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we_doyle

La Scal***

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This is more of a general question. I am looking to buy a pair of used La Scala's. Are there any common problems or pitfalls that I need to worry about? I try to look at units that have been owned by the seller for a while and operated continuously (as opposed to having been stored a long time). Used ones come in all different ages. I was wondering in particular if there is any excessive risk in buying a pretty old pair of La Scala's if they have been in use and are presently doing fine. It seems like the typical reason for selling is the space they occupy as opposed to some other reason. I have seen several situations where the wife or fiance says that the La Scala's have to go.

As a follow up question, I would also ask how easy it is to repair a La Scala should it need a new driver or a new crossover. In other words, if one had a bad woofer, how easy would it be to get to it to take it out? What about the other drivers? Are they easy to remove and service?

Also, are the surrounds in the woofers such that they will deteriorate with a lot of age. I know that some woofers have paper cones and that the paper will eventually break up. I had a set of the old Large Advents that had to have the surrounds rebuilt. However, after the repair, they were good as new. It was not that big of a deal. Are La Scala woofers similarly vulnerable? Do they have cloth surrounds that are more resistant to tears and just wearing out?

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Klipsch K33 woofer surrounds don't rot

LaScalas are super easy to work on, 2/3 of the drivers are out in the open

LS run nearly forever if not abused and they can really take some abuse

They are loud as He11- get some!

Welcome to the Madness

M

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There is no real reason to be apprehensive.

If the drivers are bad they can be fixed. The woofers can still be purchased as well as the diaphragms for the mid and high. The crossover is not very complex and the caps are easily (and inexpensively) replaced. In any case the costs are not excessive.

The condition of the cabinet is a big determiner of the price. However to re-paint or re-veneer them is actually a very time-intensive process (many will under-estimate this). One caution would be that that La Scalas were frequently used in PA applications, so they may have been driven hard. But again, the drivers can be replaced / repaired.

Good Luck,

-Tom

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There are many threads dealing with La Scalas. The most likely problem that you could find would be blown tweeters. Stuff a rag in the squawker horn and listen for output from the tweeter. Take a AA battery and scratch the speaker leads across the battery terminal and listen for sound from the drivers. As the thread below illustrates, everything is reasonably easy to access and repairs/updates are easy if you can use a screwdriver and solder.

Four abused Lascalas need a good home - sold

http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/616881/ShowPost.aspx

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LaScalas are pretty durable. Not much of a worry here. Even if they've been in storage, if the drivers work they are probably o.k. Any LaScala twenty years or older will need fresh caps in the crossover, but this is not an expensive proposition. If tweeters are blown, as mentioned, the most likely problem, you can get new diaphragms. There is also a drop in replacement with an alternative and near bulletproof driver, which I use and am quite pleased with it's performance.

You are right about the number of folks who sell Scalas because they no longer have room. They are big rascals.

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Another long term "improvement" might be to brace the sides as described in many threads and illustrated in the thread below.

Buzzing La Scalas

http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/thread/667046.aspx

If you read the "Four Abused La Scalas" thread, toward the end it mentions the band directors comments about one of the speakers. At first I thought he was delusional but I'm now convinced that the bass bin walls of old style La Scalas vibrate excessively. Bracing them improves the bass and eliminates other unawanted noise problems.

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The 1974 La Scalas I bought last year sounded fine. A few months later, I replaced the caps in the crossovers and they sounded better, then I replaced the tweeters and they sounded even better. I'm very happy with them.

Age doesn't seem to be much of an issue. The paper surrounds on the woofers last nearly forever, both because they're paper (and resistant to drying out) and because the horn allows the speaker to produce lots of volume with very little cone movement, so there's little wear on the woofer from use.

All the parts are still available (and not too pricey) and La Scalas are easy to update or upgrade.

The lack of stiffness in the bass bin sidewalls was addressed in the design of the La Scala II, but the very low bass is a little limited in any case, so you may want to add a sub, depending on the music you listen to. That's not a flaw of the speaker. To get really, really, low bass with a horn speaker, the horn would need to be nearly big enough to walk into.

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Guest " "

we_doyle


The biggest risk factors in LaScala's are # 1 the cabs, #2 home brew repairs.

Cabinets get left under pourches, unheated garages, even outside which results in wood seperation, wood rot, even bugs.  Some cabs look like two gorillas had a race to see which could roll them down the street the fastest.

Even if the cabs were primo, left UPS or fedex get their hands on them and you will have a better idea of what I mean about the gorilla race.

BUt not to worry, nothing that bondo and paint can't fix.  Sand them down, paint them smooth and put them on ebay....someone will buy them...geesh...all you need to do is put a little fuzzy picture...a BS story that you need to sell because your wife or girfreind says no..and someone will buy them, and pay big bucks to ship them.

DON'T BUY LASCALA'S IF YOU CAN'T MEET AND GREET THE SELLER AND SPEAKERS BEFORE YOU BUY THEM.

Home brew repairs...or should we call them upgrade...or wanna be upgrades...maybe just some fixing that was needed and the owner didn't have the cash.   If the LaScala's where used by a band, if the woofers blew, odds are, there will be some EV15's in there.  There are a few versions of the EV15's, some are good, some do not belong in a LaScala.  Mixed matched tweeters are a common problem .Tweeter blows, and a repair is put in using anything that works.  Siren drivers used as mid drivers....yeah...folks are selling K-55-V mid drivers that are really siren drivers....I'm n ot talking about the PD5HV...I'm talking things with fins and glass lens on them intended to m ake the siren fire and storm proof.  watch out for the siren driver that has a bolt hole in the center where the klipsch logo is supposed to be on the mid driver.   Crossovers...how can you mess this up...well somethinges you will see fuses added in where they do not beow...and even amplifiers wired in....look for extra unexplainable screw holes in the crossover area which would suggest something weird was in there and pulled out.  You might see crossover upgrades with mixed matched parts or even improperly wired.

Well, if I scared the crap out of you....good.....now go out and buy some LaScala's....remember...you get what you pay for....don't buy S*&T from ebay sight on seen.  Be prepared to take a few road trips and even a few over nighters.  




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I repeat. Don't feel obligated to do anything other than listen to music and enjoy them.

I feel like a pusher trying to get a new customer hooked on the illicit product. But if you are so inclined, this forum has a wealth of information regarding "improvements" for La Scalas. The link below includes links to many of the threads that I used to refurbish and then HOT ROD some La Scalas for the local high school band room.

Ported La Scalas

http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/thread/761099.aspx

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I think that I can be comfortable buying used La Scala's. The response has been great and the tips are really useful.

In case anyone is interested or wonders, my plan is three La Scala's up front for my home theater. I had shelving built the right size for La Scala's. One goes up top above the TV for the center channel and two will be on either side of the TV. I could go front projector someday with a screen, but the arrangement and location would be the same for the La Scala's. The rears (four total) are just in-wall (two) and in-ceiling (two) speakers. I figured that since most of the action in home theater is up front, the rears are not as crucial. Also, the room would not accommodate two or four more La Scala's in the back. Note that I did read about an installation a few years back (pre-dolby digital--Dolby Pro Logic in fact) where the guy had Klipschorns all around (five with three up front and two in the back). I think that he lived somewhere in the midwest where it was conceivable to be snowed in for weeks at a time.

On a related note, the new La Scala II's are just a hair too high for my shelves. Does anyone know if you can take off the base of the La Scala II to shorten it without hurting or affecting the sound? In other words, is that riser or base just a decoration or would it expose the system drivers (the woofer) if you removed it?

I do critical music listening as well as movies on the system. That is why I want La Scala's. I have a few SACD discs and a few DVD Audio music discs but mostly regular music CDs.

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Why not have all three Scalas on the floor? They'll give their best bass response when sitting on the floor, plus if they're all at the same level, they'll sound better (no up and down during left-center-right transitions), and you won't have to deal with putting a 125 pound speaker on a shelf. The only reason anyone puts a center speaker on top of a TV is because there's no room underneath it, but with a speaker the size of a Scala, you'd want to make room.

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actually, the way LS cabinet works (basically no back box, no venting) , other than efficiency issues, they could care less what woofer is in there.

A K33 will be the best but a EVM-15L or B or a Kappa model is no reason to run away screaming. Besides, the K33 is like $129 brand spanking new, so you can sell that 'whatever' brand woofer to some band kid and revamp yours to factory fresh.

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When you got to look at the LS's, take a screw gun with a philips bit and take the time to take the bottoms off the bass bins. 1/2 the time I buy LS's, the woofers are different than original. This can be a good negotiating tool. Take a utility knife with you to clean out the debris inside the screw heads so you don't strip out the guy's screws - shows respect and that you know what you're doing.

Many LS's came with AL crossovers, which are not the best sounding. If that's what you end up with, sell them on ebay and get replacement AA/A combination crossovers from Bob Crites, or the ALK Universals.

I have heard that putting braces on the sides of LS's can actually take some of the warmth of sound away. Not that I would describe LS's as a warm souding speaker, lol! The new LS's with stiffer cabinets also have revamped crossovers to go along with that mod.

FWIW, I've tried the combo HT/serious 2-channel system, and it didn't work well for me. I'd opt for two dedicated systems rather than trying to combine them.

Greg

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That is interesting. I never thought about it.

If I put in a front projector system, that could easily be done as the screen would be lowered from the ceiling. However, with the new televisions being so much lighter, I could also put a new TV on the catwalk that holds the La Scala and then put the La Scala below, making the three La Scala's even with each other.

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Age doesn't seem to be much of an issue. The paper surrounds on the woofers last nearly forever, both because they're paper (and resistant to drying out) and because the horn allows the speaker to produce lots of volume with very little cone movement, so there's little wear on the woofer from use.

Just an FYI, the surrounds aren't paper, they are treated cloth.

Bruce

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I am not sure where you are located, but I have a nice pair of 89's I would part with. I have no use for them now that I have my Khorns..............Unless I use them and a Heresy for center duty and make a 5.1 setup out of the whole thing.

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Guest " "

"I am not sure where you are located, but I have a nice pair of 89's I would part with. "


there you go......


 

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icon-quote.gif
Islander:

Age doesn't seem to be much of an issue. The paper surrounds on the woofers last nearly forever, both because they're paper (and resistant to drying out) and because the horn allows the speaker to produce lots of volume with very little cone movement, so there's little wear on the woofer from use.

Just an FYI, the surrounds aren't paper, they are treated cloth.

Bruce

Thanks for the correction, Bruce. I've never seen a Scala woofer, since mine are the top-loading variety and inspecting the woofers would mean removing the cabinet tops, the squawker horns and then the woofer compartment lids, with the crossovers on top of them. They sound fine, so I haven't got around to it yet. I understand the cone is doped paper. Is the surround glued to that paper and is it doped also?

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If you've seen a Cornwall woofer, you've seen a La Scala woofer; same thing.

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I am sure it is treated in some way. The woofers are made by Eminence. Bob Crites has had some made to a slightly different spec, and could probably fill us in on just what the surrounds are made of. I know it is a cloth.

Bruce

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