KHorn Custom Build

Well there isn't much more High Efficient than a KHorn so I guess this is as good a place as any to share my exploits and results on a rebuild I did recently of a pair of Speakerlab KHorns.
For those unaware, yes, Speakerlab did their version of the KLipsch KHorn. Many o the parts were the same sourced pieces actually and overall were a very well regarded version. I'd say the crossover is kinda where the Klipsch raised the bar vs what Speakerlab did. same tweeter, mid horn driver and really similar horn in some models. Also the same eminence 15" woofer too.
This particular set came from sort of church and were really in poor condition so I got them cheap cheap cheap. Otherwise I would not have bothered since their size is tough to deal with on all fronts.
Here are photos of what I started with.
As you can see pretty rough and not Khorn worthy. Definitely not to my standards. First thing to do was research and assess what I had and was anything of value.
It contained the following pieces:
T35 tweeter with their model numbering HT3500
Mid Horn H350 Cast metal
W1504s 15" woofer w/square magnet - Same as the CTS W-33
Atlas mid driver

After reading what I could find, and there wasn't a whole lot, I determined I could improve the tweeter, some said Speakerlab's version of the cast horn was better than the Klipsch and the woofers were the K horn standard preferred short of the new offerings by eminence/crites maybe. Again it was the crossover that was a mess and would need to go.

As for the cabinets, well.......they were a mess. But the folded horn bin box of course was fine. Everything but it would be replaced.
Off to the shop they went where we had the room to do what needed to be done.
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Post Whore In Training
I always thought it was a bit odd that Speakerlab went with a vertical orientation of the tweeter instead of the horizontal of PWK. Not sure what that did to high frequency dispersion but I'm sure it made for an odd sweet spot.
The shop isn't mine. It's my woodworking buddy's and partner in crime in much of this stuff Dennis. Retired from the business and has a remarkable shop now at his place. He's taught me bunch.

The vertical tweeter was a point of consideration and in the end I kept it that way. I don't hear anything that tells me it's an issue fortunately. It did get upgraded to the Crites C-120.
The big front panels came off the bin well enough that I was able to repurpose them as a temporary baffle experiment for some speakers I mocked up real quick for the heck of it that some of you may remember with 2 Altec 414a and the bowtie Emilar horn. It was just an experiment as the cabinets were ugly Oak things and the panels from the KHorns were Walnut. Those panels cleaned up pretty good once I cut off all the edges. They were 3/4" plywood.
Having my friend Dennis to steer me along in the process was great. He has his standards for quality woodworking and we stuck to them. Made the decision to go with White Oak since we had some old salvaged stock boards. After demo we were left with just the horn bin so we were looking at a new build for the top hat and a new front panel. There were never any grills so that would be a need as well.
The top of the top hat would be solid White oak hardwood. All other is veneered MDF, but no edge banding anywhere. No 45 mitered corners. Solid white oak would be used along all exposed edges of the MDF panels including the main large front panel. We picked out a nice 4 x 8 sheet of quarter sawn White oak from JSO Wood products.

Front panel was fairly simple......for Dennis. And that was one big piece of oak veneer!
I was wanted a lighter finish to these but also wanted a little more pop to the figuring of the grain so I sampled a bunch of stains on some scrap veneer. Also painted the inside of the hat prior.
After staining the pieces went ASAP into the booth for sanding sealer.


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Putting them back together was a fun process. Like anything else it gets down to getting your head around the details in that and not getting too far ahead of yourself want to just get it done.

The old plywood that the horn bin was made of was a little dried out on the rear exposed panels so I elected to paint over it all, similar to the Klipsch version. On the two large main panels I went ahead and used some of that black flex seal to add a little more deadening to them (at least I told myself it was an idea).

Recommendations for the AA crossover rebuild came from Dean at Deang Crossovers.


Next Round Is On Me
Love that quarter sawn White oak! I built a few cabinets in the past with it, used a rich cherry stain and man did that grain pop! Really like the speaker fabric too.


Post Whore In Training
Those turned out really, really nice! Great color / texture combo, and I love seeing something from the island of misfit toys brought back to its former (actually, improved) glory.