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Old 10th November 2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default la scala clone or else?

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?
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Old 10th November 2012, 03:38 PM   #2
djn is offline djn  United States
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Do you have woodworking tools and skills??? So much can be done for 1000 bucks. The Scala bass does not go that low, it is more of a midbass horn and needs a sub. The midbass horn and tweeter on them are old designed and new horn designs are much flatter.
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Old 10th November 2012, 05:29 PM   #3
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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look here : Prices-Other Stuff | Critesspeakers.com

if you like 'em , build them
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Old 10th November 2012, 06:08 PM   #4
DrBoar is offline DrBoar  Sweden
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The horn bug is something special and the La Scala has some of that horn magic. With the right driver it goes down to 50-60 Hz, scaling it down to 100 liters from 350 liters will really kill the bass. The efficency of the horns comes at a price and that is either size or bass. The LS has a problem with vibrating side walls and would really benefit from some side braces. If size is a problem Crites CS 1.5 and perhaps CornScala D is the one to try
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Old 10th November 2012, 07:41 PM   #5
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ls failed the knuckle test bad and i did hear a lot of coloration. but yes, the horn bug did get me with it's erm, 'horness' (its hard for me to pinpoint what was most appealing to me. dynamics, lack of distortion and the 'openness' all surprised me at once)
if there's are modern designs that should best la scala, id love to hear about it. i was debating on whether to go for dtqwt couple of months ago. perhaps i lost the arguemet.

ive been a 'hifi' listener for the longest time, always focusing on treble and bass, mainly listening to idm (electronica) but these days im yearning for classical for some reason and don't mind trading some extension for more truthful midrange. perhaps my tastes are changing for the worse, cuz things are abut to get a lot more exotic and expensive.
i read that wmtmw can pull off some of the feats horns are capable of, so maybe my salvation isn't too far.


oh and thx, zen mod. i'm getting my calculator out

Last edited by PreSapian; 10th November 2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 10th November 2012, 07:46 PM   #6
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I remember it as a fantastic PA speaker. Grab an old DC 300 and your band was in business. For a hi-fi speaker? Well lets just say I am not a horn guy. Efficient, yes. Low mid-bass HD, yes, but I can't stand all the other distortion issues horns have. We have come a long way in 50 years. I would suggest you at least read everything over on the GEDLEE site. Lots of progress. You can take those ideas and do much better now.
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Old 10th November 2012, 08:06 PM   #7
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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there is also La Scala addendum (tweak ) somewhere on Klipsch forum

you'll find plenty of info

it will go lower than original one
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:11 PM   #8
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Default New LaScala ideas

Yes you have discovered a very important speaker in the history of speaker design and although in my opinion, the stock LaScala design is a quite long in the tooth but there are many easy tweaks, mods, etc. that can be done to make quite an amazing speaker system for not too much cash and without having to hack up the speaker too much.

Personally I think you are on the right path if you put in the effort, do some research on this what people have done tweaking this design and you will be greatly rewarded with a great speaker that plays music and not just an audiophile trick machine that you will grow tired of after a while.

The people who don't like horns most likely have not hear a decent horn set up and yes the most painful, awful sound I have ever heard in my life was from a beat up set of LaScalas in a recording studio with a giant old solid state amp on it.....Ouch!!!!, it is painful to even think of it.

The second worst sound I have ever heard was some Klipsch horns and an a black faced Crown DC300II, luckily I was there to sell the guy some great tube amps running in triode. Just changing the amps on those K-horns was the single biggest change I have ever witnessed in an audio system..period. Went from pain to beauty in a few minutes.

For some reason when you use a small quality tube amp on horns (especially a triode amp) it minimizes the horn painfulness and sometimes even the horn coloration seems to be minimized or at least lets you focus on the music and not the short comings of a horn.

I am also guessing some of those small class A solid state designs would work great on horns also but I don't have any experience yet so I can't comment. The Brooksie hybrid tube driver/mosfet class A output Moskido with the output cap eliminated supposedly gives many pure tube amps a hard time. There is a long thread on this amp.

I have built several folded horns and I would say they take considerable time and woodworking skills. Have at it if you like to saw wood, although you might want to build the Belle model as it is a very similar design and they don't stick out in to the room as much as the LaSacala. Belle plans are easily found on the web.

I think the folded horn section of the stock Belle might sound a little better than the stock LaSacala from my memory although I have not heard them side by side. (Klipsch Forum should have some strong opinions on this).

If your budget is only $1000 you might want to find some beat up LaScalas locally and refurb and tweak as you go along. If you see some Belle's for under $1000 (not likely) grab them quick , they are quite a bit more rare than LaSala's and a little nicer to look at.

You mention tapping on the cabinet of the LaScala, well that booming sound is definitely audible but it is easily fixed with one triangle shaped brace on each side of the bass horn mouth. Why Paul Klipsch didn't do this is a mystery to me, yes the guy was a very clever speaker designer for his time and the drivers available to him but lack of bracing in many models makes me wonder if this was actually a cost cutting measure.

A friend of mine has some LaScala's and he has replaced the tweeter with a Coral model, time aligned it by mounting it on top in line with the voice coil of the stock alnico K55v mid driver, put in a different crossover, put a big blob of the $1.99 a stick grey electrical putty found in Home Depot right in the middle of the stock metal mid horn. Don't go crazy with too much putty as you can actually overdamp the horns and also you probably will want to sell the stock horns after getting a wood tractrix replacement.

He also uses an amazing home brew single ended 2A3 amp many years of research behind it and Magnequest transformers. About 8 watts with the newer 2A3's and this amp through the LaScala's can play over 110 db easy. For an 88 db speaker to do this you would probably need a 250 wpc amp depending on the speaker complexity of the load. For the good amps with 250 wpc you are talking some seriously big money usually.

The sound of his LaSacala's are quite amazing except for bass that completely dies around 60-70hz, not roll off gentle, dies, nothing, nada down low.

You can have two choices, build one of the port mods found on the net or try to get a a sub to integrate.

A super low distortion and supposedly very natural sounding Rythmik Audio sealed sub with the paper driver their mechanical servo should be a really good option as I have heard reports that nearly everyone who has used the Rythmiks has dumped their Velodynes.

Although the Rythmik might be out of your budget you will want to save up and get it for the furture, and although I have not used the Rythmik's, reports are is that it is one of the few subs that plays nice with speakers that are notoriously hard to meld a sub with, like electrostats and horns.

In the mean time here is an easy port design for a LaScala without building an extra box like some ported LaScala's require

Ported Lascala project

Here is the same guy and he builds an Elliptical tractrix LaSacala horn that is probably the last mid horn you will ever need if you get it built in plywood.

* One caveat about tractrix horns is that they beam at 20x the mouth cutoff, so you can only go to 8K on the top end or in math terms 400hz x 20=8000hz.

Although the tractrix profile has an extremely flat frequency response for a horn even in the non round elliptical shape and is highly worth using over the bad stock Klipsch LaScala mid horn of which I have never heard anyone express a liking for. The K55V doesn't go above 8 k anyway so I guess the point is moot but I just wanted to mention it.

I really love the alnico K55v and there are precious few compression drivers that can go as low, especially in the 1" size throat. Yes some metal diaphragm 2" drivers match the K55v in low end response and have a better transient response..detail... blah blah and blah blah, but the k55v on the right horn has a very flat response, and nice tonality to also has a very low price compared to other compression drivers that get as low as it does.

Tough driver to replace, although I would defintely spend the extra dough on a larger compression driver for a K-horn as there is and always has been an unacceptable gap between the woofer and the mid horn.

I have been trying to get the guy to build the kit version in plywood instead of awful mdf, which I hate with a serious passion. The problem is that most plywood is now .7"instead of .75" like the mdf measures. His computer router would have to be completely recalibrated to get the correct horn shape, so unless he will agree to order a special order sheet of .75" plywood I am stuck because I won't let mdf in my house for speakers or counter tops. Anyone who want to have a heated debate about mdf versus plywood for health, moisture absorption and sound reasons, bring it on!

Eliptrac 400

Here is a guy with different crossover designs, I think my buddies LaScala uses one of them, not sure which.

Klipsch loudspeaker corner

And finally a fully completed commercial design based on the layout LaScala and nothing more. It is a dream of mine that the guy would sell the plans for his folded bass section, although if you get a chance to read the story behind the speaker and the amount of time and research he put in to it I can totally see why he would not want to sell it.

Volti Audio - Hi-Efficiency Horn Speakers

Wow, I can't believe how long my post is, you just hit on a speaker that has been on my mind for a few years and will likely be my next speaker project.

Last edited by audio mind; 10th November 2012 at 11:15 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:39 PM   #9
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And even more thoughts! Wow I just realized you are in Korea, I guess you don't have as much to choose from in the used Klipsch market as over here in the US so building is probably your best bet.

I am pretty sure you will not be happy with the sound if you try to shrink the bass section of a LaScala or Belle, they are already both lacking in low bass to barely be considered a full range speaker, although the little bass that is there is amazingly clear and super fast with low distortion as the 15 inch driver barely has to move to get the same output as a direct radiator.

Electronica will need a sub or port mod for sure, certain light classical and jazz can sort of get away in stock form but after hearing a talk at Axpona in by Jim Smith the author of the book "Get Good Sound" He recommends a sub for almost every speaker in existence with possible exceptions of some super full range designs with bass below 20hz.

The reason he states is that the super low bass from say a Rythmik audio 14hz sub actually improves the mids and treble because it allows you to hear the ambiance cues
that are in the sub bass area. I know some out there are snickering saying that adding bass could not possibly help the treble and mids but Jim Smith is quite a bright and experienced guy, I would not dismiss his findings too lightly.

Good luck with your speaker, please don't hesitate to ask me any questions, I have had a lot of experience building and tweaking many speakers both horn and direct radiator for the past 30+ years and would love to chat about this particular project you are working on as I you can see from my ridiculously long posts.
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Old 11th November 2012, 12:03 AM   #10
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And another thing....wmtmw speakers can have excellent dynamics and low distortion approaching horns and but they still are direct radiators and a wmtmw for what you are talking will be as big or bigger as the LaScala plus a small 12" sealed sub and also probably require some pretty serious and expensive amplification.

Also in my experience when you have two drivers covering the same frequency range it can never be as clear as one driver covering the same range. Yes I know I am probably ruffling quite a few feathers with this comment but it is true and I have been down both roads. Never use two drivers for the same frequency range if you are looking for the ultimate in image and resolution.

I stand and defend my comment even though there are quite a few really expensive speakers that break this rule. They can sound pretty darn good as I have heard many of them sound but a single driver per frequency range with still be more clear if you keep the volume in check.
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