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This summer My girlfriend and I are building a studio apartment in her dads garage. It will be 20” by 36” with vaulted ceilings. My Girlfriend is good at doing sheet rock and So we have an open slate in how we plan to lay out our apartment. I plan on boxing off a 20” by 16’ area for my home theater. I will keep two corners clear so I can slide the Klipschorns in.

Any suggestions on powering the Klipschorns, I know the horns are easy to drive but the bottom half with the big (I think 15” woofer) driver would require more power. And any other setup suggestions would be helpful.
 

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Re: The I Remember Thread

Anything can drive them. They are one of the most efficient speakers ever made. I remember driving them with a little 15w Marantz integrated amp and a NAD 3020 just to see what they would do when I used to sell them and they were amazingly easy to drive. Even the dog receivers of the early 80s with the ICs for outputs could crank them.
 

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Re: The I Remember Thread

Any suggestions on powering the Klipschorns, I know the horns are easy to drive but the bottom half with the big (I think 15” woofer) driver would require more power. And any other setup suggestions would be helpful.
You can drive the Klipschorns quite well with anything more powerful than an alarm clock. :bigsmile: The low frequency is also a (folded) horn that combines with the corner placement to create a very efficient transfer of energy from the driver to air.

That is really their entire reason for being. They were designed when audio watts were rare and precious things, so getting lifelike reproduction levels from the amplifiers of their day required high sensitivity.

Just grab the best sounding amplifier that is in your budget, don't worry about the Watts count and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great! I was hoping to use my Onkyo 100 watt receiver with the 2nd room feature to power the klipschorns. I also need to put a finnish on the wood and do not know what I should use. Something dark would be nice.
 

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Someone I kind of know would just about explode with a barrage of suggestions/orders on what to do..

I'll tone it down, and regurgitate what he would say:
  1. rip out the passive crossover and go with an active system
  2. power the high frequencies with a SET tube amp
  3. power the woofer with a good SS amp
  4. Stay analog throughout the system
He owned some modified Altec VOTT's that were supposed to be muy bueno powered by a SET Tube amp he designed along with some other tube gear, again, mostly designed by himself. It was supposed to be the cat's meow.

Me, I'd say a good SS amp/receiver should be more than fine. Doesn't need to be that powerful -- those are REALLY efficient speakers. All of the above would help, but certainly isn't necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A good tube amp would be fun. I have never heard one before and have always wanted to try one out. I hear that horns can be a bit harsh, so a tube amp would smooth the horn out a little.
 

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I was reading somewhere that a guy tried his klipschorns with his more modern receiver and wasn't getting quite the output that he had with his older receiver. I can't remember if he was running them with a sub or what... but I think he had a crossover going that was taking away from the klipschorns. When he hooked it back up to his older less powerful receiver he was saying that the speakers really came to life again.

Any truth to this?
 

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People make the mistake all the time of using a reciever that is set up for small fronts or for use with a sub when they only have the two mains connected. So I suppose it could be true. If you are asking if a less powerful receiver could better power the K-horns than a more powerful one, I would say that this is unlikely. With a more current needy speaker load, you could have a situation where a receiver with a higher power rating might not seem so compared to a more capable units (in terms of current delivery) that is rated for lower output power. There is likely not a speaker ever made for which this is less likely to happen. With a sensitivity of 103 or 105 dB, you could drive the K-horns with a walkman (I actually have seen it done).
 

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That makes sense, I'm sure the guy just didn't have it set up right. I know my old neighbor had a pair of klipschorns and I can remember how good they sounded. Especially being right in front of them with some bass heavy music going, it was like getting hit in the chest. The receiver he was running them with was an older, I want to say pioneer, but I'm not sure.
 

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I listened to a set of Klipschorns in the 70s. They were at Turntables Unlimited in Sacramento. They were being driven by a hand held transistor radio. Sounded pretty good for AM.
 

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PWK had a saying that went something like this: "What the world needs is a good 5 watt amplifier."
 

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A friend of mine drives his Klipschorns with a Jolida JD 801A. Sounds outstanding.
 

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It seems that it is very popular to slam Klipsch speakers on all the audio message boards. While I really don't prefer the sound of the late model lines, the old heritage stuff is quite kick . I really think that the major issue with the bad rap is that people don't use the right equipment to run them. I very much agree with the guys who recomended the tube amps. Find yourself a nice cheap integrated tube amp, like the Jolida, or maybe the Onix SP3, which both can be found used for a very reasonable cost, and enjoy. A setup like that is probably as good as rock and roll gets.
 

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It seems that it is very popular to slam Klipsch speakers on all the audio message boards.
How true, especially on the "golden ear" boards and magazines. They always touted their dislike of the "horn" sound; in person they would cup their hands around their mouths when they said "horn." I put most of those folks in what I used to call the "preamp of the month club," where the favored one changed every month and the minimum price of admission was $10k per piece of gear.

I argued with one guy in a local shop for an hour that Bose 901s were indeed not better than K'horns, then gave up - useless case. Doesn't bother me. I have been a Klipsch fan and owner for 38 years - K'horns for 31 of those 38. The HT now has two pairs of K'horns plus a Belle center and Heresy IIIs for the sides.

I never have driven them with tube gear - never felt the need to. Perhaps if I did I would understand the difference. Right now, mine are driven by a Denon 5805 receiver, but the system is almost 100% HT use. Good 'nuff for me.
 

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Are these people saying they dont' like the older versions like the Heresy's, Heritage and La Scalla's? I might understand about the current Klipsch speakers -- not that they're necessarily bad, but I know some horn-heads that love the Heresy's but don't care for the RF-xx. With that in mind, I always thought folks liked the fully horn-loaded (as opposed to the current "horn" systems from Klipsch) speakers. I don't get over to AVS all that often, so maybe they're down on them, but I other places I frequent seem to like them.

For those that have the fully horn-loaded systems, have you done any mods to the speakers themselves? For example, I've heard some will put some sort of clay or whatnot on the horn itself to get rid of the ringing that they may have.
 

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I haven't done any mods or repairs to my 1998 pair. I did the factory upgrade to the 1978 pair not long after I got the later pair to upgrade the crossovers and the midrange driver. PWK had changed both designs out in the early 1990s. The earlier pair were not timbre matched to the later ones very well until I did that. PWK used oil filled capacitors in the old crossovers that went bad over time.

I have heard of the clay or fiberglass insulation around the midrange horns, but never tried it. There is a whole forum on the Kilpsch website devoted to mods and upgrades. There was a guy over there that had developed a better crossover that some swore by, but again I did not try it. Think they went for $250 or so each for either the K'horn, Lascalla or Belle.

The beauty of the Heritage line is that once you get them, your search for speakers is over. At least that is the way it is with me. Only when I am forced into a nursing home will mine be taken away:bigsmile:
 

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I have a pair of the KG4.2s and I love them.

I have never heard k horns but I really want to.
I would love to hear a full 5.1 surround using khorns and tube amps.


Back when I was cleaning carpets I had several customers who had khorns running off of mcintosh amps, I asked them all if I could hear them but I kind of felt like they looked down on me because I was there cleaning their carpets, and I shouldn't know what they had was.
 

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The KG series was a good line. I have a pair of KG3.2s hooked up to a living room system and they still sound fine.

The quality of the wood finish on the 1978 pair is a cut above the 1998 pair - both are oiled walnut. The 1978 pair has matched butterfly grain, the 1998 ones do not. Also, the Heresy III wood finish is nothing like the old Heresys that I bought in 1972 - they were a matched pair also. I wish that I had kept the old ones, but I sold them to help pay for the K'horns. So, finish quality is something that has been sacrificed over time. Now you never see walnut offered. I am not sure if it is due to a shortage of the wood or consumer taste.
 

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As a Klipsch guy I can tell you what you have already heard in the last few posts is true.
You don't need much amp I test speakers with a little 15w T-amp that runs on 8 AA batts and that can let most Heritage Klipsch speakers serenade the neighbors for a hour or two 100ft across the street from my garage. I even demonstrated a FM Walkman running off a single AA on my Cornwall's for fun once to prove a point.
I would think your main concerns would be room issues and AVR crossover issues as that most will attempt to modify the Klipsch sound to a theater modeled sound. I still play 2 channel music in pure mode on my Pioneer VSX1020K.
If you were to pick a foundation for your system you can't go wrong with a nice pair of used Klipsch Heritage speakers and they will last a lifetime and will hold value too.
 
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