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Klipsch Epic CF-2 - underwhelming?

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Hoping someone who's owned Epic CF-2 or other Epic series speakers can help -

 

I picked up a pair of Epic CF-2 speakers this week but they don't sound so great. I would have failed them at the demo but thought the space might have had something to do with dissipating bass (1,500 sq. ft. garage with bay doors wide open).

 

What don't I like? Simply put, they aren't nearly as musical as the pair of KG 3.5 I bought two weeks ago. The highs are decent, but mid range and bass are both muddy and poorly defined. The KG 3.5's playing Eva Cassidy "Live at Blues Alley" blow them in detail - and they're not even that detailed!

 

So, what gives - is it possible this is a bum pair and need crossovers replaced? Or is the KG series more musical, more natural-sounding? Is it too much to ask for CF-2's to handle 2-channel duty; are they better as rear surrounds above 80 Hz? Any help would be appreciated - thanks!

 

--Scott O.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Btw - I don't expect these to replace what can be done with a good subwoofer.

 

KG 3.5's with 8"  long through woofer make me wonder what isn't working with the CF-2's twin 6.5" woofers, though...

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I believe the CF-2's have dual 8" woofers and the CF-1'S have 6.5".

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I believe the CF-2's have dual 8" woofers and the CF-1'S have 6.5".

You're right - I just measured. So why don't 2 x 8" woofers in the CF-2's sound nearly as good as the single 8" woofer in the KG 3.5's?

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I was somewhat unimpressed with the CF-3s I had. The midrange was a bit weak and distant and I didn't really care for the overall tonal balance, but I remember hearing lots of detail and excellent bass. There may actually be something wrong with those CF-2s if you're getting less detail than the micro-horned KG 3.5.

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There may actually be something wrong with those CF-2s if you're getting less detail than the micro-horned KG 3.5.

That's what I'm starting to wonder. What do you think are the most likely things that could be wrong with them?

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Have had CF3 and CF1 both needed a sub I like the KG line very much listing to KG 3.5s now I'm a classical buff the CF3s did a nice job but with the sub just took up too much room. I've also had KG4.5 loved them

Some day I'd like to pickup some Cornwall

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I own two pair of CF-2. Tons of detailed bass on both pair. They fill my shop with great bass!

Edited by Rivervalleymgb

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The CF aren't as sensitive as the specs claim. They might be tired and need a cap refresh. MJ advises to raise the CF up until the horn is level with the ear. Going on that, I have a couple of pair of speakers that sounded terrible until I raised them off of the floor. 

What power source are you using? 

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The big excitement with the Epic line is with the CF-4 version 1.  That seems to be the "holy grail" of the Epic lineup.  That's because it had a BIG sound not attainable with smaller versions.

 

I have also heard many people rave about their CF-4 in the later 2 & 3 versions.  The CF-3 guys also have high praise for their speakers and they have a following very close to the CF-4 boys.  But that is where the fanatical praise seems to draw the line.  The CF-1 and CF-2 do not get nearly the same "wow" factor and don't have the same type of following.

 

I own the CF-4 v1 and that is the only member of the Epic line I've ever heard.  Everything else I've relayed is from what I've read, so take that with a grain of salt.

 

Because I haven't heard the CF-2 live, I don't know if yours are typical or if they have some kind of problem.  If I were guessing I would say they are probably performing within specs. 

 

The only thing that bothers me is that you report muddiness in the sound.  My CF-4 has some specific issues, but muddiness in the bass is not one of them, and Mr. River Valley ^^^ says his has plenty of bass.  He would have a more valid opinion than mine because he owns them.

 

I'm not sure what to tell you at this point to pinpoint the cause of the muddiness you are hearing.

Edited by wvu80
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The CF aren't as sensitive as the specs claim. They might be tired and need a cap refresh. MJ advises to raise the CF up until the horn is level with the ear. Going on that, I have a couple of pair of speakers that sounded terrible until I raised them off of the floor. 

What power source are you using? 

Power source - are you referring to amplifier or how current is getting to the amp?

 

If the former - a pair of Odyssey Stratos Mono; if the latter - just using a standard home power outlet.

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Because I haven't heard the CF-2 live, I don't know if yours are typical or if they have some kind of problem.  If I were guessing I would say they are probably performing within specs. 

 

The only thing that bothers me is that you report muddiness in the sound.  My CF-4 has some specific issues, but muddiness in the bass is not one of them, and Mr. River Valley ^^^ says his has plenty of bass.  He would have a more valid opinion than mine because he owns them.

 

I'm not sure what to tell you at this point to pinpoint the cause of the muddiness you are hearing.

Thanks for weighing in. There's a loudspeaker tech in my area who specializes in Klipsch. Will call him after the 4th and let everyone know what happens.

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The CF aren't as sensitive as the specs claim. They might be tired and need a cap refresh. MJ advises to raise the CF up until the horn is level with the ear. Going on that, I have a couple of pair of speakers that sounded terrible until I raised them off of the floor. 

What power source are you using? 

Power source - are you referring to amplifier or how current is getting to the amp?

 

If the former - a pair of Odyssey Stratos Mono; if the latter - just using a standard home power outlet.

 

Yes, the amp. Have to say that the amp you have is better than what I can afford  :mellow:

 

I had a pair of KG3.5 and was impressed. I can't imagine them sounding better than the CF2 though..

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I have driven my CF-2 with every different type of power. Currently, it is an HH Scott early SS with only 22 watts of power. Plenty loud for the garage. I have used lots of different receivers, from a heavily modded Sansui 7900 (heavily modded by Paul 79) to Kenwood, Marantz to Adcom amp. I heavily modded one pair of CF-2 by damping the horn, polyfill, etc, but the pair currently on line is stock. 

I would say a different horn might sound better. The main complaint for CF-2 owners is that the horn is too hot. I haven't tried the ping pong ball yet for taming it, but I really don't have any problem with the way they are. I have Klipschorns in the house and have other heritage speakers I could use, but for what they are, I am happy with them.

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I would say a different horn might sound better. The main complaint for CF-2 owners is that the horn is too hot. I haven't tried the ping pong ball yet for taming it, but I really don't have any problem with the way they are. I have Klipschorns in the house and have other heritage speakers I could use, but for what they are, I am happy with them.

I have no issues with the horn whatsoever, it's the mids and bass which are my problem. Definitely will check out with a tech to see if it's this pair.

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I set up my CF-2, 3 & 4's in my sister-in-law's HT and I'd never describe the mids and bass as 'muddy'. Have you checked the polarity - not just your wires but right up to the drivers? How about changing out the wires and cleaning the connectors? I doubt its the caps but its possible they've deteriorated after 20+ years and would still benefit from an upgrade. Keep us informed and have fun!

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As well, I have seen a few Epics up for sale from time to time with replacement drivers in them that were not originals to its design.  That could cause some sound issues.   :unsure:   

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What is most often brought up with the Epic series is not that the bass is muddy, but weak.  And it is only weak by comparison to the strong mid-range so it is more an issue with balance rather than clarity.

Edited by wvu80
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