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la scala clone or else?
la scala clone or else?
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Old 11th November 2012, 10:10 PM   #11
4Torr is offline 4Torr  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by PreSapian View Post
i got to hear the venerable la scala for the first time couple days ago and was properly blown away. distortion free room filling sound, jaw dropping dynamics. and once again, or so undistorted! it's hard to go back to my meager narrow baffle 3way now. i must clone the la scala, or build some other horn speaker. id like to keep my budget under $1000, and the size should be apartment friendly. (say 100litre ish?) could i get some suggestions please?

p.s. one thing i didnt get to check is how agile la scala's bass is. i'm assuming it's good enough for say, 166bpm electronica?
I too am easily seduced by a speaker that can render acoustic guitar plucks with percussion you can feel. Keep in mind a couple of things - one is that a horn must be very large to play low lows and the La Scala is sharply attenuated below about 80 hz. That's why the bass is so clean and un-boomy. Boom is mostly below 90hz. Punch is around 200hz, slap at 4-500 and tap is above 1khz so they are unaffected.

To answer your question - You might be out of luck if you want to play beat heavy electronica with a smaller bass horn.
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Old 12th November 2012, 12:30 AM   #12
rjbond3rd is offline rjbond3rd
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I have four LaScalas, and although they have been great fun, one can do better if starting from scratch.

That is not to discourage you. But the midrange and tweeter can be improved. And the crossover. And once you're doing those, you might as well build the bass bin as an un-folded properly front-loaded horn.

So you start to have something which is no longer a LaScala. But if you like the whole package, there are plans on the Internet. But just in my personal opinion, you'll want to improve the midrange horn (and crossover) at the very least.

Audio mind, I got the Elliptrac 400 and love it. It is a big improvement to my ears (but I'm still using the stock K33V compression driver, rather than a 2" driver -- I hope to upgrade someday...)
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Old 12th November 2012, 01:47 AM   #13
audio mind is offline audio mind  United States
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An unfolded horn probably isn't too apartment friendly, I would imagine most especially in Asia where PreSapian is located. Yes all else being equal the straight horn is always better but then it brings you to which plans to use or do you design them yourself with a horn program and hope they come out?

The apartment issue is why I suggested to copy the less deep and slightly wider Belle Klipsch and add a little more bracing where it the wood booms.

I have used Edgar round tractrix horns in the past so I am pretty sure the Elliptrac 400 will be a huge upgrade over the stock LaScala horn which can be quite painful to my ears at times.

I am assuming you mean K55V compression driver not K33V? (K33 is the Klipsch woofer.)

If you have the K55V I would not sell them until you are sure you have found a compression driver you love after living with it for a while.

Bob Crites did some tests between most of the k series 1" Klipsch screw on drivers and the origianal K55V came out on top with the most flat and extended frequency response even over the new Altlas driver for some reason.

I have tried many new compression drivers and most seem to disappoint in some way after living with them for a while not matter how much you spend. The K55V might not have the most resolution or knock you out transient response but I can live with it and that says a lot.

Here is some of my opinions on the new stuff, Neodym mags leave me cold by sounding cold and most of the time just shift the response up slightly over the ceramic counter part leaving a even bigger gap in the 400-800hz range. Plastic diaphragm compression drivers loose all the excitement I am listening to a horn for in the first place. I really think ceramic and neo magnets are fine for commercial sound systems with giant solid state chuffers slamming the power to them but please give me alnico mag anything for fine relaxing listening at home.

Now there are some features that work for me on the new stuff like shorting rings, certain metal diaphragms with plastic surrounds, phase plugs that allow comp drivers to go up high without eq but it seems most company's can't seem to put everything together in one driver and unfortunately only the extreme Japanese companies are doing the alnico mags but most are copies of old designs as far as I know, so you may as well get some vintage drivers and recharge them for much less money.

Back too the K55V ahhh...easy, cheap, decent sound, send yours in to Orange county speakers to recharge them as Alnico I believe looses 1-2% of its charge a year, if your drivers are 30 years old that is somewhere between 30-60% power loss! A recharge should bring back some of the detail and snap those snazzy new drivers have got, also I think the K55 diaphragms fatigue after a while and do well with new phrams.

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Old 12th November 2012, 01:57 AM   #14
audio mind is offline audio mind  United States
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That said the K77 alnico version tweeters according to Bob Crites have problems getting up there above 10-12-k because of their finicky diaphragm alignment and/or maybe worn out phenolic that I believe Bob still has not found a suitable replacement source for. So the top end is wide open to me.

I have even let some ceramics and neo mags around to play on the tweets sometimes.

I think though when I get around to building a small and short 2500hz cutoff elliptical tractrix to sit on top of and match the profile Elliptrac 400 to use with a 1" compression driver, it is back to alnico on the top.

Last edited by audio mind; 12th November 2012 at 01:59 AM. Reason: clarity of sentence
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Old 12th November 2012, 02:07 AM   #15
rjbond3rd is offline rjbond3rd
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Hi audio mind,

Oops, yes, K55V, thank you for catching that. I agree it's hard to find a 2" which can play down as low, and still sound that good. I have heard the Volti Vittora's a couple times, and whatever 2" those use does seem to work great! But I never compared them side by side.
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Old 12th November 2012, 03:21 AM   #16
audio mind is offline audio mind  United States
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I should stop being a vintage alnico snob because some of these new drivers really are not as bad as I say just that the old stuff is hard to beat.

I would love to hear the Vittora and I would love to get the plans for its bass horn if Greg would sell them.

Not sure if the Vittora uses the B&C DCM50 or BMS4592, I couldn't find the testing pages when the drivers were compared on Volti's site, it is there somewhere I think unless the info is removed.

From my experience I think I would like the B&C driver better although the BMS driver would shock people with how polite it is for a compression driver, the BMS drivers in general do not sound anything like most compression drivers to me, no harshness at all.

Just looking at the at the frequency response of the Vittora bass section next to the LaScala bass section tells me the Vittora should be a much smoother sounding speaker with much more bass down to the horn cutoff.

Guess it is time to email Volti to see if we can get the plans for the Vittora bass section.
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Old 14th November 2012, 02:49 PM   #17
audio mind is offline audio mind  United States
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Default Mini LaScala!

Hey I forgot about these on the Volvotreter site.

Volvotreter has and apartment friendly mini LaScala that goes down to 100 hz but they definitely need a sub for sure.

Again I recommend the Rythmik single sub to begin with (if you are short on cash only $600 for driver and amp) or two separate paper driver 12" sealed subs for small size (1.6 cubic foot sealed for sub 20hz sound!!) and low distortion to match horns speed in bass.

You really want two subs for stereo when you can afford it. Rythmik states above 80 hz some localization of a sub is apparent. I have always known this regardless of what the book smart unexperienced engineers say when they state bass is non directional.

The Rythmik guy has a patent on his mechanical servo, it
has a little more distortion than an electronic servo but
apparently is way more natural sounding. Get the paper
driver because they allow a crossover hight than 80hz and
the paper blends nicely with the paper midbass horn.

Rythmik Audio 12" Servo subwoofer " GR 12" Custom Installation subwoofer

and the wonderful Volvotreter site, thanks Volvlotreter for
your great info on horns!


My old system

I think now you should have everything you need to build an absolutely amazing reference full range speaker system that will fit in your aparment.

The rule of thumb for years for retail cost of speakers has been about 5x the manufacturing cost so if you spend $1500 on your diy speaker it should roughly be equal to about a $7500 retail speaker system.

Although in recent years that formula has gone out the window in the ultra high end where designers actually price speakers artificially high to make people think they are better. Go figure...

Good Luck!

Last edited by audio mind; 14th November 2012 at 02:52 PM. Reason: sentence clarity
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Old 14th November 2012, 03:25 PM   #18
audio mind is offline audio mind  United States
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Default Tiny horn sub!

One more thing, I found plans for a very small horn sub it is still little large compared but as far as horn bass goes.

The reason it can get away with being so small for a horn sub is that it must be placed in a corner.

I may be too large for your apartment but it will allow a fully horn loaded system and cost a lot less than the Rythmik subs because you build them your self.

It is called the "Horn sub Jr"

William Cowan's Homepage

Dimensions 700x600x560 mm
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Old 14th November 2012, 03:45 PM   #19
PreSapian is offline PreSapian
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sorry audiomind ive been too busy to thank you for your wonderful input. your small horns look beautiful, and i wouldnt mind having them for my new speakers. but i also dont mind big, as i learned from my current speakers, there is no substitute for size! i used th have rythmik sub and youre right, theyre unbeatable. still, full sized la scalas are too much for an apartment, and even cornscala is no joke(i dont think it would sound as good, would it?) so once again, as i did months ago, im now considering dtqwt...
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Old 14th November 2012, 05:58 PM   #20
audio mind is offline audio mind  United States
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Glad to help, I had such lengthy replies because I was sort transferring my thoughts to type on ideas that are currently in my head.

I believe you are referring to Troels Gravesen design of the DTQWT?


Not having heard the DTQWT but knowing from past experience using high sensitivity direct radiator drivers, I believe that the DTQWT is probably going to be one the closest sounds to a fully horn loaded speaker you are going to get with a direct radiator and although quite large it is not too bad.

I have had correspondence with Troels about speakers over email and he is a very good designer that knows his stuff for sure. He said that the DTQWT was his best design as he also designed the mid driver! Not many speaker builders can say that.

Troels DTQWT is a very safe bet for a DIY project as it is done by a respected designer and fully tested and also within your specified price. Please let us know what you think if you build them.
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