Meeting Topic: Tour of Klipsch World Headquarters
Moderator Name: Jay Dill
Speaker Name: Trevor Gibson, Klipsch; Gary Mielke, Tech Rep; Stan Stivers, Klipsch; Trey Cannon, Klipsch
Other business or activities at the meeting: Notes about upcoming virtual career panel, information about Klipsch internships, and information about AES membership.
Meeting Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA
The meeting opened with host Trevor Gibson from Klipsch providing some history and evolution of Klipsch, started by Lieutenant Colonel Paul W. Klipsch in 1946 in Hope, Arkansas while stationed at the Southwest Proving Grounds. Klipsch pioneered corner horn loudspeaker design (which is still manufactured today) and developed a reputation for being a design-driven company, with a focus on quality sound. At present, Klipsch boasts its position as the number one selling speaker company in both the US and Canada, with an export market that outpaces domestic sales, and includes a number of commercial partnerships. More recently, Klipsch has rebranded as Premium Audio Company, as they now serve as owner or importer for such brands as Jamo, Integra, Pioneer Elite, and Onkyo.
Following the opening presentation, the attendees split into three groups to rotate through different sections of the facilities. The first of these groups moved to an outdoor courtyard area to view and listen to a three-speaker landscape loudspeaker system produced by Klipsch, featuring a half-buried subwoofer (unburied for the demo) and a network-controlled amplifier and DSP unit with 110° coverage area.
The second station took attendees back in the building for a look inside the prototyping and engineering facilities. The prototyping lab provides engineers with a full array of 3D printing and CNC capabilities for realizing models and testing novel designs in the adjacent testing facilities. The premiere testing room is the in-house anechoic chamber, built from a separate slab and resting on a coil-spring suspension. The room boasts a 24dB C noise floor, despite being mere hundreds of feet from a busy interstate highway. The room also features a unique door design with a corner entry via a four-sided spinning door mounted on an axil. This allows for differing conditions including hard boundary and anechoic conditions, all sealed with inflatable O- and C-rings.
The final station brought attendees to the listening lab where a set of Klipsch Forte three-way loudspeakers powered by tube-based monoblock amps, providing an exciting listening experience to round out the evening.
Written By: Brett Leonard