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ScooterMcTavish

What can you tell me about Fortes

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Well, tracked down my audio friend, another tube fiend, and am glad he's a procrastinator as he still has the Fortes.

 

He knows they have had some Crites mods, but cannot say for certain if it is the crossovers, tweeters, or both.  Regardless, I'll be heading to his place in the next few weeks for a listen, and I will report back.

 

And just as a side note, I have to say the Klipsch website amazes me every time I am here.  The reverence the website pays to the company's founder and tradition is something not seen often, especially when a company is now part of a conglomerate like Voxx. 

 

Having just even just this shallow glimpse into the mind of PWK makes me want to own speakers he had a hand in designing.  Well that, and the gentle persuasion of the forum members who'd likely be happy to see a set of classic Klipsch in my home,

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Well, official demo day is set for Monday.

 

A very strange process this has been - after originally saying no the speakers,then continuing to research them, then tracking down the person that offered them, I hope these deliver that magic "something" I am looking for.

 

Also odd as I feel a bit like a kid before Christmas.  Last time I felt this excited was when I bought my first "audiophile" receiver (a Musical Fidelity) though it ended up being a disappointment - here's hoping the Fortes work out a bit better.

 

 

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And just to report back, I did not end up picking up the Fortes.  

 

The seller demoed them on a Carver Pre/Power combo, and we started the demo completely flat.

 

My initial impression was that I wanted to turn off the system.  First track up was "So Far Away" from Brothers in Arms.  They sounded a bit unbalanced to me, as in a little too hot in the mids.  Units had Crites titanium diaphragms on them and the top top end was very clear and clean.  Bass was solid and tuneful.

 

So I started to adjust the tone controls and pulled the treble down about 2db.  A little better, but not quite right.

 

Change of disc, and in went AFIs Decemberunderground.  A modern recording - in short lots of dynamic compression, and full of midrange harshness.  On the track "Love Like Winter" the Klipsch were simply unlistenable, with a harsh and punishing midrange. Based on the way this fired my tinnitus up, there was lots of excess info in the 1-4khz info coming through the mid.

 

So final disc - Cascada's "The Hits", which actually sounded best of the three demo discs. the vocals were quite good, and the bass was again tuneful and solid, but at this point my tinnitus was so bad that it didn't really matter any more.

 

In short, I think the tweeter was quite nice, and heard some detail that I don't always hear with my Soliloquy.  The bass management was also good, and I enjoyed the tunefulness of the passive woofer.  

 

However, that midrange horn was simply tinnitus-inducing.  I don't know if moving its crossover point lower might help, or if the tractrix horn on the Forte II was better, but it certainly didn't work for me.

 

As a final note, the speakers were listened to slightly toed in, about 10' away, in a room with carpet, and no large reflective surfaces.

 

Sorry nice Klipsch forum people, it seems I just may be one of those folks who can't get along with Klipsch speakers.  I'm trying, really I am.  But so far we're 0/2.

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Don't apologize as no pair of ears are the same.

With that said, Klipsch may not be for you.

 

Best of luck in your search for audio bliss.

 

 

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Nice post. Get what works for YOU. I actually wish that I was in an area where I could listen to other speakers to just see (hear). Went from Booze 901s to Klipsch in 1990 and other than some military barracks stereo I have no 'standard' by which to measure.

From www noise I would like to hear some ugly azz B&W's in my room.

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18 minutes ago, ScooterMcTavish said:

Sorry nice Klipsch forum people, it seems I just may be one of those folks who can't get along with Klipsch speakers.  I'm trying, really I am.  But so far we're 0/2.

I agree with @Arrow#422 and @USNRET there is no need to apologize.  I have a lot of respect for your honest assessment of what you are listening to and how it is affecting your listening experience.

 

So the Forte was a no go, likewise the Heresy.  A major confounding variable is your tinnitus.  Thinking out loud, I'm not sure what kind of speaker in general would be best for you, because I don't know what a tinnitus friendly speaker would sound like.  It's a topic I've never heard discussed and something I've never thought about.

 

When I had Magnapan Magnaplaners they were the most listenable speakers I ever heard.  They were super accurate and I could listen to them all day with no ear fatigue.  The drawback was they were so particular to needing an absolute perfect setup, 2 feet from an unobstructed back wall, toed in, and the MLP was very narrow. 

 

I don't know what Klipsch speakers would be the most smooth, the most listenable over time that wouldn't poke you in the ear with that tinnitus.  Maybe someone else could suggest something.  I just don't have any answers.

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The only unfortunate part of the experience was that we couldn't hook them up to his tube rigs, as he didn't have the right type/length interconnect to do it.

 

My Soliloquy were also tinnitus inducing mid-hot speakers that improved 100% when hooked to my tube rig, especially once I switched to KT-88 in the output stages.  Possibly part of the issue was the Carver, but I wasn't willing to risk bringing them home to see if they sounded better with my rig.  And Although the Soliloquy were mid hot, it was nothing like the Fortes.

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If you ever come across a pair of forte ii's, give them a try. The mid-range tractrix horn is very different and in my opinion, much more enjoyable.

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Thanks folks,

 

Appreciate the notes.  Actually, while driving to work today, I was able to put my finger on how best to describe the Fortes.  They reminded me of PA systems I've heard at concerts, etc.  I've actually sworn off concerts, as the SPLs and mid-push just make them a little painful to me.

 

Interesting the note on the Carver @unclefred as that was a concern of mine as well.  I have had a similar experience with Musical Fidelity - some state it sounds very tube-y.  I thought it sounded very harsh-y.  Now that I have tubes, I wonder on what basis people make the comparison.

 

@dtr20 That was my thought as well - possibly the "II" might suit me better.  However, it's rare enough for a set of Forte to show up here, let alone a set of Forte II.

 

@wvu80 The tinnitus is a horrible thing.  I've always been somewhat sensitive to midrange distortion, something I find that is way too abundant on modern recordings.  In fact, the album "Chuck" by Sum 41 and its midrange distortion is what set me off on my serious audio quest 13 years ago.  However, I'm of the suspicion that it is not specific frequencies that cause the tinnitus - I believe it is an over-abundance of odd-order harmonics in the mids that fire it up.  With my Solilioquy speakers, using tubes, and switching from 6550 to KT-88 has been successful in generating a mid-present but non-irritating sound.  If I'm listening to SS gear, I almost always need to use "British" sound speakers (such as Wharfedale and Mission) to keep the harmonics down, or use "warm" SS gear such as McIntosh.  Only issue with this is that mid-immediacy disappears.

 

However, when it gets fired up, I get about a 40db 8khz ringing in my ears.  It ruins music, and pretty much most of my day.

 

 

 

 

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Odd question, but were the grilles on? I didn't believe grilles really made a big difference in sound, but when I first got my Heresies (1989) I thought I didn't like them until I took off the grilles. Prior to that I found the mids a bit piercing as well.

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Grilles were off.

 

Funny, depending on who you talk to grilles are typically blamed for deadening the sound, and the the speakers are more "transparent" with grilles off.

 

I've certainly noticed that HF sound is muted somewhat on some of the speakers I've owned with the grilles on.  However, considering how much work goes into baffle design to avoid unwanted reflections that typically any speaker other than a Vandersteen would have its sound affected with the grilles on.

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Your amp and pre are making a big difference here... it matters more with Klipsch than many others I think.  I understand the tinnitus issues... just the sound of a loud clap nearby can hurt and make my ear feel like it's bleeding.  I'm also pretty sensitive to any sibilance.  Wear ear protection when you mow is my lesson for the day.

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1 hour ago, muel said:

Your amp and pre are making a big difference here... it matters more with Klipsch than many others I think.  I understand the tinnitus issues... just the sound of a loud clap nearby can hurt and make my ear feel like it's bleeding.  I'm also pretty sensitive to any sibilance.  Wear ear protection when you mow is my lesson for the day.

 

Yes, I've started wearing ear protection for all sorts of things I never used to wear ear protection for in the past.  Possibly mowing needs to be put on the list.

 

The upstream electronics were of concern to me as well, but with no way to test the Fortes on different gear, I was forced to leave them.  I've brought home a few too many pairs that I've thought "Wow, I'll make this sound much better at home" followed by the disappointment of discovering that I can only make something sound so good.

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I guess I’m allowed to threadmance my own thread.  Almost a year after I started this post, and nine months since I last posted, the Fortes are now sitting in front of me.

 

I’m currently listening to Bill Evans Trio “Sunday at the Village Vanguard” on vinyl through my tube amp, and wow.

 

Not overly harsh, unbelievable ambience, and gorgeous sound in general.  Some of the first rock tunes I put through were a mixed bag.  But this?  Wow, just wow.  I now finally hear the “live music” that people claim Klipsch delivers better than other speakers.

 

I think these here will make an excellent complimentary set to the B&W 683 beside them.    Amazing what a difference the upstream electronics and room make.  Like a different speaker than I demoed.

 

Wonder what the Mrs will say when she sees them.....

8BC227B4-24C2-44D4-B08A-92C8A60FBA45.jpeg

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On 6/15/2017 at 3:04 PM, ScooterMcTavish said:

The reverence the website pays to the company's founder and tradition is something not seen often, especially when a company is now part of a conglomerate like Voxx.

I can say the "big conglomerate Voxx " is owned by a man who completely gets and understands the tradition of the company and Paul Klipsch legacy. So much so he donated the Museum, land and building plus historical contents. It was made into an independent non profit organization. He wants to see PWK's history preserved, it is to good of a story to be lost.

 

Cool looking room, love the wall and guitars.

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4 minutes ago, dtel said:

I can say the "big conglomerate Voxx " is owned by a man who completely gets and understands the tradition of the company and Paul Klipsch legacy. So much so he donated the Museum, land and building plus historical contents. It was made into an independent non profit organization. He wants to see PWK's history preserved, it is to good of a story to be lost.

yeah; but, does he like Ketchup?

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