For that large of a room (and your listening tastes) try to audition Vandersteen speakers. Another option might be to have the K-Horns veneered in an exotic wood and/or another finish which would better suite your "new" look.
If you love the pros and cons of horns look for Avant Garde Unos or Duos used. But if I were you I would keep the K Horns and update your amp and preamp. I owned the Hafler combo you had for about 8 yrs and swaped out the pre with a tubed preamp. Talk about night and day. The music was much more 3 dimensionable and live! Then I sold my La Scalas and went with Legacy Focus. I was very pleased with the change in sonic character. I then purchased a old used NYAL Moscode 600 ( great amp! ). I have been really pleased with my current set up. Not the lastest or greatest but at least I did not break the bank. Best regards
I am familiar with the K-horns, as my father used to own a pair. The main problem you face is buying a speaker that can recreate the sheer volume of sound that the k-horns can create without spending alot. You were probably listening to the B&W Nautilus 802s at that store. Great speaker, but you might need a little more power than what you have. If allowed, keep the K-horns--change the finish, as suggested above--and then upgrade the electronics. Let us know what your maximum budget might be for speakers if you have to sell the k-horns. 2k for speakers might not provide the lower extension you need if you listen to piano, nor fill the room you have described.
I recommend you keep the K-horns. If you've been enjoying your music through them for 25 years, you will most certainly miss the effortless dynamics and the room filling capability. If, as the other members suggest, you change the veneer and grill they should blend into your large room rather nicely. Add an SET tube amp and you will be in audio nirvana. Good luck and good listening!
More of same: the Klipsch are keepers IMO -- even if one day they end up as a secondary set. At $2k it is doubtful that you'll find better USED (forget new) -- and even if you do, you'll be entering a long (and expensive) phase of electronics upgrading to make the new speakers sing. Also, contrary to Klipsch playing well in corners, most other speakers like to sit out close to the MIDDLE of a room...
Rather, upgrade the "looks" as suggested and, maybe, sink $2k (or whatever's left after veneers etc) into a good used preamp. Later, you can upgrade the power amp if you wish (SET is a good choice with Klipsch, so are lower powered class A ss).
I'm sure your wife & you will enjoy the Klipschs' new sound and looks!
Yes! PLEASE keep the K-horns. Don't let them go, I believe you would regret selling them for the reasons mentioned in all the above posts. I have read and respected comments that the above audiophiles have written, and I have come to respect their opinions. Although other modern speakers are good, Those K-horns are very special. At least keep them for another system or as back up.
Okay, okay, he can keep them! I'm the evil wife who finally had had enough of these huge speakers (it wasn't the veneer, just the size). After reading your passionate responses to the idea of selling the K-horns, I give up. So now the question is, if, as several of you suggested, he needs a SET tube amp to reach audio nirvana, what is a SET tube amp? And what do I have to pay to buy one for him for Christmas? AlmaB
Mce: KEEP those horns! I'd take 'em in a heartbeat if I had corners, but I don't so that's why I've stuck with my classic Belles (same drivers & x-over as Khorns but in a beautifully woodworked box cabinet) for >20 years. I like mine with about 200 watts/ch of *quality* solid state amp (presently running Accuphase) which barely strains much over 5 watts on the output meters. All the rest is for headroom, which compliments those great horn dynamics wonderfully.
If you want better sound then now is the time to look at cabling upgrades: MIT MH750 speaker cables synergize very well with this combo (I now have the Magnum BiWire version after upgrading from older MH750+). Synergistic Research interconnects & upgrade AC cords are your next step in the right direction. Spike those speaker cabinets too (I liked the BBC MK2 gold plated brass cones). You can even install some upgrade ALK crosovers & a *bunch* of other tweaks to make your already great speakers even better (see the Klipsch website bulletin board under "upgrading older speakers"). Perhaps some some better equipment too, but realize that the Hafler matches up so nice with your Klipsch because Halfer has mosfet outputs. Of all the amps I've tried with my Belles, mosfet's always worked the best. Some models of Perreaux & Classe would be worth trying, or the Ayre V3 is *very* nice too (email me for details regarding a good deal on that one - hint). I've always had noise problems when running tubes w/Klipsch because they're so darned sensitive - any little tube rush noises, microphonics, oscillations etc. were just awful even with a tube pre & SS pwr.amp. The only tube pre I ever liked was a very quiet Golden Tube SEP-2 or SEP-3.
What other speaker can give you those great horn dynamics & also work well without being placed all the way out in the room? I just don't know - there may not be anything else? Lowthers I've read about but the bass is reportedly compromised. Avantgardes yes, but they're crazy expensive compared to what you have & also look even more unconventional than what you have (wife might *really* cringe) plus I don't know if they even work at all when placed up close to walls?
Whatever you do, don't listen to the wife; she just doesn't know what you have there! Speakers are about SOUND, not necessarily architecture / interior deco. Don't do something that you'll absolutely regret for the rest of your life!
Correction, Bob: *DO* listen to the wife ->). She kindly offered to KEEP the Khorns AND look into an SET for them!!!
Re, SET (=single-ended triodes) is an amp design. There are many in the market, most are expensive. The sound is dynamic, with good clarity & transient attack allowing you to enjoy (jazz) piano, small ensembles, etc.
I would subscribe to the SET amplifiers idea, BUT would urge for a preamplifier first. As a pre "controls" the system (its "heart", if you will), an improvement here would be very perceptible and gratifying!
The $2k mentioned in the original thread would go a long way towards purchasing a good quality, hi-resolution and musical pre (probably used) that includes a "phono" section to accomodate your vinyl playback.
An excellent Xmas present I'm sure!
Yes I see that Alma has regained her sanity - thank the audio gods! Agree that a high quality preamp is the heart of the matter here; my philosophy is that the pre (if you use one) should be the best piece in your system.
Also another good mosfet amp candidate is the Meitner monoblocks.
Yes buying used is safe (at least it is here on Audiogon, use caution on ebay) but DO know your seller via member feedback, verified member, check with other members that they've dealt with (as shown on their feedback) make those phone calls, trust your gut feelings, that sort of thing. Most of us here have done well by following this basic common-sense approach.
Here comes the lone dissenter... Sell the K horns and pick up a pair of psb stratus golds (under $2000. used) I did several years ago and never once have I regretted the change. The golds are efficient, dynamic and will play loud, and you wont be ducking from that honky horn every time you turn it up. If you do decide to keep them, than you really should try to at least get a tube pre amp, as the tubes really do make quite a difference. (they were designed and voiced with tubes) I had serious misgivings about parting with mine, but as I said, it was the best move i made in a long time. Good luck whatever you decide, and keep us posted. Mike