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La Scala Vs. Klipschorn


Tweek
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On 5/25/2004 8:56:27 PM greg928s4 wrote:

I've enjoyed my year long re-introduction to midrange, but I'm itching to get my biamp system up and running with 60 watt Quicksilvers on my Khorn bass bins and once again feel my pant legs move with a kick drum beat.

Greg

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Greg,

That sounds like an interesting combo for your setup. I've thought about bi-amping from time to time, but have wondered how much of a challenge it would be to get the HF and LF signal matched w/o having to do alot of continuous fine tuning.

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The difference in sound is surprising, considering the similarities.

The K-horn has a solid, strong kick with a bass drum and can rumble with thunder so that your pant legs move. La Scalas have a hump in the bass that makes male voices warm and a little boomy, the K-horn does not. A bass drum through a La Scala has great impact in you body, but lacks the solid whump the K-horn has. Deep bass notes from a synthesizer or organ are completely missing. Female vocals and up are quite similar and essentially the same.

As for amplifiers, either is ruthless in presenting flaws in electronics, especially hiss and hum, but even crossover distortion may be heard sometimes by a deaf old fart like me. Klipsch recommends a minimum of 20 watts per channel and I agree. You need little more than that. I first had a Yamaha that could be switched into Class A from Class AB. It clipped at 8 watts in Class A. Eight watts was plenty for light jazz or background levels, but when the dynamic range went to exciting in a live performance, for instance, * was not enough. The Yamaha would clip at 60 watts in Class AB and I never wanted for more.

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In my own humble opinion, the wonderful sound qualities of the classic Klipsch corner Khorns extend beyond the LaScala NOT just in the areas of deep, lean and accurate bass, but also in smoother mid-range presentation. Except for vintage solid-state low-powered harmon/kardon receivers and quality McIntosh amplifiers, which are dirt cheap, I think that most people are better off powering their big ole horns with flea-powered tube amplifiers.

You do need two square corners and you will need a sub with either one for HT.

3.gif

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as stated above they will be used only for music, not home theater application, it will be a while til i do a full on home theater upgrade, and maybe when i do i will use the K-Horns or Scalas depending on what i get, i still havent decided 14.gif i'm leaning towards the khorns though

i dont listen to rap, or basshead music, i listen to classic rock, alternative, newwave, rock, and some punk rock (the real punk rock, not this new fake stuff)

also i want the power in an amp to be there if i need it, so i'm gonna stay away from the low powered stuff

i've never had any experience with vacuum tube amps but i hear lots of people use them for the Heritage Series, i would like a McIntosh Amp but i cant find prices on any of their models

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There is quite a bit more to a Khorn than a La Scala.

One was intended for a PA speaker, and the other was intended for hi-fi. The application criteria is completely different.

That is not to say that there is anything wrong with the La Scala. It is a very nice horn, but it is designed to have an Fc of about 60 Hz. It rolls off in the low 50's.

Khorns have an Fc of 40 Hz, and roll off in the mid-to-lower 30's.

The difference can be summed up this way: the La Scala can give you an inkling of what you might get with a Khorn.

Of course, this is only my opinion, which Dirty Harry mentioned specifically, if I remember correctly...

DM2.gif

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Daddydee, in my opinion, the trick to biamping when using a SET tube amp for the mid and tweet, is to use very few electronics in line between the source and the speakers, at least on the mid and tweet side of things. I tried using an electronic crossover and it really took away from the sound quality I discovered with the SET amp. I'm working on a method of biamping with very simple and very few components in line. It's been very difficult getting the information to do this. Everyone I talk to tries to push me towards something that I don't want, more electronics. I'm talking about very respected people here on this forum. The one person on this forum who turned me on to this idea in the first place has been difficult to communicate with via email, and almost nasty to me at times, so I've given up trying to get any further with him. Anyway, when I get it figured out, and if it works, I intend to post my findings on my website for others to learn from.

I'm the kind of person that likes to contour the bass frequencies. In fact, I'd be in heaven with a 1/3 octave e.q. on my lap while listening to music! But I've tried equalizers and same thing, the quality of the sound gained by using the SET amp is diminished. Just too many electronics in line. With my biamp setup, I'll be able to put an equalizer just on the bass bins where the electronics will not interfere with the quality of the mid/tweet.

I even plan to have remote passive volume attenuators, one on the main signal for volume and another just on the bass bin side of things. That way I can control the amount of bass independently of overall volume.

It's an interesting experiment, and one which I hope results in SET quality sound and PP whomp at the same time, with volume and bass control from the couch.

Sorry to hijack.

Greg

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Thanks Greg,

Will be looking forward to your posting when you get a setup that you like.

One thing I've done lately, and you may have picked up on the same thread, is run the squawker off the #3 tap on the autoformer instead of the stock #4 tap. This mod would work the same on A or AA crossovers. (in fact Bob Crites includes this as a switchable option on his crossovers)

The effect of the change is to drop the squawker output by 3db, which seems to be just about right to bring up the perceived bass content. It will also lower the crossover to the K55, but well within it's manufactured spec for bottom end freq.

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Hey Greg: you state you want simplicity and no unnecessary electronics and then go on to talk sbout two passive volume attenuators and the associated interconnects, I assume. Why would your preamp not control gain on the mid/tweet and why not get a bass amp with level controls? Once you dial in the bass, you're done. I'm interested in what you want to do---maybe I can improve on what i do. John

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On 5/26/2004 1:22:20 PM Tweek wrote:

..."also i want the power in an amp to be there if i need it, so i'm gonna stay away from the low powered stuff

i've never had any experience with vacuum tube amps but i hear lots of people use them for the Heritage Series, i would like a McIntosh Amp but i cant find prices on any of their models."

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I'm no expert, since I've never heard La Scalas (and own Cornwalls), but I've heard Klipschorns driven by a McIntosh MC275 many years ago, and those 75 watts of valve power really liven up those corner horns!

Seeing the music you like, I dare say that low-powered SET wouldn't be your cup o' tea, but maybe a used tube Mac MC225, MC240, MC275, and even the MC30 monoblocks, would be more than enough power for the Klipschorns. Depending on your budget, these used Mac tube amps can range from $1200 to over $3000, but they're more affordable than new Macs.

There are other choices beside McIntosh...vintage tube power from H.H. Scott, Marantz, EICO, Fisher, Quad, Pilot, Heathkit, Grommes, Dynaco, harman/kardon, et al, especially those that have been given the once-over by Craig of NOSValves.com; they're all great tube choices that many forum members here also own and enjoy.

If you'd rather own new, there are also many decent, affordable push-pull choices made in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; makes such as Shanling, Ming-Da, Dared, Antique Sound Lab, Radii, Kailin, and BEZ offer many power choices as well. So too with manufacturers closer to home, like JoLida, conrad-johnson, Quicksilver, Audio Research, Cary, Manley, etc. New or used, you'll find hundreds of 'em on eBay, AudiogoN, AudioWeb, and AudioClassics.

Go for the Klipschorns, and forget about the sub!

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jdyer - I'm not noticing any difference in sound quality with or without the remote passive volume attenuator right now with my stereo SET tube amp and Khorns. I'm not very technically minded when it comes to describing the kind of components that are changing the SET sound in my system, but I do know, from just listening, that units like equalizers and electronic crossovers adversly affect the sound of my system.

In my upcoming biamp system, I'm going to assume that the remote passive volume attenuators will not appreciably affect the sound quality. Also, I may use one of them in place of my preamp, which I'm doing right now. So I wouldn't be adding any more interconnects or electronics there compared to using a preamp, in fact less. The other volume attenuator would be on the bass bin side of the biamp set up which doesn't really concern me as far as the number of components or interconnects.

Looking at the mid/tweet side of the system, I'd have the source, a remote passive volume attenuator, split signal to a pair of Horus 2A3 SET tube monoblocs with a switchable circuit simple high pass filter sending 400 hz and up to the mid and tweet on the Khorn, and I'd use part of the type A crossover in the Khorn to split the mid and tweet signal.

On the bass bin side of the system, a signal in from the first remote passive volume attenuator to another remote passive volume attenuator, to a McIntosh MQ107 parametric equalizer, to a pair of Quicksilver 8417 monobloc PP tube amps, to a simple passive low-pass crossover for each bass bin, and finally to the Khorn bass bins.

This setup gives me the SET sound from 400 hz and up through the mid/tweet, while taking the load off the Horus monoblocs of 400hz and down. It also gives me remote volume control over the entire system as well as just the bass bins so I can tweak the bass on the fly and from the couch. I'll get the umphhh of 60 watts per channel into the bass. I'll also be able to contour the bass through the parametric with the use of a 1/3 octave analyer that I have. The McIntosh MQ107 has a bass contour knob that is really neat too that adds an extreme low end curve at a variable rate. I've played with this a little and adding just a little bit really sounds nice in my room.

Sorry so long, but that's the dream system right now. If I didn't have a big screen t.v. in the way, I could add a Belle center. I don't know if it will work or not, but I'm gonna try!

Greg

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Greg---You're sending full-range signals to each amp and filtering after the amps? Is that right?

If so I think you're better off splitting the signal before the amps, that's real bi-amping. Then the treble amp is fed no low frequencies at all and passive components at the speaker level are avoided.

If you don't want to use an active crossover you can easily design and build passive filters that work at the line level between preamp and amps. That is much better than passives at the speaker level IMO.

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To attempt a true comparison between the LaScala and the Klipschorn is to invite folly. Here is why:

Simply stated, it is ALL about the design parameters of the two speakers to begin with.

The Klipschorn was designed to accurately reproduce the sound of a complete symphony orchestra within the confines of a room within one's home by using a three-way fully-horn-loaded speaker and the corners of the room as an extension of the bass horn.

The LaScala was designed to be used as a stand-alone three-way fully-horn-loaded speaker that approximated the performance of a Klipschorn as closely as possible in the accurate reproduction of PRIMARILY the human voice range and/or microphone-amplified string musical instruments (ie., those most commonly found in Bluegrass music ensembles), when used OUTSIDE on a flat-bed trailer OR inside of an auditorium while the relatively deep-voiced user participated in a gubernatorial campaign. It was NOT to need a corner for part of its bass horn, and it was NOT expected to be able to provide deeper bass response as accurately/loudly as the Klipschorn...it WAS expected to be smaller and lighter in weight and therefore more easily maneuverable (read: PORTABLE) by people setting it up.

So...that is why the LaScala is what it is...when compared to a Klipschorn. The fact that it evolved into use as a great center-channel speaker between two Klipschorns...and further developed itself into the beauty of the Belle Klipsch speaker...is all "gravy" to its initial design parameters to begin with. Even moreso, was the surprise that it developed its own "cult-following" as a PRIMARY home speaker for MAIN channels in stereo systems...primarily in homes that had no "good corners" conducive to the installation of Klipschorns...AND due to its lower price!

Of all the original so-called Heritage line of speakers, the LaScala is the most unique in its original design parameters...with the exception of the Klipschorn and the LaScala, all the rest were originally designed having parameters that were based upon using them as SUPPLEMENTAL speakers to the mighty Klipschorn...NOT stand-alone primary-use speakers!

Therefore, the easiest way to make the comparison is to FIRST consider the design parameters of the speakers to begin with.

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Here is another interesting note, the La Scala and Belle are the only horn designs that PWK apparently did not patent.

I also note that the Jubilee is not patented as far as I can find...

I wonder why. He patented many others...

DM

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Hey Greg: It sounds to me like you are on track to get the absolute most out of the horns. I ran mine with Cary SV572 SETs, which were 20WPC, and with 300B's, which are 10 or 12, and was not completely satisfied with the oomph. Biamping fixes that problem pronto. I used to use a Creek OBH-10 between my source and preamp just for the remote control ( I needed the two sets of outputs on my CJ preamp). I recently bought a Cary preamp with remote. I was happy with the Creek, but I'm happier without it. Other than remote control of the bass level, I still think I would prefer a bass amp with level controls, thereby eliminating 1 or 2 pairs of interconnects. I use SS on the bass because i don't believe the SET magic is really that apparent at <400hz frequencies. Also, after fiddling with the bass level a few times, I don't feel the need to adjust it further. I've had the Khorns for 5 or 6 years and have recently begun using a subwoofer for the first time, crossed at about 40hz. So far I kind of like it. I have used high-power SS and the SETs mentioned above with my horns, and IMO, biamping gives you the best of both worlds, absolutely hands down. However, it might be unnecessary for someone who listens to only mellow music at dentist-office levels-- I like to rattle the windows a bit on Friday night. I really look fwd to hearing how this works for you, especially the EQ part. Also, why would you not just let the Khorn crossovers do the job instead of adding more components? If you're interested in the way mine are wired, give a shout John

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Greg, one more thing--you can't equate SET watts to the mid/tweet with watts to the bass bins. My bass amp has VU meters, and sometimes I'll be pouring 40 or 50 watts continuous with peaks to 100 into the bass bins and it perfectly matches the 8 watts or so to the mid/tweet. i am not a fan of boomy bass, just balanced and natural. Heck, the bass cabinet is rated at 100 watts continuous, I believe. Back in '99, the Klipsch regional rep walked me through all this. he believed it was the way to get the most out of the horns. So go for power on the bass amp and have a means of adjusting level, as you seem to have worked out so well. Your 60 watts of PP power will light them up. You say at the end of your post you don't know if it's going to work---i guarantee you it will. john

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