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Epic CF4 Needs overhaul


wvu80
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This is my post #1.

 

This Klipsch discussion board was highly recommended. My name is Dave, and I am in need of a little help.

 

I picked up some Epic CF4's off Craigslist today. They are in rough shape, but how rough I don't yet know. I went to wire them up and the connecting piece between the Bi-amp posts were gone, but that's OK, when I went to put some wires to connect the high pass and low pass posts, the first post fell off.

 

Here's what I know so far:

 

  • Epic CF 4 Medium Oak
  • S/N 251499124 (Speaker 1) aka Spk1
  • S/N 251499125 )Speaker 2) aka Spk2

 

The finish looks like someone used the top of it to put drinks on, it is sticky and water stained.

The side of Spk1 has a major gouge out of it.

post-58280-0-35600000-1396667745_thumb.j

post-58280-0-93160000-1396667863_thumb.j

 

The top of Spk2 has water stains on it.

All four plastic ports fell out (5" long ports)

post-58280-0-78360000-1396668014_thumb.j

S2 had a connector simply fall out

The finish in general looks sun faded, so the finish is uneven overall.

 

This will be a work in progress. All comments, suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 

What you may want to know about me, is I love speaker stuff and I've wanted Klipsch for years. This is my second Klipsch (RW-12d bought new last year). I am a rookie here, but not a posting rookie in audio, so feel free to use jargon shortcuts. I don't take things personally, so nothing you say will offend or bother me. Please feel free to speak out, and be brutally honest; I can take it. :)

 

And I always post with a smile on my face. :) :)

 

(I'll stop here and edit this first post a little more later, as I have to find how to upload pics off my hard drive)

Edited by wvu80
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Thank you, Sancho. Man, you're fast!

I just upoaded a photo, but I don't know where it went. The Picture Icon (above in Editing) keeps asking me for the URL. Suggestions?

(I'll check back in later. I'm going to try to hook up that second speaker, now.)

Edited by wvu80
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I don't take things personally, so nothing you say will offend or bother me. Please feel free to speak out, and be brutally honest; I can take it.
my sub is bigger than your sub ;)

and welcome. sounds like you got a fun project on your hands. those are always fun, time permitting.

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The easiest way I've found to post pictures is to scroll to the bottom of the post box, and click on "More Reply Options". From there, it's easy to select a photo from your computer with "Choose File", and then click on "Attach This File" as long as it is smaller than 2MB.

Welcome!

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hi. i used to own the cf-4 too. great speaker. looks like you have the series one, serial # reads 251st day of 1994. you should be able to fix the posts pretty easily, & the wood is veneer & should be able to sand it & re oil or stain it.

i have some new klipsch replacement epic woofers if you happen to need a woofer or 2.

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/148881-new-epic-cf-4-woofers/

Edited by klipschfancf4
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I don't take things personally, so nothing you say will offend or bother me. Please feel free to speak out, and be brutally honest; I can take it.

my sub is bigger than your sub ;)

That's not what your wife told me last night...

But seriously, folks...

+++

I found what was rattling around in speaker 2 (Spk2), it was the nut that held the Red binding post, so that's has got to be the easiest fix of the day!

I also learned that Klipsch attaches the XO to the back of the plastic "box" that holds the binding posts. I'm not sure it's supposed to look at in terms of age, but that XO looks awfuly clean! :) I've got pics, be patient with me a while longer.

S1 works, all three drivers, so that's good. I just tested it with on old 100wpc Pioneer receiver on radio mode. When I'm done figuring out what to do next, I'll move the speakers up to the living room with my Onkyo NR-717 TX, about 110 wpc.

Sancho said to plug it in and listen to it, then figure out what to do with it. After I brought it home, it was in such poor cosmetic condition it kind of freaked me out, and I figured it was pretty bad on the inside as well. I'll post pics, maybe it's not in as bad shape as I feared?

That's where you guys come in. B)

Edited by wvu80
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hi. i used to own the cf-4 too. (your title says CL4) great speaker. looks like you have the series one, serial # reads 251st day of 1994. you should be able to fix the posts pretty easily, & the wood is veneer & should be able to sand it & re oil or stain it.

i have some new klipsch replacement epic woofers if you happen to need a woofer or 2.

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/148881-new-epic-cf-4-woofers/

Fixed! And thanks, I hate making mistakes!

"He who corrects my mistake giveth me a gold coin."

+++

And...I'm glad you're here!

I've been lurking before I signed up, and I saw that you had two woofers. If I HAD to find them, I probably wouldn't have found them in a year! Everything seems good so far, but I'm far from done testing. I was thinking about those woofs, but I want to see where I am to see if I need them.

I was also thinking those would be pretty nice for a matched DIY MTM center speaker.

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cool, glad the post was easy. pics of the veneer tops will show how bad the stains are. the veneer is pretty thin but you will be able to improve or eliminate the marks.

hook them up & give them some power, they handle 1200 watts peak, so 110 of clean power wont hurt them. that doesnt mean full blast though, most avr receivers are maxed out around 60-75% of the volume knob. beyond that its just distorting.

i bought the woofers for backups just in case. but since i just sold the speakers to help fund some corner horns, i obviously dont need them. actually i have 3 of them. i thought a center or sub would be a good DIY idea too.

where are you located? enjoy the speakers!

Edited by klipschfancf4
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cool, glad the post was easy. pics of the veneer tops will show how bad the stains are. the veneer is pretty thin but you will be able to improve or eliminate the marks.

hook them up & give them some power, they handle 1200 watts peak, so 110 of clean power wont hurt them. that doesnt mean full blast though, most avr receivers are maxed out around 60-75% of the volume knob. beyond that its just distorting.

i bought the woofers for backups just in case. but since i just sold the speakers to help fund some corner horns, i obviously dont need them. actually i have 3 of them. i thought a center or sub would be a good DIY idea too.

where are you located? enjoy the speakers!

Outside cab pics are now posted in Post#1 (thank, Mr. Mung!) I think I 'll post some other pics in later posts so I don't end up with a ton of pics in one place.

+++

I am in West Virginia, about 2 hours from Columbus, 2.5 to Cincinatti, 2.5 to Pittsburgh.

+++

These speakers are looking really clean on the inside, and I found a horizontal brace in the middle of the lower woofer, but it looks factory. The XO components look like they could have come from Parts Express last week, and they have been held in place with zip ties and hot glue melt.

Not shown is a sticker attached to the plastic Kilipsch XO box which says "assembed in Mexico." It looks out of place next to the sticker with the serial number.

post-58280-0-81160000-1396668952_thumb.j

post-58280-0-42240000-1396668971_thumb.j

post-58280-0-87120000-1396668983_thumb.j

Edited by wvu80
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xo's & mexico sticker are factory & very clean looking. the cabinets are rough but looks can be deceiving. get some 220 grit sand paper & sand lightly & carefully just to even up the finish over all, then concentrate on the rings & spots untill they are gone or improved as much as you can get them. youre working with about 1/32" veneer so dont sand to rough & go through. look at the stickers for what finish they are. if its OO thats oiled oak & all you need is some good furniture oil like boiled linseed oil to protect them & give some color back. if its laquer then you want to sand the entire cabinets evenly to remove the original thin laquer & then re-stain them with the color you like, i woudl suggest natural oak or golden oak for a little darker color, then use some minwax brand satin polyurethane to protect, either brush on or spray. spray might get a better finish if you arent goood with smoothing the brush strokes & it doesnt need to be thick at all. you can of course use laquer but its a little harder to apply & get a good finish. the poly stuff works excellent. enjoy the refinish process, the results are well worth it.

cant beleive people treat their speakers like that... why do so many high dollar klipsch speakers have water rings & stains like that?!? :angry:

Edited by klipschfancf4
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I was hoping you would weigh in at some point, Mr. CF4! :) I was lurking before I got my account yestereday, and I knew anybody with "Klipsch and CF4" in their name would have some helpful tips for my particular needs.

Also, it was helpful to know that the XO is factory. Is bracing factory, and are some sheets of foam which are placed not flat, but loosely on the sides/back, factory as well? The foam looks fairly new.

post-58280-0-72200000-1396720293_thumb.j

Here is one of the serial number tags, along with the specific color. "MEDIUM, OAK." (the s/n on speaker 2 is consecutive)

post-58280-0-53560000-1396713019_thumb.j

And what can I do about that gouge on the left side of Spk1? It's pretty deep, like it would take a wood filler to make it even with the rest of the veneer. I didn't know if filling it would make it look better or worse.

post-58280-0-08640000-1396713251_thumb.j

Edited by wvu80
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hi. glad to weigh in with some advice/opinions. i owned my epic for about 15 years & had some cf-3's too. so i am very familiar with them, but probably not as good as some other on here, moray james should chime in eventually, hes done some upgrades to his cf-3's i think.

the brace & foam is factory from what i recall. the medium oak indicates it is not an oiled finish, so re staining & a coat of poly is all thats needed. as for the gouge, if it broke the veneer then all you can do is use some wood filler, preferably one that says its "stainable" so it will at least blend into the color a bit after you stain them. or you can try some old english now & see if it hides it to your liking. minwax golden oak is the closest stain to the klipsch medium oak i have found. just put that speakers side facing in or out on the least visible side so the gouge doesnt show & bother you.

the only other thing i would suggest is to hooke em up now & play some bass heavy music at higher volumes & listen to each speaker up close listening for any cabinet vibrations, some times on these post heritage series speakers the cabinets can come loose, more so on the KLF & KG series, but worth checking before you do all the refinish work, youd want to repair the lose cabinets while you are doing other work. inquire about that if/when its a problem.

in that shape i imagine you got them for a good deal, so with a little effort you will have a great pair of speakers. IMO they are one of THE best speakers klipsch made & are very under rated & under appreciated. wish i wouldnt have sold mine.... even after owning the "mighty" k-horns. ;)

Edited by klipschfancf4
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Thanks CF4. You may not think it's much, but your comments/observations are very helpful, because I'm just not sure what I'm looking at.

Since our last coversation an hour ago I pulled the horn and got a good look inside. The foam looks very new, which is what was throwing me off. There are essentially 2 pieces of 1" thick medium/light density foam, and they are loosley of "placed" in the cab , back-to-back no stapling or gluing, in three sections, top, middle, bottom. I pulled the foam out a few inches so you could see the separation between the individual pieces.

The wire is very thick, and the casing is very pliable and soft to the touch.

The speaker is upside down so the bottom of the pic is the top of the speaker.

post-58280-0-15920000-1396718880_thumb.j

post-58280-0-75800000-1396718925_thumb.j

Edited by wvu80
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you are welcome, happy to help where i can, ive got lots of help from others on here myself about my k-horns.

the foam looks original & will usually look new as nothing really gets inside the speakers. the wire im not sure on, my cf's were series 2 & i cant recall if it was the clear jacket type wire you show. the brace looks like factory klipsch plywood scraps too but will let others confirm that one. regardless, it looks like some decent speakers & as long as the boxes dont rattle up loud you should be good to go with just cosmetic reapirs.

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The gouges look deep. Like into the substrate deep. Wood filler, even the stainable kind, will be noticeable as the wood grain will be interrupted horizontally on the speaker. That said, I would lightly sand the cabs as mentioned above to try to remove the old finish, stains, and generally level out the surface. If you can get them all nice and even, you could fill the gouge, stain, and position that side of the speaker into a corner where it is less noticeable. The tops are what you see and having them in good shape will make the side more palatable.

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The gouges look deep. Like into the substrate deep. Wood filler, even the stainable kind, will be noticeable as the wood grain will be interrupted horizontally on the speaker. That said, I would lightly sand the cabs as mentioned above to try to remove the old finish, stains, and generally level out the surface. If you can get them all nice and even, you could fill the gouge, stain, and position that side of the speaker into a corner where it is less noticeable. The tops are what you see and having them in good shape will make the side more palatable.

Wow, you have a good eye looking just through my pictures. I can put my fingernail into the gouge, and it is exactly as you describe, And as you said, I think I've got to even it out as best I can, blending into the surrounding wood, then that's about all I can do.

I did very lightly sand the gouge since my last post just to test the sanding, and sandpaper takes off that finish, fast! A damp rag took off the dust and the light areas just sanded turned much darker, and nicer looking.

I plan to follow Mr. CF4's suggestion to apply "staining & a coat of poly..." The staining I think I get, to be applied with a cloth, (or foam brush?), two coats, then go with his recommendation of Minwax Golden Oak.

027426221024lg.jpg

http://www.lowes.com/pd_45803-24-221024444_4294684394__?productId=50063941&Ntt=minwax+stains&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dminwax%2Bstains&facetInfo=

What do I use with the "coat of poly?" Will that be a rattle can application?

027426330559lg.jpg

http://www.lowes.com/pd_45873-24-33055000_0__

Or this?

020066230265lg.jpg

And, do you recommend semi-gloss, gloss, or matte finish? My instict is for semi-gloss.

+++

Last question, I promise! (for now)

The exterior wood appears to have almost micro-fractures when viewed closely, maybe from drying over the years. But it looks like some kind of wood conditioner would take care of that. Obviously I would like to preserve the wood, but I'm afraid if I put a conditioner on the finish, the stain would not absorb into the wood. Maybe the poly is the sealant I am thinking the wood needs. Suggestions?

This next product says:

  • Required before applying any Minwax Water Base Stain to get the best results
  • Helps prevent streaking and blotching to ensure a beautiful, even stain for all water-based stains

027426618510lg.jpg

http://www.lowes.com/pd_144780-90-66051H_0__?productId=3434056&Ntt=wood+condtioner&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dwood%2Bcondtioner&facetInfo=

026748066054lg.jpg

http://www.lowes.com/pd_144780-90-66051H_0__?productId=3434056&Ntt=wood+condtioner&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dwood%2Bcondtioner&facetInfo=

Again, I don't expect everybody to do my thinking for me, but I've never done this and I learn best from the experience of others (I tell my son that's the "easy way" as opposed to his way of making every mistake for himself, "the hard way." :rolleyes: )

If I were making my own game plan, I would use the Minwax pre-stain (above), the Minwax Golden Oak stain (two coats) using a rag, and then brush-on on the poly.

Feel free to suggest something better, as I prefer to do things "the easy way." I'm only going to have one shot at this, and I want to do it right.

Edited by wvu80
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I have oak KG4s and the micro fractures you are talking about is the oak grain itself. My speakers have never been smooth like a vinyl veneer because oak is inherently like this - textured. Whenever I stain I use a foam brush or rag to soak the surface. Let it sit then wipe it off. That golden oak minwax will probably give great results once the surface is the way you want it. I've tried spray cans of poly but never got the coverage I wanted. I always use a foam brush. Light coats with a light sanding in between coats will give you a good finish.

I might choose semi or satin. High gloss I think looks unnatural on speakers.

I don't know that you need the conditioner. Oak isn't known for splotchy or uneven staining. Pine is one where a conditioner is probably a good idea.

If you use the watco rejuvenating oil, you could decide not to put a top coat on. You may decide you want to, but its not absolutely required.

I just applied watco rejuvenating on my Cornwalls today. I thought about putting on an oil poly on because I like the wet look on walnut but I've not decided one way or the other.

Edited by ryanm84
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