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cf4's vs. Khorn's review


alexg5775
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This is my first review of any speaker or any audio product i have ever heard, FYI.

A little back ground. I started with the rf-82's with pioneer receiver, then la scalas with two marantz ma700's monoblocks, then my khorns which i had a b&k 2220 on them, then changed up between a restored fished 500c and a marantz 2252b receiver for khorns. I now have the cf4's which have been modded  (link with mods below) being driven by the marantz 2252b for highs and a crest ca6 pro amp (350 watts at 8 ohms) for the woofers. Speakers are being passively biamped.I have a Bushmaster mkII DAC. I also have a thtlp horn sub powered by a dayton sa1000 sub amp, however, review is with sub not in use.

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/151115-epic-cf4-mods-amp-rack-build/

I am 30 years old and live in Miami. I listen to mostly techno/house music, rest is descending order is spanish music, hip hop/r&b, country, rock.

Khorn are from 1987 and have crites ct125 tweeter and type A-4500 crossovers, just under two years old. Rest of speaker is stock. Khorns were tucked into corners as they should be. Cf4's were raised 24" of floor. Room is 13 feet x 20 feet with 8 foot celing, opens into kitchen and stairs, tile floors, khorns and cf4's were tested on short wall.

K horns with 500c

The music sounds very non fatuiging. Music sounds more REAL, more presence. The music was warm, as it should be, and very dynamic. Music had this special bloom sound to it. This combo especially shinned at producing the human voice, producing musical instruments as they should sound. Were i did feel this combo did lack was in the overall robustness and power for the lower frequencies. It did not have that slam with authority which i craved. The bass could be just a tad on the sloppy side.

K horns with marantz 2252b

The bass reponse i felt was SLIGHTLY improved than with the 500c. Just a little more pronounced, a little tighter, a little more authority. The music was not as musical on the top end. The 500c was noticeably more real sounding, a little warmer, more dynamic, more musical.

I also used the 500C and marantz 2252b on my pair of heresy II with very similiar outcome as above. The khorns obviously had a much bigger sound, got louder, hit lower, and sounded better on both units.

Cf4's with 500C

The 500C sounded very similiar on the cf4's compared to the khorns. The music was very non fatiguing. Very musical. Had a certain bloom to it. I feel i can give a slight edge to the cf4s on highs and lows. Bass was slightly better on the cf4's, the highs was close on cf4's and khorn. Slightly tigher and more robust bass on the cf4's than the khorns.

Cf4's with marantz 2252b and Crest ca6 biamped

The highs were very close to the 500C but did not have this musicality of the 500C. I even ran the 500c on one of the tweets, the 2252b on the other tweet of other cf4 and turned woofers completely off and the differance was hard to find but after extended listening i was able to tell the differance. The 500C sounded better. more of this bloom and musicality that is hard to describe. Once i cranked up the woofers with the crest, and tweets on the marantz 2252b thats were the magic lied. I did not think that woofers carried to much information, the tweeter alone sounded soooo empty, so much music missing, but when the woofers were fired up (with the crest amp biamped) i was stunned. The tonality of the bass, the slam factor, tight, punchy bass. I mean off the walls! These speakers sound amazing with hip hop and bass heavy music. Biamping these speakers i am able to tame the tweeter and bring the bass up and it sounds much better than not being biamped. There is a midrange/midbass that comes out of these woofers than appear to be almost inaudable in the khorns. In my mind i tell my self "wow", makes this much of a impression of me. The over all sound is efforless, i feel like the tweeters and woofers are not struggling and while are producing high spl. By this time you are screaming in the room. The sound stage is phenominal. The way the music comes at you is great. Maybe it the tweeter between the woofers? Bringing them up made a HUGE differance. Over all tone, dimentionality of music, bass slam effect, crystal clear highs, low distortion. I cant get enough of these.



Like i said before i do preffer the sound of the 500c over the marantz BUT the way i am biamping (using marantz preouts to crest) fisher not having these preouts it would be impossible to biamp the fisher, this makes me very sad;/  This being said cf4's DO sound better with marantz/crest combo than 500c alone. BUT you are comparing 350watts just for woofers and being able to tame the tweeter through biamping, than to just the 35watts tube power the 500C has, which pushed the cf4's to incredible spl levels regardless.

If i were to listen to pure jazz or classical or maybe music with not to many bass lines i would preffer the 500C BUT i do listen to heavy bass music so i must pick the marantz/crest combo over the 500c. In both instances i would pick the cf4's over the khorns. The cf's tweeter is just a few inches higher than the khorn tweet and i think this made a differance. I feel the EV dh1506 compression drivers and the horns in the cf4's are superior to the ct125 tweets and k-55-m (squaker) on the khorn. The dh1506's just seem to get louder, while mainting clean clear sound and honestly i just feel they sound better. The khorn have the horn bass which bounces of the corners of the room then reaches your ear. I always thought the khorn bass somehow had to much distortion and a little muddy, although it did hit low. I liked the clean bass/mid bass from the la scala better. I DO feel like the la scala bass was tighter and cleaner than the cf4 BUT the cf4 do have more output, more slam and bass in your chest. Although ported (i never was to fond of ported box bass) the bass seems to hit just about as low as the khorn, just a tad more umph in the lower region, much more umph in the upper bass, cleaner, clearer, tighter bass for sure. This is of course being biamped.

I know in a way this is not fair comparing a modded cf4 to almost stock khorn, and also the cf4 bring biamped the khorn not, however, even with mods the cf4 cost ME less and are smaller, weigh less, and about the same in $ in amplification compared to khorns.
 

Just FYI i wrote this review a few months ago and never posted it. the khorns have long been sold.

 

Please feel free to leave all suggestions and opinions.

Alex

 

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excellent review, thanks for posting. 

 

did you do much listening/comparing of the cf-4's before the mods?  curious to hear your thoughts on how the mostly stock epics compared to the k-horns....  i understand the new mid driver made a big difference in the sound, but the stock woofers are the same & are what is making the "better" bass you heard.  based on that i am not surprised you liked the epics bass more than the k-horns, i understand ported enclosures technically produce more distortion than a horn loaded enclosure, but, i have read many that agree it is a better sensation of bass & thats the first thing i noticed when i "upgraded" to the k-horn.  while they do sound good & on the right recordings have great chest impacting slam, but compared to the dual 12" of the epics, with good power, it just seemed like a more overall balance of the bass to mids than the k-horns had. 

 

thanks again for the review. 

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excellent review, thanks for posting. 

 

did you do much listening/comparing of the cf-4's before the mods?  curious to hear your thoughts on how the mostly stock epics compared to the k-horns....  i understand the new mid driver made a big difference in the sound, but the stock woofers are the same & are what is making the "better" bass you heard.  based on that i am not surprised you liked the epics bass more than the k-horns, i understand ported enclosures technically produce more distortion than a horn loaded enclosure, but, i have read many that agree it is a better sensation of bass & thats the first thing i noticed when i "upgraded" to the k-horn.  while they do sound good & on the right recordings have great chest impacting slam, but compared to the dual 12" of the epics, with good power, it just seemed like a more overall balance of the bass to mids than the k-horns had. 

 

thanks again for the review. 

 

 

You know i reread my review now and it might sound like i am bashing the khorns just a little. That was not my intention, i think they are great, AMAZING speakers, however, my review was 100% honest.

 

When i first got my cf4's i listen to them a few weeks then i did all the mods at the same time. there was now way to do one mod and listen, then another mod and listen, etc. This would have taken WAY to much time and driven me crazy. It would be extremely difficult or impossible to compare the stock cf4 to the khorn and the modded cf4 to the khorn. I can tell you the cf4 sounded AMAZING completely stock and i would have not spent the time and $ i spent modding them if i was not blown away from them.

 

The biggest and best mod i did (and probably the easiest)  i felt was the tweeter. How was the bass changed or affected? I felt less distortion coming from the woofers, slightly more detail, more palpable bass. they did NOT get louder. Bass seemed a little tighter. All the bracing stiffened the box and the damping, well damped the woofers catching the back waves of the woofer audibably cleaning up the bass...

 

Stock these things are monsters. MONSTERS. Put some clean power behind them, upgrade the tweet and go from there...

 

Special thanks to Moray James for helping me with the mods. Incredible what he did for me and must have spent dozens of hours helping me on the phone and through email. Feel free to PM me with more questions and hope i helped.

 

Alex

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Nice review, Alex.  I had been watching for your review for a while.

 

I am in the process of upgrading my CF-4's the way you did yours, so thanks for the blueprint.  I have the EV DH-1506's and I am ready to build a support for the 1506.  How did you support yours?  I am assuming building a box or support right at the magnet end of the compression driver?

 

 

 

post-58280-0-25480000-1428282354_thumb.j

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Khorn are from 1987 and have crites ct125 tweeter and type A-4500 crossovers, just under two years old. Rest of speaker is stock. Khorns were tucked into corners as they should be. Cf4's were raised 24" of floor. Room is 13 feet x 20 feet with 8 foot celing, opens into kitchen and stairs, tile floors, khorns and cf4's were tested on short wall.

 

Hey Alex first glad you found what works great for your setup and taste.

 

So how far back from the front wall was your listening position during the comparisons?

 

It's to late now since you have sold the Khorns but I'm curious did you ever try the Khorns on the long wall?

 

The 13' wall setup really puts the Khorns at a big disadvantage for several reasons in a room of the dimensions you have described.

 

I had Khorns in two different rooms one (that was 13.5' by 17.5' x 8') and  in another room that was (14.5' x 21.5' x 8') and in both rooms when I would try the short wall it wouldn't last 1 day because it was so inferior. The short walls forced the listening position to either be toward the center of the room were the on-axis of the Khorns crossed and the bass suffered severly and of course tonal issues but if I tried moving back then the listener position was to much off axis of the Khorns and in the rooms far field which again caused bass and tonal issues. The 13' spacing can be made to work to some degree if one closes the back of the Khorns and rotates them to cross close to the listening position and deal with the early side wall reflections appropriately but the long wall is almost always superior IMO(and as stated by PWK in his writings) in rectangular rooms.

 

In the end the best loudspeaker is the one that can reach it's optimum design performance within the framework of limitations of the room and the owner's requirements in room setup. 

 

miketn

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Khorn are from 1987 and have crites ct125 tweeter and type A-4500 crossovers, just under two years old. Rest of speaker is stock. Khorns were tucked into corners as they should be. Cf4's were raised 24" of floor. Room is 13 feet x 20 feet with 8 foot celing, opens into kitchen and stairs, tile floors, khorns and cf4's were tested on short wall.

 

Hey Alex first glad you found what works great for your setup and taste.

 

So how far back from the front wall was your listening position during the comparisons?

 

It's to late now since you have sold the Khorns but I'm curious did you ever try the Khorns on the long wall?

 

The 13' wall setup really puts the Khorns at a big disadvantage for several reasons in a room of the dimensions you have described.

 

I had Khorns in two different rooms one (that was 13.5' by 17.5' x 8') and  in another room that was (14.5' x 21.5' x 8') and in both rooms when I would try the short wall it wouldn't last 1 day because it was so inferior. The short walls forced the listening position to either be toward the center of the room were the on-axis of the Khorns crossed and the bass suffered severly and of course tonal issues but if I tried moving back then the listener position was to much off axis of the Khorns and in the rooms far field which again caused bass and tonal issues. The 13' spacing can be made to work to some degree if one closes the back of the Khorns and rotates them to cross close to the listening position and deal with the early side wall reflections appropriately but the long wall is almost always superior IMO(and as stated by PWK in his writings) in rectangular rooms.

 

In the end the best loudspeaker is the one that can reach it's optimum design performance within the framework of limitations of the room and the owner's requirements in room setup. 

 

miketn

 

 

I also have a 13 x 20 room and tried the khorns on both walls.  No comparison - long wall by far.  On the short wall I preferred Chorus II, Cornwall, Forte II, Duntec Marquis, Pioneer HPM-150, Marantz HD-880 and RF-7.  Or maybe they all sounded good with :emotion-22:.

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Unfortunately i only tried them on the short wall. The short wall is were my mounted tv is and it would have been impossible to switch things around to place khorns on the long wall. Plus furniture, doors, etc. I wish i could have tried though. Im sure they would have sounded better on the long wall as most people say they sound better this way.

 

Alex

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  • 1 year later...

I just found again this post where Alex compared modified Khorns to his heavily modded CF-4.

 

Since I have the same mods to my CF-4 as he does and I just picked up the Khorns, Alex's review seemed especially relevant to me.  In my short time and limited listening to the Khorns, I think Alex has nailed it.

 

This is in no way a knock on the Khorns, rather a supreme compliment to the Roy Delgado designed, 22 year-old CF-4's have stood the test of time compared to Klipsch's long-time champ.

Edited by wvu80
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This is my first review of any speaker or any audio product i have ever heard, FYI.

A little back ground. I started with the rf-82's with pioneer receiver, then la scalas with two marantz ma700's monoblocks, then my khorns which i had a b&k 2220 on them, then changed up between a restored fished 500c and a marantz 2252b receiver for khorns. I now have the cf4's which have been modded  (link with mods below) being driven by the marantz 2252b for highs and a crest ca6 pro amp (350 watts at 8 ohms) for the woofers. Speakers are being passively biamped.I have a Bushmaster mkII DAC. I also have a thtlp horn sub powered by a dayton sa1000 sub amp, however, review is with sub not in use.

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/151115-epic-cf4-mods-amp-rack-build/

I am 30 years old and live in Miami. I listen to mostly techno/house music, rest is descending order is spanish music, hip hop/r&b, country, rock.

Khorn are from 1987 and have crites ct125 tweeter and type A-4500 crossovers, just under two years old. Rest of speaker is stock. Khorns were tucked into corners as they should be. Cf4's were raised 24" of floor. Room is 13 feet x 20 feet with 8 foot celing, opens into kitchen and stairs, tile floors, khorns and cf4's were tested on short wall.

K horns with 500c

The music sounds very non fatuiging. Music sounds more REAL, more presence. The music was warm, as it should be, and very dynamic. Music had this special bloom sound to it. This combo especially shinned at producing the human voice, producing musical instruments as they should sound. Were i did feel this combo did lack was in the overall robustness and power for the lower frequencies. It did not have that slam with authority which i craved. The bass could be just a tad on the sloppy side.

K horns with marantz 2252b

The bass reponse i felt was SLIGHTLY improved than with the 500c. Just a little more pronounced, a little tighter, a little more authority. The music was not as musical on the top end. The 500c was noticeably more real sounding, a little warmer, more dynamic, more musical.

I also used the 500C and marantz 2252b on my pair of heresy II with very similiar outcome as above. The khorns obviously had a much bigger sound, got louder, hit lower, and sounded better on both units.

Cf4's with 500C

The 500C sounded very similiar on the cf4's compared to the khorns. The music was very non fatiguing. Very musical. Had a certain bloom to it. I feel i can give a slight edge to the cf4s on highs and lows. Bass was slightly better on the cf4's, the highs was close on cf4's and khorn. Slightly tigher and more robust bass on the cf4's than the khorns.

Cf4's with marantz 2252b and Crest ca6 biamped

The highs were very close to the 500C but did not have this musicality of the 500C. I even ran the 500c on one of the tweets, the 2252b on the other tweet of other cf4 and turned woofers completely off and the differance was hard to find but after extended listening i was able to tell the differance. The 500C sounded better. more of this bloom and musicality that is hard to describe. Once i cranked up the woofers with the crest, and tweets on the marantz 2252b thats were the magic lied. I did not think that woofers carried to much information, the tweeter alone sounded soooo empty, so much music missing, but when the woofers were fired up (with the crest amp biamped) i was stunned. The tonality of the bass, the slam factor, tight, punchy bass. I mean off the walls! These speakers sound amazing with hip hop and bass heavy music. Biamping these speakers i am able to tame the tweeter and bring the bass up and it sounds much better than not being biamped. There is a midrange/midbass that comes out of these woofers than appear to be almost inaudable in the khorns. In my mind i tell my self "wow", makes this much of a impression of me. The over all sound is efforless, i feel like the tweeters and woofers are not struggling and while are producing high spl. By this time you are screaming in the room. The sound stage is phenominal. The way the music comes at you is great. Maybe it the tweeter between the woofers? Bringing them up made a HUGE differance. Over all tone, dimentionality of music, bass slam effect, crystal clear highs, low distortion. I cant get enough of these.

Like i said before i do preffer the sound of the 500c over the marantz BUT the way i am biamping (using marantz preouts to crest) fisher not having these preouts it would be impossible to biamp the fisher, this makes me very sad;/  This being said cf4's DO sound better with marantz/crest combo than 500c alone. BUT you are comparing 350watts just for woofers and being able to tame the tweeter through biamping, than to just the 35watts tube power the 500C has, which pushed the cf4's to incredible spl levels regardless.

If i were to listen to pure jazz or classical or maybe music with not to many bass lines i would preffer the 500C BUT i do listen to heavy bass music so i must pick the marantz/crest combo over the 500c. In both instances i would pick the cf4's over the khorns. The cf's tweeter is just a few inches higher than the khorn tweet and i think this made a differance. I feel the EV dh1506 compression drivers and the horns in the cf4's are superior to the ct125 tweets and k-55-m (squaker) on the khorn. The dh1506's just seem to get louder, while mainting clean clear sound and honestly i just feel they sound better. The khorn have the horn bass which bounces of the corners of the room then reaches your ear. I always thought the khorn bass somehow had to much distortion and a little muddy, although it did hit low. I liked the clean bass/mid bass from the la scala better. I DO feel like the la scala bass was tighter and cleaner than the cf4 BUT the cf4 do have more output, more slam and bass in your chest. Although ported (i never was to fond of ported box bass) the bass seems to hit just about as low as the khorn, just a tad more umph in the lower region, much more umph in the upper bass, cleaner, clearer, tighter bass for sure. This is of course being biamped.

I know in a way this is not fair comparing a modded cf4 to almost stock khorn, and also the cf4 bring biamped the khorn not, however, even with mods the cf4 cost ME less and are smaller, weigh less, and about the same in $ in amplification compared to khorns.

 

Just FYI i wrote this review a few months ago and never posted it. the khorns have long been sold.

 

Please feel free to leave all suggestions and opinions.

Alex

 

Alex,

 

I am trying to figure out how you have the CF4's configured.  You state that the CF4s tweeters are a few inches higher than the khorns.  Am I missing something since the khorns are very tall with the tweeters at the top.

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I just found again this post where Alex compared modified Khorns to his heavily modded CF-4.

 

Since I have the same mods to my CF-4 as he does and I just picked up the Khorns, Alex's review seemed especially relevant to me.  In my short time and limited listening to the Khorns, I think Alex has nailed it.

 

This is in no way a knock on the Khorns, rather a supreme compliment to the Roy Delgado designed, 22 year-old CF-4's have stood the test of time compared to Klipsch's long-time champ.

Dave,

 

I never did any modifications to my CF, so maybe that's what I should have tried. As for the hierarchy to my ears from A/B them, I like the slightly crisper highs equal bass of KLF30. The KLF30 and the CF4 had to give up their lunch money to the Khorn and the Khorn doesn't need to pick a fight with the MCM.   

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I never did any modifications to my CF, so maybe that's what I should have tried.

 

The CF-4 is so good out of the box I made most of my mods for fun, not necessity.  The one sound characteristic I genuinely wanted to change was I didn't think they were accurate to piano.  With some very minor changes in adding polyfil to the bottom section they went from really good to great with little effort or further investment.

 

I am learning that the main differences in these really good speakers is how well they fit into a room and what audio characteristics a person likes.  Not everybody listens at reference level, but for those who do and want "big box sound" ALL of these Klipsch speakers deliver.

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Dave,

How much and how deep did you fill the CF-4s with the polyfil? Also, what is everyone's opinion on using either of these items, Qiuckroof (http://www.cofair.com/roof.aspx), and Frostking (http://www.frostking.com/foil-and-fiberglass-duct-wrap/) to wrap the horn to contain resonance?

 

I ask about the wraps because I have some leftover from my Beetle project.

 

One last question, for those of us that don't have version 1 CF-4s or CF-3s, does adding  longer ports help to improve the sound reproduction of our speakers?

 

Thanks,

John

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Had my CF-4s for about 6 months and picked up a pair of chorus II and sent the CF-4s packing.

Fronts are now LaScalas, center Chorus II and rears KLF-30's I think the sound is heavenly............

 

picked up a sweet pair of KG 5.5 and am very impressed with them so far

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I share the same opinion with Zappa about CF4 vs Chorus II. I kept the Khorns and Chorus II w/ Ti tweeters but sold the CF4s. CF4s are great and will play LOUD, but I couldn't quite get them to integrate in my room. I had them on stands also.

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