When the La Scala first launched in 1963, audio pioneer Paul W. Klipsch made it for Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Winthrop Rockefeller to use as a public address speaker. Because some considered it a “portable” and more affordable version of the revolutionary Klipschorn®, the La Scala found success beyond the campaign. Despite its raw, unfinished appearance, the fully horn-loaded, three-way La Scala sounded so good people still wanted to put it in their living rooms.
Remaining virtually unchanged since those early campaign days, Klipsch decided to cosmetically improve the raw-looking La Scala by totally redesigning the way the cabinet was constructed. The goal was the achieve a more finished appearance and improve cabinet rigidity. It is now available in a variety of high-quality wood veneer finishes, including cherry, walnut and black ash. The La Scala II also includes a grille to cover the mid and high frequency horns. The bass horn cabinet walls are now constructed of 1-inch thick MDF rather than ¾-inch plywood to offer more support, decrease resonance and deliver cleaner bass response.
Since its inception, Klipsch has promoted the use of horn-loaded speakers as part of its goal to produce speakers which:
- Are high in efficiency (more formally called “sensitivity”), meaning that they can be driven by relatively low-powered amplifiers
- Are low in distortion, which Paul Klipsch believed was very important
- Have wide dynamic range, meaning that they accurately reproduce both soft and loud sounds
- Exhibit controlled directivity, meaning that the radiation pattern is directional, rather than diffuse
- Have a flat frequency response, meaning that there is no unnatural emphasis in the bass, mid-range or treble.
The company advocates the superiority of horns for the aforementioned properties, but historically horns have a reputation for a coloring of the sound sometimes described as “honkiness”. The exact causes of this coloration are still being researched , but one cause is vibration of the horn material itself.
Wood finishes available until the late 1980s were Macassar ebony, zebrawood, rosewood, teak, cherry, oak oil, oak lacquer, walnut oil, walnut lacquer, raw birch, birch lacquer, and black lacquer. In a letter sent to its dealers at that time they cited concern over the responsible use of exotic woods from the rainforests and as a result retired the ebony, zebrawood, rosewood and teak veneers.
Klipsch Heritage Series products are built to order, handmade in the US at our Hope, Ark. manufacturing facility.