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Forte II sound harsh


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As the original owner of a pair of 26 year old Forte II's (no "harshness" ever!), I have followed this thread with interest.  My takeaways:


1) The crossover network - especially the capacitors - in any speaker over 20 years old should be suspect.  Make no judgements until these parts are confirmed to be working within specification.  Otherwise replace the crossovers.  Bob Crites makes the best ones.


2) Your room will always have the biggest impact on your final sound.  Not your amp, not your source, and not even your (awesome) Klipsch Forte II loudspeakers.  Put down thick carpets/rugs.  Bring in some overstuffed furniture.  Fill all bookshelves with, um...books?  Or records.  And hang some thick drapes on your windows.  All of these things will tame a "wild" room and help bring out the best in your system.


3) Placement is crucial with the Forte II.  Distance from the back wall and side walls must be worked out and optimized, toe-in must be used judiciously in small amounts, and distance between speakers and listening position should be maximized.  This is not a "near field" speaker system.


For anybody still interested in getting the most out of their their Forte II's, here is an old review from Greg Smith (who went out on a limb and actually said nice things about Klipsch on an otherwise conventional/conservative high end audiophile website).  Enjoy!

Edited by Krispy Kirk
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  • 4 weeks later...

It may be a due to what you are accustomed to listening to.  The Fortes are a very forward sounding speaker in the mid to upper midrange when compared to some modern speakers.  I have compared my Fortes to Paradigm Studio 100's, Energy RC-70s, Def. Tech towers and most recently to some Altec 508s.  The biggest difference I found is that the Fortes do not have near the midbass punch these other speakers have. Maybe that is what you are noticing.  The Fortes are very revealing and I find I prefer to use them with subwoofers.  Just my 2 cents.

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I just replaced my beloved HK 430 with an Emotiva Mini-X, Stealth DC-1 and their Phono Preamp. I have to say that has seemed to take care of most of the harshness. It's not running my wife out of the room at reasonable levels so that's a good sign.

I'd love to get a hold of some tubes one of these days and see what they do.

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