Tag Archives: history

Klipsch at CES 2017: Recap

We kicked ass at CES this year, simple as that.  Klipsch raised the bar in every category. There was no competition. Nobody brought more passion and determination than our team.

Side Note: We are not sorry for all the booths we pissed off during our time at CES. We take pride in being the LOUDEST & PROUDEST

Below is a showcase of our kick ass booth and some my favorite products we featured at CES.

Klipsch Booth:  klipsch-jamo-ces-2017_00015     klipsch-jamo-ces-2017_00017
klipsch-jamo-ces-2017_00053 klipsch-jamo-ces-2017_00059 klipsch-jamo-ces-2017_00060


The Fifteens:

Floorstanding Speakers

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The Forte III:

Floorstanding Speakers

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Floorstanding Speakers
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The Demi & The Two:

Table Top Stereo System


The Capitol One:

Klipsch X Capitol Records Collaboration



The Sixes:

Powered Monitor


Heritage HP Headphones:
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Forte Heritage Loudspeakers Clip:


Heritage Headphones Clip:

Visit Klipsch.com/CES for presskits to all the badass new products you’ve seen above.

What was your favorite Klipsch product shown off at CES 2017? Let us know in the comments!


Parts of a Record Player

Before there were MP3s, CDs, and cassette tapes — heck, even before eight-track tapes — there was the record player. Although today, unless we have an affinity for vinyl, we think of record players as “old-school”, often forgetting they revolutionized music and the music industry as much as MP3s have today. Record players allowed for listening to music at home for the first time; before the record player, it was live or nothing. It made such an impression, we still call music releases “records” and “albums,” and the spinning album phrase “getting rotation” still means a song is heard on the radio.

Once record players came onto the scene in 1877, they didn’t leave until almost a century later — although they never fully left. Nostalgia as well as preference for the sound quality has kept vinyl alive, and DJs and hip hop artists still use turntables as part of their music-making. We celebrate the beauty of albums with our recent collaboration with Classic Album Sundays – monthly active listening sessions of entire albums in a studio setting with the best equipment available. It’s a truly unique experience.

So how does a record player work? What are the different components, and how do they work together to produce sound? Let’s take a closer look at this amazing game-changing contraption.

The Turntable

Although “turntable” and “record player” today are used almost synonymously, a turntable is technically the part of the record player where the record sits. Sometimes the turntable is also called the “revolving platter.”

The center of the turntable includes a metal rod, holding the record in the center as it turns. The plate of the turntable itself is generally metal, typically covered with plastic or rubber so the record isn’t inadvertently scratched.

The least expensive record players use steel for the turntable. The steel plates used in record players are light and cheap to produce, however, the consequence is that these plates have a low inertia, meaning any instability with the motor speed are quite pronounced.

A more expensive turntable plate is aluminum. Aluminum plates have better balance, reduce vibration, and don’t accentuate motor speed instabilities.

The turntable’s rotation is controlled by the turntable drive system. The two main types of drive systems are the belt-drive system and the direct-drive system. The belt-drive system goes a long way in reducing noise heard from the motor, because the elastometric belt helps to absorb vibrations and other low-frequency sounds. A direct-drive system, by contrast, doesn’t use intermediary gears, wheels, and belts. The advantage of a direct-drive system is later models had stronger motors and pitch control sliders. For this reason, direct-drive turntables were favored by disc jockeys for decades.

The Stylus

turntableThe stylus is the needle that rests against the record. Ideally, a stylus is a cone-shaped component made from diamond, which is the hardest natural material on Earth. Besides diamonds, sapphires are also commonly used for record needles. The stylus is connected to the tone arm by a flexible strip of metal. The flexibility in the middle allows for the stylus to ride up and down within the record grooves.

The stylus can be either spherical or elliptical. Elliptical styli have the advantage of increasing the fidelity of the music by allowing for more contact with the record groove. A spherical stylus provides less fidelity but is more sensitive.

Even a diamond-tipped stylus will need to be replaced after a while. Experts recommend changing the stylus after every 1,000 to 2,500 hours of listening pleasure.

The Tone Arm and the Cartridge

The tone arm is the arm of the record player that holds the stylus and, together with the cartridge, it is responsible for actually producing the sounds. Tone arms can be straight or curved. Which one is better? It depends who you ask. Some people insist curved tone arms produce better sound, but DJs and hip hop artists usually prefer straight arms because they’re easier to scratch with.

As the stylus follows the grooves of the record, vibrations travel through the metal wires inside the tone arm and arrive at the cartridge at the tone arm’s end. The cartridge contains coils within a magnetic field, and when the vibrations hit these coils, they are transformed into electrical signals. These electrical signals can be amplified and broadcasted through the speakers.

Amplifiers and Preamplifiers

Today, most audio receivers are designed for the signals that come out of a CD, DVD, or MP3 player. That means that they are not well-equipped to play the audio signal coming out of a traditional record player. Older audio receivers included what was called a phono preamplifier (also known as a preamp or phono stage) to boost record player signals to appropriate levels, but modern receivers lack phono preamps. Some record players include built-in preamps to solve this problem; talk to a true audiophile, however, and they will insist that you get a dedicated preamplifier for the best sound quality.

The right preamp depends upon the cartridge. Modern cartridges will play well with preamps at the 100pf to 150pf level; older cartridges, such as those from the 1980s, work better with preamps of the 200pf level. It should be noted, though, that if your cartridge hasn’t been changed since the 1980s, you should go ahead and replace it anyway!


In short, the vinyl record is placed upon the revolving platter. As the record revolves, the stylus bumps up and down within the groove, sending its vibrations along metal wires within the tone arm and into the cartridge. The cartridge converts these vibrations into an electrical current using a magnetic field. This current is sent into the preamp, which boosts the signal on its way to the speaker. When the amplified current hits the speaker — presto! — we hear music or whatever is recorded onto the vinyl.

We hope you enjoyed this short tour of the anatomy of a record player. Did we leave out anything crucially important? Do you still listen to vinyl? Let us know in the comments section below.

Good Poop: Arkansas Longhorn

On October 2, 2014 we started the Good Poop series with “Meet Jim Hunter – Klipsch Historian”. The photo included with that initial blog was of a large plywood and foam horn.

It took nearly a year, but finally someone (Jon in Mpls) had to ask: “What the Hell is that?!”

Well, the photo was taken in February of 1986 when our anechoic chamber was only about 6 years old. We wanted to explore the effects of folding in the Klipschorn woofer cabinet.

The pictured monstrosity is basically an “un-folded” Klipschorn woofer .

Yes, the Klipschorn really is a compact speaker for its performance level. Obviously this was too large to measure inside the chamber, so we pointed it skyward and mic’d it from 20-30 feet up.

Admittedly, this was a “low-budget production”, but the goofy structure did allow us to get a good idea of what our driver would do, particularly at the higher frequencies, without folding.

No changes were implemented to the Klipschorn, but this could be considered the first step leading up to the Jubilee (better folding) some 14 years later.

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”?

Learn more about Paul W. Klipsch 

30 Greatest Moments in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame History

Recorded rock and roll music sounds its best when being played through a sweet loudspeaker setup. The only way to beat it is to attend the live performance itself.

To kick off Klipsch’s monumental partnership as the first-ever Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony sponsor, our pals at the Rock Hall mulled over nearly three decades of video archives to piece together this list of the 30 greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performances of all time.

So crank up your speakers and watch the performances below. Be sure to vote for your favorite here.

If you think there is a performance that should have made the list, let us know in the comments section below…and ROCK ON!

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others — "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

1. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (2004)

An epic, guitar thrashing tribute to George Harrison.


Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Bono and others — "Let It Be"

2. “Let It Be” (1999)

Sir Paul McCartney surprises crowd with friends like Eric Clapton, Bono, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen backing him.


Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young – "Roll Over Beethoven"

3. “Roll Over Beethoven” (1986)

Rock royalty Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Keith Richards show how it’s done.


Aerosmith and Kid Rock — "Sweet Emotion"

4. “Sweet Emotion” (2001)

Kid Rock and the Bad Boys from Boston turn it up with sweet results.


The Doors and Eddie Vedder — "Light My Fire"

5. “Light My Fire” (1993)

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder channels Jim Morrison with the original Doors band members.


U2 and Bruce Springsteen — "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

6. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (2005)

Dublin and Asbury Park collide when U2 trades licks with Springsteen.


Led Zeppelin perform Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 1995

7. “When The Levee Breaks” (1995)

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Neil Young and others go heavy on Led Zeppelin riff monster.


George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and others — "I Saw Her Standing There"

8. “I Saw Her Standing There” (1988)

Harrison, Starr and some famous friends get down with Fab Four magic.


Wilson Pickett and Bruce Springsteen Perform "In the Midnight Hour" at the 1999 Inductions

9. “In The Midnight Hour” (1999)

The Boss takes direction from Wilson Pickett.


The Band with Eric Clapton Perform "The Weight"

10. “The Weight” (1994)

The time The Band brought one of their biggest fans – Eric Clapton – on stage to jam with them.


Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and others — "Honky Tonk Woman"

11. “Honky Tonk Woman” (1989)

A riotous celebration with a Tina Turner and Mick Jagger-led collaboration to the Stones Induction.


"Green Onions" All-Star Jam at 1992 Inductions

12. “Green Onions” (1992)

Booker T. and the MG’s timeless groove with a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of groove maestros.


Carl Perkins, Keith Richards, BB King – "Blue Suede Shoes" Live at 1987 Induction

13. “Blue Suede Shoes” (1987)

Carl Perkins leads this rock standard with Keef at his side. How many other rockers can you spot?


Cream performs "Sunshine Of Your Love" at the 1993 Inductions

14. “Sunshine of Your Love” (1993)

The performance nobody thought would happen – the reunion of Cream.


Metallica performs at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2009

15. “Enter Sandman” (2009)

The first public inductions in Cleveland, a reunion and very heavy metal.


The Four Tops and Diana Ross Perform "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)"

16. “I Can’t Help Myself” (2003)

The stars of Motown align for one special night.


Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen perform "Come Together"

17. “Come Together” (1994)

An unlikely duo – Axl Rose and Bruce Springteen – come together to honor John Lennon.


The Righteous Brothers perform Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 2003

18. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” (2003)

Decades later, the stirring melodies showcase what made these brothers righteous, indeed.


The Velvet Underground Performs at the 1996 Hall of Fame Inductions

19. “Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend” (1996)

A rare, incredibly moving performance straight from the Velvet Underground.

Bo Diddley, BB King, Smokey Robinson, Paul Butterfield, Chuck Berry – "Hey! Bo Diddley"

20. “Hey! Bo Diddley” (1987)

Bo Diddley with BB King (on maracas!), Chuck Berry (on piano!), Smokey Robinson, Paul Butterfield and more.


Crosby, Stills & Nash with James Taylor and Emmylou Harris — "Teach Your Children"

21. “Teach Your Children” (1997)

Voices of a generation – including CSN, James Taylor and Emmylou Harris – get the crowd singing.


Green Day Performs "Teenage Lobotomy," "Rockaway Beach" and "Blitzkrieg Bop" in 2002

22. “Teenage Labotomy/Rockaway Beach/Blitzkrieg Bop” (2002)

Filling the punk-generation gap with Green Day.


The Staple Singers Perform "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There" at the 1999 Inductions

23. “Respect Yourself/I’ll Take You There” (1999)

An uplifting reminder why the Staple Singers were billed as “God’s greatest hitmakers.


Red Hot Chili Peppers – "Higher Ground" Live at 2012 Rock Hall Induction

24. “Higher Ground” (2012)

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead funk-punk-rock mash-up with all-star cast of players including Slash.


Pink Floyd and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins perform "Wish You Were Here"

25. “Wish You Were Here” (1996)

Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins and a powerfully restrained performance.


Heart – "Barracuda" Live at 2013 Rock Hall Induction

26. “Barracuda” (2013)

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart lead a master class in Seattle rock history.


Hall of Fame Inductee Super Jam – "Crossroads" Live in 2013

27. “Crossroads” (2013)

Members of Rush, Public Enemy, Foo Fighters, Run DMC, Heart, CCR and more rewrite the “Crossroads.”


Members of Guns N' Roses – "Paradise City" Live at 2012 Rock Hall Induction

28. “Paradise City” (2012)

Explosive performance with reunited former members of GNR.


2014 Induction Tribute to Linda Ronstadt with Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood and friends!

29. “It’s So Easy” (2014)

A superstar showcase of singer-songwriters salute Linda Ronstadt.


Members of Nirvana w/ Joan Jett – "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Live at 2014 Rock Hall Induction

30. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (2014)

A Joan Jett–fronted Nirvana recast a modern rock anthem.

WPWK Podcast – Episode 3: Bob Heil, Part 1

Legendary inventor Bob Heil talks about inadvertently putting together one of the first rock concert PAs for the Grateful Dead on their tour stop in St. Louis when they lost their gear the night before. Hosted by Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy of Classic Album Sundays

WPWK Podcast by Klipsch Audio

About the Klipsch WPWK Podcast

Klipsch Audio is now on the air from WPWK studios to give you in-depth conversations about music, audio technology, speaker industry trends and (of course) Klipsch product details. So tune in and turn up the volume.

Good Poop: PWK the Practical Joker

In the fall of 1974, future Klipsch Chief Engineer Gary Gillum sent PWK a present. At the time Gary worked for Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO contributing to rides and illusory attractions. The gift looked exactly like a brick but was made out of foam.

On Nov. 25, 1974 PWK wrote to Gillum:

“Thanks for the brick. I have thrown it at Ruth (his secretary), Bob (President), and a couple of guys in the shop. I’m planning on (as you suggest) trying it on a police car windshield — that might be the way to meet the new chief.”

Belle Klipsch typed this letter to Gary and added her own P.S.:

“Paul had a great time throwing the “brick” at the plate glass window at the Trade Winds Café this afternoon!”

This incident pre-dates my tenure by 4 years (he was only 70!). In my experience, this type of mischievous humor was Paul’s calling card until the end.

Anyone have a PWK practical joke to relate?

Good Poop: Cultural Dynamic Range

Back in the seventies when a new engineer or salesman was hired at Klipsch, part of the on-boarding program was dinner at Paul W. Klipsch’s.

Not long after I started, my wife Becky and I were invited to Paul and Valerie’s relatively modest home. Valerie’s mastery of Austrian cuisine was at work, making dinner outstanding. Strudel for dessert as I recall. After dinner was over libations were in order and Paul stuck with one of his favorites, Glenlivet whiskey.

Shortly we adjourned to the living room to audition his Klipschorn/Belle Klipsch three channel set-up. The Klipschorns were in false corners, as the room had doorways at every corner, not to mention a grand piano. Naturally the program material was reel-to-reel masters that he had recorded. At least some of it was the “Arkansas Sympathy” (his twist on words). Without question it was the finest reproduced music I had ever heard.

The Klipsch family home in Hope, Arkansas.  - The Klipsch Joint

The Klipsch family home in Hope, Arkansas.


After several symphonic selections were savored Paul got up and shuffled over to the equipment rack mumbling about some other material he had. What came next was clearly “out of phase” culturally.

I knew I had made the right decision in moving to Arkansas. We were listening to various verbal descriptions of farts, followed by their sonic signature. I am aware of the “Great Crepitation Contest of 1946” recording and this could have been what we were hearing, but after 36 years I am not certain. If anyone can shed additional light on “farts and their descriptions”, it would be most appreciated.

New to Good Poop? You can learn more here.

Good Poop: Meet Jim Hunter – Klipsch Historian

Listen up… In the world of audio technology, there are pseudo-superstars, false prophets, and those who claim to be golden ears – but there is no comparison to the straight engineering and audio experience of Jim Hunter – Program Manager and Klipsch Historian at Klipsch Group, Inc.

Jim Hunter (Left) and Paul W. Klipsch (Right) pose with a giant foam horn.

Jim Hunter (Left) and Paul W. Klipsch (Right) pose with a giant foam horn.

Company founder Paul W. Klipsch hired Hunter as a transducer engineer in Hope, Arkansas 36 years ago today. Hunter has since served as a design engineer, production engineer, engineering manager, director of design engineering, VP of design engineering and company historian. The Klipsch Museum of Audio History has been on his job description since 1979.

Hunter began his career with the Rola Company, an OEM driver manufacturing company, in 1974. He and PWK co-authored U.S. Patent #4,387,786, an anechoic chamber featuring a multi-functional revolving door. Jim has been a key contributor to more than 150 Klipsch-branded loudspeakers sold in specialty audio retail stores around the world.

Jim has been a member of the Audio Engineering Society since 1979 and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers since 1974. To put it simply… When Jim speaks, you’ll want to listen.

That’s why we’re beginning a new series on our blog called Good Poop. Jim will be featured in this blog posting stories and historical facts from Jim’s personal and professional relationship with PWK and the Klipsch brand.

Up next: What is Good Poop?