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Klipsch CF-3 opinions


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I have had Epic CF3's vs.1's for 12 years or more now, and I have not heard another speaker that I would sell them for and I at tend Audio shows whenever possible as well as visit high end audio shops. The Epics do what a great many speakers just can't do. Concert level effortless slam when cranked and yet also excel at low level listening for late night sessions.  They have powerful bass and the highs are smooth.   They are well worth the asking price and more, in my humble opinion.  I have not heard a great many of the older Klipsch speakers and so can't compare.  But I have heard 100's of speakers costing from 5000 to 50,000 dollars and on so many levels they just can't touch some  ofthe great qualities of the Epic line. I myself give much props to Roy Delgado in their creation.

I too am a Delgado fan. His pro cinema units are some of the best Two Channel speakers I have listened to.

Correct me if wrong... My understanding is that the Epic was his first solo design for Klipsch. ??? And at that time the Trax equation (the horn) was not well received by PWK. ???

In my forty four years of owning multiple Klipsch speakers and chasing great sound systems I have listened to one Epic speaker. (the big ones I think)

All said and to play the dark one: If they are wonderful, why were they made for only two or so years?


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All said and to play the dark one: If they are wonderful, why were they made for only two or so years? tc


I wasn't around then, but this is the generally accepted story. 


Klipsch was known for horn driven speakers that had what I'll call a "characteristic sound," whatever that means. 


When the CF-4 started its three-year run in 1994 a LOT of listeners felt the Roy Delgado designed speaker just knocked it out of the park with the sound.  It was powerful, articulate, punchy, but dealers complained that it didn't "sound" like Klipsch speakers. 


Changes were made in the second year to accommodate the dealer's feedback, because ultimately it was they who had to sell them to the Klipsch buyer.  Traditional Klipsch owners stayed away in droves, and the changes were generally considered not to sound as good as the first year, so more changes were made.


In that third and final year of 1996 still more changes were made and dealers still didn't like them and potential buyers felt like earlier models sounded better than later models.  Again, the consensus thinking was that the third version didn't sound as good as the first two versions, and therefore it didn't sell as well as it needed to for production to continue, which makes sense, so the Epic series was dropped. 


I don't know that any of what I've typed is true, I wasn't there and I don't have any inside information.  It would take someone like Chief Bonehead to confirm any of what I've said, but one truism tends to pass the test of time;


Follow the money.  B)

Edited by wvu80
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Thanks to all, took Avguytx's advice and hit a carpet store.  Modified my xovers to match series I and now have 5.5" long port tubes approximately.  Next step is refinishing them.  Vinyl on front baffle is crackling along the bottom...will likely remove it and either remove the drivers/paint the baffle black or possibly remove all the black vinyl from the face and stain it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

I just joined the elite Epic crowd. A pair of CF-3's came up for $500 CDN on kijiji. I offered him $600 sight unseen to seal the deal.


I have owned Forte ii's, Quartet's, Heresy 1's and 2's, Tangent 500's, RF-3's and currently have Cornwall 1's and Cornwall 2's for my daily music enjoyment.


Cornwalls are very impressive, even the original version. But these CF-3's have everything the Forte ii's had in the midrange and more, with more bass slam and detail.


My CF-3's are the version 3, so the lesser of the lot, but I cannot  imagine them sounding any better.


I would not hesitate to buy any CF-3 or CF-4 that comes your way.








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The serial number places it's manufacture in late '95. By all accounts the version 1 and 2 were finished by then. I also popped the the HF driver out to have a look inside and the wiring was the standard multi-coloured variety. The earlier versions are supposed to have clear jacketed wiring.


The ports are also short. I will likely play with longer port tubes, but I honestly can't see them bringing the low end noticeably lower. They really pound nicely as is. The bass lines in the Black Sabbath songs you never hear on the radio run deep and clear. 


I should mention I am running two NAD 272 amps bridged, one amp to each channel, at a modest 300 watts RMS per side. My 12 year old son will notch the bass up about 3db when he listens to them, but I usually leave everything flat.


I have ALWAYS found Klipsch speakers to benefit from having a healthy reserve of power to push them.


In spirited listening I seldom pass 9 o'clock on the volume. At 11 o'clock the tears are blown back from my eyes (hyperbole), and I have yet to venture past noon on any Klipsch I have owned.



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Yes, the Epics really pound on the bass, my CF3's never fail to impress either and i agree that they like power. I have a Crown K2 on mine.  The reason I asked about the version you have is that the drivers appear in your pic to be grey in color.  The 3rd version had different drivers and were black.  The horn in the earlier versions was also grey in color and was painted black in the 3rd version.   

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  • 4 years later...

Good Morning All:


Looking at the date of the last posting, I'm obviously 4 years late to the game. 

So, I've been searching and researching for a good pair of front speakers so; I settled on the Klipsch RF7-III's.  Given the price-point and not ready to take a gamble on $4K pair of speakers, I decided to try a pair of used Klipsch speakers...you know, a sorta try before you buy....   

I luckily (on 24 Dec 2020) pulled up a listing for a pair of CF-3's Ver.1's so, I grabbed them.  I paid $650 for the pair and did validate their authenticity (Ver. 1); Also, they  had Dynamat dampening applied to the horns and speaker baskets, Crossover capacitors were upgraded with Mundorf EVO and Claritycap film capacitors. Now, some may say I paid too much for them but I figured that $650 vs $4K may not be so bad.  Let me say that I'm soooo impressed with these speakers.  Never knew that speakers could sound good.  And it seems like the more power you throw at them, the better they sound.  I'm not disappointed at all.  Right now, I have a pair of Outlaw M2200 monoblock driving them until I hook them up to my Emotiva XPR-2.  Cant wait to hear them then.  So, I wonder; if the CF-3's sound this good, what about the RF7-III's?  Thanks for allowing me to post.

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