MAHL Updates and New Freestanding LMAHL’s

It is my intent to make this blog active again and a regularly posted upon entity. It has been a while but now I have decided that MAHL’s are going to be something I really wish to do as long as health and my mind hold out. At the age of 68 I assume there are a number of years left for me to pursue this endeavor. I was unsure of the reception I would get with these. I really like what I make but the true life test is what do others think of what you have done. Pleased to find out I have found a niche to fill and look forward to doing so for some time.

Well what a half year this has been For those of you who do not have to worry about products or delivery you might not be aware of the total upheaval of the manufacturing process going on right now. Typically I order enough drivers at a time to last a half year of estimated use. This has become a real problem as I don’t have a real defined answer for usage to project to the future. Sales are rising but what would be a real number projection? Heck if I know.

Right now B&C Speakers has a SIX TO SEVEN MONTH LEAD TIME on new orders. If you go to places like Parts Express you see their driver listings populated with lots of out of stock notices. Simple things like 25mm Baltic Birch which I intend to use on a line of two way speakers I am developing are the latest headache as none is to be had. Just a half year ago in Nashville,Tn you could get endless amounts of any thickness but today the thickest available is 18mm. Woofers I intend to use from Eminence I ordered on 6-1-21 and they did not get any in until 9-16-21 and I notice they are out AGAIN.

I am going to try making a box out of 18mm BB but there is no substitute for 25mm BB for great baffles, or motorboards as you will, and gluing two pieces together presents more problems then I want to deal with. Plus I have found that 25mm BB makes a really inert neutral cabinet subject to no offending audible resonances. More on this speaker soon in a future post.

In the mean time with the supply problems I started looking for other things I could do. I like machining wood as it is certainly easy on cutters and the mill. The far more redeeming side of wood cutting however is the sheer beauty of what you can find to cut. I live next to a large Amish presence here in southern Middle Tennessee and many are involved in sawmill work. I have found a few that cut and kiln dry large slabs up to two inches thick and here is what I am doing with some of this wood.

Front View Ambrosia Curly Maple Freestanding LMAHL
Side View Freestanding
Back View

This is the finest piece of wood it has been my privilege to cut on and I have been saving it for some time until inspiration struck.

I have had customers for my SMAHL’s who put them on stands and then rest them on top of their speakers. Primarily Klipsch La Scala, KHorn and Belle owners. Sound takes time to travel through the air and some have hearing acute enough to detect the muddiness that occurs when sound emitted from the drivers have different setbacks from the front of the speaker. So aligning the tweeter driver with the mid range driver provides more coherence to your sound and what you then hear.

This new tweeter type is limited to wood that I can make book end pairs from. Some will have very distinct patterns and others will merely have continuation of wood grain. All will be unique and one of a kind sets. I might be close at times to duplicating appearance in different sets of these but it would be an illusion since there is no substitute for sequential cutting. The difference might be minor but it would be there.

I have made these with a support block and 3/4″ stainless steel rod connecting the tweeter and adjustable support blocks and there is a set screw on the bottom not pictured to keep it all together. The intent here is to keep the assembly from tilting forward or backwards. The main block size is 1.75″ thick, 8.875″ tall and 7″ wide. The height is enough to allow sound to pass freely above cabinets with a roughly 14″ setback from the front which is typically where my customers have placed these using their home made stands. I have taken the liberty of using their experience to incorporate into these tweeters.

Looking for ideas for some sort of cushion on the bottom of the blocks to keep from marring cabinet tops and prevent vibration. I have thought about felt and just have not decided if it would be resistant enough to being pulled off by kids or cats. You might laugh but they are two of the major perils to happy healthy speakers. Any suggestions on a good non marring/ marking and thin cushion will be appreciated.

Working on a set of Cherry ones right now too. I was unaware of how light fresh Cherry is and will wait until they get more of that reddish Cherry color back before posting them. The slab I cut them from was much darker and apparently ageing darkens Cherry.

I was surprised at how many little cracks and splits there can be in solid appearing wood and I will end up throwing away more than I wish in pursuit of bookend slabs. It certainly adds to the time to cut and machine but in the end the amazing esthetics of the audio art produced are certainly worthwhile in my eyes and I hope they are to my readers also.

Until next time.

15 responses to “MAHL Updates and New Freestanding LMAHL’s

  1. Hi, I’m interested in your tweeter horns. How do I get in touch with you?

    • Why through this blog of course. I can see email addresses when you send inquiries in and will respond accordingly.

      • Good day Dave. I have a pair of 81 Khorns with 77M tweeters. I am interested in the drop in replacement with the B&C driver. The opening that I removed the tweeter from is in 3/4 inch plywood and is 5 1/4 x 2 inch. My mail box in Washington state in Blaine. My zip is 98230
        What options, and pricing do you have available currently? Thanks in advance. I can call and confirm the details, if you have a number and best time.

      • Check your email for my reply.

  2. Hi, I’m looking to upgrade my KLF-30 and KLF-20 speakers and I’m interested in your latest MHALs for them. I also want to upgrade my networks so please let me know if you have anything available for that. Otherwise, I’m hearing good things about the Crites crossover recap. Are the MAHLs and Crites upgrades compatible?
    Thanks for your help.

    • So far those that put LMAHLS into KLF-30’s like them. They can be a bit overwhelming for the KLF-20’s with their efficiency and can run hot with those. It would need an L-Pad to attenuate them to match in my opinion.

      Crite’s sticks to the OEM crossover schematics as far as I know and will competently rebuild yours. I would not spend the money on Sonicaps and they offer other types like Daytons I believe.

      I am a believer in using a polypropylene cap for the woofer circuit and Crites will use an electrolytic. I would imagine if you ask them they would use a poly cap and charge you accordingly. They are not expensive.

      I recap my own crossovers and if you are handy with a soldering iron you can do this too. I use Dayton and Audyn polypropylene caps. I have thought about trying some polyester caps recently as many OEM’s seem to use them and perhaps there is more there than just saving money.

      I can also rebuild crossovers but Crite’s can check the whole crossover with a scope when done which I cannot.

  3. Hi Dave,I have klf 30’s i would like to upgrade with k79’s .if you could send me some info I would like to order them asap. Thankyou

    • Sure no problem. For anyone who wishes to get in touch with me this blog will do so just ask and I get your email address to respond to. Check your inbox for mail Dave.

  4. What do you recomend for original Chorus I speakers tweeter and what about the mid?

    • My favorite Vintage Klipsch speaker. Here is what I do to every one I get my hands on. I put a set of LMAHL V2 tweeters in there with DE-10 drivers. I recap the crossover using Audyn and Dayton 1% poly caps. Now on the woofer circuit I also use a poly cap and Parts Express sells Audyn 68uf caps that work just fine. I leave the mid and woofer stock only checking to see they are OK to use. Re-crimp all spade end or other connections to make sure they are tight on terminals and hooked up right on polarity. Yes sometimes people fool with things and don’t hook them back up right. Check all mounting screws to make sure they are not loose.

      When Chorus 1’s are running right, and they will be if you do the above, they are very articulate and a joy to hear. Why do I prefer the 1 over the 2? The Chorus 1 can be placed anywhere with front ports and no rear facing drone to worry about and sound like it is supposed to. No walls or corners needed and roll it out on your back deck if you wish and enjoy.

      • I actually have already done all of those things you recommended, different caps from Jen, but thank you for those recommendations.
        What would I expect to gain from changing to this Tweeter, lens combination.

      • What the LMAHL does is provide more articulation to things like percussion, strings and horns. Higher notes that may have been difficult to hear or even missing entirely.

        In general while I can’t explain it scientifically I have come to believe the right tweeter brings balance to all the drivers in the speaker they are used on and the woofer and mid seem to be more refined also. The end result is a speaker that just sounds more musical if that makes any sense.

      • Right now the upper end can be a little etched and maybe slightly distorted, like it is having difficulty keeping up. I don’t know. What do you think?
        And
        How can I get a pair?

  5. Dave
    Planning a project and would like to discuss options
    Regards
    DaveF

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