Need some advice on Klipsch La Scala - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-20-2007, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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My younger brother recently acquired a pair of 70's Klipsch La Scala. They are in great condition and sound incredible. Neither of us have experience with these kind of speakers. Right now we have them hooked up to a spare Pioneer reciever. We have only used them a few times because we are both afraid of damaging them by using the wrong kind of reciever. We both have a slightly different expectations for the speakers. I want to use a set up that uses equipment from the same era that the speakers were built. He wants to invest in a new reciever.

Does anybody have any suggestions on "aged" equipment to use, both amp and reciever? Also, what are everbody's thoughts on using a new receiver and what would you suggest?

Any help would be greatly appriciated. Both of us are new to the hobby but would really like to get in. I am 21 and my brother just turned 15 last week. He already has a great knowledge of computers and I would love to see him get in to Audio.

Thanks in advance everybody!
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-20-2007, 08:42 PM
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The folks on the 2 channel part of the Klipsch forum will have many recommendations for vintage receivers. I recommend a newer model to get better digital processing including a digital crossover to a subwoofer. LaScalas lack bass and need a subwoofer for optimal performance.

LaScalas built in the 1970s need a crossover rebuild or replacement. The Klipsch forum has several members in the business of rebuilding crossovers. The folks there can also give advice on the best crossover models to use. The crossovers have changed over the many years that the LaScala has been manufactured.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-21-2007, 08:20 AM
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From a sound perspective, there is not really any point to buying a 30 year old receiver, unless you see one almost free that works well. Some were made more robustly than the mass market stuff of today (although prices haven't increased), but the circuits will have aged and you would be buying potential problems. These speakers are only rated for a little over 100 W/Ch so I would be inclined to buy a new receiver that can deliver decent power and leave it at that. Depending on your purpose for these, you will need very little power to play loud, but if these are for cranking it up, get around 100 Watts and have fun. I heard these in the early 80s and was not a fan of the horn midrange and tweeter, but if I had a big space they would be fun to play with as a decond system.

As for your crossover, the easiest approach might be to open the box and see what the parts are, and replace the capacitors with new ones of the same values. I don't think the coils or resistors will have gone bad, although some suggest that different types of coils can improve the sound.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-21-2007, 09:00 AM
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They don't need lots of power, but the amplifier or receiver must be good sounding. If you are set on a receiver, I'd look at NAD, Arcam, or something else short on bells and whistles but with really good fidelity.

Have fun. Those speakers are like owning a '67 Challenger with a Hemi!

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post #5 of 13 Old 01-21-2007, 09:26 AM
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Back in 1977 I was the drummer in one of Chicago's first punk rock bands. We used my LaScalas as our PA speakers when playing bars and parties. We drove them with a Crown DC-300 (150wpc) at levels louder than any hi-fi user is likely to use and the speakers took it in stride. I wouldn't worry about hurting them. For a short time we drove them with a 200wpc Dyanaco 400, we blew the Dynaco but not the speakers. ;-)

As for the best way to enjoy them, well just play them with whatever stuff you have. They're rather raw and unrefined sounding (though with the formidable virtues of excellent clarity and hair-trigger dynamics) and often when folks start messing with them to improve them they end up with an Altec or JBL with a Klipsch badge.

But if you want to further explore the use of 70s era gear with your speakers go to www.audiokarma.org and talk to people there, many users of vintage gear there; many fans of 1070s Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz, Kenwood and such.

Myself, in vintage gear I prefer 1950s and 60s Fisher tube gear, I run one hi-fi with 1961 Altec horn speakers driven by a 1962 Fisher 500B receiver. That kind of stuff is discuseed at audio karma too.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-21-2007, 01:34 PM
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I own a pair so I can probably help you out.

First, they don't need anything special but some people enjoy tube amplifiers with them. I have used a 120W per ch. power amp with them myself from my younger days as a DJ. They are currently hooked up to the surround channels of my harman kardon avr-325 receiver.

They likely have the model AA crossover, which is a nice simple design that is well liked. You will get better sound sound from them by replacing the 6 caps in the pair because the original caps have dried out over time and have drifted from spec. I used Auricap and Solen and the swap wasn't expensive if you are handy with a soldering iron. I can provide part numbers if you wish.

While the bass is very tight, being horn-loaded, it doesn't go as low as Klipschorns do. You might want to purchase a sub to fill-in the low end. If you use a receiver to handle the sub crossover, make sure you get one with selectable sub frequency. You don't want to cross over at 100 Hz or more with there. Around 60 to 80 Hz is fine. I used a Hsu STF-3 when the La Scala were my front speakers and liked the result.

Speaker placement is important, as is size of the room. You want to put space between the speakers and point them directly at you (so you are looking straight down the horns). If you have the space, try placing them like you would Klipschorns, aimed at 45 degrees. Try them at least 18 feet apart, and up to 25 to 30 feet. Aimed at 45 degrees, you would sit 9 feet from the front wall if they were 18 feet apart. Try this and you should be rewarded with the magical disappearing act. No sound will appear to come from the speakers. Lead vocal will come from right on front and instruments will come from precise locations.

Congratulations on a fine pair of speakers.

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-21-2007, 01:53 PM
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Here's what you need from www.partsconnexion.com to replace the old caps in your AA crossovers. You can first make sure that's what you have since the model type is indicated on the side of the crossover board.

SOLEN, part number 62368, 13mfd $4.75 each (x4)
AURICAP, part number 62338, 2.0mfd, $9.95 each (x2)

There are more expensive solutions too. The above is $40 plus shipping.

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-24-2007, 10:46 AM
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Hmmm. The OP disappeared. Maybe he got hit by the mob.

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post #9 of 13 Old 01-24-2007, 11:56 AM
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If you head over to the Klipsch forum look up Bob Crites. He has rebuilding kits for La Scala's. I replaced my old caps in my AA with new sonocaps and the difference was amazing. You can also get some extremely nice crossovers from Alk Engineering. I like Tom Brennen but his comment about an Unrefined sound is off base IMO, but we all hear different too....Hi Tom! With the upgraded crossover and in my HT they sound amazing.

Electronics as mentioned will play a big part as well as placement and room acoustics. I run a big Onkyo M504 to drive mine but you don't need that kind of power, but I do because I like the extra headroom.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-24-2007, 12:12 PM
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Good idea to mention Bob Crites, Scooterdog. I'm not sure I believe in fancy caps myself, and I'm not sure Bob does either. Simply swapping out the old caps made a huge difference, but i don't know that using a more audiophile brand than Solen would have made a difference. But it's good for the OP to know about the various options (if he ever comes back).

In defense of Tom, we have to admit that many people tweak Klipsch heritage speakers until they are no longer Klipsch inside! I have Bob's tweeters and updated caps in my KHorns but my La Scala and Heresy are still all stock original. When I finally decide which crossover to buy (built or in kit form), I'll install them in the KHorns and the La scala will get the crossover rebuilt with updated caps that are currently serving my KHorns. I will still think of my KHorns as Klipsch speakers, even with upgraded crossover and tweeter, but others might not.

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post #11 of 13 Old 01-26-2013, 10:02 PM
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What are the specs on the receiver that is being used ? Because a amplifier that is too small can do more damage than one that is too big because of clipping .
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-27-2013, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Eichner View Post

What are the specs on the receiver that is being used ? Because a amplifier that is too small can do more damage than one that is too big because of clipping .

Chris, this thread dates from January 24th... 2007! I doubt you'll get an answer. Feeding 100W into a La Scala will drive just about anyone out of a room so I wouldn't worry so much about clipping. I used a pair for DJ gigs way back in very large rooms.

(Edited because of typo in Chris' name)

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post #13 of 13 Old 01-27-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Eichner View Post

What are the specs on the receiver that is being used ? Because a amplifier that is too small can do more damage than one that is too big because of clipping .
Yes, and no. Clipping can hurt tweeters, sometimes midranges; woofers and subs, never.
http://forum.qscaudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2736
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Cris, this thread dates from January 24th... 2007!
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