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vondy

Forte II, why so bass shy?

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I know it sounds weird, fortes are supposed to have tons of bass. I've tried placing these all over my room, in and out of corners, Crites crossovers, everything nice and sealed up, etc. They just sound a bit anemic.

I'm thinking they need more power. Started out with my HK 430, what's that, 25 watts? Then tried the emotiva mini x with 50 watts. Seems like I should be getting more punch at 65-75 dBs.

So the question is, would more power make these more dynamic? Not that I want them loud, I get the feeling though, as efficient as they are, the woofers need more power to really move at lower listening levels.

Thoughts?

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Are you sure you wired everything correctly when you replaced the networks? When i had mine, i thought they were to basd heavy. But mine were in a 10'x10' room with a Kenwood Basic m2a pushing a couple hundred watts.

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Should be placed near corners, and pulled out about a foot or so. The sound should be balanced and even. If you're a bass hound, get a sub. The Forte II is a nice sounding speaker, but it isn't as authoritative sounding as its larger brethren.

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So the question is, would more power make these more dynamic? Not that I want them loud, I get the feeling though, as efficient as they are, the woofers need more power to really move at lower listening levels.

 

Maybe.  I can tell a difference between my old Yamaha receiver, 50 watts with not much to spare, and more powerful amps.  Better bass, better transients.  A lot depends on your room.  A big room and/or open floor plan may be a bit too much to ask for modest power.

 

Agree w/ the other posts.  Fortes do have the bass, so double check the wiring to the woofs, and use those corners.   

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I used to the own a pair of the highly praised Forte II's but sold them because I did not like the way they sounded.. Seemed like the crossover point from mid to tweeter was off, and also seemed like the tweeter was playing too loud.. 2 things that made them sound not so good to my ears. I could never figure out why people rave about them so much.. yes they sounded nice with some music, but not all. About 50% of my music sounded good with them.... and movies, they didnt sound good either.. dialogue of the human voice often sounded weird. Almost embarrassing when I had people over to watch a game on TV, yeah they sounded that weird sometimes. Other members here have had the same experience as I had. I enjoy my reference line of speaker better, and also my Heresys and Cornwalls. Now those are nice sounding speakers. 

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I've had a pair of forte IIs from new and no weirdness nor bass shy, even with the old Yamaha 40 watt integrated.  If you buy a recommended used car, but get one with problems, you may also wonder why others raved about it.  Get a good one and you understand.  Sometimes it is as simple as the particular ones you get, you know, like women.  Many rave about them, but if you get a lemon it can taste sour....

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Like any other loudspeaker all depends on the room and placement, even more so with the rear passives.

 

Best bass comes from corner placement.

 

Bass heavy, no.

 

Good balance, yes.

 

Check well for leaks, if a leak is present it will hinder bass response as much as poor placement.

 

Forte II is not a powerhouse performer like the Chorus, Chorus II but will extend lower in frequency without EQ or modifications witch could be mistaken for some possible comments about them having lots of bass.

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I had Forte I with the rear passive in the same room with RF 7, and never thought they were bass shy or sounded funny.  Some nice suggestion have been posted.

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These are pretty pristine I'd say. Bought them from a forum member and they are almost perfect. I replaced with Crites crossovers and Tweeters. I've checked several times to make sure everything was wired up correctly. Something just seems to be wrong.

They sound fantastic listening to something like Norah Jones, but when you play anything, from any source, more upbeat, they sound harsh and shallow. No punch.

I know they are capable of it, I've heard some pretty low frequencies from movies on them. And I'm not looking for a crazy amount of bass. I want more if that live feel.

I'd say my Heresys sounded more dynamic to me. They didn't have quite the realism as the fortes but they felt more alive.

I've just never been that happy with my fortes as much as I want to be. They seem very difficult to place, and I've tried every which a way. Used lasers, tape measures, stands, etc.

There has to be more to these speakers after what everyone else has said. The room is not that big, there is a large opening to the kitchen so maybe that has something to do with it.

I feel more power will help but I guess I won't know till i try.

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It might be that large opening to the kitchen. I use a pair of RP-280Fs in a pretty small room on an odd wall, longer than the parallel wall because the door is set back a bit. Essentially, one is right in the corner and the other is along the wall. So one has pretty solid bass response, and the other has a huge dip around 60hz that is noticeable in a lot of material.

 

It could be amplification as well, I know the bass is less 'present' on my 65w amp than on my 125w amp with these speakers. For some songs, this means the upper octaves of an acoustic bass can shroud back behind the rest of the music.

 

I can't speak for the Fortes since I've never heard them, but I can offer my experience with big speakers and placement/amp power. Hope you can figure it out!

 

(I use a subwoofer when powering them with either amp, by the way, to fill in those bottom frequencies yet more)

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I've had a pair of forte IIs from new and no weirdness nor bass shy, even with the old Yamaha 40 watt integrated.  If you buy a recommended used car, but get one with problems, you may also wonder why others raved about it.  Get a good one and you understand.  Sometimes it is as simple as the particular ones you get, you know, like women.  Many rave about them, but if you get a lemon it can taste sour....
 

Okay, so you are suggesting that my Forte II's had problems like a used car... Uh no.. They were in great shape with no problems.. Just a very critical ear.. They were not like a used car with problems. Nobody ever said they had problems. I just mentioned that I felt the crossover point from mid to tweeter seemed a bit off and the tweeter was a bit loud.. Some other forum member have created mods to correct it, for instance: inserting foam in the tweeter horn, or even ping pong balls??? I sold them before I would have to insert objects in the horns to tame the sound. 

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They sound fantastic listening to something like Norah Jones, but when you play anything, from any source, more upbeat, they sound harsh and shallow. No punch. I know they are capable of it, I've heard some pretty low frequencies from movies on them. And I'm not looking for a crazy amount of bass. I want more if that live feel. I'd say my Heresys sounded more dynamic to me. They didn't have quite the realism as the fortes but they felt more alive. I've just never been that happy with my fortes as much as I want to be. They seem very difficult to place, and I've tried every which a way. Used lasers, tape measures, stands, etc.

I am with you on this topic. I was never happy with my Fortes either. I had 2 different sets of Forte II's over the past 5 years, and obviously sold them both. I only purchased the 2nd set because they were $300, so I figured I could easily flip them for close to double that... and that is exactly what I did, sold them for close to $600.  

Edited by Bossman

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Like Dude, I suspect a wiring problem if they're bass shy under the conditions you describe. I'd start the diagnostic process by switching the leads to one woofer, just a single woofer, not the whole network. If that makes a difference, then I'd grab a schematic and DVM to confirm polarity of each driver and to confirm the accuracy and integrity of each network connection. They should not be "bass shy."

Edited by DizRotus
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I had a set hooked up to a Adcom 555 for a year or so.  About a foot from the rear wall in an open area.  No bloat in the bass though balanced.  An amp with very good bass drive makes them open up.  Also, it either sounds like you might have a wiring problem or the networks are balanced a little too forward.  When you start changing things like the crossover, you open a can of worms and a lot more tweaking.  The speaker is the sum of the parts, not the drivers.  The crossover is the heart, balance, and presentation of the speaker.

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Power should not be the issue here, I've ran a pair with a little Carver 20 watt tube amp and they had plenty of bass. Back when I first started out I was using mid level Receivers for preamps and when I tried my first separate processor I could not believe how much bass (and everything else) I was missing. I actually got up out of my seat to turn off my sub because I wanted to hear how the speakers sounded by themselves without it only to realize that it wasn't even turned on, seriously!

 

So, it could be improper equipment matching, It could be an improper setting on your equipment, it could be improper speaker positioning, it could be that your seating position is in a bass dead spot, (this has actually happened to me, get up and walk around the room and see if the bass gets better or not) it could be that there is either something wrong with the new crossovers or that they were wired out of phase. Two things I'm certain it is not is the design of the speaker itself or a lack of power. Hope you get this figured out and get a chance to enjoy these speakers as they really are one of the best.

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I did the battery test on the woofers to make sure I had the polarity hooked up correctly from the crossovers. All the wiring is hooked up correctly, I'm assuming Bob's crossovers are correct.

 

I agree that these should not be bass shy, even in a room that's not ideal. I feel like our little Bose bluetooth speaker puts out a better balance of bass sometimes. I think the lack of bass is causing the speaker as a whole to sound bad, harsh, etc.

 

Below is a to-scale layout of my room. There really is no other layout we can do as this one has been the best over the years for us. The only thing we have talked about is maybe doing a sliding barn door to close off the room when I'm listening.

 

I still have this gut feeling that more power is needed, I don't really have the money to mess with it now but will give it a try before I ever get rid of these.

post-20986-0-74880000-1465654542_thumb.p

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I know it sounds weird, fortes are supposed to have tons of bass. I've tried placing these all over my room, in and out of corners, Crites crossovers, everything nice and sealed up, etc. They just sound a bit anemic.

I'm thinking they need more power. Started out with my HK 430, what's that, 25 watts? Then tried the emotiva mini x with 50 watts. Seems like I should be getting more punch at 65-75 dBs.

So the question is, would more power make these more dynamic? Not that I want them loud, I get the feeling though, as efficient as they are, the woofers need more power to really move at lower listening levels.

Thoughts?

 

It could be what your interpretation of bass.   None of these speakers have DEEP bass but they do have a low midrange punch which I think many would call bass.    Deep base you are  not going to get.   It takes a ton of power to deliver real Deep base.   I have a SVS sub and I think it uses 1000 watts to drive just 1 driver.      You have two speakers with multiple drivers and not running it on a 4000 watt amp.   They were not designed for huge Deep base but they should have a nice mid range punch.

 

Could be the room placement and how far they are from the wall.    If they have the rear passive placement can make a big different in perceived sound.   Just try to move them around some.   

 

Could be the drivers are smoked too.  

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I'm thinking they need more power. Started out with my HK 430, what's that, 25 watts? Then tried the emotiva mini x with 50 watts. Seems like I should be getting more punch at 65-75 dBs.

So the question is, would more power make these more dynamic?

Thoughts?

 

I have the Chorus and KG4s and used them with 60watt and 130 watt amps.    The 60 watt sounds almost as good except I can go louder before the amp runs out of headroom.    25 is too small.    With 25 it will sound good at lower volumes but will start to clip sooner.    More power and better placement,   maybe your rear passives are frozen or something.  

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Full disclosure: I'm an owner of a pair of Forte II (bought new).  I've used literally dozens of various amplifiers/receivers with them over the past 26+ years.  My speakers have served in many different sized rooms of all kinds of shapes.  Never once have I or any other listener complained about "shy" bass response.  Their brilliant versatility is exactly why I chose the Forte II back in 1990 when I was picking a "rest of my life" speaker from the Heritage lineup consisting of Cornwall/Chorus/Forte/Quartet, etc.  In my experience, and from decades of reading opinions on this forum, I believe the Forte II is the easiest Klipsch design for the majority of listeners to live with in real-world (ie non-audiophile) situations combined with real-world (ie non-audiophile) choices in electronics.  Their measured response goes lower (32Hz) than just about every other Klipsch speaker of their generation and the Tractrix midrange horn eliminates beaming, honking, and all other complaints typically thrown at Klipsch speakers and horn designs in general.  I have found them to be far less room-dependent, electronics-dependent, and cable-dependent than any other speaker I've owned.  In short, they are the perfect speaker...for me, an ordinary average guy.

 

In fact, my love for my Forte IIs and their phenomenal ruggedness and all-purpose utility prompted me to write about them for the Storyteller contest Klipsch held 15 years ago.  My story was judged by none other than Billy Bob Thornton and Henry Rollins. It won second place.  My story was proof: I have great speakers.

 

Having said that, I believe you might have a bad set of Crites crossovers.  Everything else has been covered by other comments above, but it should be pointed out that if your room isn't the culprit, and your electronics are functioning normally, and phase, drivers, or wiring issues can be ruled out, then a crossover issue is all that is left.  I have Crites crossovers on my Forte II.  When installed, the bass response was unchanged.  I got smoother midrange, clearer treble, and an overall sensitivity gain of a dB or two.  But my bass stayed exactly the same.

 

Recommendation: contact Bob Crites and ask for help.  I have no doubt that he will work with you to make sure you have a good set of the correct crossovers in your speakers.  In the meantime, try reinstalling the original Klipsch crossovers and see what happens.

 

Good luck.

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