A friend of mine introduced me to the wonders of high end audio while in college. He took me down to the local audio shop, and had me listen to a pair of Klipsch Corner Horns.  These massive speakers were cutting edge speakers in the early 80′s. As I walked around the speakers and took in the deep wood colors, with rich oil sheen, I vowed that someday I would own a pair of these speakers. The sounded fantastic when played, and since this was right around the time of the CD going mainstream, I was fortunate to hear the speakers playing the 1812 Overture by Pitor Illich Tchaikovsky. The brilliance of the sound was unmistakable. The speakers would reproduce a signal with such a low ohm impedance that you could drive these speakers with a 100 watt amp.

As the years went by, and the mystery of life slowly dissolved into the realities of life, I found the corner horns were just never going to be in the budget for me. Even after college, the horns were more than $3000.00, and it was just too much of a investment.  So I compromised, which is the other reality of life, and purchased a pair of Klipsch KG 5.5 speakers.

The 5.5 were a huge, and weighed almost 70 pounds a piece. They had two ten inch woofers, and a horntrax tweeter/midrange.  Although they lacked the overall frecency response of the corner horns, they were considered the top of the line speakers in 1994.

I bought the speakers, and had them shipped to my apartment.  I unpacked them with great care, and for the first time, actually went out and bought a serious pair of speaker wires to handle the signal from the amplifier. I proceeded to get the centered in the correct position, and then fed them some signal.  I started at a pretty low volume, I thought, but seconds after going through the second or third strains of Mozart’s Symphony  #41, my downstairs neighbor came knocking on the door. The entire time I lived in that apartment, I longed to turn those speakers up, just to see what they could do.

When I met my wife, we bought a house together in 1996, and I moved into the new townhouse with absolute enthusiasm. My wife was astounded to learn that it is a must for the first time to be moved in and set up is the stereo system.  So with unconfined glee, I hooked up the Klipsch speakers and began to pound out some killer  cello Yo-Yo-Ma. Ma’s take on some suites inspired by Bach floated out of those speakers on the wings of doves. The silky smooth music, which was so defined you could hear the bow grind against the screen, sounded exquisite, and full, and it was just inspiring, until the neighbor came crashing through the door. Again, I spent 11 years longing to get those speakers cranked to a level in which I could just let myself float with the sound.

In 2008, my wife and I built a fantastic new house in the suburb of Eagle. I was jacked because the nearest neighbor was 200 feet away. I designed a room especially for the speakers, and a couple of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs. The thought was to sit back, and let those dogs hunt.  When we moved, we put all of the boxes and belongings in the garage of the new home.  Then we slowly moved stuff into the house as we moved in over the period of a month.  I rolled the speakers into their new location, hooked them up, and with a smile, unleashed some Miles Davis. 30 seconds into the delightful jazz….Mrs Davis comes crashing into the room.  ”You are not bringing those speakers into the house.”  ”They do not match any of the interior colors, they are to big, and I want them OUT!” That was pretty much the low point of my life. I had owned those speakers since 1994, and for 14 years, I had longed for the day that I could finally listen to them, in peace, at what ever volume I chose.

Out in to the grange they went, and as the piles of possessions thinned I noticed that there was a great deal of extra lumber laying against the far wall.  Using my severely handicapped carpenter skills, I built two “V” shaped speaker stands, installed them on the walls of the garage, in the corner, and hoisted the Klipsch speakers up.  I hooked them up, and just cranked the Bee Gees. Those speakers, now of course well aged, just responded like a raped ape, and poured out beautiful 70′s disco music. About every 30 seconds, I opened my eyes and looked around, and no one was telling me to turn them down.  I sat in the garage for a hour, on a plastic chair, head bobbing to the beat of the speakers. They sounded FATASTIC!

So there the speakers are, to this day, in the garage. I don’t think Paul Klipsch would have minded the location, as long as there was somebody there to enjoy the sound his company produced. It seems the lesson of this journey, is that with patience, and a lot of time, all dreams can come true. You just have to outlive everyone.

Barcelona Chair

Klipsch 5.5 Speakers

Father and Founder of Klipsch loudspeakers