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Stereophile Reviews New Klipsch Forte, Klipschorn

watchnerd

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#1
Apparently the Klipsch Heritage line is the prodigal son, after the brand wandered in the home theater wilderness for decades, bereft of high end coverage?

Perhaps, audio being a fashion industry, the retro chic is sellable again.

Or maybe the new "Mumps" wave guide make them worthy?

https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-forte-iii-loudspeaker

I'll admit, I'm kind of tempted by the manageable size, WAF acceptability, and sensitivity of the Forte III. Makes me want to go audition.

But those cabinet resonances and spikey response give me pause:






Art Dudley reviews the revised Klipschorn here, no measurements with measurements:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-klipschorn-ak6-loudspeaker


So....worth auditioning these new revised Heritage Klipsch horns? Or are they one trick efficiency ponies?
 
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Ron Texas

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#3
At that price range there are D&D's, Kii III, JBL and high end Revel speakers not to mention other choices rarely mentioned around here.
 

watchnerd

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#5
At that price range there are D&D's, Kii III, JBL and high end Revel speakers not to mention other choices rarely mentioned around here.
Not to disparage any of those, but I'd only put some of the JBLs in the same category as the Klipscheseses / Klipsi, namely high efficiency, horn or horn-dynamic hybrids.

If you think efficiency matters a lot (which seems to be the prime argument of the Klipsch school of thought), the direct radiators are different animals.
 

anmpr1

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#6
Speakers are really the last 'major' subjective component. Should just get what you like.
 

watchnerd

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#7
To the efficiency point, a quote from the Art Dudley Klipschorn review:

"In the years since the Klipschorn's debut, loudspeaker technology has progressed in many ways. Speakers that sound timbrally neutral and uncolored are much more common today, as are speakers with consistent and effective dispersion across their operating range. Thanks to the pioneering work of people like Jon Dahlquist, Jim Thiel, Richard Vandersteen, and John Fuselier (footnote 2), physical time alignment of drivers in a dynamic loudspeaker system is virtually a given these days, and the problem of baffle edge diffraction has been identified and smacked upside the head. The result is a great selection of loudspeakers that offer apparently flat frequency response, superb stereo imaging, and great airiness and transparency.

And what did we give up to gain such easy access to all those things? Natural-sounding dynamics. Impact. Pluck. Snap. Body—especially body. And soul."

Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-klipschorn-ak6-loudspeaker-page-2#p8muzdMpqxEJ3YdK.99


But then you have graphs like this:




 

watchnerd

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#8
Speakers are really the last 'major' subjective component. Should just get what you like.
True, but that doesn't mean that some level of objective measurement is worthless, especially given how hard it is to audition speakers in person these days with the dearth of brick and mortar stores.
 

anmpr1

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#9
True, but that doesn't mean that some level of objective measurement is worthless, especially given how hard it is to audition speakers in person these days with the dearth of brick and mortar stores.
I understand that. But even auditioning in a store is not going to tell you how a loudspeaker is going to sound in your living room. It is not a problem if you are using small speakers, and can get a dealer loan, or even have them shipped to you on a trial. With large floor standing full range speakers the shipping, handling, unpacking, set up, then return if you don't like them is probably out of the question for most people. I bought my current largish speakers on dealer loan, but I was pretty much convinced they were what I wanted.
 

watchnerd

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#10
I understand that. But even auditioning in a store is not going to tell you how a loudspeaker is going to sound in your living room. It is not a problem if you are using small speakers, and can get a dealer loan, or even have them shipped to you on a trial. With large floor standing full range speakers the shipping, handling, unpacking, set up, then return if you don't like them is probably out of the question for most people. I bought my current largish speakers on dealer loan, but I was pretty much convinced they were what I wanted.
I guess I don't understand what you're advocating.

"Buy what you like" -- yes, of course, but that's a bit obvious, isn't it?

Or are you saying that speakers are so subjective that we shouldn't look at measurements?
 

Frank Dernie

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#11
If he thinks distortion matters, why not measure the distortion?
HiFi News measured the distortion of the La Scala in the June issue.
At 90 dB it was 0.1% at 100Hz, 0.2% at 1kHz and 0.2% at 10kHz.
The waterfall was as slow and full of resonances as is typical of horns and the tweeter level was 5dB above the mid unit though...

To put this in perspective the Goldenear Triton Reference in the same issue had a lovely waterfall but a smiley FR and 0.3%/0.7%/0.1% and the Focal Kanta bookshelf speaker fair waterfall, even FR (though peak above 20kHz) and 0.9%/0.2%/0.1%

The expensive Wilson Tune-tot in the November issue last year was inefficient, uneven frequency response, slow waterfall and 1.1%/0.7%/0.3% and got a rave review...
The Wilson Alexia 2, which costs more than twice as much as my new car here also has a slow waterfall and 0.2%/0.8%/0.4% so the mid and treble are probably quite audibly coloured even though the bass is pretty good.

I always love speaker measurements, most other stuff is to all intents and purposes perfect but the speaker measurements tell a story :)
 

SIY

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#12
Or are you saying that speakers are so subjective that we shouldn't look at measurements?
Purely an academic argument for me (I design and build my own for my main system and use powered monitors from companies like Kali and Vanatoo in my lab system), but I would use measurements to narrow down the field by knocking out speakers with clear defects like bad axial and polar responses or dynamic compression, then trying to audition various speakers with good measurements to see which I prefer. The proliferation of audio shows makes that a bit easier these days.

The Klipschorns would not much appeal to me.
 

Frank Dernie

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#13
Apparently the Klipsch Heritage line is the prodigal son, after the brand wandered in the home theater wilderness for decades, bereft of high end coverage?

Perhaps, audio being a fashion industry, the retro chic is sellable again.

Or maybe the new "Mumps" wave guide make them worthy?

https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-forte-iii-loudspeaker

I'll admit, I'm kind of tempted by the manageable size, WAF acceptability, and sensitivity of the Forte III. Makes me want to go audition.

But those cabinet resonances and spikey response give me pause:






Art Dudley reviews the revised Klipschorn here, no measurements with measurements:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-klipschorn-ak6-loudspeaker


So....worth auditioning these new revised Heritage Klipsch horns? Or are they one trick efficiency ponies?
hiFi News measured them and the distortion at 90dB was 0.2% at 100Hz, 0.3% at 1 kHz and 0.1% at 10kHz, They measured around 95dB sensitivity.
 

Dialectic

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#14
To the efficiency point, a quote from the Art Dudley Klipschorn review:

"In the years since the Klipschorn's debut, loudspeaker technology has progressed in many ways. Speakers that sound timbrally neutral and uncolored are much more common today, as are speakers with consistent and effective dispersion across their operating range. Thanks to the pioneering work of people like Jon Dahlquist, Jim Thiel, Richard Vandersteen, and John Fuselier (footnote 2), physical time alignment of drivers in a dynamic loudspeaker system is virtually a given these days, and the problem of baffle edge diffraction has been identified and smacked upside the head. The result is a great selection of loudspeakers that offer apparently flat frequency response, superb stereo imaging, and great airiness and transparency.

And what did we give up to gain such easy access to all those things? Natural-sounding dynamics. Impact. Pluck. Snap. Body—especially body. And soul."
What the hell is body? Or soul for that matter?

I suspect that Art feels that his system has a lot of "body" and "soul," yet I also suspect that his system sounds like an underpowered, distorted mess.
 

anmpr1

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#17
I guess I don't understand what you're advocating.

"Buy what you like" -- yes, of course, but that's a bit obvious, isn't it?
Or are you saying that speakers are so subjective that we shouldn't look at measurements?
Don't overthink what I wrote. It's very simple. I'm advocating buying something that you like to listen to. In your own house with your own music. And you should buy it in spite of any measurements. Because the way the measurements were done may or may not have much bearing on the sound, once you put it in your living room. Of course if you use software to change the acoustic presence of the speaker in your living room, then that is another factor, too.

The personal stuff turns on what sort of things are important to you. Do you want a point source, a line source? Possibly you want some reflections off the wall with your music; omni, the 'box' sound, and so on. Maybe you like it reserved, or possibly something with more 'presence'. I mean, there's a lot of personal factors that come to play when thinking about loudspeakers.

However it is, you really need a home demo, and you really need to live with it for a couple of weeks. If possible. I think that is one reason why some people like to change out amps and CD players, etc. They are easy to swap out. And they then imagine all kinds of stuff. With a speaker you don't have to imagine any of it. It's right there in front of you. And a speaker might take a couple of weeks of trial and error to find the best placement, especially if you are using a sub or two or three. Then there's the WAF. Sometimes you might have to get what waifu likes, visually.
 

watchnerd

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#18
hiFi News measured them and the distortion at 90dB was 0.2% at 100Hz, 0.3% at 1 kHz and 0.1% at 10kHz, They measured around 95dB sensitivity.
That's better at 100 Hz than my 2-ways (but maybe not when I high-pass them at 80 Hz and go to a sub), and about the same at 1 kHz and above.

Is optimizing for high efficiency pointless in an era of cheap, high powered amps?
 

Ron Texas

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#19
Not to disparage any of those, but I'd only put some of the JBLs in the same category as the Klipscheseses / Klipsi, namely high efficiency, horn or horn-dynamic hybrids.

If you think efficiency matters a lot (which seems to be the prime argument of the Klipsch school of thought), the direct radiators are different animals.
You are not disparaging. I had the JBL 4367 in mind for the same $15k.
 

watchnerd

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#20
What the hell is body? Or soul for that matter?

I suspect that Art feels that his system has a lot of "body" and "soul," yet I also suspect that his system sounds like an underpowered, distorted mess.
I usually equate "body" with sympathetic resonances (in wood) that can add some extra timbre to wooden instruments in a way that might be euphonic, but otherwise leads to ickiness with other instruments/sound.

It's like when people talk about how "horn speakers make horn instruments sound more like horns" --- okay, maybe I'll buy that...but why and at what cost?
 
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