Thrift buy : Klipsch Reference 3


First experience with a Klipsch Reference product. Granted these are slightly older (early 2000s), but still have the classic trademarks: horns mated to conventional drivers (dual 8s).In this case, these are titanium horns. Not sure what the lower lines utilize (aluminum?). At any rate, first impressions: these have a big sound, with exceptional clarity. Not as bright or forward sounding as others have suggested, but nicely balanced. Granted, they don't do the "spatial" depth trick or 3D midrange some higher end speakers accomplish, but they don't have an Achilles's heal either. Pleasantly surprised by the low end. Not boomy, but highly musical. If anything, a touch lean. Although these are large speakers by most standards, those seeking earth shattering bass might be disappointed. An impulsive used purchase, these have a huge fun factor. They play loud and cleanly, they also excel at low volume listening. Percussive instruments really shine, with great separation, and nice attack. Vocals also nicely rendered, with very sibilance. Midrange could use a touch more meat, but I'm nitpicking. 
phasecorrect
Little sibilance
By your description, I am assuming these are RF-35's?  Yes they do play loud and clean.  In my years of owning Klipsch(Reference, Heritage, and other lines), I have never experienced the dreaded honkyness or shrilling sound that has been attributed to their "reputation".  

You mention the midrange and Klipsch did improve upon that with the Reference IV RF-63's which I have enjoyed since May 2008.  Smooth, dynamic, and big sounding with great punch.

Enjoy,
Bill
Thanks for responding. These are the RF 3 model from circa 2001 era. TNT audio (Italian) gave these a stellar review, claiming they were a bargain at twice the price. Anybody know the pecking order with these Klipsch. The model they replaced? The model that replaced these? As for the midrange, the intergration between the horn and the other drivers is seamless, which is often the main culprit. These are a phenomenal value in the used market. Unfortunately, they are quite large + heavy, so shipping is questionable. Anybody know where I could locate spikes (size) or original speaker cones? Parts express?
A buddy of mine had the RF-3's for a while and he thoroughly enjoyed them.  

A rough pecking order of discontinued Klipsch Reference.

Reference I & II
RF-3, RF-5, RF-7

Reference III
RF-15, RF-25, RF-35

Reference IV
RF-52, RF-62, RF-82, RF-63, RF-83


Looks like these guys are a good source for woofers.

http://reconingspeakers.com/product/klipsch-rf3-k-1083-8-woofer/

Bill


Anybody know if the entire Reference series utilizes titanium tweeters such as the one in RF-3? Also, any lower lines utilize (SF-2,etc) use titanium as well? Helping a friend locate some used Klipsch: which towers (reference or not) utilized a dual 8 configuration besides the RF-3? thanks!
Also, anybody know if the RF-3 utilized the same specific tweeter as RF 5 or 7?
I think all Reference use titanium tweeters but not all are compression drivers.

These Reference towers all use twin 8" woofers.
RF-3, RF-5, RF-35, RF-82, RF-82II, RP280F 

Where does your friend live?

Bill
I don't think the RF-3 uses the same tweeter as RF-5.  The horn assembly is much larger in the RF-5.

The RF-7 uses a 1.75" titanium compression driver with a much larger horn than the RF-3.

Bill
Anybody familiar with F-3 model?

The Synergy F-3 is a 2009ish Best Buy version.  Sounds okay for what it is but cheaply built.

Bill

Besides the reference series, what other dual 8 towers would be somewhat comparable in performance?
Got a pair of Klipsch RP-160m, it sound so neutral, flat, dynamic, which I think has some benefits and some shorcomings, for drum music perhaps need a little bit more softer, for treble it's a little bright senstive to some recordings or gears, and even ears, nevertheless it's a great speakers for the price, for long listening still LS3/5a British style speakers
@phasecorrect 
"Besides the reference series, what other dual 8 towers would be somewhat comparable in performance?"

Not much outside of the Reference series can you find dual 8" woofers except for the lower model Synergy or re-badged Best Buy Icon models.

Tell your buddy to look for a pair of KLF-20's which have dual 10" woofers, 1.5" horn loaded midrange, and a 1" horn loaded tweeter.

Also, maybe look for a pair of KG4's.  They are too big to be considered bookshelf speakers and too small to be considered floorstanders.  Dual 8" woofers, horn loaded tweeter, and single 12" rear passive radiator.

Where is your friend located?

Bill