Sunday, February 20, 2011

Origins of the BullShit Button

PWK tired of the wild claims by competitors and took them to task at trade shows and snail mail. Eventually he simply put a Bullshit button inside the lapel of his jacket. When he heard bogus claims he just gave them a flash and walked off. This isn't very surprising as PWK would also discuss issues with his ministers after church if he felt they were wrong. There are some great stories about PWK at Church.

This is the straw that broke the camels back the Karlson. It was advertised flat + - 2db from 20hz to 20,000hz in 1955. Klipsch bought a Karlson and measured it at Hope. The results of course show that they earned a BullShit button and far from as advertised. I'm sure Jim Hunter at Klipsch has the correspondence between PWK and Karlson. I'd love to read those exchanges.


  1. The thing is down like 20db at 5k! I can't believe this! Say what you will about today's audio environment, at least no one would even try that today.

    - Cranky Audio Guy (

  2. Trying out the posting thing...


  3. that's a woofer only response - in reality the Karlson enclosure with a good woofer or say 604 was and is competitive to many horns of its bulk and larger. I suspect it beat many Klipsch in A-B in its day. I own 3 Klipschorn and a pair of Heresy so know.

    1. I own a beautiful handmade cherry Karlson that I turned into a subwoofer for my 1968 Heresy's (shout out to Karlson guy named Freddy(?) for the idea). I can tell you it makes a fab SW -especially with the modified tuning....amazing and beautiful mid-century refinement that digs deep. Kudos to Karlson for such a weird discovery.

  4. No sir I am sorry but that is with the woofer in the enclosure. I saw the Karlson used in person...

  5. The Karlson enclosure was a "contributor" to the Bullshit slogan. The final straw was an AR advertizement sometime after 1961. PWK threw the magazine in the air and made the designated exclamation. Bob Moers was in proximity, and said to the ad agency guy (Goodloe Stuck) that this must be immortalized. The yellow button was the result. Conversation between Bob Moers and Jim Hunter July 2009.


    What I know about it I learned from Jim Hunter but the extra info is great...

    I had a chance to bid on PWK's Karlson at an auction at Klipsch Inc but I let it go to a Karlson fan.

    Thank you for the information.

  7. I met Klipsch in 1970 at a sound system demonstration at Home Entertainment Center in Houston. I was young and naive and had never heard of him. This was the first time I heard Klipschorns. It is one of my greatest disappointments that I never had a suitable home to have a pair. I had to settle for the smaller K speakers, which are far better than almost anything else. He was one of the most unforgettable people I ever met. He was wearing a Bullshit button. I told him I loved the button and that he should market them. He said "Bullshit" and walked away.


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