I found this site http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/Cap.html
to be most useful. The Mundorf silver/oil in combination with Clarity I installed in the tweeter and mids removed all the harshness I had with the junk originally installed.
On my Klipsch I used dorf silver golds. Still wasent so hot so used fostex t900a a big step up. Still not as good as I hoped so upgraded woofers a bit better but still just ok. So damped rebuilt cabinet much better but still not as nice as my modern horns so I replaced midrange with JBL mid horn with a dukane. Again big improvement over stock but I ended up with little to nothing that was klipsch so I used the old horns crossover drivers cab etc and rebuilt the orignal khorn and agoned them. Tried Lascalas ended up upgrading those till most nothing was left. For me klipsch are cool but not my cup of tea.
Johnk I can understand Klipsch not for everyone. What kind of amps? I had used Bryston and it was awful on Klipsch. They are very sensitive. What kind of new horns? I can see new being better but have not heard any of the top new horns. Also digital and horns is not the best either. Any harshness up the chain is exposed in an often painful way.
I know Arthur Salvatore has higher ranked horns but $27k is wayyy out of my range since Lascala's are only worth 1k to 1.5k. So even with 1k into crossovers still less than 10% of those speaker cost.
I would like to hear the mega $ speakers though just as a reference. Right now I have not heard better than Lascala except older Khorns.
This post (and I have no idea how it is going to go) is going to help the person (who like me) is trying to get the most out of pretty cheap speakers.
I tried many many amps pres etc while I owned the klipschs I always had other loudspeakers and systems about so easy to compare. Not saying klipsch is bad just klipsch might not be right for others. If your looking to improve on a k horn tweeters and crossovers are a good start. Next address the cabinets. When I built a doubled baltic birch ply cabinet with modern damping the bass was greatly improved as was the imaging, think cabinet vibration smeared image from mid and tweeter.
Yesterday the speakers seemed so dynamic today second thoughts on the repair. I am hearing less of the positives and more of the break-up in sound quality.
Is it going to be worth the 1k???? I hope they come back to life. L
When volume turned down they do not sound as bad turning them up reveals the hard sound.
Should be around 1 week until nw crossover is in.
I hope this info will help people in the future looking at spending as much on speakers to bring back to life as the value of the speakers. (used) Wondering if you are doing the right thing.
At this time I have no idea how I will feel in the end. Ecstatic or did I just throw 1k into the wind????
The dorfs I use take awhile to break in. But the new crossover could be showing some of the limitations of the vintage drivers etc. Many variables with crossovers- drivers etc toss in age just another to go wrong, still end result might be worth the effort but then again it might not.
John I have not put the Mundorf's in yet but you could be right. What I could not find was info on what the sound difference was people would just say they did or did not like it.
This will put it into perspective. (the perspective of is it wise to spend 1k on a crossover on speakers worth barely more than 1k)
Why I am doing this is JohnK is I wonder do we just hear from the people who do the repair and like it and is the people who do not like the repair just quiet?
JohnK on your Klipshorns and Lascala's were they pre 1980 models? There is I feel a BIG difference! My Lascala's are 1980's and split the generation. They have ceramic tweeters and Alnico mids and (I think) ceramic woofer magnets. I always wondered why mine sounded so much better than a friends Khorns and he had much better gear. His were newer and all ceramic. It is the mids incidentaly that I always thought amazing! Maybe regular speakers don't show the Alnico importantance but horns do. I know Alnico costs wayyyy more but worth every penny as far as I can see. I am getting Alnico tweeter for mine.
I wouldnt spend so much on parts. If crossover needs rebuild I would ask about on the klipsch forum bet someone could tell you where to get the most bang for your buck. I have access to many costly parts transducers etc. I kind of just threw money at the problem a bit of over kill. To see if I could take my klipschs to extreme performance limits;) Many folks who post are looking for someone to agree that what they are doing or have done etc is the right way. If you disagree folks can get angry so I feel most just keep - things to themselfs.
On the Klipsch forum it is like all things some say just get an inexpensive rebuild and some go all out and think it worth it. You could be right I am unsure that is part of this post it is not a forgone outcome on whether it was worth it.
Mundorf Silver in Oil has been the most recommended at the high end with out going to the crazy high end.
I have just been reading about the Avantgarde. I have never heard them but it is interesting.
You have not said were you Klipsch pre or post 1980? I had a set of Herresy II's and a friend had the older I's and his were much better. I was ticked when I seen the parts they were using. Did you try the Alico magnets?
I had the best years for klipsch when Paul was still arround all mine had alnico mags etc. My new horns use 8-15in woofers 4 per front horn with alnico comp mid horn and alnico comp tweeters. When I wake 1st thing I do is turn the big system on. Use if most all day for its in my home office and I work at home;) I owned avantgarde duo 2.2 was nice but not anywhere near the performance of what Iam running now.
JohnK sorry but what is Alnico "comp"? Do you have pics of your new ones? What has improved from PWK era?
Alnico magnet compression driver. Improved from pauls time I feel they where less well made after 1970s.VG email me if you want horn system pics.
Addition to log. (likely the last with old crossover!)
A taste of Honey by the Beatles.
Drums on the left and I can't figure out for sure if Ringo is hitting the cymbals with a brush? Not sure what the sound is? Sound is dynamic and frustrating.
Seperation of instruments not as good as (memory) of these speakers.
Everything has a higher noise level than normal.
Sounds seems tilted to the mids and they are breaking up.
Can't focus on drumming mid range to prominent.
Come Together (Beatles)
Symbals are hard and irritating!
Abbey Road none of the instruments sound real. Paul playing the bass is likely the least bad. Anything in the higher range is MUCH worse. You can not focus on Paul's playing the high freq will drive you from the room!
Best way to describe sound is a dynamic mess. If I had not owned these speakers for so long (an LOVED last 5 years with better gear) I would not keep them. Only my feeling of the caps being shot is the only reason I am putting money into them. They are more frustrating then my other speakers by a mile! Then can do great things but they are not? My Linn's are boring but nice. (in comparision) Klipsch you just can't get past the HARD sound. At this point the strong points of these speaker hyper detail is the BIG negative.
Do caps really slow the info coming through this much!!????
When you read this in the future you should be able to tell at least what to expect on Klipsch crossover rebuild. I do not work for Klipsch or the people making the crossover or the caps company. I am not a vintage guy only either. I may be a horn guy though, not sure? No financial involvement in any way.
It just might help with the justifaction of spending as much on the speakers to bring back past glory or it might be better to say Ya it was great but time to move on the speakers are done.
I used to hear no faults in these speakers and if rated 100 they are now a 20. In fact I am concerned about damage to my gear?
I want You (Beatles)
I used to LOVE Paul's bass playing in that long song! I never wanted it to end. I remember when the speakers went bad I thought it was the cartrdige. Noise level went up.
The speakers even seem slow? They never sounded that way before they went bad? They sound more muffled and tighter than they should. Does not sound like a band playing together and they are not commucating any emotion which I always thought was there strong point.
Here Comes the Sun
Ringo drums muffled and the symbal at the end of the drum roll is garbage!
What was scarry real before is just scarry!
Am I crazy trying to back old magic??? I am desperate! JohnK is right I am throwing money (and have been for the past year) at the problem. I have replaced all my gear in the process of getting the magic back. Now another 1k+ on repairs. This hobby will drive you to extremes. The only upside is I am not chasing a "new" and "better" sound just want the old sound back.
Had to take the gear back to the other speakers. I just could not stand the Klipsch any more. I have with help of others re-thought the crossover to just getting new inexpensive caps. If the Klipsch do not at least sound not defective they will be sold. JohnK may be right? If they sound chaotic and not even close with new caps. Why bother? I am not sure how much is age (age of the caps) also age of me? I am aging and musical tastes are changing. I hear guys talk about Eddie's eruption being great on Klipsch but that is me 10% now and nothing against eruption but that is not me 90% anymore. (used to be) I think the higher end companies appeal to an older music and it makes sense. Guys in there 50's and 60's which is not me yet (Thank goodness) are looking maybe for a more mature sound than the big Klipsch. Maybe why my other speakers sound sooooo much better on a much wider variety of music. The Klipsch make everything sound like a rock concert but not everything SHOULD sound like a concert.
Another thing that I wonder is can the Klipsch reveal higher end gear? I have heard guys talk about they felt there gear was maybe moving beyond Klipsch. The last TT ugrade I did I took back to the dealer because I could not hear any difference at home. At the dealer against a comparable old TT I was shocked! at the improvement yet it was not showing up in my Klipsch. Is this why many people (I know not all) use Klipsch with quite low end gear. Do they feel it is not worth it for better source and amplification?
In fact each upgrade seem to reveal more problems in the speakers or maybe the caps were going down at such a rate they kept sounding worse no matter what.
PWK was a master at getting a lot out of realitively cheap components. I heard once the PIO caps were automotive grade??? The crossover and connections with lamp cord are clearly out of step with today. I know PWK once said anything more than lampcord was bullshit. Yet I could HEAR the difference going to 12 gauge monster 25 years ago over cheap speaker wire. So has time just marched on past these once magical speakers???
I will give the speakers the $100 cap replacement after all that is the least I can do for a speaker that has given me 25 years of joy (owned for 27) without even a dime spent on them.
Caps coming and should be here later this week ot early next. Really curious how much difference to expect? Other speakers hooked back up and I take back about them being boring. Other speakers not boring they just do not shout at you like my Klipsch do. I am going up to listen to some of the same records with my comments in hand.
Linn speakers hooked back up. Voices are oh so smooth. Easy to focus on detail and you want too! Sounds beautiful.
A Taste of Honey (Beatles)
Still can't tell if Ringo hitting the cymbal with a brush. When he hits with a drum stick though the sound is nice. Ringo's drums much, much better to follow. Much better seperation of voices. Everything sounds way more musical.
Downside of the Linn is the Beatles are around 3 ft tall. Sound stage much smaller. About half the Klipsch size.
voices wayyyy better
want to listen more
The more you listen the more you like
Fine detail wayyyy out of Klipsch league
Linn sounds like a beautiful stereo but a stereo none the less.
Life size image but a mess
Klipsch hit you fast with the size of everything. First thing you say is Wow what a huge sound stage!
Klipsch sound like a bad live concert and make everything feel like a concert even when it is not supposed too.
Both speakers cost about the same used. So this is fair in the $ sense. The Klipsch are somewhat more new.
Ideal world would be Klipsch true to life sound stage with the finesse and ease of listend too of a more modern speaker. The Linn's are ahead by a mile now. The only unknown is how much of the negative of the Klipsch is caused by worn out crossover components. The Klipsch could get better? By how much? The Linn cannot have the same sound stage. The detail can be improved by even better upstream components but the sound stage will always be smaller.
Right now 1/2 scale beautiful is knocking out full scale mess.
For anyone buying used Klipsch with original components they are not in the league of more modern speakers! Can they be brought to modern levels. I hope so they COULD give life size image on a beer budget.
The caps that are going in are Sonic caps. They are supposed to be semi-highend on a affordable budget.
Kind of excited. Wondering how much the old caps have gone bad? Bob Crites who is a good guy says he has tested hundreds of old caps and they were all not in spec. Since mine sound so bad I am SURE they are no exception.
I wonder if this will lead to a complete rebuild of crossover?
Picked up some crossover wire. Tested both speakers at 4.3ohms. Not sure if caps will have any effect on the resistance at least as far as a measureable number. I just wrote the numbers down. Quite excited to try this out.
Some people have told me you can not buy a speaker for less than around $10k and beat the Klipsch? After done will they sound like a 10k speaker or a $500 one that they do now?
Fan boys will always say what they are into is the best. Plus you get the old back in my day klipsch was the king and still nothing better. I hear the same from collectors of most all vintage items. Always was better back in the day seen through rose colored glasses. Altecs are better and cheaper than klipsch. And thats just the start. If you love klipsch fine but far from state of the art even when modernised. I would say they will sound like a $2250 loudspeaker:) Thats about what good used K horns go for. Keep in mind some of this hobbies about having fun many forget this. And if your having a good time with the khorns thats what its about not trying to find some SOTA that doesnt exist.
JohnK that is why I am just putting in realitively cheap cap upgrade. I am unsure if I have rose colored glasses but I did LOVE those speakers? I am not a vintage guy. The case the vintage guys can claim with old Klipsch is the Alnico magnets. Alnico did become very expensive. That is a fact and Klipsch took it out. Cost prohibitive in most cases. ($30 a pound compared to 50 cent ceramic) I have owned two sets of Klipsch Lascala and Heresy II's and the Heresy II's were nowhere near as good as a friends Heresy I's. II's were ALL about cost reduction. You could see it and we did compare them and you could hear it! I was ticked. So companies do go through phases like Klipsch where is was high quality and then instead of raising the price of Klipsch with the Alnico's they went cheaper parts and THAT is what the vintage will grab onto. Klipsch was a highend name at one time but I do not feel that way about them anymore. I think when the bean counters took over from PWK it became just about making money. So vintage guys do have that one point it has happened time and time again in business.
I bet you can name a ton of companies that happened to
Nakamichi (tape decks went wayyy down)
The list is huge!
In a very short while I will know if I have rose colored glasses or there was something special about old Klipsch?
Many alnico mag drivers about today plus now we have neodymium. I even had some fostexs with a cobolt mags. Ive collected much vintage modernized some still wasent as good as modern. But was fun and interesting plus you learn something from mucking about hard to put a cost on knowledge. There is something special about klipsch this you know already or you wouldnt be waisting time and funds on upgrades. Just set your goals more realisticaly improving sound of a collectable loudspeaker not trying to built it into a SOTA horn system. Good luck with your modifications and happy listening. JK
JohnK you think a modern Lascala sounds like a $2200 speaker??? Do you mean the Lascala is worth $2200 in a fixed up state or sounds like a new $2200 speaker?
Sorry confused yours with K horn. I sold my 1967 Lascalas for $900. I would sell Lascala and go Altec.
Don't worry guys caps still coming I have not forget. I just picked up some solder. 60-40 60% tin. Any comments on audio solder?
I perfer wbt crimps;) But when solder is needed I mostly use WBT.
I like Cardas Quad Eutectic. It flows smoothly and gives a good solid joint. There's a seller on Ebay that sells ten and twenty foot lengths for a reasonable price if you don't want to buy a lb. roll.
Thanks Guys I figured there was audiophile type of solder. For this one since I am just using Sonicaps to see if the speakers can sound at least correct. Right now they sound bad. If I replace the Sonicaps I may go to even better than standard solder. Right now I want to see if these caps can fix at defective sounding speakers.
YEE HAW! the caps are in. So I will be installing later tonight. I may just hook up a CD player for the burn in part after I sound demo new out of the box caps to log the sound in.
I was always looking for a log like this. I found lots of guys say it was great and do it, but did not know what that meant in sound terms on the same music and there feelings on it before and after.
I put the new caps in the left speaker. I wanted to see if I could hear a difference from left to right channel. It almost sounds like two systems. Like they were out of time with each other? So far the right speaker is making defective sounds. ALL the bad sounds are coming from the old crossover. I started with the old Beatles lp that I tested before which is not a good choice as they mixed all the voices from the right channel.
Strange sensation of sound it is. Left tight (not opened up) and right open but out of control and distorted. (muffled as well)
On to Beatles Let it Be.
Voices are in the both channels. Left channel (new caps) I can't say voices are liquid smooth or anything actually sound tight. Nothing defective just not musical.
Right now left channel is tight and does not breathe. (new caps) Cymbals are not offensive but sound is much more lifeless. Not distortion like the right channel but very tight sound.
Right channel is more open and at times will draw you in but the distortion is high. The right channel (old caps) sounds much more real (in voices) and sounds liquid. Which the caps are liquid filled paper in oil.
Right now this is NOT what I expected. I thought new caps would go in and be better than the 28 year old ones right of the bat. This is not the case. The liquid smooth realness to voices that gives you the feeling of being there is not there with the new caps. I wondered about Poly caps. That is why I looked a Mundorf (and still am)
New caps are not what I thought they would sound like right off. They are not loud in the midrange. (I expected that and I do not know why) The new caps are distant and tight but not harsh and brittle like a new cartridge sounds.
Dire Straight's Love Over Gold
Old caps are ALL midrange sound. The highs are much clearer with the new caps already. Like I had said before I had checked my tweeter to see if they were working.
It has only been around two hours of listening and changes are happening fast. The bass seems to be coming back I had said before I had taken of the bottom of the speaker to see if the woofer was working before as when the caps went bad sound was ALL midrange.
The realness and open sound to the voices is the only thing better now about the old caps.
Caps break in faster than I thought. The new caps are starting to make the Klipsch sound like full range speakers again instead of midrange and mess everywhere else. It even sounds like drums again.
When played with both speakers strange feeling of being out of time. I can see why guys talk about not mixing certain caps.
This is interesting as I always thought the speakers sound was noisy when the caps were going bad and I was exactly right. That is why I started chasing cartridge and everything else. I could not understand how all caps could go bad at the same time?
About 3 1/2 hours.
Even the voices now sound better now in the new caps. I am glad I did this (one side for a little while) as I can hear the improving caps vs. the stable old caps. I thought the Klipsch were sounding very vintage. Tommorrow I will replace the other side after a few more hours listening.
I am having having a hard time turning off the stereo. The difference is now HUGE! The cymbals are a thing of beauty and I do not think these speakers have ever sounded like this! To be honest it is the tweeters that have surprised the most. I never thought they could be that good!
Next day around 5 hours on one set of new caps. If played in stereo it sounds like two systems with a echo sound tight and held in on the new caps and loud and shouty on the old ones.
My image of polycaps was not correct at all! I expected bright?? Not sure why but that is why I looked a Mundorf Silver in oil I thought they would smooth out the Sonicap poly sound. (at least what I thought would be there sound)
Now my old oil caps are loosy goosy out of control bright loud not what you think of when you say oil.
Sonicap reigns in the midrange to the other extreme. Almost like everything is running through a filter.
My wife walked by for a blind test. I asked (she doesn't know which speaker has new crossover) her which she thought sounded better and she said the new caps sounded like shit. Hmmmm.
I would prefer the new ones only because balance is better. But neither is good. I always thought Klipsch had a very "live" sound not now. I think my wife hears the much better breathing and voices and doesn't hear the negatives. I would prefer a cleaned up old cap sound. I do miss that liquid sound.
have you heard Duelund capacitor? You owe it to yourself to try or at least audition one. It's one of the best if not the best cap right now. CMIIW.
Most of the new polycaps require a hundred hours or so to fully break in. Give them some time to smooth out before you go yanking them out.
Audioism I have heard that about Dueland. I know there are way better and Sonicap is the bottom of the better caps as I understand. I did want to see if that was my problem I kind of thought it would be a slam dunk right off the bat.
Sherod I have heard that about the 100 hours. I know some people do not believe in that kind of thing. I know people who do not believe a cartridge needs to break in either and I know for SURE they do.
I am not panicked about the caps till the end of break in. But I am concerned. I hope they open up.
You guys know when your wife comments on the difference you know it's BIG and says the new ones (and she did not know which speaker had them) sound like crap. I suspect she is talking about the tight sound of the new ones. The old ones like I said sounded open alive but to my ears very worn out. I prefer the new Sonicaps but they are (not yet) anywhere near the sound of the Paper in Oil when they were correct.
What surprises me most of all is that the Klipsch sound like everyone else's speakers with the Sonicaps? I always thought I liked the sound of the horns "live feel" but now I am starting to think that may be just paper in oil caps sound for the midrange.
There are many top speaker companies who currently use Mundorf oil caps in their crossovers. You can get a lot more feedback on this subject on the Tweaks forum at Audio Asylum web site. The Sonicaps are a good quality cap. They might or might not be the right cap for your Klipsch speakers, but since you have them in there, I'd give them some continous play to make sure whether you like them or not in that location. Until the Sonicaps have been played continously for a few days, they will have a somewhat tight and restricted sound. After break-in, they'll begin to open up in the midrange while the frequency extremes will extend and smooth out as well. Here's a thread on AA for your info:
Here's another thread on the La Scalas:
There are more threads in the Hi efficiency speaker forum on AA. Also, I believe Klipsch has a chat forum on their web site with much info re: crossover cap replacement in the La Scala.
Thanks Sherod I will check it out. I have never been so frustrated with audio gear. I turned off the system thinking I will not be able to stand the break in period and am getting a headache and just want to move the gear back up to my Linn speakers and listen to music. The frustrating part is have I out grown the speakers or is there something wrong with them?
The fatiqueing sound from your La Scalas might or might not be due to the new caps. If you have a tuner or can put an old CD on continous play, I'd do that, turn the volume down and walk away from the system for a few days and listen again. Here's another thread on La Scala crossover upgrades:
This thread might give you some ideas. Hey ! We're going to please your wife's ears yet. (O:
Here's some more info to add to your research:
I have just talked to a friend with Lascala's and he used Solen caps. He said he noticed right away the improvement. I am starting to think it is me being conditioned by Linn. Linn has this method of listening to systems called "Tune Dem" and basically you follow the tune, if it makes everything easier to follow it is good. Well the Klipsch "to me" now are not easy to follow as every instrument seems to scream like a horn! Linn gets you to follow what is going on and the Klipsch makes me weary trying to follow. Once Linn gets you, they got you in their camp and only their gear (maybe Naim) seems to do it for you.
There method is so simple "follow the tune" sounds infantile! But when you can't it is frustrating!
I do not think I will survive any break in period as I think these speakers just sound like crap to me now and no cap or inductor or anything is going to change that.
I find myself saying what the heck was I thinking!
Sorry guys if I do not survive this break in but can say I doubt Sonicap is going to change anything in these speakers that are VERY dynamic but seem VERY dated to me. I do not believe they are from the modern era. They may be quaint but to many faults to (for me) live with.
When I listen to a group (common as the Beatles) and can not tell a huge difference to who is singing the song I know something is wrong! That seems like child's play on my Linn speakers as I know who is singing mostly who is on back-up and when they dub the lead singer in as back up. With Klipsch they all sound almost the same!
Guy came to buy the Klipsch Lascala's. I had him bring his own tube amp. I didn't think it fair for him to listen on my gear. One thing for sure is old tube gear sounds much better with Klipsch. The bass was wooly but from the midrange up they sounded real good. If he does not buy them I am going to pursue the tube route. I cannot say I prefer the sound over the modern gear but it was at least not offensive and had some characteristics that are very nice to listen too.
I have bought the tube Fisher x100d. I have to say I wish I had tubes all these years I had Klipsch speakers. So crossover is back on. Being used as a seccond system. Man the U.S. used to make some real good stuff! It is a shame what has happened to Audio! I am looking for paper in oil caps. I am not to impressed with the plastic caps. Anyone know where you can get real paper in oil caps?
US still makes great hi-fi. You just have to search it out, not mass produced or marketed so more work to find but well worth it.
Sorry JohnK what I meant to say was that the average person (meaning 100,000+) bought just the Fisher 500c receiver. Meaning the mass market was pretty dam good 50 years ago.
Johnk any idea where I can get good paper in oil caps? I would like to stay that way as I found the plastic caps change the nature of the speakers.
Looks like Mundorf Silver in Oil network is back on. Anyone build a "A" Klipsch network as opposed to the "AA" network that came after. The "A" network has no tweeter protection and is from the tube era. Klipsch went to "AA" when tweeters were blown by SS gear.