There’s no point in denying that the Klipsch community is full of DIY efforts. Sure, they violate our warranties and sometimes go against our acoustic principles, but goodness, some of the stuff we see from is downright awesome.
We have previously shown you a DIY effort from Klipsch Forum member Jonathan Wood who created a Frankenstein-version of the Klipsch KPT-904 cinema speakers. This time, we’re turning to fellow Klipsch Forums member Steve Bedard who created a similarly monstrous speaker that utilizes a K-402 horn and borrows elements from the elusive Klipsch Belle speaker.
For years, Bedard had friends who were pushing the Klipsch La Scala speakers on him and he understood why.
“It's amazing that a pair of used horns can be purchased for less than a grand and they are not out of place with up-stream gear that costs tens of thousands of dollars.”
Of course, speakers like the La Scala and Bedard’s creation are BIG. He originally thought that such speakers would be far too large for his dwelling, but after gaining more experience and doing some research, he decided to play around with his home system.
He has been tweaking his system for eight years now, focusing on Klipsch modifications for the past three years and hasn’t looked back.
“The horns are just great. Everything else sounds lacking or hyper-real to me now. The horns present a natural feeling of 'being there', wherever 'there' is, be it a live recording or a mixing booth.”
His first effort was a Bob Crities “CornScala” (a hybrid of the Cornwall and La Scala), which Bedard loved.
After that, he decided that he wanted to build speakers with separate low and high frequency components so that he could try out different combinations of horns, drivers and woofers.
Bedard didn’t jump right away into using the K-402, though. He started off using parts from the CornScala and then a K-502 before finally landing on the K-402.
“I decided to stop with the half-measures and just go with what was described as the best.”
The bass section is based on the Klipsch Belle except Bedard “smoothed out a couple of the angles and joints to make it a bit more modern in appearance.”
This turned into a winning combination for Bedard.
“These things are big in every way, especially the sonic presentation. At reasonable volumes they can present a wall of sound or pinpoint imaging. Fast, punchy, nimble, are words that come to mind when thinking of their dynamics.”
Of course, his creation is admittedly not perfect.
“They don't 'measure' great. Critics will point to the lack of low bass, the peak response at 150Hz and the fall off of the extreme high end. But all speakers exhibit some form of compromise. Some crazy guy once spouted off that the "best speakers for music have response curves that look like they were drawn by a fiddler's elbow" -- I like that visual. These fit the music I play, the music I enjoy.”
For those curious, here is the setup he is using with the speakers:
- Leben integrated CS-600 amp
- Leben RS-EQ phono stage
- PTP Solid 12 (Lenco rebuild) Turntable with a 12" Schick arm and modified Denon 103 cartridge
Physically, the speakers work for Bedard as well, noting that the plywood aesthetic works with his décor. Obviously, you can’t miss these speakers when you walk into the room. They certainly stand out.
All in all, the project took five months of work and he even had to join a co-op workshop. After all, Bedard lives in Vancouver, Canada, which is an extremely expensive city where affordable space is an issue.
Now, was all of the effort worth it? Obviously, for Bedard, the answer is “yes.” In fact, Bedard isn’t done experimenting with this design. He is going to take the lessons he learned from this effort but use a Cornwall-style bass bin instead of one modeled off the Belle.
“I like having the experience to critically listen and discuss the different designs. Living with the speakers and building them myself are the only way to really educate myself on this stuff. I can see myself swapping the 402 and 510 horns and the Belle and Cornwall bases around for the next few years.”
We can’t wait to check it out!
Before posting this blog, Bedard wanted to make one thing clear about his speakers: “I am standing on the shoulders of great designers. I just built the things and get to listen to them.”
DISCLAIMER: While we love these DIY projects from Klipsch fans, it should be noted they violate the warranty of the products.
What do you think of Steve Bedard’s DIY Klipsch speakers? Have you done something like this yourself? Post in the comments below!
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