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Author Topic: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15  (Read 10133 times)

Gregory Fenn

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Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« on: October 08, 2009, 12:08:48 pm »

All,

I'm looking for anyone with experience with the Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15 Speaker enclosure. What are your opinions of the speaker system(s)? Has anyone used them at show? Is there a love/hate relationship with the design?

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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 09:49:14 pm »

Maryland sound used to use various versions of the Karlson cabinet.

The biggest (and standard that I am aware of) was the "full clam" which was basically 4 single 15" cabinets in a single enclosure.

I used to have some of the "half clams" (dual 15" versions).

They were fairly small and did the job well for me.

How good were they really? I cannot say-as compared to todays standards.  I bought mine off of a friend who needed the money because of a drunk driving car accident.  A great guitar player who could no longer play because of the accident and the loss of one hand. Sad  

But my suspicion is that they are not as good as some HI-FI types think they are.  If the design was that good-more people would be using it.

Yes it is "different" but that does not automatically make it "better".
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For every complicated question-there is a simple- easy to understand WRONG answer.

Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.
Danley Sound Labs

TrevorMilburn

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009, 05:56:57 am »

For anyone who hasn't seen Karlson cabs, here are some pics:

MSI Clams:
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t144/Jazomir/Speakers/MSIKarlsonClams.jpg
MSI Clams in use at a Meatloaf Concert:
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t144/Jazomir/Speakers/karlsonmeatloaf1.jpg
Leech (UK) Karlson-type cabs from the seventies:
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t144/Jazomir/Speakers/Karlsonsoundl12.jpg
Regards,
Trevor

PS Thanks to the owners for the use of these pics.
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Tom Young

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 05:34:22 pm »

I'm with Ivan on this, albeit with a bit more negative an opinion.

I tried these back in the 1980's, both the ones made by Guass and a few variations that I built, based on published plans and my attempts at improvong them. I think I tried them with Guass, EV and JBL 15" drivers, plus a few 18's. They (all cabinet variations) all sucked.

What I mean specifcally is that there was no perceived increase in gain (over that from a common bass-reflex direct radiator), no pattern control and no improvement in sound.

Back then I also played with a Transylvania "The Tube" and it was interesting but not that impressive.

All that being said, apparently MSI liked them. Go figure.

FWIW
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Tom Young
Electroacoustic Design Services
Oxford CT
Tel: 203.888.6217
Email: dbspl@earthlink.net
www.dbspl.com

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2009, 06:19:15 pm »

I never compared my half clams to my other subs that used at the time (Servodrive SDL-5's, double and single 15" scoops, 2x18", single 15" W boxes).

They were part of a system that I bought to help a friend out and that system worked well.  Half clams-4560's and Gauss 2".  I did a lot of gigs with that system.

I cannot say they were any better or worse than the others.

Oh how I wish I could back in time and "play" with some of my old gear and see how it really performed.

Then again, maybe I don't Laughing .  It did the job and made people happy and I got paid-so I guess the gear was "just fine". Very Happy

Why tarnish the memories. Rolling Eyes
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For every complicated question-there is a simple- easy to understand WRONG answer.

Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.
Danley Sound Labs

Gregory Fenn

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 03:17:20 pm »

Thanks for the information. I have one cabinet without a driver and I am debating on should I keep it or not. IF it is worth the money to buy a driver for it. Thanks again.
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Gregory Fenn

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 03:23:39 pm »

Thanks for your opinion.
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Gregory Fenn

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2009, 03:25:52 pm »

Thanks!
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Art Welter

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2009, 03:17:37 pm »

Gregory Fenn wrote on Mon, 12 October 2009 13:17

Thanks for the information. I have one cabinet without a driver and I am debating on should I keep it or not. IF it is worth the money to buy a driver for it. Thanks again.


Really depends on what you want to use the cabinet for.
With the right driver, for LF, it will work OK.
As the bottom of a two way, it is weird.

The Karlson does provide a bit of a band-pass loading effect, but colors the sound doing it.
The "Christmas Tree" opening causes more reflections in mid- high frequencies, "enhancing" them.

After hearing the 8" versions my dad built, in 1973 I decided to build a 15" version.

My conclusion was the smaller design made cheap speakers sound good, but the good speaker (a Gauss) sounded odd in the cabinet. I sold it to a bass player, the "odd" sound was OK with him.

The speaker angling up is a good feature for a bass player.
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Art Welter

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Re: Karlson Ultra-Fidelity 15
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 12:33:35 pm »

Happens that freddyi just yesterday posted The Audio League Report (Julian Hirsch) Oct. 1955 - Karlson in the High Efficiency Speaker Asylum.
Shows the huge frequency peaks and dips that the Karlson enclosure has.

“freddyi “ loves Karlsons, if you search the Asylum you can get hundreds of posts about them.

index.php/fa/25491/0/

As I posted yesterday, I don't share freddyi's enthusiasm, those peaks and dips were not to my liking, though below 150 HZ, where MSI used them, they are not bad.

As I recall, the MSI "Bear Claw" Karlsons were tuned way too high though, somewhere above 60 HZ.
Rather than the original slotted port (about eight 1/8" saw blade cuts IIRC), the entire port area was cut out, making the port much larger (and higher FB) than the original design.

I heard them with Arlo Guthrie in 1978 in Madison Wisconson, the kick and bass were very boom boom one note.

Art Welter
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