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KLF 20 vs Forte


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#1 Klipschtastic

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:14 PM

Ok, I know I keep asking similar questions comparing different speakers but I am really trying to settle into a long term speaker for my living room in my new home. My KLF's have bad finish as the previous owner painted them black over the original oak finish and they are chipping. I want to have speakers with a nice finish for my living room and the only decent refinish option would be black. It would be easier to buy another pair of speakers than try to refinish these satisfactorily with my limited experience on the subject.

I like a lot of things about my KLF 20's and I know I want to stick with Klipsch but not sure exactly which model to try next. I was considering Cornwalls but after reading opinions online it seems that for the price and my budget the Fortes would be a more logical next purchase since they seem to run a few hundred dollars cheaper.

My main complaint with the KLF's is that the midrange stands out a bit too much on most of the music I listen to. I can almost never get a satisfactory bass response with tone defeat on. They are CAPABLE of very powerful bass I know but it seems to take a good boost on the bass dial and sometimes loudness engaged to get them there. I need a bass increase of about 8db in my room for them to sound balanced on most rock cd's. I tried the Crites mids but they sounded muffled compared to the stock mids and took some of the air, instrument decay and size and depth of soundstage away. I would probably be more happy with mine if the mids were paded down just a tad. With the Crites mids however the speakers did seem to be more in balance. The mids played a bit lower and I could actually play rock with the tone defeat on my amp with staisfactory bass.

How do the Forte 2's in particular compre to the KLF 20's as far as bass extension? Are the mids less forward? Is the bass more impactfull with the 15 inch passive than with the dual tens? I prefer not to use a sub as I drive myself crazy messing with the adjustments.

Thanks again

Jon


Edited by Klipschtastic, 09 February 2014 - 01:17 PM.


#2 Max2

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:23 PM

Sounds like you're ready to move up a couple steps. Skip the Forte. Chorus, Chorus II or Cornwalls will fix the bass shortage and sound better doing it. You will be happy you spent a little more.


5 channel setup

Denon 4311

Oppo BDP-103 Darbee

Klipschorn's-Front

KLF C7- Center

Industrial LaScala's -Rear  

SVS PB2 Plus- Sub

 

2 channel setup

Denon 3600

KG-4's

 

Owned

Cornwall II's

KLF-30's

Belle's

Chorus I

 


#3 Ski Bum

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:36 PM

Not sure I would skip the forte. It all depends on the size of the room and placement restrictions. In the right room with good implementation fortes are tough to beat. In other cases Corns or Chorus may have a better shot at success.

Get ears on some Heritage or extended Heritage if you can. They generally have prominent mids, so may not bee to your liking.



#4 moray james

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:55 PM

Forte ll is a good speaker and you can easily re tune the passive for some additional bass extension. The KLF20 will move more air as four tens will push the equivalent of three twelve inch woofers but you will need more power to do that. KLF need to be inspected for adhesive issues on both front and back baffles. KLF20 were shipped stock with a terrible poly tweeter diaphragm. Same K79 tweeter in the Forte ll but it has a phenolic diaphragm. Both KLF and Forte ll should be upgraded to the Crites ti tweeter diaphragm. Nothing stopping you from re damping your KLF20 cabinets and extending the vents a little and you can match the Forte ll in bass extension. KLF20/30 mid horn responds well to a layer of dynamat on the back side and it will sound a lot better when fitted with a diffraction device I use a 40 mm dia ping pong ball which I hang by a thread just in front of the transition section of the horn. The motor on the smaller KLF20 woofer is the same motor as used on the Forte ll twelve inch woofer. Stock the Forte ll is tunes a little lower than a KLF20 but you can adjust both. I have owned Forte, Forte ll and KLF20 and personally I prefer the KLF20. You might consider the CF3 but they will require more power. I had a set of CF3 and sold the woofers as I prefer the KLF20 woofers. You will need to check some out and see what you think. I agree with you in not liking to mess with subs if you don't need to. Good luck and best regards Moray James.



#5 Klipschtastic

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:21 PM

Thanks for all the great replies. My living room is about 15x25 with the speakers on the short wall. My listening position puts me about 9 ft from the speakers but a lot of the time I am playing them while up and moving around or at the dining room table which is close to 20 ft away from the speakers. I have a layer of plumbers putty on the mid horns and I believe it has helped some. I also have the Crites tweeters. I am running them with the Marantz PM 6004 and it sounds a tad better than the Onkyo I was using. I was even considering moving up to the Marantz pm 8004 for the midrange control but with that much expendature I could just try a different Klipsch speaker.

Moray, I repaired one bad rear baffle and have recently noticed the front one rattling under heavy bass. Even if I stick with KLF's it may not be this particular pair because of the finish issue. It would probably be easier to wait and catch a better pair with an oak or mahogany finish than try to refinish. After that I would make extensive repairs to the cabnet. I will try extending the bass ports. Thank you.


Edited by Klipschtastic, 09 February 2014 - 03:27 PM.


#6 Ski Bum

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:34 PM

Sounds like with the improvements to the KLFs they should have it where it counts.

You may want to try some completely free and passive approaches. For example, not many folks go as far as suggested HERE. Doing so gets the main listening area further off axis and may help tame those mids. Play around with it.


Edited by Ski Bum, 09 February 2014 - 03:34 PM.


#7 klipschfancf4

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:51 PM

if the veneer is decent under the paint, meaning no chips, you can try some paint stripper. available at most hardware stores or even walmart, just brush on, let sit & wipe the messy mess off. they are some pretty good ones out there intended for fine furniture restorations. worth a try for a few bucks.

also as for the mid vs bass response issue, keep in mind that most receivers bass control is way too high in the freq range, verging on mid bass, like 120hz & up on most. better seperate pre amps like the adcom gtp400-500 series have bass control at 80hz & their version of loudness is i think closer to 50 or 60hz. night & day difference for bass response even in direct mode but when needed the bass controls & loudness boost the real bass freq, not mid-bass.

as stated above, the klf's may have more woofer space & better bass with the right power but i think the fortes are a more balanced bass with the mids/highs. i have the kg5.5 which is very close to the klf20's & i like my fortes better overall.

can i ask where you are using plumbers puty on the mids? i'm curious about trying something for my k-horns to tame the mids a bit.


Edited by klipschfancf4, 09 February 2014 - 03:53 PM.


#8 Klipschtastic

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:30 PM

Well how about this for timing. My buddy was digging around in his dad's basement today and found some old recievers and an Onkyo Integra equillizer. He brought over and I hooked it up through my old Denon reciever since the Marantz doesn't have a tape monitor. I dialed the mids down a bit from I think 2k to 5k and the bass at 64 up a bit. Wow, these speakers really rock! I was hitting spl's in the mid 90's with peaks over 100 with Metallica and AC/DC and it sounded great.Normally I'm flinching from the mids before I hit 90db. I think the Marantz has a cleaner sound than the Denon at high volume though so I may just have to get the pm8004 with tri tone controls!

Klipschfancf4. I put the plumbers putty all over the outside of the horn after removing it from the cabinet. It took a whole small tub for each speaker but I believe it was quite noticable.


Edited by Klipschtastic, 09 February 2014 - 09:33 PM.


#9 pzannucci

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:51 AM

Klipschtastic,

Unstrap the mid-tweeter and woofer straps at the connection and put one of these - http://www.parts-exp...-8-ohm--260-262

between the woofers and the midrange (substitute the straps with the l-pad).

KLFs in general like lots of current and a very good amp. A lot of Klipsch's offerings are less demanding but if you feed the KLFs right, they will return to you more than a number of other speakers.


Edited by pzannucci, 10 February 2014 - 09:53 AM.

Peter Z.

#10 Klipschtastic

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:35 PM

Thnaks pzannuci. I sent you a pm. Also, what do you mean by straps? Leads? Wires? Sorry, new at this, never closely examined the networks. I just ordered a pair with 1" shafts should I ever have the audacity to drill a hole and mount them on the rear baffles...lol.


Edited by Klipschtastic, 10 February 2014 - 04:55 PM.


#11 Max2

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:24 PM

Not sure I would skip the forte. It all depends on the size of the room and placement restrictions. In the right room with good implementation fortes are tough to beat. In other cases Corns or Chorus may have a better shot at success.

Get ears on some Heritage or extended Heritage if you can. They generally have prominent mids, so may not bee to your liking.

I didn't mean to sound like I was discounting the Forte II's. They are that good and have been dubbed "favorite" by more than one Klipsch employee I have had interactions with a decade or so ago. I just know in the past 25 years there were several times I should have saved a little more and stepped a little higher than I was shooting for. The footprint of all the KLF's, Forte's and Chorus is fairly small when compared to each other. If the OP is looking for an 8db increase in Bass, the Forte may leave things a little short and I think even the KLF-30's might not hang in there. However, A Chorus, Chorus II and Cornwall (which may be too big for OP) will put an end for the bass shortage. My pair of Chorus I's would stomp my KLF-30's in the bass department.


5 channel setup

Denon 4311

Oppo BDP-103 Darbee

Klipschorn's-Front

KLF C7- Center

Industrial LaScala's -Rear  

SVS PB2 Plus- Sub

 

2 channel setup

Denon 3600

KG-4's

 

Owned

Cornwall II's

KLF-30's

Belle's

Chorus I

 


#12 Klipschtastic

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:14 PM

Thanks max2. I have been playing around with the eq and dropping the mids between 1k and 5k by 1 or 2 db. On hard rock 2db seems to effectively pull the bass up a bit and the sound is more balanced to where I could actually use tone defeat on maybe about half my recordings as opposed to almost none of them. I believe this may be what i was experiencing with the Crites mids. Michael said the mids he has tested vary and maybe I have some louder ones. The slight muffled effect I was getting may be simply the attenuation I was getting from the Crites mids. When I dropped the mid frequencies down about 1.5 db it sounded about like i remember the Crites mids sounded. That actually had a similar effect on bringing the speakers into balance a bit more between the bass and mids. The tweeter is the Crites titanium so no complaints there. The tweets never seem excessive to me.


Edited by Klipschtastic, 10 February 2014 - 06:15 PM.


#13 pzannucci

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:38 PM

However, A Chorus, Chorus II and Cornwall (which may be too big for OP) will put an end for the bass shortage. My pair of Chorus I's would stomp my KLF-30's in the bass department.

I'm not sure you have heard the two side by side with appropriate amplification. The two 12" have the ability to put out at least as much and probably more than any of the other speakers mentioned. More cone surface area and likely one of the reasons they are used in Jubs. My home built speakers have 2 klf 20 10" woofers in each of them and they, with my Bel Canto REF 1000's, seriously shake the foundation.

I've had Cornwall IIs, Fortes IIs, and about 5 pair of K-horns, the KLFs can keep up with the best of them and with some minor tweaking are very, very good speakers. Then again, all can be tweaked and it will just be a matter of what you are looking for. Klipsch makes excellent speakers for a foundation.


Peter Z.

#14 Max2

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:48 PM

Thanks max2. I have been playing around with the eq and dropping the mids between 1k and 5k by 1 or 2 db. On hard rock 2db seems to effectively pull the bass up a bit and the sound is more balanced to where I could actually use tone defeat on maybe about half my recordings as opposed to almost none of them. I believe this may be what i was experiencing with the Crites mids. Michael said the mids he has tested vary and maybe I have some louder ones. The slight muffled effect I was getting may be simply the attenuation I was getting from the Crites mids. When I dropped the mid frequencies down about 1.5 db it sounded about like i remember the Crites mids sounded. That actually had a similar effect on bringing the speakers into balance a bit more between the bass and mids. The tweeter is the Crites titanium so no complaints there. The tweets never seem excessive to me.

Good deal. Nothing like an old school EQ to smooth things out.


5 channel setup

Denon 4311

Oppo BDP-103 Darbee

Klipschorn's-Front

KLF C7- Center

Industrial LaScala's -Rear  

SVS PB2 Plus- Sub

 

2 channel setup

Denon 3600

KG-4's

 

Owned

Cornwall II's

KLF-30's

Belle's

Chorus I

 


#15 Max2

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:11 PM

However, A Chorus, Chorus II and Cornwall (which may be too big for OP) will put an end for the bass shortage. My pair of Chorus I's would stomp my KLF-30's in the bass department.

I'm not sure you have heard the two side by side with appropriate amplification. The two 12" have the ability to put out at least as much and probably more than any of the other speakers mentioned. More cone surface area and likely one of the reasons they are used in Jubs. My home built speakers have 2 klf 20 10" woofers in each of them and they, with my Bel Canto REF 1000's, seriously shake the foundation.

I've had Cornwall IIs, Fortes IIs, and about 5 pair of K-horns, the KLFs can keep up with the best of them and with some minor tweaking are very, very good speakers. Then again, all can be tweaked and it will just be a matter of what you are looking for. Klipsch makes excellent speakers for a foundation.

I have never heard them side by side. My KLF's just always had a tower speaker kind of sound. Nice punchy bass, but seemed to miss out in the lower extension. I know they have a decent response in the lower cycle range, but it just didn't hit me in the chest like the Cornwall and Chorus did. This wasn't the reason I balked on them though, it was the big mid in the Belles I had owned previously that spoiled me. The KLF mid horn is pretty shallow and it seemed the pair I had tended to get a little edgy or maybe too "revealing" when driven with a little power. I still have the KLF-30's hooked up in my Moms setup. Maybe I should go over and give them another chance :)


5 channel setup

Denon 4311

Oppo BDP-103 Darbee

Klipschorn's-Front

KLF C7- Center

Industrial LaScala's -Rear  

SVS PB2 Plus- Sub

 

2 channel setup

Denon 3600

KG-4's

 

Owned

Cornwall II's

KLF-30's

Belle's

Chorus I

 


#16 Klipschtastic

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:59 PM

Nice discussion. It sounds like at the end of the day, the speakers we're debating may be close enough to each other that other variables such as placement, rooms and listening material may make it hard to come to a standardized conclusion. I'm going to stick with the stock mids and I ordered a pair of L-pads to knock the mids down 1 or 2 db. The eq is on loan and I can't use it with the new marantz I have anyway. The L-pad should hopefully balance things well enough that I can take advantage of the tone defeat and the nice sound of the Marantz PM6004 overall. I'll report back after I install the L-pads later this week. This is all new to me. It's getting interesting.



#17 pzannucci

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:59 PM

Max2,

Yes, the right room and electronics are key. If you don't have lots of current, the KLFs and many other ugly dual woofer loads will be whimpy. I talk up the Pioneer SC-1222 I have and think it sounds great - caveat - with the right speakers. The D3 amps are almost the same as the IcePower though using my 100watt IcePower Murano audio amps kills the Pioneer in bass response using my home built dual 13" Focal woofer speakers. Others say the 100watt IcePower have no definition or bass impact. Go figure.

The Pioneer with likely do really well with the Chorus, Cornwall, or Khorns because the impedance isn't as bad down low.

I have run an earlier version of KLF30s with a tube amp and felt they had no grunt. I now have another set of 30s with my Bel Cantos (the speakers with the 20s woofers are being refinished) and they sound very good.

When the bass can keep up, the mid shout seems to go away.


Peter Z.

#18 Klipschtastic

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:29 PM

I was just playing some rap which I don't listen to much. I used my Onkyo 9050 integrated which has a bass boost function plus I turned the dial to plus 5. All in all its probably a +13 bass boost mostly at 70hz if I remeber correctly. Anyway the klf can really put out all the bass I could ever ask for. I mean they were hammering. Floor shaking, chest punching clean bass. Like I said though the main thing with these speakers is balncing them enough to where the bass isn't overcome by the mids on rock music. They really revealed the loose baffle on one of the speakers though, sounded like a ghetto blaser car with a rattling trunk...lol.



#19 moray james

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:42 PM

Not sure I would skip the forte. It all depends on the size of the room and placement restrictions. In the right room with good implementation fortes are tough to beat. In other cases Corns or Chorus may have a better shot at success.

Get ears on some Heritage or extended Heritage if you can. They generally have prominent mids, so may not bee to your liking.

I didn't mean to sound like I was discounting the Forte II's. They are that good and have been dubbed "favorite" by more than one Klipsch employee I have had interactions with a decade or so ago. I just know in the past 25 years there were several times I should have saved a little more and stepped a little higher than I was shooting for. The footprint of all the KLF's, Forte's and Chorus is fairly small when compared to each other. If the OP is looking for an 8db increase in Bass, the Forte may leave things a little short and I think even the KLF-30's might not hang in there. However, A Chorus, Chorus II and Cornwall (which may be too big for OP) will put an end for the bass shortage. My pair of Chorus I's would stomp my KLF-30's in the bass department.

The Forte is actually the Klipsch speaker with the lowst bass response a lot lower than a Chorus or Cornwall but those speakers do output more down to 40 Hz. so there is a difference between bass extension and bass level output. The KLF20 does not play quite as low as a Forte does but that can be worked on if the op is interested. I added 2.5 ounces of dead weight to my Forte ll passive units and the speaker no plays into the upper mid 20's (Hz.). A KLF20 and a Forte have almost identical footprint size. KLF will require way more power than the Forte or CW or Chorus will but they can and will deliver with astounding authority with a good am or with a pair of 100 wat stereo amps in a vertical biamp configuration. KLF need to be checked for baffle adhesive issues they also MUST have the stock poly tweeter diaphragms in the K79 replaced with titanium diaphragms. Properly powered a pair of KLF30 push a lot more air and at lower frequencies than a CW or a Chorus can but you have to give them what they need to do that. Dont discount the CF3 and the CF4 either but they have needs as well that some modification can help with. Lots of good Klipsch out there but for the loversw of small set amps the Chorus (Chorus can take and likes more power) and CW are good choices if you want to kick but. Hope this is of interest. Best regards Moray James.