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Man in the Box

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  1. More time needs must pass before drawing definitive conclusions, but after having experimented with speaker placement (I already know the ideal spots for the RP 160), there is no doubt that the RP 8000's sound is preferable in every way. Perhaps the biggest advantage to owning the 8000 over the bookshelves is the ability to play at low volumes without losing much in the way of detail. Oftentimes, I had to play the 160s at higher volumes than I'd like to hear the full sound. But that was also fatiguing. Bigger is better!
  2. Update: I bought the RP 8000 after the salesman informed of me their reduced price for the last remaining pair. First impressions: After doing an extensive A/ B test between the two pairs while feeding them lossless material, I would say that the towers represent a clear improvement upon the 160s in about 60-70% of cases (some tracks of "master" quality on Tidal, such as Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," isn't among them; ditto some flac files). How much of an improvement? Difficult to quantify, obviously; but if pressed, my visceral feeling is that the 8000 is, on average, better by about 25% (i.e., if I'd give the 8000 a 10, the 160 would get a 7.5). But that also varies from track to track. What is the quality of the difference? Invariably, and unsurprisingly, the woofers are clearly better. They're not excessive/ out of control, as feared, given the shape and size of the room. If anything, they blend very well with the 12 SVS sealed subwoofer. Percussion is especially satisfying, as are bass-heavy tracks. The tweeters, and the overall sound altogether, seems to be relatively muted on the 160, while the 8000 seems more open, transparent and immersive. Bigger and deeper soundstage, for sure, which can be especially when listening to certain orchestral music. There doesn't seem to be a noticeable difference in the stereo imaging between the two pairs, however. When it comes to lossy streaming, on the other hand, the two speakers don't sound very different -- a slight edge for the 8000, to be sure, but only slight. Another revelation is that pairing a 12 inch SVS sub with the 160 was probably a mistake because they blend with the 8000's bottom end pretty well. The only TV item I tested was Our Planet on Netflix. The 8000 are generally more immersive, as the music sounds more "full." This was especially satisfying when a stormy cloud rumbled in the first episode. Preliminary Conclusion: As things stand, I think that the 8000, while not always markedly better, has greater potential to impress. I imagine that they'd definitely perform better in a larger space, as some of you have stated, but I have yet to find a good reason to be concerned about their size in my particular case. If money is no object, I would most definitely recommend the 8000. But if on a budget, and if one's source material is predominantly lossy, I would not hesitate to recommend the 160 instead. That my entire post has been a story of margins is a great compliment to the 160. The 8000 is a better speaker, but in a room this size, is it twice as good (because it's about twice the price)? No. EDIT: please bear in mind that my subwoofer was on throughout my testing.
  3. I have acoustic foam running across the wall behind and in front of the speakers. I also have bass traps in each top corner. Based on the feedback I got, I decided to cover the ceramic floor tiles with a carpet. As things stand, I only have a couple of rugs: one under the audio system and TV unit, and another under my piano. On speaker placement, what’s the precise measure of the speakers being 4.75 feet off the floor? Is it in reference to the tweeters?
  4. Thank you, Chris. You’re right; shape of the room I’m in is an issue. But I can’t do anything about it, as things stand. Nor can I move the furniture around because I’m absolutely squeezing every inch of space with my furniture set. I’m absolutely out of room to maneuver. Same as the above response. I’m afraid there isn’t much I can do about the room. I have foam panels with a jagged surface across the open walls, as well as bass traps in the top corners. The bass is much cleaner now and certain high frequencies aren’t shrill anymore. I can add a diffusing panel on the wall across from the speakers. Should I? Thank you, Sam. I don’t frankly don’t have space for a large CD collection, too. Your post made me look into how I can listening to my FLAC files now conveniently. I’m experimenting with Plex on my smart TV. I occurred to me to buy a NAS, and build a high res digital library to stream via Plex. I’ll search through these forums for any posts on NAS units in audio systems when I get the time. One option I’m considering is doing what you did and buying the Forte or the Heresy without listening to them. But it’s an expensive gamble though. Most online sources that will deliver will charge high price for shipping. I can’t imagine hating them. But the truth is that I just don’t know.
  5. I see. In that case, I'd rather put the $500 toward another piece of hardware that would make a bigger difference. A Heresy or a Forte, maybe.
  6. That's an interesting perspective that I haven't come across elsewhere. Why do audiophiles upgrade their gear, then? To squeeze out a bit more out of speakers they've invested in? It's paradoxical, when it comes to choosing between the Heresy and the Forte: if the Forte would replace both my RP 160 and the my subwoofer, it would become cheaper than the Heresy. Smaller footprint in my small room, too. I would love to get a sense of what that's like. But unfortunately, in my location I'm unable to audition them. I can get them delivered, however. So it'd be a gamble. My reasoning is that if they do more of what I already appreciate in the RP 160 and the 8000 (which I sampled and I really liked), why wouldn't I like the Heresy or the Forte also? Another question for you, Tarheel and whoever has experience with the heritage line: is it true that the Forte is qualitatively better than the Heresy? I assumed that it's simply a bigger Heresy; but reviews I've seen claim otherwise.
  7. Thank you, Bill. Do you own CDs and a CD player because you prefer the experience or because you believe they sound better than, say, streaming lossless files?
  8. I posted here before, as some of you will realize. Despite having been a dissatisfied owner of the RP 160M, I nevertheless see much potential in the Klipsch sound. I was mulling over the idea of replacing the speakers with either RP 8000, Heresy IV or, as of a few days now, Forte III. But then it occurred to me that I don't actually know which would be the most cost-effective way to improve my setup. It is as follows: RP 160M Yamaha R-N602 stereo receiver SVS SB-2000 subwoofer (12 inches) Room type and dimensions: bedroom (w/ king-sized bed; treated walls); ~13.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 ft Source material: Apple Music for non-classical, Digital Concert Hall and Primephonic for classical, locally stored FLAC files (all genres) Preferred musical genres: classical, jazz, classic rock, electronica (in that order) I stopped using Primephonic, despite having paid for a year's subscription, because its interface doesn't highlight its lossless material. Revisiting it made me realize that my setup, though still well short of what I'd like to hear, isn't bad. I use Apple Music frequently because it's convenient (not a fan of Tidal because of its dearth of its lossless material and its exorbitant price point). Of course, I'm experiencing what has poked so many holes in your pockets: that itch to buy better hardware. The budget is ~$2,000, give or take another grand, depending on the perceived value of the upgrade. As a newcomer to the hobby, however, I don't quite know what my weak links might be. Possible upgrades: Speakers, which is a bit of a crapshoot, because I can't audition any of speakers I'm interested in (Heresy, Forte -- already sampled the RP 8000). A decent CD player? A Yamaha CD player called CD-S1000 is going for $500 at a local store ( I don't own a CD collection, but building one isn't very expensive). How much of an upgrade would it be over my current source material? Can't sample the Yamaha CD player in my room, I'm afraid. Better amplifier! But which? No clue. Thanks again for being so welcoming and helpful -- and apologies for posting a new thread. I'm overwhelmed!
  9. All I can tell is that price is great and might be worth a risk. But being unable to evaluate the sound signature is a bit of an issue. Is there agreement, broadly speaking, on the similarity between Klipsch and Tannoy in this regard?
  10. How does Tannoy’s sound compare to Klipsch’s? I’m afraid this brand isn’t available to audition in my city.
  11. Perhaps what would definitively solve the issue here is a speaker with a mid-range driver? I can save up for the Heresy IV. The key problem is the prohibitive price ($2,400), where I am. I imagine I'd be blown away with the Klispch sound I know in a bigger box, bigger woofer and a mid-range tweeter. Much better than the RP 8000 (at $1,500)? I don't know. EDIT: the used market doesn't offer great options in the city I live in, too. Those who own Klipsch speakers almost never sell. EDIT 2: a brand new Heresy III can be had on ebay for $1,500 (including shipping). Tempting.
  12. I experimented with the subwoofer settings with different phase and crossover settings. I also did the sub crawl once more. This only managed to make the bottom end sound worse. When I put the sub back into its usual spot and plugged the LFE port, the bottom end came to life again. The sub can overpower the speakers like you said; the solution is to fiddle a bit with the volume of the sub vis-a-vis the bass gain on the Yamaha receiver. In short, at least insofar as I'm able to manoeuvre with the setup, it doesn't seem like I can solve the problem.
  13. I did the sub crawl and found a spot where it didn’t sound neither boomy nor absent (in a limited area, admittedly, because it’d be obstructive if placed far from the TV unit). I tried fiddling with the settings manually but found that it sounded much better when plugged in the LFE jack, whatever it’s called. The sub also doesn’t go beyond 180 hz manually. I still don’t understand how it would fix the issue of the sound not being “full” enough. It’s not bad, mind you. But I can see how it could be fuller — a consequence of living with the same setup for a while, perhaps. How do you think it would add more body to the sound above the frequencies it covers? I’m relatively new at this, as you can probably tell. Maybe I’m missing something. EDIT: perhaps I didn’t sufficiently articulate what I think is missing, originally. It’s becoming clearer as I discuss it with you guys in here.
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