I own the Klipsch CF-4s since 1990 and will never part with them! Everyone that has heard them thought they were excellent!
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Visit the Klipsch Forum there is alot of information on this site, look under Updates and Modifications. Also, there are a few guys who do this proffessionaly. If you need any tips or advice they are very helpful. I did my Khorns, La Scalas, Belles, and Cornwalls about 15 years ago. I also built My Edgarhorn crossovers and adjusted crossover frequency to benifit my room and to my liking. I experimented with different brands of caps and liked the siderealkaps the best. I took it a step further and installed ribbon inductors. To desribe the difference the inductors made is, they made the sound larger. When you heard a trumpet blow it had more air around it and made it as large as a live performance, as it did to all the instruments and vocals.
I upgraded my crossovers in my 1979 Cornwalls and WOW, I love the result. I drive them with Wright Mono 3.5s. I've had many of my friends over to listen to them, music lovers (lots of live music experience) not "audiophiles" and they all want to come back for more, I guess that says something.
Went to ALK crossovers in my LaScalas and they made a huge difference. I liked the difference in a larger room (more detail, better soundstaging, greater clarity), but in a smaller room I preferred the original AA crossovers (go figure). I think the older Klipsch speakers, those which Paul Klipsch had a hand in designing, are miraculously good, and if done right in a system can be an embarrassment for far more expensive solutions. Pretty great that folks are still bowled over by a speaker built in the 70's from which the principal design elements were conceived long before. Absolutely there is room for improvement, but the original designs are a truly great foundation IMO and can be thoroughly enjoyed as-is.
Mechans - it is very easy to swap out the crossover, given the new crossover is designed as a drop-in replacement (and most are). It is simply a matter of removing the securing screw on the original (screws crossover down to body of the speaker), unscrewing the wires for the three separate drivers (mark each one if you think you may get confused (not hard to figure it out even if you do). Remove the original crossover, drop in the new. Screw down all the wires to the appropriate terminals (usually well marked), and screw down the crossover to the speaker body. The AA crossover you have is pretty darn good, and I actually liked it in a smaller space. It occured to me to soften the edges a bit...a bit warmer perhaps. In the case of Al Klappenberg's crossover, the results are very pleasing in a larger space where it really draws a sharply etched picture of each of the instruments in space (this was the most apparent difference to me), and does wonders for the soundstage this way as well. The ALK, and perhaps some other options, give you an option to attenuate the midrange horn differently. This is also a fairly easy and straightforward adjustment that involves changing some wires at the terminals of the crossover. All the wires are there and numbered, and you'll have a list of what each combination of pairs will do to alter the attenuation. If you go to the Klipsch forums and search under "ALK crossover settings" you will get some idea of what folks are using. My settings will not be useful as I'm using a non-stock Fane tweeter for my LaScalas. Best thing to do is use others experience as a point of departure and see what sounds best for you. There's a few other fellows doing drop-in crossovers for older Klipsch as well. I have no experience with those, other than hearing Boa2's Khorns with a different crossover which sounded great in his system. I never heard the original to compare though he said it made a huge difference. Write to him if you want more info on the variant he used. I believe they were a bit less expensive than the ALK's. There is one guy who is building the crossovers as close as possible to original. If your AA's are working fine, I can't see any reason to go that route. Like any component, the crossovers will require some burn-in time so don't be fast to judge them if you buy them brand new. Make your comparisons with a few hundred hours on them.
Upgraded crossovers do indeed make a major sonic
improvement over stock Klipsch crossovers. Especially with Klipsch Heritage speakers. I own
3 pair of Klipsch Heritage speakers-1977 Cornwalls, 1983 Cornwalls & 1989 Industrial La
Dgwescott-Audiogon moniker-Deang on the Klipsch Forum builds & sells upgraded Klipsch crossover networks. He has an ad here on Audiogon. Christmas 2004 on the Klipsch 2 channel Forum, Deang had a contest for a free set of Klipsch crossovers. Whomever guessed the correct number between 1-100 won the upgraded crossover of their choice. I guessed 11 and won. Deang made a pair of Auricap Type B crossovers for my 1977 Cornwalls. The Auricap Type B's sonics were superior across the entire spectrum-bass, midrange, treble-smoother, greater clarity. The stock crossovers use paper in oil motor run capacitors. I was sold on upgraded Klipsch crossovers.
I bought a pair of Type AA crossovers using
aluminum Jensen paper in oil capacitors from Deang for my 1989 Industrial La Scalas. The La Scalas had a AL-3 crossover which uses polypropelene capacitors. Much better sounding crossover in my opinion than the stock
crossover once again.
From a Klipsch forum member I bought a Deang made
Type B crossover using aluminum Jensen paper in oil capacitors for my 1983 Cornwalls. To replace the stock Type B3 with motor run paper in oil
capacitors. I have no installed these crossovers yet.
Deang, Bob Crites, Al Kapplenger & Pophumper on the Klipsch forum build & sell crossovers. Deang
collaborated with Al Kapplenger for his current
crossover networks which are impedence tracking. Al Kapplenger builds ALK crossovers. Bob Crites
builds stock crossovers using GE polypropelene paper in oil motor run capacitors for Heritage speakers. Bob also repairs Klipsch speakers- midrange & tweeter diaphrams. Or will sell you the diaphrams for DIY. He will also sell cross-
over parts for DIY. I have never heard the ALK crossovers which are supposed to be a superior modern design.
Dgwescott/Deang, Bob Crites, Al Kapplenger and Pophumper are all good honest individuals. I have dealt with Deang and can highly reccomend his services. I can also highly recommend Bob Crites. He repaired & replaced a midrange diaphram on my La Scalas with fast turnaround time last month. There are many satisfied customers on the Klipsch Forum whom will also sing the praises of these honest businessmen.
Thanks for the response and I am interested however, my speakers are in Fairfield, CA. Your price, does it include the entire upgrade plus your labor? I have very little experience soldering so, am not too willing to experiment on my speakers.
Thanks for your kind reply, my address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and saludos, Rolando.
PS. It is refreshing to find out that there are others that like and value the Klipsch Chorus II speakers. I always felt so inferior to those with those high brow brands.
Good to hear. "I stumble into your response half a year later." I have upgraded to the titanium mids and tweets and notice a nice improvement especially when I did the mids. Next up the crossover upgrade. Debating whether I will go with a sonicap upgrade with Bob Crites or go for the Dean G crossovers.
Shoot over to the Klipsch Forum where you can get gobs of suggestions from the likes of Bob Crites and Dean Wescott and many others.