I have CJ8xs and Montana speakers--Seems to do all I need and then some.
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Contrary to popular belief, La Scala's work best with a pretty good amount of power behind them. My guess that the "nasty" sounds that you're hearing when trying to throttle the system is coming from your amp getting dirty and the horn bodies ringing like mad. In stock form, the La Scala's aren't performing anywhere close to what they can do. If you want to stick with tubes to drive these speakers, either in stock or highly modified form, i would highly recommend at least 30 wpc minimum and preferably 50 - 60 wpc to do it right. With most low-feedback tube designs, you'll find that a 30 wpc amp is really only putting out about 10 wpc with "reasonable" distortion. Above that point, most designs will start producing higher amounts of distortion that sky-rockets. Going to an amp that is twice that rating will give you more headroom with less chance of turning it into a "distortion generator". Then again, the distortion by-products of amps designed like this are what many people attribute the "warm, smooth, round bass" and "full bodied midrange bloom" that they like so much. Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference. I know what i like and distortion ain't on the list. From what i can tell, it's not on your list of preferences either. Sean
As an old LaScala owner I know exactly what your hearing. That sound is never going to go completely away. There are ways to help.
I agree with the above coments regarding amps. But also consider this. (Maybe you've already done this)
Clean internal connections in the speaker.
Possibly rewiring with better cable.
Choice of speaker wire is important.
Clean power will also dramatically smooth out the sound. There is so much junk on the AC, it's severly magnified by a speaker with that sensitivity.
If you're using CD as a source, look into a tube CD player.
I have heard at least a dozen different Klipsch models over the past 25 yrs including cornerhorns and LaScalas. Have heard them in numerous stores and homes with tube and SS amps - never heard them sound good, there is always a 'fingernail on blackboard' sound inside the music. I think you need to start looking for properly designed horns or other designs such as the Decware models. I understand the mystique about Klipsches but it's time to face the reality - I most recently heard LaScalas being run by expensive Mac tube gear and the music was awful. I then listened to Classic Audio models with EAR tube integrated amp and it sounded quite good, unfortunately they were $9,600.00 a pair and need a good sized room. Time for someone to design and sell a musical $3,500.00 horn speaker that's not harsh. Maybe that's not possible.
I am using Wright sound Mono 10s on my "77 Khorns with ALK X-overs and no matter how "complicated" the music there is none of the harshness of SS left. Even with the Moody Blues "A Question Of Balance" at 100 Db.
If your Lascalas are made with K400 horns, have you damped them? If you have type AA networks a nice easy mod is to put a 1mF capacitor across the two 2mF caps. This takes a lot of the energy off the tweeter at Fs (3500Hz)
Go to http://www.alkeng.com/ and take a look at Al K's work with Klipsch X-overs. Go to http://www.klipsch.com and click forum. There is a lot of good information there and many knpledgable posters to help you.
Thank you, Blackwatch26. We actually came up with the perfect solution--bridge two systems through a common preamp & CD player. So now the La Scala's are mated with the Wright 3.5's (love the Mono 10's, by the way), and we are running Quicksilver Mini Mono's through a pair of Soliloquy 6.2's for all of the rocking music. THAT, my wife claims, "Is MY system." We are both quite happy. Thank you for the suggestions.