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Leaning Toward Klipsch Speakers - Am I Crazy


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 DouglasT

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Posted January 07 2004 - 11:29 AM

I am replacing a bunch of cobled together old equipment with all new home theater as funds permit.

Room 13 X 19 x 9 archway opening to slightly smaller dinning area.

I am keeping my 7 year old 50" Hitachi TV for now.
Everything else is getting replaced.

So far I have decided and have on the way the following

Yamaha RX-V2400 Reciever 120 X 7 channels
Sony DVP-NS755V DVD/SACD Player
SVS 20-39pci Sub

What I need is new speakers. I have some crappy little Kenwood surounds that I will probably have use for a few months until I can afford better. I will probably have to setup 5.1 first and then go to 6.1 one a little later.

My thoughts are to add tower fronts (will be used mostly for home theater, but I do like to get loud with some music once in a while) maybe a center if I can swing it.

Use my Kenwoods temporarily and then replace them and a rear center as funds permit.

First off let me preclude my further ramblings with the statement "I probably don't know what I'm talking about". I don't know how to test speakers or what to really listen for, other than what "sounds good" to me. I only list what I thought so others can get a feel for what I like. Don't use what I think for advice on your own system.

I am a little over 40 and have probably lost some of my high frequency hearing playing to much Van Halen in my car in my teens and 20's. I like classic 70's rock, if that helps anyone give me recomendations.

Here's where I am at so far.

I have visited 2 Ultimate Electronics, 2 Best Buys, a Circuit City and a local stereo shop. Here's what I have listened to. Sorry I don't remember all the model numbers but here goes.

Paradigm Monitor 5's I wanted to hear the 7's but they didn't have them on hand - they sounded pretty good but the sales rep didn't think they could handle the volume I wanted to hear from them. He had them up to medium volume and said the if I wanted to go loud loud I Paradigm would probably not be my best choice. They would probably be my second or third choice. I like the tone but seemed a little wimpy.

Polk RTi Series RTi 8's or 10's I also like the sound of these not quite as much as the Klipsch (below) but probably on par with the Paradigm's to me. A little less expensive than the Pardigm's seemed to fill the room nicely and went a little louder before they started to distort. To me probably the best bang for the buck I have listened to yet but I like the Klipsch better for a little more money.

Athena Technologies AS-F2's I listened to these on a shelf at Best Buy, probably not the best setup. They are about half the price of the other models I like and they sounded fairly good. I liked the way they sounded all around me. Sorry I don't know the real term, spacial or something like that. The sound didn't seem like it was coming from the speakers but more surrounding me (with just the 2 of them playing) They started to distort at a mediumish volume to me. The Best Buy guy said it was from his cheap switcher and light guage wire. Don't know enough to know if that makes sense. These also seeme a little cheaply built (the drivers didn't fit flush in the case stuff like that) but maybe for that price that's what you get.

A bunch of stuff I didn't like I also listened to some diffinitive technologies (seemed not to have the same clarity as the Klipsch in the same room), Some infinities (not too bad but were in same room as the Polks and I liked the Polks better). Some JBL's at Best Buy sounded pretty good but didn't seem worth the price difference over the Athena's next to them on the shelf. And most of the other stuff these 4 stores had to offer even the Bose, none of the others did much for me.

My Favorite - The Klipsch RF-35's I listened to these at Audio Electronics. They had the same Yamaha Reciever I am buying on the rack so I was able to listen to it with what I have. I really liked the way these sounded. Everyone talks about them being to "bright", either I am loosing some hearing in the cripsy area or I just like it that way. I prefer to call it crisp and clear. They seem to also surrond me with sound like the Athena's and seemed just a little clearer than the Paradigm's or Polk's. These were all at different stores with different receivers and different rooms. I really don't know what I am listening for, but they just sounded good. Decent smooth sounding mids, and highs, and pretty decent bass even without a sub. I also like the looks of them. They were priced at $499 each and I found another dealer that will do $800 on a pair, about the same range as others I am considering. I also listened to the RF-5's the next model up and for a $100 more each I thought they sounded about the same. The two lower model Klipsch I didn't like at all, kinda muddy if that makes any sense.

Thinking about Axiom M60ti Also I have heard good things about the Axiom speakers mostly from forums and some people at SVS seem to like them as well. From other threads I get the impression the model M60ti would be in line with the Klipsch and Paradigm's I am considering. At $800 a pair they are not any less money than the others and I can't hear them first. I don't have a problem buying off the net when companies have good return policies. I think the best reason to buy on the net would be to save some money and that doesn't seem like the case with the Axioms unless they are way better than what I have been listening to.

What I would like from other readers I have listed all this (much more than I thought it would be when I started this message) so I could see if others have listened to some of these systems and either agree or disagree with what I thought I heard, and if they agree maybe give me some suggestions on other speakers I should give a listen to.

Thank you to anyone who can give me some more to ponder over. I hope I don't show too much ingnorance by my observations.

Thanks,

Doug

#2 of 17 DanaA

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Posted January 07 2004 - 12:24 PM

Are you crazy? No, definitely not. A lot of people love the sound of the Klipsch Reference speakers. Although I have replaced them in my main listening area, I still use Klipsch in a secondary system. For a lot, the Klipsch sound harsh or fatiguing, but one should let their own ears do the deciding. On the other hand, to many Klipsch lovers, quite a few other speakers have a veiled sound. To me, they're very dynamic, detailed speakers with the added advantage of being very sensitive, which means they'll wail when called on to do so.

I would suggest that you try them out with different electronics as they're very sensitive to what they're matched up with. Take some music along and do some extended listening to find which receiver with the Klipsch sounds best to you.

I've been thinking about the label "bright" with Klipsch and have decided that, for me at least, they are a very open sounding speaker.

#3 of 17 MikeMeehan

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Posted January 07 2004 - 01:12 PM

Welcome to the forum.Try to audition as many speakers as you can and buy what sounds best to you. I've owned Klipsch speakers for over twenty years and I think they enjoy 70's classic rock.Good luck with whatever you decide.

#4 of 17 Frank Carter

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Posted January 07 2004 - 02:39 PM

Crazy?? Could be, I don't know, but there's nothing wrong with liking Klipsch. As you've heard they have a different sound which some people say is bright and fatiguing but others like you(and me) say they're "crisp and clear". If you like the way they sound best, I say buy them, be happy, and pay no attention to what other's say about your speakers.

#5 of 17 Steve Lucas

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Posted January 07 2004 - 04:44 PM

Nothing at all wrong with buying Klipsch. But as a Paradigm owner (Monitor 9's) I'm obviously a little biased in that direction. If I remember right, I paid about what you are quoting (~800-900/pair) for my Monitor 9's. It could be worth a listen as these have much better bass extension and will play louder then the 5's you listened to.
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#6 of 17 Lee-M

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Posted January 07 2004 - 09:33 PM

Nobody who listens to my Klipsch ForteAcademyRC3 combo complains of harshness or fatigue. More often than not, their jaws drop when they become totally immersed in whatever film is being presented to them.

If you want laid-back, reserved, polite, whatever sound, then avoid the Klipsch.

If you prefer to be taken to whatever location the film-makers intended, and like to have the Be-jeezus scared out of you when you are supposed to, or shed a tear when the orchestra swells during the climactic moment of whatever epic you are watching, go with the Klipsch...

#7 of 17 WayneO

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Posted January 07 2004 - 09:43 PM

You like what you like and shouldn't let opinions here bias you, but just inform. Maybe your hearing degredation, is the reason you like the Klipsch, they are forward and bright IMO. Besides the Klipsch, the Paradigms are probably the next most efficient speaker out of the rest and they are kinda bright. With 94/91 sensitivety with most Monitors, meaning they could louder with less power than most of the others. If you liked the Monitor 5's, I'd really recommend you to hear the 7's, they sound a little fuller with the bigger cabinet, though same drivers. The 9's sound different altogeher and are within your budget. And give the 11's a listen while your at it, a little over your budget at 1K? but worth a listen.
If the best advice is "listen for yourself", then why offer your opinion?

#8 of 17 Rory Buszka

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Posted January 07 2004 - 11:50 PM

(sarcasm) You're crazy. You know Bose makes the best speakers in the world. The fact that they did nothing for you when you auditioned them doesn't mean that they are crap, only that you have no ears. (/sarcasm)

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I personally like the sound of the Klipsch horn tweeters. Of course everything is going to sound muffled compared to them, because their horn tweeters are super-sensitive, and any little transient gets that tweeter going, more so than traditional domes. I like their effortless sound in the treble range, personally. I wonder how it compares to planar transducer treble?
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#9 of 17 JakeMcM

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Posted January 08 2004 - 12:02 AM

I own monitor 7's and like them very much. Maybe look into the paradigm studio series as they are very good but might be too expensive.

#10 of 17 Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 08 2004 - 01:33 AM

Quote:
First off let me preclude my further ramblings with the statement "I probably don't know what I'm talking about". I don't know how to test speakers or what to really listen for, other than what "sounds good" to me.

You have the right idea. The absolute most important criteria in auditioning different speakers is to determine "what sounds good to you". Nothing else really matters.

Personally, when I auditioned Klipsch speakers a few years ago, I did not care for them compared to other brands. I ended up with a B&W 600 Series setup. However, I know people who love the Klipsch sound. They are well made, quality speakers with a distinct sound. It's a matter of personal taste.

#11 of 17 Philip_T

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Posted January 08 2004 - 02:22 AM

Doug,

I bought my Klipsch RF-3II's at Soundtrack (same thing as ultimate electronics) over a year ago. Since then, the franchise started to carry KEF speakers. After hearing the KEF's, I would have bought them in a heartbeat over the Klipsch had they offered them when I bought. You should check out the KEF Q series if they have em at your U.E. store. Not as forward as the Klipsch, but very nice sounding speakers to my ears. Of course, your results may vary.

#12 of 17 Manuel Delaflor

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Posted January 08 2004 - 05:17 AM

Quote:
My Favorite - The Klipsch RF-35's I listened to these at Audio Electronics. They had the same Yamaha Reciever I am buying on the rack so I was able to listen to it with what I have. I really liked the way these sounded. Everyone talks about them being to "bright", either I am loosing some hearing in the cripsy area or I just like it that way. I prefer to call it crisp and clear.


Not "everyone"! Others, like me, think exactly like you, it is not that Klispch are "bright" is that most others are "muddy" and "opaque"!

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#13 of 17 Craig Cole

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Posted January 08 2004 - 08:09 AM

What sounds good to you is what matters most. I had a chance to A/B some Axiom m22ti's vs. my Klipsch RB-5's the other day in my home. I was prepared to like the Axioms better but to me the Klipschs sounded fuller. The vocals, both male and female, had more presence on the Klipschs. There was also more midbass on the Klipschs. Going in I expected them to sound more alike but for me, and my wife, the Klipschs won.
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#14 of 17 DouglasT

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Posted January 08 2004 - 06:35 PM

I had the chance to go do some more listening today. I found a dealer about 80 miles away who had the entire Paradigm and Polk lines, both of which are on my top 3 list with Klipsch.

This time I called them ahead of time and found out they also carry Denon and Yamaha receivers. I have a RX-V2400 Yamaha on the way. I talked with a sales rep and he was more than willing to set up a couple of things ahead of time for me. By the way he said of all the recievers he has in the $1000 to $1500 range he loves the 2400. What I had him do is hook up the 2400 Yamaha to the Polk RTi8's and the Paradigm Monitor 7's on the A and B speaker outputs. Both of these speakers are about the price range I am looking at, $700 for a pair.

He hooked up a cd player and ran the receiver with flat base and treble and direct 2 channel mode, speakers set to large with full range going to them and subwoofer set to none.

I brought along about a half a dozen CD's I like with notes on which tracks to play. I don't have the list in front of me but some were, Jackson Brown, Billy Joel, Van Halen, Sara McGlalfin (spelling), Pink, Alanis, Boston, I think that was most of them.

I listened to all the tracks at a comfortable level about minus 15 on the db volume display (I really don't know what that means) and then fairly loud 0 - +5 db. I switched back and forth on the A/B switch between the Polks and the Paradigms.

The sales guy that was helping me was great, he let me play for about 45 minutes and wouldn't really comment on what he liked himself or which ones he thought were better until I had listened to all my stuff and had told him which I liked better.

To my ears I had about the same impressions as my last listening trip. The Paradigms sounded good and moderate levels and pretty good at loud volumes but couldn't seem to handle as much power as the Polks. They had what I think a lot of people call a warm sound. They seemed kind of mello, smooth whatever you want to call it. On most of my CD's they would get to about zero on the volume and quickly got muddy sounding after that. To me they just couldn't keep up in the bass area and the distortion that started there seemed to carry over into the mids as well. I think they would be great for home theater because you would never listen to a movie that loud (at least I wouldn't) and they seemed like a good tone for non tiring listening. In case you hadn't noticed that warm sound isn't really what I like.

The Polks didn't seem to have as much bass on the lower moderate levels, but were very clear sounding in the mids and highs. At the moderate to louder levels the bass filled in nicely and they seemed to handle the power better as well. I would have to go above plus 5 on the volume before they started to distort and that might have been pushing the limits of the reciever. On a couple of CD's Pink being the one that comes to mind the brighter sound was bordering on harsh point to me. But most other sounded very clean even at very loud levels. If you never really crank it up, the Paradigms would be fine and if you like that sound, would be great. I don't listen to that much music, probably 80% home theater but when I am in the mood, I ususally like to crank it up high. Maybe after a night at the bar. I like to have it loud enough that if I sing along, no one can hear how crappy I sound. I also like it loud enough that clean female vocals give me a little chill, and I can feel crankin guitar licks in my bones.

Both of these speakers seemed very efficient, putting out nice volume for the power sent to them. I was supprised somewhat, because most of the people who like Paradigms comment on how efficient they are (and they were) but the Polks were noticably louder with the volume set the same on both. Making me think the Polks must be a little bit more efficient.

After all my listening with my freindly sales guy hanging around and let me play at will, I told him I thought the Polks sounded a little be better for the reasons mentioned above. He then told me he generally prefers the Paradigms and that is what he owns himself, but with these two simialar priced models he was very impressed with the Polks.

Now I have to go back to the Klipsh dealer and set up the same 2400 reciever with everything set flat and my bundle of CD's and give them one more listen. I still think I will like them a little more than the Polks, but I am pretty opened minded and will try and be as un biased as I can. Honestly when I started this whole mission I had an impression in my head that Polks were cheap and not that good, and now they are number one or two on my list. Go figure.

I am pretty new to this whole posting thing, so I don't know if these little novels are an approriate length for this type of forum or not. If others think I am rambling to much let me know and I will keep them shorter.

I have learned so much from these forums in the last month or so. It is great to see so many people willing to comment and help others with questions and guidance. Hats off to everyone.

#15 of 17 Rick-S

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Posted January 09 2004 - 07:03 AM

Douglas,
Before I bought my present speakers, I went through the same exact listening experience that you did. In fact, I had to go out of town to hear some of the brands like Paradigm. I auditioned (using A/B) Mirage, Paradigm, Polk, B&W, Klipsch, Boston.....several others.

I had it narrowed down to B&W, Paradign and Klipsch. When comparing these using the same music, it was hands down ...Klipsch RB-75'S FOR $1200! I heard detail in the Klipsch's.....(side by side with the Paradigm's & B&W's in price ranges up to $2000)......that simply was not there in the other 2 brands!These are new for this year and definately are much more warmer sounding than the typical Klipsch model..... But not so warm as to mask detail!!
Paradigm and B&W are choice top notch quality speakers in my opinion but I simply preferred the Klipsch
My opinion and other opinions in this forum should be used as only a guideline.
NO ONES OPINION SHOULD DESIGNATE WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG FOR YOU!!
There are those who will try to state what they like is the best.
All in all, its your opinion that counts!!

#16 of 17 Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 09 2004 - 07:22 AM

Quote:
I brought along about a half a dozen CD's I like with notes on which tracks to play.

Douglas, you are definitely going about the process the right way. The best way to audition speakers is with music you are familiar with. Pick certain songs/passages that highlight different sound qualities -- voices, bass, strings, stereo separation, etc.

Funny story. When I was auditioning speakers, I had a small collection of CDs with me. The salesman who was helping me told the story of a previous customer who came in with a bunch of classical music CDs to listen to different speakers. When he asked her if the music sounded proper to her, she said "she wasn't sure because she never listens to classical music". She just thought you were supposed to use classical music when evaluating speakers.

#17 of 17 Manuel Delaflor

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Posted January 09 2004 - 08:43 AM

Douglas,

I share your feelings about Paradigms, they sound somehow "opaque", as for the Polks, their newer lines are more detailed than the old ones, but at high volumes I think their highs are compressed and "tiny" so to speak, instead of crisp and detailed like Klipsch.

Keep us posted.
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