Klipsch Academy and other HT concerns

Hi. I'm relatively new to this site and don't spend too much time in on-line forums either, so please pardon me if I'm in any way awkward when it comes to procedural issues and matters of chat etiquette.

I should also say that I have a some basic understanding of the issues pertaining to HT and audio but would not really call myself an audiophile.

That said, it has been years since I have upgraded my stereo system, and I'm currently thinking about transitioning over to a HT set up.

Right now, I have a pretty simple system that includes two Forte Is running off a Nakamichi SR-3A receiver, a B&O Beogram RX turntable, a Nakamichi BX-300 cassette deck, and a Nak MB-2s CD player. Probably not quite audiophile I'm guessing, but also not exactly Circuit City pieces either . . . and that's kind of what I'm hoping to preserve, or maybe even improve upon, with my HT setup.

My thoughts were to migrate towards the Denon 3806 AVR or possibly a comparable Rotel piece along with whatever proves to be a good DVD player utilizing the dominant HD technology when that finally shakes out.

For picture, I'm leaning towards Pioneer's new 930.

And for the speakers I wanted to keep my Fortes if possible and expand to a 5.1 format. I should say that I have neither the space nor the desire to outfit with some massive constellation of speakers. I'd like to do something that's solid and sounds really nice, but it doesn't have to be the ultimate.

After having read a lot of the threads on this site, it seems to me like what I might want is an Academy center with maybe with a couple of KGs in the rear. And my local dealer seems very high on one of Velodyne's SPL 800-R.

But before striking out in this direction, I have some questions.

1) How good a fit IS the Academy for my Forte Is? I know it is MADE for the IIs, but the sense I get is that it is almost as a good a fit for the Is.

Still, I've seen some confusing info in the forums here. For instance, if I'm reading correctly, some people seem to suggest Academy has a Tractix horn that is the SAME as the mid frequency horn on the IIs but DIFFERS from the Exponential mid frequency horn on the Is.

But when I looked up the specs on the Klipsch website, it says that the Academy, the Is, and the IIs ALL have the Exponential horn and that it is a a HIGH not a MID frequency component. The place where the Academy is listed as being DIFFERENT is the tweeter, where it has a K-76-KV (as compared to the K-75-K found on BOTH the Is and IIs) and the woofer, where it has a K-1011-K (as opposed to a KD-13 on the Is and a KD-15 on the IIs).

Further confusing me is the fact that the spec sheets for the Is and IIs list a tweeter, high frequency horn, midrange, mid frequency horn, and woofer--5 components--on the front side. Perhaps this reveals my lack of knowledge, but I only see three on my Is. Or is it that the tweeter and midrange are the components actually AT THE BACK OF or BEHIND the horns?

So again, taking all this into account, how good a fit for my Forte Is is the Academy? What is likely to sound different as compared to a mating with the IIs?

2) I also see that many people find it PREFERABLE to use the exact same speaker for the center as for Mains. In my case that would involve using another Forte. Again, I am confused. I thought I good center was engineered specifically to handle dialog and, as such, would be somewhat different from the mains.

3) This leads to my next question. I bought my Fortes when I was young and just liked to listen to a lot of loud, driving music, and they were great for that. As I have matured, they've started to sound a little . . . I'm not quite sure what the right word is . . . maybe muddy, less precise. They also tend to sound more-so at lower volumes. They are currently also hooked up to my television and rather than enhance the experience sometimes make it MORE difficult to hear dialog during movie watching and the like.

Now my hearing is definitely not what it used to be, and some sales people have suggested to me that the Fortes really need a cleaner power source than my Nak and that they will sound much better at lower volumes with that in place, but my experience has me questioning whether they are really a good HT main and whether or not I might not be better served going with some line that is a little less, shall we say, distinctive. As such, I'm curious to hear everybody's thoughts; I know that the Fortes have the energy one wants for a home theater, but when properly powered along with the Academy do they have the crispness and clarity? Is my Nak really insufficient to bring this out?

4) Keeping all this in mind, does anyone know how often the Academy's tend to circulate? I know they're hard to come by, but is it the kind of thing where they show up once every few months, or more like every few years? Also, I've seen them here and again in black, but does anyone know how rare the walnuts are? Does it end up looking bad if you have to mix and match?

5) As mentioned, I'm leaning towards a 5.1 format as it sounds like a solid layout without having the home theater overwhelm the room. What are the considerations when picking a format however? Is there anything substandard about this format or am I missing out in any profound way by going 5.1?

6) Assuming that the 5.1 is a reasonable set up, what speakers do you like for the rears? I should also mention that I don't have a permanent home for my HT right now as I may be moving some time in the distant future. Also, I'm not so interested in surroun for my audio listening, mostly just movies. Right now, it would probably be best if there were a solution that could go in a bookshelves immediately behind the seating area (no real space behind, they'd be directly overhead). Is this reasonable? Do the speakers have to be angled or mounted in any special way? Also is there one type of speaker that's most versatile if I were to find myself having to rely upon some other kind of configuration in the future? i know there are a lot of different formats for rears (dipole, omnipole, etc.), but I'm assuming people are going to steer me towards some pretty traditional formats to go along with the Fortes.

I know this is a lot. Sorry, but I get the sense most everyone here loves gabbing about this, so have at me.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Hello. There is way to much to respond too so I first suggest finding a really good high end store to learn from and take their advice but let me throw some quick info.

1. Horns are just the flange on the compression driver so you have a 3 way.

2. Nakamichi is a bad match with Klypsch because they are both bright and harsh. (Nak was built by Sony)

3. Old Klipsch is much better than new ones.

4. It is easier to make HT sound good than it does music so your speakers are fine for theater but you can find much better speakers if you want both music AND theater.

5. It is best to have the same speaker in the center if you have the room. Dolby Digital specs call for ALL speakers to be flat to 3 htz. Yes you read right. 3 htz.

6. Find a store that is locally owned that has both medium priced and super expensive equipment. They tend to be more knollagable and carry brands you have never heard of. If you don't know what you are doing you can get a lot more for your money buying from a good dealer than buying used on here. A good dealer can make $3000 worth of stuff sound much better than buying $3000 here with a shot gun approach.

7. Because you want to know a lot this format is tuff. If you can't find a good dealer call me with more questions at 563-386-7800. I work for a high end store but we don't sell out of our area so I would be just giving advise.
What you suggested will be a great match the academy is a tonal match for the forte’s and so are the KG’s and that’s all you need. I suggest with the AVR make sure it is a good match because Klipsch speakers are temperamental what you put in front of them. I suggest you demo the AVR on your system. I have heard NAD. Harman Kardon and Onkyo and all sounded good but things change so demo the units. As for the sub I would go with at least a 12 “ to move some air and should be fast to keep up with the horns. You will have a nice system with this set up I have heard similar.
Thanks for the great adivce. Duane, I will definitely give ring if I can't find someone locally; I really appreciate the offer.

Regards and great listening to all.