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BBurgDave

Home Audio Upgrade Advice

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Hi - first post here!  I've got an Onkyo TX-8050 receiver with a couple of Cerwin Vega VS 100 speakers in my living room which we use just for music (Rock and Pop mainly).  I have been thinking about upgrading the speakers (disintegrating foam) and, even though I refoamed them this weekend, which came out well, I am still thinking about upgrading them.  I have the impression, based on reading reviews and forums, that a nice set of Klipsch speakers should sound a lot better, given that I am past the days where I am blasting out music at a high volume.  

 

I have seen a lot of opinions on both sides as to whether or not Klipsch is really a good choice for what I have in mind (home audio vs home theatre), so curious about people running the way I intend to.  I'm also wondering whether I am better off, for similar $$, with a couple of RP 8000f speakers, or a pair of RP 6000f speakers with a subwoofer (something like the R-112SW).

 

I don't really have a way to listen to the Klipsch speakers to compare to my own, or to compare the combinations I am mentioning, our Best Buy does not have the RP's in stock at all and they don't have any set up to hear, so any advice is welcome!

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I would give Crutchfield.com a try if you're not near any place you can audition. They've been absolutely extraordinary in the customer service department. They have a 60 day return/exchange policy on Klipsch RP8000/6000F. Although there is a $75 return shipping fee for large speakers like those. I see they also have a discounted "outlet" pair available.

 

As far as speaker "sound", that's pretty much up to you. I've used Klipsch since 1973. Klipsch is often one of those speakers people either hate it or love it. Since you already have lived with Cerwin Vega (another high sensitivity speaker brand) you'll probably feel comfortable with Klipsch.

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Crutchfield has amazing CS, support,  and return policies. I have purchased a few items from Crutchfield and returned them for a refund without a hiccup. I would highly recommend the Klipsch RP-280, pretty much the same as the RP-8000 but a lower price. The 280s are last years models, same specs more or less than the newer model RP-8000, two 8" woofers, and 1" titanium tractix horn, I had a pair before I purchased my Corns. For the price, the 280s are killer, pretty efficient with power, and sound really really sweet.

 

Link to RP-280s @ Crutchfield: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_714RP280FE/Klipsch-Reference-Premiere-RP-280F-Ebony.html?tp=185

 

I don't work for Crutchfield nor do i want to sound like a giant fanboy but I have been purchasing from CF for 25+ years. They started out with mail order car stereo equipment and their own install kits. Bill Crutchfield. Their staff are really good in the industry, they set the bar for CS and support.

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Thanks guys, I have been poking around on Crutchfield and have chatted with a couple of people there, so that's good advice.  Any thoughts on my other question about two RP-8000f speakers vs two RP-6000f speakers with a subwoofer?  My thinking was that the highs would be similar with main difference being the subwoofer for base vs the 8" Woofers in the towers, but, reading the forums, I am thinking that maybe my thinking about the highs being similar might be wrong?

 

The Crutchfield person seemed to like the idea of the 6000f's with the subwoofer (he said "more soundstage"), but I always value the opinion of real users over sales people, if I can get that :)

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1 minute ago, BBurgDave said:

Thanks guys, I have been poking around on Crutchfield and have chatted with a couple of people there, so that's good advice.  Any thoughts on my other question about two RP-8000f speakers vs two RP-6000f speakers with a subwoofer?  My thinking was that the highs would be similar with main difference being the subwoofer for base vs the 8" Woofers in the towers, but, reading the forums, I am thinking that maybe my thinking about the highs being similar might be wrong?

 

The Crutchfield person seemed to like the idea of the 6000f's with the subwoofer (he said "more soundstage"), but I always value the opinion of real users over sales people, if I can get that :)

 

Take my advice, been there done that. Go with the RP-8000s versus the 6000s and a sub. Buy the largest woofer drivers you can. Its all about the area of a circle, or audio transducer (woofer) diameter.

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Go used!! Literally twice or more bang for your buck. Plus when you upgrade (and thats 80% of this hobby). You won't lose any money. I have learned this lesson to many times to count. Performance on good gear will be identical to new. 

Also imo the searching and finding is really a lot of fun as you look back. 

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And I'll add, its challenging with a 2.1 setup to attain a proper balance between your speakers and your sub, across all volume levels. Its not a big deal with home theater and movies, but with music it can be, to be seamless. If you can avoid a sub for your music, you will be happier with your overall experience. Just my experiences and I have owned home subs for 10+ years. And several quality brands. Think as you turn up the receiver volume knob, different volume gain rates between your mains and your subwoofer. Most times they are not linear. Sure you can sit there and adjust individual levels but its just not seamless.

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51 minutes ago, polizzio said:

And I'll add, its challenging with a 2.1 setup to attain a proper balance between your speakers and your sub, across all volume levels. Its not a big deal with home theater and movies, but with music it can be, to be seamless. If you can avoid a sub for your music, you will be happier with your overall experience. Just my experiences and I have owned home subs for 10+ years. And several quality brands. Think as you turn up the receiver volume knob, different volume gain rates between your mains and your subwoofer. Most times they are not linear. Sure you can sit there and adjust individual levels but its just not seamless.

I agree subwoofers for 2ch music is a whole new ball game and something I noticed as well (being more difficult for good results). In my personal experience for 2 ch music the lower you can xo that sub the better. If you can get it under 50hz (not the 120-80 that most people will set there subs up) life gets easier. But still no plop the sub down anywhere, turn it on, and good to go either.

 

Ive read 80hz and under is non directional and shouldn't be localizable. Not sure if my experience agrees with that. But I'm guessing room, placement/mlp, and how the sub reacts to these is the biggest factor. I don't know the science behind all of it (some I get and know how to attack). 

 

Sometimes the only place for L/R speakers in a room can be a terrible place for bass performce vs were you sit. And the L/R speakers need to be position in front of the MLP. A sub can find a home in a place that isn't terrible for low frequency response at the MLP. And isn't limited to be placed so its in front of the MLP.

 

How bass reacts with a room is all dependent on where it starts. From there the room will have spots with crapy bass and spots with great bass. If you move to a spot with great bass to sit (move chair or couch) it my no longer be facing the speakers. If you move the speakers to a spot that has great bass. They may no longer be facing your couch or chair. And moving both can sometimes be impossible. The subs can fix this issue. 

 

Bass traps and other things can help but ultimately bass does what its going to do vs room/placements (room covers a huge list of things). 

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I agree that getting them to play nice is no easy task (main speakers and a sub). But the sub offers so many advantages even in 2 ch music that any loss in handshake issues can be a worth while trade off.

 

Now if the L/R are in a great spot vs Mlp for bass. And have good full range bass for 2ch music. Then a good argument can be made for no sub indeed. 👍

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2 hours ago, BBurgDave said:

 

The Crutchfield person seemed to like the idea of the 6000f's with the subwoofer (he said "more soundstage"), but I always value the opinion of real users over sales people, if I can get that :)

 

I had Khorns with a Belle center in an optimized room built specifically for the Khorns, reinforced plywood corners lag bolted to the foundation sealed air tight. Didn't think subs would add much. Boy was I wrong!!

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12 hours ago, Heritage_Head said:

I agree that getting them to play nice is no easy task (main speakers and a sub). But the sub offers so many advantages even in 2 ch music that any loss in handshake issues can be a worth while trade off.

 

Now if the L/R are in a great spot vs Mlp for bass. And have good full range bass for 2ch music. Then a good argument can be made for no sub indeed. 👍

What do you mean by Mlp?

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13 hours ago, Heritage_Head said:

Go used!! Literally twice or more bang for your buck. Plus when you upgrade (and thats 80% of this hobby). You won't lose any money. I have learned this lesson to many times to count. Performance on good gear will be identical to new. 

Also imo the searching and finding is really a lot of fun as you look back. 


I agree with this and offer one more. Skip the fluff and go straight to a Heritage speaker. You'll save a lot of time and $$ in the long game.

 

Shakey

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6 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:


I agree with this and offer one more. Skip the fluff and go straight to a Heritage speaker. You'll save a lot of time and $$ in the long game.

 

Shakey

if you have the room for the Heritage speakers then you might consider jumping into the Pro line up and so get fully modern horns and crossovers. Yes you will eventually require a sub or two but that's no different if you bought a pair of LaScala. That said I would not discount a modified pair of KLF30 or a Crites Cornscala "D" or even a modified pair of Epic Series CF3 or CF4 these all have modern horns. I don't see any of these loudspeakers as fluff. It all depends upon what the op really wants/expects. Efficiency is going to be best delivered by the LaScala and Khorn but there is a price to pay for that. As always it will come down to a personal choice so the OP will have to do some listening and deciding.

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Thanks for all the input.  It had not occurred to me that the Sub would need to be adjusted independently to "blend" properly with the two floor speakers.  I have read something somewhere about the setting for Crossover needing to be set for that as well (where is that set, anyway?  On the sub?).  That does argue for getting the two larger speakers vs the smaller ones and a sub.

 

As to those suggesting Heritage or pro series, you are probably starting to get out of the price range I had in mind (I'm waiting for the RP-8000f or RP-6000f and a sub to go on sale as I already think they cost too much.

 

Sounds like another option is the RP-280, but is really "pretty much the same"?  The RP-8000 has no improvements?

 

I have some people telling me that Polk is really better for "music" (vs home theatre) and I watched a YouTube video where the guy made the same point.  I realize I might be treading into "religious war" terrain, but any opinions on that?

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You will save about $300 for a pair with the RP-280s versus the RP-8000, and they are pretty much the same speaker just the 8000 is this years model with a different base or foot design. 

To me its a no brainer to go with the 280s @ crutchfield (on sale right now), over the 8000s.

 

Your AVR (receiver) volume adjustment will control the gain of both the sub and main speakers together, but my point is rarely are both linear. Too many factors there, different power outputs from the separate amps, sub versus mains, and other factors.

 

The sub crossover point is adjusted also in the home theater receiver (AVR) settings. Most subs also have an adjustment on the rear of unit for this, but most of us control it via the AVR.

 

If you use a sub with say a stereo receiver with no dedicated sub rca output terminal, you can control sub initial level setting and crossover point (low pass setting) via the sub's control panel.

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On 6/18/2019 at 6:13 PM, polizzio said:

You will save about $300 for a pair with the RP-280s versus the RP-8000, and they are pretty much the same speaker just the 8000 is this years model with a different base or foot design. 

To me its a no brainer to go with the 280s @ crutchfield (on sale right now), over the 8000s.

 

Your AVR (receiver) volume adjustment will control the gain of both the sub and main speakers together, but my point is rarely are both linear. Too many factors there, different power outputs from the separate amps, sub versus mains, and other factors.

 

The sub crossover point is adjusted also in the home theater receiver (AVR) settings. Most subs also have an adjustment on the rear of unit for this, but most of us control it via the AVR.

 

If you use a sub with say a stereo receiver with no dedicated sub rca output terminal, you can control sub initial level setting and crossover point (low pass setting) via the sub's control panel.

I have the rp280s and love them. I do not use a sub for music. I have a small sub I use for tv. I have a very sonically average room so I had to cut the highs a fuzz to tame the brightness. Either the 8000s or 280s would be my pick for what you say you want to spend. Most people push what they own and thats not a bad thing because usually what you have is what you like but like was said above rp280f speakers can be had on the cheap right now and everything is new being crossovers ,drivers and such. Im listening to mine right now and for the price the clarity is off the charts! I bought these thinking I would go up the line in time but now I'm not sure. They sound that good. I use little 4 band schiit loki eq and it works great!!!!  Klipsch are usually brighter than some other brands and in a bad room can put some off as being harsh. Cut back the highs and around 4ooo hz fuzz if needed and to me they sound perfect! to my crusty older ears.!

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The RP-280fs look fine and I have seen reviews on Youtube where they compared them to the 8000s favorably (one guy like them better actually), but it seems they only come in Black?  My wife views these things as furniture and I know that she'd prefer Walnut.  Also, I'm not sure my local Audiotronics shop (I'm trying to get them local, if possible, because I like to support local merchants and the support is easier that way) can get them, I'd have to check that.

 

Do the Reference Premier models ever go on sale?  I saw a good price on the RF-280 recently (like $324), but I decided I was better off with the RPs after reading some and comparing them.

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1 hour ago, mr clean said:

I have the rp280s and love them. Do not use a sub for music. I have a small sub I use for tv. I have a very sonically average room so I had to cut the highs a fuzz to tame the brightness. Either the 8000s or 280s would be my pick for what you say you want to spend. Most people push what they own and thats not a bad thing because usually what you have is what you like but like was said above rp280f speakers can be had on the cheap right now and everything is new being crossovers ,drivers and such. Im listening to mine right now and for the price the clarity is off the charts! I bought these thinking I would go up the line in time but now I'm not sure. They sound that good. I use little 4 band schiit loki eq and it works great!!!!  Klipsch are usually brighter than some other brands and in a bad room can put some off as being harsh. Cut back the highs fuzz if needed and to me they sound perfect! to my crusty older ears.!

 

Agreed. I was really pleased with the 280s, they sounded really sweet. The only reason I returned em to crutchfield was to purchase the Corns. A really good deal became available and after giving it much thought, I made an offer on the Corns. Believe me, I had to give pause to spending $3200 for a pair of speakers. But the Heritage line is worth it imo, made in the USA, and the rosewood cabs are gorgeous, ditto the nickel silver speaker grills. At this point in life, I wanted something more than just big black boxes. I believe one day Klipsch will stop producing the Heritage line in Hope. Not many consumer products are made in America any more, not wishing Klipsch to stop the Heritage line, just one day all good things must come to an end.

 

But for ~ $900 delivered, the RP-280s are a no brainer to me. Most anyone would be quite satisfied with them. Why spend $300 more for the 8000s? Black vinyl versus walnut vinyl? And even with the fake walnut vinyl on the 8000s, the front face (motorboard) and grill is all black.

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23 minutes ago, BBurgDave said:

The RP-280fs look fine and I have seen reviews on Youtube where they compared them to the 8000s favorably (one guy like them better actually), but it seems they only come in Black?  My wife views these things as furniture and I know that she'd prefer Walnut.  Also, I'm not sure my local Audiotronics shop (I'm trying to get them local, if possible, because I like to support local merchants and the support is easier that way) can get them, I'd have to check that.

 

Do the Reference Premier models ever go on sale?  I saw a good price on the RF-280 recently (like $324), but I decided I was better off with the RPs after reading some and comparing them.

My rp280fs are cherry colored

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