Horn Speakers and Sub Woofers

How difficult is it to mate conventional subwoofers with horn speakers, in particular Klipschorns.  I'm moving my 1987 Khorns to the large living room for a 'home theater' setup.  (I have two good corners for the Khorns).  I am thinking of adding one or two medium sized Rel subs to the setup to use for movies.  Have you tried subs with Horns or corner horns?

Hi Stickman, I'm familiar with Klipsch but not much so with Klipschorns.  I have LaScala Trio up front and have them paired with (3) Klipsch RSW-15's and it sounds great.  You are likely to get more help in the Klipsch forum https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/forum/30-home-theater/.  Looks like you joined back in 2009. 
I use 2 PSA V1800 subs with Klipsch MCM 1900 stacks in front and Klipschorns in the rear.  I think the subs blend in very well. 

It's not hard.  I did it.  The only problem may be that the Klipschorns have cleaner, tighter bass than the subs.  Start with a crossover of about 40 Hz, then try 60 Hz and the THX recommendation, which is 80 Hz.  The Khorns should probably be set for "Small" in your AVR or Preamp/Prossesor (believe it or not).  You could always try "Large" if you want, but if you do that, set the AVR to LFE+Main, or the sub won't get the signal.

In my system, the AK4 Klipschorns are great, and the sub (Klipsch RSW15) is adequate.  A horn-loaded sub would probably be better, but very large. 

Come on over to the Klipsch Forum.


The above 3 posts and my own are all from Klipsch Forum members!

I myself started a long time ago with a pair of 1998 Oiled Oak Klipschorns and a Velodyne HGS-18II sub. Later I added a second Velodyne HGS-18II sub, and then I added a pair of Klipsch TSCM's. TSCM stands for Theatre Stage Corner Monitor and is a rare, theatre Pro Version of the Klipschorn. Presently, I am running seven TSCM's, two Klipsch KPT-684 subs and the two Velodyne HGS-18II's, so in all, I am running six 18 inch direct radiator drivers.

The post right above mine is excellent for what you need :)

I would also restate that if you have not already bought your subs, that your Klipschorns will sound even better with a horn sub woofer than a direct radiator will. The biggest obstacle you might have is space! Some guys are running smallish Table Tuba Horn Sub Woofers. If budget is not much of a problem, and IF, you have a HUGE room, You might consider something as wild as a Klipsch KPT-1802 which is a 7 foot wide Horn sub for Theatres. KPT stands for Klipsch Pro Theatre, and some guys already have one in their home with Klipsch Jubilees.

I really have to just ask, why you asked hear, and not on the Forum, as you have obviously previously joined?

Best of luck with your project, and if you want a lot more responses, or have other questions, feel free to come back and ask us :)


They key to mating a sub with Klipschorns well is to use subs that can "keep up" with the Klipschorns -- a feat most home theater subs cannot do well.  By "keeping up" this implies keeping up with the high dyamics, low distortion, and high output capacity of the Khorns.  A couple of ways to do this are noted in posts above -- use a horn sub (which will be huge) or multiple large drivers.  In my Khorn based home theater system, in order to find speakers that would keep up with the Khorns, I used JBL 4638 bass bins which are used in commercial movie theaters.  I had two set up once and they did a very fine job (four 15" woofers).  They are not true subs as they do not go as low as traditional subs, but I did not find that to be an issue.  They wen't plenty low enough for me and had no problems shaking my house.  I'm not sure I want my house shaken more than these are capable of.  The issue with these types of speakers is that they are large and heavy and will require separate amplification (probably better to have separate amps anyway).  I used the JBL bass bins only for movie/HT use and not while listening to 2-channel music.
I have two REL-328's and one REL G-2.  I am going to experiment with these subs with the KHorns in my dedicated room before moving the Horns into the living room.  

All I want is some decent low-end augmentation and LFE for Movies.  My dedicated room is where I do my serious two-channel listening (using Magnepan 20.7's in that room).   

The KHorns will probably do just fine on their own, but they don't go super low and I think I might notice that missing low-end a bit on many action movies.
To the general question (horns with subs) rather than the specific K-horn scenario, you could check out Avantgarde speakers which use that approach. I've heard them many times and have never noticed a problem with low end integration.

There's nothing to be concerned about with HT, all you have is processed fake sound effects. 

["There's nothing to be concerned about with HT, all you have is processed fake sound effects.

Not to be a smart ass but they now have these things called music videos and the ones on BluRay can have rather good audio. I also enjoy the few multichannel SACDs I own on the HT.  
Not to be a smart ass but they now have these things called music videos and the ones on BluRay can have rather good audio. I also enjoy the few multichannel SACDs I own on the HT.

OP's question was specific to home theater & movies!

A horn stops acting like a horn where the size of the mouth of the horn is 1/4 wavelength.  That's why the Klipschorn is in the room corner.  It uses your room corner as part of the horn.  What I don't know is given the flare rate of an exponential curve, just how big a mouth that effectively is. 

One of the other posters here suggested the 7 foot Klipsch theatre sub-woofer.  A 7 foot wide mouth is a quarter wavelength for a 35 hz tone, so it only acts as a horn down to 35 hz.

I suggest you just be happy with your K-horns as is and forget the subs.
I have never had K-horns. Always been a big Klipsch fan though. I set up a home theater system with Cornwals as the front mains, Heresy for center, Forte's for the surrounds and some cheap plastic Klipsch for the rears. I used a Def Tech 15" powered sub and it was the best home theater system I have ever heard. Period. 

Moved twice since then, all I have left are the 1989 vintage Forte's. Good luck, nothing does movies like super efficient horn loaded speakers.