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Heritage Forte II vs RF 83 Comparison


Carlosrs
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In the middle of this world shut down, which I hope will be over soon if we all cooperate, I had the time to do a real comparison of my RF83 and Forte II.  I have three systems, and have been living with them for a while now, but I never had a chance to compare these two speakers with the main system electronics and room.  Here are my findings, hope it helps, or at least entertains!

 

Electronics:

Sunfire Vacuum Tube Controller

Sunfire 300 Two amplifier. Current (tube like) and Voltage (normal) speaker connectors.

Yamaha WXC-50 streaming TIDAL and HiRes music from server.

 

RF83:

Plugged 2 of the 3 ports, best bass output in my room.

Connected highs to Current output and Lows to Voltage output, this yielded the best sound.

Toed in and pulled out from wall accordingly to get best results.

No grills for listening, make a noticeable difference in these speakers.

 

Forte II:

Crites upgraded caps kit.

Sealed properly the box.

Added a washer weight to the passive radiator.

Toed in a little, less than RF83 though.

Angled up about 1 inch.

Grills and no grills very similar sound.

 

Results:

RF83 had more bass, a little looser, but definitely more of it and deeper. The soundstage was noticeably bigger, with much better imaging. The sound was just bigger and more of an event than the Fortes. At same volume the sound was a little lower, has to adjust to match the Forte. You don’t have to be in sweet spot to get great sound, you can walk around and still experience that live music feeling.

 

The Forte has a livelier sound, more exciting maybe.  The bass was a little punchier and tighter, but there was less of it, and did not dig as deep.  Less imaging and more like a wall of sound quality, but much smaller soundstage than the RF83s. They don’t sound small at all, they sound big, but the RF83 sound bigger. When you move, or even stand up, the sound changes, it is noticeably better in sweet spot.

 

I don’t have the technical knowhow or language to go much deeper or more scientific, this is just my general impression. When compared back to back they are very different, but none is better than the other, they just shine at different things.  The Fortes are easier to listen to at lower volumes and can be used even as background music, the RF83 at lower volumes are heavier sounding, they need a little more volume to balance out. Don’t know if this goes in line with the RF vs Heritage general perception, but this is what it sounded to my ears, in my room. Set up properly and taking the time to correct for in room problems, they are both amazing speakers that can give great joy to most. Based on my needs, I am keeping my RF83 in the main system.

 

Here are the measurements, maybe they could shed more light to those who can interpret it. The green is RF83 and the blue is Forte II. And a couple of pics!!

 

Stay safe people!!

1469383473_ForteIINGRF832socksNG.jpg.74cc0d88651c1219c6e1d445f5eb57e4.jpg821643086_20200405_141939_7643262_resized.thumb.jpg.19dccbe62f76f843749294b7ce73c6d9.jpg820719565_20200405_141834_7193368_resized.thumb.jpg.4c250ab681230f70e32bc0b8f2b7b6d4.jpg

 

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Great comparison.  

When I had my original Fortes sitting directly next to my RF-63's, I would switch back and forth quite often to see(hear) which sounded "better".  Neither really did, just different.  Both pairs had their strengths and weaknesses(not really) and were powerhouses in my family room.  Big detailed sound that did not need the pedal to the metal to get there.  In the end, the RF-63's are still standing after almost 12 years.  The Fortes are in the Ukraine where I hope Sergei is still rocking and rolling.

 

I am impressed how flat the curve is with the RF-83's.  Very nice bass extension in your room.

 

Bill

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Thanks Bill!!  I have tried all different combinations with the RF83 to control that bass, port plugs, different positions, bass and treble controls, etc... and this is my best response so far, will continue to mess with it, it's part of the fun.

 

Is this typical RF vs Heritage behavior???

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8 hours ago, Carlosrs said:

In the middle of this world shut down, which I hope will be over soon if we all cooperate, I had the time to do a real comparison of my RF83 and Forte II.  I have three systems, and have been living with them for a while now, but I never had a chance to compare these two speakers with the main system electronics and room.  Here are my findings, hope it helps, or at least entertains!

 

Electronics:

Sunfire Vacuum Tube Controller

Sunfire 300 Two amplifier. Current (tube like) and Voltage (normal) speaker connectors.

Yamaha WXC-50 streaming TIDAL and HiRes music from server.

 

RF83:

Plugged 2 of the 3 ports, best bass output in my room.

Connected highs to Current output and Lows to Voltage output, this yielded the best sound.

Toed in and pulled out from wall accordingly to get best results.

No grills for listening, make a noticeable difference in these speakers.

 

Forte II:

Crites upgraded caps kit.

Sealed properly the box.

Added a washer weight to the passive radiator.

Toed in a little, less than RF83 though.

Angled up about 1 inch.

Grills and no grills very similar sound.

 

Results:

RF83 had more bass, a little looser, but definitely more of it and deeper. The soundstage was noticeably bigger, with much better imaging. The sound was just bigger and more of an event than the Fortes. At same volume the sound was a little lower, has to adjust to match the Forte. You don’t have to be in sweet spot to get great sound, you can walk around and still experience that live music feeling.

 

The Forte has a livelier sound, more exciting maybe.  The bass was a little punchier and tighter, but there was less of it, and did not dig as deep.  Less imaging and more like a wall of sound quality, but much smaller soundstage than the RF83s. They don’t sound small at all, they sound big, but the RF83 sound bigger. When you move, or even stand up, the sound changes, it is noticeably better in sweet spot.

 

I don’t have the technical knowhow or language to go much deeper or more scientific, this is just my general impression. When compared back to back they are very different, but none is better than the other, they just shine at different things.  The Fortes are easier to listen to at lower volumes and can be used even as background music, the RF83 at lower volumes are heavier sounding, they need a little more volume to balance out. Don’t know if this goes in line with the RF vs Heritage general perception, but this is what it sounded to my ears, in my room. Set up properly and taking the time to correct for in room problems, they are both amazing speakers that can give great joy to most. Based on my needs, I am keeping my RF83 in the main system.

 

Here are the measurements, maybe they could shed more light to those who can interpret it. The green is RF83 and the blue is Forte II. And a couple of pics!!

 

Stay safe people!!

1469383473_ForteIINGRF832socksNG.jpg.74cc0d88651c1219c6e1d445f5eb57e4.jpg821643086_20200405_141939_7643262_resized.thumb.jpg.19dccbe62f76f843749294b7ce73c6d9.jpg820719565_20200405_141834_7193368_resized.thumb.jpg.4c250ab681230f70e32bc0b8f2b7b6d4.jpg

 

Wow! Those Forte's look tiny compared to the RF-83's. I didn't realize they were such an imposing speaker. Which is which in your graph?

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Nevermind I just saw where you told us. I was right though.

 

The Forte has its midrange "hump" at 1000hz which is a little early for Heritage and some other Klipsch, but the RF's midrange hump is right where is should be, @ about 2300-2500hz.

 

The RF's are nice and flat but look at that low frequency response! That's subwoofer territory!

 

That 500hz hump of the RF is interesting, it accents that frequency, whereas the Forte dips there, no doubt due to the handoff between woofer and midrange. I bet the RF's 500hz hump adds a nice lower midrange fullness.

 

The dip between 1-2k is where the RF's woofers are handing off to the tweeter, and it does it very well, subdued at 1200hz where things can get "honky".

 

The high frequency crossover is seamless in the Forte, and a couple db's higher than the RF no doubt due to the 3-way tweeter support absent in a  2-way.

 

All very minor differences, room acoustics could make these graphs look much different, (The Forte graph looks similar to the graph Klipsch put out, so you're pretty close though), and these graphs tell us very little of the speakers sound signature, but the RF is a big surprise to me.

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Thanks for your knowledgable input.

 

I have been working the RF83 whole system for a while trying to get the response where it is now. It was boomy around 40 and 70htz, but plugging those 2 ports really tamed that and gave me a better base to work feom. It made them dig deeper too, to my surprise. I replaced the tubes on the Sunfire preamp for old new stock ones, matched and balanced reflector 6h23p-eb/6922 Premium

help the mids and does'nt push the bottom end, very highly recommended. They are magnificent speakers that need a little work to get them where you like

 

Not the final result, but below is a comparison of the RF83 with the ports plugged and without.

177015137_ScreenShot2019-05-07at7_48_42PM.png.06f043b314a440f1bd10bd30143117b8.png

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2 hours ago, Randyh said:

why don't you do this  -  place the Forte II , exactly as high off the ground as the RF83 and repeat the test --------then post the results

Or you could just lower the microphone 14.25 inches or so to compensate.:P  Same listening distance but lower.

 

Bill

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But he's got the Fortes tilted back...

 

I'd guess some difference in the curve from a few hundred Hertz down, with the greatest change down low, not for the better.  

 

I wouldn't bother with the test unless I plain old had the time and a suitable riser that continued at least the cabinet dimensions all the way to the floor.  If all I could provide was open space underneath, then I most certainly wouldn't bother.  I'd sooner step outside and piss against a wrong wind.

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Will remove the tilt and measure again to see the response.

 

They do sound better tilt up, when they flat the sound feels like it is "lower", like its under you.  Maybe I'm just used to having the tweeters above my ears living with the RF83s??

 

I don't perceive any different sin base response, maybe its measurable but no appreciable?

 

I don't have the correct risers to get them to the RF83s height.

 

 

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