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How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Your Speakers

When you bring new speakers into your house, you are making a lot of people happy. First and foremost, you are happy because all of your research has brought you to this point of audio nirvana. Your friends and family, while skeptical at first, will also reap the benefits. Lastly, if you have a cat, they are going to be stoked as well. After all, you just bought them a pair of giant scratching posts.

I have a cat named Robben (after the famous Dutch soccer player Arjen Robben). He was plucked from the streets after he came right up to my dog and he’s been part of the family ever since. He is technically a “feral” cat despite his playful and loving nature.

While he is insanely cute and wouldn’t hurt a fly (minus birds, mice, chipmunks, snakes and the other various critters he enjoys hunting), he likes to scratch things. My couch and my speakers, specifically.

Now, you’re on your own with your couch (Google has endless results for this problem), I am here to provide you with some first-hand tips on how to deal with your cat scratching your speakers.

Of course, it must be noted that this is not an official guide. Klipsch does not hold any responsibility for your cat and your cat-proofing methods ruining your speakers.

Stop Cat Scratching Speakers 2 social v02

Add More Scratching Posts

The easiest way to stop your cat from scratching you speakers is to simply give them more appetizing things to scratch or other toys to play with. Place them along the path of where your cat most frequently scampers around.  If you believe you have enough scratching posts, try rearranging them. Do not discard old scratching posts immediately. Place them next to the new scratching posts, so the cat can slowly adjust to the new one.

Take the Grilles Off Your Speakers

I am obviously extremely biased, but I’d say it’s a shame to cover up the copper cones (or the glorious woofers from our non-Reference series speakers). Freeing your speakers from their grilles may indeed remove your feline friend’s temptation of a tall, scratchable surface. Of course, we also must note that your child, niece, partner, etc may decide that the woofers look quite pokable, damaging your speaker(s) worse than a few scratches on the grilles.

In my own situation, Robben decided that the naked speaker was just as tempting, sinking his claws into the woofer itself. My high-pitched (and decidedly not masculine) scream scared him off temporarily.

Startle or Spray Your Cat

I’m not advocating that you take out deep-rooted anger on your cat companion or anything stupid like that. That being said, when your cat starts scratching, let out a yelp or scold them quickly and your cat will scurry away, hopefully never returning to scratch your speakers again.

Better yet, you could fill up a water bottle and give your kitty a quick spray when they commit the crime. It won’t take much, so don’t fill up a Supersoaker.

Spray Your Speakers with an Anti-Scratching Spray

There are tons of anti-scratching sprays that you can find in the aisles of your local pet store. I have only tried out Nature’s Miracle Scratching Deterrent Spray and its effectiveness is hit or miss.

Please be careful when using the spray, some speakers have very sensitive surfaces that should not be sprayed with any sort of liquid. I only spray the grille covers of my Heresy III speakers. Most of the time it seems to work; however, I did witness one such occasion where Robben went right to work on them mere minutes after I had applied the spray.

Add Scratch Covers to Your Speaker

This is the most extreme technique and also the most complicated. Call me lazy, but I cannot attest to whether it’ll be successful or not. Essentially, you need to turn your speakers into modified scratching posts. Put the fabric over the top of the speakers and your feline will have a go on the covers instead of your favorite speakers. Do not attach the fabric cover to the speaker themselves since you would be damaging your speaker that way and making the whole process pointless anyway.

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-140SA Dolby Atmos

Put Something On Top of the Speakers

My cat (and presumably yours too if you are still reading) loves to get up to high places including the top of my Reference Premiere RP-260F floorstanding speakers. While it’s adorable and all, his little claws dig into the speaker as he tries to secure a grip.

Now, if the previously listed fixes don’t deter your cat from your speakers altogether, there is a simple fix that will work most the time. Put something on top of your speaker. In lieu of a tasteful plant or meaningful decorative object, I’ve actually placed a pair of Reference Premiere RP-140SA elevation speakers, cat-proofing the top of my speakers AND gifting myself Dolby Atmos technology. Double win.

Kitten Mittens

You’ll be smitten.

Stop Worrying About It

Seriously. Almost all of us tend to fret over the appearances of our speakers to an insane degree, but it really is so much better at the end of the day to just going nuts over every little nick and scratch. Call them marks of character. After all, no one will really notice besides you and the speakers will sound exactly as awesome as they did before your kitten decided to test out their claws.

Do you have any other tips on how to deal with your cat (or other pet) scratching your speakers? Post in the comments!

Stop Cat Scratching Speakers 4 social

Turntable Setup Guide for Passive and Powered Speakers

A growing number of people are investing in the reborn industry of vinyl music. Whether it be the warm and textured sound or the tactile experience, vinyl is having quite the comeback and turntables are popping up in households around the world.

Some people may be content with some cheap all-in-one-solution for their turntable setup. Affordable all-in-ones typically do not have very good reputation as they have the tendency to ruin records from the amount of force that is applied to them by the stylus. However, if you’re reading this blog, you aren’t satisfied with “good enough.” You want audiophile-grade sound from your turntable.

This doesn’t mean that you ought to be intimidated by the prospect of a proper performance-grade turntable setup. We’re here to make things simple (and sound great) with our turntable setup guide for both passive and powered speakers.

First of all, you need to decide whether you are going to go with powered or passive speakers. Powered speakers like the Klipsch Reference R-15PM powered monitors have internal amplification, while passive speakers like the Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160M bookshelf speakers require external amplification.

From there, it’s really quite simple…

RP Uturn blog

How to Set Up Passive Speakers With a Turntable

You will only need a few things to set up your passive speakers correctly with a turntable: a receiver, phono pre-amp, RCA cables and a pair of speakers. While there are more components to setting up passive speakers than powered speakers, the process really isn’t much more involved. (If you need help choosing a pair of speakers for your turntable, please click here.)

  1. Connect the turntable with the RCA cables to the preamp. (Some turntables require grounding.)
  2. Connect the pre-amp to the amp with RCA cables.
  3. Connect the amp to the speakers.
  4. Drop the needle and enjoy!

Reference R-15PM

How To Set Up Powered Speakers With a Turntable

Not to brag, but the R-15PM power monitors are pretty awesome. Besides having internal amplification, they have a built-in phono pre-amp. Most powered speakers still require a separate phono pre-amp. In any case, internal amplification and the built-in phono pre-amp eliminate the need for two separate components – a receiver and discrete phono pre-amp.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to connect R-15PM powered monitors to your turntable

  1. Connect the RCA and ground cables from the turntable to the R-15PM
  2. Ensure the switch on the back of the R-15PM is set to “Phono”
  3. Plug the turntable and R-15PM into power outlets
  4. Put a record on and enjoy!

This is the easiest way to setup a turntable with quality speakers.

Klipsch Black Turntable CES 2016

Turntable Setup and Configuration

Depending on what turntable you have, the amount of setup and configuration will depend on the specific turntable you select. Some turntables come set up straight out of the box while others involve a great deal of tweaking. Of course, there are also turntables that give users the option to upgrade components like the phono cartridge.

We won’t go into the nitty-gritty of every possible turntable setup because we already dove into the anatomy of the turntable, but there are some basics you need to know.

First of all, there are two primary types of turntables: belt drive and direct drive turntables. Simply put, belt drive turntables are for those listening to records while direct drive turntables are what you would see DJs using.

There are also automatic and manual turntables. Automatic turntables simply require you to press a button and the turntable will lift the tone arm and place it on the record. Manual turntables require you to physically place the tone arm on the record.

You may have noticed that we showed off a Klipsch turntable at CES 2016 and, if you’re in Canada, you can already purchase a turntable bundled with the Klipsch R-15PMs as part of the Klipsch Music Crate. Don’t worry, it will be coming to the United States and rest of the world very soon!

Anyway, the Klipsch turntable is a manual, belt-driven turntable created in partnership with Pro-Ject. It sounds great and also offers an extremely easy setup.

The Klipsch turntable comes set up right out of the box, meaning that you will not have to mess with the tracking force or counterweight adjustments. It comes with a moving magnet Ortofon OM 5E cartridge.

Regardless of the type of speakers or turntable you choose, a proper turntable setup is extremely important in delivering quality sound; however, it shouldn’t be considered a daunting challenge.

What does your turntable setup consist of? What guidance do you have for someone looking to set up their new turntable with quality speakers? Post in the comments below!

 

 

 

How to Set Up a Turntable

How to Set Up a Turntable

 

If you’re under the age of 35, chances are that you have never set up a turntable.

You’re missing out.

Now, we’re not here to tell you that analog is better than digital. That’s up to you, as an individual, to decide. What we will say is that vinyl gives you an entirely different listening experience.

In theory, vinyl offers an infinite sampling resolution because analog waveforms are continuous and smooth, while the sampling done to produce digital audio creates waveforms that are stair-stepped (the higher the sampling rate, the smaller the steps). Many would describe the resulting sound from a vinyl source as warm, inviting and generally pleasing. Some will call BS – let the debates begin. Of course, many other factors go into creating a quality listening experience (mastering, compression, purity of source, etc.) but starting with a good analog revolver is a fantastic way to rock the house while keeping your street cred.

Vinyl music is an experience. Taking the record out of the sleeve, dropping the needle, hearing the brief crackle before the music starts and examining the album art during playback…it’s a palpable experience that offers an emotional connection.

Just give it a try. With more and more records being produced, it is a great time to get into – or get back into vinyl.

If you don’t want to watch the snazzy video above, here are the steps to successfully set up a turntable.

  1. Connect the turntable to the preamp. (Some turntables require grounding.)
  2. Connect the pre-amp to the amp.
  3. Connect the amp to the speakers.
  4. Drop the needle and enjoy!

It’s really that simple. Just grab a cocktail (or whatever beverage that pleases you) and enjoy!

This is just an introductory guide. In the future, we will post a more “advanced” guide that discusses things like proper phasing, left/right channel setup, tonal balance, etc.

If you’re just getting started and are looking for a quality, affordable turntable, we highly recommend a U-Turn Audio turntable, which we used in the video.

Special thanks to the Libertine Liquor Bar in Indianapolis, IN for letting us shoot in their kick-ass establishment. If you’re in town, head on over and say hello to Puck, our favorite bartender there.

Have any tips and tricks for someone setting up their first turntable? Have a strong opinion on analog vs. digital audio? Post a comment below!

How to: Bi-Amping a Speaker

Bi-amplification, or bi-amping, is a technique which uses one amplifier for the low frequencies and a second amplifier for middle and high frequencies. This technique can allow users to take advantage of the strengths of each amplifier in its interaction with the speakers (i.e. use a 150 watt amp for the woofers and a 50 watt amp for the tweeter).

How to: Bi-amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The above figure highlights the mid and high frequencies being fed by a separate amp than the lower frequencies.

To properly bi-amp a system, the amplifiers’ power must be balanced and the speakers must be well within their frequency and power limits. This process should not be confused with bi-wiring, which uses a single amplification output source, but connects separately to the low frequency driver and to the midrange/tweeter.

True bi-amping involves hooking each amplifier to an electronic crossover that serves to supplant the passive crossover network built into the speaker (the passive crossover must be eliminated in order to achieve the advantages of bi-amping). This “active crossover” then connects to the appropriate speaker terminals; one for the woofer and another for the combined mid and high ranges.

How to: Bi-Amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The highlighted wires deliver the low frequencies from a second amplifier.

Some 7.1 and 9.1 system receivers give users the option to assign the unused surround channels amps to the front left and right channel speakers for bi-amping. Be sure to check your receivers capabilities before attempting.

If you do not want to bi-amp or bi-wire your speakers, you can simply connect your amplifier to one set of binding posts, then use jumpers (as shown below) to connect the low frequencies to the mid and high frequencies.

How To: Bi-Amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The copper jumper connects the woofers with the tweeters above so all speakers are powered by a single amp as opposed to bi-amping.

 

Note: Bi-amping is not a requirement for Klipsch speakers. Whether you believe it delivers an audible improvement is up to your ears.

How do you have your system configured? Let us know in the comments section below and feel free to ask questions!

How to Break-in a Speaker

Many audio experts and speaker manufacturers say that loudspeakers benefit from a break-in process. Just like all thing mechanical, speakers have moving parts that move more freely with time and effort.

Two components that particularly benefit from a break-in period include the surround and the spider.

The surround (often times made of various types of rubber or foam) is what connects the edge of the cone to the speaker basket (see Fig. A). You can typically see this part of the speaker when the speaker grille is removed.

How to Break-in a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

Fig. A – The Surround

The spider connects the basket and the center of the cone (see Fig. B). This speaker component is typically hidden inside the cabinet of a speaker.

How to Break-in a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

Fig. B – The Spider

Both surrounds and spiders are flexible, allowing them to experience their full range of motion results in freer movement and better response. Think of it like stretching before you exercise.

There are several simple ways to break a speaker in. You could choose to buy costly gear to do so, but it really isn’t required.

The easiest and most enjoyable way is to simply play music with a wide dynamic range. Turn the speakers up a little louder than you normally would will help loosen up the material.

After about 100 hours of use, your speakers should be broken in.

How to Break-in a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The speaker surround and spider materials loosen up the more the speaker is used.

Not all speakers will sound dramatically different after break-in. Some improve only marginally, while others can change dramatically. Either way, it’s likely that you’ll notice an improvement.

What movies or music do you like to listen to when breaking-in a speaker? Let us know in the comments section below.

How to Set Up a 7.1 Speaker System

Upgrading from a 5.1 system? Or perhaps you’re trying to decide whether a 5.1 or 7.1 channel home theater receiver is best for you.

Either way, Klipsch is here to show you how to set up a 7.1 system step by step.

The 7.1 configuration

The standard setup for a 7.1 configuration includes a center channel speaker, left and right front channel speakers, a subwoofer (Fig. A shows two locations options for a single subwoofer – or you can add a second subwoofer placed in both locations making a 7.2 system setup), left and right surround speakers and left and right rear surround speakers.

The rear surround speakers add more depth to the surround sound experience by spreading the sound across four speakers (the left and right surrounds and rears), rather than two, resulting in more directed, immersive sound.

The two additional speakers also help to fill larger rooms more completely. Plus, more and more films are being released or home viewing in 7.1 format, adding to its appeal.

How to set up a 7.1 System - Fig. A - The Klipsch Joint

Fig A. – The full 7.1 system setup.

 

The Center Channel

Place the center channel speaker immediately above or below the screen, directly facing the listening area (see Fig. B). If the speaker is being set on a shelf or stand, be sure that the leading edge of the speaker is flush with the edge of the stand, to maintain dialogue clarity.

How to set up a 7.1 System - Fig B - The Klipsch Joint

Fig. B – Center channel placement

The Front Speakers

The left and right front speakers should be placed at an equal distance from the screen and at least six feet apart; the left, right and center front speakers should be an equal distance from the ideal viewing position. To enhance the experience, some toe-in might be desirable. If so, be sure to identically angle each speaker and maintain equal distance from the viewing position.

How to set up a 7.1 system - Fig. C - The Klipsch Joint

Fig. C – Right and left front channel speakers.

The Surround Sound Speakers

The left and right surround speakers (shown as “A” in Fig. D below) must be placed equally to each side and slightly above and behind the viewing position. Left and right rear surround speakers (shown as “B”) should also be about three feet above (and behind) the seated listeners’ heads.

Hot to set up a 7.1 System - Fig. D - The Klipsch Joint

Fig. D – Four surround sound speakers placement.

The Subwoofer

The three most common subwoofer locations include corners, placement along a wall or beside a front speaker (which can create a better blend with the front speaker, at the cost of sacrificing overall volume).

Experimentation with subwoofer placement is highly encouraged; slight adjustments can create big differences in bass reproduction. (Read Where to Place a Subwoofer: 3 Tips and FAQ: Subwoofers)

How to set up a 7.1 system - Fig. E - The Klipsch Joint

Fig. E – Subwoofer placement.

 

And if the room you are working in to set up a 7.1 system does not fit to these exact specifications – it’s ok! Not everyone has a room with an open, rectangular space and perfectly placed power sources. You’re more than likely going to have to make some adjustments.

Got any suggestions on how to set up a 7.1 system or have a unique setup yourself? Share them in the comments section below.