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Klipsch RP-600M Speaker Review

napilopez

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#41
Most of the reviews that I have read/viewed mention that these speakers present a sound stage seemingly originating from up-close, as opposed to coming from the actual distance of the speakers, or even behind the speakers. Is this a thing (is this something that can be read from the measurements) or is this more about room and positioning or just subjective-review quackery?
Yeah this is a natural effect of narrow directivity speakers, although it of course depends largely on the recording. But for a typical stereo recording, narrower directivity means a more upfront soundstage. You can imagine that at the theoretical extreme, super narrow directivity speakers would basically be like headphones, where you here none of the room.
 

Ron Texas

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#43
The dip in the midrange will make dialogue difficult to understand. How this speaker got such great reviews is beyond me. I used to think if everyone liked something it was good. There must be a bellwether out there and the rest of the sheep just follow.
 

YSC

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#44
this is a bit sad for such beautiful product and good marketing, I remember I first head into better earphones then into hifi is from a friend told me to buy klipsch S4i for my iphone listening around 10 years ago...
 

bunkbail

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#45
Supposedly GR mod can flatten the FR of this speaker, would the crossover mods affect the DI in any negative manner?
 

AnalogSteph

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#46
Here is the stereophile measurements:

Giving the tweeter some more series R might be enough to (a) bring its level down by ~2 dB and (b) plug most of the hole along the way. Otherwise this may need a tad more L and C.

Woofer breakup is suppressed just about well enough, but really could do with a few dB more; I'd try notching that out.

The port is emitting some internal modes, not sure what would help there other than different placement or bracing.
 

ROOSKIE

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#48
Would love to see the JBL Studio 530s in the future! I was initially interested in the RP-600M but now the Studios are what I have my sights set on. $300 a pair on sale twice a year, and supposed to be phenomenal in build and sound for the price!
As I understand it they are in the pile to be tested here. I have a pair and love them.
 

JohnYang1997

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#49
Honestly 5db of dip is kind of ok. In headphone world this kind of performance is going to be more than impressive. Sadly that's speakers. At least tho, dips are generally more forgiving than peaks. Hence I think there are certain people who like this sound.
 

wang228

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#50
Any chance the woofer and the tweeter were wired out of phase in the tested speaker? This happened to me before with a speaker from a different brand.
 
OP
amirm

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Thread Starter #51
Would love to see the JBL Studio 530s in the future! I was initially interested in the RP-600M but now the Studios are what I have my sights set on. $300 a pair on sale twice a year, and supposed to be phenomenal in build and sound for the price!
I bought it on sale and it is already here. I will measure it as I work through my backlog.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #52
Any chance the woofer and the tweeter were wired out of phase in the tested speaker? This happened to me before with a speaker from a different brand.
As I showed and noted, there are a lot of reviews out there including measurements which agree with mine. This is what they do by design.
 

thewas_

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#55
Distortion shows that the woofer is starting to suffer before it is retired by the tweeter:

It should be said though that 10 volt with this loudspeaker (thanks to its relatively high sensitivity) are approximately already 100 dB which is quite loud for a compact loudspeaker, that's why distortion measurements imho should not be done at fixed voltages but fixed average SPL levels like also most other tests do.
 

QMuse

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#56
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Klipsch RP-600M Speaker Review. I purchased them from Amazon a couple of weeks ago. The current cost on Amazon is US $629 including Prime shipping. I however found a refurbished one for $450 I think. It looks brand new in the box though. "RP" stands for Reference Premier so it better do well!

As I have said in my previous reviews of Klipsch speakers, they are a genius in marketing department and that is reflected in the super nice look of RP-600M:


Beauty can be surprisingly skin deep though as one looks at the back and notices thin metal bridging the somewhat crude terminals:

Wish they had put in just one set of better quality binding posts. It does the job though.

The RP-600M is super popular with tons of bloggers giving it praise mixed with other wording that one cannot make sense out of. Stereophile also reviewed it and Herb Reichert had this to say about their sound:

View attachment 55041

Vibrantly present? We will see about that. :) JA had this to say about the measurements:

View attachment 55042

Interesting that these aspects would translate into what Herb had to say.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

All measurements are reference to tweeter axis with the grill removed. Frequency resolution is 2.7 Hz. Over 1000 measurement points were used to assure high precision in higher frequencies.

Spinorama Audio Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker can be used. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

View attachment 55043

Good grief. Look at how the two drivers are crossed with that giant dip. It seems to me this is on-purpose as all they had to do was to set the crossover frequencies a bit different and the hole would not be this deep. They must think what sells is bass and treble, and damn everything else in the middle.

Directivity (on and off-axis similarity) looks very good though. In theory then, that dip would be one we can fill in with equalization.

This would not be a Klipsch speaker without some terrible peaking although the amount is rather mild here compared to what they could do. Likewise, they publish fantasy stories about sensitivity. As I note, in bass frequencies where you need sensitivity, you still need tons of power. But maybe the highs bother you so much you won't want to turn it up that much!

Predicted in-room response tells us what we already (for good and bad);
View attachment 55044

Because on and off-axis response is similar, we get the same shape graph as our spinorama on-axis with a bit of tilt down which we can all appreciate.

Early reflections all have the same dip as noted repeatedly:

View attachment 55045

On many speakers, on-axis is flat in this region and it is off-axis that causes the dip. Here all axis have the same hole.

Impedance predictably dips a lot lower than Klipsch lets on:

View attachment 55047

Distortion shows that the woofer is starting to suffer before it is retired by the tweeter:

View attachment 55048

So maybe that is the reason for not pulling its response up higher? Nah. They wanted this kind of response.

I let you hunt around for resonances in the waterfall:

View attachment 55050

Story is already told on directivity but here are the pretty graphs anyway:

View attachment 55051

View attachment 55053

Speaker Listening Test
For those of you bothered by these remarks, please skip to the conclusions. Don't want you to suffer needlessly....

I powered the Klipsch RP-600M using my main system (amplification 1000+ watts). I was expecting bad sound but man, this is really, really bad sound. No detail. Muddy bass and somewhat but not extremely bright. I dial in my room mode bass correction and that helps a tiny bit but suffering continues as I go to track after track.

Testing the theory that the crossover dip can be repaired with EQ, I dialed that in using Roon parametric EQ. And while I was at it, I pulled down the extreme highs as well. This is the end result:

View attachment 55055

The yellow filter above fixing the hole was stunning! It transformed the speaker into a completely different device. Back was the detail, and beautiful vocals. Our hearing is the most sensitive in 2 to 5 kHz so you don't want a speaker pull down that area or you lose detail. There was a trade off in making the sound a bit bright if you push the Gain higher. Still, it sounded good up to 5+ dB of boost.

The roll off was mostly good but too crude.

Normally I don't suggest letting automated room EQ fix the speaker but in this case, I would let it beat it into shape.

My quick fixes were good enough for me to sit there and want to enjoy some tracks of music! I pity on people who buy this speaker with no means of EQ.

Conclusions
Out of the box, the Klipsch RP-600M throws out the rule book, thinking that if you just sold boosted lows and highs and leaving mids behind is a good idea. It is not. Objective and subjective testing shows this to be a horrible choice ranking the speaker as one of the worst I have tested. Dial in some simple EQ though and the speaker transforms into a beauty. The "horn" is actually not a horn but a waveguide that is doing its job to provide uniform off-axis response allowing one to EQ the mid-range dip.

Since I have to score the speaker as designed, it gets my worst rating of "stay away." If you have ability to EQ, and you better do if you are hanging around this forum, then you have a good offering.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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I trust this speaker to sound very decent as your simple EQ significantly improved it's response and, as you noted, DI curves are smooth.

Reagrding that raise in distortion in range of 600-800, it correlates with persistent episode in same range on CSD graph, so maybe resonance?

EDIT: And there it is..

319K600fig3.jpg
 
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QMuse

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#57

tuga

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#59
Phase can do a 360 a few times

Example:

Or a simpler picture example from stereophile
I'd seen it flip a few times (I know those videos) but what's happening with the Klipsch in the region between 200 and 800Hz is quite amazing.

 

wje

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#60
Wow, what a review! I had a pair of the Klipsch RP600M speakers that I bought after watching and reading many of the reviews. I bought the crossover upgrade components from GR Research, but ended up selling the speakers about 6 weeks back. I still have to finish the solder process on the crossover boards, then I'll put the crossovers and sound deadening matting up for sale. In the review performed by New Record Day on YouTube, he has sound recordings and that he flips back and forth between the non-modified version and the modified version. Also, where the biggest surprise lies in the sound change is with the speaker tube connectors that are included in the crossover upgrade kit. Since the speaker tube connector feature is more of "direct wire" contact, it has less contact points than the factory binding posts and yes, the sound change can be heard in the review. Though using the speaker tube connectors would require one to modify their current set of cables to use the tube connectors.

I can really appreciate these reviews, which give us the cold, hard facts with the numbers provided. Though, in an actual listening setting, the Klipsch RP600M was an enjoyable speaker, to my subjective ears. I was focusing on consolidating my speakers, so the RP600M was sold locally. I then put the JBL 530 speakers into service - until coming across a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 2 speakers available locally - which is what I currently have on the stands at the moment. I'm enjoying the Bronze 2 speakers at the moment - subjectively, they are providing me with the sound "fix" that I'm currently enjoying. Then again, the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 has been announced and should arrive on the marking in the next 8 -12 weeks and will feature an 8" driver. Not sure what that newly designed driver will offer. Possibly, a better bass response, but having 2 subwoofers, I don't rely on my speakers to provide my bass "fix" when it comes to music.

Again, thanks for another great review!
 

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