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Paul W. Klipsch, 98, Hi-Fi Speaker Maker, Dies

Paul Wilbur Klipsch, founder of one of the first hi-fi speaker companies in the United States, died here May 5 at age 98.

He developed the Klipschorn speaker, the only speaker in continuous production in relatively unchanged form for more than 50 years, according to Klipsch Audio Technologies. His design sounded more lifelike than previous horn-loaded speakers did, said engineering VP Jim Hunter.

“The Klipschorn had the widest bandwidth per cubic inch going, the lowest in frequency for the smallest volume occupied for horn-loaded speakers,” he said. The Klipschorn “would deliver full acoustic power of a live symphony orchestra, and it would do that with only a 10-watt amp.”

Paul Klipsch refined horn speakers “with higher efficiency and low distortion, broad dynamics, and a flat frequency response,” he continued.

His design was called a corner horn because it was intended for placement in corners, using the walls as an extension of the horn to further increase efficiency, the company said.

Klipsch Audio Technologies, now owned by cousin Fred Klipsch, was founded as Klipsch and Associates in 1946, when he began making the Klipschorn speaker by hand until he hired his first employee in 1948. The company continues to build its speakers in Hope, but its headquarters is in Indianapolis.