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Klipsch Reference Series (1 Viewer)

Mark*M

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
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7
I have the Klipsch RS3-II, RC3-II, RS3-II, and in two months a new SVS PB1 sub. These are currently powered by a Kenwood VR-510 THX Select, 110WX5 receiver.

I am finding that after a couple of hours of movie watching the Klipsch speakers seem to wear me out. Is this what you more knowledgeable folks call being "bright"? If so, is there a receiver out there that can you could recommend to tone down these otherwise excellent (in my humble opinion) speakers?

Through my research here at HTF, I have read that Klipsch in general are known to be "bright" because of their horns, but if paired with the right receiver they can make some beautiful sound.

I just need to know the manufacturer of that recevier....
Thanks in advance.
 

SethH

Senior HTF Member
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Dec 17, 2003
Messages
2,867
You might try Denon or Harmon Kardon, but I'm not sure how much they're going to help you out. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I don't think the receiver will make enough of a change to help you out much. This is a common complaint of people who dislike Klipsch. Hopefully things will work out for you, but if your speakers wear you out I doubt the receiver will change much.
 

ChrisWiggles

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Aug 19, 2002
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What is your room like? I'll bet your room acoustics are probably pretty bright too. Though I am not a fan of klipsch for precisely this reason, though I'll bet some treatment in the room will help a bunch.
 

Mark*M

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
Messages
7
The room is 30X25X8 basement, carpeted, with insulated walls and ceiling. Plenty of furniture.

After reading through the primer here at the HTF I learned about calibrating your HT speaker levels. Could this take away some of the brightness? I did it by ear with my test tones, until I thought each speaker was loud enough.

I have a Radio Shack nearby, but don't know where to get those test CD's. Would Best Buy carry them, or should a guy get them on-line?
 

EricSal

Grip
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
19
The electronics *can* make a difference for sure. I don't have Klipsch speakers, but horn based speakers from BIC that are "knock offs" of the References. They sounded a bit harsh at higher levels with both my old Pioneer receiver and a newer Sony I tried out, but sound great with the Yamaha I ended up getting. Denon and HK are the brands most people seem to think match up the best with the Reference speakers, so if you have the ability to try out one of those in your home it's worth a shot.

On the other hand, some people's ears just don't match up well with Klipsch, just as some people don't like the sound of metal tweeters.

You might try posting over at the Klipsch forums too, maybe somebody there can offer a suggestion.
 

SethH

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Dec 17, 2003
Messages
2,867
You can get Video Essentials (a calibration disk) at BestBuy. Look on Ebay though as Avia and VE both pop up a lot for pretty cheap. Definitely calibrate and then you might consider going to Denon or HK if it's still too bright.
 

BenK

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
205
Try either Denon or Pioneer Elites auto calibration/eq receivers. They can do wonders for the sound. When accurately setup they can smooth out the sound. My Pioneer Elite's auto eq did an excellent job on my Klipsch reference speakers.
 

ChrisWiggles

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Aug 19, 2002
Messages
4,791
Mark, do you have any treatments on the walls? If the brightness is bothersom, it's probably also a heavy function of the brightness of the room response. I would look into some basic, very cost effective absorption with fiberglass panels mounted on your walls. See the home theater builder forum, run some searches on absorbers, 703/705 fiberboard, etc.
 

ChrisWiggles

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PLease look to room acoustics first, before you try to go changing your system around with minor tweaks. I cannot stress how huge an impact the room will have on the sound. IT is probably second only to the speakers as the most important component of any audio system, and some will disagree and say that the room is #1 most important component.

But it certainly is the cheapest component to do decently, and is the #1 most ignored component. Fix the room before you try screwing with the rest of the system in trying to put a band-aid on a poor situation.
 

jephdood

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Feb 5, 2004
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113
Real Name
Jeff
Receivers can definitely make a difference. I moved from a Yamaha 5.1 receiver (don't remember the exact model) to a Denon 3803 and my RF-3s smoothed out nicely. And yes, HK receivers are warmer as well.

I'm one who prefers detail and punch with HT, so I love my Klipsch Reference setup for that purpose. I've got a second smaller (rarely used) setup in another room that I mainly use for light music since it's in the family room.. when I toss a movie in there because I don't want to fire up the big guns in the other room, I can't believe how lifeless they are. I get bored.

But, everyone's ears are different. Let me know if you want to dump your Klipsch's. :D
 

Peter_W

Agent
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May 18, 2004
Messages
27
I have Klipsch speakers (KG4.5, RS3, KV3), and I decided to go with a Sony 4ES reciever. This reciever allows you to set the levels for each individual speaker, and allows you to set the EQ differently for each speaker zone (Front, Surround, Center, Surround Back). I found this reciever to be one of the most flexible, but then again, I have been happy with Sony so have not really looked around.

I also chose Klipsch because of their clarity, brightness and efficiency.
 

Chuck*W

Auditioning
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
5
Hey Mark,

First of all, don't panic and run out and buy some equipment you may not need. Several factors may be at work here:

1. Movie soundtracks, when played in a home environment are excessively bright. This is a consequence of the way they are cut and mixed. Excessive brightness would be easiest to detect in loud sound effects that contained a lot of high frequencies (e.g., a window smashing rather than an explosion), and will sound "harsh." Home THX processing includes a filter that rolls off high frequencies to counteract this effect. Non-THX Denon receivers have something called "Cinema EQ" that does something similar. Your system may have THX processing or the equivalent. Try it and see if you like it.

2. Yes, you absolutely must calibrate your system with a sound level meter in order to get proper performance. Doing it by ear can get you close (depending on your ears) but isn't good enough. You can get home theater setup disks at major music and DVD stores (Tower Records, for example). I use the Avia Guide to Home Theater -- other people may have additional recommendations. This disk will lead you through a set of audio calibrations that will "get the balance right." The disk also has video calibrations that you'll want to do, too. Most monitor calibration done by just winging it will lead to a picture that is too bright, over saturated, and too sharp.

3. It is common for people to get a new sound system and then spend a great deal of energy listening to the system and not the source. Active listening in this way can be exhausting. Give yourself some time to get used to the speakers, watch a few more movies, forget about the system, relax, enjoy. If you still find the experience fatiguing, you may want to consider another receiver (or different speakers).

4. As others have mentioned: By all means possible, deaden the room. Carpet, curtains, tapestries on the walls, etc. Move the listening position away from the back wall (even a foot or two will help). Deaden the back wall. Early reflections will make dialog muddy and cause ear strain for sure. Money spent here will go a lot farther than money spent on a new receiver, and even if you get a new receiver, it won't sound good if your room acoustics are bad.

5. Yes, some people find the Klipsch speakers too bright, but others don't. I use the RB-3, RC-3II, RS-3II setup with a Denon 2803. I didn't think the speakers were too bright in the store and I didn't think they were too bright when I got them home. I do not use the "Cinema EQ," either. The general opinion is that the Denon is "warm" and therefore makes a good paring with the Klipsch speakers. I am very happy with this setup(*) and every once in a while I'll be watching a movie think, "damn, this sounds like a movie!" (This usually happens during bad action films that don't keep my interest in the story.)

*I'm in love with the center channel (RC-3II). Try listening to the first few minutes of "LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring." Listen to the voice-over (female, and very well recorded). Nice. IMHO, the RC-3II is every bit as good with male voices. If you don't love it (and assuming your receiver is pretty good), I'd recommend taking the speakers back and finding ones you like more -- the center channel is extremely important for HT (a fact that I don't think is emphasized enough in these forums). (BTW, wait until you get your sub to watch the rest of LOTR -- there are some very cool effects that are sub-dependent.)

Enjoy!
 

ChrisWiggles

Senior HTF Member
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Aug 19, 2002
Messages
4,791
While I am totally for Chuck's recommendation #4, you do need to go about the acoustics correctly. Carpeting, drapes, and other thin absorbers aren't really the best way to go about things. Deadening the back wall isn't always the best thing to do either, so I recommend you read up on some acoustics for some better ways to go about making a good room.

Well-intentioned projects like carpeting and drapes can make the room sound just as terrible, just in different ways than it does now.
 

Chuck*W

Auditioning
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
5
Chris is absolutely right of course: the ideal treatment of a room can be quite complicated and is worth spending time getting right. Unfortunately, many of us are limited by structural and, um, social constraints from doing everything we would like.

Mark was specifically worried about brightness and ear fatigue. High frequencies are easier to deal with than lows. Above 5kHz, wavelengths are about three inches or less, and almost anything will scatter or absorb them. The difference in high-frequency reverb time in an empty room vs. one with furniture, carpet, drapes, etc., is dramatic. And getting rid of that big reflection that comes directly from the speakers, slaps off the back wall, and hits the back of your head is always good (at least when watching movies), no matter how you do it. But, as Chris will tell you, doing that correctly takes a bit more engineering.

Now, of course, by cutting the high-frequency reflections you have unwittingly emphasized (though not increased) the the low and mid-range reflections. (I think this may be what Chris was referring to when he said the room may sound terrible in a different way.) Personally, I find this a more livable problem (and also harder to solve). When you get your sub, you may discover a whole new world of acoustic problems, and here I think Chris is right on: you'll have to study the problem and possible solutions, then experiment to find what works. A 100Hz wave will barely even see your drapes, let alone be scattered by them.
 

Mark*M

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
Messages
7
Thanks for the feedback.

I have purchased a copy of Digital Video Essentials, and the Radio Shack SPL meter(39.99) and are awaiting them.

In the mean time, my wife hung some heavy curtains to cut down on glare and I replaced my speaker wire (AR 16ga to the Home Depot 12ga). I believe they made a difference. It seems like there is more of mid range to fill the room, thereby reducing the effect of the "brightness". Does that make sense????

I was fairly impressed with the HD12ga (.34/foot). It was fairly flexible and easy to work with. Most importantly it seems to improved my sound.

After I get my HT calibrated, receive my new SVS, and buy a copy of LOTR-ROTK I better be in Home Theater heaven....
 

steve nn

Senior HTF Member
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Jan 12, 2002
Messages
2,418
Try listening to the first few minutes of "LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring." Listen to the voice-over (female, and very well recorded). Nice. IMHO, the RC-3II is every bit as good with male voices.>>>>>>>

After I decided to move on over to Klipsch, LOTR was the first movie I decided to view. I used to get some semblance on my prior speakers but with Klipsch it was nothing but detailed and clear. I agree with you totally on the voice Chuck. The horn that plays through-out the movie sure sounds good to my ears also. C-7 RB-75m / RB-35s / Denon / SVS's.
 

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