Is the Klipsch Horn better than the Pioneer

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by welcomdmat, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If someone was looking to have Pioneer speakers of the CS-99a generation or the Klipsch Heresy first generation, has there been a definitive decision that one is better than the other?

    Let's say CS-88a or Klipsch Heressy II

    Pioneer CS-99a or first generation Klipsch LaScalla

    Where are there fair comparisons for speakers with horn tweeters?

    At what point is the decision based only on personal feeling of superiority/ investment?
     

     

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  2. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Aside from both having at least one horn, it's really comparing apples to oranges. The La Scala is horn loaded in bass, mid, and treble, whereas the Pioneer has only a horn loaded tweeter. The La Scala is physically much larger, and also much more sensitive due to being fully horn loaded.

    Klipsch speakers seem to be a love/hate thing, so I don't think a definitive decision will ever be reached, I personally would much rather have La Scalas than any multi driver mass market Japanese 1970s speaker, but I'm sure someone else will make an argument to the contrary.
     
  3. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I obviously don't understand the difference. In my experience, LaScalla speakers are from movie theaters that couldn't pay their bills, and Pioneer CS 99a speakers are from wealthy/ hobby rockers. To me they seem to have a number of intents that are similar.

    Maybe my age stretches my understanding.
     
  4. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member

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    Since no speakers are perfect, and engineers don’t even agree on what a perfect speaker should do, the OP must decide for himself what speakers are preferable.

    This answer may not be helpful but it’s true.
     
  5. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I understand that this answer is not definitive, but it is a little disappointing with a movie theater going out of business in my area. Seems I have little to gain by purchasing black painted LaScala speakers -- and I am okay with that.

    My goal is to learn rather than find answers.

    I am also a Pioneer speaker fan with my CS-A700s with FB cones
     
  6. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    These are quite different speakers, particularly when La Scala's are involved.

    BTW I'm sure the phrase "Klipsch Horn" in the title was referring to the horn tweeter, but I thought we were talking about the Klipschorn, and there is no Pioneer that even comes close to THAT design...
     
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  7. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    I would say that the large woofer in an undersized cabinet is a thing that the Heresy and CS99a do have in common.

    The 99a is a 5-way speaker with 7 drivers, and a very complex crossover. This can lead to phase issues from the crossover, and cancellation and/or a lot of differences in dispersion between drivers. I'm not knocking it but the Heresy (and virtually all of the Klipsches) will have a much simpler crossover and minimal drivers, and as a result, fewer issues with phasing, cancellation and dispersion.

    Whether one sounds better to you, though, is all that matters. No doubt they are both well built. I have seen the inside of a CS99a and the drivers are no slouches.
     
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  8. bryblob

    bryblob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I was going to say something but toxcrasadr said better than I could have.
     
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  9. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    All cards on the table -- I have spent three years trying to justify the purchase of a set of Klipsch speakers against my battery of CS-A700, CS-88a, and CS-99a Pioneer speakers.

    Perhaps I just don't understand the difference. I thought the structure of the midrange and tweeter had nullified the expense
     
  10. bryblob

    bryblob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have never heard the pioneers, based on looks I would say klipsch. Not aesthetics but drivers but that means nothing.
     
  11. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member

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    I owned both Heresys and LaScalas and IMO they both sound like Hell, with poor tonal balance with poor bass extension and harsh upper midrange and highs. However they also have the formidable virtues of excellent dynamics and low distortion and those virtues win over many people. This mix of strong virtues with strong faults is what makes these speakers controversial “love or hate” items. That’s why you should hear them yourself and make up your own mind. They <are> worth a listen.

    Note that the drivers in the Klipsch speakers are not of a particularly high quality but were chosen by PWK because they were “good enough”.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  12. bryblob

    bryblob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    the heresey's and lascalas seem like the odd ones out, they need tube amps and mods, subs etc..
     
  13. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Also, the fact that the Klipsch speakers have been in continuous production for over 50 years, and still manage to sell also says something.

    I would not say that the Klipsch speakers need tube amps, so much as low power tube amps need efficient speakers, and the La Scala are in a class of their own in terms of efficiency for the money.
     
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  14. bryblob

    bryblob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Pioneer has done that too though..
     
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  15. swechsler

    swechsler Frog Whisperer

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    Since we're on the subject:

    This isn't the first that CS-88s or 99s have been discussed on AK. To me they look like Kabuki speakers typical of the era. Are they really any better than that?
     
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  16. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Which specific models of Pioneer speakers from the 1960s are still made?
     

     

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  17. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I hope that all speakers are judged on their merit.

    I have had a fair few speakers through my modest space. If I judge on timpani, these crazy Pioneer speakers win every -- every -- time. I keep hoping that piano and strings will balance the engagement, and they don't impress.

    Perhaps there is an auto-tune aspect of modern music that I am missing out on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  18. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Kabuki basically describes speakers which were made to look impressive, rather than be designed according to sound engineering principals. Typical characteristics include using multiples of midrange and treble drivers, with a simplistic crossover.. They also often combine multiple design concepts like acoustic lenses make a reference to JBL but which don't actually do anything, or combining dome and horn tweeters in the same cabinet.

    They also often have a very large woofer in an undersized cabinet, making them very impressive looking and loud but lacking in deep bass response. In short, they were designed to look cool, and to SELL, rather than be accurate, which is in principal against the overall goal of high fidelity..

    "Kabuki" speakers were basically made by most of the mass market Japanese companies in the 1960s - 1970s. This isn't to say every speaker which came out of Japan is bad, there's plenty of exceptions (for example, Yamaha's Natural Sound speakers of the 1970s were fantastic sounding and by no means Kabuki), but the whole "kabuki" bad reputation thing is not about prejudice against Japan, it's more a prejudice against gimmicks and appearance being given priority over high fidelity.

    You would only want to buy Kabuki style speakers now if re-creating an era is your priority, there is absolutely no performance related reason to buy them. On the other hand, if you want your living room to look like a 1970s bachelor pad, by all means, they're almost ideal. I rebuilt a set of Sansui Kabukis and had lots of fun playing with them. They are certainly more entertaining to look at as objects than the more conservative speakers which were aimed at people with more refined taste.

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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  19. SiliconTi

    SiliconTi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Ok, here is my 2 cents.

    The La Scala and Heresy are weak in the bass department - not that it is not there, but what is there is clean and "honest", but they are not thumpers.

    They both use horns for the mids and tweeter (LS for bass too). Horns tend to sound very forward and can be bright. This is great in a theater where you want to project the mid for voices and music, but some do not like them in the home.

    Personally, I love the LS in my living room, which is only 20x14 or so with a cathedral ceiling, and would go with Klipsch over the Pioneers any day.

    If you can, try before you buy.
     
  20. bhunter

    bhunter The Spherical Cow

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    No they are not. In fact, aside from the excellent build, I can't think of a redeeming quality. Today, they are somewhat collectable. As mentioned above, that many drivers makes the whole thing overly complicated and the result is that the sound suffers. Heresys and LaScalas have both positive and negative attributes as Tom Brennan states, but overall, I find them much better than the Pioneers. If we were discussing TAD, then my opinion would change.
     
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