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HiFiRuss71

Forte III and not exactly a newbie

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Hi and thanks in advance for reading, but it will cut a long story short! Get a coffee! :)

 

I used to review speakers and subwoofers for Europe's biggest forum; predominantly multi-channel, but I levered stereo in there whenever I could. I then got involved with a distributor that went on to make their own speakers and subwoofers, although that involvement is over now. They distribute Klipsch (amongst others) and I'll say now that I've heard nothing from the RF or Reference Series that gives me cause for concern over my current twin 8" waveguide tweeter speakers. Not even close.

 

However, I have an itch to scratch and the money to do it.

 

You see, way back in my youth I used to work in a Hi-fi shop - Home cinema hadn't been invented. 8" drivers were small and all the stuff we plugged in between customers from ATC, Tannoy, Yamaha, Infinity to name a few, were bigger than that. We had Quad, Linn, Mission, Mark Levinson, Krell, Musical Fidelity and and more besides and whilst our collective musical tastes were diverse, we tended to err toward the, err, larger speakers. Not for bass depth, but punch, boogie factor, call it what you will. Then the world went mad, decided that a line of 5" drivers could replace one 12", her in-doors should be approached for visual approval of said speakers and that tonal purity was a hi-fi must have, now that emotion had been forsaken for skinny.

 

The world seems to believe that, but I don't.

 

Anyhoo, I divorced the wife that whilst enjoying the holidays the reviewing payed for ( insisting that she didn't want to see the speakers that earned it) am now with a girl who says weird stuff like 'turn it up' and 'get up and dance'. And we do. Literally disco levels. So it occured to me that now I am shorn of the need to listen to hi-fi test tracks, I want to buy something that will deliver Brothers Johnson, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Metallica, Luther Vandross ,Show of Hands, Poi Dog Pondering, (etc) with boogie factor.

 

I'm 47 now and thus free of fashion concerns and about 13 seconds of Googling kept throwing up Heritage; Forte or Cornwall. Over here in the Colonial home land, it would appear that Heritage speakers once bought are not sold, so it's a full monty new purchase for me. In fact it's part of a wholesale system revamp.

 

The room is 12x20ft (4x6.5m in Papist terms) slightly weird shape at the back (which helps even out bass modes) and the speakers have to go on the short wall. The seating distance is just over twelve feet from the 12ft wall. The layout (if I bin the subwoofer, which is quite likely) would tolerate speakers on the front wall giving a 45-50deg listening angle, to corner placement at 60deg with the speakers crossing in front of where we sit. Ms. HiFiRuss says get whatever you want. I know, you're jealous.

 

The current Audiolab M-DAC+ (fed from a Bluesound Node) is likely to get replaced by an Anthem STR pre or integrated amplifier, so taming a bit of extra bass is a non-issue. I AM a fan of bass equalisation, if not full range.

 

Now to the questions:

 

Forte or Cornwall? I'm none the clearer based on reviews, reading this or other forums. Part of me likes the idea of corner placement as it seems to fit the the nominally 90deg dispersion of the Heritage loudspeakers and seems technically correct.

 

Power? If going for the Fortes, I can afford to partner the Anthem Pre with Quad II Eighty monoblocks, or some such. If I go Cornwall, then it's probably the Anthem Integrated. The question is what would you sacrifice to get valve power, bearing in mind our 'disco' level fetish when the mood takes!

 

Cheers,

 

Russ

 

PS. Room porn attached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room.jpg

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I'm sure both the Cornwall III and Forte III are fine speakers, and I've herd great things about them, but they are not fully horn loaded, i.e., don't have horn loaded bass.  Horn loaded bass would be expected to produce less distortion, especially modulation distortion, everything else being held equal.  My Klipschorns have marvelously tight bass, with plenty of punch. 

 

But ...

 

Since you say you have money ...

 

There is a new contender, that everyone who has heard it loves (at least so far, as far as I know).  I hear it boogies to the max.   It is the fully horn loaded Klipsch Jubilee:

 

image.thumb.png.f633f994b8d31c4932e2e13fb6427941.png

 

It was one of Paul W. Klipsch's last projects, meant to replace the Klipschorn.  image.png.0dd0c032241ad6f94d6987788d8a8f1c.pngThe design and implementation work was carried on by Roy Delgado, PWK's hand picked chief engineer.   Roy can provide EQ and biamping information.  Forum member Chris A. has them, and could probably give you more info.

 

They probably should be tucked into the corners, but don't need to be, but should be near a corner for boundary gain. 

 

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Having had the Forte III (I still have Forte I and prefer them over the III) and now a new owner of the Cornwall III. I vote Cornwall III. But those Jubilees are certainly worth looking into. Some day I would like to try the 2 way version of those. 

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I hope my post doesn't set in motion another one of "those" threads (regulars know what I mean). But I vote for the FIII with the better amplification. I think the tube monos will far outshine the anthem integrated. And since you are starting with two very good speakers in the first place, the quality of the Quads will win the day.

 

Shakey

 

PS

 

Unless you really can afford the Jubilees. Then disregard everything I said, except tubes still rule......👍

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I'd even go a little farther out.  Jubs too big for the area but I bet a set of Heresy's with a pair of 12" or 15" subs would be a nice addition.  Proper front end and amplification are a requisite.

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My vote is for the Fortes III but I'm not qualified to advise you in the matter.  I've never heard, in person, the Cornwalls III.  Nor had I heard the Fortes III in person until recently taking delivery of a new pair.  (Had not auditioned any Klipsch products since the latter 1970s.)

 

I am thoroughly pleased with my purchase, would make it again in a heartbeat if necessary, and highly recommend them to anybody.

 

If I'd had the room and/or budget to accommodate the Cornwalls I surely would have driven the hour and change necessary to hear them both beforehand, and that has to be my recommendation in the case of this thread.  Listen to both beforehand.

 

I "like the idea of" the newer midrange horn in the Fortes over that in the Cornwalls (the same unit as in the Heresies) and it certainly doesn't disappoint me in any way.  I find the Fortes to be very well balanced from top to bottom.  They are a bit unforgiving of poorly-produced recordings (which includes a few "newly-remastered" CD releases, and some more-recent "greatest hits" compilations), however they absolutely shine in most every other instance, no matter what kind of music I throw at them.

 

I've never before experienced such a discrepancy.  There has always been a difference between good and bad productions but all the loudspeakers (entirely-direct-radiators) I've owned to date have masked the difference to a much greater extent.

 

You've not yet replied whether Jubilees might could also be considered.  I'll say that if I ever decide to upgrade they'd be the reason.  I've not heard them, but as was the case with my Fortes, I know I don't need to do so beforehand.

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As a current owner I would give my vote for Forte III.  Smooth, clean, and strong bass.  Smaller footprint than Cornwalls

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16 hours ago, HiFiRuss71 said:

Hi and thanks in advance for reading, but it will cut a long story short! Get a coffee! :)

 

 

Now to the questions:

 

Forte or Cornwall?

 

Have you considered the KI-396? 

 

 

KI-396-SMA-II.jpg

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The room is a bit narrow for K-horns or Jub's, but I wouldnt let that sway me from them.   For a plug and play set, I think the Cornwall 2 or 3 would be a great match for your setup, but I would give a Chorus 2 a very serious look as it offers very similar results in the bass department and an upgrade in the mid horn and aren't near as wide. You will have to hit the used market to find a pair though, but can be had for under 1K a pair

 

Chorus II has updated, (larger) mid horn, active 15" woofer and 15" passive on the rear.  Per size and output, this may be the most effective speaker Klipsch ever built and will leave nothing on the table from delicate Classical to the fuzzy sub cycles of Rap. Either set will move that plant on top of you fireplace mantle without doubt

Image result for klipsch chorus II

 

Image result for klipsch Cornwall II

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Hmm that is going to be a tough one. In either case it is a win, win in my opinion. I have not heard the C3 but have heard the C2 and 1 series. I have heard the Forte 3 and thought "how in the heck can all that come from such a small box"? Answer ROY DELGADO that is how. The F3 is one of his babies and I love all of Roy's work especially the pro line of speakers. I think the man hit it out the park with the Forte 3, are the perfect no but what speaker is (except the jubs)? Will it beat some of the pro stuff mentioned above...not to my ears but you didn't ask that so I say F3.

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I've never heard or owned Cornwalls, but I do have chorus ii and forte iii. My vote is for the forte iii, primarily based on 2 reasons: (1) OP mentioned that used is very hard to find where he is at; and (2) the finish of the F3 being new but retro-looking gives it an edge IMO. Plus, OP didn't mention price being a super concern -- used Chorus ii or Forte ii wouldn't be a bad choice either, and would save some $$$, if he can find them. The finish of the Forte iii, in something light (e.g. Cherry) with the lambswool grill would look great in that room.

 

For more boogie factor, toss on some Oliver Cheatham (Get Down Saturday Night).

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I've heard the new Forte's and Cornwalls in the same room with the same gear.  I preferred the F3's.  The new mid horn is magic plus they take up less real estate.

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Welcome to the forums! Where do you reside?

 

What are the speakers you have in your room now? All direct radiators? If you get the Forte III, you will be in for a real treat.

 

Bruce.

 

 

 

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" The question is what would you sacrifice to get valve power, bearing in mind our 'disco' level fetish when the mood takes!"

 

I have FIII in a room approximately the same size as yours and drive them with a 20wpc Quicksilver tube integrated. I found aiming the speakers straight ahead or with very minimal toe-in gave the best midrange clarity. The Fortes are very balanced top to bottom and you will have more than enough to drive the speakers to extreme levels. That being said, the Cornwalls will give you lower bass and more thump but may not be as smooth sounding with the Anthem amp as Fortes with the tube amp. Can you audition both in the same room with the same equipment to make a direct comparison?

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I'm in the UK. That's why it's nice to be on a US forum, throw a question oout there late at night and wake up to a barage of replies in the morning! To address some of the answers:

 

Jubilees - Too big and frankly somewhat fuggly. That goes double for the PA speaker. Sorry, but the Fortes and Cornwalls tick my aesthetic boxes.

 

Interesting comment on the Hereseys plus sub(s) as I currently run the Arendal Monitors with an Arendal Sub 1, the latter being the only bit to enjoy EQ. I get the benefits of EQ'd bass, prefering to choose the right speakers for the space and bass manage them. One Sub 1 (14" driver, 500W RMS ,1kW peak) is a bit light for my taste, especially as I can now run stereo EQ'd subs. However, I don't want stands and if I bought Hereseys; would always be left wondering what if....

 

Alas, beyond Hereseys, it's nigh on impossible to find pre-loved Klipsch over here, nevermind MkIs and IIs of anything. I'm pretty sure that the F3s are the right choice for the space, given that they offer up more latitude for positioning and in the last day or so, a potential bargain has transpired. A Klipsch dealer has a pair of Walnut F3s, one of which was dropped by a courier. The plinth is smashed and a top corner dented. The plinth is being replaced and as I know a good cabinet maker, repair of the corner and even a wholsale re-veneer is possible - Why couldn't they have dropped an oak pair with the lambs wool grill?!?!? At a maximum of £2.5k (saving £1,5k) I think they're probably a shoe in, if I like them on demo.

 

I've also found a pair of Quad II Eighties, boxed and immaculate for £3k, plus said dealer not only does Anthem and Quad, but also has Icon Audio MB90 MkIIs on demo- they would seem a potentially perfect match given the mode switching. For those not familiar with Anthem ARC, you can limit the maximum frequency EQ is applied to and in the varoius incarnations I've owed and reviewed it in, I've never felt compelled to use it above 300Hz and more usually 150Hz. An STR Pre with the Sabre DACs and all the digital inputs I require is looking attractive. Apparently, the phono stage is more than competant too, he says looking a 200 LPs in storage.

 

I wouldn't say budget isn't important (why spend more if you can spend less?) but I do have an opportunity to drop £10k on a wholesale system revamp, if what I hear for each component impresses. With my history of DIY speaker and subwoofer building, plus involvement in the Arendals, I will go speaker first and get that right. I will use the demo opportunity to listen to some valves (tubes) and if it really floats my boat, try and screw a deal out of the dealer. The pre can can wait, because the M-Dac+ has some of the best digital filters at any price.

 

Thanks for the input and if there's anything else you'd like to thow out there as a thought, I'm all ears!

 

Russ

 

 

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Hi Russ,

 

Welcome to the forum :D  

 

OK; have Cornwall's and currently (haha) use them as rear speakers.  Also have a set of Forte's ... probably more refined than the CW's, but they lack soundstage and volume :(  In my opinion (and I'm sure I will hear about this :) ) they are pretty "anemic" speakers.  Have tried to match Forte's with K-510 horns (the little brother of the above mentioned K-402's).  No matter what I do, the Forte's are just "little" speakers that will never get to "Pro" levels."  

 

So; if you do not have room for (pro) Jubes, look into some other Pro speakers like the KPT-904's. You won't regret it :D 

 

Cheers, Emile

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Emile, you should let him know which Fortes and which Cornwalls you're referring to.

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13 minutes ago, glens said:

Emile, you should let him know which Fortes and which Cornwalls you're referring to.

OK; I've got the cheap series I for both :D 

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I certainly get "too big," particularly for your room, but fuggly speakers can be put behind acoustically transparent fabric (e.g., a cloth wall).  I know that "acoustically transparent" is like "clean coal," but some fabrics are PDG, and devices like Audyssey can compensate for the 1 dB or so one might lose in the high frequencies.

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