I auditioned both the Heresy IIIs and Forte IIIs at the same time and since I owned 2 subs already I figured I could control the bass more readily with the Heresy IIIs. Bought the Heresy IIIs, and really like ’em. Besides, they’re half the price of the Forte IIIs (you can buy a sub or two for the price difference between these models), and the smallish size turns out to be a cool thing. The Tektons seem interesting but are huge and I think sort of weird looking, but maybe a bargain at 3 grand...hard to audition those (although it could be hard to audition Klipsch depending on where you live) and if you don’t like ’em you have to pay the return shipping. It's really important to hear speakers before taking the plunge as I've learned to never trust anybody else's ears when it comes to speakers.
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I've heard the tektons. For the money and size of speaker with the amount of drivers, it's a really good deal. However, it's not the highest resolution speaker and the high frequencies are definitely not as extended as other speakers. It's a more conventional sounding speaker when compared to the Klipsh, with it's live sounding horn. It's a matter of personal taste here I think. The Klipsh is very "live" and lively, but even though the Tekton are not high resolution, I actually think they have more high frequency resolution than the Klipsch horns.
If you do buy the Tekton, I would advise getting the 8 ohm version. These speakers are extremely efficient (98db), which present a whole slew of other problems, such as preamp gain. The preamp's have to be turned down very low and many audio/gain stages just do not sound as good unless they are driven up to certain voltage levels.
You are quite impressed with the sound of the Klipsch Heresy so I suspect you will very likely enjoy the Forte as as much and possibly more so. I am curious as to your upcoming Forte listening session, keep us posted.
I’ve heard the Tekton Double Impact and also the SE version of this model. Based on my listening I feel confident in saying that they are very capable of playing many genres of music well. In my opinion these speakers are revealing of associated audio components. They easily reflect changes in amplifiers (and preamplifiers/DACs) in the signal chain. The better the components, the better the sound quality.
This is a good result as it demonstrates the speaker lacks a dominate sonic signature that masks the contribution of the driving amplification. These speakers definitely allow distinctions between amps/components to be recognized. They are in my opinion very good quality speakers. I believe that you'll be happy with either brand of speakers. What amplifier are you planning to use?
Currently using a rega brio-r. It’s been a fantastic performer and I’m curious about its sound with more efficient speakers. That being said, It’s likely next to be upgraded. Really curious about moving into tubes. I got a little tube cube for my office at work and I’ll be damned if that sound isn’t absolutely addictive.
If you do not mind seeking used you might look into a set of Chorus I's. Much better than Heresy's of Forte's with crisp clean bass and notes higher than you can hear at the other end. I like front ported over passive radiator types because they are placement neutral and you don't have to set them in a corner to work right. They just sound good anywhere including your back deck if you so desire. The Chorus has much more presence than the Forte.
At that age I would recap the crossovers and most drivers on those hold up well so you should not have anything further to do for years of trouble free listening. Probably run you no more than $800 to $1,000 but may take some time for a set to turn up close by.
I think a little more info from the OP would be helpful. How big is your room? Beside the Rega, what other equipment are you using? How important is bass slam? How important is detail and nuance which the kefs have? How important is a big soundstage. How far back is your listening position and what volume do you hope to achieve...85db, 95db, 100db?
This may not be important to you but my sense is that the Tektons...especially if you don't go with one of the huge models, may be easier to resell than the Klipschs...and by not going huge, you will have less of a shipping cost problem when the time comes to sell and move on.
A point to consider in going from the LS50 to one of the high sensitivity speakers that have been discussed is that if you are using a digital source (as opposed to or in addition to LPs), the somewhat highish gain of your integrated amp (the gain of the Brio-r from its line-level inputs can be calculated to be about 40 db) might result in having to utilize the volume control at undesirably low settings (where channel balance and/or resolution of volume adjustment may be compromised).
As a rough ballpark approximation in this case figure on the volume control being used at a position that is around 90 degrees of rotation below where you are presently using it. Although less than a 90 degree difference if you are already using the control in the lower part of its range.
Good luck. Regards,
Struck out on the fortes. The store I went to didn’t have any of the heritage line. Did listen to some magnepans which were nice but not what I’m looking for.
What I’m looking for? While I appreciate the detail and nuance of the kefs, Those aren’t necessarily the key attributes for me. I feel like the dynamics of the heresy that I heard made them a much more fun speaker to listen to and as bass player, I definitely pay attention to the low end and would like whatever I get to be able to handle that better than what I currently have. I do have a rel subwoofer but I would prefer to not have to use it as it is already in use with the home theater system.
The room is about 13’x 16’ with two openings leading off to the kitchen and front entryway.
There are Double Impact owners with rooms of similar size who've reported successful outcomes. Perhaps some modest room treatment could prove to be effective. Al raised a pertinent point regarding system gain and using higher sensitivity speakers. You do want to avoid a scenario where use of the volume control is limited to a narrow range i.e.you can't go above 9 or 10 o'clock because volume would be too loud.
Both speaker brands will work very well with a good quality tube amplifier, I believe you'll be quite happy with this direction.
If it were me I would pair two subwoofers with your Kefs and see what you think then.If you're not happy with that set up send the subs back.If you want to try that,SVS subs are discounted if you buy two.No I'm not a shill,lol!
I'm very happy with my Tekton Monitors + four subs.Nuance + impact.My brother has Klipsch Cornwall lls which(I think)are rated at 101db.They are very dynamic and can play louder than I can stand to listen with no distortion.Nuance is not their forte but they are warm,musical,and so much fun.
Never heard the Tekton DIs. Very popular. I have been a Klipsch " Heritage " fan boy for 50 years. I can hear, through Klipsch, differences in fuses, so I feel they have detail and convey nuance. Kefs with a pair of subs will not give you the dynamics of either the Klipsch or the Tekton, so if you are looking for that jump factor, that is not the Kef's forte ( no pun intended ). I own several pair of Klipsch models ( all Heritage, which now includes the Fortes as a Heritage model ). My mains are a pair of Lascala, with upgrades, modifications and tweaks, which are just fabulous to me, and play everything extremely well. I do have a pair of subwoofers for the last octave, and I run the Lascalas full range, as I prefer them that way, and this is with any of my amplifiers. It is important to note, that everybody here, making recommendations, are in a way, correct, as it is easy to recommend what " is liked " by that individual. Ordering the DI, it is likely you will like them, but if for any reason they do not work for you, you will be out only the return shipping charge back to Tekton, which in this industry, is very reasonable. They must be sent back, as new, without fingerprints, properly packaged, or else, you will be hit with a surcharge, and this is from folks I know who have sent them back ( just a few ). As far as horns, you either love them, or not. I have favored them for as long as I stated, and Klipsch are a very inexpensive way to get into horns, with improvements available for pennies on the dollar, to get them. Every speaker can be improved upon, so I am stating Klipsch are easy. Still best to listen before purchase, if at all possible. Anyway, I hope my babble has helped a bit. Enjoy ! MrD.
With your room size, I don't really see much of a need for "giant speakers". For six years, I owned the Tekton Lores and had them in a much bigger room which required me to supplement the low end with a sub...otherwise, they were great speakers with a lot of immediacy and jump factor.
I think that Tekton has at least four products that would meet your needs and that would not bankrupt you if you had to send them back...the Tekton Lore Be, the Perfect Set 12 or 15, the Impact and the Updated Enzo XL.
There is some truth to some speakers being so efficient that you can't turn your volume past 8 o'clock.....there are two solutions if that ends up being a problem....buy and amplifier with a gain control such as the Halo A23+ or buy an amplifier with a much lower gain like the 2Cherry or a Benchmark.
As I said, I owned the Lores and ended up with the Halo then the 2Cherry...both solved the problem of barely touching the volume control...but if you have a volume control on your DAC....you may be able to set it lower to reduce the voltage going into your Rega..and in that case, issue resolved...
It all boils down to what you the OP like not what someone else likes. You are already pleased with Klipsch and the Forte is a big jump up over the Heresy in every way. There are also KPT-396's which are a ton more speaker and you can get B grade with infintesimal defects new for the same price as a Forte III. You can get used Chorus speakers. But most importantly why don't you go and listen to what all these people are touting before you buy so you can make an educated purchase and not get snookered into famous name expensive gear.
Parts are available for Klipsch for decades because many tens of thousands of people get these and they keep them and if they are ever sold have ready buyers. There is a huge technical base out there to benefit from and the speakers are not so stupid expensive that you have to be afraid to tinker with them.
My advice would be to go with the company that has been around for decades and has an established dealer network. More importantly, if you ever decide to sell them you will find a market for them. Certainly, there are speakers that are cheaper, but cheaper isn't always better. You find that out when you try to sell them. As hard as it is to imagine now, you should always think about resale value.
As Al noted, your Rega Brio amp provides 40 db of gain which is very high re)active to many other amplifers. I’d bet that your Tube Cube amplifier gain output is likely in the range of roughly 25 db. This would be a much more suitable/flexible match for the higher sensitivity speakers you are interested in. Excessive gain offers no meaningful benefit.
Even now with the Kef’s i rarely go past 9 o’clock position. Sometimes maybe 10 when I’m listening to vinyl.
That’s definitely a problem, if you want to continue to use the Brio-r with one of the high sensitivity speakers that have been discussed. Stereophile measured the sensitivity of the LS50 as being 84.5 db at 1 meter for an input of 2.83 volts (the spec being 85 db). Roughly speaking the choices that have been discussed are about 14 db more sensitive than that.
Although this photo shows the front panel of a passive preamp I believe the dial markings for the volume control are reasonably representative of the characteristics of rotary volume controls that are typically used in active preamps and integrated amps, in terms of db of attenuation vs. position. As you can see the 9 o’clock position corresponds to about 37 db, so with speakers that are 14 db more sensitive the listening volume you presently hear at the 9 o’clock position would be produced at a setting of about 51 db, not far from the bottom of the range. And as you can see, near the bottom of the range adjustment resolution becomes much coarser than at higher settings (6 db per marking increment vs. 2 db at higher settings); channel imbalances may occur, depending on the particular control; and as Auxinput pointed out earlier the amp may simply not sound as good.
Assuming your sources don’t provide a volume or output level control the one solution that occurs to me if you were to use the Brio-r with one of these high sensitivity speakers would be to insert a pair of Rothwell attenuators into each of the pairs of input jacks of the Brio that you are using. Probably the 20 db version of the attenuator for the digital source(s), and the 15 db version for vinyl.
BTW, generally speaking I would recommend against in-line attenuators made by manufacturers other than Rothwell, as some of them have input impedances that are too low to be suitable for use with many source components. That will rarely if ever be a problem with the Rothwells.
Good luck. Regards,
I have owned Heresy IIIs, Forte IIIs, and La Scala IIs... I still own the Heresy IIIs and LS IIs - upgraded from the Fortes. The HIIIs and LS IIs serve 2 different purposes, with a world of difference between the 2.
Originally owning the HIIIs, I upgraded to the Forte IIIs and did not experience enough of a WOW factor between the 2 to be really happy (they lasted about a week). Keep in mind I was using a sub with the HIIIs, which narrows the difference between the 2 considerably.
However, the HIIIs were also just much more "FUN" to listen to than the Forte IIIs. The FIIIs came across as a more traditional and somewhat boring speaker compared to the HIIIs. What I was looking for in the upgrade was a larger sound and smoother midrange, and the Forte IIIs didn't provide enough value to performance to really meet that need.
I'm currently listening to my Heresy IIIs, sans sub, with an old vintage Luxman component system (valve pre & SS amp) and they are delivering every bit of lively, dynamic, fun sound 3 years later as they did when I first fell in love with the Klipsch Heritage sound.
I think you're going to be happier overall (and save some money) going with the Heresy IIIs. It sounds like you've already been bitten by the bug.
By the way, I also owned a pair of KEF LS50W for about 1 week here in my office - they were turned around pretty quickly which is how I got my current pair of Heresy IIIs (having traded in the original HIIIs I owned against the Forte IIIs, then regretting it and having to pay another $3K for the La Scala IIs - which I don't regret at all).
I found the LS50Ws to be very tame and sterile sounding and quite a bit of a let-down after living in Klipsch Heritage land for the past few years.
Since at least in theory every component in the string influences the sound... what might the Rothwells do?
There have been conflicting reports here about the Rothwells. Some people have reported finding that they compromised dynamics; others (including me, in my case with the 10 db version) have used them with fine results.
I suspect that in some of the situations in which compromised dynamics have been reported that the cause was using them to drive input impedances that were low and/or that varied significantly as a function of frequency. I don’t think that would be a problem with the Brio-r. John Atkinson measured the line-level input impedance of the similarly spec’d non-r version of the Brio as follows:
...its input impedance at 20Hz and 1kHz was, at 41k ohms, fairly close to the specified 47k ohms. Though the line input impedance dropped to 36k ohms at 20kHz, this will be inconsequential.
A concern with the Schiit Sys would be that its input impedance is only 10K, which depending on the particular source components might be too low to be optimal. Based on measurements I’ve made of the 10 db version of the Rothwell it would present the source components with an input impedance of 30K when used in conjunction with a 41K load. And that figure would most likely be higher for the 15 db and 20 db versions.
Also the Sys would require cables on its output side, which the Rothwells would not.
Well this thread has certainly given me a lot to think about. Further reading shows quite a few people prefer the heresys with a subwoofer to the fortes on their own. I know I really enjoyed the brief time I spent with them and I do already have a solid sub.
And now I’m wondering if I should be upgrading the rega before I worry about the speakers. Gah!
At one point I owned the tekton lore and the ls50 and a power sound audio s1500 sealed sub. As good as the ls50s sounded, they could never replicate anything close to live sound dynamics when used with the sub... the lores were far better at that aspect of realism... with or without using the sub with the lores.
My suggestion is to buy the speakers that give you what you are looking for then really dial them in with the amp that takes them to the next level.
I had some Chorus 2 upgrade with Crites tweets and crossover for a minute. They were good with tubes but could not keep up with fast paced music and sounded kinda harsh when played loud. I have not heard the Forte 3 so could be totally different.
The Double Impact are the Best Rock/ Metal speaker I have heard by a mile. Nothing phases them and they dont hey harsh. Even sound good on Metalcore stuff like Pig Destroyer. They are warm but extremely detailed.
I'm going with the Tekton double impact monitors, for a 16x24 room that should be plenty especially with a good musical sub. No need for the 4' high version IMHO
they are getting rave reviews as being powerful and accurate sounding, good for everything from Metal to Mozart, check back in a week or two and I'll be able to give you my personal review
I'm not sure how large or the shape of your listening space, let me add a few comments.
Heresy may sound better in your space than Forte's.
I have had horns and 15" woofers, and rear ports over the past 50 years. Necessarily wide face of speaker enclosures. Even though/because horns have wide dispersion, the proper orientation of drivers is important for imaging, especially wide face enclosures.
1. heresy, see how they aim up, that get's the tweeters/midrange properly directed to ear level seated. They are usually toed in away from side walls also. It also changes the orientation of the bass angle to the floor, ceiling, walls. I like all of these factors. I have heard them, very nice.
The Forte (never heard them) at 36 tall, flat orientation to floor, ceiling, walls can be problematic. Origin height of tweeter/midrange horns below ear level.You could angle them up yourself, and toe them in. I definitely would.
A rear passive radiator, Forte, like a rear port, needs careful placement, Like their famous Klipshorns, the rear surface/corners reinforce any rear soundwave, driver, passive radiator, port: likely problematic unless carefully and successfully placed.
Wheels. I have near corner placement for lower level less focused listening, and, wheels to move my very heavy speakers forward and in, away from the corners, for 'real' listening. Only 3 wheels, 2 in front, 1 in rear. 3 so non-wobble is always achieved by gravity, and the weight is distributed/divided by 3 rather than 4. You could add 3 wheels to the Fortes. I have a block above the front two wheels which angles the speakers up. I would definitely do this to the Forte.
Forte rear passive radiator. I and driver manufacturer designed a rear port for extreme bass extension of my 15" woofers. I have the ports blocked, in the current room, they are too much, not needed, cause problems. Passive radiator, you don't have an easy option to omit them IF they cannot be placed to extend bass without causing unwanted sound. In that case, the Heresy, which you already know sound great, will be a better choice. Smaller Heresy also wins the 'wife factor' challenge.
I had the original Forte I speakers for several years and enjoyed them hugely - only displaced by some Altec 604s. They are very musical speakers and a real pleasure to listen to, as you noticed. I did not find them at all complex to set up and orient.
I would be surprised if the current ’heritage’ Fortes are really any better than the actual heritage Fortes. There might well be used Forte I available locally at an excellent price. Crites sells diaphragms and crossover rebuild kits, should you feel the need and be handy with a screwdriver or soldering iron.
This approach allows you to ’audition’ the speakers for as long as you like, and then release them back into the market if they do not meet your needs. They might well not be released - I still have mine.....
I haven't heard the Forte's, but I had Klipschorns for 17 years, and enjoyed them very much. I traded them in for the Double Impacts seven months ago and haven't looked back. The Tekton's are more detailed, transparent, and have a much deeper and wider sound stage (I highly recommend a tube amp to reach their full potential). I experience zero listening fatigue with the Tektons, but that wasn't the case in long sessions with the Khorns. Give the free home trial a whirl. I suspect you won't regret it.
I have had Belles, Heresy II, Heresy III, Cornwall II, Cornwall III, Forte I, Forte II and Forte III. The only one I did not like was the Belles. They had a cabinet resonance or a hump around 200hz (estimated) that I just could not live with. The Heresy II bass response was not only limited in extension,(as all Heresy, Belle and La Scala are) but basically shelved down about 3dB the whole range of the woofer. Heresy III corrected that. I actually prefer the Forte I or Forte II over the Forte III. The Forte III is not as smooth in the midrange as the Forte II to my ears.
You can get by without a subwoofer with Forte or Cornwall (and of course K-horn) but you will be missing at least another full octave with Belle, La Scala or Heresy.
The Cornwall III has the same mid and tweeter as the Heresy III. The Cornwall has a HUGE sound. The bass is stunning. I would say, in general, if one likes the Heresy III but wants more bass, Cornwall III is the way to go. I owned the Cornwall II so long ago I can't make an accurate comparison. But I DO know I was quite pleased with them at the time.
I’ve owned a couple different pairs of Kilpsch, and now some Double Impacts.
I’ve heard and Older pair of Fortes, new KHorns, and new Jubilees.
Id say the Double Impacts beat everything smaller than the KHorns, or Jubilees. Then it starts to be a matter of preference. There’s certain things that the KHorns and Jubilees very well. And certain things that the Double Impacts do very well.
I have never had a problem with low volume level control using any of these preamps: Spectral DMC5, DMC6, DMC15. Crown SL2, Threshold FET1, FET2, FET10, Mod Squad Deluxe Line Drive, XiangSheng 728A or my current PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium. But I will say the passive Mod Squad and the lower gain PrimaLuna are preferred by me. There is also impedance matching to take into consideration, especially with the passive Mod Squad and the PrimaLuna. They each like to see amps with large input impedances.
Pick up a pair of used Heresys and if you like them but need "more" sell them ( klipsch heritage sell fast in my experience ) and move up the line. The new forte sounded very good at Axpona btw and is gorgeous.
The Heritage line can sound wonderful but they tend to upper midrange thinness and can be bass shy in the wrong room. Alk crossovers can aleviate much of this with their adjustable taps and if you really want to go down the rabbit hole replacement mid horns help too.
If you dont like the Heresy at all look to lively direct radiators like the tekton. Reference 3a speakers are nice and lively and can be pretty wonderful avoiding potential horn issues.
Although I have a Schiit Loki wired into the system I rarely use it, and by simply adjusting the level a little on the two REL subs (those adjustments are also rarely needed) I can make things sound right. The Heresy IIIs have a well regarded and seemingly very accurate range to their designed-in low frequency limits, and the drivers are mounted very close together which is maybe responsible for the coherent overall sound. Small fat boxes unlike anything else...and a bargain.
The Forte I or Forte II will give up little to the Forte III, and at a lower cost. Replacement titanium tweeter diaphragms smooth them out and matched capacitors for a xover recap are very affordable from Bob Crites in Arkanasas. A little dynamat on the horn bodies/woofer struts and cabinet bracing, both very easy, and you get even better. Not a hard job.
I heard a number of high-end speakers at an audio meet-up last year. The Forte easily hangs with them. Just as good as the costlier speakers I demo’ed, but a different flavor. If you like dynamic, Forte all day. If you want more laid back, I’d go with something else.
Alternate might be A/D/S speakers. They are great bang for the buck. ADS 1090, 810, might be a good option. Excellent, although no longer in business. A local search might turn some up.
I cannot speak to the Tekton, but I’ve heard only good things and would love to try them myself. You’d be out shipping if you returned them, I’d be surprised if you did given what I’ve heard.
As for efficiency and and gain, a couple of attenuators in line would do the trick a lot simpler than changing amps.