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Everything posted by ScooterMcTavish

  1. Finally have the speakers back together, and gave them a good listen the other day. I also A/B compared them with a set of B&W 683 that are my current daily drivers. The design of the two speakers couldn't be more different. The B&W have a narrow baffle, coated with a dampening material. Dual metallic 6.5" woofers cross over to the mid at 350Hz, a beautifully designed kevlar 6" driver. This then crosses over to the aluminum dome tweeter at 4kHz. The cabinet is very solid and well braced, with the only compromise being a vinyl wrap. Personally I love the choice B&W made, sacrificing cosmetics for a quality build. The Forte have a traditional wide baffle, and mate a solid 12" woofer that crosses over to the horn mid at 800 Hz. My Forte have the Crites tweeters, which are crossed over to at 6kHz. They are in a thin, barely braced, resonant cabinet, yet were given a very nice walnut veneer. There are clear Klipsch design choices here (horns, naturally), but I am left wondering how many design choices were made with an eye to competing visually in the 1985-1989 speaker market. Big and loud were what sold speakers at that time. So when comparing the two (on a very laid back Arcam A85), the design choices were apparent and audible. First of all, I wanted to evaluate the Forte vs what I remembered them being. So I hooked them up, and proceeded to run through good digital files, bad digital files, good CDs, and bad CDs. With the limited mods I made, my goals were to reduce cabinet internal reflections, dampen resonant surfaces inside the cabinets, and stiffen the cabinets themselves. The net result was very encouraging. The Forte had always done well with vinyl, yet quickly became fatiguing with digital. After the mods, I found whatever fatiguing harshness to have been reduced, if not eliminated. I was easily able to run through a wide variety of music, and ended up having a two hour listening session. Always awesome. The bass was a bit shyer, but I also could not position the speakers optimally to truly tune this right. I will just make the assumption that the bass will be as good as it had been. When A/B comparing the Forte with the B&W, the differences were easy to hear. I believe much of this is due to driver choice and crossover points. I'm still not sure I could make the Fortes my main use speakers. The choice of crossover points shifts the entire voicing of the speaker "up", creating a mid which sounds out of balance to the whole. On some recordings, this was actually preferable, such as piano/acoustic/vocal music. However, on my main genres of music (rock, metal, and their derivatives), a 3-way with more typical drivers and crossover points delivers a more cohesive sound. Certainly some people describe Klipsch as sounding more "live" or "exciting". With my Fortes, this is 100% true. However, this can also be distracting or off-putting, especially depending on one's choice of music. Regardless, I am happy with my simple mods, as one or all together have shaved off a certain harshness that made the Fortes hard to listen to for extended periods. And at some point they may migrate into my main system, even on just a two week trial to see how we get along. Before these mods, I never would have even considered this.
  2. Just an odd thought I had..... One of the interesting characteristics of older speakers is their "tippiness" front to back. Never speakers don't have this - logical with narrow deep cabinets. I certainly noticed this when working on the cabs. With the pistonic action generating lateral movement front-to-back in the Forte, it makes me wonder a few things: - Would the speaker benefit with outriggers that extend the base in the front and back dimensions? - Would they benefit even further by having these outriggers mounted on spikes to decouple the speaker from the floor?
  3. Hi Gav, I had a Marantz AVR (SR5008) I tried to use for 2-channel stereo, and it simply never worked. You use a good term when you state a lack of "impact". I would have stated sound from the AVR had a lack of solidity. The only AVR I've actually owned with decent 2-channel performance was an old HK. I finally made the decision that I'd rather have bad TV performance than bad 2 channel performance and haven't looked back. On the four systems in my home I have an Arcam A85, a Jolida JD302BRC, a vintage Kenwood Receiver, and a vintage Pioneer A-77X integrated. All sound great, and have solid sound. A few months ago, I hooked the Marantz back up, and there was no way to make the sound anything other than thin sounding. And for convenience, I have a Denon HEOS Link if I want to use a digital source.
  4. Following - my experience with digital amps hasn't been great so far, but I love the Nad's size and utility. The audio press loves it, but they also love gear that has made me weep. And not weep for joy.
  5. Hi Glens, sorry, I did not include a pic of the woofer. I put nothing on its motor, and only put some absorbent on the four spokes. Main idea was to dampen anything that could resonate.
  6. A few pics of the Noico dampening material, and a set of the drivers that are dampened. There was certainly a difference flicking the mid horn with a finger before and after dampening. Whether it makes an audible amount when in use is still to be seen. I am amazed that Klipsch built such a huge beautiful motor structure on the woofer, yet attached it to a sad stamped basket with only four spokes. It's like the opposite of CVs - where a great basket is married to a less substantial motor. After spending a lot of time with these speakers, they strike me as very well-designed, yet compromises were made, likely to keep them within a price point, and/or shipping weight down.
  7. A dynamat knock off called Noico sold affordably on Amazon
  8. Thought I would post a pic as I've decided to go with fairly minimal mods. I will be putting four thin braces front to back between the woofer and passive for additional rigidity. Instead of stuffing or padding, I've gone with a minimal liner to break up standing waves. It is a thin ribbed packing foam I use for wrapping electronics when I ship them. This does not reduce cabinet volume, yet will also not interfere with air pressure for driving the passive. Last mod will be some vibration absorber on the woofer and passive baskets, and the horns. That should be arriving this week.
  9. And now things make even more sense. After putting some finish remover on the second speaker, I noticed the veneer was lifted in one spot. A bit of work later, and it appears I have two walnut speakers. Interesting part is the badly done speaker was done with raw edge glued veneer. Second speaker was done with full sheet paper backed veneer. Looks like we may have a pair. Now I've gotta figure what to do with them. Damage to the original veneer is severe enough, unless I really want a "distressed" look.
  10. Here is a very good explanation from a site known to be more straightforward than many others: https://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/loudspeaker-cabinets Unfortunately, the cabinet is often the first place where costs are saved on a build. Extra costs for bracing and shipping sell less speakers than having a nice veneer vs a vinyl wrap. However, making this cabinet less resonant, while also not changing its fundamental engineering should "generally improve" its sound. Of course, improve is a subjective term, and I hope to make any mods "undoable" if they result in crap sound.
  11. Afternoon all, As part of my cosmetic refurbishment of a set of Fortes, I was curious as to mods others have done to the cabinets to stiffen and/or dampen them. Although they are heavy, they also seem very resonant, especially with the drivers still in them. Based on the use of a passive radiator, I would imagine I would want to avoid mods that reduce internal cabinet volume, or absorb the air pressure that drives the drone (i.e. stuffing, dampening on interiors). Some of Moray's mods are easy to do as well (dampen horns, dampen speaker baskets, add washers to the drone), and I plan to do these. However, after seeing some extensive mods on a set of Forte III on audiocircle, I'm wondering if I should do more. Thoughts I had were to add some additional bracing, put some absorbent mass loading (sand?) in their bottom, add a few irregular foam pieces to the inside sides to break up waves, and double the front baffle thickness (externally) with a piece of HDF, either for the whole front, or up to the top of the woofer. Anyone else tried any of these mods, and if so, how did they affect sound?
  12. Howdy all, When removing the drivers from my Forte for their refurbish, I spent some time with them as one of speakers had fallen off a chair, and I was concerned a driver may have been damaged. The woofers and tweeters were within 0.3 ohm of each other on the multimeter. However, one mid tested at 12.1 ohms, while the other tested at 15.0. Both were disassembled and inspected, with no apparent issues. Both also worked fine via a sound test. However, one is throwing 25% more resistance than the other, making me think (signal and xovers being equal) that it would be more muted on the same material. Is my conclusion correct, and/or which one is out of spec? FYI, both are untouched original phenolic domes.
  13. Out of curiosity, I went to the garage to look at the date stamps on the drivers. Lo and behold, the drivers all have the same date stamps between the two boxes - all were made in 1988, with each driver type made in the same week. Makes me wonder if this was a mis-shipped pair, and a past owner covered the walnut one with oak. Pretty sure I read that Klipsch destroyed any cabinet that didn't meet exacting standards.
  14. I used to have an SX-950 which I stupidly sold for not enough. Never been much of a Pioneer guy, but this series was just different than receivers before and after. They have a solidity and warmth to the sound that only the best receivers of that era had. Pretty sure it'll sound straight-up excellent.
  15. For where I live, red oak was about the only easily accessible veneer - might be an Arkansas vs Canada thing. Once they are stained up (especially dark), I believe it is hard to tell the two apart, assuming similar grain. This being stated, the rays in the wood are different, and I believe the red takes stain a little easier, meaning different sit times, or different numbers of coats. I may also go with a solid color paint like Randy mentioned on the weekend. Still not sure. Regardless, veneer was in the mail today, and I'm curious to see it's grain pattern. Unfortunately, with the original veneer being adhered extremely well, I see no way to get it off without damaging the MDF on at least three sides of the speaker. I am not super familiar with MDF from 1988, but what is here seems quite soft compared to modern MDF.
  16. LOL, nope, exactly what I'm trying to avoid. No sarcass meant - the word "just" made me chuckle, as whenever I use it, it usually means I'm making the project about 5x more complicated than it already is. Appreciate your feedback in the thread.
  17. LOL, "just brad on a new panel". The way the veneer is bonded, I'd likely end up building new cabs.
  18. Interesting experience, and one that mirrored my first impression of my Forte. First note, I wouldn't pair the Forte with a Yamaha. The Yammy pieces I've owned have been voiced "not warm" and I find this can make forward speakers tend towards harshness. In contrast, I've paired the Forte with tube amps, vintage SS, and an Arcam, all to a decent result. In the interim, a tweak could be to hook an eq between your source and the Yammy. This will allow you to tip down frequencies you may be sensitive to. I believe the Forte has a bump in the 2-4kHz range - this can certainly make them sound strident, but can also be adjusted. Third, others correctly point out the importance of source material. I have especially found many CDs and virtually any lossy digital file to sound bad on the Fortes. Finally, placement is important. From an old hand on these very forums I discovered that aiming the speakers towards a space in front of you dials down the harshness, and opens up the soundstage. If you are looking right down the throats of the mids from your listening spot, it is likely these mids (although exciting at first) are simply too prominent for extended listening. As a final note, I've often said my Fortes are not the perfect speaker, but with the right power, source, and recording, they are the best speakers I've ever heard.
  19. Just to tie a bow on this, I tried removing some of the walnut veneer from the first/third picture speaker. Looks like I will need to veneer over top of the existing. The walnut is so tightly bonded with the MDF underneath, and the MDF is so soft in composition, I'm not sure how I could remove it without causing damage or swelling to the MDF. Mind you, I could always build new cabs, but then they wouldn't be Klipsch any more.
  20. Thank you for the confirmation folks, I have enough red oak already in the mail for both of them, with enough to veneer the homemade risers they came with. Looks like that will be the way to go. Unfortunately, neither has its serial number on it, and with only the one inspection label, they could be an unrelated pair.
  21. And one more picture - the inspection card inside the speaker with the good veneer. No card in the one I'm working on.
  22. As I'm refurbing a set of original Fortes, I've started looking closer at their finish. One of the boxes had warping and separating veneer, so I started with it. My first observation was that the veneer on the sides of this speaker was different than on the other. Specifically, the veneer was in strips vs being a solid panel with a different grain. Well, the reason for the detaching and strips was apparent when I started removing the veneer - a previous owner had put new veneer over top of the original, after using wood patch to fill in the many dings and dents each side had. Unfortunately, the original veneer is not salvageable, and will have to come off. Question I have is when I compare the veneers between the speakers, they look like they had different species and finishes of veneer. The one I stripped has a light and tight vertical grain, and an orange tinted medium brown stain (maple is a color that comes to mind). The other speaker has a more complex, broader, contrasting grain, and is a cooler toned brown (light walnut would be my best description). Does anyone know if there were different species used when veneering Fortes, and different stains? I may only need to veneer the one speaker if I can get it to match the other (which I plan to strip and refinish). I've included a picture of the speaker I am working on (ignore the dark top - a stain experiment), the one with fairly intact veneer, and the first one again after removing the veneer and cleaning off the glue.
  23. Haha, a Cerwin Vega thread from eight months ago turns into an amplifier debate. Amps all sound the same? For your reading pleasure: Vintage vs. New I find this the most fascinating part of the hobby - we can measure things all we want, but there are parts of the sound we can't quantify, like odd-vs-even order harmonics. Back to Klipsch vs. CV: I have owned numerous sets of both - in CVs I have has A-123, HED U-123, D5, and VS120. In Klipsch I have owned RB-61, RB-61ii, Synergy F3, and Forte. The Forte remain, and none of the rest do. To me, the biggest problem I have had with CVs is a lack of sharpness on the top end. Although the tweeters were capable of generating plenty of sound, they lacked the crispness that my Fortes have (acknowledged they do have Crites titanium diaphragms). The midranges were also somewhat offensive, and needed a good EQ to tame down their "shouty" tendencies. And, for whatever odd reason, they never seemed to generate bass in the way their woofer size and design suggested they should. When EQd, you could get them to thump, but tonality of bass was lost. Unfortunately, as a teenager in the 1980s, I saw CVs as the pinnacle of rock speakers, and continue(d) to try and find the "right" set to have fun with in my system. No success as of yet, and my odds of acquiring more CVs is rather slim. From the Klipsch side, the F-3 had absolutely superb bass, that was effortless to generate. However, they also were a disappointment with a recessed midrange, and beamy treble. Not sure if it was a feature of the aluminum domes, or the horn design, but the treble did lack some focus compared to better domed-tweeter speakers I own. The RB-61s were both better, but were also "missing" something from the midrange, though the titanium tweeter certainly was an improvement over the aluminum. The Forte have stayed and earned a permanent place in my tube system, as they generate excellent tuneful bass, and have superb dynamics. Although the CVs also had great dynamics, they were sloppy where the Forte are crisp, and shouty where the Forte are present. In short (and rather humorously), the Klipsch do appear to share some design philosophies with CV, but these philosophies were executed to a much higher degree. As it relates to the new CVs, I have heard two of the CLS models, and the treble and midrange were improved over the models I listed above. That being stated, I did feel they trended towards stridency, and I was somewhat amazed at how little bass they generated without any additional bass compensation (i.e. loudness, bass control, or EQ).
  24. Damndest thing. I was listening to the Fortes as I work from home today, and thought I'd hook up my B&W 683 (a very nice speaker) for a change of pace. Lasted about a hour. Tube amp was turned off and cooled over lunch, and the Forte were hooked back up. Going from a speaker I described as "harsh" and "tinnitus inducing" at the demo, to a preferred speaker in my music room. Who woulda thunk it. WIth the dynamics of the Fortes, they make the sedate B&W sound, well, kinda' dull. Should note though, that the Fortes do not suffer poor recordings in a polite way. A few tracks have certainly played (200 CD jukebox on random) where I'd certainly prefer the B&W. That being said, one can certainly her the difference between 12" passive radiated bass and 2 x 6.5" ported bass. It has weight.
  25. I actually found corner-loading smoothed out my Fortes quite a bit. Any stridency disappeared from the sound. The negative was that the wide soundstage collapsed. I have them now about 4 inches from the corners, toed in slightly, and it seems to be the best of both worlds. Each are aimed just outside of my easy chair.
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