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aljordan

Forte II - trouble taming brightness

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Hi,

 

I've owned a pair of KG-4 with rebuilt crossovers and titanium tweeter diaphragm, which while not perfect, are very satisfying overall. I recently picked up a pair of Forte II in great shape. They are quite a bit more open sounding than the KG-4, but I am struggling with getting a proper tonal balance. I've tried a number of positions in the room, with varying degrees of tow-in angle. The issue seems to be that when I tow them in direct at the listening position, the treble is smooth, but the balance is far too bright. When I angle them differently to get a better tonal balance, there is a region in the upper mids or lower treble that gets annoyingly edgy (saxophones for example, and certain upper notes on the piano). I am wondering if anyone else has had this issue with their Forte II, and what you might have done to solve it.

 

Will replacement titanium tweeter diaphragms relieve the sizzle? Replacement crossovers? I definitely don't need any more treble out of them, but would like to relieve the annoying region (without using an EQ device if possible).

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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im sure others will have suggestions for the issue, a few members here have heavily modified their fortes. 

 

a few basics though, have you verified if one mid/tweet is causing the problem by swapping the speakers left to right or the drivers?  have you checked each drivers ohms to verify they are both within acceptable ranges?  might have a partially blown driver.  a quick simple way, without an EQ device would be to just turn the treble setting down a notch or 2.  or maybe your ears are just used to the less bright kg4's,  quartet/forte/chorus are a 3 way vs the kg 2 way & are much brighter speakers. 

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I owned a Sony ES series amp that was god awful bright with Fortes and Klipschorns. Sounded very nice with a pair of AR 11s  . 

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5 hours ago, aljordan said:

Will replacement titanium tweeter diaphragms relieve the sizzle?

Sorry, but that made me laugh. 

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TI diaphragms will help tone things down a bit but I would update your crossovers first before anything else is done. Even a Solen or Dayton grade caps can make a difference.

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I think titanium makes it worse. Phenolic is considerably warmer sounding. 

 

He needs to replace the old Mylars in his networks with some nice polypropylenes. Replace crap resistor with Mills. 

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  My recent experience shows sometimes the speakers are just revealing of issues elsewhere. 

  Check your source. At least this is where my issue was. I was ready to replace the tweeter driver and horn in my speakers to “fix” a hardness when recordings peaked. 

  Now they are clearer. 

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Before you go crazy over the fancy caps, new tweeters, etc try this.

Get the bass right by playing with the geometry of where the cabinet is located (more bass as you approach a corner, overall). Once this is done, then play withe the toe-in and adjust the "brightness". . Do it in this sequence,

Good luck,

Tom

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I imagine what you are experiencing isn't necessarily the tweeter, but the mid and horn  The Tractix horn in the mid makes this speaker seem a little forward sounding.  I think adjusting the placement of the speaker from the back wall will help by improving the low-end, resulting in a smoother presentation.  Also, I'm not sure about your room, but the room itself can be an issue.  Is it a live room?  Hard floors, walls, large, etc?  I can tell you the Forte II's are a substantially better speaker than any of the KG's.  I've owned both and have experienced the difference between the two.  

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Use of an equalizer may be able to tame your treble ills. The good thing is, if it doesn't, you can easily remove it from the system.

 

There's no shame in using an equalizer!

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2 hours ago, Peter P. said:

Use of an equalizer may be able to tame your treble ills. The good thing is, if it doesn't, you can easily remove it from the system.

 

There's no shame in using an equalizer!

 

No shame at all, if you can get past the "suckage".......

 

In any event, as stated above, I think what he's hearing is the squawker, not the tweeter.

 

Shakey

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As bas been mentioned above your equipment can have a large influence on the end result too. As an example back in the day when I listened to my first set of forte II's ~1990 I had Yamaha gear and it made them sound very tinny but the Onkyo and Denon stuff I tested was much much better. 

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All crossovers I have tested that old have capacitors with high ESR or out of spec capacitance and often both at the same time. Yes recapping makes a difference. The very first thing I do with older speakers is recap. But as others mention your end result is an aggregate of the pieces of the puzzle used. I was shocked at how bad my music library was and Audacity fixed most of those problems and what it could not fix was thrown out until I could find a good copy of that music to work from. One of the other pieces was downloading a Realtec Hi definition upgrade to the basic sound card in my PC which made a big difference in quality. My vote is not for Ti diaphragms any more but rather for a B&C DE10 driver for the tweeters. People come by here to buy speakers and I take time to make sure they know how I got the sound they like so much and two of the biggies were Audacity and the Realtec download. Using Audacity just to normalize and set the bit rate to 96 or 192k makes a big difference and I show them by editing the music right in front of them. I use a Crown xli800 amp and like it more than my Integra 50.4 with all the bells and whistles.

 

  My experience has been that the tweeters are the main culprit when it comes to getting rid of shrill.

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Wow, I just logged back on and saw so many replies!

 

I will measure the impedance of the drivers this weekend, to make sure they all seem normal. I can also rebuild the crossovers, as at least swap out the caps, once I find what the correct values are.

 

I have tried playing with distance from the wall and corner. I can get a warmer sound by going closer to the corners, at the cost of losing bass definition. I have placed the speakers where I have a good blend of bass warmth and definition, but still have trouble with the sizzle.

 

Regarding front end components, I've been a long time audio nut and more recently have been building some PASS DIY projects, so I have a few things to choose from:  DIY First Watt M2, DIY Pass B1 buffer, DIY Amp Camp Amp 1.6 monos, and I am about done with a First Watt Aleph J. I also have a pair of Quicksilver tube amps. The KG-4 sounds amazing via the M2, but so far I think the Forte does best with the ACA 1.6. I use a good R2R DAC in front of everything else.

 

Japosey and Shakeydeal mentioned the squawker and horn as being possibly responsible for what I am hearing. Is there any smoother options available if it turns out that nothing else alleviates the problem?

 

Once again, thanks for all of your thoughts,

Alan

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dave A said:

My vote is not for Ti diaphragms any more but rather for a B&C DE10 driver for the tweeters.

 

Do these work as bolt on replacements with the existing horn, or are there further modifications that have to be made?

 

Thanks!

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For the squawker you may want to consider the a55g's from Crites, they will require  adapters to mount to your lens though. Also there might be a cabinet depth issue though.

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15 minutes ago, aljordan said:

 

Do these work as bolt on replacements with the existing horn, or are there further modifications that have to be made?

 

Thanks!

Check your PM and yes they are bolt on but not with the OEM horn lens.

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On 12/11/2018 at 1:07 PM, tromprof said:

I owned a Sony ES series amp that was god awful bright with Fortes and Klipschorns. Sounded very nice with a pair of AR 11s  . 

 

5 hours ago, Alexander said:

As bas been mentioned above your equipment can have a large influence on the end result too.

Try another source, borrow or however you can, it would really suck to replace all those other parts mentioned because the source possibly sucks. This if those changes worked that would only make your speakers sound good on that one source,   the whole idea is kind of crazy to me, to customize speakers to fit one particular source, since when is this normal ? 

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I have owned forte IIs from new, some of the first ever made, and added a couple of pairs since.  I have never experienced anything one might call too bright.  From  Yamaha integrated circa 1980 to a Panasonic avr to Sunfire cinema and theater separates, never anything too bright.  No modifications on mine, all completely stock.   Horns, and reeds, especially saxophones sound completely natural to me, and I played onstage with those instruments for years so I know what they sound like.

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