|Klipsch Synergy SA-3 All–Weather Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Friday, 01 June 2001|
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With summer approaching and the weather getting warmer, many music enthusiasts including myself are looking forward to barbecuing on the patio and some outdoor relaxation. Fine wine, gourmet food and great friends, and of course let’s not forget the ingredient that no party is complete without – fantastic tunes.
The SA-3 is the largest in Klipsch’s All-Weather speaker line, measuring 16 inches wide, 11 inches tall, 10 inches deep and weighing 15 pounds per speaker. The cost of ownership is $699 per pair in either black or white finish.
Having just re-landscaped my backyard, I’ve been looking for some serious outdoor speakers to provide the much- needed finishing touch. I looked at many speaker systems, including some that resembled rocks. The opportunity to review an outdoor speaker could not have come at a better time. When asked which model I wanted to review, I said, "Give me the biggest ones." Ask and you shall receive – when these Klipschs arrived and were unpacked, I was shocked at how big they really were for outdoor speakers. Although I would have preferred my yard to host speakers with more visual stealth, the added performance of the Klipsch SA-3s, with a rated response of 55Hz to 20 kHz, makes a pretty compelling argument for a less than optically transparent speaker.
The SA-3 comes as a two-way speaker system, comprised of a front-ported eight-inch woofer and a one-inch titanium dome compression driver, with a five-inch square Tractrix Horn. The cabinet is constructed of ABS plastic, which feels very solid. The SA-3 has a maximum continuous power handling capability of 100 watts, which at the 94 dB-rated sensitivity means you can play the speakers loud enough to generously include your neighbors, whether or not they prefer to hear your listening choices.
Mounting the SA-3s was quite simple with the included "C-shaped" bracket. The SA-3 is an outdoor speaker, but the description All-Weather could be a tad misleading. The SA-3 can clearly handle most weather, but Klipsch warns not to expose it to continuous and prolonged rain. I placed the speakers underneath my patio cover, which will provide some limited protection from the rain. In the event that the speaker needs to be removed from the elements during winter months, a large hand-screw on the mounting bracket makes for easy removal.
Once mounted, I ran the speaker cable near the ground, along the fence line to my house. I then ran it through the vents on the underside of my house and into a room containing a dedicated older Nakamichi receiver and CD player. For cable, I used some Belton industrial wire consisting of two stranded 16-gauge shielded copper runs. There is a large variety of very good-sounding wire available for use in this application. I chose this wire primarily because a friend donated it or, as Bob Barker would say, "The price was right."
Additionally, I am looking into a system in which I can control my electronics from my yard through either an IR to RF converter or an IR repeater. I feel it is important to have the flexibility to control volume and song selection for the yard, rather than having to run inside to make adjustments.