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Klipsch vs Polk: Missing Orchestra Instruments
rogerx posted a topic in General Klipsch InfoYesterday I was able to compare Klipsch Reference I, R-15M Monitor and R-28F Floorstanding speakers to a Polk bookshelf monitor and floorstanding speakers. Media: Essential Mozart; Decca; ASIN B00005A8JZ; 2 Audio CD; March 13, 2001. First two or three titles. The Most Relaxing Music in the Universe; Denon Records; ASIN B00008RH16; 2 Audio CD; April 8, 2003. First two or three titles. Speakers: Klipsch Reference I, R-15M Monitor and R-28F Floorstanding speakers Similar models of bookshelf and floorstanding Polks Receivers: Either Onkyo or Pioneer. What I noticed: PROS: 1) Seemingly far more frequency range then the Polks! Klipsch had spectacular body or detail, or articulation of the instruments and notes being played during playback of Mozart's symphonies. 2) Horns and strings have great detail! Able to hear the horns with such detail, including the rubber crossing the metal strings of the violin. 3) The Polks sounded as if I were at the orchestra, but situated upon a high balcony in the distance looking downward at the orchestra; with the orchestra sounding as if they had a blanket draped over them, substantially damping the sound that they were producing. In retrospect, the Klipsch sounded as if the orchestra were in the same room or extremely nearby and on the same floor level as I. Both speakers were at the same floor level, next to each other, aimed within the same general direction. And the effect was not irritating, and was how I would assume speakers should sound as speakers are usually placed generally where people want the apparent effect of sound to be produced or originate from! CONS; 1) The Klipsch apparently sounded as if they were completely missing woodwinds or clarinets, or the details of this frequency range. The Polks had no problems reproducing the woodwinds, albeit with the above derogatory notes. 2) The Klipsch, again, missing the bass of the piano's hammer hitting the strings, but only until the piano sounds reached the apparent peak efficiency frequency range of the Klipsch. The Klipsch then reproduced a wonderful mid-ranged (and likely upper range) sound of the piano sounds and notes. Some thing to remember, it would have taken another 24 hours to sort through each of the above observations, further benchmarking or trying to distinguish what I was really hearing, such as playing back woodwind or piano sonatas. I didn't want to over extend my stay at Erie PA's HHGreg with Marcos, even thought Marcos did state he was also enjoying recognizing the differences as well! Troubled as to why I wasn't able to effectively hear the woodwinds or the range of the bass provided by the pianos, I went to Best Buy's next door whom had a working Klipsch display models as well, as well as several working sub-woofers. Unfortunately, I noticed a similar experience noted above, with only the Klipsch sub-woofers providing the kicking or vibrating sounds while providing very little low frequency sounds even after levels being adjusted. The cheap $100 Polk sub-woofer seemed to provide the most upper range of bass, but still only kicking or mostly vibrating. I would assume this is to be the expected theatrical performance with sub-woofers, though unfortunate and a waste of resources for music lovers? Bottom line, I'm in the market for purchasing a set of (large) book shelf speakers, for using within a surround sound or at least four channel mode for playback of classical or orchestra music. (Surround obviously is for TV/Movies, as the rears are usually currently only used to playback the compressed streams.) My receiver is a Yamaha RX-V375, which provides 100 watts for each channel, and has a chip for mirroring or duplicating the vanilla front left and right audio of stereo streams to the rear left and right channels with no added effects. Hence, a need for good rear speakers, or speakers with similar frequency and performance range of the front speakers. I also figure with the Klipsch, purchasing the eight inch driver models might help make up for any lost bass. So likely looking at the Klipsch RB-81 Reference II Two-Way Bookshelf Speaker. I have no idea what sound differences the earlier Reference 2 have over the Reference 1, but have heard from people within the forums that the Reference 2 are likely still better. The floor standing speakers are likely out of my budget and probably not really needed within a 20x20 room, although the floor standing speaker adds another woofer providing slightly lower frequencies. Equipment: Yamaha RX-V375, 100 watts per 5.1 channel, no effects using vanilla sound. Room: 17x12 manufactured house living room, with a 17x12 dining room on the opposite side of the middle divider. Limited space. Likely four book shelf speakers on shelves mounted on the walls at the appropriate locations would more then suffice for an avid listener of classical music, with the receiver being able to fully duplicate the front quality of the audio streams fully to the rears speakers. Else if a person is only watching TV/movies, these streams are mostly still played at compressed quality levels, instead of the HD or full uncompressed quality -- and personally, I do not notice much difference when watching TV or Movies. THE ONE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: Why am I missing playback of certain instruments within the orchestra symphony being played back on the Klipsch? Even though, I've always had polymer composite only speakers for my past 40 years here and likely will still buy the Klipsch as I've definitely noticed I've been missing something. I would gander, it maybe just simply providing a pair of polymer composite speakers (ie. Polks) alongside the Klipsch might easily make up the missing frequencies provided by woodwinds! (Remember, please stay on topic for future readers, researching similar topics.) 2014.12.20 20:45 UTC: Updated room size. Corrected name of dining room.