I once owned a pair of Klipshorns for about a year. I was never able to make them sound very good. Everything sounded HUGE which is good for some music - Pink Floyd comes to mind - but music that should sound life-sized was also HUGE. Voices emanated from the ceiling, mid-bass dominated everything (until I used an equalizer), there wasn't much of a sense of depth, and the sweetspot was about an inch wide.

Nevertheless, many people think they are the best speaker ever made. I'm willing to blame my experience on the room and/or the inability to find the magic combination of associated components. I'd like to hear them again in a system where everything is right. Was my experience unusual?
How close were you seated to them? Old horn styles require 15 feet @ least, from my experience with them years ago, in order for them to sound right. Even 20-25 feet was not an uncommon listening distance, where I grew up in the Midwest, for nice sounding residential horn systems. Many of these speakers were also used in bars, meeting halls/auditoriums and movie theaters with huge rooms. I did not pay much attention to the "size" of the sound back then, but did acknowledge a more seemless presentation as the listening distance increased (it just sounded a lot better, more like music and less like speakers, even to a kid). Hard to guess as to what your listening room did to the sound as they are so variable.
I knew someone that bought a pair. He hated them. Returned after a week.
my brothers both owned Klipsch KG 5.5s and though they sounded good (in HT IMO) I never thought they gave a true to life performance for music. Too bright IMO.
While I'm not even close to believing that Klipsch's are the best ever made (of course they're not) they are still a pretty good speaker & I wouldn't trade mine for anything except maybe even better horns such as the Avantgarde's. I love the dynamics of horns; mine stage quite well & have a natural sound that cone speakers haven't provided in my room; so your experiences I believe were setup related. These speakers are SO very sensitive & revealing that if the source & setup isn't good then you will definitely know about it. I experienced none of your complaints, & you are correct in that synergy is the secret to getting them to really deliver.
So many people talk about mating horns with tubes, & in fact these classic designs were made back when tubes were the only gamne in town. However I've tried driving them with many different components & my best results are with mosfet amps. Perreaux works quite well, as does Ayre Acoustics, McCormack, Monarchy, classic Luxman, & of course Accuphase. A very quiet tube preamp such as a Golden Tube SEP2 or SEP3 works very nicely driving a solid state mosfet amp. Another quiet one is the AMC 1070s Tube Preamp. A number of other expensive & highly regarded tube pre's were revealed by the horns as so noisy & microphonic as to be unbearable. Right now I also have an Accuphase pre (solid state) & the combo is magic.
Cabling synergy is also very important, again I suppose due to the sensitive & revealing nature of these horns. MIT speaker cable does a real nice job for me, the MH750 Magnum biwire. Interconnects, AC cords, line conditioning, clean source components, tweaks: all are critical. It's a lot of fussing around to get it right but when you do get there it's just amazing. Up to you if it's worth the hassle; it is for me.
I agree with Bob. Too many folks have purchased Klipsch speakers because they play loud. Given an excellent source, clean power and proper set-up they sound really good. But then, most speakers will.
It has been my experience that the "classic" Klipsch speakers make a WONDERFUL test-bed for upgrades and modifications. I will say that they are very much built to a price point and benefit from some very inexpensive modifications. The difference between stock and modified speakers is like night and day. Not only do you keep all of the "jump factor" of the high efficiency design and wide dispersion of the horns, you gain TONS in terms of smoothness, detail, warmth, etc... All of the glare and "honk" of the horns is gone and you are left with a phenomenally fast, dynamic and transparent high efficiency speaker. Too bad they just won't do low bass : (

If i ever get the time, i've got another set of La Scala's to do sitting in my basement. When i rebuild these, i'm going to go all out and document each step with digital photos for reference purposes. I will probably not even use the existing cabinets for multiple reasons. While all of my Klipsch notes are still locked up in my old computer ( still haven't gotten it running yet ), i'm sure that i'll have a LOT to add to the list. Sean
I have had a fair amount of exposure to the Klipschorns
and I can really tell you first hand that it is a 'classic'
but very tired and old design for a speaker. First, it just
is not very accurate. Secondly, the imaging is just way
exagerated. Thirdly, the bass is a joke compared to today's
best designed. Not only that but you must find corners for
them which is absolutely the worst places for speakers to
be backed into. This is a design that belongs in a museaum,
not in the home of a true audiophile.