Vintage Speakerlab Khorns....clone/copy of the famous Klipsch Kornerhorns - only a lot, very much cheaper
I am no expert on these - but am hearing that the horns and woofer are actually same as Klipsch parts, or quite comparable, or or?
It does seem that these are taken seriously for their sound quality by the vintage and audiophile community - and are overall considered quite a bargain.
Speakerlab was from Seattle Washington i think - and had quite a following few decades ago. Sold mostly kits with drivers and plans, and DIY for the cabinets.
Lots of info on the net - klipsch forums, etc. Also, looks like Speakerlab was still in business as of 2013 and may be still? They have a nice website and show their product catalogs way back including these speakers. Speakerlab was started in 1972.
From the Speakerlab site - looks like this set was aprox 1980. 1978 catalog shows them but with 4 ohm drivers. In 1980 had this exact set of drivers, at 8 ohm.
Would appreciate more info if you have it?
Whatever info and research one can do - comes down to - whats it sound like, and whats it cost?
Sound - They sound good - very good value at my price. Bass especially is very nice - digs deep, rich and accurate. Dec 20 I just spent some time with them again - running a strong Sansui Ba-3000 solid state amp behind a modest tube amp Audible Illusions Modulus 2. Was a bit surprised how good these sound. I had my $1000 (new) Tyler Acoustic Linbrooks hooked up as well - and was going back and forth A to B speakers. A couple of times I lost track and thought I was listening to the Tylers, but really was the Speakerlabs. What the? Shouldn't be that close in sound, The Tylers are used worth $3000 now, but still were supposed to deystroy the Khorns.
Probably the crossovers need to be redone to get the most out of the mids and highs. Am quite sure they have more to give? No surprise there - probably 35 year old parts. But certainly useable as is. Contenders in the $1000 - 2000 price range of used speakers, i say.
Bass especially is very nice - smooth but detailed, and definately has some. Upon reading forums, the consensus is that yes - i hear it right - bass is very nice. Better than LaScalas many say.
I think very efficient - as in the 100 dB range? Which means low power amps will drive them nicely. As in 20 good quality watts of ss power or less in tube amps.
These are the later 8 ohm version - earlier sets were 4 ohms. 8 ohms more friendly for more amps.
Also higher power rating - eariler were 150 watts max. These are rated to handle 250 rms. I've been feeding 200 and sure no issues.
Space neeed? I also observe that they take up less space in a room than you might expect - assuming i have them placed close to correctly (fair tight into corners?). So they aren't sitting out a few feet into your room, as many speakers require. They are designed to fit flush into the corners (Kornerhorns don't you know) - say 2 to 4 in from walls. And the front face is at 45 degree. Sides are about 32 in out along the walls (when placed 3-4 in from walls), but front is only sticking out about 20" at center of front panel. Also, you can put stuff right close to the front of them - at least I think that's OK. Woofer fires rearward and horns sit up above 36 in somewhere - so you can use the space in front. Also - again if i am doing acceptable thing - with bass not coming directly forward from front of speaker (bounces back off both walls instead) - well i have taken liberties and placed other items up close to front of them. Like other speakers - as in the photo here with my 36 in tall custom jbls. Or for you possibly potted plants, or pot plants? Daves not here, man. He's at your place, drinking your beer and cleaning out the fridge. The mids and highs are way up there above the stuff in front. Maybe this is not cool for ultimate sound, but been good for me.
And - they come apart in 2 pieces - the top cabinet houses the horns and crossovers, the bottom just the 15 in bass driver. I managed to unload myself and im an old little geezer. I think some of early Klipsch were one piece! Wow - moving those muthas would be a workout.
After noodling on the web, am a bit dazed as to details and benefits/weakness of the various drivers i have here. Back to whats it sound like? Sounds good dude. Forum concensus as i predicted - crossovers weak link, especially at this age. ALK look to be the ultimate upgrade on xovers.
Were built in Calgary, I think - to Speakerlab detailed plans. The workmanship is really good. Someone knew there way around a tablesaw and thats for sure.
All high grade fir plywood. Not a spec of particleboard. Front face and top are veneered in a more attractive wood, walnut maybe? In pretty good shape.
You know how well built when you can take one of the 4 side grills and at random fit it onto any of the 4 places it could go, and the 2 holes for studs line up every time, every one.
To build just the cabinets today would be wow...who knows..if you hired a good carpenter - probably $800-1000 with materials?
Condition - probably a 7.5 as compared to several other pair of Speakerlab khorns. Few nicks here and there, grill fabric a bit tatty.
Bit of extra space cutout around the big horns in top section - not sure whats up with that, possibly a change to different horn? Not sure how much it matters either. A lot of open air in this design.
Not as nice to look at as mint genuiine Klipsch Khorns, but sure nothing shabby. The well executed real plywood cabs have a solid for real quality about them.
And who knows on the sound? The views out there are that these are certainly comparable to genuine Klipsch, although some say at least some Kllipsch sound better - possibly due to better crossovers? Crossovers are an easy upgrade.
Tweeter horn - Speakerlab WA4000 - 8 ohm
Midrange horn - Speakerlab HD350B - 16 ohm, mounted to an H850 horn. Will have to check when i get home from work, but horn may be cast iron which is more desireable than later fiberglass horns.
Woofer - Speakerlab W1508S - 8 ohms
Crossovers - Speakerlab. With switchs for mid and high attenuatiion.
Power - 10 watts minimum. 250 watts RMS maximum
Price? Are not that commonly available - but some have been advertised off and on in the $1000 zone plus or minus, usually US dollars. New Klipsch Kornerhorns are i think $15,000 - and used older ones probably $5000 plus/minus.
If i keep for long, will do something with the crossovers - either get rebuilt locally, or maybe spend the big bucks and get a Bob Crites or even better an ALK setup all new. That runs to $500 or more though for ALK. Dang us dollar!
In central Alberta. You pretty much need to come fetch. Not likely you can talk me into shipping - mind you i said same on those freaking huge Dayton Electrostatics and then i got offered enough cash to crate them - and I did so.
I suppose I could deliver to Calgary or Red Deer for a bit of cash. and maybe Edmonton for more cash - on my schedule. But better to see and hear them first.
Lowball offers go straight to spam and stay there.
Email or call/text 403-443-3229 - not after 9 pm mountain please
Re: Speakerlab K-Horns...clones of the Klipsch Kornerhorns - 1980 - V Efficient - Impressive
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