Klipsch has improved horn?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Royster, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    I've been wanting some new speakers for a while now but haven't really found any I like.

    accurate, good highs, imaging, mellow mid bass, good bass-able to handle lots of power, ability to play loud. I listen to a wide variety of music from techno, rock, female POP, jazz and am quite critical of recordings sometimes. Can't sound good if the recording sucks - lots of that out nowadays.

    I'd like to get a pretty efficient speaker (91 or above) but always frowned on klipsch. I tried to like them about 10 years ago but that horn seemed like it was going to peel my face off. Lately I've been hearing the horn tweeter is much improved since then and has really smoothed out.

    If so - should I be looking at the reference series then and compare them to the Paradigm Studios? I'm used to some 12 year old Polk RT11tl (which still sound fabulous) that would move to rear duty or the pool room (should be cool to play with multi-room). Receiver is denon3802.

    Trying to get around to audition some speakers but my list is long right now. Thanks in advance.

    John
     
  2. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    John,
    Try this thread for some info. Pretty good discussion about Klipsch speakers.
     
  3. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Dalton,
    Thanks...I've been following that one pretty close. What concerns me is opinions like:
     
  4. Mike Strassburg

    Mike Strassburg Second Unit

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    John,

    I just set up my new system that consists of KLF-30's for mains and KLF-10's for rear surrounds. Our listening tastes are pretty similar as I like techno, old school rap, metal, etc... The KLF's sound amazing. The horns can be a tad harsh but only at insane volumes. I'm talking +12 on my 3802, so loud my neighbor 2 houses away could hear/feel the bass....and it's the middle of winter so houses are closed up tight.

    I've not had a chance to hear the RF-7's, but I hear the highs/mids are more refined. I would definitely recommend giving them a listen. HTH...Mike
     
  5. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the input Mike.
    I hope you see my wants. I love Thiel and Martin Logan speakers. I'm looking for that same kind of "transparent" sound but the ability to play loudly. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place for all I know.
    Seems to me to make a VERY good speaker one has to sacrifice efficiency. I was hoping the klipsch was able to bend that misnomer slighty. I will however give them a listen as that is the only real answer.
    Believe it or not nicely recorded/mixed techno really will stretch a speaker's limits. But at the same time I don't want female vocals or violins scraping my eyebrows.[​IMG]
    Has anybody noticed a change in "the klipsch sound" over the last decade?
     
  6. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Ron---Great advice, I've been doing DIY horns for 30 years. One can build an excellent horn system using vintage Altec-Lansing and JBL components, few things sound sweeter than the Altec 515B woofer combined with an 802 compression driver on a well-damped 511B horn. And the old Altec and JBL gear is just so gorgeous, Altec with the green Hammertone finishes and those black stove-crackle enamel JBLs. Those people were proud of what they made. Though I must admit the new "ugly" ferrite JBL compression drivers sound just as good as the old "pretty" Alnico ones. :)I've built a couple of rigs with EV drivers and horns too, good stuff. If using new drivers it's hard to beat JBL and Radian, and Radian is much cheaper and made in California, the best horn gear has always come from California. :)
     
  8. Jeff_Rostis

    Jeff_Rostis Extra

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    I run KLF 30s in my system.. and I would conisder myself a big horn fan. The KLF's have more of the Heritage sound than anything.. however klipsch is aware of the 'anti-horn' sentement that alot of people have (which i feel is more of a problem with amplifier choices than anything) however because of this, the newer more 'mass market' Klipsch lines (reference, synergy) have been designed with much less forward sound. Single horn crossed over at a much higher frequency.. letting the direct radiators handle more of the midrange.

    I think they sound less like real horn loaded speakers like the K-horn or Scala, but will be kinder on the ears when run with an AV receiver or most SS amps. The new lines have a very different sound, I would suggest to go take a listen.
     
  9. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Thanks again...sounds like things have changed since I first heard them.
    Now onto decide on bookshelfs/sub or towers/sub. [​IMG] I've got a lot of listening to do.
     
  10. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    Ron

    Im very interested in begin to learn to make my Horn speakers. I have the liks you posted, but I wonder where can I learn more?

    Thanks
     
  11. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    There are a few DIY horn sites on the web. If you search for horn loudspeakers, you should be able to find some. In my opinion, A good bass reflex low frequency unit crossed over at about 500 Hz to a good midrange horn and driver, and again at about 3-5kHz to a HF horn/driver makes the best compromise between size and performance. If you want to build a bass horn, my hats off to you, as this will be huge and complex (I recommend the Klipschhorn if you want a horn loaded bass unit. I have plans for it, so let me know if you wish to do that). Choose a nice high efficiency bass unit for the low end, as this will set your system efficiency level. Try a unit from Selenium, Eminence or P Audio, at least 95db efficiency.
    (http://www.eminence.com/) or (http://www.selenium-usa.com)
    All are available from Martin Sound. Good midrange drivers and horns are available from Selenium, Eminence, P Audio, and a few others, also from Martin Sound. An ideal choice would be the Selenium HM39-50R ($79.00) or HM47-50R ($43.00) coupled to the Selenium D405TI compression driver ($120.00) for the midrange. Both horns can be used to 5kHz. For HF, maybe the DT150 horn/driver combo ($23.00), or the ST324 ($24.00). Both the midrange and tweeter units will need to be 'padded', or turned down, to match the efficiency of the bass unit. For bass, maybe the Selenium WPU1505 ($124.00). For max flat response, it gives an F3 of about 36Hz in a 5.17 ft.3 box tuned to 37 Hz. This driver has a efficiency rating of 97db. For a bit lower F3, the WPU1507-QCF ($136.00, 96db) gives an F3 of about 32Hz in a 6.83 ft3 box tuned to 33 Hz. A complete system efficiency of 96db would produce extremely low distortion at typical working levels. These drivers are just one of many you can choose from. Using the most expensive of the ones I have recommended gives a total of $718.00. After shipping, buying crossover components and wood, you can still build these for under $1000.00, and will overshadow anything you can buy for several times their cost. You can build a great horn system for less, too. Don't forget the graphic equalizer. An equalized system is a must, in my opinion. You can get 1-octave resolution units for fairly low cost. If you want to do it best, get a 1/3-octave resolution unit (like the Alesis M-EQ 230. You will probably need to find it at a musical instrument store, like Guitar Center or Skips Music). Its not expensive. http://www.alesis.com/products/meq230/index.html
    Any system will benefit from equalization, not just horn systems.
    A well designed horn system is an impressive device, and will reproduce music with distortion levels a direct radiator system can only dream of (like less than .1% even at 100db levels). If you are into insanely high levels, horn systems can make your ears bleed and still maintain low distortion levels.
    P.S. The prices quoted are from Martin Sounds 2001-2002 catalog. They are in process of putting out a new 2002-2003 catalog, so prices may change a bit.
     
  12. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Manuel---Check out my website http://community-2.webtv.net/irishto...ysHornSpeaker/ This site shows some of my DIY horns, other people's horns, advice on building DIY horns and lots of good horn speaker links. And go talk to the hornies at the high-efficiency forum at www.audioasylum.com And go to the Midwest Audio Fair in Lima Ohio the end of March. This is a hornfest and you'll see and hear lots of vintage, modern and DIY horns as well as horns from manufacturers Bruce Edgar and CAR.
     
  13. Norman Short

    Norman Short Stunt Coordinator

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    Your link seems not to be working, Tom. Perhaps it got slammed bandwidth-wise after linking?

    Norman Short
     
  14. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Norman---It seems to be working now. I heard from a couple of guys that it wasn't working last night.
     
  15. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    Ron and Tom

    Thanks for your good info!
     
  16. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Tom:

    Wow. Another Altec-Lansing fan. I feel in love with their Voice of the Theater back in the early 70's and I haven't heard another speaker that could match it yet. I would love to have 5 of them in my room. That 15 inch woof with the 23 inch horn arrangement was fabulous.

    I remember we built a pair of them (you used to be able to order the box, speakers, etc.) along with a Dynaco pre-amp, Health Kit power amp and a Dual 1249 turntable and put on Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. We had guy come down to our house that lived 6 blocks away (who was inside his house watching football) and he wanted to know where the live band was.

    Damn they were efficient. You could drive them with a pocket am radio. If you put 10 pure watts RMS into them you had to leave the room.

    Parker
     
  17. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    I sell an absolute ton of Klipsch, and am happy to do so, but when I am demoing them alongside other brands,I often do not disclose which speaker that I'm playing as #1 vs #2

    because many customers who have been into equipment for a long time (or been reading/listening to others opinions)have prejudged Klipsch(or horns in generral) .So sad ,really, because for the average home theater system there are very many advantages in the added efficiancy...I try to explain the need for a smooth amp/rcvr while explaining that it need not be the STRONGEST amp/rcvr...WHEN DOING BLIND COMPARISONS MANY PEOPLE ARE VERY PLEASED WITH THE KLIPSCH SOUND...PLEASE TRY 'EM!
     
  18. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Parker---Oh yeah, I love Altec and JBL. My rig is much changed since I last updated the site. For mains I now use Altec 515B woofs in 825 cabinets, that's the famous VOT combo horn-reflex cabinet. That makes it an A5, the 416 woofer in the 825 was the famous A7 bassbin. For the top-end I use JBL compression drivers on Bruce Edgar's solid wood, round tractrix "saladbowl" horns. From 100hz down I augment the A5s with a pair of JBL Pro 4648 theater bassbins, a 4648 has dual 15s in a vented box. That gives me 6 15" woofers working below 100hz, distortion is very low and dynamics are, well, awesome. I used to use Klipsch speakers, I've had 2 sets of LaScalas and 1 set of Cornwalls over the years but I think the Altec and JBL horn stuff is quite a bit smoother and has a little more detail.
     
  19. Ron Shaw

    Ron Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    I love the older Altec (and EV) stuff, too. My first horn system was built around a pair of 511Bs with 802D drivers, crossed over at 500Hz (bi-amped). For bass I used a 515 in a 6th order alignment. 28Hz F3 in 6 ft3. I augumented the HF with a pair of EV T35s kicked in with a first order (series cap) at about 15kHz, just to add the bit of brilliance lacking with the 802s. I damped my 511 horns with the goop you get at auto parts stores for undercoating. My horn wasnt mounted inside my bass cabinet, but in its own chamber above, and it was open in the back. I find that damping the horn gave added benifits, too, like Tom found. I had the system equalized, of course. I still remember going to a concert by the Berkely Orchestra. One number they played was Romeo and Juliet, by Prokofiov. I had the same piece on a Sheffield Sound direct to disk recording. It sounded IDENTICAL. That really got me pumped! I eventually sold those speakers and bought some Magnapan MGIIIAs, which I liked, but they never got me as involved as the good old horn system, so I finally sold them. My heart belongs to horns!
     
  20. John Sturge

    John Sturge Stunt Coordinator

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    On the subject of horns, I would love to mention these really expensive gems.
    Moondog Audio
    I dont own any of their beautiful horn speakers, but I am using the Moondog sound panels behind my speakers in my 2 channel system.
     

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