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cornwallace

New to the Heresy Game - Bass?

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**New to the Forum**  - I just purchased a pair of early 80's Heresys in great cosmetic condition. I was introduced to Klipsch at an early age because I grew up in a house with my dad's 70's Cornwalls. A few year's back, I had a 10" Reference Series sub gifted to me and I was impressed with it's bass output - especially paired with my cheaper JBL shelf system that I had at the time. I was very excited to find the Heresys in my local area, so I scooped them up since I am setting up (from scratch) a new system for my condo. I purchased a Denon AVR-S510BT receiver (700W) and hooked up the Heresys this evening, and I must say, I was extremely disappointed in the bass output. I have searched forums on here, and I have also read reviews on other sites, and it's clear that low end on the Heresys is not a strong point. However, I was not expecting virtually no bass whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, the highs sound fantastic - crisp and clear as day. I didn't expect them to be comparable to the Cornwall's by any means, but I did expect the 12" woofers in the Heresys to have similar output that the 10" Reference sub had. Am I way off base here? To be clear, I am by no means an audio expert. Since I have never heard a pair of Heresys before I don't know what to listen for, nor what their bass standard should be. The settings in the Denon are correct from what I have researched. I do not have any surround or center speakers. The settings are set for front speakers and are set on "Large" with no sub. I have checked the positive and negative on both speakers and they are hooked up correctly. Have I just been spoiled with the bass response on the Cornwalls? Should I just pair them with a sub? It's just hard for me to believe that a speaker made by Klipsch and marketed as "2/3 a Klipschorn" would have so little bass response. Any input would be welcomed.

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I've never owned a pair of Heresy. I just sold Cornwalls and now own khorns. Neither need help in the bass department, but heresy, almost to a person needs some help on the low end. Subs are almost universally called for with these. 

Got pics of your new speakers? 

 

Oh and welcome to the forum. Stick around and post often! The journey can be a lot of fun.

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If you can get your hands on decent vintage receiver, I would try that. I had a similar issue with my klipsch belles being hooked up to a home theater avr. When a buddy of mine brought over some vintage receivers, the results made my jaw drop! "There's your base" was what I was told. I'm liking the 70s Pioneer receivers.

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I would second dtr20 for the most part, but you're still going to want a sub more than likely.  A good vintage receiver like an HK730 or a Pioneer SX-850/950/1050/1250 can make a difference, as can your placement of the speakers and your room config.  You may also want to investigate updating your crossovers.  And yes, you were spoiled by the Cornwalls.....

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At the end of the day you are going to want to get a sub, the Heresy's are great speakers with a certain 'snap' to them which I like but they simply dont dig very deep. What kind of music do you listen to? Also, do you still have that 10'' Reference sub?

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Thanks for all of the responses and suggestions. I have one placed in a corner, but the other one can't be in a corner because of my room layout. Unfortunately, my Reference sub was stolen a few years ago. I see the reoccurring theme in these responses just like other things I've read that Heresys just don't do bass well...I'm still just baffled at how little they produce. I will look into an older receiver/amp. My main concern is just making sure these are sounding the way they were meant to sound. I can live with using them in tandem with a sub, but if this is abnormal, I would get them looked at. I have attached detailed pics - anything look off? Also, what are the thoughts on the discontinued K100-SW sub? Thanks!

 

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Seems you have Heresy 1s.  I had a pair and they will be lacking bass.  The highs can be over powering.  They have good upper bass but zero lower bass.  The closer you can get them to the floor and corners the better. 

 

Heresy II was more balanced though don't expect low bass from them.

 

By adding a good sub-woofer, you will be able to appreciate their punchy mid-bass and mid-high range though you may want to pad the mid-hghs down a little.  Changing the taps on the autoformer has been discussed elsewhere in the forum.  This will significantly help the balance and makes the Heresy 1 much more liveable.

 

Another thing is they do much better with a high quality amp with a lot of control over the bottom end.  Most AVRs lean toward brightness for movie intelligibility which is really bad when mated with Heresy speakers.

 

My thoughts.

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Placement of your Heresy's is the key. In relationship to your floor, corners, front wall and listening position. Floor is a must. Against the wall is a must. Corners are best. Tilt them back a bit. Make sure your listening position isn't in a bass null by moving the seat forward or back a bit. My Heresy III's are about 5db down at 40hz. Not subwoofer territory, but I do not use my subs for music listening any more as I prefer the Heresy bass on its own. 

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Cornwallace,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Those sure are some beauties you have there.

 

10 hours ago, cornwallace said:

I purchased a Denon AVR-S510BT receiver (700W) and hooked up the Heresys this evening, and I must say, I was extremely disappointed in the bass output.

 

Please don't take this the wrong way but your AVR may not be close to the best choice of amplification to test the Heresy's bass output.  I have driven my HI's(and HII's) with many different preamp/amps, receivers, and integrated amps and believe me all were not equal in the bass drive department.  I am one who happens to think that Heresys have great punch and speed in the midbass region but just not much down low(-40Hz).  Placement utilizing boundary gain and amp choice can enhance the bottom end.

 

Bill

 

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11 hours ago, cornwallace said:

Have I just been spoiled with the bass response on the Cornwalls?

Possibly but as mentioned above you are not giving the Heresys a chance to open up with your AVR.

 

11 hours ago, cornwallace said:

Should I just pair them with a sub?

 

Yes that will help tremendously and if I may suggest a fast and punchy sealed sub.

 

Where are you located?

 

Bill

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Using a sub will probably get you to where you were originally thinking it should sound. However; I really urge to to pair them up with an older receiver. I haven't figured this ask out yet, but older speakers like older receivers. From what I can figure out, it's the preamp that makes the difference. Give them a chance for there full potential and then think about a sub.

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I have no problem returning the Denon. I wanted to run my TV audio through the Heresys too...I thought a 700W AVR would be plenty to push these but since I'm not an expert I could be way off. This might be a stupid question, but if I get an older AVR, I doubt I could use these for my TV also, correct? I'm in the Richmond, VA area. Should I abandon the idea of using the Heresys for TV/DVD? If not, what AVR outside of an older one would people suggest? My dad has always powered his Cornwalls with Onkyos...I had these set up with one in a corner and the other against a wall....Either way, it sounds like even if I keep the setup hooked to my TV and decide to pair with a sub, I should get a more powerful/better AVR. I'm already learning a lot and I appreciate all the feedback.

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Before changing equipment (or speaker placement) by "ear", does your AVR have the ability to take room response measurements and report your bass lower limit to you. If so, I would recommend taking a couple of measurements at slightly different listening position and speaker placement locations. Moving your listening position or speaker placements as little as 6" to 12" could make a noticeable difference. My Onkyo AVR has reported my lower 3db down point as both 50hz and 40hz depending on the speaker/listening positions.

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*IF* your receiver tone controls are set to "flat" and the fronts are set to "Large" with subwoofer set to "off" or "none", you should get passable bass from Heresies on the floor.  Their low bass response if limited to about 50 Hz, though.  An older receiver may change the character of the sound, particularly in "smoothness" and "looseness" of the bass due to a lower Damping Factor, but not likely by much, more in the flavor realm.  I'd keep the one you have until the Hi-end bug bites.  It's bass management will be worth it when you buy subwoofers.

 

Yours are known as Heresy 1.5s (H1 woofer and tweeter and H2 squawker).  I have H1s.  They are bright.  The H1 woofer runs at about 94 to 94.5 dB, the squawker at 98 dB and the tweeter runs around 99 dB.  based on the Type E2 crossover, your H1.5s should be the same.  You can try the attached mod that will drop the squawker and tweeter output to see if you like it.  If you do, I/we will recalculate the squawker capacitor size for a permanent modification, or offer and more involved mod for a flatter impedance curve.  The modified crossover runs the squawker at 95 dB and the tweeter at 96 dB.  I'm running my H1 rear channels this way and my H1 center channel is similar, but the crossover is more like the Type AAs in my La Scalas. 

 

Ultimately, you will want a couple of subwoofers to fill in the bass below 70 Hz.  See the attached response curve on 2 of my H1s (blue and gray lines), in simulated anechoic conditions.  On the floor and near a wall will add about 6 db of low bass, perhaps getting you to 55 Hz, depending on your room.  The open E on a double bass/bass guitar is 41 Hz.  Multiple subwoofers give smoother in room response and lower distortion because each one doesn't work as hard. 

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I returned the Denon yesterday. I live about an hour away from Crutchfield and I called and talked to them about the situation as well. I think I am going to take the Heresys in and have them hook them up in their studio room to test them. Just like all of you have been saying, they also said I will definitely need a sub no matter which direction I decide to go if I want a punch of any kind. They also suggested a few AVRs that would match up with the power rating. Thanks again for all of your input...I'll update the post as I work through it.

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