They are what they are, an easy to drive 3 way horn system. The trade off is frequency response and phase shifts. I love mine (H3s) but they are not in my main system.
They will however add excitement to older recordings and are plenty good but they are not class a material.
I think you would be disappointed with the La Scala, mainly due to the crossover needing updating. I suggest you look and hear the current JBL K2 line. I think they have a much smoother sound.
Go with the JBL LaScalas are not so good sounding for Klipsch go K horn.
There are lots of mods you can do to bring the LaScala up to a steller performer. On mine, I've rewired them with all silver wire, replaced the tweeters, replaced the Xovers with ALK crossovers, added adhesive damping sheets to the midrange horn - all of these made a tremendous difference, and I would imagine that it beats the La Scala II. That is - you can do better for less money!
With all due respect, I strongly disagree with the three gents who posted, above. I have owned and enjoy many speakers of many types, and I have come to appreciate the qualities of horn speakers in general. I like the Klipsch Heritage line; especially the La Scalas and Belles. In fact, I prefer these two speakers to the vaunted Khorn for most rooms.
Is the La Scala the best speaker in the world? No, but what is? Klipsch speakers represent a great design, but manufactured at a modest price point with the best of 1950s technology. The fact these speakers are in demand today and still offered at a (relatively) modest price point is a testament to PWK and his knowledge of speaker acoustics. I find that La Scalas (and Belles) excel for jazz, instrumental and acoustic music, and vocals. They would not be my first choice for heavy metal, and they can sound a bit congested for large symphonic music (this can be fixed, see below).
So, why do I like the La Scala, and what does it do right? The La Scala, like the similar but different Altec Lansing 14s and 19s, provide great texture and timbre to music. A lot of guys will post and boast about how smooth their speakers sound. That's great, but I want to hear the sharp glare of the brass horn, the drag of the rosined bow across the strings, and the reed in the oboe. Many speakers will do this and are described as detailed; sometimes as fatiguing. A great horn speaker can provide texture without mind-numbing hyper detail. I can't explain it any better than that.
So, what's wrong with the La Scala? Not much, in my opinion. They are big. They are made with pedestrian materials, and do not look as pretty as some of the audio furniture that we lust after as audiophiles. And they can sound a bit thick and congested, especially if you acquire an older pair with the dreaded AB crossovers. If you are handy with a soldering iron and have an hour, Bob Crites will sell you an upgrade kit for $100. Don't want to do it yourself? Crites and others sell new crossovers for $185-$400 or so. The AKs in particular are quite remarkable, and will take the speakers to new heights. Installation might take 20 minutes if you are all thumbs.
IMHO, Audiogon is really not the best venue for information on vintage speakers. If audiophile speakers were described here as trophy wives, owning a set of Klipsch speakers is like marrying your 18-year old second cousin from Kentucky - it's not illegal, but is considered unseemly and undignified. There is more and better information available on AA and the Klipsch forum.
The mods I have made to my Lascalas are those to elimimate horn/box vibration and resonance. I find the stock crossover and drivers to be excellent. I made 50 lb bases/risers for them. I own them for a very long time and am extremely pleased. They are very musically involving, with all types of music. They sound great with smaller amplifiers and allow me to hear every upgrade prior in the chain. I do use a pair of powered subs. I have a room to accommodate their set up and my listening position. IMO at the price point(used)it is hard to find a more realistic sounding set of speakers. I use the term realistic, in comparison to live, unamplified music. I have been doing this for over 40 years, have had much equipment come my way, and I am quite happy. They do so much "right" and little "wrong". They soundstage and image wonderfully, but this would not be important if they were not harmonically right to the sound of instruments and voices, as well as that "most important" aspect of live music, that being prat and dynamics, which I have found lesser is systems so many more times up there in dollars(speakers and matching amps). So do I think they are a contender at the price point. You bet ! Br3098. I am completely with you. Keep enjoying !
Awesome speakers with the right electronics. They have the dynamics of real music that very few speakers can match. There is a reason they've been popular for long. And when Klipsch discontinued the Corn Wall's, La Scala's and K Horn's for a period of time there was such an out cry that they brought them back as the heritage line and they continue to be some of the top selling speakers.
If audiophile speakers were described here as trophy wives, owning a set of Klipsch speakers is like marrying your 18-year old second cousin from Kentucky - it's not illegal, but is considered unseemly and undignified.
I would agree with most everything Br3098 posted here. I would also add the Cornwalls to his list, if you want something a little bit smaller for space reasons, I had to do. And some Klipsch fans actually prefer the Cornwalls to the La Scala's. I would love to have some K-horns someday, especially if I can ever have a dedicated room. The K-horn is the longest continuously manufactured speaker in existence, so a whole lot of folks think they are doing something right, that's for sure. I would emphasize what Br3098 said about the Klipsch Heritage line being great for accurate reproduction of instrumental timbres, and he is right on about texture as well. The music sounds much more life-like than many a speaker that "measures better." Numbers are not everything - trust your ears.
Agree with the recent posts. I heard the La Scalas for the first time recently (wanted to hear a 100+ db speaker). I took my little Glow Amp, 5 wpc/SEP, there do drive them (love SE designs). Dealer has been a friend for many years and he just started carrying the Klipsch line. I liked what I heard and will be bringing one of my better 300b SET's down there soon for another listen.
If you're in this hobby and pursuing accuracy, maybe look elsewhere. If you love music and goosebumps, these are a good way to go.
I have a pair of LaScalla II's paired with Shindo Lab gear and a couple of Velodyne subs. I also have a pair of Devore Super 8's that are known to match great with the Shindo.
The Klipsch absolutely blow the Devore's out of the water. Paid 4K for each pair.
Poo Poo Klipsch all you want, mine are amazing
Dirtbag, too bad many people do not give The Lascala II a fair chance or take them seriously. At their price point I do not think there is a better speaker out there(IMO). Even though the bass horn is small(rolling off the last octave), there is a coherency of tonal balance with the mid horn, and everything else for that matter, and, offers PRAT, like nothing else near its price(IMO,IME). I know musicians and industry people who own the Lascalas, series I and II(I own heavily modified Is)and we all simply "enjoy the music". So I say to you "enjoy" !
So K horns are now not equal to LaScala you can buy good used K horn for 2k why pay over 4k for LaScalas? And you admit to heavily modifying so hows that a deal? Seems most all klipsch heritage series owners are modifying. If there so great why all the mods?
JohnK. I want to first say that Khorns are EXCELLENT, but very limited because of the corner placement necessary, for me anyway. The build and makeup of the walls(home construction) can make or break some of their magic, keeping in mind that I listen a 100 db, and have said so many times. I have heard Khorns sound good, to fabulous, depending on room, acoustics, etc. One of the best Khorn set ups I heard was in a large basement in which "corners" were built using concrete blocks/wood panels. The corners of the basement were too far apart. So that's the story with the Khorn, ime. Lascalas are easy to work with, and I have found a pair of subs to mach them perfectly and coherently(was not easy). As far as the upgrades. Most products are designed with a price point in mind. The weakest part of the Lascala, imo, are the cabinets, specifically the dog houses(Klipsch lingo for the woofer portion of the box, in case you did not know). They are not well damped from vibration, and as you turn up the sound, it just gets worse. I learned this from Jim Thiel(may he rest in peace)before he was well known. I did not know him that well, but met him, and he shared ideas with some of us. Other companies spent time with box coloration(B&W comes to mind), but, I believe he nailed it. Since then, there is much info about the damping of the Lascala boxes and, other mods for them. Again, the basic design is great, but with available learning, parts, etc, this all leads to upgrades. Every hi end company I am familiar with, has had upgrades available, with a basic start out "chassis". Audio Research comes to mind. Look at every race car. What is being done to them to get this greater level of performance. All I can say, over and over, is that they allow me to listen and "get into" the recording that is playing. They are very "coherent", to my ears, because all three drivers within the cabinet work so well together. Sorry, but you asked.....later....
Reading my post after the fact, I wanted to clarify something. The basement experience I talk about had the "original" corners way too far apart. The "secondary" corners that were "built" along that same wall were to bring them closer together, with the listening position as the determining factor for their final build.
My LaScalla II's were 4K brand new just 3 yrs ago. The MKII versions have addressed many of the issues of the original versions. I have not modded them in any way. I knew they would need a sub when I purchased them but even if you factor in the cost of the 2 Velodyne DD10PLUS subs I have you still get amazing sound for the dollar. You could buy used LaScalla's for under 1K, those are the ones being modded. And the only reason guys are modding them is because they are 20 to 30 yrs. old and need a rebuild anyway. If you have the room that works for them you would have to spend a pile of money to better them. IMHO
yes, they are worthy.
Just don't try to fit a square peg to a round hole. Like most gear, they require proper setup and associated electronics to shine. I would want to run them off a tube amp of some sort for best results.
great speakers, I like the KHorns best, because they have such a great lower end, in the right room.
My all time favorite Rock n Roll speaker, and I love the sound when matched with McIntosh gear.
Khorns playing Who's Next on a Technics SP-10II through a Mac C22 preamp, and MC240 amp, dude, that' just strong.
Macdadtexas, you speak the truth ! If I had the luxury to build a room around Khorns, and to "get them and the room right",I definitely would. This is a reason for the popularity of the Lascala. Most Lascala owners would own Khorns otherwise, ime. JohnK, are you listening....
Mr. Dirt Thanks for you information. Appreciate and value the fact you own them and are pairing them up with some pretty fine gear. I sold Klipsch in the 1970's however I forgot how they sounded. I mostly sold the K-horn, Belle Klipsch. I herd one pair of La Scala's back in 1975 in the client's home and at the time I remember them sounding big and fun, however I had drinks prior to hearing and now 31 years later I'm trying to recall. I do remember one critical point. Any, and I mean any aberration in the signal, you're going to magnify. Never was to forgiving and I think that holds true today. A lot of folks don't understand horns and high effeciency in this regard.
Those modifying are not rebuilding because loudspeakers need repair mostly there doing so to improve performance and correct flaws. I also disagree that the new Klipsch models are equal to original heritage series. And since so many quality K horns about why not vintage K horn with upgrades over new Klipsch reproductions.
I agree with John K that certain upgrades for the Heritage series are to minimize and / or eliminate problems in the basic design, not in the repair of a broken product. It is my opinion that most audio products out there can be approved upon, even the very expensive gear, to squeeze out every last bit of performance.