Category Archives: Vintage

Good Poop: Why Me?

In 1978, Paul W. Klipsch’s interest in building his own drivers resulted in my invitation to Hope for an interview that summer. I was working at Rola, one of the oldest OEM driver suppliers, having commenced operations in 1926. 

Klipsch was courting Rola as a second supplier to the established Eminence products, and I was the Rola engineer assigned to the Klipsch account. The interview was a tag-team affair with PWK in the last round.

While I entered his office “properly intimidated” in the presence of “A Legend in Sound”, he quickly put me at ease. 

One question I remember was to the effect: “What have you learned while employed at Rola?” My answer was: “I’ve learned how much I didn’t learn in college.” 

This seemed to please him.

His demeanor, and that of the rest of the staff, were “like waving a bull in front of a red flag” for me (his cracked quote). I was hired & reported to work on October 2, 1978.

Ironically, after a few months of study I convinced everyone that Klipsch did not yet have the volume to economically support in-house driver manufacturing!  Paul reviewed the numbers, and had to agree that his intentions were financially premature. 

Fortunately a new lab with anechoic chamber was under development, which kept me gainfully employed.

Do you have your own Paul W. Klipsch story that would be good for “Good Poop”? Post it in the comments below.

What is “Good Poop”?

40 Years and Counting with Klipsch Heresy Speakers

When Candace Tinkler turned 20 years old, her father treated her to Klipsch Heresy speakers. Now, 40 years later, Candace remains in love with the speakers she received on her 20th birthday.

“It was a big deal to splurge on these luxury items,” Tinkler said. “My father had a deep love of music which he shared with me. He grew up during The Great Depression and his family didn’t have money for him to take music lessons, so he showered me with musical opportunities that he never had.”

Before making the leap, Tinkler and her father did their research. Although she doesn’t remember exactly what the key reasons were for picking the Heresy speakers, Tinker had spoken with both her professional musician friends and employees from several high-end audio stores who all recommended Klipsch.

After hearing a demo of these handcrafted speakers at a specialty audio store in San Francisco, her Dad was so excited that he purchased a pair for the family home in addition to the pair he bought for her. Although he may have passed away two years ago at the age of 89, his Heresy speakers continue to rock in the family home.

Since their purchase in 1975, Tinkler’s Heresy speakers have been moved all over the United States, far away from the speakers’ birthplace in Hope, Arkansas. As a National Park Service employee, they have “survived” Zion, Bighorn Canyon, Channel Islands, Grand Canyon, Everglades, New River Gorge and, currently, Redwood National Parks.

The question of whether it is worth it to carry these 44 lb. speakers from place to place is downright silly to Tinkler.

“I love these speakers! I have never thought of myself as a hoarder and, in fact, I am a bit ruthless about getting rid of junk that doesn’t work to my expectations. On the other hand, I hang on to things I love.”

Currently residing in Crescent City, California, Tinkler’s American-made speakers have gained notoriety throughout the town.

“Every July 4th during the fireworks, I open the windows, turn the speakers towards the street and crank the volume up crazy high. Everyone cheers! It is a town tradition. The speakers are so loud, it is like a rock concert!”

The speakers’ survival and impeccable condition even more remarkable because Tinkler never even got around to staining the speakers’ bare wood.

“Can you believe it?”

Heck, yes. This is Klipsch.


How long have you had your Klipsch speakers? Post a comment below!

Candace Tinkler Klipsch Heresy Speakers

Good Poop: The First Time I Saw Paul W. Klipsch

Way back in 1976, I found myself in Philadelphia for my first professional society meeting –  the Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, IEEE International Conference on ICASSP. (Whew! What a mouthful.)

As a “green kid” of nearly 25, I was still working as a driver engineer at Rola, one of the USA’s earliest original equipment driver suppliers. Believe it or not, there was a substantial speaker driver manufacturing industry in the USA before Mexico, and then China, assumed dominance respectively.

I was surprised to see this somewhat scruffy old guy walking down the aisle during a paper presentation handing out some kind of trinket. Later I discovered that he was the presenter of the paper I had had come to see: “Loudspeaker Distortion” (included in our Audio Papers collection).

This was the first time I laid eyes on Paul W. Klipsch.

The trinket was nothing less than the little yellow BS button! In the context of a “sophisticated society event”, it was a bit mind-bending to this youngster.

Two years later I would meet him formally for an interview in Hope, Arkansas, and also learn the meaning of his little yellow button.

Do you have your own Paul W. Klipsch story that would be good for “Good Poop”? Post it in the comments below

Dads That Rock: Heresy Is Good for the Soul

It is no great surprise that many of our life-long obsessions with music and great audio began with our fathers. The blog series “Dads That Rock” is an on-going Father’s Day tribute to these great men who helped inspire our passions. “JimJimbo” from the Klipsch Forums submitted the story below with minimal edits by the Klipsch editorial staff.

My mom and dad were both raised in the 1930’s and 1940’s and loved all kinds of music. They had very eclectic tastes from big band to Kingston Trio folk, Herb Alpert, Sinatra, Elvis, Beatles and even some light rock.

We lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the time. Around 1972 my dad bought a huge, gorgeous walnut console stereo with a turntable and AM/FM tuner. He was very proud of it and the console was the star of our living room.

My dad was a sales manager for a large automotive company and there were quite a few parties that took place at our home for clients and friends. The music was always playing and turned up!

Soon after, in 1974, I joined the Navy and was sent to San Diego for boot camp. Upon completion, we were let loose in town and I happened to spot a stereo shop there (the name escapes me).

I went in and spent some time listening to a few sets of speakers, receivers and amplifiers. I was immediately taken with a pair of Klipsch Heresy speakers that I heard.

With the money I had saved during my time in boot camp, I purchased the Heresy speakers and had them shipped home to Grand Rapids. I went home on leave before my next assignment and the Heresy speakers were there waiting.

I had to find something to power them, so a friend loaned me a cool Sansui integrated amp. I think it was an AU-777 and a decent turntable. The system went down to the basement and for the next week or so lots of Hendrix, Traffic, Allman Brothers and Clapton were played.

My dad came down a couple of times to ask me to turn it down, but when he reached the bottom of the stairs and heard the stunning difference between his precious console and the Heresy system, he stayed for a while and listened.

I went off to Submarine school and then to a boat in Pearl Harbor for a year or so. When I returned on leave the next time to my parents home, guess which system was in the living room and which was in the basement?

This was the beginning of my love for Klipsch.


Do you have a story about your dad that rocks and his Klipsch speakers? Post it in the comments below and/or email it to

Dads That Rock: Klipsch Fortes in the Family

It is no great surprise that many of our life-long obsessions with music and great audio began with our fathers. The blog series “Dads That Rock” is an on-going Father’s Day tribute to these great men who helped inspire our passions. Matt Milligan submitted the story below with minimal edits by the Klipsch editorial staff.

Back in 1985 or 1986 during his junior year at the Naval Academy my dad he went around to many high-end audio stores in the Washington DC area and tested multiple speakers before deciding on Klipsch. He specifically remembers using the Star Wars theme track album to test the speakers. He said the sound and physical appeal (wood cabinets) of the speakers were both “phenomenal.”

He knew the Klipsch Forte speakers were horn loaded and that intrigued him, but other than that he did not know much about them.

My dad had not told me much about the speakers before 2013. I only knew that there were speakers in big boxes in the garage. Then after about three months of asking to see them and being denied because he was to busy with work, I just took them out of the garage one day while he was out running errands.

A good call on my part because they haven’t gone back in the garage since.

Matt Milligan Klipsch Forte KG1

The album on top of the shelf between the KG1’s is a Journey album autographed buy Neil Schon and Steve Smith. The Onkyo amplifier, tune, cd player and turntable are all the same ones my dad purchased. The stereo set on the bottom is the one I bought for my dorm room. I bought the KG1’s on Craigslist before college started for $100, and they sound fantastic. They were a real steal.

I still listen to records with him occasionally. Fortunately, he kept all of his 33’s including AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and others from when he was a kid. He also still has mixed tapes he made in college that I listen too, they include a lot of 80’s bands, Fine Young Cannibals, The The, Violent Femmes, etc…

Personally I love the Forte speakers and I conducted my own experiment in which I turned my amplifier up to volume level 25/40. I then proceeded to walk 14 houses down my street before I couldn’t hear the speakers anymore – no joke!

I can’t speak highly enough of the Fortes. Any time I hear someone talking about or thinking of buying speakers, Klipsch is the first name I bring into the conversation. I recommend the brand to literally everyone I meet.

When I started at the California Maritime Academy, I left the Fortes at my house, but I bought the Klipsch KG1’s on Craigslist specifically for my dorm room. They are a convenient size, yet even with the KG1’s I am able to get into trouble.

My friends have also learned to love Klipsch speakers. A lot of my friends listen to more hip-hop/rap than I do (I guess I’m bit of an old soul) and they love it when I bring them over, turn up the bass and crank the volume up. Objects will literally vibrate off of the shelves in my room.

I still have yet to blow a woman’s clothes off though, haha. I have also gotten in trouble with the RA’s (FROM THE FLOOR BELOW ME!) a few times for playing the music to loud.

I couldn’t even imagine having the Fortes at school with me, but I do plan on bringing them with me my sophomore year. Look out.


Do you have a story about your dad that rocks and his Klipsch speakers? Post it in the comments below and/or email it to

Good Poop: The Orr Auction

J. Herbert Orr of Opelika, Alabama started the Orradio manufacturing company after WWII. According to Wikipedia, he produced “the first commercially available audio tape, video tape and computer tape in the world.”

Orr had been one of three soldiers that “captured” the Magnetophones in Germany after the war, which essentially started the modern tape recording business in the USA.

Paul Klipsch was a friend of Mr. Orr, and used Orr tape for his short-lived KlipschTape venture in the late 1950’s.

After Orr’s death in 1984 there was an auction of his vast radio paraphernalia collection. Naturally, Paul and I found ourselves there with a bidding card. The crown jewel of the sale was one of the original Magnetophones. I probably could have been arrested for my jabbing at Paul to bid!

Unfortunately the minimum bid was set at $10,000, and while he could afford it, he abstained (dammit!).

Some dozen or so of the items acquired at this sale can be found in the Klipsch Museum of Audio History. They include test equipment, radios, horns, and tape players.

Do you have your own Paul W. Klipsch story that would be good for “Good Poop“? Post it in the comments below.


An Extended Family Through Klipsch

Klipsch is a family. That’s not corporate-rhetoric and it doesn’t just refer those with the last name of Klipsch.

For Christy (“dtel’s wife” on the Klipsch Forum), her path to the Klipsch family began as a child, touring around the country with her parents who owned a portable roller skating rink.

“By the age of 18 months, I had my own roller skates and ‘hit the floor’ dancing with them.  My love of music was born!” said Christy.”

She eventually met her husband Elden (“dtel“) who was already a full-blown “audio geek” and the wheels were set in motion.

Ten years ago, they purchased a set of Klipsch Synergy speakers and joined the Klipsch Forum. They both posted frequently on the Forum, developing a fondness for both the products and the people on the message boards. The Synergy speakers wouldn’t stay for long and they upgraded quickly to three pairs of the Klipsch Forte IIs.

The couple went down to Hope, Arkansas in 2007 for the annual Klipsch Pilgrimage and came back with a pair of Klipsch Cornwall III speakers from a sweepstakes. They wouldn’t stay content with winning speakers, though.

The list of Klipsch products they have purchased is beyond impressive:

“ Our home is truly powered by Klipsch speakers.”

While all of these speakers are great, Christy’s love for Klipsch goes beyond quality products. It’s the sense of community that is so special.

“The Klipsch Forum is like our family.  We rarely miss an opportunity to meet up with our Klipsch friends.  We have traveled to Hope numerous times and even made the trek to Indianapolis for one of the Pilgrimages. “

When Christy says “family,” she means it.

“We make it a point to open our home to Forum members travelling across states, and have had several members as overnight guests. We share our love of “all things Klipsch” with anyone that will listen!”

Christy’s passion has extended to her family, as her daughters and grandchildren have also become Klipsch fans, attending Klipsch Pilgrimages in the past including this year’s employee appreciation event. Christy’s grandson attended his first Pilgrimage when he was four years old! Now 15, he owns a pair of Klipsch Heresy II speakers.

While her husband has been in charge of installing the speakers, Christy and her daughters have decided on aesthetics and helped nudge her husband in the right (louder) direction.

“It was our oldest daughter, Jaime and me that convinced Elden to let us have the MWMs, 402 in our living room. He thought they were too big!”

Audiophiles need not be stereotyped. They come in all forms including that of a proud mother from southern Mississippi who has found a family that keeps on growing.

“I truly lack the words to express what Klipsch means to our family. It’s not just a household brand to us. Each of you are a part of our family.”


Happy Mother’s Day! Are you or someone you know an audiophile and a mother? We’d love to hear from you! Post a comment below.



Therapy Through Klipsch Speakers

Shaun Ivy is a passionate audiophile and a member of Klipsch forums, known there as “wakejunkie”. He is part of a close-knit group of audio enthusiasts who are both the company’s biggest supporters and biggest critics of Klipsch speakers.

He has actually been mentioned on this blog before for receiving the spoils from Michael Stevens’ divorce sale coup, which included Reference RF-7 II floorstanding speakers. As Michael’s best friend, Shaun received them at a “yard sale price.”

Unfortunately, Shaun has had three strokes recently. The doctors gave him a ten percent chance of surviving the first one. Surviving the second one put him at one percent.

Surviving three strokes? Well, it’s a miracle that Shaun is still here.

Prior to suffering his first stroke, Shaun reached out to Klipsch to talk about a different set of speakers he received through a special garage sale find. (Yes, he has two different kick-ass Klipsch speaker setups and, yes, you should be jealous.)

Where Shaun is from, vintage Klipsch speakers are a rare find, but he is always on the lookout for a deal. One day, he just happened to be scouring the yard sales and came across a pair of Klipsch Heresy II speakers. He was excited to say the least.

The owner’s wife was running the yard sale and ran inside the house to ask her husband the price for the Heresy speakers. Shaun was expecting $200-$300 for the pair…

“When she said $25 I about fell out. It was hard to keep my composure. I quickly and quite happily paid her for the speakers and a 50 cent blanket to wrap them in.”

That’s not a typo – $25. He got them in excellent condition with only a couple minor surface imperfections on the cabinets. Everything else, including the cones and grilles, was in perfect shape. They even have sequential serial numbers, dating them to be crafted in 1988.

These speakers replaced a pair of Klipsch Synergy B-2s in Shaun’s living room. They serve as the perfect complement to his separate home theater room, which boasts the aforementioned RF-7 II speakers, a custom-built RF-7 II center channel and four RS-35 speakers to go along with a 130” transparent screen.

Shaun Ivy's Heresy II Speakers

Both these speaker setups have been a welcome retreat for Shaun during his recovery from a multitude of strokes with the speakers in constant use.

“Klipsch therapy has top notch healing abilities.”

The point of this blog post isn’t to pat our backs and scream “KLIPSCH SPEAKERS SAVE LIVES!” Not at all. The point is that the audiophile community is a special one, full of people that care about each other.

Michael posted a topic regarding Shaun’s medical issues and the thread is flooded with people offering their thoughts and prayers. Some of these people Shaun knows very well and some of them he doesn’t. Either way, their comments go a long way towards helping him on his road to recovery.

Shaun Ivy Forum Post

Some people are claiming that great audio doesn’t matter anymore. Well, we call “bullshit.”

When people like Shaun get so much joy out of their systems, it matters. It matters just about as much as anything.

Rock on, Shaun.


Do you have a unique story about your Klipsch speakers? Did you get them in an unbelievable deal? Post a comment below and/or email

Klipsch Heresy Speakers: From Germany to New York to California

Back in 1983, Todd Fitchette was serving as a military policeman for the U.S. Army and stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Fresh out of high school, he was keen on purchasing a sound system in which he could use inside his quarters.

“If there was one thing a young soldier at the time used for bragging rights, it was his stereo system.”

Fitchette first heard Klipsch speakers in high school, where a classmate who ran the high school dances would bring in Klipsch La Scala speakers to use with the rest of his sound equipment. The La Scalas impressed Fitchette with their ability to play the Eagles, Styx, the Bee Gees and other popular dance songs of that generation.

“You not only heard the sound, but you felt it too. I recall being surprised at how big they were and how loud (and clear) they were. I thought their shape was quite cool, too.”

Now, obviously, the La Scalas were too big for Fitchette to lug from the store to the barracks, much less on his subsequent moves, but he did find another suitable option at the military post exchange (PX) in the Vogelweh Military Community– Klipsch Heresy speakers.

His best point of comparison was a pair of Infinity speakers that his roommate owned that Fitchette thought were the “cat’s meow.” Of course, there was no real comparison with the Heresy speakers.

“I simply liked them over the other speakers, including those my roommate had.”

So, the young soldier had decided on the speakers he wanted, but he’s in Germany and it’s 1983. It’s not like he could’ve ordered online at with free shipping.

After flagging down a suitably sized cab, Fitchette shoved the speakers inside the backseat. The Heresy speakers may be the smallest of the Klipsch Heritage Series; however, they still pose a formidable challenge when trying to transport them in a standard sedan.

The cab took him to the train station, where the second challenging part of these speakers’ journey took place. Fitchette’s biggest concern was getting them on and off the train quickly.

“I knew I had to do it quickly to avoid having one left on the dock of the train station or on the train itself. One thing about the train system in West Germany at the time was they all ran on time. I figured I simply had to put one on the train car and then quickly put the other on the car then move them to where I was sitting.”

Despite some hairy moments, the speakers made it back in one piece to the base. Fitchette never heard one negative thing about them while he was overseas. Well, except for being told to “turn it down” because they were disturbing other soldiers in the barracks that were more than 200 feet away.

Of course, he couldn’t just let the speakers stay in Germany when it was time to come home. They were first shipped back to New York and then eventually all the way to California where Fitchette resides today.

“The wood is still in excellent condition and the speakers still sound good.”

When Fitchette purchased the speakers, they came unfinished, but he stained them into a darker oak finish and they look right at home in the living room, wherever across the planet that may be.

“So that’s it… no stories about how they were hooked up to amps powering guitars played by rock stars or used in a pinch at a concert because the roadies forgot to pack the speakers. Just a story about a guy with a pair of Klipsch Heresy speakers.”