Klipsch K Horns (the new AK6)


At $15k, eeek!!!!! and their hard to drive, forget your 2A3's on these
https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-klipschorn-ak6-loudspeaker-measurements

Cheers George
72e4c625 a988 477a 909e 6432e918c9a3georgehifi
George, what is your point ? I do not feel, reading the measurements, that they are harder to drive than many others, just not as easy for a 2a3 flea watt tube amp. An 8wpc tube amp seemed to sound good, to Art. It would not, to me, that is for sure. For my listening tastes, I would need MORE. As far as drive ability, a simple example would be, an Adcom 535 series II ( a Pass design ), as it would get them going pretty nicely, without a problem driving them ( although, some might not like the overall sound of this pairing ). How many other 15 K speakers ( other than horns, could be driven the same. Using a 15 inch driver would require a bit more power to get them moving. I find the same with my Lascala’s. If you are indicating, in your special way, they are not a good speaker, Art Dudley stated they are a steal at their 15 K price. I think so, also. As every speaker designer has to make certain compromises with each design ( nothing is perfect ), I would easily rather live with these, over other 15K speakers, because what I want, and expect, out of a speaker, these would do it. There is no slowing down at the Klipsch factory, as the Khorn, after 70 years of manufacture, are still going strong, many of them selling to overseas listeners. I believe the review, and the measurements, are both beneficial, to potential customers. YMMV. Enjoy ! MrD.
 just not as easy for a 2a3 flea watt tube amp.

The old K-Horns,  La-Scala ect were and that's what they had going for them even though their sound was questionable to me.
 Now they're just as hard as anything and have quite miserable measurements, lose lose on both counts for $15K.

Cheres George
I read the review and there are obvious issues like the front panel resonating and the phase distortion between drivers. I would love to triamp K horns, and correct the phase issues and frequency response with DSP control. Add subwoofers below 100 Hz and I bet they would be in serious contention for best sound ever. 

I too am a bit surprised that a high efficiency speaker like these would have such a dubious impedance curve. As to the other peculiarities, these should come as no surprise to any hobbyist that has even a elementary knowledge of this design. 
High efficiency and load are of course two different things.

Getting a good match is always critical but the speakers that will work well with the widest variety of amps are those with an easy load, like Daedulus and Fritz, not necessarily those that are high efficiency.

Efficiency only determines how loud things can get per watt.

An easy load also means "better mileage" per watt which can translate to speakers going louder better than others with difficult load yet similar efficiency specs.

High efficiency speakers often get a bad rap because they have potential to easily sound the most wrong if not driven by the right amp. But with the right amp....... Not for the faint of heart.




Had a pair of LaScalas in a huge living room powered by a custom made SE EL84 amp from Don Allen- RIP. Kicked a-- on anything from solo guitar to jazz trios to symphonies to rock. FWIW.
mapman,

I dont disagree with anything you wrote, but often it is the higher efficiency speakers that have a higher and more stable impedance curve for use with tube amps. 
Bad measurements for sure, but they sound very good. I know because I owned a pair for years and used both tube and SS. No surprise that georgehifi started a thread trashing them. He's a well known horn hater.
By the way George, you should learn when to use "their" and they're".
Perhaps you people that have never actually heard the speakers in question but give your comments freely, should listen first.  Anything you say if you don’t is merely speculation on your part and isn’t helpful. I have heard many products that measure poorly yet sound incredible. 
Not sure why exactly you would want to spend 15k on such a terribly measuring speaker. My jbl 4367 is actually much easier to drive then these things. And sounds better.
I've had Klipsch speakers for most of my life including the La Scalas, Cornwalls, Chorus II, Forte II, CF3 (excellent speaker), and many others.  I would say that if you've never experienced a Klipsch speaker the way it was intended, then you're missing out. Kinda like driving a fast German/Italian sports car.  You hear and feel the excitement without totally losing refinement.

Now, not always!  Sometimes those horns annoyed the crap outta me sounding honky and brash.  But that was normally a terrible recording or me running low res mp3s straight from my laptop.

However, at $15k, Klipsch better refine the crap out of the Khorn and use top quality everything.. No phase issues with front panel resonances.  Did they not test this?  

Btw, I had to brace my La Scala side walls as they resonated pretty bad. 
If I am not mistaken, in the 1st paragraph of JA's measurements, he states that he took the measurements, while the Khorn was on a dolly, in AD's driveway. Not that it matters. JA owns a pair of Altec 19s, and feels they are wonderful, if you read many of his columns. They are not even a full range horn, as an early example of a horn hybrid. An excellent speaker, but does have many flaws as well. As I write here, I cannot help but think, the tremendous influence PWK has had, not just at the Klipsch company, but with so many other horn manufacturers who are using folded horn designs. Those of you who know me from my posts, know I go way back with Klipsch, as a fanboy, and modifier. They are easy to modify, and with these modifications, the inherent flaws can be eliminated. I have not seen, nor heard, a speaker product, at all price ranges, that could not benefit from a modification or two, to bring it's sq performance to a higher level ( and not just speakers ). My 1st introduction to Khorns, was at the home of a music teacher / choral director of mine, and I was blown away. I wasn't quite 10 at this time, and it was during the time my dad had AR3as, which were wonderful to me. That experience captured my ears, my brain, my heart, and my soul. There was no turning back for me. It was during this time that I realized my dad's Fisher 500C, was not adequately driving his ARs. He purchased, with my recommendation, a Sansui 881 Deluxe, which brought the ARs to life, and I, acquired his 500c, to drive my Klipsch Cornwalls ( I bought them from my teacher ). Over the years, I owned so many other designs, plus, being in the audio business from my late teens, and on, I appreciated all the other speakers ( equipment in general ) I had available to me. Being around, and involved, with live music, I realized, there was a lot of " hifi " stuff, but listening through my CWs, it was now music. And, to shorten this up, moved into my own place at 19, got married at 25, bought my 1st house, with Khorns in perfect corners, had a son six years later, moved to a different house, sold the Khorns, got me Lascalas, with a pair of Janis woofers, and was happy again. I still own Lascalas, which I believe is my 7th pair ( sold the others ). Did I mention modifications ? Damping horns, bracing cabinets, upgrading crossovers.....yada yada yada. Sorry for my rant....last thing. I do not remember everything from my past, and do not want to get into why, but, anything, audio related, I remember. Enjoy ! MrD.
I could remind folks, that JA also indicated that the cabinet resonances he measured, would likely not be audible with music playing, although, I believe, they can still be improved. Most wood bodied musical instruments vibrate, just to be clear. d2girls, I have heard your speakers, and, imo, they are not better than " my " Lascalas, I can assure you. Specifically, coherence wise, in the region where the woofers and horns, intersect. And again, you heard a pair of the new Khorns, to make this comment ? YMMV. Enjoy ! MrD.
I want to remind everyone of something I read somewhere on audiogon about high-end systems and $100k speakers.  They STILL don't sound anything like the real instrument, band, voice, orchestra, hall, room, etc.  It's all manufactured colored sound.  It's only a matter of which color you like best.
its been proven time and time again that people are emotional and resort to 'well you haven't heard them so your opinion means nothing' i do not think the new khorns measure any better or different then the older models. i dont need to have heard the new model to know how it will sound. mrd, do you own the new models? no? i thought not. its a fact that the khorns measure TERRIBLY and at 15k they ought to be a lot LOT better. youre letting your emotions get the better of you.
by the way that comment about the midrange not being coherent with the horn is absolute nonsense there is none of that with my speaker. perhaps youre projecting. you are 60 years old, arent you mrd? can you even hear above 8khz? LOL.
I have heard many products that measure horribly, but sound excellent, and many products that measure extremely well, but did not sound favorable, to me. I just turned 65, and every birthday, I treat myself to a visit with my audiologist, as well as conducting my own testing. I am not the emotional one, but do defend my positions often. I have never accused someone as being 1/2 deaf, as you have, nor, made the claim that my hearing is better than others, as you have, on these pages. This tells me, and others, quite a bit about you. The fact that you do not hear a coherence issue with your speakers, does not mean they do not exist. I do not believe, you know what to listen for, when it comes to coherence, and audio products, in general. It takes years of experience, trial and error, and an educated ear, to develop these skills. More importantly, it takes a lot of time, to figure out what goes with what, to achieve the system that makes someone happy. You are not there yet, as you posts indicate. Time to grow up, and, relax. You are a very angry, hostile, uptight gal, which you once admitted to, and you even stated you were working on it. Enjoy ! MrD.
I wonder if some of you would respond as aggressively if someone insulted a member of your family or kicked your dog. I find it really funny that you take negative comments about your equipment so personally. 

I too doubt the new Khorns will measure much different than the older models and most likely wont sound much different either. Why would Klipsch abandon or radically change a design which has been successful and is so ardently defended?

 


No surprise that georgehifi started a thread trashing them. He's a well known horn hater.
Really!!! shows just how much you know, I owned and lived with pairs of La Scala's, Heresy's and a pair of Forte's, the Forte's to me were the most honest and musical. 

By the way George, you should learn when to use "their" and they're".
What are you now my mother, go away you silly little man.
Roy Delgado, the fellow who worked along side PWK, and the guy now running things engineering wise over at Klipsch, has stated many times in articles, that he would keep the original Heritage designs intact, as they are wonderful designs, and still, as jsautter has stated above, successful sellers after all of this time. Also, to keep the legacy of PWK going. I never found any 2-3 wpc amp, to drive any of these models, properly. Definitely got volume out of them, but nothing to write home about. I know George is not a fan of Klipsch, nor horns for that matter, but I think that is fine, because variety, and individuality, is what this hobby is all about.  Have a great day, everyone, and, Enjoy ! MrD.
Forget the specs, measurements, etc., etc., etc. To this 59 year old, they are, without peer, THE coolest looking speaker ever. If I had the corners, they’d be in my house. It’s unfortunate that the review used what I think is black ash for the photos. Ok then, back to the sniping.
Yep if I had the right space I would value owning these and do what it takes to nurse them to perfection. 
I was surprised in Art Dudley's response to the K-horns as "not having enough bass output." When I had heard them at a dealership the last thing I would say about them is they are bass deficient. If anything they sounded a bit mid bass ripe. But not annoyingly so. As for the comments about the JBL's, they sound ok, but If I were into a pair of horn style speakers, I would take an ancient pair of Altec Model 19's over those JBL's. Restored of course. For what it's worth, I'm 65 years old, been in this hobby for 50 years and have very trained ears. IMO. My high frequency limits are about 14k. Anything above that, bats and dogs should worry.....
Because theyre -6db at 40hz and with a 220lb speaker with huge bass bin you'd expect fullrange bass.
georgehifi,
No I'm not you mother, but she should have made sure that you studied your grammar.
Just a few posts earlier, mrdecibel also noted your frequent criticism of horns. You may have liked some in the past but you don't like them now, and you take every opportunity to criticize them. Who do you think you're kidding? Sorry Georgie, I'm not going away. 
So this is where all the angry people hang out?
Cool!
all george did was comment on the horrible measurements of this loudspeaker. it seems like its the klipsh defense brigade who are here in full force waving their colors who are the emotional ones here. George just stated facts, straight and simple.
all george did was comment on the horrible measurements of this loudspeaker. it seems like its the klipsh defense brigade who are here in full force waving their colors who are the emotional ones here. George just stated facts, straight and simple.

You’ve got it for $15k they measure miserably, I even owned Klipsch’s, the "defence brigade" are very vocal about their big boxes, that to me just SHOUT!!, save for the Forte as I mentioned were to me their more "musical" one.

Cheers George
I'd be very surprised if anyone would buy these relatively gigantic speakers for 15 grand, and after moving the furniture around in their ballroom or airplane hanger would sit there and say, "these suck." I'd bet these buyers know what's what with The Big Klipsch and like the things regardless of the "measurements." A big pile of wood...cool...and I don't even care what they sound like as I simply like the fact that they exist as a current thing.
You have to put this speaker in context. Back in 1960 the most powerful amps all tubes was 90 watts. In order to get realistic volume levels you had to resort to something like the K horn and back then they were the ultimate speaker and they stood alone on that pedestal for almost a decade, long enough to permanently imprint themselves in the minds of all audiophiles alive at the time. We all dreamed of getting K horns not to mention they are handsome loudspeakers and fit nicely into many rooms. In this day they are not the speaker for serious listeners. Humans are very sensitive to phase and volume. It is how we locate danger. The phase aberrations in the K horn prevent it from imaging correctly. I would love to correct all that and see what you wind up with. Like I said above I bet it would be one fine speaker especially for low power tube guys but it would take a lot of amps, an electronic crossover and DSP.   
but it would take a lot of amps, an electronic crossover and DSP.

What happens with all that then is "sterility" with what seem to me, no harmonic decay, too much electronics digital and analog between the source and the speakers, I’ve heard it so many times with DEQX type manipulated systems, "lifeless sterile music" a bit like what class-d does.

Cheers George
George, behave yourself. No one mentioned class D amplification in this thread....:-)
In my initial opinion, the new Klipsch Heritage line seems/feels cheaper than the old stuff.  Things feel more veneery or plasticy than the older stuff and definitely not premier multi-thousand $$$ quality finishes.  If you knock on the sides of the Forte iii, you still get a hollow sound showing there's little to no engineering done on the interior of the box, yet you're paying for it.

Maybe this doesn't really affect the sound, fine, but it doesn't feel like a premium product and I'm a klipsch fanboy.
My Heresy III "Capitol Records" edition (meaningless relative to other Heresy IIIs other than the "special" ebony finish that looks like dark purple) pair are built like little tanks, and if you knock on the sides you get nothing more than a bruised knuckle.
While I can sympathize with many of the aspects (i.e.: flaws) pointed out in the thorough measurement section by John Atkinson on the K-horn AK6’s, below quoted paragraph in particular is instrumental I believe in exposing a bias for non-horns that fails to acknowledge limitations inherent to this speaker principle as well:

I wasn’t too surprised by the Klipschorn’s limited low-frequency extension despite its size. I was reminded of the impact Acoustic Research’s first loudspeaker, with its relatively small sealed enclosure and "acoustic suspension" woofer, made in the mid-1950s. "My measurements showed that my little prototype had better bass and less distortion than anything on the market, yet it was one quarter the size," wrote AR’s founder, Edgar Villchur, adding "I thought, ’This has got to be the future of loudspeakers.’" (footnote 3) It was.

I’m sure Mr. Villchur was invested in promoting an invention of his that catered to a majority of buyers to whom looks and size was a primary concern - including most current audiophiles, it would seem - while at the same time claiming superiority in sound reproduction from his miniature design. In other words, he’d like to have his cake and eat it too - and so Mr. Atkinson in his consent - but you don’t shave off size down to a quarter followed by a massive lowering of sensitivity involving plain physics without compromise - end of story. Giving critique in this case of the K-horn is only fair when it’s worth pointing out, but notably Mr. Villchur in his praise of what became the AR1 "listens" to his measurements only; perhaps it’s worth reading through the last paragraph of Mr. Dudley’s review conclusion:

I found in the Klipschorn AK6 an imperfect loudspeaker that satisfied many of my long-standing longings and a couple I didn’t know I had—for amazing sound way off-axis, and for big, beautiful pieces of old-school audio art in my listening room. The AK6 also seems to offer exceptional value: for the technology, woodworking, and sheer size it offers, $14,998 for a pair of these is a steal. No one with a taste for realistic playback, and especially no one with a taste for low-power amps and high-sensitivity speakers, should miss a chance to hear these.

To reiterate: ".. a steal." Surely there’s something to treasure with these speakers at a calling price of $15k/pair, but you wouldn’t notice it focusing blindly on Mr. Atkinson’s measurements and comments nor the parrot squeaks or the ardent disciples of his in this thread (or simply K-horn/Klipsch Heritage haters). Lastly the K-horns in their latest incarnation aren’t solely representative of horn speakers. It’s called listening, folks, with your ears, and knowing there’s compromise in any venture.
Although retired from the industry, I still visit, now and then, audiophiles in their homes, as the word has spread of my background. A comment made above, that the new Khorns are not for serious music listeners, is hogwash. Some of the " happiest " people I meet ( happy with their systems ), are people with Heritage speakers. When I visit folks with Vandys, Thiels, Maggies, ML, ( and others ), they never seem to be happy with their systems, and they do not know why. Many of these folks have been to my place, and truly loved what they heard. An I to assume, the folks in the Asian markets, are not serious listeners. Go on line, and do some research. Horns, horns and more horns, many of them Heritage. As I have said many times, horns ( Klipsch ) are not for everyone. Same with tubes, ss, and it goes on, and on. Discovering what you like in a reproduction system, is foremost, number one, and building upon that, is second. I made my choice. I am a happy listener, as serious as anyone else, and I never question my speaker choice, as many others, in fact, do. Let us all be a " music family ", get along, and learn from one another, rather than bash each other for what we feel sounds good. I recently purchased the live, double cd set by Steve Winwood, who I am a fan ( it was used by a reviewer recently ), and I cannot imagine my system sounding more satisfying, or engaging, as it currently does. I am not suggesting it cannot be improved upon, as I have been around the block hundreds of times, but, I listen, and listen, and listen some more, never once feeling, what can I do, to make it better, unlike the many folks whose homes I visit, never happy, never content, with what they have. I feel my loudspeakers are a primary reason I an enthralled, daily. 50 years, and still, enthralled. Hope you all have a great day, and, Enjoy ! MrD.
Thanks for the link to that article George. I enjoyed it.
Mrdecibel, I too am happy with what I have - a few different amps and a pair of vintage Klipschorns that have been in the family for 40 years and situated in a room with double brick walls and corners.
The loudspeaker requires corner loading for proper use, yet the Stereophile measurement were made outdoors.  I don't imagine the frequency response graphs represent what the loudspeakers would sound like in actual use.
"The loudspeaker requires corner loading for proper use, yet the Stereophile measurement were made outdoors."

For a K-horn THAT makes no sense. IMO.
Post removed 
George, and I suppose you have triamped K horns with digital cross overs and phase correction. Please do not make comments on stuff you know absolutely ZERO about. 
I use room correction and digital cross overs (on subs) on very large ESLs. I even run my ARC phono amp through a Benchmark ADC as every thing is done in the digital domain. No body has ever described my system as sterile. Not once. The most common comment from non audiophiles is, "it's like being at a live concert!"  Since the amps are not visible, they are under the speakers in my shop most audiophiles ask if I am using Tube Amps. One would not believe that the turntables were digitized. I had to turn the gain down on the Benchmark to prove it to him. His conceptualization of digitized music changed permanently that day.

Cheers,
Mike  
Klipsch is lo-fi these days. The old man made some good stuff once upon a time.
d2girls Klipsch makes alot of lo-fi these days but they still make some stellar sounding speakers.  Many great companies are offering lower priced products. 
Reminds me of some other speakers I owned for years and loved. Tannoy’s.  They also don’t measure well which is why they spec the frequency response at -6 DB. 
 Measurements definitely don’t tell the whole story. And as far as Bass goes quality means a lot and horn loaded bass is definitely better quality then ported.  If I was buying a pair of these I would go into it knowing that I had to add subs crossed over at around 60 or 80 Hz, preferably horn loaded. 
 In fact at this point in the game I really wouldn’t run any speakers without subs. 

dtximages,

Don't take his comment too seriously. He posted those exact same words on three different threads yesterday!

Mijostyn why would I want to throw all that expense and musicality saping electronics into a speaker trying to correct it,s flaws, that at 15k it should have. Now that,s being totally i*****c !

No George, The K horn has certain advantages the big one being efficiency which is the major reason it became so popular in the first place. It does have problems that have been insurmountable for decades but now they are not. So, why not try and correct them and see what you get? Many digital electronics leave absolutely no fingerprint on the signal and once you are in the digital domain you can do all sorts of stuff without any distortion, none. I can go in and out of 24/192 all day long and you will never hear the difference. You can not have the best subwoofer system without a digital cross over. You can not make your speaker image pristinely or accurately control your systems frequency response without full range digital room control. Without the ability to manipulate your system digitally you are in the stone age. Most of the recordings you are listening are either digital or were modified digitally. Any vinyl re release of an old analog recording that magically has no tape hiss, how do you think that happened? So if I use that tech to make an old speaker that magically plays loud as hell with a 300B amp image correctly what is the big deal.
This hobby is supposed to be fun and it is always fun to consider possibilities. That is how we advance the art.
 I’m starting to sound like Socrates.
No idea, no mater how much extra $$$$$$ anyone throws at them with correction electronics, you not going to be able to correct all those flaws, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. 
@mijostyn,
That is exactly what I have done a few years back!!! Tri amped and using the Xilica 4080 DSP to control everything, best sound I have ever heard from my Khorns!!! BTW they are also upgraded with 2" wooden tractrix flared horns and 2" BMS 4593 ND mid drivers and Fostex 91A tweeters.....