Not Just for Those About to Rock!
Break free of the idea that Klipsch is only for headbanging
Roy Delgado, principal engineer at Klipsch, watched a little boy blow a soap bubble at a party, and that changed how Klipsch designed its loudspeaker horns.
In every video about horn-loaded loudspeakers, you'll see Kevin cup his hands around his mouth and demonstrate how lesser horn speakers "beam" certain frequencies. This happens as the audio breaks free of the horn, in a behavior Roy realized was best imagined as an expanding bubble.
Developing a Case of 'Mumps'
Watching that kid's soap bubble launch itself, Roy realized that the corners of the current loudspeaker horns were falling away faster than the audio "bubble" wanted to expand. The trick was to develop a horn shape that the bubble wanted to stick to, without breaking up. So he developed Klipsch's patented Mumps technology (you can clearly see the bumps in the corners of the midrange horn in the photo above.)
If 'mumps' makes you grin and think about that time you were home from school with a puffed-up face, that's Klipsch for you: they are famous (and even, according to its own employees, infamous) for having fun together. Roy, for example, is known as Chief Bonehead, and has been at Klipsch for 36 years, working alongside Paul W. Klipsch for a lot of that time up to PWK's death in 2002.
We met Roy online recently during Klipsch product training, and it was pretty amazing to hear just how much work and how many years of experience and testing, and trial and error go into these developments we take for granted. Though speaker horns have plenty of advantages, Roy says (with a twinkle in his eye, he can't hide his love for them), "They're a pain in the butt to work with."
Not Just Rock 'n' Roll Speakers
The result of PWK's personal and brand iconclasm is that many people think that Klipsches are "rock 'n' roll speakers".
"Absolutely untrue," says Kevin. He points out that once broken in, all of the Heritage line are "ever so slightly relaxed on top" and as sweet sounding as anything on the market. But his favorite part of the Heritage sound is that big midrange. Kevin loves vocals and when listening to Jim Morrison, Johnny Cash, and Lyle Lovett, he wants to hear their voices coming from their chests. The Cornwall does this beautifully "with absolutely no honkiness."
Klipsch speakers, perhaps as a result of their "Pissing off the neighbors since 1946" marketing, have a reputation for being harsh. Kevin (who has been pissing off the neighbors since the 1970s!) totally disagrees, and in fact, describes the Cornwall and its ilk as "gentle".
Don't think they can't rock though. With a 102 dB sensitivity and that 15" woofer, these things can heave serious amounts of air when they need to. But, as Kevin says, don't just take our word for it. Upscale Audio is one of the largest Klipsch heritage dealers in the world and we have Klipsch galore on the demo floor. Give us a call, come and listen, and this July, set yourself free of all preconceived notions.
Buy Sutherland in Saskatchewan!
(And everywhere else in Canada. We're now able to ship this great product across our northern border.)
You don't need to know much about electronics to know that you're looking at extremely clean, high-quality design, with massive power filtration and transient ability. The KC Vibe ($900), pictured, is Sutherland's entry-level phonostage, and regularly lands us amazed reviews at how much it "blew away" the customer's previous phonostage. And of course it just gets better and better, with the acclaimed 20/20 ($2,199) all the way to the no-cost-spared PhonoBlock at $10,000, with models for every budget in between.
"Absolute Butter": Kevin Reviews the Cabasse JAVA MC40!
Experience point-source magic with Cabasse's coaxial mid-tweeter drivers. Kevin calls the BC10 driver used on the Cabasse Java MC40, neutral, super-pleasing, and easy to listen to. In fact, he refers to it as "absolute butter".
He observes that the 6.7" Duocell bass drivers react quickly with no overhang or boominess. The curved cabinet reduces internal reflections, and contributes greatly to Cabasse's celebrated spatial coherence. Both the wide sweet spot and the handsome brushed metal finish make these speakers easy to place in any room.