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Heresy-III, Stands or Placement Suggestions?


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I'd like to get some opinions/suggestions on the setup of the Heresy specifically the H-III and if any of you use or recommend any type of stand for this speaker.

Mine are set up for both pure 2ch (with or without subs) and to be patched in to a surround system (where with a third H-III they become a matched L/C/R front array for the multi-channel system). In 2 channel mode I am running a direct input of lossless digital audio files from a computer USB DAC into a Supratek Chenin tube pre-amp and an Aragon 4004 Mk-II Stereo Amp. This is to be my "reference" 2ch system (maybe I should call it "heritage" now[8-|]).

I am using two outboard subwoofers with the Heresy's which are being directly fed from the second pre-outs of the Supratek as L/R stereo subs. In other words they're not being fed from the surround system or some LFE channel somewhere. Therefore lower bass is not too much of an issue as I can dial the subs in to the room and their respective speaker channel pretty effectively.

What I'm trying to accomplish is to get the best soundstage and holographic imagining out of the Heresy's in 2ch mode, and have them also be reasonably set up for surround mode otherwise (but 2ch mode setup and positioning is more important to me).

Obviously Klipsch seems to like the H-III's on the floor with the slant riser tilting them back. Which is fine, it provides bass extension that way but they tend to sound boomy and/or boxy down there (depending on the playback material) to me. Although the sound is altogether warmer. Also being on the floor isn't bad for the multi-channel surround system but it would sound better if the speakers were higher up and closer to the panel TV.

I tried placing the H-III's on the 30" stands that previously held my RB-81's.This wasn't altogether bad, but not great either. The horns were well above ear level and all the bass dried up. This left the speakers sounding very dry and analytical but with a pretty decent soundstage. Although they could get pretty aggressive in the mid band, especially from the middle horn on such high stands. Also there was no tilt back, the speakers were level.

Neither of these options really works for me.

For now I've placed the H-III's on two small wooden table things that hold them up 18" off the ground, but with the slant riser still in place so the speakers are tilted back. This seems to work the best for now. The tweeter horn is roughly at ear level. I'm getting good imaging and soundfield with a warmer sound like when on the floor rather than the dry sound from up high and perfectly level. I think I like the sound with them tilted-back more than not.

I will say that placing them on any type of stand seems to remove any boxy sound (to me) they have when on the floor.

I am also slightly toeing the speakers in, probably getting the 60-degree triangle between the two speakers and listening position. However my room is only effectively 14' wide by 17' deep with the speakers on the 14' wall out 3'. It's also a pretty live room (which I need to deal with acoustical treatments), unfortunately. At volume the H-III's can easily overplay the room so I don't usually go super loud and sometimes sit a little closer to compensate.

So... Anyone out there have an opinion on this? If I use stands, Is there a stand height that anyone would strongly recommend?

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four post stands 18 - 20 inches high is what you need to place the speakers at the right height rake the risers off. Have a look at Skylan Stands dot com at his euro site for some good pictures to give you an idea of what this will look like. I have this set up with a pair of Heresy in a HT front left and right and it works well. Hope this helps. Best regards Moray James.

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Sure if you raise any speaker up off the floor you will loose coupling and so bass augmentation. Simply place the speakere up against the rooms front wall and or into the corners for some added boost. Heresy don't make bass of any great depth below fifty hertz so the easy way around this is to use them with a sub or two. Problem solved and the speakers will sound better up off the floor. Cornwalls don't extend a hole lot lower than Herest do perhaps about ten hertz deeper. If you want some bass get a pair of Forte which is a stretch Heresy with a passive radiator, those will get you into the low thirty hertz with exactly the same footprint as the Heresy. The Forte (with riser remover) works very well up on a ten inch high four post stand. Looks excellent sounds great. You want to get the horns up to ear level when seated. That's about 39 inches up from floor level. Hope this hepls. Best regards Moray James.

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When I was using my HIIIs in a HT setup, I placed them on 16" stands and it improved the imaging and the clarity of the mids and highs. I have since dismantled my HT and gone back to a 2 channel setup. I no longer have a sub, so I put the risers back on them and placed them back on the floor. I experimented with placement to the point where I am completely satisfied with the bass and overall performance of my speakers. I thought about upgrading to Cornwall IIIs, but decided against it for now due to the fact that I live in an upstairs apartment, and didn't want to disturb my downstairs neighbors any more than I probably do already. The Heresey III is a great "little" speaker, and I love mine... [8-|]

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Thanks for the feedback on this...

For the record I don't dislike the Heresys on the floor with their riser in place as designed. In fact I think they sound pretty darned good down there much opposed to my assumptions that they wouldn't. In fact I remember when I worked for Klipsch back in '06 when these speakers were relaunched I did hear them in the engineering listening area (along with LS-II and CW-III), the H-III were placed on the floor and I was pretty blown away by how good they sounded that way. In any case, far be it for me to question how the esteemed Mr. Klipsch designed the original Heresy speaker (I'm not) but to my ears they sound better up off the floor a bit when used as 2-channel main speakers, especially when you add subwoofers to the equation. Seeing as how Mr. Klipsch was accused of committing Heresy in designing the Heresy speaker and from which story the speaker takes its name, if it amounts to heresy to place a pair of Heresy on stands then so be it and in fact I kind of like that idea.

That said, I've been playing around with placement a lot with these speakers. They sound quite a bit different every which way I've tried, floor, 10" up, 18" up with angled riser, 30" up no riser as I mentioned in my original post. After playing around I think once they're raised off the floor enough
the tilt back the riser gives them is unnecessary. I think if you go 18"
or higher they sound better level rather than tilted back, and
considering raising them up a few inches some makes them about as high
as a Cornwall which has no tilt-back -- this makes sense. However they don't
sound bad raised and tilted back, it's just a weird sound space, a
little less directional and some tracks I am very familiar with sounded
strange or different. Not bad but not my final positioning choice.

I can totally agree with the suggestions of 16",18", 20" or so being good heights. The imaging and soundstage do improve, at the cost of bass extension of course. However at this point we're treating the H-III as a super-sized bookshelf speaker rather than a floorstander. And that's what I'm essentially replacing. I was running RB-81's as my main 2ch stereo speakers so my H-III's are filling those shoes. I had demoed some H-III's in my system some time ago so I knew I wanted these as an upgrade to the RB-81's (as opposed to say, the P-17B although given the chance I would love to put those head to head with the H-III's in my system) but I was never sure about placement demands.They are definitely more detailed and analytical than the Reference sound that's for sure.

Right now I put them back level on the 30" stands I have but I moved them about a foot back toward the rear wall. They are level on the stands. Also I am using subwoofers as I originally explained so I have plenty of bass down into the low 30's crossed over at around 60 hz (H-III are spec'd down to 58hz +/- 3db). One of my problems was that I found one of the amps on one of my subs was going bad, so I ordered, received, and installed a replacement from Klipsch. Now that both subs are functioning properly the system sounds a lot better. Also placing them further back towards the back wall seemed to help for some reason (and it helps the multi-channel mode by getting them closer to the TV panel).Someone once mentioned to me about the 3-way Heritage stuff that being a little further away wasn't necessarily a bad thing as it gives the sound from mid and high horns a chance to fully "meld together". Not sure how true that is but I do like being a bit further away. I think it helps the big 12" woofer meld with the subwoofer better too. Another aspect to this whole exercise is I think since the speakers are brand new they are still breaking in a bit. I have noticed that the midrange is firming up over time, at first it was a little "smeared" for lack of a better term (this is as opposed to the H-III pair which were thoroughly broken in that I previously demoed a few years back) but it has cleaned up.

Since I'm sort of happy with them on the 30" stands for now I think I'd like to try 20" stands as a comparison. It definately matters where the horns are in comparison to the ears. I'm not sure I want them as low as 16 or less if only for the multi-channel set up. But that's really a compromise in my set up. If this were a pure 2ch only set up I wouldn't care where they were as long as I liked it the best.

I've also heard a lot about the Forte, I've never heard a pair of them but would love to some time.

Any more suggestions or comments, I would love to hear. I know there are lots of you guys out there running Heresy's... Part of the fun is just tweaking around anyway right?

I will say no matter where I put them I like them. That an the three channel L/C/R array of Heresy's for my home theatre is really killer it sounds absolutely amazing. For my money there is no better brand/type of speaker on the market for home theatre than Klipsch.

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I have the Hersey II. I do not like the overall sound with them on the floor, against the wall. As you mention they sound boxy, or rather the imaging suffers. Also, I do not like the impression of sound coming from below my sight line. My issue to bear alone, of course, but still not my preference.

After changing the position around the room I found they image best out away from back wall, mid horns at about ear level, and near the side walls. A sub fills in the bass but there is still a high end tilt that leaves the low mids and upper bass thin. The only cure there was to rebalance the mid/high to pad down the response about 3dB.

In the end you no longer have a truly original Heresy configuration. I am convinced that the upward tilt to the response I hear is purposeful in the original design that assumes near-boundary positioning against wall and floor. In this position the bass diffraction is mitigated and you get a more even response from upper bass up through the high end.

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In the end you no longer have a truly original Heresy configuration. I am convinced that the upward tilt to the response I hear is purposeful in the original design that assumes near-boundary positioning against wall and floor. In this position the bass diffraction is mitigated and you bet a more even response from upper bass up through the high end.

Very interesting point. That makes a lot of sense, since the way I understand it the original purpose of the Heresy was as a center speaker in a three speaker array with Klipschorns that were placed too far apart in their requisite corners to properly generate a center image -- to fill the hole so to speak. The pictures I've seen of such a vintage setup show the Heresy placed between the two K-Horns on the floor and generally up against the wall. I mean it seems to me that any stereo Heresy configuration really isn't original to the purpose of the speaker. But then again the H-III was re-vamped with stereo use in mind...

Also what you're saying about the low mids and upper bass seems to be the area where I'm having issues with the sound of these speakers. But I'm also fighting a live room with a high ceiling and a horrible buzz echo that I need to dampen with something. I think this is exacerbating some of the mid-band "smearing" in the room that I'm experienceing. When I dial the volume way back the sound cleans up considerably. I'm generally listening at about half to 2/3rd's the volume (absolute SPL, not dial position) I used to with the RB-81's (which isn't necessarily bad since the H-III's sound pretty sweet at lower volume, there's just not so much "grip" or "punch" for certain types of music unless you can "rev" it up some).

Of course there's always the issue of good vs. bad recordings. The Heresy as well as pretty much any Klipsch speaker or any extremely high efficiency speakers in general are very revealing of recordings. I read a review of the H-III where the reviewer called it a "garbage in, garbage out" speaker which I agree with; if the recording is crap the H-III's will tell you so. And I have found some recordings sound much better than others, speaker placement having less of an effect on these recordings than the poorer ones; this was true of the RB-81's and is the same with the H-III's.

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I'm not sure if PWK really cared about placement height insofar as the orignal Heresy was intended as a center.... After all, it's a heresy... LOL!!!

There are an infinite numbers of "combos", so to speak. Assuming the amps are what you like..., Several factors involved:

roomsize and room configuration

room acoustics (a biggy....)

Where you sit and how high is your sitting position

SPL level at which you comfortably listen

Given these factors, you may wish to try varying heights all the way up to 48-52"; Also try placement, including placing them in corners, on axis with your listening position. In each of these cases, you have to sit down and listen to several pieces of music with which you are very familiar. You also need to take about a 10 minute break between each test position to allow your ears to re-adjust.

What works for me may not work for everyone else. I use the Heresy's in "arrays" and it's based upon years of experimentation, and having Forum members sit down and give me critical reviews of what they hear.

The "best" single Heresy pair placement (for me) is at 54" off the ground, in the corners with about 1/2" gap between the cabinet edge and the wall, and on a stand in which the shelf on which they sit is a Klipschorn "top" that is sealed into the corners (I just stick them on top of the K'horns).

But that may not be practical.

Look at it this way.... If.... the riser was removed, how high would the speaker have to be to achieve the same "attack" angle for the bass driver. Start from that point, and have fun.

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Iused a set of Rubbermaid 4200 step stools under my H IIs. They raise them up about 9 inches. Really helped a lot, and my H IIs still have plenty of bass. The only cost about $10 each, and if you don't like them as speaker stands, you can always use them for their intended purpose.



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