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CECE
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Plywood speakers

What's this all of a sudden interest in Klipsch, i see they do advertise a lot recently? Come on, plywood public address speakers. All of a sudden are in high end audio systems. And those who mock Legacy WHISPERS, which are a work of art, with sound to match. Plywood PA systems. Klipsch is another old name gone down to Best Buy status. StereoPhile takes it along for the ride. A giant cumbersome UGLY speaker that was developed for PA use decades ago. Is now a current fav.

Monty
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Re: Plywood speakers

Sometimes a visit to the past helps to illuminate the present. Nostalgia probably has a little to do with it.

The audiophile crowd is an older bunch of guys for the most part. It's kinda cool to revisit the old stomping grounds.

smejias
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Re: Plywood speakers


Quote:
The audiophile crowd is an older bunch of guys for the most part. It's kinda cool to revisit the old stomping grounds.

I imagine some of the younger guys also think it's pretty cool to take a look at the history of things. I agree: Taking a look back is a great way to better understand the present, and move into the future.

Kloss
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Re: Plywood speakers

While I know the klipsch design is dated.I have owned many klipsch loudspeakers and find them fun but not hi-end[and nothing wrong with having fun] But your comment about plywood is off the mark, quality birch ply is far more costly than MDF like most loudspeaker manufacters use. Birch ply has much better tone when it resonates unlike MDF. It also allows vibration or resonaces to disipate faster. Birch ply is far stronger than MDF, holds veneers better, is harder to work or cut than MDF.So if a loudspeaker manufacter offers a ply cabinet your getting more for your money than a MDF cab design.All my designs use baltic birch plys or solid hard woods with natural finish not plastic coats who wants plastic finish over real wood? Seems most loudspeaker manufacters think you do.

Buddha
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Re: Plywood speakers

I kinda like the Klipsch "Heritage" line.

I have a pair of La Scala's that are..."fun" is a good word.

There's a great forum with excellent resources and tweaks at:

http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/

It's nice that after 40 plus years in existence, Sam accidentally heard a pair during his trip to Italy.

I mean, after all, they must have been flying under the radar all this time.

Maybe if they had a French name or if Musical Fidelity endorsed them, he would have run into this longstanding, American made product sooner.

In case Sam happens by:

As noted, they were designed for large scale applications, and as such, "image downward." Many aficionados place their La Scala's on a riser and then the treble and imaging perk right up.

Some people even tilt them up a little. A not uncommon event in Hi Fi speaker land.

I also wonder how they sounded with Sam's coins on top. They have lots of cabinet area on top to add whatever device a listener wants to try.

I found that Hot Wheels cars - the original ones from 1968-1972, with the "sprung" wheels worked best. We can discuss which models and what distribution had the greatest effect. They also require a tiny dollop of Blu Tack to keep them in place. I didn't try them with Yellow Tack.

Anyway, the La Scala's will really snap to it with a little elevation. In much the same fashion that the Quads do when placed on those dedicated Quad stands!

smejias
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Re: Plywood speakers


Quote:
In case Sam happens by:

Sam's leaving the country for a few days, but I'll let him know you said hello.

CECE
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Re: Plywood speakers

I think ROTARY dial phones SOUND better than touch-tone. Analog baby.

CECE
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Re: Plywood speakers

Actually i read they now use MDF, cheaper,denser, they used to use plywood. I was reading it somehwere. And they where originally developed for PA use, super efficeint, to let teh crowds here some president speak. JBL was of teh same era, JBL pro has progressed amazingly well. JBL is one of teh bigger PA systems maker, of course they are part of Harman, which keeps the money available. Harman owns all the biggies now in pro stuff. But JBL was an early pioneer in all things speakers, and they have improved and improved into teh 21st century. Klipsch is like stuck in the 40's. With their larger stuff, of course they went HTiB cus' it sells. to a different market. Like AR, KLH,Advent,Fisher, poof all gone, just a name that means nothing now.

CECE
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Re: Plywood speakers

The Klipsch should be set up with the Zander CD monster. Yet according to Mickey (bad ears) F. It's just so great sounding with all it's OBSOLETE chips, poor measurements, and general piece of crap for $40,000 But it has a nice THICK chassis. All that money to play a CD, using antiquated ckts, no oversampling blah blah blah. Philips ain't made teh chips in over 10 years, optical disc playback has progressed Why do you think Philips/Sony invented DSD/SACD, they improved the plan. Zander and Klipsch stagnate, and yet someone like MF, trys to tell us this is such a great product for $40,000 to play back CD's with OBSOLETE nonsense. A $300 SACD player probably smokes the Zander system BS . At least JA brought it all together back into REALITY with his tests. The entertainment is great.

Monty
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Re: Plywood speakers

Imaging can be first rate even with numerous colorations. Tube gear is widely praised for its ability to present a stage with excellent imaging, yet also can fall well short of the frequency extremes and often blunts transients.

gkc
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Re: Plywood speakers

Great music reproduced well in the home is a timeless concept. The only edge we old-timers have is, well, time in grade -- we have witnessed the changes (some profound, some frivoluous) in music system design down through the years, and have larger memory banks than some of the younger ( and better-eared, it has to be added...) listeners.

I owned the Klipschorns during the late '60's. They had an overbearing peak in the 4000 Hz range that could not be tamed, but other aspects of their sound were flawless -- truly outstanding bass, and the ability to project unlimited dynamic contrasts. And, of course, they were easy as hell to drive -- no small achievement.

It was nice to hear from Sam that the upper-midrange peakiness has been tamed in recent avatars of the Spirit of Klipsch. I may have to take a new listen. Or maybe I have burned enough fuzz off my cochlea, from all the tunes I've driven through it over the years, to render it incapable of transporting the offending frequencies to my (equally burned-out) brain. I doubt that, though, because live music still sounds glorious, the way I always remember it having sounded in the past. Cheers, all.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Plywood speakers

There are a number of qualities that give a pair of speakers "good imaging". Flat frequency response isn't necesarily one of them. Compression will normally affect the dynamics of the system. Dynamic compression is not a deficiency of the LaScala. I'm not sure what you mean by "expansion".

What your brain/ears require most for "good imaging" is symmetry. For your brain to process the information that provides "good imaging" from any speaker it is important that the direct and reflected signals from both speakers arrive at your listening position at the same time and at the same relative amplitude for any shared information. Most of what we tend to think of as "imaging" happens in the mid to high frequencies where the LaScala's horn loaded bass response isn't an issue. If you are within the rather small sweet spot for the horns of the LaScala, you can probably get decent imaging from the speaker. (I assume from the review photo the LaScala is still sold without a grill which was one of the advantages of the more furniture-like Belle Klispch.) In one respect the horns loading the midrange and high frequency drivers will assist in this sort of imaging quality since they have a fairly restricted dispersion. With mainly direct signals being heard and only low level first reflection signals arriving due to the horns' poor off axis response, the LaScala "images" differently than a more conventional "audiophile" speaker using a dome tweeter and possibly a wide dispersion midrange. Unlike a "conventional" speaker, the bandwidth limiting nature of the expotential horn itself minimizes the overlap of any two drivers, so there are not the dissimilar dispersion characteristics of a typical dynamic low frequency driver and tweeter. In a typical speaker the dispersion patterns of the two overlapping drivers will not be alike at any frequency and the patterns become ever more dissimilar as the signals from the lower frequency driver rises in frequency. The problem will be made worse if the designer chooses shallow crossover filters where both drivers share significant amounts of information. This will lead to uneven arrival times and amplitudes for the direct and reflected signals from each driver with substantial smearing in the time domain for most designs. With the horn loading of all three drivers in the LaScala each driver's frequency response is cut off sharply at the crossover point and the dispersion patterns of the horns are more alike than not. In a word, poor.

Getting either the LaScala or the Klipschorn to "image" is largely a matter of placement. The environment surrounding the speakers must, as with conventional speakers, be more alike than not (an absolute must with the corner loaded Klipschorn) and the listening position must be within the very narrow window provided by the various horns. The point of a horn is to be an acoustic impedance transformer. It is most successful at its job when it is designed to be very directional. Therefore the frequency response and dispersion of a horn degrade rapidly as the listener moves off axis either vertically or horizontally. The shape of each of the LaScala's horns' throats and the final dimensions of the mouth determine just what the particulars of each driver will be. As with most expotentially horn loaded systems, the LaScala doesn't do well off axis. If the user toes-in the LaScala to get the flattest on axis frequency response at the central listening position and possibly uses the room corners to achieve a further horn loading, this places the first reflection even further away from what is typical in a "conventional" speaker design and provides even more direct sound for even better "imaging" from the Klipsch.

I never heard a pair of LaScalas set up with the level of equipment Sam had to use. The best I had to pair with the large Klipsch designs was usually solid state McIntosh, Quad and a few amp-of-the-month designs which still gave the original speakers a hard edge (that could be mitigated to some extent by using tubes). The risers were a popular option as they gave the LaScala the necessary lift to get a better melding of the mid and high frequency horns. In my experience with the top line Klipsch speakers, there was never the type of soundstaging and imaging that you could easily achieve with a Celestion SL-600 or even a KEF 104 or lowly Boston Acoustics. Voices were extremely large while not quite getting to the "Oh my God, it stretches from wall to wall" variety of the original Bose 901's. Depth was minimal and performers had a tendency to "wander" with frequency and occasionally bunch together. Images did not extend beyond the cabinets and the high frequency horn gave its position away all too frequently. These were the original plywood speakers I was selling with rather cheap crossover components that had fairly high tolerances. The redesign to the "Heritage" series may have solved some of the original speakers' problems. But there is no denying the LaScala was "fun". Personally, I thought the LaScala and the Belle were the two best speakers in the line at that time since both were essentially Klipschorns that didn't require corner loading. Any speaker that could be made to shake windows with the 4 watt output from an Advent table radio has plenty of "fun" potential. Since I was selling the Quad ESL's at the same time, the narrow sweet spot of the Klispch designs was an issue that was not mentioned very often. As a matter of fact, "imaging" was a word that wasn't mentioned much at all when selling a Klipsch product. Most Klispch buyers at that time (1970's and '80's) had never heard of the word and using a LaScala to explain it was a pointless effort. That wasn't why they were buying a pair of Klipsch speakers.

jdm56
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Re: Plywood speakers


Quote:
Actually i read they now use MDF, cheaper,denser, they used to use plywood. I was reading it somehwere. And they where originally developed for PA use, super efficeint, to let teh crowds here some president speak. JBL was of teh same era, JBL pro has progressed amazingly well. JBL is one of teh bigger PA systems maker, of course they are part of Harman, which keeps the money available. Harman owns all the biggies now in pro stuff. But JBL was an early pioneer in all things speakers, and they have improved and improved into teh 21st century. Klipsch is like stuck in the 40's. With their larger stuff, of course they went HTiB cus' it sells. to a different market. Like AR, KLH,Advent,Fisher, poof all gone, just a name that means nothing now.

If you don't like the way Klipsch speakers sound, that is merely your subjective response. But to say they, as a company, are "stuck in the forties" is ridiculous and just plain wrong. The last I checked, they are one of the top-selling loudspeaker brands in the world. They must be doing something right, it would seem. The fact that most of their oldest models are still in production after all these years attests more to the validity of the original design than to mere nostalgia. Wide dynamic range, high sensitivity and low distortion haven't gone out of style, have they? And if comparisons must be drawn, I would liken today's Klipsch to JBL and to a lesser extent, MacIntosh. And that is good company to be in, in my humble opinion.

StIain
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Re: Plywood speakers

I don't put what I hear well into words so I won't try.

I had an opportunity to visit the Klipsch factory in Hope, AR and listen to the entire revamped Heritage line which IMO is Klipsch. The La Scala II was the most improved of the heritage line and it is built with 1 inch mdf and veneered with some of the nicest walnut and cherry I have seen. The Klipschorn also recveived several updates which I didn't get a list of but it looks better than ever especially with that short collar. I was suprised that Klipsch had tube gear in their listening room but it really complimented their high efficiency horn loaded speakers. Before you make a judgement on the Heritage line give it a listen I think you will be suprised I know I was. Now I am looking for a pair of Klipschorns so I hope the Heritage line doesn't garner too much interest as used they offer alot of bang for the buck.

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