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big_gto

LaScala bass?

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Although the LaScala's are rated down to only 45 Hz, do they sound weak for a 15" woofer? Same question for the Herseys. My Radio Shack 15" woofers are almost too bass heavy; leave the bass at the "flat" most of the time, but they're only rated at 100 watts and 90 db/watt. The Radio Shack woofer is rated at 24 Hz with a Fs of 20 Hz.

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The Radio Shack 15" is not horn loaded. The speed and accuracy of a horn loaded driver and the lack of audible distortion are the advantages of the horn loaded woofer. OK it will not go gut wrenching low, but the bass is nice and smooth and plenty deep enough for the majority of recordings. With proper placement and decent quality gear the La Scala's can reproduce plenty of bass at very high quality. A subwoofer is just the icing on the cake.

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A subwoofer is *NOT* just the "icing on the cake" with La Scalas. the La Scalas have *NO* bass below about 50 cycles, plus or minus a few depending upon placement and ancillary equipment. If you are used to the bass from a normal pair of full range speakers, and you play something with strong content below 45 Hertz or so, you will find the La Scala completely unacceptable and totally lacking in bass.

This is a simple matter of the physics of the bass horn. There is no way around it.

I *LOVE* the La Scala, I think it is one of the most alive sounding, and most emotional, speakers I have ever had the pleasure of owning / hearing. However, ignoring the fact that she simply cannot produce any bass whatsoever and trying to make do without a subwoofer is stupid. If you listen to any music that has any real bass content, you simply *MUST* have a subwoofer if you're using La Scalas or Belles.

People that say the La Scala produces bass which is acceptable on her own without some sort of external augmentation are either lying, don't listen to music that has any bass content, or are so self-delutional that you shouldn't take anything they say without a healty dose of salt.

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I *LOVE* the La Scala, I think it is one of the most alive sounding, and most emotional, speakers I have ever had the pleasure of owning / hearing. However, ignoring the fact that she simply cannot produce any bass whatsoever and trying to make do without a subwoofer is stupid. If you listen to any music that has any real bass content, you simply *MUST* have a subwoofer if you're using La Scalas or Belles.

----------------

Ray,

I've been wondering about adding a sub for my La Scalas, and would appreciate hearing your take on some good sub candidates. Also, what's got good bang for the buck!

Dee

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Nice post Ray. Try to get right to the point next time, please! 2.gif

Keith

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Twilight zone time...

The above post says I posted it on May 22 (yesterday).

??????????????????

I do remember posting it, but that was, like, long ago and far away... either that, or all that bass from my old La Scalas has scrambled my brains...

Anyone else notice weird things going on with old posts suddenly showing up as current?

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Ray,

The question comes up all the time. Maybe you did post it before 9.gif

I think we want bass that isn't really there in live music. An acoustic bass really doesn't have the size to reproduce the frequencies it is meant to play either. Is the note still there? Sure, but a real acoustic bass won't slam the gut. We seem to want it to feel like we are inside the bass. Perhaps a little more on the LS would be nice, but given the option to have a pair without a sub or no LS at all, I know what I would pick.

Marvel

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Actually the Klipsch website says the current LaScala is rated to 53Hz.

This seems to me not to be a case of the 15" woofer being weak but actually pretty strong when you look at the overall sensitivity of the LaScala, 104dB is certainly no joke in the sensitivity department.

Sure the Khorn goes way lower with the same woofer(K-33-E on current models) at the same sensitivity but you have to take into accout the size of the horn.

A buddy of mine has dual 12" subwoofers in his white suburban(complete with bling bling chrome 20" wheels)which can suck up a hundred or so watts of power(while providing low and muddy one note bass) when my heresy's are cruising along at around 16 watts pumping forth well defined and articulate bass to about 63Hz, if that can be called real bass.

I just lost my train of thought(guiness will do that to ya 2.gif ) I'm not to sure where I was going with all this.

Oh well, just my $0.02

Peace, Josh

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i have heard the rat shack stuff, it sounds like s###, it does go low, but it is muddy, and loose. las do not go as low but are tight controlled and pronounced, if a person wanted really low bass out of a speaker, go corns, or cornerhorns, the corns fell like they are kicking you in the chest litterally. i prefere my corns to my la, but they shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence with rat shack12.gif

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"I think we want bass that isn't really there in live music. An acoustic bass really doesn't have the size to reproduce the frequencies it is meant to play either. Is the note still there? Sure, but a real acoustic bass won't slam the gut. We seem to want it to feel like we are inside the bass. Perhaps a little more on the LS would be nice, but given the option to have a pair without a sub or no LS at all, I know what I would pick."

The Belle and LaScala have very accurate bass within their range. Not bloated in the slightest......very tight and natural. I think some misinterpret the Belle/LaScala as "bass shy" because the listener is looking for "bloated bass", and not "lower bass". These have neither!!! When a complaint is made about the LaScala/Belle, I try to ascertain which complaint is really at issue here...because these are two distinct and different issues.

I find that the Belles perform admirably even with rock material. If bass is in the recording, bass comes from the Belles. They do not pass forth any bass not present in the recording. To some not used to the LaScalas/Belles, this is a fault, to others it is a selling point.

As Ray has mentioned, some will be unhappy with the LaScala/Belle if they listen to music with content below 50 hz. If that is the issue, then a subwoofer must be added.

Finding a sub that would truly do the Belle/LaScala justice would be a difficult task.....matching the speed and accuracy of the Belles would be a challenge. I envision going through several subs trying to find the right match......a task I'm not looking to undertake presently. I like them the way they are, quite frankly.....if I need a little more kick in the chest, I've got the Cornwalls for that.

Of course, if you really want LaScalas with a subwoofer, just buy Klipschorns9.gif

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Some interesting thoughts on subs in the Forum (isn't this great). Here's some of my own.

Cornwalls have lots of deep clean bass when set up on an end wall a couple feet in from each side wall. A sub would be redundant.

LaScalas (& Heresys)need a little more bottom end. With an equalizer you can put a little more punch in what's there, but it adds processing noise & uses up more watts.

Subs really work well with LaScalas,if you have the room & a positive S.O.Q. (Significant Other Quotient - measured in +-db).

For a stereo listening setup, it's been run with the same subs, active adjustable xover & power amp with different main speaker configurations for a number of years (processing noise & hum). Here's some observations. Right now, they're set up under the LaScalas which are on their sides with the horns pointing in ( some issues here ).

Two subs are better than one because there is no "y" configuration, greater amplification power at critical frequencies and more sound radiating surface. To avoid phasing concerns, they are kept as close to the main speakers as possible, and follow basic placement guidelines (S.O.Q. again). Volume on the subs is conservatively set to augment bass to the main speakers without overkill.

In listening, there's a clean bright soundstage with deep bass, vivid vocals & instruments that almost make the speakers disappear ( but not quite).

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Marksdad:

I wasn't comparing sound quality to Klipsch, just trying to decide to whether to buy a pair of LaScalas. I am used to heavy bass, but i want a more realistic sound, so maybe a sub would be the answer to playing Metallica with deep bass. For the two hundred dollars I have invested, I don't think my "rat shack" speakers sound like ****, just not Klipsch quality. Bass is muddy on my Klipsch when playing music recorded with a five string bass in modern rock.

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The muddy bass is probably the quality of the recording. A five string bass only goes on down to a B. Try some Flecktones and see if the bass is clearer.

Marvel

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The bottom from modern rock recordings using 5-string bass and 7-string guitar is going to be muddy, no matter what speaker you play them on. In fact, if you find a speaker that can articulate clean bass out of a Korn CD, I'll tell you your speaker is lying to you.

As far as the bottom of a LaScala, I'd say that a 15" that can cleanly articulate to 50Hz is much more preferable to my ears than the Vega-esque mud zone that pushes 30Hz. My JBL S38's articulate clean, tight bass down to 50Hz - I have no sub, and I'm very happy with their response. Ironically, the first question I'm asked by someone who hears my system for the first time is "where's the subwoofer?"

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The question of what kind of music you enjoy listening to is critically important here.

One of my favorite late night, low level (well, sort of...) pieces of music to listen to before going to bed is the Saint Saens 3rd Symphony. In the second movement, there is an organ fundamental that is important to the theme of the piece, and it is at 16 cycles (on some recordings... obviously, not every venue has an organ that will go that low.) There is a *LOT* of content below 32HZ in the 2nd and 4th movements (or send half of the 1st and 2nd movements, depending upon how you view this piece). On the La Scalas without a sub, that music is simply not there. Not at all, not at any level. It is missing. The same is true of a lot of electronic music (some of lauri anderson's earlier recordings, like the United States 4CD set, have stong content in the mid to low 20's.) Also, a lot of ambient information, the "hall sound", is very low frequency. This is why adding a subwoofer to otherwise mostly full range speakers can enhance the soundstage, particularly depth. On a lot of rock recordings that use a synthesizer for part or all of the bass line, listening to the music on a full range, or subwoofer enhanced, system is a completely different experience than hearing it on nude La Scalas or Belles.

Yes, I agree that the *QUALITY* of the horn loaded bass on La Scala or Belle is tee-riffic (which is why I bought mine), the fact that there is *NO BASS* below, uh, somewhere between 40 and 55 cycles depending upon volume, placement, room configuration and definition of what "there" means is simply physics. It does not exist. If you listen to music that has important content in the lowest octave (20 to 40 cycles or so) on these speakers, you are missing a significant portion of the music.

Whether that is important to you or not is, of course, a completely different question.

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A good way

to view the size of instrument and bass performance is to hustle down to your nearest piano dealer and play the bass keys on one of those cute little parlor models and then on the big grand. The issue of size and bass quickly becomes evident. There is bass and then there is bass with it's associated power to match. Lots of speakers have bass but most don't have the proper power to balance it with the rest of the spectrum.

A very simple explanation I know but it is my 1 1/2 cents.

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lascalas are better suited for PA stuff on stage IMO. There they are not called upon to produce any substantial amounts of bass. The bass bins perform that task. Many many bands use them.

You need a Khorn or cornwall.

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I could understand big_gto's concern... and agree with Ray. Lascala's sound great but are bass shy rolling off in the 55Hz range, especially compared to Cornwalls and Khorns. Most modern recordings have musical content below 55Hz (it may be from studio mixing.... but it's there) and in my opinion, I also feel Lascalas require a Subwoofer to shine.

Rob

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I am skipping over about 75% of the posts on this topic so far and will come back when I have more time to read them all....

Just my 2 cents. I had a pair of Belles, I felt that they had a wonderfull sound, however, the bass was definitly lacking. For me and my tastes that is. I sold them becuase there simply was no feasable way for me to extract any more bass out of them from the suggestions that I had been given.

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