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al k´s x-over...any updates?

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I am, by nature, impatient...I am dying to hear updates from the peolpe who bought Al´s new x-overs...please ensure that you all work hard, putting in some serious listening time over the coming weekend and please, please, please post something Monday! Some of us have real high hopes for the AL K tweak...the only problem is once we have the perfect K-horn what will we do with our free time? listen to music?....

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Haven't had much time in last couple of weeks to really evaluate things.

One of the drawbacks of providing obsessive compulsive audiophiles with adjustments is that they will adjust things. Al's crossovers have several taps for the squawker horn, offering a significant variation on the level of the squawker compared to the woofer / tweeter. It is also possible to flip the polarity of the squawker relative to the tweeter / woofer. So, I can shelve the horn up and down, and invert its polarity, and listen to Ronnie Milsap sing "Lost in the 50's" about eleventy dozen times, and argue with myself about which combination sounds, uh, closest to the way I'd like it to sound.

Then, of course, I dynamatted my squawker horn to deaden the resonances (RULE #1 OF AUDIODUM OR PROGRAMMING - ONLY CHANGE ONE THING AT A TIME!!!! DUH!!!) and now I can't decide whether the differences in the sound are due to the dynamat or the crossover - or rather, which is which.

In the true spirit of audiophalistic masochism, I have just purchased an old TEAC integrated amplifier off E-Bay from a nice gentleman in Vancouver. Should be here in a few days. Now, if I change my speaker cables when the amp gets here, and get a new rug for the tile floor, I should be able to spend the next 6.02 X 10^23 years trying to figure out how to set the crossover and exactly what it sounds like. Oh, I forgot, I added some new plants in the music room, too...

It sounds really, really, good, whateverthehell it shounds like.

Ray "What? Huh?" Garrison

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they´re puttin´ something in water out there in CT...

But they sound great right? Better than your originals? (looking for any excuse to buy Al K´s x-overs...my wife has to be told "everyone on the klipsch b-board raved about them")

Regards, Tony

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Well, Tony, I don't know about all the buyers but Ray and I ssem to be convinced. When I first listened to my la Scalas after the ALK x-over upgrade, I thought I had gotten a new set of speakers the sound had changed so much - for the better. For me it was the opening up of the tweeter that made the difference in the sound. As if the tweeter had been replaced with new. I have listened to the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerti now at lead 7 times since the change and I'm still hearing things in the recordings that I had missed all this time - while reading the scores. I also listen to the HiLos a lot and the voices seem like they are in the room with me. The difference is phenomenal on vocal stuff. I also listen to a lot of Stan Kenton and Brubeck and the difference in presence (?) is amazing. I had the good fortune to Kenton's band a few times live and the old vinyl recording show off the sound very well on the amended la Scalas.

I understand about your wifes' concerns. Mine gets every penny out of every dollar so she is not aware that the x-overs have changed, but she has commented that the sound seems to be better lately... Hmmnnn, I wonder how that happened.


Richard Hemmings

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An update on the ALK crossovers on my Klipschorns.

I have now been listening to them for about a month. I can say without any trepidation that these crossovers are very listen able, the transients are crisper, the clarity much improved and the tweeters are present. Listening to symbols one gets the sizzle that exists on a drum set. When I did the install, I A/Bed them. The first thing I noticed was the new crossovers was clearer. A veil was identified that was not even noticed before I installed the ALK crossovers. This might not be a good thing since if you dont know a veil exists, it wont bother you. But once you hear the difference, you wont want to go back to the old crossovers. I am tempted to put the original crossovers on the Internet and sell them and the old crossovers were new with my Klipschorns in January of 2000.

As a second endorsement, my dad who has been an audiophile since 1948 and has Khorns and very good equipment heard them he immediately wanted a pair for himself. That pair is number two in ALs quest for getting orders for four. So others get on the stick and put your orders in so my 75-year-old dad can get his before the next millennium.

My dad and I both use low powered tube amps as well as tube preamps and CD players. Vinyl is played with moving coil cartridges. We want great sound but at a reasonably affordable price. No $75,000 speakers here.

If you want any additional information feel free to ask.


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Hi Guys,

I have been asked several times about substituting the Jensen paper-in-

oil capacitors for the Hovland and Solen capacitors in my crossover


The short answer to this is NO! Here's why:

I have done computer analysis to determine the acceptable tolerance of

each part in the network. The 2.2 uF caps used in the squawker / tweeter

crossover need to be within +-5%. The Jensen caps are -10% +20%

tolerance, which is not good enough. The squawker / Tweeter crossover

will very too much messing up the stereo image and the impedance match to

the amplifier. I am also matching the caps within about 1% of each other

between left and right. That means I need to order them in quantity or

pay a premium to get them in matched sets. Matching parts with a 20%

tolerance to 1% is kind of silly! To make matters worse yet, I need two

40 uF caps for the woffer / squawker crossover. Jensen doesn't make this

value which means I would need to parallel 4 of the 10uF caps to get to

40 uF. With two networks, at $65 each, the price would be $520 for just

this component alone!

I might also add that the paper-in-oil capacitor was the best of

YESTERDAYS technology and I think their excellent and well deserved

reputation is left over form that era. The polyproplyne caps, like I am

using, are extremely low loss. The Hovland MusicCaps that I use have less

loss then several feet of AWG #10 wire! At 6000 Hz, their "Q" factor is

so high it is actually off the scale of my impedance bridge, beyond 2000!

Remember, oil and paper caps are what Klipsch uses in their stock

networks. It is what was in my old "AA"s. I have measured their loss and

it is NOT very good in comparison! I suspect it is the main reason for

the "veil" people speak of.

This is not to say that the Jensen oil capacitors are NOT good. Even

though I have not actually measured one of them, I am sure they are MUCH

better then the ones used by Klipsch! I believe those are actually motor-

start capacitors. Manufacturers must pay close attention to the ratio of

cost to performance. Klipsch must do this too. The capacitors they are

using are very likely the most "bang for the buck" around!

Al K.

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"The capacitors they are using are very likely the most "bang for the buck" around!"

Absolutely! The thing we are doing that improves the crossovers is the use of modern technology. Al's computer analysis and the newer cap and inductor designs all reduce the loss of signal or change in signal that any crossover network causes. In addition, the networks Al builds would probably have to sell for twice what he asks in a low production, retail environment. In short, the cost of each Heritage speaker would go up around $200, if Klipsch did the same thing.


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Al, can you describe how you have imprved the trnasformer in your x-over...as I have mentioned in previous posts the Klipsch version seems poorly built...are you widning your own, buying from somehwre, etc...? thanks, tony

p.s. how much do I need to send for a deposit on your x-overs?, and remind me how much is the total cost, credit cards, or checks only?...(your prototypes are still available?)...remember I have 1994 k-horns...ak-3 x-overs...

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The replacement transformers are made by the same company that makes the

transformers for Klipsch. The new design is bifilar wound for a tighter

coupling and uses heavier wire for lower DC resistance. It also has a

larger core area than the T2A. An additional tap was added to provide a

little more flexibility for adjusting the squawker level. My tests showed

that it has a very slightly higher top end frequency response, but in the

squawker channel, that doesn't mean a lot. Both the new design and the

T2A were capable of transferring 50W of power to a load with no

measurable distortion.

My prototype networks are now promised to someone. I will be

building myself a new set later.

I will be ordering parts for the next production run Monday June

19. Anybody who wants a set should let me know before then. I am asking

$___ for a matched set with $___ deposit to cover parts cost.

Thanks again to all!

Al K.

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  • 2 years later...

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