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Forte Modifications


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13 hours ago, glens said:

The damping material on the exterior of the horns can't hurt, but that shown on the woofer, especially on the back of the magnet, well, I seriously doubt anything whatsoever was gained by that effort.  The baskets may not be as pretty as machined castings (of lighter material) but they have all the strength required for the task at hand.

 

Would likely gain more benefit (though still minuscule) by applying an absorptive-surface material to the insides of the basket webs.  To minimize reflections, not ringing.

 

Hi Glens, sorry, I did not include a pic of the woofer.

 

I put nothing on its motor, and only put some absorbent on the four spokes.  Main idea was to dampen anything that could resonate.  

 

 

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All I was getting at is the stamped steel structure likely isn't going to get too excited anyway, and if it did, that little bit of stuck-on mass would largely go unnoticed, I should think.  Hey, I may be wrong about that.

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Just an odd thought I had.....

 

One of the interesting characteristics of older speakers is their "tippiness" front to back.  Never speakers don't have this - logical with narrow deep cabinets.  I certainly noticed this when working on the cabs.

 

With the pistonic action generating lateral movement front-to-back in the Forte, it makes me wonder a few things:

 

- Would the speaker benefit with outriggers that extend the base in the front and back dimensions?

- Would they benefit even further by having these outriggers mounted on spikes to decouple the speaker from the floor?

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, ScooterMcTavish said:

Just an odd thought I had.....

 

One of the interesting characteristics of older speakers is their "tippiness" front to back.  Never speakers don't have this - logical with narrow deep cabinets.  I certainly noticed this when working on the cabs.

 

With the pistonic action generating lateral movement front-to-back in the Forte, it makes me wonder a few things:

 

- Would the speaker benefit with outriggers that extend the base in the front and back dimensions?

- Would they benefit even further by having these outriggers mounted on spikes to decouple the speaker from the floor?

 

 

 

 

Can't hurt though considering their weight, they really don't move unless on an unstable floor or rug.  Outriggers are mostly for narrow speakers so they don't tilt sideways.  Spikes would be adequate on Fortes.

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3 hours ago, pzannucci said:

Would they benefit even further by having these outriggers mounted on spikes to decouple the speaker from the floor?

 

Give that scenario a little more thought.  Any advantage gained by expanding the footprint would be, to some level (could be more, could be less), negated by allowing the spikes (or just feet) to move relative to the floor beneath them.  "Decoupling" does indeed mean "allowing relative motion" so far as I understand the term.

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Finally have the speakers back together, and gave them a good listen the other day.  I also A/B compared them with a set of B&W 683 that are my current daily drivers. 

 

The design of the two speakers couldn't be more different. 

 

The B&W have a narrow baffle, coated with a dampening material.  Dual metallic 6.5" woofers cross over to the mid at 350Hz, a beautifully designed kevlar 6" driver.  This then crosses over to the aluminum dome tweeter at 4kHz.  The cabinet is very solid and well braced, with the only compromise being a vinyl wrap.  Personally I love the choice B&W made, sacrificing cosmetics for a quality build.

 

The Forte have a traditional wide baffle, and mate a solid 12" woofer that crosses over to the horn mid at 800 Hz.  My Forte have the Crites tweeters, which are crossed over to at 6kHz.  They are in a thin, barely braced, resonant cabinet, yet were given a very nice walnut veneer.  There are clear Klipsch design choices here (horns, naturally), but I am left wondering how many design choices were made with an eye to competing visually in the 1985-1989 speaker market.  Big and loud were what sold speakers at that time.

 

So when comparing the two (on a very laid back Arcam A85), the design choices were apparent and audible. 

 

First of all, I wanted to evaluate the Forte vs what I remembered them being.  So I hooked them up, and proceeded to run through good digital files, bad digital files, good CDs, and bad CDs.

 

With the limited mods I made, my goals were to reduce cabinet internal reflections, dampen resonant surfaces inside the cabinets, and stiffen the cabinets themselves.  The net result was very encouraging.

 

The Forte had always done well with vinyl, yet quickly became fatiguing with digital.  After the mods, I found whatever fatiguing harshness to have been reduced, if not eliminated.  I was easily able to run through a wide variety of music, and ended up having a two hour listening session.  Always awesome.

 

The bass was a bit shyer, but I also could not position the speakers optimally to truly tune this right.  I will just make the assumption that the bass will be as good as it had been.

 

When A/B comparing the Forte with the B&W, the differences were easy to hear.  I believe much of this is due to driver choice and crossover points.

 

I'm still not sure I could make the Fortes my main use speakers.  The choice of crossover points shifts the entire voicing of the speaker "up", creating a mid which sounds out of balance to the whole.

 

On some recordings, this was actually preferable, such as piano/acoustic/vocal music.  However, on my main genres of music (rock, metal, and their derivatives), a 3-way with more typical drivers and crossover points delivers a more cohesive sound.

 

Certainly some people describe Klipsch as sounding more "live" or "exciting".  With my Fortes, this is 100% true.  However, this can also be distracting or off-putting, especially depending on one's choice of music.

 

Regardless, I am happy with my simple mods, as one or all together have shaved off a certain harshness that made the Fortes hard to listen to for extended periods.  

 

And at some point they may migrate into my main system, even on just a two week trial to see how we get along.  Before these mods, I never would have even considered this.

 

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17 hours ago, ScooterMcTavish said:

Finally have the speakers back together, and gave them a good listen the other day.  I also A/B compared them with a set of B&W 683 that are my current daily drivers. 

 

The design of the two speakers couldn't be more different. 

 

The B&W have a narrow baffle, coated with a dampening material.  Dual metallic 6.5" woofers cross over to the mid at 350Hz, a beautifully designed kevlar 6" driver.  This then crosses over to the aluminum dome tweeter at 4kHz.  The cabinet is very solid and well braced, with the only compromise being a vinyl wrap.  Personally I love the choice B&W made, sacrificing cosmetics for a quality build.

 

The Forte have a traditional wide baffle, and mate a solid 12" woofer that crosses over to the horn mid at 800 Hz.  My Forte have the Crites tweeters, which are crossed over to at 6kHz.  They are in a thin, barely braced, resonant cabinet, yet were given a very nice walnut veneer.  There are clear Klipsch design choices here (horns, naturally), but I am left wondering how many design choices were made with an eye to competing visually in the 1985-1989 speaker market.  Big and loud were what sold speakers at that time.

 

So when comparing the two (on a very laid back Arcam A85), the design choices were apparent and audible. 

 

First of all, I wanted to evaluate the Forte vs what I remembered them being.  So I hooked them up, and proceeded to run through good digital files, bad digital files, good CDs, and bad CDs.

 

With the limited mods I made, my goals were to reduce cabinet internal reflections, dampen resonant surfaces inside the cabinets, and stiffen the cabinets themselves.  The net result was very encouraging.

 

The Forte had always done well with vinyl, yet quickly became fatiguing with digital.  After the mods, I found whatever fatiguing harshness to have been reduced, if not eliminated.  I was easily able to run through a wide variety of music, and ended up having a two hour listening session.  Always awesome.

 

The bass was a bit shyer, but I also could not position the speakers optimally to truly tune this right.  I will just make the assumption that the bass will be as good as it had been.

 

When A/B comparing the Forte with the B&W, the differences were easy to hear.  I believe much of this is due to driver choice and crossover points.

 

I'm still not sure I could make the Fortes my main use speakers.  The choice of crossover points shifts the entire voicing of the speaker "up", creating a mid which sounds out of balance to the whole.

 

On some recordings, this was actually preferable, such as piano/acoustic/vocal music.  However, on my main genres of music (rock, metal, and their derivatives), a 3-way with more typical drivers and crossover points delivers a more cohesive sound.

 

Certainly some people describe Klipsch as sounding more "live" or "exciting".  With my Fortes, this is 100% true.  However, this can also be distracting or off-putting, especially depending on one's choice of music.

 

Regardless, I am happy with my simple mods, as one or all together have shaved off a certain harshness that made the Fortes hard to listen to for extended periods.  

 

And at some point they may migrate into my main system, even on just a two week trial to see how we get along.  Before these mods, I never would have even considered this.

 

Klipsch tended to run their horns a bit hot in the past; it sounds like current offerings are way more balanced. Simple resistor mods in your Forte crossover can make a substantial difference, bringing the woofer and mid horn into strong cohesion, making lower midrange stronger, taming horn "hotness", making tweeter stand out and sparkle more, both widening the soundstage and bringing the midrange forward. 

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