A Continuation of the klipschorn® Page

 

Well, that was around 1972 or '73. By the end of '74 I was on my way to Arizona, celebrating New Year's Eve in Flagstaff. Unbekownst to me then, I was to be fortunate to meet Mr. Klipsch again, in '75. By this time, I was already well into a second set of corner horns, The first set was built in an apartment using, for tools, a keyhole saw, sanding block and a hand operated drill. I won't go into the details of their construction here, as that is out of the context of this page. There is a link to that page below.

Mr Klipsch was on one of his many tours to his distributors and that visit to Arizona was announced well ahead of time in the newpaper as well as the local hi-fi publications. So, on May 8, I was off to Jerry's Audio in Phoenix. And there sat Mr. Klipsch with a dozen or so followers, all asking a barrage of questions. As is my nature, I quietly sat back in an easy chair in the background and listened. I had my 3 inch 3 ring binder with me containing all the drawings, freehand and drafted, of all that it took to design a three way horn loaded system from scratch. I also had my complete set of "The DOPE FROM HOPE", the "sporadic" publication of Klipsch & Associates.

 

Before long, most of the crowd dissipated and there was but a few of us left. That was when he took notice of my presence far off in the distance. I think it was the library I had with me and not myself that aroused his curiosity. He invited me over and after the usual self introduction, I began asking him some rather highly technical questions on the theory of horns. I made reference to a paper he published in 1941 in which I found something that was in contradiction with later papers published by himself and others. He kinda chuckled and took his pen from his pocket and leaned over to write a comment in the margin next to the statement in question, which he enclosed in parentheses. He wrote, "I disagree with the author." and initialed it, PWK and dated it 750508.

 

 

After looking through all my goodies, he pointed out several errors I made along the way, but still admired my perseverence. There were also several things upon which he commended me for detail, like maintaining an exponential flare around the bends in the folded horn and the horn loading of a 3 inch Wharfedale cone tweeter complete with hand made horn and phase correction plug. He was also surprised to see that I had acquired reprints of all the papers to which he made reference in the footnotes in his papers. Some of those reprints dated back as early as 1924.

I told him that my reason for building the horns was just to see if I could do it. When one of the other onlookers there asked if I had built my own set of Klipschorns I responded by saying that I had built some sort of facsimile thereof, reasonable or unreasonable. I can still see the smile on Mr; Klipsch's face.

I did mention that I had driven a truck moving from NY to AZ and he told me I should have taken a more southern route through AK. With that, I promised myself that on my next trip East, I would definetly do so, and I did, about a year later. I lucked out, as Mr. Klipsch was there.

Upon my arrival into Hope, I had butterflies. The locals directed me to the factory several miles away, and as they said, I'd not miss it. As I approached the entrance and walked in, a middle aged wioman greeted me. the butterflies got bigger. Eventually I managed to introduce myself and state my purpose. She asked me to wait a moment and very discreetly departed the area withoput indicating whether or nor Mr. Klipsch was on the premesis or whether he would see me. She came back and told me that Mr' Klipsch was in his office and to follow her. I was like a kid following the Pied Piper and I think it showed.

I was taken through a few hallways and then she stopped and poked her head into an office. In a few seconds, she looked at me and thold me that Mr. Klipsch will see you now. I walked in and introduced myself, ever so humbly, while trying not to be too apologetic and thus make a fool of myself. I knew then how Moses felt on Mt. Sinai. Within a few minutes he made me feel as comfortable as if we had known each other for years. I related the previous circumstances under which we met but he didn't remember, which was understandable due to his many travels but his memory was somewhat refreshed upon my showing him the BS pin.

I then had the treat of my life; a personal tour of the works from the drawing boards to the final stages of production. At that time he didn't have an anechoic chamber so he told me he used the next best facsimile thereof - the outdoors. He spoke forever and I loved every moment as well as every word. He also told me of plans to construct a Plexiglas® corner horn in order to study the propagation of sound through it. Years later I heard that he had indeed done it.

We ended the visit in his office and if my memory serves me well, it was then that he gave me the tie clip, with the PWK logo which I still have. And then it was time to descend the mountain.

The last time I met Mr. Klipsch was a few years ago here in Phoenix at Buzz Jensen's. He was about 91 then. I didn't say much to him as there were several people there getting their Klipsch speakers autographed. But on several occasions, he looked in my direction as if he remembered me. It was probably my imagination but I like to think it wasn't. I still had four memorable meetings, two of which were just between him and me, with the man who wrote the first book on loudspeakers.

Well, since you obviously got this far, allow me to extend my deepest appreciation for your taking the time to read about my experiences. If you're wondering what came out of my admiration for Mr. Klipsch, then follow the link provided by the tie clip he gave me.