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2nd try, rf7 + Forte experience


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I have not had a chance to hear the RF-7 either. Actually, most that have the RF-7 series seem to not have had much experience with something like the Forte(and vice versa). Many Forte owners move in and out of the Heritage series, however. I am sure someone will chime in here.

I just wanted to add that you can EDIT your posts. When a mistake happens and you get a blank posting, click the edit button and you can add the text or make changes, that way, you wont have to start a new post. This goes for posts you start as well as posts within threads. Just make sure you are logged in.


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This may not be an easy find, although I stand to be corrected and look foolish. I have one friend with the Forte 2 and one friend with the RF7.

Although comparison between different systems / rooms etc. is always risky I would not describe the RF7 as an upgrade from the Forte, especially if your tastes are primarily rock music.

Neither system is what I would call optimally setup but if I were forced to choose between the 2 speakers on the evidence at hand I would go for the Forte every time.

Just my 0.02

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I had RF-7's, they are quite a dynamic speaker. I ended up selling them and keeping my La Scalas. Heritage truly has a sound that is unequaled.

Don't get me wrong, the RF-7's are a great speaker, but they are only two way, and are unable to match the fullness of a three way heritage speaker. I think you be more pleased with the Forte's or better still a set of Chorus.


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I have both.

I bought my RF7s as soon as they became available.

I guess it to be about a year and a half, now.

Simply a great HT speaker.

More detail than you can shake a stick at.

But, since i got them, i've added 3 subs to get that bottom end impact I was searching for.

I recently bought a pair of ForteIIs.

About a month or so ago.

Let me tell ya,

Simply a great 2 channel stand alone speaker.

I love my ForteIIs.

They give me as much if not more listening pleasure than my Quartets.

IMO. The ForteII and the Quartets are speakers to grow on.

No need for upgrade with these bad lads.

If I had to choose between the RF7s and the ForteIIs, it would be tough.

They both have their specific applications.

IMHO.The RFs are geared towards HT, and the ForteII more for 2 channel.

So i don't choose.

In my constant endevor to integrate a 2 channel system in with my HT, I found it best to keep the two separated.

At least in my specific, space constained, situation.

If you have to choose between the two sets, I would ask yourself what's more important.

2 channel or HT?

If 2 channel, stick with the older Klipsch.

They have excellent build quality and longevity.

If HT, go with the new RF line.

It's more readily available and far easier to match center and surrounds.

Now keep in mind, the RFs won't retain value as well as the ForteIIs are.

Otherwise, It really becomes a matter of personal listening preference.

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Thanks for all the quick replies.

Mobile, I did see that there was a place to edit posts but wasn't able to find anywhere to edit the subject and wanted to have something more descriptive than the 'rf7' I managed to get out before I somehow accidentally hit the enter button twice. Wonder if the ability to edit subjects is something that could be enabled.

Anyway, I love the sound of the Fortes and the only reason I'm thinking of switching is because I've got kind of a weird setup and I'm wanting to simplify things a little. I don't have time to give a detailed explanation at the moment but my situation is that I have 4 channels of amp power being used for my 'mains' (in quotes because that's the weird part of the setup) and the rf-7s being bi-wire/amp cable out of the box is what makes them attractive to me. The local stereo place that sells klipsch won't let you take speakers home for demo so I don't have any way of doing a meaningful comparison (and retain the option of taking the rf-7s back if I'm not happy with the results). This is a pretty large group it seems so I figured there must be a couple of people that might have made the switch.

Noz, I would never be completey forte-less ... would only be selling one pair. I sold klipsch speakers part time while in school and have the last pair of Forte's ever built with the Ebony veneer and .... inspection stickers signed by Paul himself. Those will be with til I die. As for the Chorus ... they never really appealed to my ear. They look like a big Forte but, to me at least, don't sound very similar. Not saying one is better or worse, just different.

Audioreality, thanks for the info. Would you mind if I emailed you directly with a few questions about sound/setup while I'm trying to decide what I want to do?

Again, thanks for all the replies.

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Sure Rob, mail away.

Jim, I believe you maybe right.

But, the ForteIIs have a completely different color than the RF7s.

The boominess/impact that's prevalent in the ForteIIs, just isn't there in the RF7s.

Yep, they certainly can achieve low freqs faithfully.

But, IMHO they don't have the 40-120Hz impact that the Fortes do.

That's cool though.

I don't think the RF7 were designed for a hard low end slam.

More like they were designed as an "faithful to the source" monitor.

None of the reference monitors' i've ever heard had much impacting bass.

Obviously, the high level of articulation in studio grade monitors cuts and sculps low level freq and the crossover points and slopes aid in this.

Boominess is virtually non-existant because of the heightened detail and attenution of cabinet resonances.

Such are the RF7s, as well.

The deep, low tones are there, but they aren't as impacting as many of us are used to.

Granted, When hooked to the proper amplification, the RF7s can slam.

Although, when compared A/B with forteIIs on the same amps, the Fortes and Quartets out slam the RF7s.

Form follows function.

The ports on the RF7s allow for deep bass extension, but the passives on the ForteIIs really put stuff in motion.

I guess it could be a debate of Passive vs. ported, but I like both stlyes and designs.2.gif

I love my RF7s for HT and my Heritage for music.9.gif

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Audio reality

Your also right, to me the RF-7s just seemed to be missing something, prabably what the heritage produce (fortes) the heritage sound is just altogether different and better!

Why did Klipsch make their top of the line reference 2 way?

Couldnt figure that one out, maybe if they were 3 way, they would of outdone the KLF-30s and some heritage, makes me wonder!

I dont think id give up the chorus here for a RF-7!

The RF-7s reminded me of the KG5.5s i had in 1996!

About the same design, only the ports were on the front, as the RF-7 are on the rears!

Look at whats out there today, people are loosing interest in audio,heck i could build a set of speakers that would out do the competition!



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So, what is it about the RF7 that makes it superior for HT as compared to the Fortes?

Better micro-dynamics?

Better articulation?

Less grain in the midrange?

More Open?

Better imaging?

Flatter response?

And which of these is one willing to have less of, while reproducing music?

An accurate reproducer should do both equally well.

I don't even want to get it into the 2-way/3-way thing. I heard the KLF 30's and RF7's less than a month apart on the same equipment -- and the RF7's were much more musical.

I say since he already has a very nice set of Fortes that he is going to take to the grave with him, he should buy some RF7's, and experience the magic for himself.

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Dean - Kind of skewed questions there, huh? (LOL). I'm not sure I would put the KLFs and the Forte's in the same category. Perhaps you weren't. If you've had the chance to hear the Forte's, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts vis-a-vis the RF-7.

An interesting item to note about the 2-way/3-way debate is that the we-hope-soon-to-be-forthcoming home-edition Jubilee's (the absolute top-end of the PWK designs - if you use $ as a measure - and the product of years of work between PWK and Roy DelGado) are 2-ways.


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I have to be honest and add that the Klipsch Cornwall is the only 3-way speaker I have ever owned and LIKED! heh... I have always preferred the simplicity of two-way speakers; then again, I have mainly been a monitor user all my life sacrificing ultimate bottom end for better clarity and lack of bloat. Getting the bottom right has been just as hard as getting the top end. I found that most speakers that went really low did so a the expense of the whole picture. But I am mainly talking dynamic speakers, however.


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I own both Forte-IIs and RF-7s. They are very different speakers. I originally purchased the RF-7s to replace the Fortes, and that worked for a while. But as my sources have improved, especially the amplifiers, the Fortes have demonstrated capabilities that compete well with the RF-7s.

The RF-7s have a very clean and detailed high end. If you sit ear-level with the horns they have the rock-solid image that you get with earphones. Vocalists sound live and orchestras have depth and perfect instrument placement. The bass is full and goes as low as the Fortes (a little more punch in the very low end.

But the Fortes seem to have a more natural sound. Instruments sound more like themselves. Bass is quicker, but less pronounced. Highs go higher .. I think the Fortes may have a flatter response at the very high end. Also, the Fortes provide a sound that fills a room better. You don't have to sit in the sweet spot to get good sound (you do have to sit in the sweet spot to get a good image). With the RF-7s, non sweet spot sound is muffled.

Right now I vote for the Fortes. The image can get a bit scrambled, but the smooth natural sound is nice. I find the RF-7s to have more color, they are "bright" with big bass, but an image that is unbeatable.

deang, who often posts on this site, is getting a SET for his RF-7s. I wonder what he will find. Klipsch speakers are not forgiving. And the RF-7 coloration and/or the Forte image scramble could just be the rest of my system.


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My "list" wasn't really skewed at all. It was a valid question. One, or more of those characteristics account for the RF7's supposedly being better suited for HT. My point is -- that whatever characteristic(s) contributes to this idea -- will also bode equally well for music.

The Forte's have a larger front baffle with which to launch the soundfield. This, with the passive radiator -- probably helps to fill a room better. The tradeoff is loss of pinpoint imaging and some accuracy.

The RF7's, like any narrow tower, are somewhat finicky about placement. Find the right spot, and they fill the room. At least, mine do. As a matter of fact, they pretty much fill the whole house. It is probably true that in one type room, the Forte might respond better -- and in another type room, the RF7.

Yes, they are "bright", but I liken it more to "crisp" and "open". The RF7's can disappear in a room.

I do not know what the Apollos will bring. I am hoping for much of what I already had with the AE-25 DJH, along with additional richness, texture, and better tonal accuracy. Basically -- I want to hear Marshall amps, Les Pauls, and Stratocastors in my listening room, not speakers trying to sound like Marshall amps, Les Pauls, and Stratocasters.

I'm much like Kelly in that with the exception of my Magnepans and the RF7's -- I have owned monitors all my life. The monitor quality imaging is actually what drew me to the RF7. They sound very much like RB5's that have been pumped full of steroids. It's a "tight" sound, that's "big".

Incidently, when I first got the RF7's -- in one of my first posts regarding impressions, I stated how late at night, at low levels -- how much they reminded me of my Sennheiser HD600's.

Very hard for me to imagine not having a pair. If I had it to do all over again -- I would have bought 4.

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The RF-7's are a fantastic speaker. I had a brand new pair for about three months. I have had La Scalas for about eight years now, and when I compared the two the Las crushed the 7's.

The 7's are rated for 250 watts, and I was only powering them with about 100, so I can't say that I have heard them " in there glory"...


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I'm with Dean on this one. I can't see what elements of the RF7 would make it more suitable for a surround sound system than the Forte's beyond the issue of the difficulty in finding a matching centre channel for the Forte's (tonal matching and all that).

I would have thought that in a surround sound system the majority of users would have an additional sub to handle the low end and that therefore the bass benefits of the RF7's would be negated whilst the stronger mid-range performance of the Forte's would come to the fore.

Of course we are leaving out the issue of the Trantix horn Vs the horn on the Heritage speakers for the highs. This seems to be a personal preference issue more than anything else. I am not a fan of the Trantix but I know there are many others that would disagree.

Of course I have to caveat all of the above by saying that I have, in fact, never heard forte's in a surround sound system so all of the above is theoretical.

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It's mostly about preference.

In the late 70's, when I first got into this stereo "thing" -- I started with the Original Advents and Powered Advents.

In the early 80's, while shopping for something new, I heard the Heresys and Klipschorns as well -- but opted for AR-11's and G.A.S.

In the late 80's and early 90's, I heard some of the KG series of speakers -- I opted for Magnepan and Luxman.

In 2000, I heard the RB5's -- and now more than ever, feel the reason I liked them so much is because they brought me back to what I had in the late 70's and early 80's -- without the limitations of those designs.

I think the ears and brain just get used to a certain sound early on, and subsequent upgrades are simply an attempt to improve on the general signature that one has pre-determined is "right".

Because of this, it doesn't surprise me those who have been initiated into the Heritage lineup early on, find the the Reference offerings disappointing. The signatures are very different. I OTOH, find Heritage disappointing. Whatever it is in the RB5 and RF7 that draws me into the music, I find lacking when exposed to the Heresys and LaScalas. Some of you probably don't understand that any more than I can't understand how some of you can listen to a pair of RF7's and not be completely enamored.

I find the comments by Maxg and NOZ the most interesting. Max, because he now listens to an old set of Sansuis, and NOZ, because the SPL's he normally seems to listen to -- would make it difficult to detect and differentiate the more subtle tangibles: imaging, low level detail, and overall resolving power.

A two-way is a two-way, and in spite of the RF7 being rated take 250 watts -- would probably not sound very good with bass drivers jumping out of the box while trying to reproduce the midrange. This is the limitation of a two-way using cones for the midrange. However, I can generate as much SPL with the RF7's using a 15 watt tube amp, as I can with my DQ-10's being driven by 200 watts -- and distortion is very low. I can't even imagine pushing 100 "real" watts, much less 200, through a pair of RF7's. No, you are not going to get the lightning fast transients of the Scala, or the big sound of a Forte, Cornwall, or K-horn -- but the RF7 does not leave you empty. I'll just say the RB5's replaced a set of much loved Magnepans.

Now NOZ, when I saw the pics of your setup, it looked like the RF7's were pulled way into the room, and it didn't look like you had them toed in any. At the time I thought how much better it would sound if you pushed them back to get some bass reinforcement from the back wall, and toed in -- to maximize the effect of the imaging. Of course, by the time I saw the pic -- you had sold them.

Max -- when funds permit, you might seriously consider giving Reference another shot. Biwire, spend a little time with placement -- and discover what a two-way can really do. Do you remember when you said the following? What has changed?

"...the RF7's - wow. Having heard the very mixed reviews I was not expecting much. This is the closest thing to a Heritage speaker Klipsch has produced in a long time IMHO. Like a Heresy but with some serious bass. That bass is tight and well controlled highs are breezy and mids strong. All in all I was impressed, and they do a lot better job with classical than the RF3's. Were I currenly in the market, the RF7's would command my very serious attention."

"The RF7 is a stand out speaker from the show (along with the KHOrns, the Martin Logan and another pair of electronstatic speakers called Finals). The RF7 is, IMHO, the first of the reference series that can almost match the Heritage range where it counts for me - in the mids and highs. Previously I have found that the horn drivers on the reference range were lacking in comparison to the Heresy's (for example) although obviously the bass is far larger. My test pieces for the speakers were: Dire Straits - Private investigations, Three Blind Mice test recording with Bridge over Troubled water and Dvorak's New World Symphony Ist movement. In other words, rock jazz and classical which covers 99% of my collection. It handled the lot with aplomb, and I was particulary taken with the staging of the classical work, although tonally I might question the Kettle drum that plays such a large part in the first movement bit it would be a minor quibble. Trumpets, sax and voice are particularly well reproduced (possibly as well as on my Heresy's - although I did not have them side by side for comparison and was therefore working from memory). Strings are not (IMHO as always) a strong point of the reproduction on Klipsch speakers generically. For me even the KHorn over-emphasises the string draw in relation to the trial off resulting in a higher impact than I have experienced live. This can be wearing over time and tends to tire me as a listener."

Now, imagine the RF7's properly set up, in a decent listening room, with gear suited to their strengths.

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Dean, correct me if I am wrong, but have you heard any of the Heritage speakers with:

A. A good, low power, Triode or vintage PP tube amp?

B. Good source components?

C. At someone's abode that knew a horse's patoot from a hole in the ground?

I will freely admit, I think there are BETTER rock speakers than Klipsch Heritage. But driven by quality tube amps with good output iron, they are not as you decribe unless there is a major problem upstream or the material is poorly recorded. They surely are not forgiving speakers (I would actually think the Cornwall would be more to your liking of the Heritage).

I do need to hear some RF-7. I personally have not heard a Klipsch speaker I like in a store EVER. They err on the bright side with that "HT presentation" and sound far from neutral to me, then again, this is the crowd they have been shooting for with the Tweeter and Circuit City brigade.


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Yep - I said that. Hardly the first about face I have made in this hobby of ours. I have made so many it makes me quite dizzy.

All I can tell you is that right now, with my ear as it is today, the RF7 is just too harsh for me. If I am going to be honest so is the Forte, but less so.

Tune in next week for me to recant the above.

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