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RF-7 II review and competitors?


Premsaggar
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Hi everyone,

 

I have the RF-7 II towers from klipsch and I really like them. I've tested them vs many other speakers and while the RF-7 is not perfect it is the best speaker for us because:

 

Pros:

1) It's really loud. Much louder than any other speaker we've heard and it manages to be loud without noticeable distortion. When testing them I played them so loud I had to take cover behind the couch sometimes!

2) The horn tweeter sends sound everywhere. I find it's soundstage to be massive.

3) While it does not have the most bass we've heard (Martin Logan 60XT had the most bass) it is the 2nd best and it manages to put out lots of bass cleanly at high volumes.

4) My wife calls it the "Party Speaker". I ask her what does she mean by that and she replies "If you want to have a party that's the speaker"... Ok, so she likes them. I like them too :)

 

To be fair, here are the cons of the RF-7 II.

Cons:

1) The plastic glued on feet have fallen off my new RF-7 II speakers! I can easily reglue them and this only happened since I was testing them and moving them around our carpetted room.

2) The high frequency tweeter while detailed, loud, and bright, does sound a little less refined and slightly "staticy" to me when I'm comparing it against other speakers e.g., Martin Logan 60XT and the SVS Ultra tower

3) It would have been nice to have a magnetic speaker grill

 

That being said they're really good and I think they are great as Front speakers in a large room that needs volume.

 

I'm wondering if other people have similar feedback on the RF-7 IIs? Is there a better speaker in the Klipsch lineup than the RF-7 II for a large home theater?

 

Thanks so much everyone,

Prem

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I've never heard the RF-7ii, but your review was excellent, and it seems to be consistent with other reviews I've read.

 

In what configuration did you test, 2.0 vs 2.0 full range, or did you use a sub?  Also, what AVR or amp did you use, and how much power?  I think most would agree these particular Klipsch like power.

 

Thanks for the review.  Pics are also highly appreciated.   B)  

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As far as competition, my buddy who works at Magnolia came over to my house Thursday night to hear my system. He said they were a little bright for his tastes.......go figure though, he has the BW CM9's. I've never heard the CM9's but I have no doubt that while his may sound better for music, the RF7II's will easily best his for HT applications. 

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 slightly "staticy" 

 

Klipsch stuff seems to often be "revealing", meaning it like computers... garbage in, garbage out.  If you hear static and high end stuff that shouldn't be there, its probably because that's what you're feeding it.  Some of my favorite recordings sounded totally different when I switched because I instantly realized that it simply wasn't a good recording.  Other manufacturers seem to boost different frequencies as well, so music sometimes sounds better and more colorful.  The martin logans you mentioned are a good example, the ribbon tweeters they use sound insane on some material such as acoustic guitars.  I've heard some, its amazing.  That doesn't necessarily mean they are as accurate but they for sure are super fun to listen to.  I heard them back to back with some nice Bowers and Wilkins that everybody raves about, and the B&W sounded SUPER boring comparatively.  B&W powered by a high end Marantz receiver shouldn't sound bad at all but they were really dry compared to the Martin Logan's.  

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters
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If he is talking about the rubber pad on the bottom of the foot, Yes mine fell off too. From when I first took it out of the shipping box. I placed it back under the foot and its Ok. I don't move mine much.

I had one rubber that fell off as well.  I contacted Klipsch Parts and he sent me a new foot at no charge.

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If he is talking about the rubber pad on the bottom of the foot, Yes mine fell off too. From when I first took it out of the shipping box. I placed it back under the foot and its Ok. I don't move mine much.

I had one rubber that fell off as well.  I contacted Klipsch Parts and he sent me a new foot at no charge.

Gotcha...the rubber pads under the screw-on feet of my 7ii's have not fallen off.

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If he is talking about the rubber pad on the bottom of the foot, Yes mine fell off too. From when I first took it out of the shipping box. I placed it back under the foot and its Ok. I don't move mine much.

I had one rubber that fell off as well.  I contacted Klipsch Parts and he sent me a new foot at no charge.

Gotcha...the rubber pads under the screw-on feet of my 7ii's have not fallen off.

 

Hi everyone,

 

Yes I'm talking about the rubber pads on the front left and right of the speaker. I'll contact Klipsch or I'll just glue them back on.

 

I'm using a Yamaha 3040 amplifier (150 watts per channel RMS). Below is a picture of the Martin Logan 60XT and the RF-7 II I was testing with. I kept them side by side and listened to each individually.

 

 

Thanks again,

Prem :)

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What did you think of the ultra towers?

The ultra tower was a tough test for me. I had two issues with them:

 

1) Their sensitivity is rated at 88DB. Depending your room size and how loud you listen this can make it very difficult to drive them to loud levels without introducing distortion from your amplifier. Here is a page with their specs: http://www.svsound.com/speakers/ultra-series/ultra-tower

2) During testing one tower failed on me. To be fair, I've had issues with failing products from several manufacturers, which include: Definitive Technology (very buggy and I won't buy a definitive technology product), SVS, Golden Ear (even more buggy than definitive), and Klipsch (a new reference 15 subwoofer arrived defective :( ). In my opinion the best manufacturers in order of best to worst are:

a) Martin Logan best

B) Klipsch

c) SVS

d) Definitive Technology

e) Golden Ear worst

 

In regards to sensitiviy, if you are in a very large space you'll have to throw lots of power at them to get them to be loud. This poses a problem for amplifiers since the distortion increases as the power demands go up. This why Klipsch towers excel at loud volumes since they are not as clear as others at lower volumes but their high sensitivity allows them to be more clear at high volumes since the amplifier does not get stressed and introduce distortion.

 

Here are the pros and cons of the Ultra Towers:

 

Pros:

1) The most clear tweeter I have ever heard "up close". It is magnificent. However, that clarity is diminished since the speaker's sound stage which is a function of it's loudness/sensitivity is not very good. So by the time you are 20 feet away you're not hearing those fine details.

2) They look very nice

3) SVS's customer service and return policy are good

 

Cons:

1) The tower failed on me during my evaluation

2) Sensitivity is very low. I consider anything less than 91DB to be inneficient.

3) The bass did not impress me. It's there at the lowest levels (< 30hz) but the RF-7 II at $1600, has much more bass. The logan 60XT has thunderous bass and is more efficient as well at 94DB. Now both the Logan and RF-7 are $600 more expensive. Or as a percentage, 60% more expensive. So that's not really fair to the SVS Ultra tower. So I'd say if you are in a smaller space and/or you have an outstanding amplifier and/or you don't listen that loud, then it may be great for you. I'll never forget how brilliant that tweeter was and that the tower failed on me :(. It was a tough test. Sometimes I think about trying them again since I probably got a bad tower and it is the best tweeer I've ever heard; however, after hearing highly sensitive speakers and given the room size I'm in it would not make sense for me. My room size is 30 feet by 30 feet with cathedral ceilings that opens up to a large open kitchen. So the space is really quite large and only the most efficient speakers will work for us.

 

Thanks,

Prem

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Prem,

 

Thank you for this. I was wondering how these performed. May I ask how the tower failed.

Hi. You're welcome. The Klipsch forum members have been very helpful to me so this is the least I could do for the community :).

 

The Ultra Tower Failed while we were playing some low frequency test tones. We were way below the power limits for the tower and my receiver. I was very surprised. The tweeter and midrange stopped outputting :(. SVS did take the tower back no questions asked and I could have ordered a new one. I was very tempted and I almost chose the SVS Ultra Tower despite the tower failure because of how incredible their tweeter is. However, given my loudness needs it did not make sense. Who knows, maybe the SVS is the one that got away ;). This audio stuff is tough!

 

Thanks,

Prem

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As far as competition, my buddy who works at Magnolia came over to my house Thursday night to hear my system. He said they were a little bright for his tastes.......go figure though, he has the BW CM9's. I've never heard the CM9's but I have no doubt that while his may sound better for music, the RF7II's will easily best his for HT applications. 

I have the CM9 S2'S and did own 2 pair of the older RF7's.  I think the CM9's sound great and are not bright to my ears, they also rock pretty good and loud. While my older 7's would flat out beat the CM9's for being loud and filling my room with pressure waves , they did a great job on movies.  Not sure how the 7ll's compare to the older 7's so i can't judge them.

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I too went to magnolia center and auditioned there "hi end theater". Mac pre + amps and b+w ct7.3 and my friend said before i could get it out " yours sounds that good" I said thanx. the salesman asked what do you have, Marantz Crown and Klipsch RF711. the salesman said "those are pretty good speakers". We were listening to Led Zep Celebration Day blu-rey

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