Are Klipsch speakers really that bright?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Jerryb, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. utahusker

    utahusker Nottadick

    Southern, UT, USA
    That seems to be the same to me, but I guess it's all subjective.
    Robin L likes this.
  2. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    It's like the 'presence' bump in the Shure SM 58 but shifted up about half an octave.
  3. The Pinhead



    Dark, laid back speakers keep me leaping for the treble control, with horrible results in most cases. I want realism, as in LIVE MUSIC. Ever been to a rehearsal ? Did it sound dark or laid back to you ?

    Just what the doctor ordered !!!!!!!:edthumbs:

    Slight bump a t 4 Khz on mine, which gives electric guitars that beautiful ¨shredding¨sound. I don't think any speaker in the price range of my Klipschs (Synergy F20s) has a totally neutral sound, most have dips instead of bumps.

    Klipsch speakers are for rockers who love a ¨hi-fi¨ sound as opposed to audiophiles obssessed with uncolored (often lifeless, dark, laid back) neutral sound. Rock is colored.

    KLIPSCH ROCKS !!!!!!!!!!!:p
    Heckto35 likes this.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    My entire house is nowhere near the size of a supermarket and the room I have my Klipsch Chorus 1's in, wouldn't even equal Aisle 5, but I "L-O-V-E" the sound of them in that room. Every person that I have ever played those speakers for all love them as well and believe me, I've had some people over who have as much equipment in their homes as Steve Hoffman has listed in his (NOTE: Not as high end as what he has, but still a LOT of stuff, all the same), so I must have "something" worthy with these speakers?
    The Pinhead likes this.
  5. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    The sound of rock is "loud", that's the tone color. Distortion is inherent. I listen mostly to other types of music. Klipsch speakers might shine with rock, but they suck with classical music. Shrill. Very dynamic, but cutting. Not for everybody.
    SandAndGlass and The Pinhead like this.
  6. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    As I have always said that it is a true fact that no one speaker or brand is for "everybody", as everyone has slightly different hearing. I personally have never heard a pair of Maggie speakers that I ever want to hear again, yet many, especially on this forum love those speakers. I always leave a room with them and feel so unfulfilled and that my hearing was attacked by them. On my Klipsch Chorus 1's, I listen to mostly Sinatra, Jazz and acoustic songs, like Mindy Smith's "Raggedy Ann" and nothing is "shrill" sounding.
    brew ziggins and The Pinhead like this.
  7. dmckean

    dmckean Forum Resident

    San Diego, CA, USA
    I don't bother trying to convince others any more. Dynamic loudspeakers have been out of fashion for almost 30 years now and guys on here don't want to question their large investment in less involving speakers.
    Chris C likes this.
  8. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Chopin sounds absolutely wonderful on my Cornwalls and the same with Beethoven and Mozart piano Sonatas - absolutely wonderful. Then again I also listen to Jazz, Funk, Blues, Rock etc. So I do not agree - also Big Lebowski 2 was just a hoax.
  9. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    Yes, sad about that.
  10. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Put K-Horns in a ordinary sized room is not workable and a really large room is definitely needed. The problem here is that small rooms are too small and the majority of large rooms are not the correct shape. The correct size room (and I am guessing) might be 12' by 26'. They need to be placed not too close to each other nor should they be placed to far apart and the room still has to be large. Of all of the places that I ever lived in I never had one place where the K-Horns could be correctly placed because of doors and such. This is why I have chosen not to purchase a pair, they are not adaptable.

    On the other hand, I have used Altec A-7's as close as 12' and the bass and HF horns blend quite nicely. The main issues with hearing bass and HF as separate sources is the crossover settings. It took me several weeks to get my ALK crossovers set correctly, now they are perfect. IMO, Altec horns and drivers are far superior sounding than the Klipsch counterparts. I also agree that the Cornwalls, for reasons you mentioned, are the best of the legacy Klipsch speakers for the home. This makes sense, since they were designed for the home and not for PA speakers.

    My La Scala's really pound with rock music but they also the only speakers I have ever owned where I have never turned up the amp to see how loud they will play. It's sorta like walking towards a large bonfire, you get to a certain point and then you want to step back quite a bit to be comfortable. The A7's are much easier on the ears than the La Scala's. When I turn up the sound with the A7's, the sound gets fuller, on the La Scala's just get louder, after a while, my ears want to call it quits.

    Right now, I have a single La Scala hooked up. I sit parallel to the cabinet and the speaker is pointed out into the room and not pointed directly at me. This way, it injects sound into the room, better than at my head. I always use it with a sub that is dedicated to it, in addition to other subs that I may be using.

    For most people, neither the La Scala's or the K-Horns, would be a good choice of speaker for home stereo. Most owners who prefer them have them modded with replacement horns, drivers, crossovers and run them with tube amplification.

    Most newer Klipsch speakers are marketed toward the home theater crowd where they are better suited than for two channel stereo. They demo great in the big box stores where listening fatigue doesn't have time to set in.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
    KT88 likes this.
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Forum Resident

    The irony is that Paul Klipsch utterly detested rock music, as I understand it he was a classical listener. I've always found the Klipsch I've owned (Heresys and now La Scalas) to sound very good on classical, especially piano. They really get the percussive envelope right. By saying that Klipsch speakers are really critical of amplification, stray too far from tubes or class A solid state and they can sound really odd to my ears, usually in a harsh way. The good thing is they don't need much power at all, so a good little amp is all that's needed.

    There's no edge or harshness to my La Scalas, though there is some colouration (I think the bass horn walls sing along a bit), but I am using a third-party crossover (ALK Universal) which gives control over the mid-horn level. They sing their best with little single ended triodes IMO, I had great results with a borrowed Decware Zen, but I use a Quad 306 at present as they are on TV duty so it's not really economic to burn tubes. I'd say my La Scalas like jazz and classical more than rock to be honest. They don't really have the bass kick/slam for rock, though what they do have is really fast and articulate.
    McLover likes this.
  12. jmobrien68

    jmobrien68 Forum Resident

    Toms River, NJ
    Funny... but just yesterday I found a pair of KSF 8.5 speakers in excellent condition at a Goodwill store for $29.99. Hooked them up to my Marantz 2230b put Ace Frehley's solo lp on my SL1200 and was right properly kicked in the ass!
    Gregory Earl, Waxxy and The Pinhead like this.
  13. Luggman

    Luggman New Member

    Been trying to find speakers to replace Klipschorns that have been bi amped with tube amps driving the mids and tweeters. I could not find anything yet to get down to 30Hz and detailed highs to replace, so I stay in bliss and happiness!
    If you have poor equipment driving them they will certainly reveal that.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  14. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    My La Scala's have their original x-overs in them. I need to get a universal from ALK like I am using in the A7's. You hit the nail on the head with the ability to control the attenuation of the midrange "squaker" horn. Put a Crown class-D amp on them and crank up the rock and Floor Toms and Kick Drums in the frequency range of 60HZ - 130HZ, will kick you in the chest like a mule. At the same time, the squaker will take the top of your head off. Cut back the squaker and you have a really nice speaker for rock or jazz, except that they will not do justice to an upright bass the way the K-horns will. The are just not designed to go down to 40HZ with any authority. Even the A7's, as large as their cabinets are, start to loose it below 50HZ.

    With this respect, the K-Horns beat them all frequency response wise, being able to resolve down to the lower 30HZ range, making them ideal for dynamic symphonic music. I would doubt that PWK listened to much classical music on the La Scala's. Why would he? He designed the K-horns for that and later, the La Scala's for PA applications.

    As you say, the (legacy) Klipsch speakers are really critical of amplification, that is all that needs to be said. I do not own a SET amp but I would venture that they can sound exactly as you have described them with SET's, but after the crossovers have been replaced. Even then Al Klappenberger (ALK Engineering) strongly recommends, on his web site to change out the squaker horn itself, but not the driver, just the horn.
    russk likes this.
  15. Bertly

    Bertly Senior Member

    Opinions on the Reference Premier floorstanders (RP-280F, RP-260F, RP-250F)? Has anyone heard them?
  16. The Pinhead


    The Reference Series used to be brighter than the Synergy. Now the tweeter has been redesigned and the brightness tamed. But they are not available locally yet so I couldn't comment. I say give them a listen.
  17. Blue Nile Fan

    Blue Nile Fan Forum Resident

    Akron, Ohio
    I had an Onkyo Integra TX-88 (80 wpc) with Audioquest Sydney interconnects and good 12 awg speaker wire going to a beautiful pair of Klipsch Forte 1's with orignal crossovers. Once I played around a bit with placement and sitting them on some maple, the sound was other-worldly. Long story short, I sold them right after I had them dialed in - again, long story. I REALLY miss that setup. I have some good gear now, but the nice thing about horns, take the time to set them up right and wherever you are in the room it all sounds the same - unless you go near a corner, the bass gets louder. Pair Klipsch with the right amp and wires - big difference. I know many say wires don't make a difference, but if I had that gear still, I could prove you wrong all day long. I remember I was playing some Dire Straits and the sound was so real on one song it made me jump out of my chair! This I can tell you - should I find another good pair of Forte's, I am grabbing them. I also now know a speaker tech not far from home that could upgrade the crossovers and make them really sing!
    Gregory Earl likes this.
  18. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    a long time ago steve hoffman told to hang a tissue over my klipsch horns....stunningly amazing difference....i highly recommend it, i've never removed those tissues.
    Gregory Earl likes this.
  19. jhw59

    jhw59 Forum Resident

    Rehoboth Beach DE.
    I've listened to my Klipsch Heresys for almost 40 years. I use no eq so GIGO-important to keep in mind. Our host's remasterings sound very good to me as an example. Tube amplification and in my cd player are really a match made in heaven. I like a live/open sound for my music and listen to rock, jazz and classical. I did add a sub a few years ago as they don't go below 60 cycles and I like bass. I also replaced the "guts" as well and that was very beneficial. My room is probably too small for them.
    CatManDude likes this.
  20. stonesfan

    stonesfan New Member

    I have a pair of Klipsch Lascalas , to me they sound superb.
    drobo and Gregory Earl like this.
  21. JamesD1957

    JamesD1957 Forum Resident

    Cypress, Texas
    I've had my RP 280F's for about two weeks now. The room is hardwood floors, no window treatments. There is a rug in the middle of the room. I was worried about the brightness as well, but those worries were for nothing! The speakers sound very well balanced out of the box, and they are getting a bit warmer in my opinion, but maybe I'm just getting used to them. I think I read somewhere that new Tractrix tweeter surround was made of a softer rubber on the RP series as a response to all who had been doing some kind of putty modification on the RF series to tone down the brightness. I wouldn't worry about brightness with this series.
    Heckto35 and The Pinhead like this.
  22. fishcane

    fishcane Dirt Farmer

    Finger Lakes,NY
    Lascalas, Cornwalls, and KG4's here.... Don't consider any of them bright. All being pushed by tube systems, some vintage, some modern. I did own a pair of Heresies I considered to be too bright for my taste so traded to someone who thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread...
  23. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Syracuse NY
    I had the the opposite experience. Inefficient speakers especially the vintage variety like AR and ADS sounded constrained and lacked the transient speed need to reproduce live music. I started way back in the 80s with a pair of Mordaunt Short speakers and graduated to some Vandersteen 1b then tried some B&W bookshelf speakers and just couldn't find what I was looking for. Then I walked into a place in L.A. called Henry's Radio and heard a pair of Klipsch Chorus and was blown away. After that I discovered the Heritage Series and decided that I really liked high efficiency speakers. After sometime with them I have come to the conclusion low powered tube amps and solid state that are clean and quiet and do not have an overly emphasized treble are where its at for Klipsch. They also really respond poorly to being over driving. I personally think Klipsch sound best at medium to medium high volumes. It's easy to drive them loud but man when they break up the really break up and sound incredibly harsh.

    Right now I'm running a pair of mint Cornwalls with a restored Fisher 500c and think it's a fantastic combo. I do own a pair of Vandersteen 1c but they are on loan and after listening to the Cornwalls for a few weeks I just couldn't go back to the Vandersteens.

    Are Klipsch the best speakers? No, I don't think so. I really like Tannoy. One day I hope to have a pair of Tannoy Monitor Golds with a Line Magnetic amp. However for the price they are hard to beat.
  24. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    I never liked Heresy's but owned Cornwalls for several years. Cornwalls or Khorns driven with tubes can be very nice!
  25. stonesfan

    stonesfan New Member

    I am running my Lascalas with a Sherwood S-5500 IV tube amp and after 40 years of listening to music along with the price the sound to my ears is hard to beat
    I do agree that Klipsch speakers will sound better with a tube amp
    drobo and russk like this.

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