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1979 LaScala (Asking For Advice)


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40 minutes ago, estelegalize said:

 

 

I've read somewhere that Crites' caps returned them to spec,

oh boy   ,let's see , aftermarket capacitors will return klipsch Original  crossovers to spec ...........The answer is NO

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1 hour ago, CWOReilly said:

I have the SMAHL in both my 79 CW and 75 LS. Crites in CW, JEM in LS. The SMAHL was a drastic improvement to my ears. Installed many months after crossover replacement and rebuild.  I can’t recommend them enough. 

I imagine it’s hard to compare caps between the CW and LS. 

 

I honestly thought that we were talking about the Crites CT120 this whole time. What does SMAHL stand for? If I’m understanding correctly, Dave A designed both? 
 

Gonna search to read more about them. Thanks. 

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CT-120s are excellent. Arguably better than K-77s.

 

The elliptical lenses offered by Dave A to replace the K-77 are the SMAHL (small machined aluminum horn lens). With the same DE-120 driver as the CT-120, they are arguably better.

 

I have both and agree with the recommendations from the other members.

 

I would even go so far as to suggest the tweeters as the first, fully reversible step.

 

Klipsch no longer uses the K-77 in the newest La Scala for a reason.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, geoff. said:

CT-120s are excellent. Arguably better than K-77s.

 

The elliptical lenses offered by Dave A to replace the K-77 are the SMAHL (small machined aluminum horn lens). With the same DE-120 driver as the CT-120, they are arguably better.

 

I have both and agree with the recommendations from the other members.

 

I would even go so far as to suggest the tweeters as the first, fully reversible step.

 

Klipsch no longer uses the K-77 in the newest La Scala for a reason.

 

 

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I'm up to date now.

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8 hours ago, Tom05 said:

My advice is to make sure that everything is stock and in good working order , and use this as a benchmark for any attempt at modifying.

This is the best advice! Become familiar with how they sound in your space, all the nuances/details.

 

There is no hurry to make changes.

 

About the tweeter on top for time alignment. In the stock configuration, at the crossover point, sound from the tweeter will arrive at your ears before the same from the midrange drivers, smearing the sound. With the diaphragms of the two lined up, the sound is cleaner and more coherent. You could also time align with a digital crossover. It isn't subtle.

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1 minute ago, Marvel said:

This is the best advice! Become familiar with how they sound in your space, all the nuances/details.

 

There is no hurry to make changes.

 

About the tweeter on top for time alignment. In the stock configuration, at the crossover point, sound from the tweeter will arrive at your ears before the same from the midrange drivers, smearing the sound. With the diaphragms of the two lined up, the sound is cleaner and more coherent. You could also time align with a digital crossover. It isn't subtle.

That's the plan, I'm not in a rush. Gonna take it nice and slow, but wanna gather info and ideas to potentially do some tweaks in the future.

 

Since the SMAHL fixes issues around the lens being buried in a hole, is it necessary if the og lens is front mounted on a board when time aligned (not in a hole)?

 

Aesthetics are important to me too, time aligning sounds beneficial, but I dunno if I'd wanna live with it. I also prefer the the EV T-35 lens aesthetically over the SMAHL V2. I think I could live with it if I painted it black.

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The La Scala midrange is pretty hot, to the point of sounding “shouty” in some cases.  When I first got my La Scalas, back in 2006, I was surprised and disappointed with the sound.  After some experimenting with grille cloth over the mouth of the squawker horn, I settled on 3 thin layers, stretched tight and attached to the inside of the front panel.  It also gave a neater/cleaner look, because the K-400 horns had rough casting marks and blotchy paint.  That change made the speakers much more pleasant to listen to. 

 

Some people consider that to be a horrible solution, but it works for me.  Another way to get the same result, I learned later, was to move the squawker wire to a different tap on the transformer.  That was mentioned already in this thread, but I’ve read it many times here on the Forum, so it does seem to be a tried and tested solution.

 

I also applied Dynamat to the K400 horns, but I’m not sure whether it made any difference.  The horns are nice and shiny, though.

 

As for your subwoofer, you’ll need a higher cutoff than is used with most speakers.  The La Scala bass starts to roll off at around 100 Hz, and by 50 Hz there’s not much left.  Accordingly, I set my subs to cut off at 110-120 Hz, to allow for some overlap with the woofers, keeping in mind that the sub hi-cut is not a brick wall, rather a roll off.  Checking with a sound level meter and a test CD allowed me to find that this setting on the subs gives the smoothest bass response, with the fewest and faintest dips and peaks.

 

Those settings and one solution will improve the sound noticeably, so you might be set for some time.  I discovered the Forum a month after I got the Scalas, and that was an eye-opener.  So much information and advice!

 

After lots of reading, I ordered new Sonicaps from Bob Crites (RIP), and a pair of CT125 tweeters (this was before the CT120 was available).  The caps were just because mine were 32 years old, and the tweeters were ordered because in testing, I found that the K77s’ output levels showed a 2-3 dB difference between the two tweeters.  When the CT125s arrived, I tested them and found them to match within 0.5 dB, so I was well pleased.  The caps were installed first, and the improved brightness and clarity was noticed.  3 days later, the CT125s went in, and a similar improvement was noted, so I was even more pleased.  Now they sounded pretty fine.

 

I was pretty happy with those tweaks and updates, but then I kept reading about the JubScalas, but that’s a very different and much more expensive story for another day.  Later, I got a pair of La Scala IIs, swapped the Jubilee tweeters onto them, and reconnected the crossovers on the original La Scalas.  That brought them back to the state they were in 3 months after I got them, and that’s how they are today.

 

As for placement, moving the La Scalas away from the front wall (the wall behind the Front speakers) improved the bass smoothness, but once they were about 5” away from the wall (measured from the corner of the speaker that’s closest to the wall), that was as good as it got.  Moving them farther than 5 or 6 inches from the wall didn’t change anything, except for losing floor space.  I’d think that bass response would drop off if the speakers were brought a foot or more from the wall.

 

Finally, congrats on your new to you La Scalas, and welcome to the Forum!

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On 6/4/2022 at 1:09 PM, Crankysoldermeister said:

 

@Curious_Georgeis right about the horn. If you like to jack on the volume they will drill a hole through your head. Low to modest levels, I think they sound good. I experimented with some different horns early on, but when I went to low volume listening as a course of habit, I went back to the K-400. Great dynamics and resolving power at those levels.

Exactly, I found this to be true as well... at low to moderate listening levels, the K400 sounds good, but get above about 1 Watt (I have not measured it, just a guess) and the K400 will drill a hole in your head, as Dean said. Especially in a small to moderate sized room. Outside or in a larger venue, maybe different. 

 

Anyway, as you start to experiment, you will find what you like and don't like with all these good suggestions and decide what path is right for you. 

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I have found that with my LS II, minimal toe in helps in regard to the midrange. Fire them directly at you and you could be in for a disappointment. But slightly off axis, the midrange is full and the tone is much better. And sitting back far enough for the drivers to integrate helps too.

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4 hours ago, Curious_George said:

Exactly, I found this to be true as well... at low to moderate listening levels, the K400 sounds good, but get above about 1 Watt (I have not measured it, just a guess) and the K400 will drill a hole in your head, as Dean said. Especially in a small to moderate sized room. Outside or in a larger venue, maybe different. 

 

Anyway, as you start to experiment, you will find what you like and don't like with all these good suggestions and decide what path is right for you. 

I respect both your and Cranky's opinions. But to my ears there was no mistaking that a tractrix midrange horn lens made the La Scala mo' betta. The KHorn as well but that's a different story. Maybe I always listen moderately loud?

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4 hours ago, Curious_George said:

Exactly, I found this to be true as well... at low to moderate listening levels, the K400 sounds good, but get above about 1 Watt (I have not measured it, just a guess) and the K400 will drill a hole in your head, as Dean said. Especially in a small to moderate sized room. Outside or in a larger venue, maybe different. 

 

Anyway, as you start to experiment, you will find what you like and don't like with all these good suggestions and decide what path is right for you. 

Moderate levels on my volume knob is about 12 o clock. When I hit 1 o clock, all the things I love about these speakers pops out. From the bass being more full to details in the highs popping out. But, at 1 o clock, I'm getting drilled.

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1 hour ago, Shakeydeal said:

I have found that with my LS II, minimal toe in helps in regard to the midrange. Fire them directly at you and you could be in for a disappointment. But slightly off axis, the midrange is full and the tone is much better. And sitting back far enough for the drivers to integrate helps too.

At the moment, they're about 14 ft apart, toed in to center in front of me (which helped) and not on or right behind me. I tucked the subs in the corners behind them and finally was able to tune the subs better with the speakers. Finally, my low end is back.

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3 minutes ago, babadono said:

I respect both your and Cranky's opinions. But to my ears there was no mistaking that a tractrix midrange horn lens made the La Scala mo' betta. The KHorn as well but that's a different story. Maybe I always listen moderately loud?

A tractrix mid-horn on a K55 or derivative would sound better than the K400, I agree. That is an option for the original poster. 

 

For me, when I decided to go with a different midrange horn for my LaScala, I was not concerned about placing the new mid-horn on the exterior (on top) of the LaScala. Not everyone may want to go in this direction and preserve the original mounting holes/locations of the LaScala and work with those OE sizes.

 

Despite it's sonic signature, many many thousands of K400 horns were used in k-horn's and LaScala's and satisfied many music lovers. 

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8 minutes ago, babadono said:

I respect both your and Cranky's opinions. But to my ears there was no mistaking that a tractrix midrange horn lens made the La Scala mo' betta. The KHorn as well but that's a different story. Maybe I always listen moderately loud?

Tractrix horn sounds like a great idea. I came across a 2009 thread where they built one and kept it looking stock.

 

Moderately loud is how I listen too.

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4 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

A tractrix mid-horn on a K55 or derivative would sound better than the K400, I agree. That is an option for the original poster. 

 

For me, when I decided to go with a different midrange horn for my LaScala, I was not concerned about placing the new mid-horn on the exterior (on top) of the LaScala. Not everyone may want to go in this direction and preserve the original mounting holes/locations of the LaScala and work with those OE sizes.

 

Despite it's sonic signature, many many thousands of K400 horns were used in k-horn's and LaScala's and satisfied many music lovers. 

I'd only be interested in swappable and reversible options. Found this in an older thread with the tractrix horn installed.

 

https://community.klipsch.com/uploads/monthly_10_2013/post-24405-13819464767804.jpg

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