Klipsch Chorus II or Forte II - Secondary system

I have a secondary system in my basement that's been neglected for years. It's a combination of Rotel electronics combined with a pair a DCM TimeWindow 1a speakers. They are nice speakers, but I really have no reason to listen to them when my main listening system has Vandersteen speakers that do everything better.

I've decided to shake things up a bit by going a completely different path with the sound of my second system. I want to go from the more laid back sound of the the DCM's to a more in-your-face rock sound.

I've narrowed my choice to a set of Klipsch Forte II or Chorus II's based on whats locally available and price. I'm looking for opinions from anyone that's listened to these. The Forte II's have a better bottom end, but the Chorus II's are generally regarded as a better speaker. My preference would be to NOT use a subwoofer.

It sounds like you have already decided, get the Fortes which have better bass and you know what your buying. Knowing and auditioning speakers is getting difficult with the lack of brick and mortor stores. Good luck and BTW that is really a 180 in terms of sound style.
I can't tell you which to choose but I have the original forte' and it is an outstanding speaker, period. For your application of rocking out in the basement I believe it would be great. If you get them in corners or near the wall placement you will not need a sub. You might just find yourself spending a lot of time with the secondary system. Good luck.

I've listened to the Forte's in the past, but it's probably been about 20 years or so. I remember listening to the Nirvana Nevermind CD when it was first released and thought the speakers had great punch.

I agree about the 180 on sound style. The DCM's share some of the same smooth, non fatiguing, laid back characteristic that the Vandersteens have. That's why they get ignored. I'm looking for something where I can regress into younger years and play some Zepplin loud :)

The Chorus II's look really interesting, but it's counter intuitive to me that a physically larger speaker with a bigger woofer won't dig as deep. From what I've read they have a bigger sound, but in a basement it's probably overkill.
You should buy that pair of Cornwalls that were just listed here on Agon. Problem solved.

When I was researching classic Klipsch speakers i repeatedly came across people saying Forte I or Chorus II were the two to pick over the Forte II or the Chorus I.
Get the forte II's. "Manageable" size compared to the Chorus II's and IMO one of the most balanced speakers Klipsch has ever built. They will shine with the best classic rock and at the same time be as subtle with acoustic guitar. Very well rounded speaker.

Shakeydeal's suggestion of Cornwalls would also do the trick.

Critesspeakers.com offers upgraded xovers and other parts for all classic series klipsch. check it out.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I ended up finding a beautiful mint condition pair of oiled oak Chorus II's.

These are a completely different animal than the Vandersteen's and not necessarily in a bad way. I have them placed in the corners of my living room, and toed-in to face my couch. They are extremely sensitive to placement, but it also means you can tweak the sound by simply moving the speaker just a little bit. I need to play around this weekend to fin their sweet spots.

I ran through tons of different music, and I have to say that they sound great. I'm running an Anthem MX receiver with the front pre-outs going to a Rotel RB-1080. Even though I'm not running tubes I didn't find them harsh at all.

I find them extremely lively and engaging. Vocals really pop out at you. Copious amounts of low end for a speaker that is supposed to be weak in that area. Initially I found the low end a bit boomy, but moving the speakers about 3-4 inches away from the corner made a huge difference in tightening up the sound. The horn tweeter and midrange have an airy quality to them, and in my room I thought they imaged extremely well.

These things really shine as you increase the volume. The louder I went, the better they sounded. I'm going to have a hard time moving these to the basement. I think I'm going to leave them on my main system for awhile.
Good for you! You are going to really enjoy them. By what you've posted I can tell you understand them well. Once you find the spot you want them they'll keep getting better. My forte's take a good two or three days to settle when I move them (even longer if they are on carpet). Enjoy!
I started with a pair of cornwalls that surprised me so much that I sold a pair of Reference 3a grand veenas. I have since moved on to a pair of cornscalas and could not be happier. Horns done right are VERY hard to beat.

I predict that a pair of horns will ultimately be your main speaker.

Shakey-nice system. Im sure it is dynamic. Question: do the crites' klipsch image/soundstage very well? thanks
They image and soundstage as well as any speaker I have owned. And set them up right and they disappear better than any large speaker should.

Congrats on the chorus 11. they were my go to rock speakers in the late 80s early 90s . With 101 sensitivity they really can play loud .

I had children and sold them to my good younger friend . Still rock out to them when I visit .

I had a Yamaha preamp and 160 watt Yamaha amp connected to them . They rocked but after a while the horns sound to harsh . By the way ,never bass shy with power . 15 inch drivers will push some air with 2 3inch ports .

01-01-14: Shakeydeal
"They image and soundstage as well as any speaker I have owned. And set them up right and they disappear better than any large speaker should."

Again, Shakey is spot on with his assessment. The Cornscala can defy logic. Set up properly, they can do it all. I heard a pair with a newer Onkyo TX-8050 stereo receiver(msrp $399.00) and the same pair with a DIY 40w tube amp and both demos were nothing short of amazing. Truly 3 dimensional sound with both demos but more so with the tube amp, which is to be expected.

Thanks Will. Are those Fortes in your system pics? They look small in that room.

01-02-14: Shakeydeal
"Thanks Will. Are those Fortes in your system pics? They look small in that room."

LOL. Actually they are Quartets and I sold them last summer to a Klipsch forum member in Indiana. I loved them especially the "tiger stripes"(saw pattern) oak finish. I drove them up from Florida on our family vacation to Chicago. The $$$ pretty much took care of the fuel for the trip.

With these classic Klipsch, you really don't need big power for great sound. Want to make people really scratch their heads while you stand back grinning? Get yourself a silly cheap t-amp. I have a HHLY that's 12wpc and only about h2"h x 3.5"w x 5"d. It sounds great and can hammer you out of the room if needed with my Forte IIs. With the t-amp and my modded Playstation 1 as cdp I have great sound at a total $137 in electronics!
I just got a SMSL SA60 class-D($80) that is 60wpc. (I know manufacturers can be a little optimistic when it comes to specs) So far I like the sound, and it is definitely more powerful. Its slightly bigger than a pack of UNO cards.
Some of these little amps sound amazingly good with Klipsch classics and for an almost giveaway price, they are fun to play with!