Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1950's Klipsch Shorthorns and Rebels

Here are some pics of early Klipsch speakers from the Klipsch Factory Museum in Hope,AR. Some of these speakers have been restored. This would have been done by Jim Hunter.

This Klipsch Shorthorn prototype is in the Hope, AR Chamber of Commerce where they have a small but good Klipsch Museum. It was restored by Dexter a former Klipsch employee who does amazing work.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ElectroVoice Popular Electronics Ad October 1955

I recently acquired a pair of ElectroVoice Aristocrat speakers. They are very interesting and were sold under a Klipsch license. PWK stopped doing this at some point because of the lack of quality control. This has led me to take an interest in this time period where kit sellers were selling Klipsch kits. The biggest sellers were ElectroVoice and Cabinart. Here are a couple ads I found recently.

EV took advantage of Klipsch plans more than anyone.

Cabinart sold several Rebel kits.

Compare this to the size of the Klipsch ad for a Shorthorn.

It is interesting that EV mentions Klipsch several times yet Cabinart only mentions Rebel but nothing of the origins.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

La Scala

At one time you couldn't find a DJ or a club that did not use a couple of La Scalas. It started life in 1963 as a portable public address loudspeaker for a candidate named Winthrop Rockefeller. It sounded so good people put it in there homes and clubs to the surprise of Klipsch.

I think this is the original Rockefeller La Scala or as some call it the runt. It is a half size bass bin but notice the handles. This is the only one I have ever seen.

The La Scala remained in production relatively unchanged from 1963-2006. In 2006 they made very important changes to the speaker. The bass bin suffered abit in the bass department due to flexing of the sidewalls. Klipsch forum members fixed this by addind brace inserts but Klipsch went one step further in 2006 they add one inch mdf to tighten up the bass. It worked really well as this is probably one of the most best improvements Klipsch has ever made to a speaker. The bass is much stronger and you would swear it went lower. The La Scala II is a real hi-fi bargain.

Here is a pair of La Scala II's on the factory floor in Walnut veneer.

Here is a shot of the revamped 2006 Heritage line with the La Scala II in cherry.

La Scala exploded view provided by Klipsch Forum member marvel if I remember correctly.

Fans of the Klipsch La Scala did not wait for the company to update the speaker. This has been a big hit in the diy and mod community. To lower bass response some are adding extra volume and ports to the cabinet. I haven't asked any of the engineers at Klipsch if there are any drawbacks to this mod but I will. Here is an example.

Here is an example from Norway. This mod has a La Scala bass bin with the reversible ported mod and a big Oris horn with a Lowther driver. I can't help but think that this must sound great.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Early Voigt Horns

Paul Voigt is one of the early audio pioneers and unfortunately often overlooked. He designed corner horns, drivers, tonearms and cartridges. The man was a genius. Until recently it was very difficult to find any historical information about him. I hadn't even heard of him until I saw four of his corner horns and one of his tractrix horns in the Klipsch Factory Museum. He was the second person on record to build corner horns before PWK.

Here are some pics of his early designs.

There are extremely rare. Voigt 30's tractrix horn.

Voigt horns were powered by Lowther drivers. Voigt and Lowther were business partners but if you are interested in the history of these speakers please visit the Lowther Voigt Museum website. This website was long overdue and I was so happy to see it come online.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Inside The Klipschorn

The Klipschorn is the only speaker in the audio world to be in constant production for 60 years. It is a classic and a marvel of refinement. PWK developed this with slide rules and instinct. He got it very right the first time imo. Over the years it saw many changes but nothing major since the late 40's. There are many people who modify the Klipschorn but you never see anyone modify the bass bin. This is because they can't make it any better. Sure you can put new drivers in it and different horns but the bass bin is near perfect. Klipsch heritage remains one of the bargains in the hi-fi world.

Here is a front cutaway I saw at the Hope factory museum.

Here is a cross section cutaway. I would have loved to see this one being made.

This cross section cutaway helped show the internal construction and demystified the Khorn bass bin. I assumed it was magic..

This is one of my favorite marketing tools. It shows the customer the path of sound through a Klipschorn.

If you haven't seen a Klipschorn in construction check this out. The Klipsch factory workers were kind enough to leave one unfinished so we could examine it.

I was told by a Klipsch employee that the record for klipschorns assembled by a single person in one day is 5. This record was set in the late 70's.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

1957 Klipsch Pricelist

I found this early Klipsch pricelist in the archives. It is interesting that you could by pieces at a time and build your system as you have money. Very cool.

Monday, April 6, 2009

electronluv modern audio art

I am an electronluv.com stalker. The site has been vacant for a year or more. Last week I noticed a new site with links instead of a placeholder. It seems Josh has some new horns, a turntable, drivers, and many new goodies or at least audio porn. This is not for those of us light in the wallet. I don't see a problem charging large quantities of money for what electronluv creates because it some of the best art I have seen in years. For a tidy some of money you get fully functional sculptures which should go up in value over the years or at least that is my bet.

Go to electronluv.com and do some window shopping.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Electro Voice Georgian

In the early days of this blog I'm focusing on the Klipschorn and early PWK speakers. This was an interesting time in the companies history. PWK licensed plans to other companies like Vitavox, Brociner, and EV. Some of these were good and but some lacked quality control. I would really like to hear the EV Georgian. It is an oversized Klipschorn with a bigger woofer. Holy cow! I am still learning about the Electro voice line. It is much more complex and high end than I expected.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PWK napkin sketch Klipschorn Style 7 3/12/1945

This was posted years ago by a friend of PWK. This is a napkin sketch of the Klipsch style 7 or as we know it Style B. This is one of the most classic and enduring designs in Hi-Fi or mid century art. The very essence of form and function. They are big speakers but can sink into a room with corners and take up hardly any space at all.