very interesting!

 

What’s in the sauce?

 

 k510 clones w/ k-691 drivers, woofers are NOS OEM replacement k-48's with new 396-II crossovers, they sound pretty damn good I'm very happy so far. 

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6 hours ago, geoff. said:

Passive, so the bass comes on strong right out of the gate? You don’t need to goose it to get it thumping.

 

 Yes bass is very solid and full sounding even at low volumes, I had to have the loudness button on with my 335's to get the same effect. 

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12 minutes ago, Shiva said:

I dig your speaker builds, if you don't see what you want, make it yourself. 👍  The power of the two way. 

 

Thank you! Yes I've always wanted to give the infamous 396's a run in my system but they never come up for sale used near me plus after having my previous "pro-Cornscala" build which used the same cabinets as the 396's I figured the bass would probably leave me wanting. These speakers truly are amazing-- different presentation than the 3-way 335's with some things I like more at the expense of some other things really hard to say at this point which I like better both are top notch in my book.

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Having owned the “infamous” 396 ll (510 w/mumps, k691) for just a couple weeks I can vouch for their goodness. As good as they sound I find they are much better rounded with a sub, and I’m using an older, sealed active that I think give a better balance. Perched in front of Jubes they are a fine stand in, no they ain’t Jubes but sound really good. The Jubes are so all encompassing most any speaker comes off as “smaller” no matter how fine they actually sound. And while I will never part with my LS I think the 396 to be a cut above. It’s a pretty big step to better a Klipsch Pro model, even the iconic LS can’t match the 510/k691 combo. 

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1 hour ago, richieb said:

Having owned the “infamous” 396 ll (510 w/mumps, k691) for just a couple weeks I can vouch for their goodness. As good as they sound I find they are much better rounded with a sub, and I’m using an older, sealed active that I think give a better balance. 

 

 This set up in the Chorus II cabinets have ample amounts of bass, at least in my room and as good as I've ever experienced with stock Chorus II's I've been listening to a wide variety of music and have felt no need or desire to plug my sub back in.

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  Swapped in my Sunfire 600 and wow, magic! These 396's really like the added power and the extra little "brightness" from the solid state amp helps fill in the details at lower volumes. With the 335's I had the loudness on, bass set at 0 and treble set at -1. Now with the 396's I have the loudness off, bass at -1 and treble at 0. I prefer the Carver tube amp with the 335's but the 600 really makes these 396's sing. I'm really kind of surprised at how different these two speaker sets sound from each other they're completely different animals.

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What did you use for your crossover?  I have a pair of KSM-1's that I want to do a similar build with and am still searching for ideas.  I was thinking of going to Crites for a 2-way crossover (possibly from their Cornscala).  I will possibly build new cabs and use the original motor board.

 

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On 5/7/2022 at 11:52 PM, jjptkd said:

 

 k510 clones w/ k-691 drivers, woofers are NOS OEM replacement k-48's with new 396-II crossovers, they sound pretty damn good I'm very happy so far. 

 

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 So been listening to these for a week now I must say I'm very happy with how they sound. I was thinking about it last night and how they differ from my 335's I think the best way to describe it is the 335's are like super Chorus 1's and the 396's are like super forte II's. The 335's are much more sensitive, very forward and detailed in the mids and highs even at the lowest volumes but a little light in bass without bass boost. They have a tendency to be on the brighter side and pair very well with tube amps.

 

The 396's on the other hand are very solid in bass right off the bottom but mids and highs are a bit recessed at lower volumes and need to be turned up a few extra DB to get that full, even sound. At a minimum volume level they sound very detailed with a pronounced smooth midrange that doesn't ever sound harsh or bright at all-- these seem to pair best with my solid state amplifiers. Looking at the specs again for the 396's I can't believe they're rated at 600 watts RMS, 2400 watts peak! They do seem to love Sunfire power. Maybe later today or tomorrow I'll swap the 335's back into play to hear the differences again. 

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7 minutes ago, 001 said:

impressive  .....wow with the,terminal cups  ,  brand new

No terminal cups but Klipsch parts finally came through only took 6 months but I'm not complaining very happy with my new speakers @Westcoastdrums was right though yet again these are not low volume fraction of a watter speakers here, these things crave power and beg to be turned up but let me tell you they do not disappoint when adequately fed at medium to higher volumes. Low volume they kind of sound like a 3-way with blown tweeters obviously geared with longer legs but still great, again I'm very happy with them.

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16 minutes ago, jjptkd said:

again I'm very happy with them.

I can imagine someone walking in , he looks at the speakers ,yeah , not bad ,  then you crank it up  ..

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  • 2 weeks later...

 So listening to these guys a little more critically last weekend, had some friends over a couple guys that are normally anti-horn speakers and they were really impressed with these 396's-- both couldn't believe how "smooth" yet detailed they sounded. One guy has Magnapans, Carver AL-III's and Sunfire CRS-3's the other is a big Martin Logan fanatic. Don't think either will be buying Klipsch any time soon but variety is the spice of life right, I can't say that I don't enjoy their systems when I get a chance to listen.

 

 One thing I noticed is that somewhere along the way the speakers must have "broken in" some-- not sure if it was the crossovers or the k-691 drivers but the "hole" at low volume seems gone and bass balance was just a touch off, had to change the bass tone setting from -1 to 0. The overall sound seems the same just a little more output from the horn at lower levels? Before it sounded off as described in my previous post but now seems pretty even off the bottom to higher levels. 

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