Audio pioneer and company founder Paul W. Klipsch launched the Klipschorn loudspeaker in 1946 to enable people, for the first time ever, to experience the power, detail and emotion of a live performance at home. Commonly called a corner-horn speaker, the remarkably uncommon Klipschorn includes a highly efficient horn loaded tweeter and midrange compression driver. Its patented folded-horn 15 woofer delivers powerful low frequencies.
I purchased a gorgeous pair of K-Horns from a guy who had them in his living room of his mobile home! You heard me, MOBILE Home!. 12 foot wide!! That was 1989. He purchased them new in 1976. Ive owned them since the day they left is mobile home. Listening to them right now< Jesse Cook is hammering out a flawless performance, and to this day I am still in awe at the quality of sound these giants produce, at ANY level!! I power them with a modest Denon amp and CD player.If you want hassle free, intense sound performance, incredible design, flawless eye catching beauty, and envy of all your friends, all wrapped up in a legendary package, you WANT and deserve these speakers!! Imagine being the guy that when he shows his home to a new friend, he look at those "things", and then says, what the heck are those?.... and then you tell him to sit down, close your eyes and let me show you what those "things" are... You have a new friend.
There are many reviews of the Klipschorns at this site, and some of them go into quite a bit of detail, but I'd like to comment on an area which, at least to my knowledge, has not been addressed. It is the design and placement philosophy of Paul Kilpsch.
Many owners have stated that one weakness of the Klipschorns is their narrow soundstage; perhaps this is so because of a lack of a center-fill speaker. Paul Klipsch states that the ideal situation is placing the Klipschorns in corners as far away from each other as possible (the bigger the room the better), and filling in the area between them with a center-fill speaker using a mono signal. In this way, he states, the result is a wall of sound with the performers in a rock-solid relationship to one another. In other words, if the bassoonist is seated behind and slightly to the right of the flutist, that is where he appears in the soundstage with no drifting of the image. The result is a three-dimensional soundstage in which the performers are not only seated alongside, but also behind each other. Anything else is a compromise.
I purchased my Klipschorns in 1979 (I finally was able to afford them), and for a few years listened to them in a home using corner placement along the short wall. I then moved into a home where the long wall was 24 feet. After much deliberation, in 1984, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a Belle Klipsch for the center channel. Well, what a difference! Paul Klipsch was correct (who would have thought that the designer of the legendary Klipschorn might, actually, have known what he was talking about). The Belle Klipsch filled the hole in the center, and, like magic, the soundstage opened- up before my very ears .
I think, the moral of the story is that, in order to fully experience the three-dimensional sound from the Klipschorns as Paul Klipsch intended, it is necessary to purchase a Belle Klipsch, or other suitable Klipsch speaker (remember the three speakers have to match each other sonically) for the mono-run center channel. When this is done, the issue of sitting at some critical location in order to experience the elusive "sweet spot" will have been resolved, and a whole new experience of listening pleasure will have been created.
I first heard Klipschorns in 1972. I just returned from overseas and I was interested in four channel audio
that was just coming on the scene. I went to a High End Audio store in Little Rock. The salesman was a
nice man and had agreed to stay open a little later for me. After I had listened to the four channel
receiver, he asked me if I had ever heard a Klipschorn. He pointed to this big beautiful behemoth that
looked like it belonged in a furniture store instead of an audio store. A Mcintosh MC-2105 was doing the
work when the stylus dropped on the album by Neil Diamond named MOODS. She Walks On Water was
the chosen track and I couldn't believe what I was experiencing. I was doing more than just hearing the
music. I was involved, feeling happy, hearing music on a plateau that I thought was impossible from a
loudspeaker. I quickly began my study and inquisition of this speaker before me. Charlie moved it out of
the corner and I read the word Klipschorn and the words Made in Hope Arkansas. Suddenly I was starting
to feel sick. This name Klipsch couldn't be the same name that I was reading on a brochure that was
accompanied by a personalized letter from the Colonel, Paul W. Klipsch could it? This was sent to me
while I was in Vietnam. I read the words "Hope Arkansas" and threw it in the trash and said, "man where
is Sansui, where is Pioneer?" He was offering me a veteran from Arkansas serving in Vietnam a set
of Klipschorns style B for half price. $1040.00 would have been the price for complete musical bliss. The
letter even thanked me for serving in Vietnam. Charlie spoke up and saved me from my temporary
nightmare and showed me the rest of the Klipsch line. I was a SGT. in the service then and they were out
of my reach then. Had to raise a family. Now I'm a senior citizen and I've gone through a lot of gear
through the years. I should have just manned up and bought a pair out right. But I went the route of
owning so many other lesser types albeit very nice. Advent, Bose 901, EPI etc etc. Then a better job
more money, and Mcintosh Xrt 20's, Carver Platinum Amazings, Polk SDA-SRS, ESS Amt 1B. Finally
went through some Klipsch Belle, LaScala and Cornwalls and a set of Heresys. Five sets of Klipschorns
made their way through my life and each time I sold them only to miss them and find some more. My
wife is a real sweetie and even suggested that she move her "dish thing" out of the kitchen so we could
put our third set of Klipschorns in the house. Boy, was I ate up with it. Now I will never sell them again.
That's my FINAL ANSWER. I usually listen to them at 0.5 watts and you can really hear everything at
that level because of their high efficiency. Sweet juicy music all the time. You must have them set up
properly and use clean equipment and don't play garbage through them. They are so accurate that if it
ain't clean going in, you won't like what's coming out. So here's the deal. Grab your favorite cd or
a nice album like Cat Stevens ISITSO and go to an audio store(does one actuallly exist?) and find a
salesman who actually knows what he's doing and give them a listen. Forget all the preconceived ideas
about them sounding honky or being as big as Oldsmobiles. I'm sure an audiophile has told you, "Oh I
heard those, wasn't impressed." Listen for yourself. You might think that these can't keep up with the
likes of Magnepan, Martin Logan, and that a horn mated to a phenolic driver can cut it in this digital
age, but it's the other way around. They can't keep up with a fast accurate horn speaker. The bass horn
is so quick on impact and the midrange horn is so realistic. Klipsch really did their homework and I just
don't see the need to change anything about them. I've heard modification on the crossover and drivers
and it just can't cut it as compared to the complete measured system by Klipsch. In every case it was
worse. I was at the Klipsch festival in 2006 and a group was listening to some AK-2 equipped Klipschorns
and they sounded really good on some Mcintosh tube gear. We listened for a couple hours and the
wow and magic was there. Oops, then a crossover change. What happened to the magic and the
transparency? The owner just gave away $250.00 for someone to make his speakers sound worse. I and
another listener looked at each other and said "whaaaaat"? I've heard every crossover change except
the very latest and every one that was factory and tested no matter what time period, was pretty hard to
beat. Now go get a pair, they are going to be gone someday. People that won them won't want to give
them up except for dire reasons. The new, new world doesn't have time for the real gem that they have
been through the years. They will vanish along with civics once being taught in school and the Constitution
being followed and the phrase, "Wait till your father gets home!" is all gone. Thank you Paul W. Klipsch for
your gift to the audio world. Thank you Fred Klipsch for continuing to manufacture it. Happy listening my
friends and may GOD Bless!
Strengths: Efficiency and clarity, quality build
Weaknesses:May be too big for some people.Heavy
I got the new model with the monster cables( 2003), I have this hook up, to a two mono Aragon palladium 1k and if you listen classic music or like Frank Sinatra New York, New York, don’t have words to describe it, is like if Mr. Sinatra is in my living room, and now with a discount price 1k less I think is because of the world crisis, now on 2009 your better of. I pay the regular price but I don’t care I have them for a real long time and enjoy every moment, if you have the money and the space for this type of speakers I recommend that you go and buy this really good product.
Bought my Klipshorns in 1976. At that time the oiled walnut version sold for $1040 each. Upgraded them with new crossovers, bass and mid range drivers in 1990. As technology in the last 32 years has provided improved amplification, CDs and interconnects these speakers just keep sounding better and better. I've been a discriminating listener for over 40 years and have heard every major loudspeaker come and go during that time. The K horns continue to stand head and shoulders (both physically and audibly) above everything else. The basic laws of physics can't be changed. Paul Klipsch knew that and that's why these speakers sound the way they do.