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dkalsi

Altec Model 19 vs . Klipschorn

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I'm just curious. I really dont see either of them go on sale much.

It's almost unfair to compare the two on Klipsch forums but I know people here are loyal to music and not necessarily the Klipsch name brand.

Please share your thoughts. I own a piar or Klipschorn but am always curious to know the the Altec Model 19 sounds.

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Personally I don't like them. They are two ways, and I think they 'lose' some of the music that a good three way like the Klipschorn can provide. This topic came up on the Altec Forum and most everyone there preferred the Altec.

But I will say this. I use a combination of an Altec and Khorn. I use an Altec Horn and Driver that is bigger than the Model 19 - With the Khorn Bass Bin and Tweeter. - This sounds far better than a Stock Khorn or an Altec 19 - So, if you've got Khorns and want to upgrade them, replace the Khorn Midrange with an Altec 805B or 1005B Horn and 288K,G, or H driver. - This will be far superior to either speaker and far cheaper and easier to do! - Should cost you around $1000 to upgrade the horns.

Altec-KHorn.jpg?t=1181684646

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too different .. to compare

the KH drops ton's of mid detail the 19 present's eloquently

the KH produces bass performance the 19 can't approach

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I personally don't care for the Altec horns. They just sound "off" and I dunno how else to describe it. I would much sooner go with an EV or JBL, but Klipsch is definitely my favorite. The newer tractrix horns are to die for.

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The Altec Nineteen is the best all in one box-turnkey Altec. Compared to previous Altecs it has extended bass and treble response.

IMO compared to a Khorn it has cleaner more lifelike midrange, more extended highs and better imaging. Bass goes as deep as the Khorns but won't get as loud. I rate the speakers even on clarity.

Nobody buys a Nineteen and starts swapping out drivers, horns and woofers.

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Sorry for that , but I can´t agree .

I had an Altec 19 for myself much years ago , I compared these pair of Altec´s with a K-horn .

In my personal opinion the K-horn is , as I call it , much faster with a better soundstage , more "roomy" , more details and a faster bass .

And the K-horn is able to play louder without problems .

That and a few more points leads me to deal with Klipsch since many years , and I think , that was the right decision and the best for me and our customers .

greetz .Werner .


post-23840-13819334648848_thumb.jpg

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I currently own both. They both do differnt things well. I have to say that if I put the amount of money into the Altecs that I have into the Klipschorn I think the Altec would out perform. The only real change to the 19 that seems to help is a super tweeter and an active crossover.

Anyway, both are keepers.

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Altec 19s win for me. I have owned both and I felt the 19's had a flatter response with a more realistic sound. Very much a turnkey speaker system...to my ears the 19s sound sweeter, warmer, with better detail and soundstage than the K-horns. Not many will argue the opinion that Altec Compression Drivers are superior to Klipsch..most Khorn mods are done with Altec drivers. I also think the altec 416-8b woofer is superior to the eminence woofers that Khorns use. I do think Khorns are super speakers, but I believe the 19s are in a different league. The model 19s blow away A5 voice of the theater systems. The 19s have extended freq response on both ends compared to any of the older altec systems. However, be careful, because some of the 19s for sale have after market diaphragms on the 802-8g drivers and they don't sound as good as the originals.

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Funny that this would come back up? The thoughts of previous posts are right on. I still to date have both speakers and like them for thier strengths and weaknesses. The K horn seems to have a wood sound to the bass and goes much lower. The Altecs drop off around 38HZ but are smooth....... so your choice listen to them both you can't loose!

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It is funny...I have read this post before and I just spotted a pair of 19s in a local pawn shop today...I did not give it much though and then laughed when I saw this thread ressurected from way before I was a member

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Sorry for that , but I can´t agree .

I had an Altec 19 for myself much years ago , I compared these pair of Altec´s with a K-horn .

In my personal opinion the K-horn is , as I call it , much faster with a better soundstage , more "roomy" , more details and a faster bass .

And the K-horn is able to play louder without problems .

That and a few more points leads me to deal with Klipsch since many years , and I think , that was the right decision and the best for me and our customers .

greetz .Werner .

Yup what he said.

Good to see you posting Werner the Wild Man from across the sea :)

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Having heard both in a number of different rooms and setups,The Klipschorn is more room dependent and Amplifier dependent than the Altec 19s. When the room is Big and Khorns are in Proper Corners and you have good tube amplification the Klipschorns will smoke the Altec 19s. If the Klipschorns are in a less than desireable room and compromised amplification, the 19's will have the edge.

With that said, the midrange of the Khorn is the weak link and is easily replaced as it is not expensive or hard to do...............

The reason folks don't start modding their Altec 19's is that there are very few parts to mod. There is no tweeter to replace, the midrange is fine - So you could start with replacing the Bass Bin. and replace it with a Klipschorn Bass Bin ---- But then folks would say you have modded a Khorn and replaced the midrange. --- So, that is why you don't see people modding their Altec 19s - Just not enough parts to mess with!

So, If you want a 'Turnkey' System and don't have a BIG room for Khorns with proper corners, an Altec 19 will probably sound better. But the Altec 19 will only go so far.......So if you want to go beyond an Altec 19 and have the BIG room and Proper Corners, superb electronics go for the Klipschorn.

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I agree that the Khorns are good speakers, but I wonder if some of you are hearing the same 19s that I am hearings. First off, and IMO very importantly, the 19s have much better extended HF response...infact, the Khorns don't go much over 17k. The 19s go beyond 20k with the original diapgragms in them. Secondly, the altecs easliy go down to 30hz. Altec spec sheets show 30hz- 20khz freq response. Khorns show 33hz- 17khz. Furthermore, most of the graphs I've seen done on Khorns don't have extended highs or the flattest frequency response. I really don't think its as cut and dry as some of you guys say and out of the two systems, if anyone is a limitied compromise, I really feel its the Khorn. Of couse, I am wasting my breath on a Klispch forum typing this...haha. Just a fun debate for me. I will always love my altecs. They pioneered two way design and were the industry standard in recording studios for years. Some of you talk about the 19s as tho they were the A7 voice of the theaters. Yes, the A7s didn't have a great low frequency response, and their high end response was only as good as the khorns. BUT, the model 19s are great full range speakers and technically they extend lower and higher than the khorn.

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Welcome to the forum Brad O. A little debate is always welcome. Thanks for your imput and don't be a stranger.

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If only frequency response were the only performance criteria for good sound... [;)]

I like a good debate too [:)]
(btw, I personally would never own a khorn...just playing devil's advocate)

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I have written on this topic before, but will do so again here. I have owned Cornwalls, Klipschorns and presently have a pair of Altec Lansing Model 19s. When I owned the Cornwalls, I spent additional funds on cartridges and better amplification trying to reduce the constricted, honky, hard midrange they had. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and sold them. This was before I became aware of tube electronics, that probably would have improved their sound. This was in the 1970s.

More recently, I have been buying and selling a lot of speakers and trying them out, so I picked up a pair of Klipschorns. I worked with them for a couple of years. I changed the crossovers to Crites' excellent ones, along with his replacement tweeter. I swapped out a whole bunch of midrange stuff--Altec 511 horns and ALK's trachorns--best I had with the K55V, and Altec drivers, 290s I *think* and 311-60 horns. I also bought a new preamp, Juicy Music Blueberry Xtreme, and went through several tube power amps--Dynaco ST-70s, Mark IIIs and my present ARC VT100 MK I. I was trying to reduce the K-horns' constricted, hard, honky midrange. Many of the changes I made, most of them in fact, improved the K-horn's sound, but ultimately, it was not enough.

I will provide one example. I enjoy acoustic music and listen a lot to a Gordon Lightfoot CD that is one of my favorites. I was auditioning a pair of Magneplanar MG 1.6QRs at the time, and nearly jumped out of my chair at the end of one particular song where there were backup vocalists that came in right at the end. I had *never* heard them before. I switched back to the K-horns and had really to strain to hear them at all. They were nearly not there. "This can't be right," I thought.

I am an opera enthusiast and attend a lot of opera performances. Any speaker that makes vocalists--unmiked or "produced" sound--just a human voice in real space in real time, sound hard, metallic and unnatural really grates me the wrong way. I have to say that the Model 19s do a far better job at this than any other horn speakers I have owned. I love the big, dynamic ease and power of such large efficient systems, but for accuracy of musical timbres, naturalness of sound and lower listener fatigue, for me, there's no contest. The Altec Lansing Model 19s are the preferred choice. And those backup singers on the Lightfoot album are there.

Despite having said that, I will probably be putting my Altecs up for sale pretty soon. While I love them, I have been tweaking my Quad ESL-63's with Gradient SW63 subs, and with some alterations in the Gradient active crossovers, they are singing most sweetly just now. Quickness, smoothness and clarity to die for, they are a hard act for any speaker to follow, particularly on vocals.

I think it only fair to say, too, that I did not have a room that would have allowed my Klipschorns to perform at their best. My room is 14 x 22 x 7.5 and its form made it impossible to set the K-horns on the 22 foot side. On the other hand, I had the Cornwalls in several different rooms, in and out of corners, etc. and in my experience, the fundamental nature of the sound, particularly in the mids, was not that different.

Everyone's tastes in music and sound are different. I think that if you are curious, you ought to try to listen to a pair of Model 19s and see what you think. We all have our favorites, but only you can decide what "does it" for you.

All the best,

George

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Have you had the opportunity to hear any tractrix horns George? The Chorus II might be an equal cost comparison against the Cornwall...I'd be curious in your impressions. Of course there are also more expensive tractrix horn options that I think blow the Chorus II away too.

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My wifes brother lives about 5 miles from my house and I have known him for about 26 years. About 20 years ago, I talked him into buying a pair of Altec-Lansing studio monitor model 19s that he still owns to this day. About 7 years ago, I talked him into buying a pair of pickled oak 1989 Klipschorns that he has owned ever since. I have heard several sets of model 19s, and only heard one set ever that I thought even sounded very good, and they were restored original better then anything I have ever seen and driven with VERY expensive tube gear. I have A/Bd my brother in laws 19s and K-Horns in 3 separate houses he has lived in since getting the K-Horns.

The biggest problem I see with this thread is:

A) Alot of the posters here are forgetting that sound is subjective and they are stating difinitively that this speaker sounds better then that speaker.

B) Even worse, a poster might of heard both, but not at the same time in the same place, so how subjective is their memory? Unless two devices are A/Bd, I feel most opinions hold as much promise as urine in a paper sack.

Sound is subjective, and what my brother in law or I like might not be what you like. I can tell you this though, those Altecs have been in a closet under his stairs since about a year after he moved into this last house and many of you here are familiar to the extent of Klipsch I have owned and listened too.

Are the two of our listening enjoyment subjective to our human condition? Yes, just as you and every other person on the face of the planet, but I can attest that for the two of us, the Altec hides in the closet.

Roger

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Have you had the opportunity to hear any tractrix horns George? The Chorus II might be an equal cost comparison against the Cornwall...I'd be curious in your impressions. Of course there are also more expensive tractrix horn options that I think blow the Chorus II away too.

DrWho,

I have not, and I'd be curious to do so. With the K55-V midrange driver, ALKs Trachorn was the best I could do. I haven't had the pleasure of hearing any of the newer Klipsches with tractrix horns. If an opportunity arises, I'm there!

Best,

George

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