Help me pick a pair of speakers in the 3-4k range

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Bananas&blow, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    There's a Klipsch dealer just north of Indianapolis; he carries the Heritage line. He also carries Rogue gear and had a Cronus Magnum III last time I checked. I listened to a pair of what I think were Fortes probably 15 years ago. Reading this thread, Klipsch must've made significant improvements. The dealer's only 15 minutes from me, time for a visit.
     
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  2. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City
    A friend and I are heading through Indy on our way to New England on our motorcycles next month, I might have to check them out. Having owned an original Cronus Magnum, I'd be interested in hearing it coupled with the Forte IV and Cornwalls. Was planning on stopping in Paducah on our way back home. Be good to hear the Cornwalls with a couple of different Tube Integrated Amps :agree:
     
  3. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    fun trip, just make sure your ears have time to decompress after a long ride! depending on your bike, it could take a while ;)
     
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  4. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City
    I ride a BMW with Ear Plugs and a Full Face Helmet :winkgrin: I hear nothing but good tunes streaming from the phone, at moderate levels :righton:
     
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  5. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    very nice....
     
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  6. adamos

    adamos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeastern PA
    I’ve been following this thread with interest because I’m looking for new speakers roughly in this price range and also a new integrated amp, and I can sympathize with @Bananas&blow ’s experiences! And then the recent discussion of Klipsch Heritage line + tubes being a great match for live Grateful Dead really caught my interest.

    I’ve been curious about the Forte IV but figured they would be too big; I’m in an open plan family room for now and need to be mindful of not taking over the space too much. But I went to check them out today and they weren’t quite as big as I thought, so it might be doable. However I’m not sure I could put them more than two feet off the front wall without some significant rearranging.

    Most importantly I liked their overall sound. A much different presentation and listening experience than my current KEF R3 standmounts obviously. It was fun. The shop didn’t have them paired with a tube amp; it was a Cambridge integrated (I forgot to note the model since I wasn’t interested in it but I think it was higher up in their line). But I felt like I could at least get an initial sense of the possibilities with the Forte IV and I found it intriguing.

    Over the past couple of weeks I’ve listened to several speakers from Harbeth, Spendor, Dynaudio, Wharfedale and KLH. I liked the Harbeth C7ES-3 XD quite a bit but I’m not sure yet if they are a strong match for my listening interests. I also liked the Dynaudio Special Forty a lot and they would slot into the current configuration of my room nicely.

    I’ve also listened to several integrated amps including some from Parasound, Hegel, Luxman, Sugden and Rogue. In my price range the Luxman L-505uXII and Rogue Cronus Magnum III are the two that I like the most so far. I’ve been leaning to the Luxman but wanted to get more clarity on the direction I’ll be going with speakers first. I’m also curious about the Yamaha A-S2200 but haven’t had an opportunity to listen to one.

    So the Forte IV is kind of shaking things up now. I’m not 100% sure I could pull it off it terms of the current room layout, but it’s at least a candidate now. If so it seems like the CM III might be the better fit? I also wonder how the CM III compares to the Cary SLI-80HS.

    Ultimately I’m looking for a sound that has some warmth, richness and smoothness (i.e. not bright or overly analytical) while still being an immersive and engaging listening experience. And while I listen to a wide range of music, getting live Grateful Dead to sound as good as possible within the limits of my budget and room is a good metric for success.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
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  7. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I can vouch for the CMIII with the Forte IIIs and CW IVs. I’m sure they’re just as good with the Forte IVs.

    I’d like to know how it compares to the SLI-80HS too, although that would get complicated quickly when you consider tube rolling.
     
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  8. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow It's just that demon life has got me in its sway Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    haha yes!
     
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  9. AudioSmaudio

    AudioSmaudio New Member

    Location:
    Desert Southwest
    Find used Klipsch Cornwalls, some of the Infinitis with ribbon mid/tweeters, vintage JBL or Altec Lansings. You might also see if you like AMT Heil's with maybe a quality subwoofer. If you want out of boxes.....any Magnaplanar with your amp and probably a pair of 8" powered subs.
     
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  10. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow It's just that demon life has got me in its sway Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I don't think you can go wrong with either the CMIII or the SLI-80 with the Fortes. If you are only going to buy new the price difference between the two would put me at the CMIII. However you can get an SLI-80 used for $2500 (or less). The basic design of the SLI-80 was in the late 80's by Dennis Had, so I can't see spending $5k for a new one personally. I also wanted the tube rectification rather than solid state rectification of the current HS model for the full tube amplifier. But any of these amps would be an ideal candidate for the Fortes.

    Most people seem to like a decent amount of power with the Fortes. My experience is different from a lot of people in that putting them next to the wall gave me earth shaking bass that was too much for my tastes. So I need them 32" from the back wall and I prefer the lower powered KT-77's. If you make the jump to the Fortes, it is really nice to be able to roll tubes to your personal taste. You want more bass go with the KT120's. Middle KT88's. Or want to roll them off go with the KT77's like I prefer. Not to mention all the preamp tube options.

    For the record the manual with the Fortes recommends 2-10" from the backwall but in my room the Fortes protrude pretty far into the room (the only thing I don't like about them). If you are concerned about the speakers being too far in the room the larger Cornwalls might actually be a less intrusive option because you can put them right next to the back wall for bass re-enforcement. The Fortes are a pain to place, other than that they are perfect.
     
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  11. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow It's just that demon life has got me in its sway Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I had a pair of R300's (similar to the R3's) and the sound presentation was much less lively. They imaged wonderfully and grew on me over time whenever I put them in my main system. At first I thought they sounded a bit dull. After a week I began to appreciate their strengths. But in my book they are several levels lower in terms of listening excitement, resolution, bass. I don't consider this a knock on them as they are $2000 versus the $5,000 of the Fortes.

    It's not just the Grateful Dead that sound more alive with the Fortes. It's all music. Jazz acoustic instruments come alive and sound wonderful. I consider them great all around speakers. The only audiophiles that won't like them are those that prefer a precise uncolored sound.

    Best of luck in your search.
     
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  12. adamos

    adamos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeastern PA
    Thanks for both of your replies; it’s helpful information. And glad that you are enjoying your Fortes!
     
  13. Ivand

    Ivand Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I got a pair of Forte III’s early this year. They’re a lot of fun as many have stated before. I’m driving them with a Rega Elex-R. I like the pairing but sometimes I wonder if I could benefit from more power output to get more grip and muscular sound (the Elex-R is 72w @ 8ohms).

    I’ve also read how well the Forte’s do when paired with tube amps. However I’m not clear if something like a Cronus Magnum III would deliver slam with the Forte III/IV. Any thoughts/experiences will be appreciated.
     
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  14. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Absolutely.
     
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  15. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco

    Too lazy to check this entire thread.
    So what did you end up getting?
     
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    which Spendor did you hear?
     
  17. adamos

    adamos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeastern PA
    Just the A2; I’d be interested to hear more. They didn’t have the A4 and above that was out of my budget. I haven’t heard any of the Classics either.
     
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  18. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    the klipsch are the best bang for the buck, you can find great deals on b-stock and open box.
     
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  19. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow It's just that demon life has got me in its sway Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    He's not lying. I got a single scratch and dent Forte off eBay for $1,000. And got a b stock to match it for about 2k. So 3k out the door. I'll take a few scratches to save $2,000.
     
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  20. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow It's just that demon life has got me in its sway Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I get slam from 40 watts of KT88 tube power. Although what I consider slam must be less than most. Certainly you can tune the bass of your Fortes with placement as well. I found the bass changes more than any other speaker I've owned based on placement. Moreso than some rear ported speakers. Interestingly to me is that my Cary 40 watts KT88 the bass was slow and flabby on my KLH 5's, a much more power hungry sealed design speaker.

    If you want more slam I would think higher current and solid state would be the path, but the 100 watt Cronus Magnum outta do the trick too no problem.
     
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  21. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow It's just that demon life has got me in its sway Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    It's only 29 pages
     
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  22. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Here for the chuckles.

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    I listen in the dark anyway.....if you're looking for scratches on speakers you're missing the point....probably better off just listening to them.
     
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  23. Cupids_bow

    Cupids_bow chillin like a villain

    Location:
    The OC
    :laugh:
     
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  24. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Have you ever thought about adding spikes to the bottom of the Fortes to help with the bass ? I am considering a large freestanding speaker and have read that spikes could help smooth out the bass response of big boxes resting on carpet.
     
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  25. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    +1
     

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