Klipsch La Scala 1 Upgrades
I get emails all the time from people wanting to know how to upgrade their La Scala speakers. Yet I sell very few upgrades for La Scala owners. The reason is, that it's quite difficult to make a significant upgrade to La Scalas without cutting the cabinets, and that's not something that many La Scala owners are willing to do. By contrast, upgrading the Klipsch Belle or Khorn models are quite easy, and can be completely reversed to bring them back to stock without modifying the cabinets.
There is at least one other company making upgrades for La Scalas, and I've spent some time evaluating the midrange horn that they sell that fits into the existing opening without modification. There was certainly a different sound with these horns - smoother I would say - but they didn't do well with the lower midrange frequencies, and overall I didn't think they were really better. I've learned over the years that the only way to really upgrade the La Scala midrange horn, is to replace it with a larger one that has a 2" throat.
The Volti Audio Fc280 is a good horn for this purpose.
It is a wooden horn with a 2" throat and a Tractrix expansion. We build this horn (and the Fc260) as raw horns for the DIY horn speaker builder, and as such, it is offered as a stripped down, raw horn that can be implemented into many different designs. It comes painted with black paint, but that does not mean it is completely ready for installation into a speaker. It is for the builder to determine how to mount the horn and whether or not to add bracing to the sides.
Integrating them into the tophat of La Scalas requires the front of the La Scalas to be cut or routed out. I have found this to be a deterrent for customers who own La Scalas, because they are unsure they will like the upgrades, and then they've permanently modified their speakers. I can certainly understand this hesitation.
One thing you could consider doing is to mount the mid horn on top of the cabinet temporarily and use it that way for a while to see if you really do like the sound. Then if you decide they're keepers, you can make the mods to the cabinet to install them.
Keep in mind that if you are not comfortable with, or don't have the tools to do the install, you can find someone local to you who can do it at a reasonable cost. Cabinet makers, or furniture repair shops are a good place to investigate.
Another thing to consider is that when the Fc280 horn is installed in the tophat of the La Scala, there is no room left for a tweeter. What we've done in the past is to build separate tweeter boxes that sit on top of the cabinet. Here's one done in satin black paint, for a Beyma CP25 tweeter.
These can be done with veneered boxes, with cloth covering the fronts, and can be built for any tweeter.
If you decide to go ahead with the big mid horn changover, then the next thing you'll need to decide on is if you'll continue using the stock K55 drivers or change to the big BMS midrange drivers. It's a budgetary issue only, because there is as much of an improvement in sound quality switching from the stock K55's to the 2" outlet BMS drivers as there is to changing from the stock mid horns to the big Volti horns. If you're sticking with the K55's, then you'll need our V-120 adapters.
The Volti VX or VT networks can be used with the La Scala in stock form or upgraded. These crossovers really improve the sound quality of La Scalas considerably, and they also provide you with nice adjustments to help balance the system to your liking.
Some of our customers choose to replace the stock K33 woofers with these Crites woofers.
We also offer braces to stiffen the sidewalls of the cabinets and bass horn grills to cover them up. Here's a link to the La Scala braces and grill frames webpage: La Scala Braces and Grill Frames
A couple of pictures of the braces
If you'd like to upgrade La Scala II's, you can use the slightly larger Fc260 horn. I do have one customer who has done this mod and he said it wasn't too difficult to do. Although it does require a little bit of work to fit and secure the horn in the opening.
Here's a few pictures of that pair of La Scala II's:
My customer said that the original
grill frame fit right over the horn. He tried different mountings for the
Beyma tweeter, and found that he got the best sound by mounting it down under
the top lip of the bass horn in the "V" area. Sorry, I don't have a
picture of that.
So as you can see, we do offer all the parts needed to completely upgrade a pair of La Scalas, and to significantly increase the performance of these iconic speakers. But unlike the Belle and Khorns models, it takes a little more work and a lot more faith in the outcome of the upgrades to get these performance gains from La Scalas.
If you're one of those people who has the budget and the desire to make these changes, send me an email and we'll get you set up with the parts you need.
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