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AV Quick Takes: The Klipsch McLaren Legends Series

by April 07, 2023
Klipsch McLaren Legend Series

Klipsch McLaren Legend Series

In partnership with McLaren Racing, Klipsch has created a new capsule collection of special-edition speakers called the Legends Series, referring to audio legend Paul W. Klipsch and racing legend Bruce McLaren. These two iconic figures pushed their respective fields to new heights with their now-legendary brands. As most Audioholics readers will know, Klipsch was founded by Paul W. Klipsch, who designed and hand-built the venerable Klipschorn loudspeaker in 1946. Bruce McLaren was just 22 years old when he won the Grand Prix in 1959. He held the title for youngest Grand Prix winner for over four decades. Throughout his career in Formula 1 racing, he took the podium another 26 times and developed a highly successful F1 constructor’s team known for technical innovation and superior design.

The Legends Series speakers capture the McLaren design ethos, thanks to the brand’s signature speedmark, flashy Papaya Orange accents, and the number 5, as seen on the side of the Cooper T45 race car that Bruce McLaren drove during his 1959 Grand Prix win. The Papaya Orange paint used in the Legends Series is actually supplied by the same company that outfits McLaren Formula 1 cars now. Beyond the paint, the new Legends Series speakers feature metal knobs, metal grilles, real wood veneer, vinyl wraps, and even special screws designed in partnership with McLaren Racing. Every finishing detail is made from “luxury materials fit for greatness,” according to Klipsch. The look is not going to be to everyone’s taste, but hardcore McLaren racing fans, of which there are many, will certainly be tempted. (Personally, I am not into Formula 1, and if I had a few hundred grand burning a hole in my pocket, I’d be more likely to ride around in a Rolls Royce than a McLaren super-car. But even I think these speakers look cool.)

There are four loudspeaker models in the Legends Series collection:

Klipsch Legends Series One

The One McLaren Edition — A $349 tabletop wireless stereo speaker.

Klipsch Legends Series 9s

The Nines McLaren Edition ($1899/pair) — Powered speakers with a 90° x 90° edge-to-edge Tractrix horn and an 8-inch high excursion woofer.

Klipsch McLaren Forte

Forte McLaren Edition ($5,499 each) — A Special-edition version of the popular Klipsch Forte IV loudspeaker, known for its hand-assembled cabinet, wide dispersion high-frequency driver, horn-loaded A K-702 midrange compression driver, 12-inch woofer, and 15-inch passive radiator.

Klipsch MCL-905

MCL-905 McLaren Limited Edition Performance Loudspeaker ($7,999 each) — The most interesting of the bunch, the MCL-905 is a two-way professional cinema speaker never released for home use before now. The MCL-905 McLaren Limited Edition offers “unbridled dynamics and intense realism” while delivering “sensational audio reproduction and accurate coverage control,” according to Klipsch. The speaker uses a powerful, horn-loaded 3-inch titanium diaphragm compression driver with an advanced Tractrix horn to create a “large, well-defined soundstage,” according to Klipsch. This is supported by a pair of 15-inch K-45 fiber-composite cone woofers housed in a separate, real wood low-frequency cabinet, hand-crafted in Hope, Arkansas. Bass reportedly digs down to 32Hz. A new steep-slope crossover designed by Klipsch’s Chief Engineer, Roy Delgado, ensures that “highs and lows have ample breathing room and less frequency bleed.” The support bracket that connects the Tractrix horn to the woofer cabinet was inspired by “the custom tail wings and spoilers on aerodynamic McLaren F1 cars.” Only 25 pairs of MCL-905 McLaren Edition loudspeakers will ever be made.

More information: Klipsch Legends Series


About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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