What an awesome experience! I’ve been a Klipsch employee for 14 years and this was my first trip to the Motherland – Hope, AR, where it all started for the 2016 Klipsch Pilgrimage.
The town of Hope is small and filled with people who are kind and generous. I was surprised by how large the Klipsch factory actually was than I expected it to be. It’s gone through several additions as the company has grown. Inside the factory, it was truly great to meet all of the other Klipsch employees that I’ve worked alongside for so many years from thousands of miles away.
One of the highlights of my time in Hope was seeing 70th Anniversary Klipschorns and Heresy speakers being handcrafted on the assembly lines during our factory tour. All of the visitors took photos of the speakers like they were celebrities on the red carpet. The factory was full of both sawdust and pride.
Around 125 forum members attended the Pilgrimage and were thrilled to shake hands with, thank and feed the Klipsch employees that hand build the speakers they revere so much. That’s right. These pilgrims were so grateful that they fed all of the factory workers. Remarkable.
It’s events like this that are really just as our brand story states on Klipsch.com, “Something very special occurred in a tiny tin shed in Hope, AR when Paul W. Klipsch (PWK) designed the Klipschorn. He has forever impacted legions of music lovers. His passion enabled theirs, citing something akin to a religious experience.”
After touring the factory, we visited the Klipsch audio museum with all of its rare finds and prized possessions. Additionally, we all listened to giant speakers that brought tears to my eyes and gave me goosebumps. The rare Klipsch Jubilee, Klipschorns, Palladium P-39Fs, RF-7 IIs and some KPT-Cinema Grandeur speakers with 1802 subwoofers all knocked my socks off.
After the festivities at the Klipsch plant were over, we carried on at Rodney Newton’s 600-acre farm. Rodney is a die-hard Klipsch fan and he was absolutely instrumental in helping us pull off the weekend. His generosity was unparalleled.
His farm is vast and beautiful, covered in green grass, red clay dirt, farm animals and Rodney's man-made lakes throughout. He fed us delicious food from the farm and gave us a safe haven to party down and turn the speaker volume up. There were walls of legendary Klipsch KP-600 speakers on the property that sounded like a live rock concert. The sound even drew the cattle in as they lay in the pasture nearby to listen in.
All in all, we spent a couple great days with rabid, dedicated Klipsch fans. We shared a common bond while swapping stories about PWK, our own Klipsch speakers, and why we felt compelled to come together for this event.
Time seemed to slow down during my time in Hope and we were able to appreciate good tunes, superb audio, as well as new and old friends.
I’d like to give a special shout out to Christy Luquet aka "dtel's wife" on the Klipsch Forums for putting on such an incredible event for the Klipsch community. She’s one of a kind and a genuine spirit. I am thankful to have met her and the rest of the group.
Were you with Jill at the 2016 Klipsch Pilgrimage? Let us know your impressions in the comments below!
CLICK HERE to view more photos from the 2016 Klipsch Pilgrimage.
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