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1979 LaScala (Asking For Advice)


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10 minutes ago, estelegalize said:

I read somewhere that [a] Dave developed a tractrix midrange horn. Is that the same Dave that made the SMAHL?

Maybe referring to Dave Harris, unless other Dave has a new project.

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I’ve always thought that one of the strengths of the Lascala , was it’s ability to play very loud and clean with low distortion. There is however a point when the sound just gets  too loud for comfort , and  that applies to everything,  chain saws , sitting too close to a speaker array at a concert , even the wife can get too loud on occasion 🤓 . Lascala is capable of producing truly deafening output levels , there is a limit to how much sound intensity we can tolerate 🤓

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I'd be interested in potentially casting a tractrix horn out of aluminum for the stock hole of the LaScala. Sounds like a good time. I've made sand molds for iron castings in the past. Always wanted to make some molds for aluminum casting. Sounds easier. The trick is fabricating the initial form to mold around.

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4 minutes ago, estelegalize said:

I'd be interested in potentially casting a tractrix horn out of aluminum for the stock hole of the LaScala. Sounds like a good time. I've made sand molds for iron castings in the past. Always wanted to make some molds for aluminum casting. Sounds easier. The trick is fabricating the initial form to mold around.

Yep ...to Answer made out of abs and cast aluminum to my recollection. Metal type usually get the dampening but, that is not sacred.

 

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On 6/3/2022 at 6:24 AM, estelegalize said:

Sup peoples!


I guess it’s customary to mention that this is my first post, but I’m a long time lurker. Just recently acquired a pair of ‘79 LaScala. Our first Klipsch pair. Been drooling over Klipsch and Altec for a while and the opportunity finally came.
 

I’ve been really enjoying these speakers so far, and I plan to continue enjoying them as is for a while. Big BUT, I want to plan and scheme potential tweaks and mods to help them get comfy with their new home and friends. I kinda understand the few camps around upgrading vs restoring vs not fixing if it ain’t broke. I guess I’m in the tweaker camp with one foot in the restoration camp. 
 

These things are og, and sound great, but compared to my previous speakers, they can be a bit bloated with certain music, vocals can be a tad bit veiled, squawks in the face at times, and low end needs help from heaven above. My ears may just need to get used to to them.
 

For context, we listen to a lot of vinyl and digital music through a Schiit DAC, tube preamp and monoblocks. Running balanced mostly. My turntable doesn’t have the black background it used to, thought I had it made. Generally we listen to music with real low end often enough to realize it’s missing. I have 2 subs running in mono, still having issues with placement and blending them with LaScalas. I now realize how low my previous speakers went compared to LaScalas (I had an idea of that getting into it). I fell in love with LaScala first with my eyes, and then more so after listening to a local pair very frequently. Tripped out on how lovely/lively they sounded, how detailed they are. That pair is an early 80s I believe, and sounded really well in it’s large and open environment (not a home, more like a warehouse). 
 

First thing I tried was detaching a diode on the AA hoping it’d help the perceived veiled vocals. A/b-ing them made me think it made a slight difference. I believe I‘m becoming a bit more accustomed to them since a lot of my initial concerns are easing. I a/b’ed my older pair with the monoblocks, and damn, it made me forgive a lot of my initial beefs with our LaScala.

I decided to ask for advice after much hesitation. I’ve been diggin through this forum exhaustively, as well as others, to get tips around these speakers. Mind boggled. Not tryna start any more beefs between camps, plenty of that in our politics, just tryna get some advice. All that to say, I’m interested in seeing how I can adjust, improve, and accustom myself to them. 


A couple things I’m considering: new caps, checking the squawker rubber gaskets, also wondering if using a couple pieces of pure wool insulation in the dog house may help the bloatedness. Also considering a tone control as a bandaid, seems cheaper. 

 

Any advice which way to go? I’m open minded. I feel like I’m on the shore with my boat (LaScala) and staring out to open waters. If being vague, it’s because I’m curious to hear peoples ideas in hopes that it sparks an interest within me. I’m hoping some of the info I shared helps with ideas. Here’s a pic for more context. Thanks in advance, hope all on here are well.
 

Salud,

E

 

image.thumb.jpeg.823b62243a78a4a5cc5b1c8c5365ca28.jpeg

- replace horn/driver gaskets with new ones

- update mid driver to A55G

- recap crossovers -modern film caps sometimes sound too bright - depending on taste you may wanna try old MBGO or K75-10 Russian caps (great stuff on horns!)

- replace tweeters with SMAHLs

- rewire with solid core 16AWG Neotech UP-OCC wire (I know I'm gonna be mocked for saying this, but for me it made quite a difference)

-if you don't listen at deafening levels, you may replace woofers with Eminence Kappa 15C. Bass won't go any deeper, but will be more articulate, and the transition to the midrange will be smoother. Xmax on those is very limited, so theoretically they won't handle as much power down low - in the real world, in a domestic setting you should be fine.

- damping the back chamber (the "dog house") can be done - slightly. A single sheet of foam on one of the horizontal panel - top or bottom - but not more. If you over damp , you'll lose a great deal of the output. Believe me, I've tried.

 

Hope this helps ;)

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I would add to this make sure your woofer wire can't lay up against the basket or you will get a buzz at times that you can hear and will drive you nuts trying to figure it out. I have had some from Klipsch that did so and it was audible at times.

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18 hours ago, estelegalize said:

I read somewhere that [a] Dave developed a tractrix midrange horn. Is that the same Dave that made the SMAHL?

I am working on a horn that will fit where the K-400 does. It is not done nor tested but it is in progress. I have a finished final version 14" x 7" x 6.5" deep horn of stacked Baltic Birch which is awesome but nothing as of yet ready to go for La Scalas unless you want to set the mid horn on top of your cabinet.

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21 hours ago, estelegalize said:

Question for anyone who may know: Are the K400 horns iron or aluminum casted?

K400 is cast aluminum and the newer versions, the K401 is a composite material.

 

A tractrix horn follows an equation, which can be made to fit the opening of the K400 in the LS front. When I fron mounted my K400 horns, I needed to open the hole a little bit to mount it.

 

Many have made horned from using Erik Forker's tools on this website (now WordPress pages). He has spreadsheets to calculate the curves for a tractrix horn, based on Bruce Edgar's earlier work, etc. Lot's of cool stuff.

 

http://wp.volvotreter.de/

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4 hours ago, Marvel said:

K400 is cast aluminum and the newer versions, the K401 is a composite material.

 

A tractrix horn follows an equation, which can be made to fit the opening of the K400 in the LS front. When I fron mounted my K400 horns, I needed to open the hole a little bit to mount it.

 

Many have made horned from using Erik Forker's tools on this website (now WordPress pages). He has spreadsheets to calculate the curves for a tractrix horn, based on Bruce Edgar's earlier work, etc. Lot's of cool stuff.

 

http://wp.volvotreter.de/

Unfortunately I don’t have a windows platform to download the calculator.
 

Been reading on replacement horns for the k55 and got sucked into a wormhole. I’m guessing there’s no easy plug and play swap that also fits perfect into the lascala. If I had the initial shape I’d be able to make my own tractrix horn to see what it sounds like.

 

I may get some of the asphalt dampening sheets just to see if it helps any. So far repositioning the speakers has helped tremendously. Hopefully I can recap the crossovers soon and order some gaskets from crites. Still enjoying as is. 
 

Starting to wonder what I got myself into 🫠

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