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Ashayinfla

Purchase recommendation

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Hello to all of my Klipsch brothers and sisters! This is my first post although I have been perusing the site for some time.

Before I get to my main Q, let me tell you a little about me so you can understand me a little better:

I am a live sound engineer and have a very solid knowledge of audio gear (mostly in the pro sound world) as well as acoustics (but no formal schooling in the matter) and electrical components / mods / repairs / etc..  I am also a prowd owner of Klipsch speakers, buying my first 6x Klipsch KSB1.1's brand new right when they were getting replaced by the SB line, to use for my surround setup (I know they made center/rear speakers using similar components, but I bought all the same model to preserve consistency across all channels since different models have different sizes and driver counts, and because I was getting a great deal on them!), around 2008ish.  After eventually adding a subwoofer (Hsu 10" model) and a couple more 1.1's used, and going thru a few different drive systems (from 4 channels of Soundcraftsmen PA5001 w/ a shure analog and technics digital surround processor back in the day to a Marantz 6.1 receiver to a Yamaha aventage RX-A1040 which is what I currently have, with 4x ksb1.1's flown around sides and back, and three in front for L/C/R).   I was "that guy" who went into the Bose store years ago and sat in on the "Demo Room" they had set up, then when I came out and they asked me what do I think, I told them I could hear the speakers fatiguing and distorting toward the end!  They asked me what I normally listen to, and when I told them what I do and what I have, the "sales guy" admitted that their products will probably not suit me!!!

 

So to my Question:

I am now a proud home owner (well I share one common wall with a couple of older folk who cant appreciate their side of the duplex vibrating) so I cant exactly jam how I would like, or turn up a movie to real-life-action often, but I like to have the headroom!!!

I have been using these KSB 1.1's for a long time now and I still love them (although I find it very strange that the pink noise blasts from the Yamaha sound different in each speaker, I found it was in either the amp and/or room acoustics as I tried swapping boxes on one channel and they do sound the same). Luckily the amp has pretty good parametric EQ control, so bringing home my SMAARTLIVE system from work I was able to dial everything in pretty nicely, and align the timing between boxes with precision!!!

 

So I want to upgrade.   I don't want a "whole new system" and with house and kids and working in the entertainment business and a house-mom for a wife, I don't have the budget for anything new!!!  I was keeping my eyes peeled for a local deal on a KSF10.5. I seen a few deals on 8.5's but Im the type of guy who goes large or goes home when I deal with audio, so 10.5 what I'm looking for.

I just came across a STEAL on a pair of RF-3's (original, not series 2) (under $200 for the pair!!!). I flirted with the idea of upgrading the series but the big question is if I upgrade the main L/R but not ATLEAST the center (which covers the bulk of sound) then will the tonal balance across the front sound stage be too different and not as pleasing as the lesser quality boxes with similar tonal balance across the system?

My original plan was to get floor standing speakers for mains, and then "up"grade the current front KSB-1.1 to Front High speakers (or whatever they call that?) How different is the KSB's general tonal balance from the RF3's, and is it something the Aventage EQ woudnt be able to fix to an acceptable degree?

Note that the system is MOSTLY used for general TV watching (by the family, I usually out working~) but occasionally I like to sit back and relax and let awesome sound surround and engulf me (until kids or wife ruin the zen experience!).

 

Thank you for bearing with me (I have a hard time writing 2 sentence posts on these things!!!)

and please if you have any ideas for me let me know, as I am anxious but hesitant at the same time to grab these RF3's...

 

-AshayinFLA

Edited by Ashayinfla
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You got a great deal on those RF-3's.  Don't worry too much about the MK.I or II thing, the only difference is the Z series wiring, which I've never been able to hear a difference with.  I've owned two pair of them, and still have my original ones that were gifted to me in the early 2000s.

 

The KS's are the first generation Synergy's...so there will be some considerable timbre matching discrepancies.  The good news is that the build quality of the first and second generation Synergy was superior to the build of the later generations and subsequent lines.  I can't imagine that YPAO would be unable to make it sound good.  Are you partial to Yamaha or open to other options, and what is your budget?

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I am really comfortable with the Yamaha and all it does and how it sounds, but not completely close-minded to other options. I really think if anything, though, I would be more interested in either upgrading to a newer or higher-up-the-line model, or adding separate amps (and possibly outboard dsp's and foregoing the passive crossover network all together- today's dsp and fir filters are light years ahead of 2nd-order passive networks!)

But that brings me to the other part of your question: budget! There really isn't a budget for upgrades, sans a few dollars I can scrape up here and there!

To be honest, with the current usage "I" get from the system, it's not worth putting a dime into it as long as its working, but I'm always looking for deals and have the dream of stepping up, for the few times I do get to indulge, and if nothing else just to know I have a nice system at home! (I'm jamming/mixing on Meyer Sound and sometimes L-acoustics line arrays at work, with literally tens of thousands of watts behind a pair of arrays of 4-16 boxes, and 6x double 18's per side, but doing corporate audio isn't nearly as fun as concert work I used to do!) But when I get home I can really decide what I'm listening to (usually Spanish TV programming, my wife is Cuban! Oh wait I still don't have control!) Anyway once in a while I can sit back and relax and listen to some good jazz or blues or rock or enjoy an edm concert on TV, or watch a action thriller the way it was intended to be seen & heard, or whatever... (in my business, I learn to appreciate all types of music!!!) And when I do get to do that I want to do it on a nice system!

So unless it's a steal I can't really afford it, and unless it breaks I'm in no rush to change what I have, except the speakers I really want to step up from the 6.5" sat / sub arrangement!

Edited by Ashayinfla

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The 1040 is a perfectly capable system, so if you're satisfied with it, I'd stick with it - especially if you're in no rush to upgrade.  YPAO on a newer Yamaha is going to do the same thing YPAO on your current RX-A does.  Really the only things I'd look at are the center (as you've said), surrounds, and maybe an external amp.  You might look at the XO upgrades for the RF-3's that Bob Crites has too.

 

Recommended surrounds:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR11.TRC1.A0.H0.XKlipsch+RS-3.TRS0&_nkw=Klipsch+RS-3&_sacat=0

 

Recommended center:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Klipsch+RC-7&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=Klipsch+RS-3

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I read some posts that mentioned them, or other X-over mods, and that does peak my interest, especially since the caps are aging (I always thought resistors didn't change value with age, only with heat, and inductance coils could go bad over time due to coil wire getting loose and vibrating).

Until the theoretical time when I get some digital active crossovers (and separate amps), I will be passive (I seem to remember my Yammy having bi-amplification possible, but that kills the internal upper surround channels and really doesn't have any great X-over settings like a real external processor would) so I'll likely just be in passive for a long time.  If I do any X-over mods, I'll do it myself (I saw the amusing post that I think you were a part of where newbie had to replace perfectly fine parts in his X-overs, and doesn't even own a soldering iron! I read until the end hoping to see if he finally improved the sound but he never said!)

As for ypao, it's decent and all, but after running it and then taking measurements with my smaart rig I decided to re-adjust the system using smaart alone and had much better results (much more consistency between boxes+room positions) of course I'm using a $300 isemcon mic with measured correction curve applied, not a $4.00 electret condenser with a suction cup on the end!) so it's really just the parametric eq's, level adjustments, and distance/delay settings that I "need"- I insert my own pink noise into each channel using 7.1 input - is really a beautiful thing in the end, I can almost match up phase traces between all the boxes and eq each box to sound very similar, regardless of how close to the corner the speaker in the left of the room is (of course reflections hurt the phase trace on that one).

 

First goal is to pick (it won't let me type "sna - tch" lol) these babies up before its too late (seller hadn't responded to me yet, I think it said I was the first to contact them a few hours after it posted), then I'll get to playing with what I have, maybe replace/upgrade X-over components, and start looking for a reference series center channel for a steal!

 

 

Edit... my bad these rf3s are just over 200 for the pair- still a steal!

Edited by Ashayinfla

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I think I remember the thread you're talking about.  That was before Bob and I decided to experiment on the RF-3 II Crossovers.  (I say we, but Bob did all the work, all I did was send him the old XO's.)  Until then, there were no real XO mods/updates to the RF-3 design that I know of.

 

I don't buy into auto-cal myself, so you won't see me complaining about your decision to opt to drop the idea of YPAO.  Manual calibration has always been my cup of tea.  You may or may not find the sweet spot between the KSB's and the RF's, but you might find it between other RB/C/F/S models.  The closest relative of the RF-3 series that's not in the same family would be the 35 series.  So if you're coming up empty handed on finding the identical matches, there are alternatives.

 

I highly advise NOT getting the RC-3 that supposedly "goes" with the RF-3's.  It struggles to perform, and is not at all similar to its successor models (35 and 62).  Poke around in the garage sale section here, too.  Good deals to be had.  I think @opusk2k9 has a pair or two of RB-5's that would work well either as mains or surrounds and use the same 8" driver and 1" tweeter as the RF-3's.

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So I finally got to go check out & purchase the rf3's. I ended up talking the seller  down to $150 because both tweeter horns were dead

Of course I checked the jumpers on the rear (I know that's everybody's first question!)

I now need to repair/replace the drivers. I will go post in the mods/repairs section about getting these back in running order.

Edited by Ashayinfla

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