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The 2015 Klipsch Pilgrimage to Hope

Klipsch has a rich history and heritage that we readily “shout from the rooftops,” but we aren’t the only ones shouting.

Our passionate fans are yelling right alongside us. Whether it’s on social media, the Klipsch Forums or even good ol’ personal recommendations, they are critical in magnifying our message.

Because of this dedicated fanbase, we have had several “Klipsch Pilgrimages” in the past, inviting Klipsch fans from all over the world to tour factory in Hope, Arkansas or to our headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.

Fans in awe during the factory tour.

Fans in awe during the factory tour.

 

This year, a group of devoted fans from the Klipsch Forums (about 50 altogether) took it upon themselves to hold a “Klipsch Employee Appreciation” event for Klipsch employees at the Hope factory. They invited anyone who wanted to attend and provided a catered lunch to the employees on April 10, 2015.

Lunch was catered by a local favorite — Big Jake’s BBQ — and the attendees even served it themselves! Everyone at the factory was extremely appreciative of their kindness. After all, these are total strangers taking time out of their lives to say “thank you.”

Plenty of companies out there have rabid fan-bases. With gestures like this, we’re pretty sure ours is the best!

Serving food to the factory workers

Serving food to the factory workers

 

The attendees were treated to a tour of the factory as well as the Klipsch Museum of Audio History just across the street. This small building, now museum, once contained the entire Klipsch manufacturing facility in its basement from 1948 to 1952.

Our own resident historian Jim Hunter lent his time and knowledge to show them around the museum, which is chock full of amazing audio relics from our past such as prototypes, testing equipment and even some of PWK’s personal equipment. Smiles could be seen across the group’s faces as Jim went through each historical piece.

You can get your own virtual tour courtesy of Mr. Hunter on YouTube here.

The Klipsch Museum of Audio History

The Klipsch Museum of Audio History

 

The factory tour is always the highlight of the Klipsch Pilgrimage. After all, that’s where Klipsch speakers that have brought so much joy to so many people, are lovingly crafted by hand.

During the tour, an order of RF-7 II floorstanding speakers was being built from the ground up, showing off the craftsmanship for which Klipsch is known. To see first-hand exactly what goes into making these speakers is something truly special. It’s a detailed process that highlights the human, handmade aspect of these speakers.

Fans admiring some freshly-made Klipschorns

Fans admiring some freshly-made Klipschorns

 

"Before the sound." Still beautiful. Heresy and RF-7 II cabinets.

“Before the sound.” Still beautiful. Heresy and RF-7 II cabinets.

 

hope-building1

When we say hand-made, we mean it.

 

After the tour, engineering master Roy Delgado, Jr. showed off some of the upcoming Klipsch KI Series II Pro speakers, as well as the giant KPT-1802 subwoofer out behind the factory. Needless to say, people were amazed by the sound of these speakers and the subwoofer. We also gave a short A/B/C demo of music through some Klipschorn, RF-7 II, and Palladium P-39F speakers, which left many of the attendees nearly speechless afterward.

Lucky people getting a great demo.

Lucky Klipsch fans getting a great demo.

 

It almost goes without saying that the Klipsch Pilgrimage would feature a party. Heck, we all love speakers, so you gotta turn it up!

On Friday and Saturday night, attendees gathered at a huge property just outside of Hope owned by a longtime friend of some Klipsch employees. Several folks brought some of their own Heritage (Cornwall) speakers along with phono tube amps and turntables to set up in the giant barn/clubhouse.

Everyone rocked out to an interesting variety of music while telling stories about their own audio projects, tales of meeting Paul W. Klipsch himself and how they became Klipsch fans in the first place.

Some Cornwall speakers set up inside the clubhouse

Some Cornwall speakers set up inside the clubhouse

 

Outside the clubhouse, forum member Kevin Harmon – who filmed a short interview he had with PWK back in 1989 – set up his absolutely amazing KP-600 stacks that he had hauled to the pilgrimage. These monsters were LOUD!

Built for a variety of applications, they are perfectly suited for an outdoor venue and attendees of this “live concert” of recorded audio definitely had the “best seat in the house”. Fittingly, Roy Delgado, whose name is on the patent for the KP-600 (along with a host of other Klipsch patents) showed up and helped tune Kevin’s system to perfection.

KP-600 stacks

KP-600 stacks

 

When I say these speakers were loud, I mean it. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof….

In the late night/early morning hours of Saturday/Sunday, the owner of the property received a text from a “nearby” neighbor, asking to “please turn down the music”. I put “nearby” in quotes because this particular neighbor lives no less than 1.6 miles away from where the speakers were sitting. Hundreds of trees, some hilly land, and other buildings also sit between the 2 points.

The neighbor said they could hear every word of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. That’s definitely “Pissing Off The Neighbors.”

1.6 miles as the crow flies. Not enough space, apparently!

1.6 miles as the crow flies. Not enough space, apparently!

 

We are so lucky to have such a loyal and passionate fanbase and we truly thank the ones who put this appreciation lunch and gathering together. This event was strictly created by them without any involvement from Klipsch aside from agreeing on the dates and setting up the tours of the factory and museum.

We strive to continue making products that generations of audio lovers will want to bring to future gatherings and endlessly talk about how they became a Klipsch fan in the first place.

If you want to be a part of future gatherings and pilgrimages, hop on our forums and say “hello.” (Hint, there may be another small, but special Pilgrimage very soon!)

We are one of the only audio companies to maintain a forum community and we owe its members a great deal of gratitude.

Thanks again, everyone! We wouldn’t be where we are today without you.

 

Special thanks to the following forum members for their hard work in putting this together and for other various nice things they’ve done related to this event! (Do let me know if I missed anyone)
Mallette
ssh
Thaddeus Smith
USNRET
dtel’s wife
Seadog

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