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33RPM

Midrange Differences? Heresy vs. Reference

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Having acquired a pair of RF-5's a few weeks ago (rather than following my original intent to get some Heresys) I find myelf wondering what the difference would be between these speakers on jazz music. Since wiring my Bottlehead amp for 4 ohms, the midrange of the RF-5's is very laid-back, spacious, and clear, not "in-your face" like I imagine the Heresys would sound like. On the other hand, the mids have a slight lack of "presence," or that ability to sound so real that the hairs on your neck stand up. The treble frequencies sound convincingly real, however, and bass is solid. I'm guessing Klipsch's choice of crossing the horns over at 2500Hz is partly the reason behind this - having the woofers handle such high frequencies seems odd to me. With a horn that size (8") and a decent sized mouth, I would think that frequencies as low as 1KHz would have been suited better on the horn side rather than the woofers. I have no regrets with these speakers, of course, but I'm always curious about the other Klipsch options out there and if they realy would sound that much different.

Which brings me to an interesting question: the Heresys have an exponential horn for the mids that crosses over from the woofers at 700-800Hz, depending on the model. Does this yield a) shouty, "in your face" midrange when compared to the 2-way Reference series, or B) warm, rich, present, and detailed mids? I'm thinking that the Reference series may have been the better choice for me after all (or do I have it backward?)

Also, has anybody tried crossing the RF-5 over at a lower frequency?

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Ok, with the understanding that I am in no way an expert on all things Klipsch, I am just an addict, I think you are comparing apples and oranges, or more like avocadoes and pineapples, or some more disparate fruit - again in my opinion. I reach this from having RF'7's sitting next to LaScalas, and having had Heresys, Cornwalls, RF-7's AND Heresys' siting next to each other listening to the whole lot one set at a time with the same music and on the same sources.

The older reference speakers seem smoother to me, and I think that is just becasue of the 2 way set-up, butI have not felt that the mid-range is "in your face" on any of these - the La Scalas probably more than the any other speaker I have had, seem to have a pretty harsh mid horn, but the Hereseys and Cornwalls (to me) are better balanced between the bass, mids and tweeters. Now that doesnt; mean that those tweets can peel the flesh from your eye balls at high volumes! The RF-7's, before I had the DenG crossover mods done, had a pretty nasty tendency on sreechy strings to cause pain in the very high registers, but after the mod they have been very nice to listen to.

OK, what all that means is that I find the Heritage speakers to have a round quality, a full sound extended from top to bottom ( I almost called them "warm" but retyped that), that I find elnds itself very well to vocal music (EG, jazz, blues, opera) - My RF's do HT duty mostly now, they are more "clinical' and precise to my ears, they do not have that round feeling - I like cranking them with good rock and roll, on a modern SS amp, where the instrumentation is as important or more so than the vocals (which they do a pretty fine job with too) - I like listening to orchestral works better on my RF's, where I seem to be able to hear every string draw, while I put Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Jussi Bjoerling or Leonard Warren on the tubes and Heresys/Cornwalls in my office, or more recently the LaScalas.

Does any of that make sense? They both have very different characteristics, very different voices, and I thinkthey each do their thing very well - but I definitely have preferences on different sources and music. Kind of bi-polar on the subject actually.

AGAIN - this is my opinion, YMMV.

B

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This doesn’t answer your question about the crossover points

but here’s my two cents: I have Chorus I’s L+R and a RC7 center on my HT. I

used to have three RC7 across the front, the L&R vertical with the horn

turned 90 degrees. In my experience the Reference series are not in the same

class as the Heritage stuff. IMO Reference is not built as well, not as sturdy,

and has a grittier sound to the midrange and treble, much of it produced by

those copper-tone direct radiators. Granted, the Chorus is quite a bit larger

than Heresy, essentially a small footprint Cornwall that doesn’t go down quite as far,

but the components are basically the same.

All I can say is the RC7 are NOT going back to mains duty on

that system. And after we finish some remodeling in that area of the house I’ll be

looking for something else ~ possibly a Heresy to mount over the HDTV and

replace the RC7.

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When I compared my RB-5s to my Heresys after having listened to the Heresys for some time, I changed out the speakers for the one third in size smaller Reference Bookshelf RB-5...where is the midrange said I...wha hoppin'???

I listened to the RB-5s for some time and learned they had more bass than the Heresys...after listening still more, I thought...these sound very good especially for their size (by that I mean I like them and given their size, I really like them)...

Next I returned to the Heresy and said "There is the midrange I was missing."...I prefer the Heresy but let's put this in context at least for me...

*I have found that I prefer the Heritage Klipsch sound

*Listening to RB-5s on their own merit, I like them

*Listening to them back to back with Heresys (...and later with Quartets) I found I prefer the Heritage Klipsch sound and I find I missed the midsection of the three way speakers...

*If I had a choice and there were no special needs for placement or size...I would pick Heresys over the RB-5s...If I only had one or the other...I would be perfectly happy but I would be looking for Heritage/extended Heritage Klipsch speakers for 2 channel...

Bill

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Thanks to everyone for the interesting comments. I had a feeling that the Heresys would have a fuller midrange, given the dedicated squawker and large horn. What's interesting to note is that I actually don't listen to any vocal jazz whatsoever - so it's the sound of the saxophone I value most on a speaker. The RF-5's are very realistic and detailed with that particular instrument - whereas my Polks sounded glossed over, like a photo whose grainy areas were removed and replaced with a solid color. I'm not a fan of subs, so hearing that the RB-5's could have better bass than the Heresys is troubling, since even my RF-5's aren't overly full on the bottom end. (That could have to do with placement, though). The only issue I seem to have with the RF-5's is a slight hole in the midrange, probably around the crossover point. Updating the crossovers might rectify that, however.

The impression I've gotten is that one really can't go too wrong with either speaker, especially for jazz. Correct?

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I Had 2 pairs of RF-7, I replaced a pair with a pair of RF-83. I usally listen to 2-channel music.

Then a while back a pair of Heresy showed up on my Local used item market.

I bought them and compared them against both my RF-83 and my RF-7. Same setup, same room, I simply switched the cables between the speakers while playing a song I know very well. Since then I'm using the Heresy for music listening and RF-83/RF-7 for movies playback.

I was so impressed with the Heresy, I then boutgh a pair of KlipschHorns.

The RF series while good, but are not in the same league with the Heritage.

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With the way things seem to go on these boards, I doubt it will be long before I own both Heresys AND RF-5's! Then I won't have to wonder. Have to move into my new condo first, however....

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Any advice on crossover mods, though? Or, are the stock RF-5 crossovers OK?

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I'll be different. I have RF-25s and new Heresy IIIs. The Heresys replaced the RFs without any change to my system. I found the RFs were warmer and had a more forward midrange, the Heresys are much more neutral. I'm still tuning and breaking in the Heresys, I'm trying to extract some more midrange sweeties, last night new Cardas 300b cables were added (know for rich mids). I'm almost there. I'm still working on placement. The two systems are not the same but each has thier merits. The differences are more minor tuning than wholesale change. Heresys alone will not give you a super lush midrange. The horn squawker is mostly uncolored.

Thanx, Russ

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Thanks for the insight, Russ. I'll be interested in hearing about your Heresy III's once they've broken in.

I would think that the fact that I would be playing Heresys through tubes might fatten/color the midrange a bit, as that is what my amp seems to do with the RF-5's (for kicks, I tried them on an old Marantz 1060b amp I have laying around and wasn't as impressed with them - they sound so much rounder/thicker with the tubes). The other thing I do like about the Reference towers is that they are at my listening level - how well do the Heresy's project an ear-level soundstage, being so low to the ground? I'm assuming the risers help a little bit, but they're still a rather short speaker nonetheless.....

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331/3,

I am using tube mono blocks and a warm sounding pre-amp. The RFs have a very nice tube sound (sweet midrange). Yes, the RFs are near ear level but that is not a big issue with the Heresys. They have good vertical coverage. The risers work well after you get back a few feet.

I think I had your same thoughts until I got my Heresys, they are more neutral than you are thinking. I'm throwing all my tricks at these things to get more of a "horn" sound, I'm getting there, but I'm not there yet.

Thanx, Russ

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Russ,

If what you're saying also holds true for my gear/listening environment, it sounds like the RF's were the better choice for me after all. I like a rich, "tubey" midrange and "horn sound" more than I value neutrality or accuracy. I've owned more accurate, neutral gear than the stuff I've recently built/collected, but always felt underwhelmed (which is probably why I eventually gravitated towards tubes and horns in the first place). That said, it will be interesting to hear how your Heresys change with time and placement changes.

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331/3,

I'm in exactly the same boat. I love the lively sound of my Klipsch, both RF and Heresys. I did get a little further along with the setup of my Heresys. I put a Cardas 300B on the pre to amp and I put a Kimber Timbre on the CD player. This has brought out the mids as much as possible with the cables I have on hand. As the Heresys are breaking in they are getting warmer and I'm adjusting to the new sound little by little. I am very pleased at this point and I'm going to spend more time just listening to music before I attempt any more changes (I think I'm done).

If you want a bit more mid/warmth/horn sound try a Cardas 300B cable, it's a very nice addition. I'm not sure I could live without that cable, it's that sweet. I use that on my main system also and my main system is quite good, if I do say so myself.

Thanx, Russ

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If you want a bit more mid/warmth/horn sound try a Cardas 300B cable, it's a very nice addition.

Hey russ69......

Sounds like you got a boner for this particular cable.....you got me interested since you've mentioned it in other threads. What's the deal? Where can I get it? How much?

Keep in mind.....I'm loaded......been crankin' the RF-7's in the back yard all day. [Y]

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The Cardas cables look nice, but I'm probably going the DIY route with interconnects, too. Right now, I just have some junky Mon$ter cables that I bought a million years ago. For what it's worth, the only time I've really noticed a sound change due to cables on my current gear was when using a junky, thin, 2-meter RCA cable between my Seduction and SEX amp. The bass and treble became rolled off and grainy, and I hear more hum and noise in the signal than usual (typically, there's none). Turns out that the Seduction needs an input impedance of 50k or so to be happy; bad cables (or those longer than a meter) typically start looking funky in terms of both resistance and capacitance (too high of a capacitance leads to a drop in treble - and were talking a difference measured in pF's!).

Have you tried your Heresys through both sand and tube amps? Also, what taps are you using (4 or 8 ohms)? I recall reading that the Heresys aren't as nasty looking in the impedance department as our Reference speakers, but still would think the woofer would drop below 6 ohms towards its resonant frequency.

I'm still thinking a pair of Heresys might show up at my door before too long.....

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SWL, When you sober up the 300Bs are 180 bucks a meter rca pair.

33 1/3, I only have tube amps in the house so no I haven't tried any SS amps, I'm using the 8 ohm tap. If you think you are interested in the Heresys, go for it, they are different than the RFs but not so much that you wouldn't like the change.

Thanx guys, Russ

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lol.....thanks Russ.

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