I am not a big fan of the new series of Klipsch speakers. I think they took a very good name and they did more for their margins than they did for the quality. The older speakers were very good, with certain limitations. By older speakers I'm talking about the Heresey, Cornwalls, La Scala, and K-horns (Belles too, but you almost never see them used). Their strengths were efficiency and dynamics. For home theater, particularly if you like action movies, this was an outstanding combination. The limitations were imaging or soundstage, and roll off below about 35 to 45 Hz (depending on the model). Since your HT will likely have a subwoofer, this really isn't so much of an issue. So, I would recommend you listen to the older speakers if these limitations do not bother you. I used La Scalas and Hereseys in a theater set-up and was very happy. For that application they definitely hold up to high (end) standards.
go to uhf magazines's website for a recent review
I second Abstract7's comments. I use Heresy's in front in my movie system. Only horns duplicate that special "movie theater" sound--makes sense, since many theaters use horn speakers, usually Klipsch.
I've heard both extremes: seems that people either really like Klipsch, or they *really* don't! I've always been a fan of Khorns, & ever since I was privileged to spend some time with Mr. P.W.K. himself, I simply HAD to get a pair for my own. Don't have much corner-space (or any open space) in my large-ish living room, but when I happened into a good deal on Belles, I jumped & have never regretted it. Belles are made to work close to back walls, so that's a good fit for my situation. Yes the horns do have some tonal colorations, but they are super efficient & quite revealing, not to mention the speed & slam-factors. You can also tweak those resonances with Dynamat & lamb's wool, etc. there are a lot of tricks that you can play around with. I prefer the solid-state sound, & I've always found that big S.S. amps worked much better on my Klipsch than tubes do. MANY dealers have tried to sell me on tubes for my Belles, in fact Klipsch was designed with & FOR tube amps, back in the days before SS was even available. A trusted high end dealer once talked me into keeping my Belles at a time when I was considering alternatives, & that dlr. certainly had a vested interest in selling me some other speakers instead. I have used McCormack DNA-1 & DNA-1 Deluxe amps; the Ayre V-3 is even better. Cost a side-issue, the Belles can really pump-it-out too. We once measured 125dB SPL on the coffee table, with a lab-grade meter (*don't* try this at home - hee hee). I can't speak for any of the newer model speakers referred to above, but these old classic Belles are presently doing nicely in my $40K 2channel rig; hardly low powered / mass market.
Firstly, to answer you question: Get some other speaker. With bryston power isn't an issue and so you don't need the efficiency of klipsch horns. And soncially, I've never though much of them. A dealer talked me into a pair of epic series 2's several years back and I hated them. I was running them on a jolida tube amp and really wanted to like the sound. The synergistic cable helped and the dynamat I added to the cabinet walls had the effect of adding a subwoofer, it was amazing. But I still never liked them. They were harsh sounding. I remember playing the last of the Mohican's soundtrack a week or so after owning them and my sister just cringed at the violin climax's. Last week I was at that dealer and was listening to the kipsch line with the gold drivers in a 5.1 setup on a denon receiver. They sounded ok at first but the sound was bright and fatiguing. I just don't care for klipsch, they may have been great in thier heyday, before my time, but there are alot nicer speaker out there for the money.
I didn't mean to be brash or forward in that post. I agree with the other posts that the older classic models may have been/and still are nice(r), but the newer stuff isn't anything spectacular. Get a good conventional electrodynamic transducer type speaker, Bryston is a good choice in amplification.
I'll stop posting I promise. I'm just trying to address the question, which gets lost on alot of threads I've noticed. I think what alot of people mean by "klipsch being a good speaker for mass-market gear" is that they may be one of the fewer higher end/higher priced loudspeakers that present a nice stable resistive load for the amplifier. That coupled with high efficiency means that someone who doesn't want to give up their reciever but move up to better speakers will be able to hear the advantages of the klipsch. Obvioulsy, a pair of Thiel's (which, incidentally, is what replaced the epic-series 2) may not give much of a sonic improvement if the amp now struggles.
Ez I was waiting to see if you have anything more to add before I jump back in :-)
Dynamat on SIDEwalls is something I'm going to ask you about; that sounds interesting (most people just put it on the horns). However even the good old Klipsch can be harsh-sounding if you don't have them set up well, which can be difficult. You simply must have good cabling & equipment matches for the application in order to achieve good sonic results, while realizing the efficiency & dynamics of horns. It is no easy feat to pull off the right balance, so if one is not willing to work at it then you will be probably dissapointed as-above.
Here's my story:
When I was looking for speakers I read that "Higher Life" by Steve Windwood was a good cd with which to audition speakers. Yes, the sould was LOUD and strong and in your face specially at the start of that song with all the percussion. However, the commanding "beat" is what made the impact. When I tried the same cd on a comparable player/preamp/amp combo BUT with a pair of psb stratus golds the "main" beat was not as strong or present as with the Klipschs'; however, on the psb's I could hear every single downbeat between the louder main "whacks" which were so lacking through the klipschs that I felt like I was hearing a very different piece of music. From that moment on I knew I would never spend my money on Klipschs.
I guess it's like Bose systems' everyone has heard of them and thinks they're great until they hear a decent pair of speakers where you can actually tell if the low chords are being played by a cello of a bassoon.
Don't fall for the hype, keep looking for a set of speakers that will reproduce your music more faithfully.
P.S. Metalheads seem to swear by Klipschs!, no surprise!!
I recently auditioned speakers and found Klipsch particularly harsh. I listened to RB3 and SF2. I don't know, those horn tweeters were just too much for me, especially on very brassy passages. My ears were ringing. No doubt they had great bass response and presence, but the treble/midrange was just too much. I ended up going with PSB Stratus Bronze, at a lower cost than the RB3 here in Canada.
Viking there is absolutely NO metal at our house, nor any rap-crap for that matter either. And don't even SAY that B-word! These classics are so revealing that you won't like 'em unless the setup is just right (which is not easily done) so your experiences don't surprise. That's MY story and I'm stickin' to it!
It Ez again. Firstly, Mborner, PSB might be a really good choice to audition in that price range. Another option, and I don't know what your budget is, but I'm perfectly happy with my Biro L/1's. Its a very nice minimonitor at $1600 pr. and I'm satisfied with the sound of my system, i.e. no plans to upgrade whatsoever.
Bob, as far as my Klipsch I did put dynamat on the horns too (and the leftover on the front baffle). I also changed the internal wiring to the same synergistic research alpha I was using for the main runs. I tried every position imaginable. I put them close to the corner and experimented with their drivers axis crossing in front of my face, behind my head, directly at my ears. I.e. the toe in was up to 45 degrees sometimes like the BIG Khorns. I ultimately settled on the conventional position of the speaker firing straight down the room with no toe in whatsoever. Even after all the toeing in and moving to and from rear and sidewalls I was never happy with the sound. Believe me, I wanted to make my $1000 work. The associated equipment was a Jolida sj202a early handwired version (no printed circuit boards) with a California Audio Labs DX-1 and synergistic research a/c master coupler, alpha sterling interconnect, and alpha speaker cable. I was just never happy with it. The thiel CS.5 were so much nicer, much smaller cuter looking. A bit less bass but everything sounded nicer.
Klipsch's are great........if you want to play your music or movies super loud! Not much detail at any volume level though.