Tag Archives: klipsch

The Klipsch Stadium Before the Stadium

The Klipsch STADIUM is ready to fire up the Colts.

The Klipsch STADIUM is ready to fire up the Colts.

The sounds of a football stadium are unmistakable on gamedays. The booming PA, the barking vendors, the crunching tackles and cheers and groans from the thousands of spectators.

Take a step back and you realize that playing professional football is just as mental as it is physical. The endless strings of coaches on the sideline aren’t there as models for their fancy logo’d windbreakers.

The scheming, diagnosing and planning involved in each game is a monumental team effort that goes into effect as soon as the previous game of the effort.

When the Indianapolis Colts are on the road, the team has one final preparatory session the night before they take the field. Fifty-three players ranging from 190 to 350 pounds and their coaches gather in one of the hotel’s oversized meeting rooms

It’s there where the Colts video crew plays a montage motivational highlights for the team. The goal is to fire them up and lock them in to the task ahead of them.

To sufficiently fire up over 50 grown men in an extremely large room, the Colts needed a speaker that they can rock the house AND be portable enough to bring on the road.

The Colts first tried out the Klipsch KMC 3 portable speaker, but the team wanted something even louder. Just like what they expect out of the players on the field, they wanted the best. They needed the Klipsch STADIUM.

With over 400 watts of peak system power and state-of-the-art Tractrix® Horns, the Klipsch STADIUM delivers the power, detail and emotion the team needs.

“These speakers sounded amazing especially in the large meeting rooms at the hotel. The sound was rich, full and the bass pounded even in the back of the room. The players commented that the sound was AWESOME,” said Colts video director Erik Kunttu.

This final film session with the team is highly secretive. In fact, it is so secretive that photos are not allowed.

All of this preparation culminates on Sundays, where Klipsch brand ambassador Andrew Luck (and next season, Robert Mathis) put all their knowledge to the test.

Klipsch takes great pride in providing sound solutions for our hometown Indianapolis Colts.

U-Turn Audio Orbit Basic Turntable Review

Fun fact: 2014 is the first year since 1996 that over a million vinyl albums were sold.

We aren’t going to argue the merits for vinyl over digital or vice-versa (future blog post, perhaps), but we know a lot of people who purchase Klipsch speakers have a great affinity for listening to music “the old way.”

With this mini-revolution in sales, companies across the world have been quick to pedal products to support this revitalized medium. Of course, that means a lot of these products (we won’t name names) are not quite up to snuff and we wouldn’t recommend them with our speakers.

Peter Maltzan, Bob Hertig and Ben Carter founded U-Turn Audio as a Kickstarter project in 2014 “to make great vinyl listening simple and more affordable.”

Starting with a modest goal of $60,000, the three “vinyl lovers” saw a remarkable demand, almost quadrupling their target by finishing their Kickstarter with $233,940.

So, does U-Turn Audio live up to its mission AND deliver on quality? Read on…

U-Turn Orbit White Turntable

FEATURES

U-Turn has two options in its turntable lineup. At $179, there is the Orbit Basic and for $299, there is the Orbit Plus.

Both turntables are belt-driven and employ moving magnet (MM) cartridges with the Orbit Plus utilizing a higher-end cartridge from Grado Labs. More expensive turntables may use moving coil cartridges and may require a more expensive phono pre-amp, but MM cartridges are standard for recreational use.

One of the other key differences between the two models is that the Orbit Plus has an acrylic platter while the Orbit Basic uses a MDF one. The former will have better speed consistency and tighter bass according to U-Turn.

There are a couple features missing that you may find in more expensive turntables such as automation and programming but the company isn’t pretending to take on that market quite yet.

For the rest of this review we will be focusing on the Orbit Basic model, as it is the one we have put through the paces at Klipsch HQ.

Full lists of specifications and features for both versions are below.

Orbit Basic

Features Specs In the box
Unipivot tonearm Dimensions: 5 x 17 x 13″ Orbit turntable
MM cartridge (Audio-Technica CN5625AL) Weight: 11 lbs Dust cover
Fully manual belt-drive W&F: 0.175% (WTD) Drive belt
Two speed pulley (33/45) S/N ratio:  -79 dBA Felt mat
24V Synchronous motor Rumble: -63 dBA AC adapter
Machined MDF plinth Power supply 115V/60Hz Shielded RCA cables
Vibration damping feet 24V synchronous motor Setup guide

Orbit Plus

Features Specs In the box
Unipivot tonearm Dimensions: 5 x 17 x 13″ Orbit turntable
MM cartridge (Grado Black1) Weight: 12.5 lbs Dust cover
Fully manual belt-drive W&F: 0.125% (WTD) Drive belt
Two speed pulley (33/45) S/N ratio:  -79 dBA Felt mat
Machined MDF plinth Rumble: -63 dBA AC adapter
Precision acrylic platter Power supply 115V/60Hz Shielded RCA cables
Vibration damping feet 24V synchronous motor Setup guide

SETUP

Setting up a turntable (like speakers) can sometimes feel daunting but U-Turn Audio has really made it a cinch with the Orbit Basic.
Place the platter over the spindle, plug in the power cord, slide the plastic shield on, and then attach the belt by wrapping it around the pulley and then the platter. After that, plug the included cable into your receiver or phono pre-amp (which we attached to our Klipsch Reference II Bookshelf Speakers – currently on sale) and you’re good to go!

Simple enough, right? This is about as easy as it comes.

The tracking force does not need to be calibrated as the Orbit Basic (and the Orbit Plus) comes optimized for its included cartridge. You do have the option to upgrade your cartridge

If this sound confusing to you, U-Turn includes helpful instructions with videos on its website.

U-Turn Orbit Basic Turntable Black


DESIGN

The Orbit Basic is quite beautiful in a minimalistic sense. There are no unnecessary materials or “gee whiz” design flourishes that detract from its design. It really is something we would place anywhere in the home or office and it wouldn’t look out of place. Perhaps the greatest compliment we can give it is that it looks way more expensive than it really is.

Both the Orbit Basic and Orbit Plus come in black, white, green or blue. We went with the black version because we are Klipsch after all. (How cool would it be to have a black and copper version?!)

One of our favorite parts of U-Turn’s offerings is that the speakers are assembled by hand in the United States, much like our own Heritage Speakers. Assembly occurs in their Woburn, Massachusetts workshop, just a few miles away from Boston. The majority of parts also come from within the country as the acrylic platters are turned in Ohio and plinths find their way from Minnesota.

Combined with U-Turn’s one year warranty, we really feel like these turntables are something you will use (and love) for quite some time.

SOUND QUALITY

So far, we’ve concluded that the Orbit Basic is affordable, easy to setup and boasts a quality build, but how does it sound?

Pretty darn good.

We tested out the turntable with a variety of albums from Johnny Cash’s The Man Comes Around to a more recent album like Sam Smith’s You’re Not the Only One.

The Orbit Basic really helped deliver a sound experience that we enjoyed and complimented our entire product range. It boasts a beautiful, warm analog sound with crisp highs and good definition.

We played the albums through a variety of speakers including the Klipsch Reference R-15M bookshelf speakers, Reference RB-61 II bookshelf speakers, Reference RF-7 II floorstanding speakers as well as the Klipsch La Scala II speakers from the Heritage Series.

Now, we hear a lot of people asking, “Which one of your speakers is best for vinyl playback?” There really is no right answer. All of our speakers are going to sound great through the Orbit Basic turntable. Klipsch Heritage speakers are a classic pairing with a vinyl setup as they were designed for the format. That being said, you will still get quite a lot of joy with the R-15M speakers, which we used, at the Music City Food + Wine Festival in Nashville.


U-Turn Orbit Basic with Klipsch Speakers

RECOMMENDATION

We won’t mince words here – U-Turn Audio definitely has our recommendation. In fact, we like them so much that we’re bringing a bunch of their turntables to Las Vegas to use in our booth at CES 2015.

Between its design, made in America roots and extraordinary value, the U-Turn turntable is definitely a great pick up for someone looking to get back into their vinyl collection or someone just testing the water with this once-forgotten medium.

The “old way” never sounded so good…especially for $179.

Made in America: WOODCHUCK

Nothing says craftsmanship like the smell of fresh cut wood. And nothing says America like applying that wood to everyday items like your cell phone case, laptop or even a whiskey flask.

As part of our Made in America series, Klipsch is saluting innovative craftsmen that provide quality products built in the USA. WOODCHUCK is doing exactly that through its handcrafted products, manufactured in Minneapolis, MN. From walnut iPhone cases to mahogany journals and cedar cufflinks, the wonderful people at WOODCHUCK have been producing fine wood goods to accommodate your everyday style since 2011.

Made in America - WOODCHUCK Flask - The Klipsch Joint

Your whiskey was aged in wood – your flask can now follow suit.

“I grew up in a Midwestern farm town. We valued things made with high quality, hard work and determination. Growing up there, I also saw the impacts of outsourced jobs in my local community. I feel like one of the reasons I was placed on this earth was to change that. We’re about bringing jobs back to America and re-building our economy,” said Ben VandenWymelenberg – Founder and CEO of WOODCHUCK.

Much like our Founder, Paul W. Klipsch, Ben has been a craftsman as early as he can remember. “I’ve been a craftsman my entire life – always making things, breaking things, fixing things and pushing the boundaries of what I can build with natural materials.” Sounds a lot like Klipsch and why our partnership is such a great fit.

Klipsch began in a small tin shed in 1946 in Hope, Arkansas with the motivation to bring the live music experience into homes through better sounding loudspeakers. We continue to deliver products made in the USA and WOODCHUCK understands what that means.

“We manufacture here to make the best damn quality product on the market. When we’re working with other USA brands, price is usually the last and least important piece. We’re concerned about quality, authenticity and service,” said VandenWymelenberg

What quality products do you enjoy that are made in America? Have an idea of what you’d like WOODCHUCK to wrap in wood? If you need some inspiration, check out the video below of a custom project the team at WOODCHUCK did. Let us know your suggestions.

WOODCHUCK THE WORLD: WOODCHUCK MOTORCYCLE

Defining the Klipsch Sound

How do you define Klipsch sound? Crisp highs, deep bass and a full, encompassing sound? That’s a good start, but it doesn’t completely answer the question.

Mark Casavant, Sr. VP of Global Product Development at Klipsch, was asked to define Klipsch sound. Here’s what he said:

“In a few words, Klipsch sound is akin to the live concert experience – powerful, detailed and emotional. Klipsch sound is easy to recognize by the everyday music listener to the ardent audiophile. It is best heard in a stereo, 2-channel HiFi system for playing music.

Klipsch sound is moving. It involves the listener quickly into the musical performance and is unique in that it seems to breathe with the life of the original live performance. This has a lot to do with the speaker’s ability to effortlessly reproduce sound levels of a live concert. It’s also due to the fact that Klipsch speakers don’t have to work very hard, as high efficiency design is a core Klipsch design attribute. Instruments are easy to “visualize” and vocalists seem to be in the room with you. This is a rare thing and passionate music lovers will go to great lengths to faithfully reproduce the quality of sound that brings the emotion into their favorite piece of music.

I often attend jazz-fusion performances at a local jazz club called the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis, IN. I am proud to call the owner a friend. Many years ago we outfitted the club with a strong and natural sounding Klipsch professional sound system. I have been fortunate to attend many concerts performed by some of my favorite musicians, drummers in particular. Being in such close proximity to the instruments is a rare thing. You can literally feel the power and impact in your chest. These master drummers surround themselves with other master musicians, so it is always a treat to witness such musical talent.

Klipsch strives to bring the live music experience in your home and on the go. Check out some live performances from  Sun King Studio 92 Powered by Klipsch Audio.

Klipsch strives to bring the live music experience in your home and on the go. Check out some live performances from Sun King Studio 92 Powered by Klipsch Audio.

After hearing these great bands live, I use the tracks from their CDs as demo material, simply because I know well how it sounded live. It is powerful, fun music to listen to it and serves the purpose of showing off Klipsch speakers at training, media or trade show events. That’s what it’s all about – having fun doing something you love. And most everyone loves great music!

Audio reproduction is both art and science. So much passion goes into music, its composition, performance and recording. We at Klipsch feel we must meet this passion with our fine speaker designs. The founder of the company, Paul W. Klipsch was motivated by the same passion as a music lover. He attended many live classical performances and sought to bring it into his home with the invention of the legendary and powerful Klipschorn. We have the same goal today, to bring the power, detail and emotion of the live performance home and that is, in essence, Klipsch sound.

Do you agree with Casavant’s definition of the Klipsch sound? How would you define Klipsch sound? What is your favorite live performance to listen to? Let us know below!

How Do Klipsch Horn-Loaded Speakers Work?

You hear Klipsch talk about our unique horn-loaded speakers that create louder sound with less distortion, but do you know how Klipsch horn-loaded technology works? Don’t worry! You do not need to be an audiophile to learn this stuff. Let’s start with the basics.

Horn-Loaded Speakers 101

The larger the radiating diaphragm of a speaker (that’s the circular portion of a speaker that moves back and forth to push air), the more air will be moved and the greater the sound energy. However, large diaphragms are inconvenient and heavy. By using a flared transmission channel (a horn) the effective radiating area of the source of sound can be increased to that of the mouth, thus creating greater air coupling (louder sound).

Because of the gradual change of the diameter of a horn, the source of sound at the throat engages all the air in a horn. We can think of a horn as having an imaginary, massless diaphragm at the mouth. This “virtual” diaphragm is no less effective for being imaginary – the molecules of air are vibrating back and forth as if a diaphragm the size of the horn’s mouth were actually there.

How Do Horn Loaded Loudspeakers Work?

Notice the size of the horn throat where the sound originates versus the size of the horn mouth where the sound leaves the horn and is amplified.

There may appear to be an unreal quality about the action of a horn in that it seems to get something for nothing, making a soft sound into a loud one. A horn is purely a passive device, and does not inject additional energy into the system. But the reason that a horn is able to increase the radiation of sound from a given source so dramatically (by factors of 10 or more) is that most sources of sound have only a very poor bite on the surrounding air, and do not succeed in changing much of the mechanical energy into acoustical energy.

The horn allows the mechanical power capabilities of the source to be tapped much more efficiently. In the case of a horn-loaded speakers, neither the electromechanical efficiency nor the power capability of the speaker itself is changed, but the transfer of mechanical to acoustical energy is greatly increased. This is why our speakers can produce louder sound efficiently, thus pissing off your neighbors.

Hopefully that sums it up. Got any questions? Want to know more about Klipsch horn-loaded speakers? Ask us in the comments section below.

Good Poop: What is it?

The title of our blog series speaks to me on several levels.

A Google search (be very careful there…) suggests the word “poop” is optionally defined as:

Noun, slang
relevant information, especially a candid or pertinent factual report; low-down:
“Send a reporter to get the real poop on that accident.”
Origin
1945-50, Americanism; apparently extracted from poop sheet;

And for poop sheet:

noun, Slang
a circular, list of instructions, press release, etc., providing information about a particular subject.

1. This is a “vintage” phrase. The timing of its origin appears to match that of Klipsch & Associates.
2. I have heard Paul W. Klipsch use the term.
3. It was actually used as a headline in a 1982 Klipsch Pro bulletin. (Read)
4. And finally, it is not politically correct!

Welcome aboard! Hopefully “Good Poop” will keep you amused, and you will keep me honest.

– Jim Hunter

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?

RECAP: Andrew Luck Takes Over Klipsch Twitter Account

Klipsch brand ambassador and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck took a little time off from training camp to answer questions from fans via the Klipsch Twitter account (@KlipschAudio). He gave insight into how the team is looking, his favorite concert, why his headphones don’t fall out and, of course, the infamous neckbeard.

Oh and the photo above? It’s from the photo shoot for the new tier of Klipsch Reference speakers. The shoot also included fellow brand ambassadors Josef Newgarden (left) and Robert Mathis (right) as well as Roy Hibbert (not pictured).

Check out a full recap of the “Twitter Takeover”:

Garage Sale Gems: Heresy

We’re not gonna lie. Even though the Klipsch Heresy is the most affordable of the Heritage Series of vintage speakers, it’s not for penny-pinchers.

No wonder. Each one is hand-crafted to order in Hope, Arkansas with the finest materials and thus requires a little bit more from the ol’ paycheck.

But they’re worth it.

Noted audiophile and professional reviewer Steven Guttenberg calls the Heresy III a “a rock’n’roller’s dream speaker” in a Stereophile editorial. He lavished even more praise on the Heresy in his CNET.com post: “The sound in my listening room was closer to a live rock concert sound system than I’ve heard from a lot of much more expensive and bigger speakers. That’s what the Heresy IIIs do so well, and once you experience that sort of sound at home, a set of Sonos wireless speakers won’t cut it anymore.”

Nice.

That being said, like any other speaker, you can find used Heresy speakers on Craigslist, eBay, the Klipsch forums, or even local garage sales.

Exhibit A: Klipsch forum member Chris Setlock came across a garage sale on Craigslist with about a dozen or so photos and spotted some nice Sansui components for $25 a pop.

Being a “die hard bargainer,” Chris headed over to the house to negotiate the price of the components. The reply was, “My husband will be down in a minute, he is bringing the speakers.”

Sure enough, said husband comes back with the first speaker in tow and wouldn’t you know what it was…

“I could barely contain myself when the owner appeared with the first speaker,” Chris said.

Chris: How much?

Owner: Eh, $20 each, they’re Klipsch.

Chris: Oh, really?

Owner: Yeah, and they’re heavy.

Chris: You don’t say…

Twenty dollars. For butt-kicking-made-in-the-USA speakers designed by the one and only Paul W. Klipsch.

Throw in $50 worth of Sanui components and Chris walked out with a complete system, and a huge grin on his face, for a mere $90. Of course, he is a bonafide “Klipschster” with 20 pairs of Klipsch speakers at home, including a pair of Heresys, even before this amazing find.

Bottom line: the cliché about garage sales is true: “You never know what you’re going to get.” Or is that a box of chocolates?

Tell us about your amazing finds in the comments below.


WARNING: Purchases of used or new Klipsch speakers or headphones at garage sales, Craigslist, eBay or any other unauthorized dealers void the warranty of the product. Warranties are non-transferrable. To learn more, go to http://www.klipsch.com/policies