Tag Archives: Klipsch Chorus

WHY WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY?

About three years ago before all this Chinese Flu stuff my wife and I used to eat out once a week. It was a diminishing experience and we found ourselves unhappy with the food quality decline. Really the whole experience was declining and since we often went as a group with others the pressure was not subtle at times to vacate those seats so they could be turned again. It was a social event with treasured friends turned into a seat rental program and it was time for us to go ready or not.

Add surly servers who expected tips no matter how crappy the service nor how unkempt looking they were and restaurants that would stick the tip on automatically since we were a group. Having worked for decades in the restaurant industry and helping to remodel dozens of restaurants I was very familiar with the use of disinfectants to mask bad things. A smell I was finding more and more and the facade can’t hide the smell so I knew what was there behind the scenes.

Around this time I noticed the idea of audiophile quality sound systems and home theaters was catching on. A trend that forced lock downs or business bans in many areas only accelerated. Used Klipsch speakers which used to be so plentiful were hard to find and going up in price all the time. Now when I say audiophile I do not mean some one who thinks they have to spend a ton of money to do this but rather someone who likes to hear good music or sound tracks played well. They are enamored of the idea they can hear great things IN THEIR OWN HOUSE.

See this is the key to the renaissance of the lost idea of inviting your friends over for a good time. Food you like prepared the way you want. Stay as late as you like and spare beds for those who like to indulge in what ever and should not be driving. Quite frankly when I pop the prime Rib Eye roast in the oven now I get to enjoy something I can’t buy in restaurants any more. Eat what you want when you want and the snack bar is open with no evil eyes directed at you for lingering.

Oh and you can watch movies plural, not singular, and have audio playback to suit your room full of people, or indeed just yourself, and not have that odious DBX theater standard hack the quality of your sound to fit their concept of how things should be. And have you seen the price of huge flat screens lately? A thousand dollars buys huge and hi res and perfect for home theater. Wont take to many $5 dollar beers or $$$ stupid expensive mixed drinks to pay for either. Or $4.50 a gallon gas. See here is something to think about. Many people can pay for an excellent system in less than two years by just taking the money they spent on public venues and having a better time at home.

Oh, and you will like the people around you which is certainly not a given in any public venue. No Karen’s invited and no screaming kids unless they are yours.

I spend some time talking about groups of people but there is something else I do with my setup. I happen to really like acoustic music and good blues. I want to hear all the details of the Cello musician as he fingers the strings and the nuances of the bow on them to great horn blat and blues like you were there in person. I want everything to be like that as much as possible no matter what the genre. I normally spend a couple of hours a day listening and I find it very rewarding. Of course finding good files to play can be a problem but when you find them you have them forever.

I also like pipe organs and to hear them like I wanted too, I built a single fold large horn with a 108″ deep throat that has no problem going down to 27hz with great crisp well defined authority.

Super MWM’s in the shop.
Painting the last bit for size reference.

That is a Klipsch K-402 horn with their 1132 driver on top. System is bi amped with Crown XLI800 amps and the DSP is a Xilica 3060. Sound personalized to suit me with prodigious clean bass. Jet flyovers and Japanese Fireworks are real life including a physical impact by the thump just like you were there. I have a steady trickle of Klipsch heads that visit me to hear these.

Great quality sound has been a quest of mine for seven years now. Of course I have dived far deeper into this than most ever will but there is one thing common here to me and to each and every one of you readers. It is the desire to be entertained in a fashion I CHOOSE with electronics I choose and people I choose or no one but me as the case often is. It is something you can only do in an environment you control and for most of us that is our house. Or shop as you can see in my case. Roll your gear out on your deck if you wish in good weather.

Music is good for the soul too. I noticed that when I was finding Klipsch Chorus speakers to fix up and sell the largest identifiable group of buyers was surprising. I sold more to ill widower men and I figure it was because it helped to transport them away from their situation. Of course you do not need to be in that shape to benefit from good music. It is for everyone who is willing to sit and listen.

At the push of a button you can be transported to audio bliss or Star Wars blowing stuff up right in your house. With your friends and good food and no curfew or time limits.

WOOD LMAHL’S

Not everything I come up with gets shown to people nor do I even make some of everything that has been designed. That is part of the discovery process and there are times when inspiration gets ahead of common sense and you guys never get to see the wasted hours spent fiddling around with ideas. Well I guess it is not really wasted but surely is not productive either.

  In any case I have had Klipsch heads after me for some time to do various things like for instance a wood horn for La Scalas and KHorns. Another one is a wood LMAHL or Large MAHL. I have held off on this because that .2″ flange that gets recessed into the motorboard (or baffle as they are known in many places. Motorboard to me because that is how they were named on the Klipsch forum by many.) cutout is plenty for the plastic and aluminum flanges. For wood however my fear was the ability of wood to split out at the corners where the bevel head screws went for mounting. I could have just had drilled holes and a flat bottomed screw but I did not like how that looked when modeled. As in one of those things no one see’s but me.

  Now how you get somewhere may vary from person to person and for me sometimes odd things lead to inspiration. I have had a couple of people that wanted MAHLS with no engraving on them so I removed it and they looked pretty good and now wood MAHLS are only cut this way. So I think, what if I remove the screw holes and the engraving how would that look and what would I do for mounting?

   For better or worse I did come up with something. My concern here is you can tell people not to tighten something down or they can split or ruin it.  What constitutes snug enough is a wildly variable amount depending on the person. Thinking of the few stripped screw holes I have had to deal with over the years of restoring Klipsch speakers and people with screw guns.

 I think I came up with a way of doing it that is not fool proof but as good as the material used will allow for. First up is a front view.

Second up is an assembly view showing how I propose to clamp the horn to the motorboard.

And the third to show it without the motorboard.

I expect to be offering these soon as yet another variant of the MAHL’s as soon as I get a speaker to try them in. I need to check for clearance with other drivers and horns and to see just how much pressure is needed to tighten these down enough to stop any cabinet rattle but not be so much that the flange is split from the lens body. I am using serrated bottom nuts for these to lock things in place.

One of the final questions I have to answer is will the DE-10 I commonly offer with the LMAHL be to heavy for this mounting method? I might just offer these with DE-120’s as they are much less weight though sadly almost double the price my cost. Looking to get some KPT-301’s soon as test beds so for those of you wanting these your time just might be soon at hand.

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.

Introducing Machined Audio Horn Lens

This will be a brief introductory post today which will herald the launch of a blog/website relative to what occupies my life now.

For some time I have had a love affair with Klipsch speakers and when I used to travel around the country welding stainless steel tables together for the Chuy’s Tex Mex chain I had a chance to buy and fix many sets of speakers.

This became a passion of mine and more than wanting to just get them home and fire up something I had not heard before I want to know what could be done with them. It is a learning process and I ran across the official Klipsch forum The Klipsch Audio Community and there discovered a whole new world of technical ability and tweaks and how to’s relevant to my favorite speaker brand.

It can be a path with no end and at first I started with recapping crossovers since that seemed simple enough. With proof in hand some simple things like recapping made a real difference in what I heard I started looking more and more into restoring, tweaking and rebuilding.

A couple of years ago the trips slowed down and Klipsch started getting more expensive fast and much harder to find. It was evident that without paying trips where I could as a bonus buy used Klipsch at the other end I would not be able to buy fix and sell and show something for my time.

Now when you are a CAD and CAM guy you mind can quite easily wander over to if you can’t find something to fix what can you find to make?

The end result was a tweeter replacement for the K-77 in a set of one piece fiberglass coated La Scala Industrials I had at the time. I used an Eminence APT50 driver on my machined aluminum horn and man what a difference it made. It ate up all the shrill I objected to without me really realizing it was the K-77 tweeter doing it until I replaced a set.

This was the first version and I bought the APT50 because it was cheap and did not know better. Even so it still was a real improvement.

I can come up with ideas and designs and machine things but I am not a software using speaker and driver testing wiz (yet) with audio so while I was coming up with improvements I had no way to know precisely what was the level of improvement.

About this time a gentleman by the name of Claude Jodoin became interested in what I was doing and he did have the technical ability to analyze what I was doing and he has been a significant help since. Tip of the hat to you Claude.

Over the course of the next year and a half or so there have been perhaps ten iterations of various shapes until the latest versions which are the LMAHL V2 and SMAHL V2 tweeters.

While designing these it was my goal to offer something never done before. What I came up with was a system that would allow more than one type of driver to be mounted on the horn lens. Today I have the only modular clamp system that will allow three different mounting bolt patterns on the SMAHL V2 and four different mounting bolt patterns on the LMAHL V2. Plus the machined aluminum looks darned cool.

I have also started cutting some out of wood, primarily Black Walnut right now and these are limited to the SMAHL V2 size.

I have other ideas in various stages of design or completion and if you tag along over the next few months I will be talking about them all. I believe my tweeter retrofits are the very best out there for Klipsch speakers and they are the ONLY ones that sound this good and have superior versatility engineered right in.

I do have these for sale right now on EBay and if you go there and type in “LMAHL V2” or “SMAHL V2” you will find them. You can also buy direct from me at this time by posting a comment and I can reply to your email that way. This will save you a bit of $$$.

Bear with me I am having problems with comments showing up publicaly and I can’t figure out why. I do see all comments though and can reply. I approve them and now they don’t show up. Seems like nothing just works right the first time anymore.