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Forte III and not exactly a newbie


HiFiRuss71
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17 minutes ago, SonicBliss said:

Another resounding vote for the combination of Tubes and Cornwall III's - the combination is breath taking!!

 

As opposed to Fortes III and tubes?  Or is this a one-sided viewpoint?  If so, it's worth no more than mine.  OP is looking for directly-comparative opinions.  So far the reply by CECAA850 on the first page comes to mind as the most pertinent.  kink56 also had an applicable opinion on the first page, but he was wrong ( :) ). 

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10 minutes ago, glens said:

 

As opposed to Fortes III and tubes?  Or is this a one-sided viewpoint?  If so, it's worth no more than mine.  OP is looking for directly-comparative opinions.

 

Wow, just wow. I read sonicbliss's post completely different than you I guess. Didn't sound combative at all to me, nor confrontational. Sounds like you are spoiling for a fight.......

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Not spoiling for a fight, but the only time I heard Cornwalls was at Klipsch HQ when they held the pilgrimage there. The bottom end just seemed a bit bloated. They again, I like horn loaded bass (La Scalas), so you can take that with a grain of salt.

 

I wish they would do a Chorus III, as they pair of Chorus II that I had a my house for a short time (I picked them up for someone else and later transported them). 

 

Unfortunately the are hard to find in the UK, but they would be better than Corns... but I alao love the looks of the Forte III.

 

Bruce

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2 hours ago, glens said:

 

As opposed to Fortes III and tubes?  Or is this a one-sided viewpoint?  If so, it's worth no more than mine.  OP is looking for directly-comparative opinions.  So far the reply by CECAA850 on the first page comes to mind as the most pertinent.  kink56 also had an applicable opinion on the first page, but he was wrong ( :) ). 

I might as well chime-in, although the Forte III is a mighty fine speaker (slightly smoother through the mid-range than the Cornwall III, IMHO) they require careful setup to get the passive radiator to work properly..... you CANNOT push them up against a wall. Additionally, they simply cannot compete with the Cornwall if you consider a "life-sized" rendering of instruments on the sound-stage important. They play "bigger", there's something about a 15" woofer that a 12" (even with passive radiator) just can't quite match.

 

As for the Chorus (either I or II's, I have owned both) despite their sensitivity, they are a far more difficult load to drive with tubes than the Cornwall. And of course with the same placement requirements as the Forte' (I, II, or III's).

 

That said, if the poster purchases either, he'll be grinning from ear to ear. :) 

 

Matt.

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On 2/27/2019 at 6:53 PM, HiFiRuss71 said:

...So it occurred 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... 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...

 

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!

 

The question is between two models: Forte III or Cornwall III (as I assume).  Prior versions of these models are a little different in their configurations, so if you're not talking about the "-III" models, it would be good to know.

 

The Cornwall III has a 15" woofer, and the Forte a 12".  That you already know--so if you're looking for bass extension and lower levels of modulation distortion at disco levels--you already know which one wins.  The Forte III has a much better midrange horn than the Cornwall III.  This isn't a trivial difference in my experience.  The other difference in drivers are not big discriminators.  Both loudspeakers will have tweeter-->midrange time misalignment.  Most people that buy new loudspeakers usually don't like to open them up, release the tweeter from its in-box mounting (and cover the resulting hole in the box), then relocate the tweeter to the top of the loudspeaker cabinet to a home-made baffle in order to time align it to the midrange horn/driver/crossover network delays.  But in order to get that last 5% of performance, that's what you're going to have to do.  Sorry.  But it's that simple to correct and nice small baffles can be made quite easily.  (The "why" of the existing time misalignment is a much longer discussion--just know that it's there.)

 

Now you're probably going to say that all this isn't to your question (and tacitly that you think that what I'm saying is basically rubbish).  I can assure you that it isn't garbage...and that it is actually dead-on to your first question. 

 

Power is easy: it depends on what you typically listen to and how badly mastered those recordings are (and yes, even Alan Parsons allowed poor mastering EQ to creep into his distributed albums, including those for Pink Floyd).  These issues can be corrected by fixing the recordings...but if you're like most that frequent the forums, you want the loudspeakers and/or amplifiers to "fix it".  I've found that amplifiers and loudspeakers are poor places to fix recording issues.  But you're probably going to reject that suggestion anyway, so it really doesn't matter.

 

In terms of quality of amplifiers, I personally like First Watt from Nelson Pass--as they are really clean and have those sparkling highs that everyone seems to like (including me).  Amplifiers having the fewest number of stages of amplification possible sound better, as do amplifiers having very low levels of negative feedback in order to avoid higher order harmonics generation. Really good class "D" amplification would work quite well, especially those with less than 50 w/channel output capability.  I think you know about those kind of amplifiers from ICEpower and Hypex, et al. (EU). 

 

Valve (tube) amplifiers are a pain in my experience, but if you're going that direction, I'd wave you off of SETs (single-ended, that is) and instead recommend a good clean push-pull unit with some negative feedback to lower its output impedance to under 1 ohm.  There are plenty of opinions on PP valve amplifiers--take your pick. 

_________________________________________________________________________________

If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't buy either model (Forte III or Cornwall III).  Instead, I'd take the advice from the above forum participants for your listening room--which is a bit narrow by North American standards and that will significantly benefit from the full-range directivity control of the Jubilees.  [You can also look at Danley Synergies, which will also have none of the time alignment or full-range directivity control issues that we've discussed above, but I'd recommend a model having 90 degrees of horizontal coverage--instead of 50 or 60 degrees that many people think is as good as sliced bread.]  Personally, the Jubs would be your last set of loudspeakers: you won't believe the sound that emanates from them...but then again most people that ask these kind of questions on the forums usually are selecting loudspeakers with their eyes instead of their ears (curiously).  There are no other Klipsch models that come close to the Jubilee's with good compression drivers and good DSP crossover in terms of what you hear. 

 

If you just can't handle the size of the Jubs, Danley Synergies or La Scala IIs (both with good subwoofers below 50 Hz) would be my suggestions.  The La Scala IIs also need the tweeter-->midrange manual alignment thing, but that's even easier than with direct radiating bass bins because you don't have to plug the hole in the top hats when you pull the tweeters.

 

As it is, however, if you don't like what you actually get, the people here are ready with their "I told you so's...". :wink:

 

Chris

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@Chris A I actually get a lot of what you're saying.

 

The speakers in the OP are the production result of two 'proof of concept' MTM speakers I built. Both were built into the same cabinets with an interchangeable baffle

 

The first was a 2.5" BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) that covered 300-20kHz, the pair of bass drivers kicking in below the baffle step. Tonally, a bit colourless, but rhythmically very good - Minidsp plate amps allowed me to time align the output of the very shallow BMR and the SB Acoustics bass units. Universally approved of by anybody with Naim in their system, that was enough for me to consider them a bit niche. Given the near constant 110deg dispersion of the BMR, they were very room dependent which was fine, for someone willing to mess with parametric EQ. Not marketable IMHO.

 

The second baffle swapped the BMR for a wave-guide tweeter, the combo being selected for the dimensions that allowed the voice coils of the tweeter and (now) mid-bass units to time align, or at least as close as you can off the shelf. Dispersion would have been marketable as 60deg constant. As there are no hard boundaries in reality, it was somewhere between 60-90deg. These were great fun, sounded much the same in any room, needed far less tinkering in the digital domain. It's a while back now, but I seem to recall level matching the drivers, bunging in a 2nd order Linkwitz Riley crossover, tweaking the baffle step and that was about it for the next two weeks! Passive crossover design wasn't going to be an issue and they worked without fuss wherever i used them.

 

The concept got weaponized by a very clever American OEM manufacturing in China that actually makes more brands in the same factory than the brands would care to admit. We were getting tweeter and crossover prototypes adjusted, manufactured, shipped and arriving on our doorstep in under three days based on listening feedback. I know China gets a bad press sometimes, but ye gods, they're efficient and very consistent.

 

End result was an entirely bespoke speaker (except the tweeter dome that comes from a world renowned German house) that  has a very simple crossover, capable of handling massive power inputs and gives you the impression of looking at the back of it's nails whilst doing it. An early tweeter/waveguide/crossover comb took just over 24 hours to die with a constant 120W delivered at 5kHz. Nobody was in the room during that....

 

The irony is that we only started down the path of doing our own loudspeakers, because we got continually messed around by American manufacturers moving goal posts - We were the solus EU importer of SVS when they rang up one day and told us they had appointed a German distributor. Clearly, the concept of a single common market, EU law and the world 'solus' hadn't somehow translated. It was a story that kept repeating.

 

We still have a relationship with Klipsch, but now restricted to a Scandinavian area thing. Ultimately it was European desire for a Klipsch RF-like efficient (a real 92-94dBW in our case) 8" drivers that kick, that lead us to go to the actual manufacturers we were dealing with, so we could consistently deliver to our European home market. It has gone great guns since then and because we retail direct, there's no distributor or dealer markup. Clearly, we make a bit more, but The Monitors are comfortable living with anything double their price through traditional retail channels.

 

BTW; I say we, but I have no connection or affiliation anymore, as divorce threatened to consume this second stream of income, so I walked away. It doesn't stop me being immensely proud of what we did and it means the Forte IIIs have a considerable yard stick to surpass. As such my comments are my own and not that of my former employer. The Monitors aren't going anywhere, because they will have their home later in a multi-channel room for movies - When we build it!

 

However, I'm of an age where I know that an equivalent to a 12 or 15" radiating area doesn't FEEL like a 12 or 15" driver. I also do clearly get time alignment as it is quite simply technically, correct. Your message regarding 'tweeter re-alignment' is not falling on deaf ears and I'm certainly DIY capable of making it happen and reversing it if I want to.

 

I'll take your amplification comments on board. If the Fortes don't rock my boat, you may be interested to know that my original plan was to build Tony Gee's Calpamos, but with Hypex plate amps. I have not ruled that option out yet.

 

Thank you Chris for a well considered post, based on technical rather than emotional, fact.

 

Cheers,

 

Russ

 

PS. A wider point to the forum in general; In the UK, houses are generally brick constructed. If you live in a timber frame house, it would be quite surprising to experience the cabin gain and acute room modes brick/block construction enjoys and suffers in equal measure - You really don't have to drive a given space quite as hard, so the 12" v 15" debate is less clear cut and EQ isn't a devil.

 

 

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I love the sound of a 15" driver. I'd go with the Cornwall III if pressured. Bigger is better, but the Forte III has the bigger mid range and that's where the music lives, so??  I personally have never heard the Cornwall III, but i do have a single Forte III and a pair of Chorus II-all of which barely get play time as my fun is taken up by the mighty Klipschorns.  While i was underwhelmed at first with the Forte III and a slight/quick harshness at a certain frequency i don't recall right now(it would consistently make my ear react to that sound), i've grown to really love the sound of the Forte III when i play it in mono. LOTS of speaker for it's size.  Smooth and highly detailed, with my one negative being that quick little harshness to my ear at one particular frequency. I know i can't give proper feedback on critical stereo listening, but hey, owning 1 and giving my feedback is better than not owning 1 and having no input on the matter.  

I absolutely love both aesthetically including the Heresy III.  That's a VERY hard decision.  Forte III, Cornwall III, or Heresy III + sub(s).  Yikes. I'd pull my hair out trying to decide. Ultimately if i had to choose on the spot, i'd blindly choose Cornwall III's if only because i know i love how 15" drivers sound, and i know it can be difficult to integrate subs(with the Heresy IIIs) and having owned Forte I, II, III and Chorus II's all with passive radiators, i know placement can be tough and you never really stop experimenting with placement when you have passive radiator speakers. 

(i agree with the person above who mentioned the Natural Cherry finish with whichever speaker you choose. That would look perfect in your room, but i'd go with silver grills over lambswool or black). 

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Okay, I've probably picked up a pair of Papworth Audio Technology M100 monoblocks. A Tim De Paravacini design with 4 EL34s driven in push-pull to give 100W. I used to work in a dealer selling these back in 'the day' (early 90s) and at £2k with only six months use, I couldn't pass them up.

 

We had Mark Levinson and stuff like that, but the midrange of the M100, partnered with an almost solid state style bottom end made them a long term staff favourite. You could even drive 'energy wells' like ATC SCM-20s with them to respectable levels. They're about £5.5k new these days.

 

Pick them up Saturday and this has freed up some budget; so I contacted a dealer with Fortes in stock and they're going to get the Cornwalls in from the UK distributor to demo. The dealer with the cheap pair of Fortes didn't offer to do this, so that's their luck, to use the vernacular!

 

I still think the Fortes will be a better fit for the room, but if Kay doesn't flinch when she sees the Cornwalls, then I'm willing to let my ears decide.

 

A quick question if I may; I'm not one for going overboard on speaker cable - If it's decent stranded copper, it will work - but I keep seeing people mention solid core cable with valves. Is this another cable myth, or is there mileage in it? As I'm going to need about 2x4ft, it ain't going to be expensive to experiment, either way!

 

Russ

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43 minutes ago, Ski Bum said:

Don't fall for the kooky magic wire postmodernism.  Doing so will cost ya.  Save your ducats.  

 

 Of utmost importance is to make sure you fall for:

 

In addition to cables, all amps, preamps, cd players, DACS sound the same.

 

So don't waste ducats on that crap either.........

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On 2/28/2019 at 7:13 PM, HiFiRuss71 said:

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

If you can get old Heresy 1's in Walnut or Oak, you can modify into a Super Heresy by upgrading the woofer, tweeter, and crossover capacitors. This will get you about 100db/watt sensitivity with solid bass to 50 Hz., then you can use you existing sub.

 

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8 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

 Of utmost importance is to make sure you fall for:

 

In addition to cables, all amps, preamps, cd players, DACS sound the same.

 

So don't waste ducats on that crap either.........

On cue, one of the postmodernists chimes in with a rather bizarre contribution to the thread. 

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PS to the OP: I vote for Forte IIIs with natural-colored grilles to complement your attractive room.

 

full&d=1529478770

 

Or Zu Audio speakers with the hemlock wood to complement your attractive panelling.

 

Zu-Audio-Omen-Dirty-Weekend-Mk2-8.jpg

 

 

Edited by Archguy
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