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La Scala problem - please help!


chapin99
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Hi, all. This is my first post. I have a vintage quad system where I use La Scala's for the front and Heresy's for the rear. They are all from 1980 and I am the third owner. When I bought them about 3 or 4 years ago, the second owner told me they had the AL-K crossovers (la scalas). When I just reread the original ebay posting, it says "using AL-K" materials or components or whatnot. So I don't know what that means exactly. Anyway, long story short, the listening experiences of late have not been great. Finally I compared listening on my far cheaper little system in the living room (Sansui SP-15 speakers - 4 - from a garage sale) to the big la scala room and found the la scalas unbearably bright. I then hauled in the sansuis to run with the heresy's to confirm it was the la scalas. It is - they are just sounding so thin and bright (while the heresy's still sound wonderful). I just don't know how this all creeped up on me, but my albums (played through a rega p25 tt) and other sources sound awful - even SACD's. I run everything through a fully restored Sansui 9001 receiver (for quad) from the 70s. When I listen to SACDs and whatnot, I run things through my Yamaha rxv2600 receiver. Please help advise as to how I should go from here. I live in Columbia, South Carolina and have no knowledge of what to look for on the crossovers and such, but I'm not scared to try to fix something if it is fairly simple. What in the world could be the problem and where do I go from here? And what mental disorder do I have that allowed this problem to seemingly creep up when it should have been a simple works or doesn't scenario? In looking back, I think I've just not done that much listening in the past couple of months and when I did, I didn't listen long (probably due to easy fatiguing I didn't use to have while listening to the la scalas). Anyway, I would appreciate any help you can give. Thanks in advance.

Laura (chapin99)

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Welcome Laura,

Hmmmm... Do you have a digital camera available so that you could grab some close shots of one of the crossovers and post it here? Then someone here could tell you just what you have. If they are indeed newer crossovers, they should sound very good, but perhaps some adjustments need to be made. If they are still older, some parts upgrades could help smooth things out quite a lot. The only thing holding you back would be the money you want to spend.

Bruce

tip: to post a pic, when composing your post you then go to the options tab and browse to your pic. The little insert image button on the toolbar only points to your own pc. Don't ask me what's up with that.

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Laura,

What you are likely experiencing in terms of "brightness is the fact your sqawker output level is likely to high to balance out with the rest of you speaker system. If you do have ALK crossovers you are in good shape. You can adjust this level. Send me an e-mail and I can send you a picture of my "ALK" Crossovers in my La Scala's and hopefully we will be able to work you through this some. Also you can peak at your crossover and look at the ones on this web site and compare them:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

http://www.alkeng.com/

This is Al Klappenbergers ALK Engineering web site. Al is the AL K in ALK engineering he designed and possibly built the networks. He is also a forum member here as well. If you do not have ALK networks it is hard to tell what you have until we can see a picture of them. If you can read the label on your networks and they say Klipsch "AL", then you have the dreaded <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />AL networks and they are comparatively a fairly harsh sounding network. If you can give us the S/N of your La Scala's we can help you identify what year they were made and then ascertain what networks you have.

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My bet is that they have the original Klipsch AL networks in them which are considered "dogs" they are very busy with parts. They are also now ~26 years old and in dire need of refreshing or replacement.

La Scala's can sound thin and bright depending on the room and the gear being used upstream from them. They do have the capability of sounding absolutely fantastic though with a little crossover refreshing and perhaps some experimentation on room placement.

I don't think that they have Al's ALK's in them based on the comments on what they sound like.

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Sounds to me like your crossovers have gone way outta spec...lascalas shouldn't be harsher than heresies.

And it would make sense that you didn't notice it because it's not like

a crossover goes bad overnite. So over the years there has been ever so

slight changes everyday that you don't notice and before you know it

the system is way off whack and you can't pinpoint when it happened.

You'll find plenty of guys on the forum willing to peddle their crossover fixes [;)]

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Okay, here goes. Hope these pics will help. If not, I can try again. Couldn't find any reference to which ones the crossovers are, however. STill, just knowing y'all are out there to help is immensely less scary. Thanks - hope this works.

Laura

post-21947-13819286828372_thumb.jpg

post-21947-13819291094214_thumb.jpg

post-21947-13819295055838_thumb.jpg

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I stand corrected those are indeed the coveted ALK networks, they appear to be DIY versions but well done. Something could be amiss with them however, are the woofers both working? Is there sound in the area around the doghouse in the front?

Perhaps moving the La Scala's within close proximity to a wall might reinforce the bottom end to bring it to the level of the midrange and tweeter.

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Hi. Thanks for the quick feedback. Maybe I don't have to worry as much as I was. But, I do have them up against the wall normally. I'm worried about the following I noticed when looking at the ALK site. Please let me know what you think about those dangling kinda wires and such. Thanks! Here is what I just emailed elsewhere:

Geez - I just looked at the nice clear pic on the ALK site. My crossovers have
a few things that are not identical. What concerns me most is it seems like I
have extra wire pieces just not connected because maybe the original owner
wanted to leave open an option to reconnect another way??? I don't know. They
look like connectors to swap stuff out with or something. What do y'all think?
Can you tell anything from my pics? On speaker has a thicker red and black
main looking wire set (to the left of the actual horn thingy) and the other one
has thinner looking wire. Both have these extra looking wires. And I'm also
concerned about the huge honkin looking black thing made in France (PA-MKP-FC
39 +/- 5% 250V DC) that is so different from the smaller one in the ALK pic.
So, please advise if you have a chance. If it requires major surgery please
let me know and approximate expense. Thanks so much again.

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And I'm also

concerned about the huge honkin looking black thing made in France (PA-MKP-FC

39 +/- 5% 250V DC) that is so different from the smaller one in the ALK pic.

This is the Solen capacitor. It should be okay, although Al is miving away from them some.

The extra wires are most like coming off what is an autoformer (looks like a transformer) and is indeed to change the amount of output on the midrange driver (squawker). If you can manage it, it would be ideal to remove one of the crossovers from the cabinet (they are held in place with screws) and get a pic straigt down on the top of it. Make sure the pic is in focus. The fuzzy ones don't help identify very much. [;)] Something may be wired wrong on it.

Bruce

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Here is a pic of the ALK network shot from the top, this is from Al's web site. You'll notice it too has the "extra wires" you were concerend about. As Bruce indicated those are the taps on the autoformer and you can control the sqawker output level with them

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Thanks yet again. Okay, actually started another post as kind of a follow-up, but in case you just read through all these in a row, here seems to be my little solution. The fuse (which I hadn't really noticed) in one speaker was clearly blown. It was a BUSSAGC 2A. The other speaker had a 1 1/2. It did not look blown, but that speaker was not functioning as well. So, went to Radio Shack and bought their last 2 (and in an opened 4 pack no less - geez!) of the 2As. Popped them in and YEAH!!!! I can hardly turn the volume to 1 and a half and sound is awesome. Earlier today, I had it up to nearly 5 which should mean the police are coming soon, but of course it was thin, so I didn't listen long anyway except to troubleshoot. So, then went to the ALK site y'all sent me and saw that the kit calls for 1.5 fast blow fuses. I will now go back and use them as I don't want anything messed up. Anyway, seems as though the problem might be solved. My Sansui 9001 vintage quad receiver was completely overhauled by an expert named QuadBob in California (he redoes every little thing and said I should get another 30 years from the receiver). So I'm hoping it isn't showing any kind of problem and made the fuse blow. I don't normally blow the walls off listening, but sometimes, especially if enjoying a drink or several I'll crank it. Anyway, is there a life to these fuses? I mean, should they last 4, 5, 10 years? Just curious and if you think I need to be on the lookout for any other problems that could have caused the fuse to blow, please advise. I want to be smart and make my La Scalas the center of attention they should be! Thanks!

Laura

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Below is the Autoformer Table provided by Al.


Squawker R Attenuation Zo match
(-) (+) Ohms dB ratio
--- --- ------- ----------- -----------
5 x 13.7 1.00:1
* 5 x 10.0 2.6 1.22:1
5 1 12.3 1.00:1
* 5 1 10.0 3.4 1.15:1
4 0 11.6 1.00:1
* 4 0 10.0 3.8 1.11:1
5 2 10.8 1.00:1
Normal--> * 5 2 10.0 4.6 1.06:1
4 x 9.9 1.00:1
* 4 x 10.0 6.2 1.02:1
3 0 9.6 1.00:1
* 3 0 10.0 6.7 1.05:1
4 1 9.2 1.00:1
* 4 1 10.0 7.4 1.08:1
2 0 9.0 1.00:1
* 2 0 10.0 9.5 1.14:1
3 x 8.8 1.00:1
* 3 x 10.0 10.4 1.16:1
* 1 0 10.0 12.5 1.19:1
* x 0 10.0 15.4 1.22:1

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Laura:

Ah, to be so lucky, just a blown fuse... A fuse can "blow" for any number of reasons.

I wouldn't worry about it - unless it blows again, or blows on a regular basis. Then you need to find out what is causing it to "blow." DO NOT substitute a higher rated fuse if it blows again.

James

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