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Klipsch Heritage Series – RMAF 2019

Klipsch Heritage Series and the Klipschorn AK6

Klipsch was showing a trio of true-audiophile icons from their Heritage series of loudspeakers. Klipsch is known for using a mixture of horn-driver tweeters and midranges, with dynamic-driver woofers — and in some models, like the Klipschorn AK6 — all the drivers are horn loaded.

Klipsch has been doing things right in all things audio for a little over seventy years. In that time many things have changed in the Klipsch product line-up, and yet still some things — ahem, great things — remain nearly the same.

Klipsch’s Heritage series of loudspeakers is what I’m talking about. A line of iconic Klipschorn designs that have stood the test of time, and today are at possibly peak relevance with all-things-old being new again. Is the vinyl resurgence to blame? Is society yearning to hold onto the best-of-the-best from what may be considered the greatest century in music history?

First, let’s talk about the Klipschorn AK6, a design that itself has been in production for over seven decades. The original Klipschorn doesn’t differ much at all from the new generation of “K-horn” and both were/are still made in Klipsch’s Hope, Arkansas factory to this day, and as I hope for many years to come.

Paul W. Klipsch, founder of the company, developed the Klipschorn loudspeaker to change the world. To mimic the dynamic richness, crisp detail, and the sensations of attending a live performance — all while being comfortably seated (or dancing) in your home.

The “K-horn” or “corner-horn” as it is affectionately known for its high musical efficiency. Allowing it to be powered to unexpected levels of sound with very modest amplification. Making it an outstanding pairing with lower-powered high-quality tube amplifiers and vintage receivers.

The horn-loaded tweeter and midrange compression drivers you may know, as they sit, fully enclosed, above the lower bass cabinet. The bass cabinet features a patented folded-horn 15-inch woofer that uses the rooms architecture to produce real, deep, and an accurate scale of the live performance. In other words, realistic bass.

The Klipschorn AK6 is the latest iteration of the classic Klipschorn, not to suggest substantial changes, but more refinements. Whereas speakers from other manufacturers may have changed more in five years than the iconic Klipschorn has changed in fifty.

The most noticeable change added in the new AK6 is a 2-inch riser-stand that is incorporated into the bottom of the bass cabinet, allowing for a better stance to the speaker. Less noticeable is that the rear of the bass cabinet is now fully enclosed. This enclosure change now allowed the Klipschorn to perform exactly the same in the corners or pulled out into the room. A welcome addition to those who like to fiddle-around and tinker with imaging and speaker placements.

Also showing, were the newly updated Klipsch Cornwall IV loudspeakers. Improvements on the design are subtle, but leave a mark for this new generation of Cornwall to be proud in bearing. Firstly the cosmetic updates, the new Cornwall IV is available in three finishes — satin black ash, American walnut and natural cherry real-wood veneer to complement modern furnishings. As with the entire Klipsch Heritage series, the Cornwall IV speakers are designed and handcrafted in the USA. Each speaker is grain-matched using wood veneer panels from the same timber, resulting in a speaker pair that is virtually indistinguishable from the other.

The Klipsch Cornwall was initially introduced in 1959. Now in its fourth iteration, the three-way design uses horn-loaded compression drivers for the midrange and treble and a direct-radiating 15-inch woofer for low frequencies to deliver the full-range bass response of the Klipschorn with the sensitivity and output approaching the fully horn-loaded models.

New features include: All new K-702 midrange compression mated to a modified proprietary Tractrix horn with patented Klipsch Mumps technology. A new high-fidelity, steep slope crossover network. New ports with Tractrix flares. The result of the Tractrix port is reduced port-noise and a clean, and more powerful, punchy bass. A newly designed wide dispersion high frequency phase plug to ensure the last octave matches the coverage pattern of the midrange and high frequency horns. Premium aluminum input panels to accommodate large, high-quality speaker cables, while strong binding posts allow for bi-wiring or bi-amping. An updated passive network features premium grade AudioQuest® internal wiring.

by Eric Franklin Shook

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