Klipschorn: Still relevant??


I'm interested in stirring the pot which is my current system. Please see my system for more details but, in summary, I'm conteplating moving from a Cary beam power/triode & Von Schweikert VR4JR based system to a SET/Klipschorn system.

In general, would you consider the move to be "better" or just different. Or worse?? Better being defined as higher fidelity for most types of acoustic music.

Really curious. Your opinion matters! I have to buy most of my equipment without hearing it and have to rely on reputations, opinions, reviews, etc.

Thanx
pawlowski6132
Postscript: Has anyone experienced Cary SETs with Klipschorns?
FWIW, I am using a pair of Klipsch LaScala's in an all
tube system, and I am amazed! And I am not a total
rookie at this, and have owned some pretty amazing
& high dollar speaker systems and alway's blown off
Klipsch because of their mainly "non high end statis"
but came across a pair for cheap, and they have blown
me away. No speaker is perfect, but the Khorns should
be fantastic coupled with the right equipment...IMO
no SS, but tubes only.
People can argue till the cows come home, but I think a
proper system used with the Khorns will blow you away.
I never had the VR4JR, but had the VR2's. Not a snowballs
chance against the K's.
So yes they are more than relevant!

Main strenght's are (with right equipment)

Dynamics & tight bass
Speed
PRAT (musicality)
Air
Vocals

Weaknesses (with wrong equipment)

Bright
Honky
(I had SS with a pair of smaller Klipsch..Yuck!!)
I don't know if the system you propose would be "Better" than what you have, but I do know that I love the sound of the Klipchorn, especially with loud orchestral works, or rock music. I have a buddy with a pair of late 1950's era (think they are 1959), that he runs with modern McInstosh tubes (sorry, not sure of the models), and uses these for HT as well. He uses a Cary preamp, passes through the HT, and process movies and surround with an older Denon 3803. Vinyl and discs sound fantastic. Full, detailed, powerful, great bass. He uses no sub, room has good acoutics, without any treatment.

I love the Klipsch sound. Why don't they make any high end new models I always wonder??
Telescope - thanx for the insightful words. One question that comes to mind after reading your post is; is there any meaningful way to determine what the "right" amp is? I've heard that quite a few times now.

MacDadTX - Thank you too, if you check the Klipsch site like I did you'll notice that their Heritage collection is still comprised of the original lineup and they're still cranking 'em up. Although, I understand they're not cheap.
It is hard to try to say what the exact right amp
would be like anything else, but I would say a
good 300b or a EL34 based amp would be a good place
to start looking. As you know, you do not need a lot of power, so that opens up the door for a lot of great
amps. Right now I am running KT88's but am going back
to EL 34's.
Somthing that is known for a rich, full bodied sound.
Also maybe not to much silver wire in the system would
be a good path.

You are right, they still make the Heritage line,
and they are pretty expensive. Here is an interesting
site you may want to check into if you do not already
own the Khorns.

http://shinallandcompany.com/

Looks like Klipsch, but cheaper!?!?

Good luck!
Hi,

I have a SET ( Wright 2A3 monoblocks ) which I use with 1979 Klipsch Cornwalls. I also use a EICO HF-81 (circa 1959 el84 williamson design pp amp ) and a Cary SLI-80 ( in the triode mode ) with them. The Wrights sound the best ... detailed, articulate, fast and plenty of bass and volume, a midrange and highs to die for and outstanding imaging ( side to side and front to back ) with these high efficiency speakers. The horns can only be better. I wish I had the room for them.

BTW, Klipsch still produces the La Scala, the Bells, the Klipschorns, the Heresys and will soon add the Cornwalls to current production.

To get sets and Khorns is IMHO a dream set up.

good listening,

Larry
Larry, Did I hear you right! Did you you say the Cornwall is coming back into production? How and where did you get that info from? I'm asking because I've been searching for a clean pair of Cornwall 2's for the longest time.
have you ever listened to horn speakers in general even if they werent khorns,i would reccomend that before you buy or sell anything that you try to hear atleast one pair of high effeciency horn speakers.

ive owned most of the klipsch heratige line including klipschorns & i liked them very much even though i much prefered solid state amps over tube amps with my khorns.

i dont really buy into the saying'properly set up system'to me its just a way people blow off bad reviews by saying the system must of been set up poorly.

to mee it all boils down to weather you like the horn sound or not & the horn sound isnt for everybody.
SET/Klipschorn is the most gratifying, lifelike sound I've experienced, bar none. However, it was not a simple plug 'n play process. It worked for us because of four things:

1) Finding the best NOS tube combination for the amps
2) Modding the speakers (Dampen horns/Update x-overs/Re-wire with silver)
3) Experimenting with cabling that worked best for the system, even if it was expensive. We went from $200 IC's to $800 IC's, but doing that--as well as adding a preamp--enabled us to sell our sub, because we were getting so much more full range music as a result of the cable/preamp change. Simple rule that we had: Don't guess at the result without trying it first. If it works, keep it. If not, re-sell it. You don't lose anything by trying out various used cable options.
4) Getting the best possible source we could afford, which was THE most important factor. If you wonder whether or not your source sounds digital, has glare, or just isn't up to snuff, the K-horns will make you wonder no more. You'll have your answer in a jiffy. Because if there's something to be heard, they will project it.

A fellow audiophile asked me the other day how our system could sound this good for less than the price of his speakers. Because the SET/K-horn combination is like sushi. When done right, you feel like you're eating with the royals. And when done poorly, you just want to vomit and never come near it again.
I inherited two pairs of Klipschorns and a pair of LaScalas some years ago. I lived and listened to music through them for probably two years before becoming completely dissatisfied with the sound. I ended up going with speakers that are no where near as efficient, but sound far more natural, in my opinion (different models of Vandersteens).
I always liked listening to 60's rock on the K-Horns, and they were definetely fun to listen to early on... You really need to hear them before purchasing them to live with.

Will
hi Rod 1957,

Yes you heard me right. Check out the Klipisch two channel forum and do a search on the Cornwall III's. They are planning to bring them back on the market and have a prototype. They are still tweeking them for the best overall sound. Probably a few months before relase and the selling price is not set yet.

In lew of that put a post on the forum that your are looking for a clean set of Cornwalls, I got mine that way for $850.00, a 1979 set, and I love them.

good listening,

Larry
Will,

What were you running the Klipsch with? That's the funny thing about this hobby, I did the same thing
( became dissatisfied with most other speakers I had
from Green Mountain C-3's to Vienna to VMPS to..etc
...etc...etc... too damn many to count.
It all depends on your taste and system. I will say
BS to anyone who thinks system matching & setup is not
important.
I have "waisted" thousands upon thousands of $$ going
for the latest & greatest BS. Funny how you can have
friends & family hardly EVER comment on something but
will be nice just not to hurt feelings. Then you get
something like the Klipsch and everyone comments on how
it is the best the system has ever sounded. Hmmm who is right and who is wrong. I have been guilty big time of
getting initally carried away with a new speaker (or amp,
or whatever)only to become tired of it soon.
Point being, I spent $500 dollars (chump change) and have
better sound than my last 20 pair of speakers.
Nothing yet has beat my Wisdom D75 Dipoles yet though.

Bottom line...listen to anything before you buy if you can
but don't get to caught up in this because I know first hand
how much mark up there is on "some" of this stuff and it
would make you sick.

As most everyone agrees on...trust "only" your ears!
hi Telescope_Trade,

Your handle can only mean, I think, that your are in some way interested in telescopes. So am I, particularly in asto imaging. See my web site with images taken with a Takahashi Mewlon 250 and a SBIG ST10XME

http://starryforge.com

good listening,

Larry
H Larry,

Cool, I too had the Mewlon 250 on a EM 200 mount, sweet
scope! I'll check out the site thanks!

Bob
Klipschorns were the first truely great speaker I ever heard. Over many years and listening to many very good speaker systems, in my mind at least, they still rank very high as some of the best I've ever heard. My on going test for any speaker, does it sound like music, or simply music coming from a box. There is music in the mighty Klipschorn.
hi,,

"There is music in the mighty Klipschorn."

Amen to that. Just listen to them with a open mind.

good listening

Larry
Well, it certainly appears that the Khorns are worth a try. I'm going to listen to a pair this weekend I think. For those of you who have or are willing to chime in, can you comment on how fussy they are with regards to room and placement?


I owned the Heresy, LaScala's and CornwallÂ’s over the years. I never had a place that had two empty corners so I never got a chance to own the legend. I moved to the Paradigm Signature's now but I really miss the LaScala's at times. I have time and time again listened to the K horns and they are a real step up from the LaScala IMO. The only real problem with them is there size and room dimensions. In my living room the LaScalas were amazing ... in my smaller listening room - good but not great. Those horns like room.

Throw on Chicago's second album/CD and prepare for a treat! Miles Davis or Dizzy Gillespie aint so bad either.

I ran Carver equipment in the early years and switched back and fourth through tons of mid-grade stuff. I ended up spending a few more bucks and getting a Levinson No. 27 and I was in love. I never really did em justice. I wanted to run tubes but never got there. I heard the k-horns with a Mac amp once, and it was amazing to me. It takes so little to drive them ... they seem tailored for tubes. I would run Mac power, only because I heard it and was so impressed.
Klipschorns will probably always be relevant - they are a classic design. The K-horns do some things that other speakers only dream of. Of course, other speakers do some things that a K-horn can only dream of doing. It is all a matter of sonic priorities. What are your priorities? Careful...you can't have it all!
Klipsch do some things very well, but they are not modern speakers. If you want to get serious about horns you might want to consider something like the Classic Audio Reproduction line. They use much better drivers and parts than Klipsch and it's reflected in the sound quality.

If you're stuck on Klipsch, search the archives, there were several threads on how to upgrade their performance through relatively simple parts swaps.

In direct answer to your original question, no - the Klipsch will not be better than what you have if by better you mean higher levels of fidelity.
Onhwy61; "...,no - the Klipsch will not be better than what you have if by better you mean higher levels of fidelity." Yes, that is exactly what I mean. This is getting to the point of my original thread. Can you please expound on this a bit? What are the strengths of my current system, IYO, compared to a SET/Khorn system. Thanx much.
Pawlowski, it might be helpful if you stated what is so wrong with your system that you want to make such a major change. Your original post makes it sound like you're just bored and want to change just to change.

In broad generalizations, SETs can be very seductive, but it's critical that you match them to a sympathetic speaker and to appropriate music. Small scale jazz, female vocal oriented stuff, chamber music, etc. is better suited for most SETs than full scale orchestra, dance, metal, rap, etc. Of course there are people out there who listen to Metallica thru a single driver horn powered by 1.5 watts and think it sounds great, and you could be one of them, but most likely you're not. I've never heard the combination of equipment you have, but on paper it seems first rate. I suspect you will have a difficult time truly improving upon the overall sound quality. Exactly what are you trying to accomplish?
Onhwy61; Well, I was hoping no one would ask me that. Because, I don't have a good answer. There is some truth in the observation however that I'm just changing to change. I'm mostly curious. I don't have a HiFi store near me, I've never been to a HiFi show, and I don't know anyone that is into this hobby. So, right now, the grass on the other side that I've only read about seems greener. I might have a really great sounding system but, how do I know? Yeah, I like it but, I might like something else more right? I listen to about 60% acoustic music (orchestral, jazz, bluegrass, pop/rock) and 40% EVERYTING else. The only legitimate complaint I have about my current system is the room. And, I can change that. With this thread, and everyone's valuable experience and insight I'm really hoping to mitigate the risk in selling off what might be a good system for another that I won't enjoy as much. You make a persuasive point that I should sit tight. Ignorance IS bliss. This damn Audiogon!!!!
hi.

"Klipsch do some things very well, but they are not modern speakers. If you want to get serious about horns you might want to consider something like the Classic Audio Reproduction line. They use much better drivers and parts than Klipsch and it's reflected in the sound quality.

If you're stuck on Klipsch, search the archives, there were several threads on how to upgrade their performance through relatively simple parts swaps.

In direct answer to your original question, no - the Klipsch will not be better than what you have if by better you mean higher levels of fidelity"

I just love it when someone suggests I spend 10000 dollars on a set of horns that MAY be a little bit better then the Cornwalls I spent 700 dollars on.


good listening

Larry
My point exactly Larry...If I made one!???!??

;o)

BTW...Pawlowski6132, from what you listen to, any of the
Klipsch Heritage line would be a great choice IMO.

Ya know, why don't you try to find a pair and if
able, just buy them (if you can't listen first) and
sell them if you don't like em. They can be had very
reasonable in most cases, and hold their resale value
pretty well.

If you do not have a big room with two solid corners
go with any model below the Khorn.
Larry510, you're the one who claims the CARs may be a little better than your Cornwalls. Others might not be so kind.

Pawlowski, do yourself a favor. Don't change anything. There are better systems than yours, some might even be less expensive than what you spent, but ultimately what difference does any of that make as long as you like the way your system performs. If you need a point of reference, then start a post about starting an audiophile club. There could be dozens of people who live near you in the same situation you are. If that doesn't work, take a vacation and visit some manufacturers factories. Most factories have really good reference systems that they might let you listen to. Call ahead of time and make arrangements. The cost of the travel is way less than the time, effort and money spent swapping out equipment that makes other people happy.
hi

Onhwy61, your missing the point. The man asked about Khorns which can be bought used from 1550 to 2500 dollars. The speakers you referred to were 4x as much.
Larry510, why should he spend up to $2,500 to get inferior overall sound than what he already has?
telescope_trade

either i didnt explain well enough or you misunderstood,either way here is what i meant,i do believe that set up & matching systems is important but what i dont believe is this.

just about everytime somebody says that they are unhappy with the sound from klipsch gear & or tube gear we all hear the same thing,there must be somthing wrong with the set up,for somebody to just throw that out there without ever hearing the system is silly & usually a self serving justification of their own gear.

what i think is bs is that alot of guys cant come to grips that klipsch & tubes really isnt bliss for everybody & make excuses as to why the owner is unhappy with his sound.

mike.
hi,

Onhwy61

have you heard the two side by side ? if not your opinion means nothing

Now Pawlowski6132 can do just that if he wants. Buy a pair of horns for about 2000 listen to both and sell the one he wants to. If he sells the horns he'll get what he paid for them

Larry
To BigJoe,

I understand what you are saying. And what you AND I
are saying is the same ole merrygoround crap that happens
on every thread like this. Everyone loves what they have
even for a little while, but while I have spent thousands
upon thousands on all the latest keep up with the Jones's
type of HYPE, I am amazed at picking up a $500 pair of
speakers that sound more like music than most anything
I have owned, I am happy as hell!
NO, it won't be for everyone but compared to just the
VS4JR's he has, I think he may stand a great chance of liking the Klipsch better. Maybe not, I do not know as I never have heard them, but if they are not in a totally
different league than the VR2's I owned, the VS could be in
serious trouble IMO.
I mean I was unhappy with my Green Mountain C-3's
after a short while, and tried like hell to get them to
sound good in my big room, but couldn't. I did not make
excuses, I just don't think they were that good and sold
them. That's just my opinion. But I would not trade
my Klipsch for a BN pair of them or a ton of other
high$$ speakers I just owned. (unless just to resell)
His original question was just wondering if he could
"potentially" like the Khorn system better. I just happen
to think he might that is all.

Take care,
Bob
I just wanted everyone to know I appreciate the passionate responses and am digesting them all thoroughly.
hi,

RE: Klipsch there is always a lot a c**p slung around, at least on this forum. The folks who like them say so, usually in a nice way. The folks who have tried them and don't say so, usually in a nice way. A lot of folks who have not heard them or owned them bash them for some reason beyond my understanding.

If your curious, try them. Buy them used and ypu can't lose any bucks.

For other opinions look and do a search on Khorns in the Klipsch 2 Channel forum or the audio asylum SET and High Efficiency speakers forum.

good listening

Larry
hi,

BTW there a lot of easy inexpensive tweeks you can do on Khorns such as getting new crossovers and rope calking the tweeter or squaker horns to mellow them a little bit if that's your inclination. The formus have a lot of how to information on to do the tweeks and where to buy the crossovers(around 200.00. If you ever have a problem with a driver in used Khorns, Klipsch still makes and sells replacemant drivers.

Larry
How many people are going to replace their speakers with Klipschorn?

That's what I thought.
Robm321, I guess that depends on what people are currently using. I think I have a nice pair of speakers but, want to move to SET amps. My current speakers won't work well with low powered speakers and I need a reasonably priced pair of high efficiency speakers.
How many people are going to replace their speakers with Klipschorn?

Exactly four whom I personally know. And they replaced $7-15K speakers. Clearly, not everyone thinks the way you do, Rob321.
hi,

Robm321 ... that's a teenagers response

hope you can do better nextr time

Larry
Larry510, is it possible for you to imagine that some people have listened to Klipsch (Heresy, LaScala, KHorn) speakers and didn't fall in love with them. Maybe they wanted a speaker that went deeper in the bass, or one that soundstaged with more front to back depth, or possibly a more refined treble range, or even a less forward midrange. Just try to imagine.

One size doesn't fit all.
Sorry to raise everyone's blood pressure, but I just don't see anyone going to Klipsch. Maybe I'm just not around all the hoards of people dropping their exotic speakers for Klipschorn.

Larry510,

Thanks! I'm glad I still have the vigor and attitude of my youth, instead of being set in my ways like a crusty old man.

Rob
Make shure you have two good corners to put them in or they will never sound right. If you half to, call klipsch the will help you.
Robm321

Sorry to raise everyone's blood pressure, but I just don't see "anyone" going to Klipsch....

Well you just seen it here!?!?!?

Onhwy61,

Larry510, is it possible for you to imagine that some people have listened to
Klipsch (Heresy, LaScala, KHorn) speakers and didn't fall in love with them.
Maybe they wanted a speaker that went deeper in the bass, or one that
soundstaged with more front to back depth, or possibly a more refined treble
range, or even a less forward midrange. Just try to imagine.

One size doesn't fit all.

True, but can you also see the exact opposite?? Like more
speed, more air, more LIFE! And for potentially a lot less money?? The Klipsch may not go
down to the cellar in bass, but it is among the tightest
I have ever heard.
BTW...I also have a great soundstage & very good depth!??!??

Geeeeeez, noboby is arguing Klipsch is for everyone!!!
The poster only asked a simple question.

Time for the thread to die!

Good luck Pawloski6132
hi

You didn't raise my blood pressure. I just thought the implication in your post was not well thought out.

Robm321

"Sorry to raise everyone's blood pressure, but I just don't see anyone going to Klipsch. Maybe I'm just not around all the hoards of people dropping their exotic speakers for Klipschorn."

Well Klipsch still makes and markets their Heritage line of speakers including the Khorn, Belles, La Scala, & Hersey II and will probably remarket the Cornwall. None of them are inexpensive. There must be a demand for them. The management of Klipsch must have a reason for continuing the line and that's sales and profits. Somebody must be buying them. I doubt that most folks with "exotic" spakers are trading them if for Khorns. Some people do including me.

good listening

Larry
hi

Onhwy61 said

" Larry510, is it possible for you to imagine that some people have listened to Klipsch (Heresy, LaScala, KHorn) speakers and didn't fall in love with them. Maybe they wanted a speaker that went deeper in the bass, or one that soundstaged with more front to back depth, or possibly a more refined treble range, or even a less forward midrange. Just try to imagine."

Yes it is possible for me to imagine that. Klipsch speakrs have a "house sound" that's not for everyone. But the same can be said of every manufacturer, some people love B&W, others like Silverline and on an on. I've listened to a large number of high end speakers at audio shows and friends homes. I never had anything bad to say about any of them. Klipsch just fit my needs better.

What irks me is how some people disparage a company or speaker without listening to them. I guess this is based on the fact that they are perceicved as "old technology". All I can say old is not always bad or inaccurate or low fidelity.
"You didn't raise my blood pressure. I just thought the implication in your post was not well thought out."

I can't argue with that, a lot of what I do isn't thought out.

Old isn't bad if you enjoy them. I listen to LPs. They are better than all the efforts of modern technology.

My point was that among the poeple I know, the name Klipschorn isn't ever mentioned. Nobody I know even considers them. I'm not saying they aren't a quality speaker, but just answering the question "still relevant?" - not in my admittedly little world.
Okay, it's been fun reading. My 2 cents is there could be better speakers out there, but if you're knocking K-Horns, you have more money than brains. How could anybody not like the Klipsch Heritage line? They are clear as a bell and life-like - at least with rock, orchestra, blues. I hear this stuff written to the critics about "not set up right." Well, if you can't pretty much "plug and go," there's an equipment problem. I bought my $700 used pair of Cornwalls 20 years ago (used). The guy was running a mediocre Marantz receiver through them (probably 70-80 watts/channel). They were loud and garbled. My brother had LaScalas and told me "take the Cornwalls - the seller's Marantz could not do them justice." I did. I matched them up with a Crown Microtech 1200 (clean, powerful PA amp). Those "little" Cornballs are poppin' loud and clear. When you give 'em a little push, the sound will literally move the hair on your arms and still be as clear as a bell. I've had a few friends get scared flames were gonna pop out from the amp. That's how loud they'll go - and they are very, very clear. It all sounds good through them. Santana, Rush, Steely Dan, Chicago, The Who, ELO. If your Klipsch Heritage line sounds bad, your amp sucks... period! Change the amp, not the speakers.
To me a great speaker is a great speaker, no matter when it was made, same with an amp, turntable etc.

I have had my Khorns for 10 years and enjoy them very much, especially with tubes.

What they do, no other speaker does, is it the be end all etc ?? or the only way to go ?? of course not.

Everytime I fire them up, I say to myself, well done Mr. Klipsch, very well done indeed.

So are they still relevant ?....I think so.
I am a Magnepan guy. There I said it. But the first thing that I will buy when I build my home addition next year, which is really just a meadia room, is a pair of Klipschorns, and some McIntosh gear to drive it. What a great sound, best rock speakers ever built. I will keep my Maggies, maybe even move up to the holy grail of the 20.1's, but I have longed for the Klipschorns for years, and can't wait to get them. So I will have a 2 dedicated 2 channel systems that sound completely different? So shoot me. These are still a great speaker, as are Tannoy's, the old Bose 901's, AR1 - 3, Quad 57's, 63, 988, 988. In a subjective hobby such as this some iconic items retain their luster because they earned their accolades. Would anyone not want to drive a perfectly kept 63 Corvette, or mid 60's Astin Martin?? That's a better analogy.
Hey, are you going to change??
Macdadtexas, was that last question directed at me?