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Low budget Heresy H700 restoration.


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I’ve had a pair of Klipsch H700 Heresy Cinema speakers from the late 60’s/early 70’s kicking around in my carriage house for the better part of the past decade and have had them for about 15 years. They’re completely shagged, the woofers are punctured and the boxes are knackered af, but if iirc, the tweeters and squawkers are in good shape.

Every time I have to move them, I keep thinking should put them on the curb, but obviously I haven’t. Now that I’ve got a hi-if again, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t restore them instead. I’m a master carpenter and former cabinet maker: it would be pretty easy to make oak, cherry or walnut shells for them. My main question is, what is the best bang for the buck way to bring them up to spec (or better) performance-wise? Obviously, the woofers are wrecked, they're klipsch stamped k-22 AlNiCo drivers with the stamped steel frameKlipsch seems to have discontinued them and the K24 drivers that replaced them in the series. While I'd like to ultimately recone the original drivers, the prices for doing that are a little higher than my immediate budget allows- is there a suitable aftermarket substitute in the sub $100? I'm going to assume it will need to be recapped- which 2.2muf 200v (or higher) rate the best value? How much of a hassle is it to upgrade from type c to type e? is it even worth doing? how durable are the inductors and transformers? 

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These speakers owe me nothing and vice versa; I do recall they sounded ok, even with patched woofer baffles. I’m torn between a straight up restoration with tarted up cabinets or a restomod to a super heresy spec, with a woofer with better low frequency response and improved crossovers. I just picked up a pair of K-22 woofers and may get some contemporary woofers this evening to try, too.  
 

i guess I’ll take everything apart this weekend, sand and refinish the cabinets and go from there. While it’s apart, I’ll recap the crossovers- that’s cheap enough, put it back together and see what I think. I’ll also cut a 2nd back and play with porting, without altering the stock cans. I have some nice cherry plywood laying around, so I’ll either make a pair of cabinet surrounds to clad the original boxes, or if I feel ambitious, perhaps I’ll just make new boxes and improve on what’s there cosmetically, if not structurally. 
 

thoughts?

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@gigantic  Your speakers were made in 1971 ,  keeping  these speakers Original  will raise the value  .

 

 klipsch Factory capacitors are available  from   @JEM Performance   to restore the original klipsch sound , versus aftermarkets which will alter it .

 

you can repair the damages in the woofer cones   with  black cement speaker glue , then cover  the cone with the speaker glue for a seamless look , the K-22 woofers you have are Alnico , versus the Ferrite versions that came later ,  and they are worth fixing 

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1 hour ago, OO1 said:

@gigantic  Your speakers were made in 1971 ,  keeping  these speakers Original  will raise the value  .

 

 klipsch Factory capacitors are available  from   @JEM Performance   to restore the original klipsch sound , versus aftermarkets which will alter it .

 

you can repair the damages in the woofer cones   with  black cement speaker glue , then cover  the cone with the speaker glue for a seamless look , the K-22 woofers you have are Alnico , versus the Ferrite versions that came later ,  and they are worth fixing 

I've got a pair of AlNiCo K-22's on the way from forum member @dtr20 and have ordered a set of Dayton caps in matching values from parts express. While I understand the impulse to go all out with factory spec components that @JEM Performance sells, my conundrum was literally whether to repair these or toss them in the trash, which is where I found them in the first place. while I could conceivably resell the components for more money than the speakers are worth, it makes more sense to me to put only the effort into seeing if they're viable in the first place, before dropping a significant amount of money on them. with that in mind, replacing the crossovers alone will cost as much, if not more than what I've seen comparable units sell for; Dayton Audio caps will do just fine for now. While Heresy I will sell for $1500 or more in mint shape, I only seen H700 sell in the $500-$800 ballpark & that was for speaker cabinets in much better condition than these. While I'm not opposed to throwing good money after bad, I want to at least pretend to be sensible about it.

 

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5 hours ago, OO1 said:

@gigantic  Your speakers were made in 1971 ,  keeping  these speakers Original  will raise the value  .

 

 klipsch Factory capacitors are available  from   @JEM Performance   to restore the original klipsch sound , versus aftermarkets which will alter it .

 

you can repair the damages in the woofer cones   with  black cement speaker glue , then cover  the cone with the speaker glue for a seamless look , the K-22 woofers you have are Alnico , versus the Ferrite versions that came later ,  and they are worth fixing 

I am curious, if I wanted to replace the old motor run type caps in my 1978ish Heresy's, what type of new cap would I get from JEM? 

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Honestly; those things just ooze history.

 

I don't think you should look at them as something to restore to original if it's resale value you're thinking. Purists will scoff at all the mods you had to do to "restore" them and you'll never get the ROI if you sell them.

 

I also don't think you you could restore the woofers to original as no one makes those accordion surrounds. You did the right thing buying replacement woofers. I also wouldn't go crazy replacing capacitors or other drivers at least until you've listened to them. If it's not broken, don't fix it.

 

I say save the labor of building new cabinets. Remove the Velcro, patch, sand, and refinish the existing cabinets in black (save the badges!) using your cabinet making skills and if you want to go crazy, paint the screws copper! All the nicks and dings from 1971 will just add character. Let the original wood grain show through. And don't try to port the cabinet. Unless you can accurately calculate the size and length of the port/path to get the low end extension correct, you're messing with the properties of the universe!

 

And don't forget to show them off here when you're done.

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16 hours ago, gigantic said:

I've got a pair of AlNiCo K-22's on the way from forum member @dtr20 and have ordered a set of Dayton caps in matching values from parts express. While I understand the impulse to go all out with factory spec components that @JEM Performance sells, my conundrum was literally whether to repair these or toss them in the trash, which is where I found them in the first place. while I could conceivably resell the components for more money than the speakers are worth, it makes more sense to me to put only the effort into seeing if they're viable in the first place, before dropping a significant amount of money on them. with that in mind, replacing the crossovers alone will cost as much, if not more than what I've seen comparable units sell for; Dayton Audio caps will do just fine for now. While Heresy I will sell for $1500 or more in mint shape, I only seen H700 sell in the $500-$800 ballpark & that was for speaker cabinets in much better condition than these. While I'm not opposed to throwing good money after bad, I want to at least pretend to be sensible about it.

 

Your plan sounds reasonable, especially seeing how tight money is right now. With good woofers and a crossover refresh, you'll enjoy the Heresy's. Later, if you are not interested in keeping them "original", I would recommend Claude's ported version of the Heresy. It's a woofer swap and you add an inexpensive port. Makes a big difference in the low-end output. Since I've said that, you will have everyone and their grandma chime in a say "just use a subwoofer" and you can do that too, but sometimes people don't want to use a sub or one is just not an option for whatever reason. 

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4 hours ago, Curious_George said:

Your plan sounds reasonable, especially seeing how tight money is right now. With good woofers and a crossover refresh, you'll enjoy the Heresy's. Later, if you are not interested in keeping them "original", I would recommend Claude's ported version of the Heresy. It's a woofer swap and you add an inexpensive port. Makes a big difference in the low-end output. Since I've said that, you will have everyone and their grandma chime in a say "just use a subwoofer" and you can do that too, but sometimes people don't want to use a sub or one is just not an option for whatever reason. 

I’m thinking that I’ll make a second back board to play around with porting and other speakers with more low end response so I can do a not quite super heresy mod without damaging the original cabinets. 
 

separate question: I’ve found that the cabs have zero insulation material in them; what’s the best foam to use and where can I find it?

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The Heresy will now fullfil it's namesake by modifying it. It is not recommended to stuff it by some, as a bit of efficiency will be lost and that was not the way it was designed. However, I would stuff it even without the port mod. You can use poly-fill pillow stuffing, or eggcrate foam from a place like Jo-Anns or maybe Walmart. An eggcrate mattress topper will work too. If you use poly-fill, lightly stuff the enclosure. If you use egg crate, line the sidewalls, backwall and top and bottom walls.

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