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Klipsch vs. a Piano


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If what I remember from physics is correct, that is, if you double the frequency of a sound tone then that tone will be one octave higher, then most speakers, including Klipsch floorstanding speakers (not subwoofers), can't reproduce all the tones of a piano. A piano's middle "A" (above middle C) is 440 Hz. There are 4 "A's" below middle A so they are 220, 110, 55 and 27.5 Hz, respectively.

I can't believe that the KHorns (which extend to 35 Hz or so) can't reproduce all the tones of a piano (or my KLF 30's for that matter, or Forte II's or KLF 10's, both 32 Hz low end)...

What am I missing here??? Just curious,


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what are you missing?

not much, in the sense that a lot of people have played the piano for decades without touching that 27.5Hz "A" key... I don't even know whether there is any significant piano work that uses it...

but you ARE missing on a lot of harmonics (the frequencies above and below the fundamental tone of a note) from a lot of instruments, piano or others.

so get a sub. only those black boxes can go low enough to enable your system to reproduce the whole spectrum of your music. and even then, in most cases, they can't.



'cuz not a lot of people have ever said

"Pump up the treble!"

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The Klipschorn and the other models you mentioned WILL reproduce that 27.5 Hz piano fundamental, just not as loud as they can higher bass notes. In fact, the output at 27.5 MAY be so weak you think there is nothing there at all, but really there is. My La Scalas seem that way on the 22 Hz synthesizer notes in the Titanic theme song. 22 Hz from a La Scala is so weak it might as well not be there at all.


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There are harmonics that descend down lower than the 40 Hz of most full range speakers.

But at 30 Hz, with normal listening volumes, the lowest piano notes will be hard to hear, a sub doesn't just extend the frequency range down to the lowest piano notes, it also allows you to tip up the response at the low end to emphasis the deep bass.

I can dial a fairly flat response on my subs, but I confess to ading an increase in the lowest notes to add warmth and punch to the sound.

Even so my measured response at normal listening level at my seat is down 13 dB at 25 Hz:

Hz dB Variance

200 66

160 65.5 -0.5

125 71 5.5

100 67 -4

80 69 2

63 74.5 5.5

50 72 -2.5

40 73 1

31.5 81.5 8.5

25 68.5 -13

20 62 -6.5


big old Cornwalls, Bottlehead 2A3 Paramour tube amps, Dynaco series II tube pre-amp, Rotel CD player, KSW200 & LF10 subs

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Hmmm... maybe this is the justification I need for that big ol' 15" sub.... cwm30.gif

Does anyone know what a 36 Hz tone equates to on the piano?? (i.e. how low can the KLF-30's go for +/- 3dB??)

Does anyone have the response curve for the KLF-30's they could post here or email me? My amp has a Bass EQ button which boosts 70 Hz by +3 dB and 40 Hz by +6 dB. The standard bass control gives +/- 10 dB at 50 Hz. I'm wondering how this compares with the natural roll-off of the KLF-30's??



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I have a very hard time just discerning pitch at the lowest frequencies produced by a piano. And as has been said, there is very little of any musical interest down that low. Or below 40hz for that matter, IMHO. The lowest tone on a typical four-string electic bass is approximately 40hz. So unless you have a sizable collection of pipe organ music, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I think what is much more important is how well a speaker system can reproduce bass from 40hz up. And this is where klipsch excels.

By the way, I was of the understanding that the harmonic content of a tone only extended above the fundamental, and not below it. For instance, the first harmonic of a 100hz tone would be 200hz, the second harmonic; 300hz, and so on.



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36 is a shade below C#1. That's the same octave but a couple notes below the low E string on a Bass guitar or bass viola. The site below is a frequency to note converter which can be kind of fun to mess with. I am with the others who say at that low of frequency I can't really discern a note or tone, just a vibration from the pianos I've been around. FYI - the low E on a bass is shade over 41 hz. IMHO I (not being an organ lover) can do quite nicely with anything that delivers into the 30 - 35 hz range.


ooh - while I was looking around on the web for not charts, I found this set of four charts that not only contains the frequencies but the wave lengths of the notes.


This message has been edited by fec on 08-21-2001 at 09:01 AM

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The fundemental frequency on the lowest note of a piano may be 27.5Hz, but when the note is played, even on something like a nine foot Bosendorfer, most of what you hear, and is being produced, is harmonic overtones at higher frequencies. Try listening to a pure 30Hz tone thru a good stereo, then go play the lowest note on a piano. (A 30Hz tone sounds like a low rumble.)

IMHO the key to reproducing piano music well is excellent transient response and dynamic range - Klipsch does well in both of these areas.


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