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Youthman

RF-83 vs CF-4 Comparison

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In January of 2008, I purchased my first set of Klipsch speakers....a pair of CF-2's. From that moment, I was sold on the Klipsch sound.

The CF-2's were my only experience with the Epic series. I had heard great things about the CF-3's and CF-4's but never had the opportunity to purchase a pair until recently. I purchased a pair of CF-4's in Medium Oak finish. First off, they are pretty stinkin huge. Very difficult to carry inside the house by yourself due to the bulkiness of the speaker, not to mention they weight 108 lbs.

 

I have not done any extensive testing yet but I set my fronts to Full Range and turned off my RSW-15 to see how they initially compare to the RF-83's. So far, the RF-83's have a much more refined sound to them but the CF-4 seems to have much more impact in the low region. I would expect this as dual 12" drivers have more surface area than three 8" drivers and displace more air. One thing that may be hindering bass output from the RF-83's is that in order to compare them, I have to move the RF-83's out in front of the false wall so the rear ports are about 4ft away from the front wall.

 

Just for kicks, I cranked the CF-4's up quite a bit and the louder they got, the better they sounded. A lot of punch that you feel in your chest. I can't wait to try them out for HT with the Book of Eli scene where they shoot up the house. [:D]

 

Just wanted to share a few pics of them side by side. Hopefully I can carve out some time tomorrow to do some comparison tests.

 

Klipsch-CF-4-1.jpg

Klipsch-CF-4-2.jpg

Klipsch-CF-4-3.jpg

Klipsch-CF-4-4.jpg

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Both are fantastic looking speakers. Great looking room also. The thing that sticks out the most to me though is your photography skills. I wish I has half your camera talent:)

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Those are nice Youthman, kinda' rare too. Nice find!!!.....I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

The bronze in your 83's in your bottom pic looks very cool...[H]....jewel like.....Audio Gems.......[*]....Maybe it's just due to the stark contrast of the black woofs in the CF's....With all the other (great)speakers you've put up against the 83's...I'm impatiently waiting to here a pair of these bronze and titanium beauties. And quite surprised by your findings. I would have thought the KLF's or the Chorus's sound would have bested them...I would also like to thank you for all you have shared with us, and for your obsessive compulsion for better speakers......[:P]

Your posts, at least to me are quite exciting to read and look at.

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Great pics thanks for that, but you are going to have to raise then up or you are never going to know what they can do. Matters not what you get them up on for this just raise them so the centre of the horns are at your ear level when you are seated. That's where the magic lives. Best regards Moray James.

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but you are going to have to raise then up or you are never going to know what they can do. Matters not what you get them up on for this just raise them so the centre of the horns are at your ear level when you are seated. That's where the magic lives.

Makes pretty good sense to me.[Y]

Bill

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Michael,

Those CF-4's are crazy big and I bet they can really thump you in the chest and even throw your heart rhythm off kilter.[li] I bet they could restart your heart if it stopped. Good suggestion by Moray to raise them up a bit to line the horns to your ears. I am interested to hear your findings when you get more time to demo them against your 83's.

I'm impatiently waiting to here a pair of these bronze and titanium beauties. And quite surprised by your findings. I would have thought the KLF's or the Chorus's sound would have bested them.

I think many would be surprised just how good the upper Reference IV(63's and 83's) speakers really are and how good they stack up to some of Klipsch better designs. I too have AB'd my RF-63's with some of the good ones, Heresys, Heresy II's, Quartet's, and fortes(not KLF's or CF's) and IMO, they don't take a back seat to any I have compaired. They really are smooth and refined with tight and controlled bass and a really nice deep and wide soundstage. As I have mentioned before, I think the RF-63's(and 83's) are the most 3-way sounding 2-way speaker in the Klipsch arsenal.

Bill

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I saw a set for sale around the Tampa area a while back. Would love to try em out, but they are just too big for my bedroom.

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Youthman, like the others have said, those CF-4's look beautiful. I've never heard that line myself, but from all the praise they get from Moray James and other fellow members I would definitely like to hear a pair some day. I'm assuming you got a good deal on them, otherwise we probably wouldn't be talking about them right now [:P] Will you be keeping these guys or will they be finding new homes in the furture?

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Youthman, like the others have said, those CF-4's look beautiful. I've never heard that line myself, but from all the praise they get from Moray James and other fellow members I would definitely like to hear a pair some day. I'm assuming you got a good deal on them, otherwise we probably wouldn't be talking about them right now Stick out tongue Will you be keeping these guys or will they be finding new homes in the furture?

I agree 100%!!! Very nice speakers. I too would love to hear them. I have a lot to learn.... How is the sound compared to the 83's? How would you describe the RF7 Classic compared to the 83?

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Nice pair of speakers! You sure do find a lot of nice Klipsch speakers in your neck of the woods. It has been pretty dry here in the Houston area for a bit, nothing good on Craigslist in awhile over here. I make it a point to check it at least every few days. Looking forward to your review. How do you like the Chorus lls?

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The thing that sticks out the most to me though is your photography skills. I wish I has half your camera talent:)

Thanks for the kind words. I've still got a LOT to learn but have learned what works in my room lighting conditions. It also helps greatly that the objects to be photographed are inanimate. Moving subjects are much harder to photograph.

Those are nice Youthman, kinda' rare too.
Nice find!!!.....I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

I have owned 2 pair of CF-2's but don't believe I have ever even seen a pair of CF-4's in my area until now.

The bronze in your 83's in your bottom pic looks very cool...Cool....jewel like.....Audio Gems.......

Audio gems...has a nice ring to it.

I'm impatiently waiting to here a pair of these bronze and titanium beauties.

I
absolutely have enjoyed my 83's. Amazing for HT and when setup
properly, have a beautiful sound for 2ch. When I have them behind my
false wall, they do not sound as good for 2ch due to the "constraints"
of the area they are placed within. It changes the acoustics. For HT,
it doesn't seem to effect it.

And
quite surprised by your findings. I would have thought the KLF's or the
Chorus's sound would have bested them..

So far, the CF-4's
have some very similar qualities of the KLF-30's that I owned. Lots of
punch in the lower region (maybe slightly more with the KLF-30's but
not much).

I would also like to thank you for all you have shared with us

I
know this community has been a HUGE help to me over the past few
years. I have learned so much hanging out here and learning from the
great audio minds.

your obsessive compulsion for better speakers......

[:P]
It really has turned into a quest of experience and knowledge. I
really enjoying the different Klipsch speakers and their uniqueness. My
desire isn't to find something better than the RF-83's as I do not feel
they are lacking for my needs. I'm 80% HT, 20% music and they are
absolutely fantastic for HT. I've never owned better speakers in my
life for HT. They are in mint condition and cherry is my favorite
finish so they will likely be in my posession for many, many years to
come.

Your posts, at least to me are quite exciting to read and look at.

As you can tell, I like to talk and I like photography. Just glad to share with like minded people that can appreciate both.

Great pics thanks for that, but you are
going to have to raise then up or you are never going to know what they
can do. Matters not what you get them up on for this just raise them so
the centre of the horns are at your ear level when you are seated.
That's where the magic lives.

Thanks Moray, I may try
and place them in chairs just to see if I can hear the magic you are
describing. Would it be the same if I just angled them upwards so the
tweeter is in line with my ears?

I bet they can really thump you in the chest and even throw your heart rhythm off kilter.

No doubt. Lots of power in the lower register.

[quote
user=willland]I think many would be surprised just how good the upper
Reference IV(63's and 83's) speakers really are and how good they stack
up to some of Klipsch better designs.

I have A/B my
RF-83's against RF-7, Chorus II, KLF-30's and now CF-4 and although they
each sound amazing in their own respect, I in no way felt that my 83's
were inferior. In order to get rid of my 83's, I would likely have to
find a speaker that absolutely blew them away. Needless to say, I
haven't found them yet. [;)]

They really
are smooth and refined with tight and controlled bass and a really nice
deep and wide soundstage.

Couldn't agree more. [Y]

they are just too big for my bedroom.

You would have to resolve to sleep on them Charles as they are very large indeed. [:P]

Youthman, like the others have said, those CF-4's look beautiful.

Thanks
cviper. They are very nice looking speakers (although Oak is not on my
favorite finish). Hopefully you will have an opportunity sometime to
give them a listen. Great speakers for sure.

I'm assuming you got a good deal on them, otherwise we probably wouldn't be talking about them right now Stick out tongue

There might be some truth in that statement. [:P]

Will you be keeping these guys or will they be finding new homes in the furture?

These
were not purchased with the intent of keeping. I really can only
accomodate one system in my HT and the agreement from my wife was I
could have a dedicated HT if I didn't bring speakers into the rest of
the house. I can live with that. I have enjoyed owning, demoing and
A/B speakers and sharing my thoughts and photos with the Klipsch
community. I have a few more that I would like to own that I have on my
Klipsch Bucket List (ie La Scalas, RB-75, RB-81, Forte II and Khorns if I can find them at a rediculously low price). Other than those, I'm not sure there is anything I really have a desire to buy.

I have a lot to learn....

Even with 8544 posts, I myself have a lot to learn. There is always something new to learn and this is a great place to do so.

How is the sound compared to the 83's?

I'll share my thoughts on them soon. I want to spend more time comparing. Stay tuned.

How would you describe the RF7 Classic compared to the 83?

Check out these two threads where I did some A/B of RF-7 and RF-83. Maple RF-7's in the House and A New Love and Appreciation for the RF-7's.

You sure do find a lot of nice Klipsch speakers in your neck of the woods.

It
comes and goes here in FL. At one point, there were all kinds of crazy
deals to be had, especially when the economy tanked. People were
unloading their gear to pay bills.

I make it a point to check it at least every few days
You
will miss a lot of fantastic deals that way. I have a Craigslist app
as well as an email notification. Ok, maybe I am obsessive. [:P]

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Tilting won't do the same thing as raising the speakers. Chairs would be fine for a quick audition. Personally I am not a WTW configuration fan I prefer to have the woofer vertically stacked with the horn on top like the RF series. The advantage the CF4 has is that the crossover is lower than any of the RF speakers and the horn is larger as well thats where the real magic, Thank you Roy. Best regards Moray James.

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You are right, that horn is massive. 2-3 times larger than what's on my 83's. [:o]

When I first got my 83's, I had the CF-2's side by side and the first thing I noticed was the RF-83's had a "taller" "wall of sound". The CF-2's sounded great but they sounded small (even short) if that makes sense. I too prefer the horn higher. Not really sure what the logic of having a horn fire at your stomach instead of your ears (CF-2 fired at your knees).

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You hae to remember the time that the Epic came out people were just not going topurchase such tall loudspeakers even today they complain and buy smaller speakers which fire directly into the back of their overstuffed soffa's. Cost of cabinet was also another issue. There is no way around it the horn has to ve on ear level. A nice four post stand will get the job done and look like a million bucks at the same time. When you hear the difference you will be impressed. Best regards Moray James.

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Nice find Youthman. You don't just find speakers, but speakers in excellent condition! I think Florida should be named Klipsch country, lol.[8-|]

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Nice find Youthman. You don't just find speakers, but speakers in excellent condition! I think Florida should be named Klipsch country, lol.

I'm finding a lot of people in Florida are downsizing due to economy and non-essential items (ie audio gear) is some of the things they are willing to unload. I'm just happy to be there when they unload them. [;)]

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I sat down tonight to do some comparison between the RF-83's and the CF-4's. Unfortunately, I have a cold and my hearing is pretty dull but it's the only time I have had this week to break away to listen to them.

The CF-4's definitely beat the RF-83's in the lower register. Whether I was listening to music or movies, the CF-4's have an "impact" that you can feel with authority. The dual 12's in these really pound without a subwoofer. I bet these would be amazing for rock music (I'm thinking about the kick drum in "Enter Sandman" by Metallica).

The CF-4's were a bit brighter than the RF-83's but most of the time, I preferred the smoothe vocals in the 83's over the CF-4's. Morray, I did attempt to raise the CF-4's on a pair of bookshelf speakers that I have but they just felt too unstable. I'll have to get a pair of cement blocks to put under them to see how that changes the sound of the horn.

My wife had already gone to bed so I was not able to really crank them up to see how they compared at higher volumes. I'll save that for another day.

IMO, the CF-4's are pretty fantastic speakers. I keep coming back to the word "impact". These literally move you.

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I keep coming back to the word "impact". These literally move you.

Nothing like those two 12 in. drivers! Can't wait to hear how they sound after you get a chance to really crank up the volume.

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Hey Youthman,

Congrats on your recent speaker purchase and also on the great room you created. I have the CF3's, which have been with me for the last 7 years, and am still impressed with them. Mine sit on 2" thick paving stones on their speaker spikes, then, I placed some little 1 1/2" risers on the front spikes to get the horn higher and angle the speaker a bit more towards the listening position. I agree with you regarding their impact, they do have that, and it is the reason I run mine full range in my theater. They can handle it and have great tight slam. It also doesn't hurt to have a Crown K2 powering them.

One way to explore how they might sound when set up at ear level, is simply to sit on the floor. That involves a little less lifting of 100 pound speakers to demo that.

Enjoy.

Marc

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No chance to crank them today Derrick. Was still sick, took Z pack and the antibiotic knocked me out for a few hours. Probably needed the rest anyways. Then we had a Super Bowl party at church. Maybe tomorrow when I get home I can put some juice to them.

Congrats on your recent speaker purchase and also on the great room you created.

Thx Marc. My HT was put together over a period of about 2 years as good deals have become available and finances have allowed.

They can handle it and have great tight slam.

Agreed [Y]

It also doesn't hurt to have a Crown K2 powering them.

I would imagine they would not have near the impact without my Parasound amp feeding them.

One way to explore how they might sound when set up at ear level, is simply to sit on the floor. That involves a little less lifting of 100 pound speakers to demo that.

Funny you should say that, I actually did that. [:D]

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