Anyway to make Klipsch look-a-likes?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeffrey Noel, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    I'm just asking because I love the sound of Klipsch speakers. I would buy some, but they are rather expensive, and I want to try the DIY route.

    Have you ever seen any Klipsch look-a-likes?

    And where could I get the speakers and specs?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    I assume you are talking about the corner horns, no? There used to be a company out of Seattle called Speakerlab (I think they are still around, but lost the DIY focus they started with 20 years ago), who had plans for the corner horn, and they sold a driver for it as well. I have a copy of the plans still, if they dont have them available anymore email me. It shouldnt be difficult to find a driver suitable for it (check out Martin Sound here http://www.martinsoundpro.com/.
     
  3. Mac F

    Mac F Agent

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    which Klipsch speakers are you interested in. Many years ago I built a set of Klipschorns. When Quad was the in thing, I built 3 Belle Klipsch speakers. Paul Klipsch was giving demonstrations of center front channel speakers long before Dolby surround. The original idea went back to Olsen in the 1930's. It seemed natural to me to combine the concept of 3 front channels with two rear speakers. This was mid 1970's, and home VCR's had not come out yet. My intention was in Quadrasonic music. Almost 30 years later, I still have not had access to a room large enough to use all 5 speakers at the same time. WAF (wife acceptance factor) for this arrangement is vanishingly close to zero.[​IMG]
     
  4. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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  5. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Bill, I have seen those speakers, and will HOPEFULLY be buying two of them in January, that is if they are still available!
    To answer another question, I want to build towers similar to the RF-7s. But, I would only have 1 10 incher in each tower. Here's a pic:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mike boettner

    Mike boettner Stunt Coordinator

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    www.apexjr.com has the 10" woofers for $65 each as to where parts express has them for $99 each, just to let you know!
     
  7. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Holy cow!!! [​IMG] Thanks Mike! Thumbs up to you! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    seems like the horn would also be a major component if you really want that klipsch sound. Although, the possibility of klipsch levels of sensitivity with a standard tweeter might be a pretty nice thing too if that's possible...
    Jeffrey - good luck with your project and keep us posted, especially with pics [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Mike, I am actually doing some searching as to where I can find their horns. I'm sure they'll be expensive so I may go with a horn from PE which somewhat resembles the Klipsch in many aspects.
    Unfortunately, it probably won't be until Spring Break until I build them, as I don't have any place to build them here at college. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    FYI, here is a link to the PE horns I am considering using:
    EMINENCE APT-150 SUPER TWEETER w/100x50 LENS
    Or would this tweeter be a better match?
    EMINENCE APT-200 SUPER TWEETER w/90x90 BI-RADIAL LENS
    Any other suggestions for the horn?
    While I'm at it, anyone know where I could get the smaller Klipsch speakers for the center and surrounds?
     
  10. Mac F

    Mac F Agent

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    when I built my corner horns and bell klipsch speakers, I had the mid-range horns cast out of aluminum. This is only partly a diy project. I visited a local foundry (very small operation with a friendly owner) and learned how casting is done. I then made a pattern for the inside and outside of the cast. The process he used involved pouring molten metal into sand, which had been shaped by the pattern I made. Making the pattern took a while, but wasn't really hard to do. The two main tools were a table saw and a drill press with a drum sander.

    Deciding on the shape of the pattern took a little work. I had access to a factory speaker and could measure the mouth size and length. At that time the Klipsch speakers were made with an exponential flare. You can look in any algebra book for a section on exponential equations, and use a pocket calculator to find the formula that gives the required taper. Plot it on a piece of poster paper and use that as a template to make the pattern.

    Newer klipsch products use a tractrix horn. You might get lucky and find this in an algebra book. The advantage of this flare is that the final shape of the horn blends to the mounting board, which allows better acoustic impedence matching (coupling) to the room. A tractrix is also known as a pure pursuit curve. If a motorcycle policeman is riding due east on an open field, and sees a crook directly in front of him, but is moving due south, the policeman keeps his motorcycle pointed directly at he crook, until he catches him, or is at least following due south; the line of tire tracks the policeman makes is a tractrix.

    The horn may flare differently in the vertical and horizontal planes, this was a major breakthrough by Paul Klipsch, before that the horn mouth was as tall as it is wide. The mouth area is what is actually important, along with the length.

    For my midrange driver, I used an Atlas Sound PD4V driver. This is actually made for PA systems, but it is linear in the range 400-6000 called for by the crossover network. For a tweeter, I used an Electro Voice EV24 horn tweeter. Both of these designs are 3 way full horn loaded (uses horn loading for the woofer too).

    There are two related advantages to horn speakers, both revolve around extremely high efficiency. The diaphragm doesn't have to move very far, the horn couples this movement to the room. It takes a low powered amp to produce a lot of sound. This was more important in prehistoric times before the evolution of high power amps. The cleanness of sound from a horn is because with limited diaphragm excursion, this will minimize intermodulation distortion.

    This is probably more than any of you really wanted to know, but Klipsch speakers have been one of my soap boxes for years.
     
  11. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

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  12. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Mac, what would you recommend me doing? I will be buying them pre-made, so can you recommend a store?

    BTW, do you happen to know where I can find out the dimensions of the RF-7's cabinet? Or something similar to it that will only be using one woofer instead of two, as in the RF-7s?

    Thanks for your input!
     
  13. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeffrey - well the RF-7 dimensions are listed on the Klipsch web page. Suggest go to the RF-7 product page and then click specs. Of course, with only one woofer, that's gonna change things quite a bit. And then there's the issue of how much internal space is taken up by internal bracing, etc. It'd probably be easiest to use one of the many speaker building computer progs out there that will help you calculate the ideal enclosure size.
     
  14. Mac F

    Mac F Agent

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    Jeffrey,

    These seem to be two-way speakers, so you don't have to worry about a tweeter and a mid-range (in older writings, Paul Klipsch called it a "squaker"). The speaker sound you are looking for comes from the horn. Since the woofer is not horn loaded in this design, you could use the outside dimensions as a starting place, but design the volumn of the inside to match your driver. Design of woofer boxes is simpler now with the various software available. This will mainly affect the lowest frequencies the speaker can reproduce, and any frequency peaks in the low end. The sound characteristic of the speakers is mainly determined by the mid and high frequencies.

    The harder question is where to find a source for this particular speaker horn and driver. Horn speakers have fallen from grace because of their size. Less demand means less incentive for a commercial supplier. It has been many years since I tried to track down any horn parts. The only ones I could think of just now have already been mentioned. Sorry.
     
  15. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Mac, do you think it would be OK to go with one of the Eminence horn super tweeters that I mentioned earlier? Or should I look elsewhere?
    Thanks again for all of your help! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeffrey, do you know what crossover frequency is being used by the Klipsch? You need to know what range they are to cover before you can choose a driver/horn combination. I would guess off hand that the crossover is in the 1 to 1.5kHz region. I think a good choice for this range is the Selineum D205TI driver with the Selenium HM25-25 horn. Both are available from Martin Sound here: http://www.martinsoundpro.com/
    The Driver is $39.00, and the horn is $18.60. The recommended crossover for the horn/driver is 1200 Hz, but looking at the curves of the horn with the driver, you can use them down to 800 if you wish (use 3rd order crossover at 800).
    The Eminence units you mention are ment to be used at 3.5kHz or higher, so not good here.
    I like horn systems, too. The low distortion, effortless quality of a good horn system is hard to beat. I used to have a large horn system (using Altec 500B/802D), but then drifted to Dynaudio, then to Magneplaner MGIIIs, but never recaptured the involvement of the horn systems, so I have come back to horns.
     
  17. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    According to the Klipsch RF-7 specs (http://www.klipsch.com/index.asp?pat...id=388&line=&1), the cross over is at 2200Hz, surprisingly high considering the 10" drivers.
    The other question - how will using only one 10" driver affect impedance, sensitivity, etc?
    The horns Ron is pointing to seem to be good matches for the Klipsch specs.
     
  18. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Using only 1 bass driver will cut system efficiency by 6bd (quite a lot).

    I am suprised at a 2200 Hz crossover, too. Really pushing the 10" drivers. I would cross over lower, if I were you. Let the horn/driver carry more of the load, with better transient response. They may be doing this to keep the crossover out of the critical midrange. This is why the truly top notch systems of yesterday used 500 Hz as the crossover in a 2 way system. It equally divided the spectrum, so both the bass driver and the horn each covered 5 octaves. The drawback to this is size (500 Hz horns are much bigger), and the wide range drivers to go this low are more expensive (good ones will set you back at least $140 each, and the best ones go for up around $300-500). This makes 800 Hz a good lower cost compromise. Just giving up half an octave, you can save quite a bit.
     
  19. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ron, I'll be getting those tweeters and horns in January! [​IMG]
    Also, I'm not capable of creating my own crossovers for these speakers, so do you have any recommendations at any pre-made ones that would work well with the tweeter and the Klipsch 10incher?
    Or hell, could I pay anyone to make me one? [​IMG]
     
  20. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Martin Sound also has some premade crossovers available. Request a catalog (you can do it on-line), and that will give you a price sheet as well. If there isnt a crossover available for the fraquency and slope you want, thay also sell caps and inductors so you can make your own. E-mail me if you need me to sketch a schematic for you. You can get curves for the Selenium drivers and horns on-line at http://www.selenium-usa.com/
    The D200 driver will let you cross over as low as 600Hz, although you will need to use a tweeter with it (and a different horn), as it starts to roll off at about 2k.
     

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