La Scala vs Klipschorn

I had a pair of Klipschorns for several years, many years ago. To tell the truth, other than I remember them positively, I don't remember much else. (Age takes it's toll!)

I'm considering buying a pair of Klipschorns or a pair of La Scala to replace my ESS/Heil speakers that have more-or-less turned to mush after twenty years.

Anyone care to tell me the differences between the two speakers?

Klipschorns need to be put in corners.
I've listened to both side by side in the same ($20K tube) system. As indicated, the K-horns were designed specifically to give optimum performance placed in the corners of the room. They are also quite larger in height and overall volume than the LaScala's. The sound of both is quite clean and forward, but the Khorns give a more authorative and lower bass (placed in the corners) than the LaScala's. I could certainly live with either given the right space to put the K-horns. The LaScala's may be more versatile since they don't have such rigid placement requirements. I own 1977 LaScala's and absolutley love them. Never heard a pair of ESS/Heil speakers so cannot comment there. I would not use either Klipsch with a SS system, but there are those who would disagree on that point. My opinion is that it that there are better combinations than SS + horns. Tubes + horns is heaven to my ears when done right.

The K-horns will have greater bass weight and extension compared to stock La Scala's.

Something else to consider would be the height of your ears above ground when seated at your listening position. The K-horns are noticeably taller than the La Scala's from what i can recall. As such, the ratio of mids / highs to lows might vary noticeably depending on which speakers you had and where your ears were situated in terms of the radiation pattern of each speaker. Sean
Sean is right.
My k-horns do sit a bit too tall for my room/heighth.
big difference in tonal balance between sitting to standing while listening.The LaScala's are better in that respect.
If you have the room,[BIG} I would probably still go for the K-horns for the improved bass.The Lascalas were designed for P.A. use by Paul and first used at a presidential event so I don't think deep bass was a prime
They were designed for Truman so he could address rallys from a travelling train. It had to be efficient because it was a mobile system. Bass was not an issue, but none of the Klipsh speakers have low bass. The bass they do have though is very convincing. I owned 1977 La Scala's for a number of years. I have listened to K-Horns quite a lot. If I had the space and wasn't planning to move for a long time, there is no question I would go for the K-Horns. The house I was in did not have suitable corners--so I went with La Scalas.
Jax2, what tube gear are you using?

I use my Klipschorns with false corners which does not limit you to using them in two 45 degree corners. Check out the forum for that simple solution.
Klipsch used to publish a very useful paper called "dope from Hope" {Hope,Arkansas was/is where Klipsch factory is located.Lots of usefull klipsch stuff.Some of the members on the Klipsch forum could provide fotocopies of them for you. I believe Paul Klipsch used false corners for his own system.I've used them myself and they do work as well as stuffing them in a actual corner.
If you use false corners, you have to make sure that they are VERY dead. Otherwise, they will act like a giant passive radiator and contribute their own sonic signature / resonances to what you are hearing. Sean
Kubrickorange- I use a pair of Quicksilver mono 300B SET amps one of which you can see here , with a Cary SLP-50A Pre. Front end is a Muse Model 5 Transport and Model 2 Plus DAC.


That looks like a beautiful amp. Do they still make that? Also, have you ever listened to Wright Sound's 2A3 amp, the WPA3.5? I really want to listen to both Wright & Quicksilver on my Klipschorns to satisfy my curiosity about tube gear. Wright offers a 15 day trial, so I will definitely take up that offer as soon as I can afford it. A recurring comment from most tube owners is the reproduction of a very good three dimensional image, something I haven't really noticed with my SS gear. To be continued.
Afraid not Kubrickorange. Mike Sanders made only about four pairs of the 300B SET's that I own one of. Mike will be the first to tell you that he is not a big fan of the inherent harmonic distoritions imparted by the 300B/SET design (was it 3rd order harmonic distortions?). Mike did an experiment designing several Triode designs to see how far he could take the design and how he liked them. He made these as well as several prototype examples of EL34-based amps that run in Triode (which I have also owned and also enjoyed, though they lacked the air and presence the 300B's have in spades). I know precious little about such audio tech-talk that fills the pages of Stereophile and the like, but I do know that I LOVE the way these things sound with my LaScala's. They are very engaging, holographic with plenty of air and atmosphere. They are particularly wonderful with strings and female vocals....oh, and horns too. I just had a fellow A'goner stop by on a visit from AZ to hear my system and I think he did enjoy it. I'll point him to this thread to comment (Peter_S). I mentioned to him that though Mike Sanders refuses to make any more SET amps, in spite of customer demand to do so (he really doesn't like them), he is making a wonderful Triode amp based on the 6C33C tube used by BAT and LAMM in their amps. I have not heard it but a good friend who I do respect loves his.

I actually had the pleasure of visiting with George Wright and visiting him in his home/workshop. He's a very nice fellow and very knowledgeable about tubes and his designs. He has one of the most amazing personal collections of vintage tubes I've seen. I have a snapshot I did somewhere which I'm sure he wouldn't mind if I posted, of that collection on the shelves of his workshop. I look for it. Regretably I have not heard his gear in an ideal system and room, so I cannot comment from direct experience other than to say some of his designs have wonderful reviews and he has a significant following. The 2A3 design he makes is supposed to be of his best, but does require some efficient speakers to sing. The Klipshorns ought to do it, but I think it will depend on your musical preferences and expectations from a system. If I were to make a very general comparison in George Wright's designs compared to Mike Sanders' I would say that Sanders overbuilds his gear using beefy hand-wired transformers and huge caps, while George uses just what is needed. Since I've not heard George's gear I cannot say which works best. Both gentlemen know their products and are both passionate and knowledgeable. In my experience both are very approachable, honest and well versed in the market and the strengths and weeknesses of their products, and know tubes like nobody's business. I'm told George also makes a great phono-pre too. I was only delivering a pair of (Klipsch) speakers down to him for a friend of mine back East. I was delighted he offered to show me around his home and workshop, but most of the contents were in various stages of assembly so I did not hear them.

Peter_S asked that I post my system to the Gon', which I've been meaning to do for a while. I'll get it online soon. Meanwhile, I can say that I like it very much, and it has converted more than half a dozen hard-core SS users, some with VERY expensive systems, over to tubes. I am using the Wester Electric 300B's so I suppose that helps some. Anyway, it's a great combo to my ears. I would call it a warm system, and in that regard it is 'colored', so if you are looking for analytical, look elsewhere.

Thanks for your compliments on the amp...I had a metal artist friend make some cages for them to satisfy my wife's desire to keep them less primitive looking. I designed the cages with a hole to reveal the 300B tube. I'll have to photograph them again when I get a chance as they look good both ways.


Regarding Marco's setup, I've been up in the Pacific Northwest for about a week and made a point to stop and visit Marco to hear his system. A very enjoyable evening indeed, exposing each other to new music, and just enjoying the wonderful sound of his system! I'm about to run out to a meeting, and won't have email for a couple of days, so I just thought I'd get some impressions down before I leave. The Lascala's thru Marcos amps were very engaging and immediate. Yes, the sound was warm and somewhat colored, but in a way you can love like a family member and ultimately dissappears with the joy of listening to the music. It's the kind of system you just want to keep listening to. It sounded great with the horns of the Nuclear Whales Orchestra, and Renee Fleming, guitar and piano. Again, very warm, pleasing, and immediate. Gotto go off to a meeting! More when Marco posts his system on the 'gon!

Thank you for such an informative response! I feel the key here is whether as Peter_s mentions, the system is engaging, and that is exactly what I'm looking for. If that means a colored system, so be it. I have been longing for the type of sound that puts me into a different world, the one that makes me forget about work and the like. You have strengthened my interest in listening to Quicksilver as well, so as funds permit, I will listen to Mr. Sanders gear as well as Mr. Wright's.
You are most welcome Kubrickorange. You are quite right in letting your OWN ears be the final judge, and Mike and George both provide distinctive products that should work well with your K-horns. I'll be very curious to know how you feel about each when you've listened. The Quicksilver Triode is a pretty pricy pair of amps, but my friend back East insists they are on parr with the Lamms at about half their price. I cannot comment one way or the other except to say that I have found his opinion to be one I respect in the past. This same 2nd-hand comment really pissed off a few people on the Asylum, so I'll tell you the obvious here...take it with a whole bag of salt and make your own judgements, as you've indicated. I'd really like to hear The Triode's myself. Should you ever find yourself in the Seattle area you are most welcome to stop by and have a listen to my system. The only thing I ask is that you bring some of your favorite music with you in the form of CD's (no TT on the home system...sorry). Love to share new music with folks, and become introduced to new artists by others (thanks Peter_S!!).

I agree with your emphasis on the engaging aspects of a system. I've always tended to judge a system by how easy it is to walk away from when playing music I enjoy. The best systems I've heard, including my own, I find very difficult to walk away from. It's much like the warm embrace of an old friend or close family just savor those moments!

Realize too there are those among us who do prefer SS gear with Klipsch. A'gon Member Bob_Bundus runs his Belle's that way and has spoken very highly of his preference for SS and the sound of his system. I've personally never heard SS sound good with horns, but I've also never heard Bob's system. There's more than one way to skin a grape, I guess is what I'm trying to say. Some even prefer the skin left on!

Good luck with your pursuits! Let us know what you come up with!


Are there people out there that actually "peel" grapes before eating them ? I thought that this was just a saying and not some part of reality.... Sean
07-18-03: Sean Asked:
Are there people out there that actually "peel" grapes before eating them ? I thought that this was just a saying and not some part of reality.... Sean

Oh gosh no! Never peel the grapes yourself. Have someone else do it for you! It's really time consuming and you've probably got better things to do.


Thanks for the invite. Doubt I'll be on the west coast anytime soon, but one never knows. I still have yet hear Avantgarde's out of sheer curiosity. Everytime I visit family in Atlanta, I call the dealer there and he doesn't have them setup yet. That's been going on for over eight months.

Right now I'm running my Theta Miles directly into a Pass Aleph 30. It sounds nice, but I feel I would be foolish to not sample what tubes have to offer, especially with the horns.

I will be sure to share my listening impressions. Thanks again for the great information!