Karlson speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by brainsmasher, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. brainsmasher

    brainsmasher Mid-Fi Madman

    Messages:
    1,496
    Location:
    Denver
    Does anybody have opinions on karlson speakers. I ask because I have had a pair of kit karlsons for a couple of months and finally got them put with an amp that makes them shine. Mine came with utah drivers with bad highs which upon removal showed deffinate signs of being peed on (not mine), replaced them with some heathkit/jensen AS-183 and WOW 8 watts of window rattling floor shaking bass and crystal clear highs. Much better than the original cabs those heaths came in. Am I missing something or are others missing it.
    Brian
     
  2. Pearson

    Pearson Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Do you mean Carlsson? Stig Carlsson was a legendary speaker designer in Sweden, who was way ahead of his time. Often regarded as "Bose clones" in many countries, the speakers (sold under the brand name 'Sonab' in the 60s/70s) have actually nothing in common with Bose speakers. There is a good Swedish website dedicated to the Carlsson/Sonab speakers, alas mostly in Swedish, although some pages have been translated so far.

    http://www.carlssonplanet.com/
     
  3. brainsmasher

    brainsmasher Mid-Fi Madman

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    Denver
    These are from the 50's or so for use with full range drivers. With kits for 12" and 15" These are 12" the cabs are about 24"tall 18"wide and 14" deep. I do not remember the exact reason for the tapered slot but they sure do look neat.
     
  4. Don McR

    Don McR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    [​IMG]

    John Karlson designed the enclosure that bears his name. They were most popular in the 50's with coax speakers like the Altec 604 and Electrovoice models. They had a brief resurgence in the mid 70's when they were used in pro sound applications. I heard a set around 1975, when a local hifi dealer began selling home made Karlsons stuffed with JBL D130's and 075 tweeters. Not the deepest response, and rather coloured sounding, but with some of the most kick-ass bass I've heard.

    There is a website devoted to Karlsons here:

    http://home.planet.nl/~ulfman/
     
  5. Celt

    Celt Super Maude Super Mod Subscriber

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    Paragould, Arkansas
    A friend of mine has an original Karlson with a 15" University woofer. Suppose to have usuable bass to 19Hz. His was designed to be used solely as a bass cabinet with sattelite spekers. Original system (1960-62) had that, two JBL full range, bass reflex cabinets with an 8" and a three channel, tube Altec amp, a Fisher FM tuner and a Garrard magnetic turntable.
     
  6. brainsmasher

    brainsmasher Mid-Fi Madman

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    1,496
    Location:
    Denver
    HMMM

    Forgive me if this question is kind of remedial but Celts post got me thinking. I have some other homemade speakers with a stephens fullrange 8" and a ev t35 that sound good on their own but lack bass. How would I go about mating the 2 together to make a "better" speaker. Please explain it in a way that an electronically uneducated butcher could understand like lots of pictures and big letters preferably on big chief paper:D
    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  7. Celt

    Celt Super Maude Super Mod Subscriber

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    Paragould, Arkansas
    The best way to do it is to borrow a reliable audio generator or a CD that has dedicated tracks, noting the frequencies and do a sweep of your speakers to determine their lower half-power down point (-3dB to -6dB). You'll need to use an SPL meter (Rat Shack 33-2050 analog is good), to measure this and make sure you use the correction sheet that is supplied with the meter, because the meters response have anomalies that need to be corrected. As far as filling in bass, I am going to suggest a good dedicated powered subwoofer. The plate amps on these will accept both line level and speaker level signals and you can dial in the crossing point, phase and volume of them. Parts Express sells Titanic Sub kits that are very good. I can also reccommend the Adaire Rava Sub and Selah Audio's Whomp! sub. They make musical bass and are fast in their transients.
     
  8. Kenny

    Kenny Active Member

    Messages:
    487
    Location:
    London Canada
    Karlson did somebody mention Karlson???

    Hi, I am actually listening to a pair of 15 inch vintage Karsons as I write this...they were a very generous Chritmas Gift from "Santa and his many helpers",the AK "Audio Elfen Folk".. if interested you can read about it in the Speaker section under "Big Woofers and Horns" the thread went to the moon and back, actually the North Pole I think, but am still not really sure!! It still gives me a good feeling and I laugh heartilly whenever thinking about it ,Great Fun!! thanks again to all the Ak members who took part,and believe it or not, actually drove the Karlson's with Eminence woofers and crossovers all the way up from Ohio and up into London Ontario Canada!!! Wow!! what a combined Christmas Spirit!! anyways the way I use the Karlson's is by combining them with the Altec Lansing 811b horns and 802 drivers(mounted on top of cabinet), using an Eico HF-81 14 watt tube amp, dvd player for movies and "Live " dvd performances, turntable with 60's70's tunes, and Jazz/vocal cd'z...,having played drums in the past I find the bass drum and bass guitar lines represented well and believe me the horns take care of the rest..I say "listen" with your "own ears" and only let other people's opinions guide you to a starting point...the Karlsons, complete with horns and tubes do some things that appeal to me,draw me into the music/movie, and seem " Right" in my humble very limited expierience opinion..I think(not sure though) they were originally designed for co-axial speakers but find them better than "OK" by me for my listening habits..Kenny
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2004
  9. LPD

    LPD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,173
    Location:
    West Coast
    I own a K-15 Karlson cabinet with an EV 12TRX inside. Most of the flaws of this speaker system are with internal bracing and resonance. If you go to the Karlson homepage it gives a tutorial on how to brace the cabinet better. Great bass, but muddy midrange...I use mine for mono listening on 78's so I'm not doing any critical listining.
     
  10. mikebake

    mikebake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Lima, Ohio
    Brainsmasher;
    You MUST make contact with Fred Ireson, THE keeper of the Karlson flame. He never runs out of energy to discuss them.
    Besides the Karlson forum, try him on the high efficiency forum on www.audioasylum.com

    He goes by freddyi there..


    MBB
     
  11. Celt

    Celt Super Maude Super Mod Subscriber

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    38,311
    Location:
    Paragould, Arkansas
    I thought LPD would enjoy seeing this...
     
  12. bully

    bully member

    Messages:
    12,750
    Location:
    Near Lafayette, Indiana
    Darn fine response down low!
    It is good to keep those old babies playing!
    Neat advertisment.
     
  13. House de Kris

    House de Kris Loud-n-Deep

    Messages:
    2,136
    Location:
    Texas
    Wow, missed this thread the first time around. Sure I remember the Karlson Enclosure. Grew up with ONE, back in the days of mono. Loved that thump. Had a University triaxial. Sounded good, with a distinctive sound.
     
  14. Bauhausler

    Bauhausler Rational Subjectivist

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    Detroit, more or less
    Member Trilln451 has some interesting experience with this speaker. Her boss asked her to reverse engineer a small one and draw it on Autocad. The boss' uncle apparently is the owner of Karlson's patents or records or something. He's all enthusiastic about producing the things for HT applications. This is no garden variety crackpot (the uncle). The guy apparently invented the method that automakers use to 'layer' the computer circuits in car control systems. I've seen the proto of the testing jig for them and some of the circuit cards.
    Anyway, we had a very small Karlson here for her to measure and draw. I hooked it up to her office stereo to see how it sounded and wasn't impressed. Note that this unit used a 4" driver and the 'cabinet' was about 16" long. Obviously some kind of HF speaker.
    The plan was to use CNC methods to whittle the enclosures out of some material. I'm not sure that's a good idea when circular saws and MDF do such a nice job.
     
  15. Bauhausler

    Bauhausler Rational Subjectivist

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    Detroit, more or less
    I recently overhauled two pairs of Sonab speakers for a friend. One pair had 8 woofers and 32 tweeters. They sounded totally unlike anything else I have heard, and would never be mistaken for Bose. I restored 2 pairs of 901s a couple of months earlier and was vastly underwhelmed with them. The Sonabs threw a big psychedelic 3D soundstage that was obviously artificial, but really neat nevertheless. Kinda like Disney Land but cheaper and closer to home.
     
  16. Thatch_Ear

    Thatch_Ear Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,786
    I don't have any Big Chief newsprint to draw you pictures on Brain, but from what I have heard about them while not actually listening to any myself; The Karlson is best used as a subwoofer cabinet. Your 8" FR Universities with EV T35s should go very well with the Karlsons and if things are a bit blurred then think about crossovers. I would not allow the separate cabinets to touch as the mid/tweet box probably cannot shed more vibration than it produces. Speakers stands or some form of isolation to decouple the mid/highs from the bass bin would be advised. Karlsons are based on a design combination of a cone, cylinder and a box. Unique in the audio world. Congrats!
     

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