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La Scala Vs. Klipschorn


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1 hour ago, Tom05 said:

At one time I had a 28’ x 24’  room with a set of Khorns along the 28 ‘ wall , the sound was incredible. But if you don’t have an optimal room they will suffer  in their presentation to some degree. In smaller less optimal rooms I believe that the Lascala has certain advantages  ,for example the height of the squawker is better placed for closer listening ,Lascala allows for   easy toe in adjustment and easy width  adjustment . Overall the Lascala offers much more flexibility , which makes it more desirable in many cases. But is it better , to me it depends.🤓

 

I agree. My khorns were on the short wall of a 26 X 15 room. The room was plenty big enough, but 15' corners didn't allow them to shine. I always felt like I was either too far away or too close. Another 3-4 ft of width would have been perfect.

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Would love Khorns but don't have proper corners, plus none are available locally. But adore my '77 LS's. I firmly believe that what you feed them really affects what comes out of them. McIntosh MC225 or MC30's really sound incredible through them, and they certainly deliver enough bottom end for my enjoyment with those amps.

'

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The AK6  , and AK5 have enclosed backs khorns , that no  longer need proper corners as that allows for toe in  -any khorn can be converted to have enclosed backs -

- one could always place a non enclosed back  khorn  anywhere in the room using  false corners  -

- enclosed backs khorns can also be placed  in corners 

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1 hour ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

I agree. My khorns were on the short wall of a 26 X 15 room. The room was plenty big enough, but 15' corners didn't allow them to shine. I always felt like I was either too far away or too close. Another 3-4 ft of width would have been perfect.

Yep ,great observation,(I can relate to this)Well said🤓

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41 minutes ago, RandyH said:

The AK6  , and AK5 have enclosed backs khorns , that no  longer need proper corners as that allows for toe in  -any khorn can be converted to have enclosed backs -

- one could always place a non enclosed back  khorn  anywhere in the room using  false corners  -

- enclosed backs khorns can also be placed  in corners 

If not tightly in a corner the enclosed backs will drop off really early as they are not long enough. 

 

I did what you see below, which helped, but was not that pretty.

 

DSC01429.JPG

V15 No 5 False Corners.pdf

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39 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

 

 

I did what you see below, which helped, but was not that pretty

looks really nice , are these the real TW Khorns 

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7 hours ago, RandyH said:

The AK6  , and AK5 have enclosed backs khorns , that no  longer need proper corners as that allows for toe in  -any khorn can be converted to have enclosed backs -

- one could always place a non enclosed back  khorn  anywhere in the room using  false corners  -

- enclosed backs khorns can also be placed  in corners 

The newer Khorns mentioned are pretty much out of my price range, and messing around with mods like fake corners is more then I want to pursue unless it's a deal too good to pass up.

 

And even then, they would have to be pretty dang outstanding to better what I already get from my LS's, which, BTW,  I and wife love the way they look and they seem made for my room .

 

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36 minutes ago, svberger said:

The newer Khorns mentioned are pretty much out of my price range, and messing around with mods like fake corners is more then I want to pursue unless it's a deal too good to pass up.

 

And even then, they would have to be pretty dang outstanding to better what I already get from my LS's, which, BTW,  I and wife love the way they look and they seem made for my room .

 

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It’s been said here a few times that a pair of La Scalas plus a good sub can sound better than a pair of Klipschorns, plus you don’t need “Khorn corners”, which many homes don’t have.  The downside is that the Scala+sub setup takes up more floor space.  Many people (including me) can live with that.

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29 minutes ago, Islander said:

 

It’s been said here a few times that a pair of La Scalas plus a good sub can sound better than a pair of Klipschorns, plus you don’t need “Khorn corners”, which many homes don’t have.  The downside is that the Scala+sub setup takes up more floor space.  Many people (including me) can live with that.

I'll take them without the sub and settle for as good as Khorns. Ok, maybe not quite as good. 😁

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2 hours ago, svberger said:

The newer Khorns mentioned are pretty much out of my price range, and messing around with mods like fake corners is more then I want to pursue unless it's a deal too good to pass up.

 

And even then, they would have to be pretty dang outstanding to better what I already get from my LS's, which, BTW,  I and wife love the way they look and they seem made for my room .

 

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Lascala’s look sweet ,they look like a serious no nonsense  piece of equipment,

and that’s just what they are. Nice looking room🤓

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

My past experience with the K401 midrange horn, when I had vintage LaScalas, is that it is extremely beamy - at least when used up to 6KHz like on most vintage issues. I could never get the right balance in my room. I was either missing details in the high mid, or having my ears bleeding. You need to find the exact amount of toe-in to get acceptable presentation. With that in mind, I would consider a vintage pair of Khorns to be a hit or miss speaker: if the proportions of the room are not perfect (the listening angle, etc) with the Khorns in the required corners, you'd be probably get much better sound with a pair of LaScala and their placement flexibility... and some good sub(s). My two cents anyways!

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8 hours ago, Rolox said:

My past experience with the K401 midrange horn, when I had vintage LaScalas, is that it is extremely beamy - at least when used up to 6KHz like on most vintage issues. I could never get the right balance in my room. I was either missing details in the high mid, or having my ears bleeding. You need to find the exact amount of toe-in to get acceptable presentation. With that in mind, I would consider a vintage pair of Khorns to be a hit or miss speaker: if the proportions of the room are not perfect (the listening angle, etc) with the Khorns in the required corners, you'd be probably get much better sound with a pair of LaScala and their placement flexibility... and some good sub(s). My two cents anyways!

 

No problem; replace the K77 and the K401 horns at the same time with a pair of either K501s or K402s, with K-69, K-691, Faital, or other popular drivers that you like.  Both of those are newer Tractrix designs that have a number of advantages, which I haven’t seen listed or explained, so I’ll just go with “sounds much better”.  Having the mids and highs coming from the same horn and driver eliminates the the time misalignment between the very short K77 tweeter horn and the fairly long K401 squawker horn, so there’s only the woofer horn to align with.

 

At the same time, the more modern K-691 driver clearly outperforms the K-77 and K-55 drivers, with a higher top frequency limit and a clearer midrange.

 

Of course, this is usually part of a bi-amped system, so you’ll need a second power amp, or a fresh pair of 2-channel power amplifiers (or 4 monoblocs, if you prefer).

 

The final part of the puzzle is to disconnect the passive crossovers, which muddy up the sound and absorb power, and replace them with an active electronic crossover, which allows easy time alignment, as well as far more precise EQing that could ever be possible with a passive crossover.  Finally, if you change any components in the future, it’s just a matter of changing the settings on the crossover.  There’s no need to change capacitors for ones of different values, or any other components.

 

And that’s it. That’s how you get top performance out of a La Scala.  Add a quality subwoofer or two, and you’ve got a pair of high performing full-range speakers, with a frequency from below 20 Hz (with the right sub(s)) to above 19 kHz.  When I set up my 1974 La Scalas like this in March 2008, the sound was a big upgrade from the stock configuration, but the very top end was a little dull.  Roy noticed this, too, and in September 2008 recommended a boost at 18kHz.  That was all that was needed.  I dialled it in, and now the cymbals had the clear and bright tones (and overtones) that had been missing.

 

This set of mods can be done to any La Scalas, from the earliest to the latest, original or La Scala II, but I wouldn’t do it to a new pair of AL6es just yet.  Better to enjoy those speakers just as they are for a while.

 

The upsides are better sound and better power handling, since the K-691 drivers are rated for 50 watts, while the limit for the K-77s is under 10 watts, I believe.  The clarity and accuracy is really next level.  Also, the set can be updated over time, as your budget allows and as new components are released.  In my case, it went OG La Scala/K510/K-69 —> LS II/K510/K-69 —> LS II/K402/K-69 —> LS II/K402/K-691.  The last configuration is how they are today, and shows how updates can be done if you wish, or you can jump in at any stage and stay there, if you’re totally happy with what you’re hearing.  I’m using the original type E-V Dx38 processor that Roy used to determine the original settings back in 2007 or so, but it could be replaced with the later E-V DC-One, or the Yamaha 2060 (I think that’s the processor model number), or the newest Xilica unit.

 

The mods are also instantly reversible.  When I got the La Scala IIs, all I had to do to put the original La Scalas back to stock was to lift the tweeter assemblies off them and reconnect their crossovers.  That was it.  They were moved out of position so the LS IIs could go into their place, then the LS IIs had their crossovers disconnected and the modded tweeter assemblies were set on them.  The speaker wires were long enough that the the tweeters didn’t even have to be disconnected.  How simple is that?

 

Downsides?  Well, the main one is that this is expensive, even with buying everything used, apart from cables.  If I was starting from scratch, with no Scalas, it would have made more sense to spend a few thousand dollars more and just have bought Jubilees.  This is back when they cost under $8,000, of course.

 

As well, there’s no point on cheaping out on anything, especially the amplifiers.  This results in a very high performance pair of speakers, if you get high performance amplifiers.  They also need to be very quiet, of course, since these high sensitivity speakers will clearly reproduce any hissing or buzzing fed into them.

 

How much power do you need?  That’s pretty much up to you, but I’d suggest at least 10 watts per driver.  In my case, I’m using a pair of Yamaha MX-D1 power amps.  As a statement project, there was only one model, no line of similar amps.  In that case, Yamaha needed to build an amplifier that could drive any speaker, no matter how difficult a load it might present.  Therefore, the amplifiers are very quiet, at 120 dB, stable at 2 ohms, and very powerful, at 500 watts per channel.  In this configuration, that means that 500 watts is available to each driver, 500 watts to each tweeter and 500 watts to each woofer.

 

Sure, that’s excessive, but they’ve been working happily since 2008, and there have been no problems.  However, I rarely listen to really loud music, listening in the 70-90 dB range most of the time.  That means the amount of headroom is amazing, so the dynamic range comes that much closer to actual performances, with even the loudest bands .

 

So now the signal chain is source -> preamp/receiver-> processor/crossover -> power amps -> drivers -> ears.  The signal goes straight from the power amps to the drivers, so the bass power amp feeds the left and right woofers, while the treble amp feeds the left and right tweeters.  This is horizontal bi-amping.  There’s also vertical bi-amping, in which each 2-channel power amp feeds one speaker, with one channel driving the woofer and the other channel driving the tweeter.  Both configurations work equally well.

 

As you can see, the signal path is about as simple as it could be.  You could add an ART Cleanbox PRO between the preamp/receiver, which uses home audio voltage and the active crossover, which, being a pro audio unit, uses pro sound voltage, which is a bit different.  Some of those electronic crossovers have only XLR inputs, and the Cleanbox takes care of that, with its RCA inputs and XLR outputs.  The Cleanbox is only $90CAD, barely more than a pair of quality XLR interconnects, which you also need.  I did without the Cleanbox for years, instead using interconnects that were RCA at one end and XLR at the other end.  That works too.

 

So there you have it.  If you don’t have room for Jubilees, or really love your La Scalas, this is a way to get much higher performance from them.  The changes are modular and reversible, although they are expensive.  Every time I listen to the stereo, I’m reminded that I made the right choices for me, and it puts a big smile on my face.

 

 

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On 4/1/2022 at 6:01 PM, Tom05 said:

Lascala’s look sweet ,they look like a serious no nonsense  piece of equipment,

and that’s just what they are. Nice looking room🤓

 

 

I agree and thanks.

 

That said, CW's look pretty cool also.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This has been my choice for the last 12 years.  They are on risers because my listening seats are also on risers.  The large black boxes between are Danley DTS10 horn loaded subs.  I imagine it will look just like this the day my kids come to sell off our estate.  The dynamics for movies are off the charts.  If it was very convenient for me to audition Khorns in the L/R locations, I suppose I would.  But considering I have these front 3 for $2k, it would be hard to convince me of any value in spending more.

image.jpeg.a22bbb3d7dcd163f2bd5a234839a9e46.jpeg

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