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Bright Heresys? Dramatic, fix, for FREE.


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Just finished reading all of the various remarks on the Heresy I's.

I am a theatre pipe organist and nothing to me sounds finer than the "King Of Instruments" with the tremulants on it's the sweetest of the sweet. With the trems off it's a great French sounding Cathedral pipe organ.

Having said that, I have been in the audio circle for long enough to know what sounds good in loudspeaker design and what doesn't.

Over the years I have owned VOT'S ... JBL'S ... and the best of the non horn family.

I enjoy having a 28' by 32' sound studio in my home and have auditioned all of the non magnetic speakers from Klipsch.

I even recently had a pair of Avantgarde Duo's loaned to me by a good audio salon buddy.

Many of my musical circle are working sidemen for the countries best performing jazz and classical organizations.

Being a former broadcaster I knew most of the name band leaders which prompted me to write this reply.

Klipsch by far was and is the leading loudspeaker in their music rooms.

My system is: two inverted Heresy II's per side united with a Velodyne ULD-18 2 updated sub. For pre and power I use audioresearch.

The comments of harshness, etc. are not in my system. In fact several jazz CD's on a highly regarded label were mastered in my studio.

What I am saying is: The Klipsch Heresy II's are used by more recording studios than any other name brand. Why? They are accurate! What was recorded sounds the same when listening.

Recently I did some tweaking and added a pair of Philips planars to the mix per side with an audioresearch crossover network. Results: My classical playing friends noted an air of natural sweetness. My jazz playing friends liked the sound for the lilt.

Conclusion: When I play a note at any pitch on any stop what I play is what I hear through my system.

Even my wife is a fan!



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Craig, great post. Thanks.

Off the subject, I went to Bucknell in the mid -70's down the road from you, and really loved that part of PA. Was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with some great organists, and I know how hard it is to get an accurate reproduction/recording of organ music.

Any really killer organ recordings out there that can be had? Don't know if anybody's doing them in DTS yet, but for me, putting on some great organ music, pouring a scotch and watching it snow is one of the finest things in life.


Denon AVR-3800

McIntosh MC-2105 (Fronts)

Toshiba SD-3109 DVD

Klipsch Cornwall I's (LF/RF)

Klipsch KT-LCR ©

Klipsch Heresy (RR/LR)

Klipsch KSW-12 sub

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I have a good friend that gruaduated from Bucknell in 73 or 74. He was a musician and stuck around that area for a few years after that (playing in a local band). He plays piano, keyboards and bass. His name is Robert (Wally) Pease...do you know him? Thought I'd give it a shot...


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  • 3 weeks later...


I am considering getting a new pair of Heresies, and read with great interest the saga of the overly bright tweeters. Since the speakers discussed seemed to be older models, do you believe the new models to be as bright?

I will be using a McIntosh tube amp (old, but rebuilt to origional specs.) and playing predominately CDs with some vinyl.

Should I put the Heresies on the tilt-back stands that Klipch sells? Should I leave them on the floor to reinforce the bass and attenuate the tweeters a bit?

thanks to all who have suggestions.


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I do not know how the Heresy I and II's compare. I would think they are both pretty similar. I think you would be happy with either one. Maybe somebody else has compared the two side by side. I love mine.

By the way...

I have done another mod to my Heresy I's. Although my earlier mod gave the speakers a lot better overall tonal balance (IMHO), a couple of the previous posts were right; the upper highs were a little too attenuated. They sounded a lot more like my Cornwalls with the mod, but the upper highs were just not quite there. So I took another whack at it.

This time I returned the tweeter lead back to its original tap 3 position on the T2A and replaced the 2uF tweeter cap (6dB/octave) with a 12dB/octave set up, thus rolling off the lower, harsh treble while preserving all of the upper highs. I used a 1.4uF cap in series with the negative tweeter lead (just like the original 2uF cap) and then used a .18 Solen Heptalitz inductor across the postive and negative leads of the tweeter. The choke and cap make up the 12dB/octave filter - simple, yet elegant.

The 12dB/octave filter was mounted to its own little board and then screwed to the open space on the existing Klipsch crossover board. The original 2uF cap was left on the board - its just unhooked. The only thing which can't be perfectly reversed back to original is the two small screw holes in the board - no big deal.

The sound is quite good and gave me the result I was searching for. The overall balance of the speaker is much improved over the original. Note: the Cornwall uses a 12dB/octave filter in it's tweeter section. My Heresy networks now use the same crossover configuration as my Cornwall I's (although the values are different, as they should be).

I waited a while to post about this mod to see how I liked it. Its been a couple of months now and I really like it. No more Heresy mods for me.


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It's been a while since my last post and this may seem weird, but..... try your Heresy's on their side with tweeters toward the middle (each other). The improvement in soundstage and imaging is substantial. Get out your most familliar, naturally miced, recording and angle the horizontal Heresy's directly facing your listening position. If your audio system and your listening habits have been crafted to maximize imaging, you will not change them back to the verticle position.

It will cost you nothing to try and is totally reversible.

Let us know what you think after you've given it a try.

Paul Keller

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  • 3 weeks later...


Originally posted by Klipschguy:


I think this modification is just what your looking for because the story your telling about the room postions and the tone controls were exactly what I was doing - until recently.

The mod is very, very simple. All you have to do is: Note: This applys to the E Type crossover (not E-2 or others).

1)Remove the back - just take out the screws and don't overtighten on reassembly. The wires will still be attached to the back - just leave them alone.

2) Locate the T2A on the crossover. It looks like a transformer and has brown paper wrapped around the core. On CLOSE inspection of the brown paper you will see little numbers by the little taps (0,1,2,3,4,5).

3) The negative lead of the tweeter should be soldered to tap #3 (after it passes thru a 2uF oil filled metal-can capacitor). You'll see the number "3" on the brown paper.

4) Disconnect the #3 tap lead with a soldering iron (or, if you don't have a soldering iron, you can snip it, just leave about an inch of wire so you can reattach it if you don't like the mod).

5) Loosen the screw on the crossover which goes to the negative (white and black wire) side of the squawker (also makes it's way over to the T2A TAP 2) and put the wire under the screw and tighten it up (you will need to strip a little insulation off the wire to get good contact). Everything is clearly marked inside. Note: red is positive, black is negative. !!!Make sure you can trace your hook up wire back to TAP 2 on the T2A - you do not want a short! You can use a meter acoss the terminals to make sure you do not have a short, BEFORE listening tests.

6) Your done. Put the back on and listen to the results.

7) recap: Move tap #3 wire to negative side of midrange on the crossover (this will correspond to using tap #2 on the T2A - check it out when your inside the speaker). Make sure you can trace your hook up wire back to TAP 2 on the T2A! Use a meter across the inputs to make sure your not shorted.

8) post results here when done


10) This modification is indeed simple, but requires some basic wiring knowledge and a little common sense. If you are unsure of what you are doing, DON'T do it, because I don't want anyone to short out their amplifier. Different crossover types are wired differently - so make sure (also somebody may have rewired something in the past - unknown to you). Before you hook your speaker up to an amplifier, use a meter to make sure your not getting a dead short - should be somewhere around 8 Ohms (I don't know the EXACT value, but it's NOWHERE near ZERO).

11) Make mod at YOUR OWN RISK, I am not responsible or liable for your actions.


P.S. I have a feeling your speakers are going to sound a heck of a lot better.

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Klipschguy, great recommendation! Thanks to your easy to follow instructions I completed the update of my 80's Heresey's successfully. They sound much better, the highs no longer drown out everything. I noticed on your recap that you said to hook it up to the midrange I think you maid a mistake. Anyway thanks for the free and great advice. Russ

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Greetings Russ.

I'm glad you like the mod. The Heresy I tweeters are definitely too bright in their stock configuration. If you find the "tap 3 to tap 2" mod is overattenuating your highs (really depends on the room) you can also try the 12dB/octave filter described in this thread.

The 12dB/octave keeps the original crossover point, leaves the high highs unmolested, and greatly attenates the lower highs because of the steeper slope at the crossover frequency, i.e. down 12dB at 3000hz instead of 6dB, down 24dB at 1500hz instead of 12dB, etc.

The sreaming highs in the Heresy seem to mostly concentrated in the lower highs. Note: the Cornwalls use a 12dB/octave (not 6dB/octave) for their identical tweeters, so the mod makes the Heresy crossover design like the Cornwall's.

Whichever mod is used, moving the tap, or using a 12dB filter, they both sound to my ears much better than the stock configuration and MUCH MORE like my Cornwalls - which I have been enjoying for years.

Also, with the tap mod, the midrange uses tap 2, so the tweeter can be hooked up with the appropriate midrange lead since they will both share tap 2.

Simple mods, big results.


This message has been edited by Klipschguy on 07-10-2001 at 04:57 PM

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I submitted this once but here goes again. Thanks klipsch guy for the great mod. I followed your directions to the "T" and the mod was simple for a dummy like me. You might check your repeat which says to hook it to the midrange, I think you made a typo there. Thanks again, Russ

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Sorry I forgot to check the second page. My mistake!!! Anyway any suggestions on how to increase the bass response of the I's. Someone said putting the Heresey II woofers in made a big difference, what do you think Klipschguy. Thanks again

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Greetings Russ,

The Heresys, both I's and II's, are both limited by their low frequency response, especially when compared to something like the Cornwalls or K-horns. A II woofer MAY give a little more bass reponse, but will not likely be what your looking for. The bass in the Heresys is quite tight and accurate, it just doen't reproduce the lowest octave very well. Putting your Heresys low, toed in, and in the corners will definitely enhance their perceived bass in a room, and it may be enough. But, the best way to go is with a good sub with as tight a bass response as you can find. With a proper sub, the Heresys can be an outstanding. Do a sub search on this forum for the right one as a lot of people here know more about subs than I do.


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My memory of the HeresyII vs Heresy one dates back to when they first introduced the HeresyII (1985??). My memory of the two says that they were close in sound, but the HeresyII was slightly more mellow (less tweeter?) and that I perceived that they had more bass (perhaps an audible illusion due to the dialed back tweeter response and overall more balanced sound). Don't let talk of bright sounding tweeters drive you away from the Heresys if you like their sound anyway. Klipsch speakers are a treat that only the most educated ears can enjoy.

Klipschguy - I really enjoy this thread. I plan to someday try your 12db/octave crossover mod. I think it may be too much attenuation for me once again, but when I have time, I enjoy fiddling around with my Heresys.

J. Harris - I understand what you mean about strings on Klipsch speakers. I feel my ears are so overwhelmed with the upfront sound from the horn, that I loose the texture of some of the instruments (like violas). The B&W speaker is much better for that. That is why I keep a pair of B&Ws around just in case. When the perfect moderately priced speaker comes out (Presence and imageing of a Klipsch, texture and uniformity of a B&W), I'll buy it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

PKW stated in thh 'Dope from Hope' that the Heresey was designed (intorduced in 1957) to be a center speaker between two corner speakers, (KHORNS I'm sure.) The bass was to come from the 'flanking' speakers and they sacrificed 6db of bass below 700 Hz. in the early versions. I never knew that a center speaker was desirable for 2 channel stereo till I started reading this stuff. An issue published in 1974 shows a plan for a "center channel control" that allows this to be done with a 2 channel amp. I think I might try it when money allows. In another issue, he describes a polarity reversal between the woofer relative to the tweeter and midrange. This change in 1975 is when the network began being described as the type 'E'.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just picked up a pair of Heresy I's from a local used dealer. They are in good to excellent condition, and their finish/grilles happen to match my K-horns. They have the K77M/K53K/K22K drivers with the E2 crossover (serial number has a "Y" in it - 1984?). I hadn't seen J Harris's post on his Heresies till this morning, but saw the same config in my speakers that he drew, including the fact that the squawker is wired "out of phase" with the tweeter. I experimented with various autoformer taps, and found just what Klipschguy found - one of them is too attenuated, several are too bright, and one - the one that drives the squawker - is just right.

The mids and highs now are balanced much more like my K-horns. The lows are missing in action - I gather a common Heresy shortcoming, and result of way too big (or stiff) a woofer in that little box. Too bad PWK didn't simply use a smaller/looser woofer to get some decent bass. (The efficiency was already a good bit lower than the K-horn - at that point, what's to lose by a smaller woofer?)

Which brings me to two thoughts.

1) Stuffing the Heresy cabinet with polyfill to make it seem larger to the woofer and get a little more low end that way (Klipschguy said he tried it and got less "punch"; I tried it and heard very little difference but frankly didn't do any serious listening or measurements).

And 2) Mounting a smaller woofer in the Heresy cabinet - you'd need to make an adaptor ring to screw in where the Heresy woofer goes now, but that should not be tough for someone with some wood working tools. Then figure out the right T/S parameters for the size box you have, pick a woofer, and see what happens. You might need to pad down the mid/tweeter levels, but the result could be very nice.

I'm also wondering what would happen if I reversed the phasing on the squawker and/or tweeter - that would change the cancellation/reinforcement (and dispersion patterns) at the crossover frequencies. I haven't had the time yet to play around like that - the results could be very interesting.

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  • 6 months later...


I read this post the other day and thought it sounded easy enough. I took the back of the Heresys off and got out a flashlight. Sure enough I was able to find the t2a and the numbering so I unsoldered the wire from the #3 tap . I went ahead and soldered it on to the #2 cap with the squawkers negative lead before I figured out that you attached it at the crossover. I assume soldering it to the #2 tap is an acceptable thing to do? I can't see why it would make a difference but I struggled with Physics II and deplored diagraming circuits. I will go back and use tape to note that I performed this modification as well. I LOVE the way they sound. Are you still as happy with yours almost a year later?


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Glad your enjoying it!

You did the right thing. Moving the wire from tap 3 on the T2A to tap 2 is the correct mod. For those without a soldering iron, you can also do it on the crossover (if your careful about tracing the wire back - you do not want a short!).

If you read the entire thread you will see that I also did a 12dB/octave crossover mod for the tweeter (in lieu of the stock 6 dB/octave) and put the tap back at tap 3 (stock position). This modification is somewhere between the stock configuration and the "tap 3 to tap 2 mod".

After a year, I personally like the "tap 3 to tap2" mod the best - it sounds the most like my Cornwalls. I like the stock configuration the least (easy guys, to each his own). For carpeted rooms, the 12dB/octave crossover mod might have the edge.

In the stock configuration, my Heresys produce one hard sibilant S, which tends to give me listener fatigue. With the crossover mod, the sibilant S still has a little edge. With the tap mod, harsh sibilant S is gone. Note: there is no edge or harshness with my bone stock Cornwalls (nor my friends La Scalas or K-horns).

Most people who haven't owned Cornwalls (and other large Heritage Klipsch for that matter) do not realize they are a fairly mellow speaker - especially in the treble (albeit, not as much as Bozak, which is famous for mellow sound).

Here I am talking about the Heresy I. The Heresy II may be a totally different animal.

Warmest, happy regards,


This message has been edited by Klipschguy on 03-05-2002 at 09:52 AM

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Originally posted by swede:

"I even recently had a pair of Avantgarde Duo's loaned to me by a good audio salon buddy."

"My system is: two inverted Heresy II's per side united with a Velodyne ULD-18 2 updated sub. For pre and power I use audioresearch."

"What I am saying is: The Klipsch Heresy II's are used by more recording studios than any other name brand. Why? They are accurate! What was recorded sounds the same when listening."

Im curious in your opinion of the Avantgarde's, how do they sound compared to Klipsch Heritage's??

What do you mean by "inverted" Heresy's?

I have to tell that I also think that Heresy's are accurate and not "bright", but "alive". Perhaps some speakers are indeed brighter, and perhaps the ones who think they are bright just happend to be more sensitive to certain frequencies.

For me only Horn speakers can transmit the micro and macrodynamics of the live music. "Normal" drivers tend to distort because the effort needed to produce hi SPL's, and to me they will always "compress" the sound and will make the music sound "muddy".

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Originally posted by Klewless:

"So the bright sound is largely the lack of low bass, which can be restored with a good subwoofer these days."

"Also over the years the stereo dealers and people I knew back when all stated that it was Paul's contention that if the speakers sounded too bright, then fix the room because the speakers were acoustically correct by design."

Totally agreed. Adding a sub will "balance" the sound and the "brightness" will be gone. Its more a matter of subjective appreciation than an objective fact.

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