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Should I replace 4x RF7-IIs with La Scalas and Belles?


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Ever since getting my RF7-II setup, I've always wondered if I should have gone with some vintage La Scalas and/or Belles instead, perhaps even Klipschorns for fronts if I could find a decent set for a good price. My primary use case will be for home theater, but I will still use them for music fairly often as well. My current setup is 4x RF7-IIs for front and rears, RC64-II for the center, and RS62-IIs as surrounds. I have height channels as well, but you can't really put La Scalas in the ceiling... right? Would it be worthwhile to switch out the RF7-IIs and RC64-II for some combination of vintage Heritage speakers? If so, would I want to make sure they're all the same type of speaker, or can those be mixed and matched fairly well?

 

The rear RF7-IIs were pieced together from different individual speakers, so they not only don't match my fronts (Cherry) but don't even match each other (Black and Walnut). They also have some pretty good dents in the corners of the cabinets, but they sound fine. I don't really mind though, especially since I got them for a pretty good price at the time.   

 

  

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Once you go heritage you’ll never go back.  Replaced my RF-63’s with La Scala Ii’s, then upgraded to AL5’s last summer.  Just replaced RS-62 II’s with Fortee IV’s and have a third La Scala AL5 on the way to replace my RC-64 III center.  Best move I’ve ever made.

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You will certainly not regret it.  It is indeed an step up if you think that it isn't you are only fooling yourself.  I run a 9.2 all Heritage HT and the level of dynamics and detail are astounding it can run at insane levels without a hint of distortion and on the flip side at low levels with similar detail.  The same goes for music as well.

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Thank you everyone for the replies! I only needed the slightest nudge to get pushed over the heritage ledge and now I'm solidly on the other side. Is there anywhere I could trade in my old reference speakers for Heritage stuff since that would make the easiest way of accomplishing this upgrade? I've seen in the past some musician grade La Scalas that are generally pretty beat up. Is there any noticeable difference in the sound for those? Would Belles be a good starting point or should I focus on La Scalas since Belles are a bit more difficult to find? My family lives is Vegas so I could start off with the ones on the garage sale forum that FalconXXXX has listed here: 

 

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23 minutes ago, archdukeobvious said:

Would Belles be a good starting point or should I focus on La Scalas since Belles are a bit more difficult to find? My family lives is Vegas so I could start off with the ones on the garage sale forum that FalconXXXX has listed here: 

I think that would be a great start.

 

Bill

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On 6/18/2021 at 6:30 AM, Frzninvt said:

You will certainly not regret it.  It is indeed an step up if you think that it isn't you are only fooling yourself.  I run a 9.2 all Heritage HT and the level of dynamics and detail are astounding it can run at insane levels without a hint of distortion and on the flip side at low levels with similar detail.  The same goes for music as well.

Wow!!  Tell me more about this 9.2 Heritage system! What speakers, power , ETC?

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I would not recommend going with vintage heritage speakers for the home theater. Newer heritage would be great, but vintage stuff (60s-80s) would probably not sound good in home theater. When I first got my belles, I thought something was wrong with them when I hooked them into my home theater. When I hooked them up in a real stereo setup, they sounded amazing. This happened with my Klipschorns as well. Wanted to try it for the heck of it and they had no life, until a stereo setup.

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1 hour ago, dtr20 said:

I would not recommend going with vintage heritage speakers for the home theater. Newer heritage would be great, but vintage stuff (60s-80s) would probably not sound good in home theater. When I first got my belles, I thought something was wrong with them when I hooked them into my home theater. When I hooked them up in a real stereo setup, they sounded amazing. This happened with my Klipschorns as well. Wanted to try it for the heck of it and they had no life, until a stereo setup.

 

Is it the same with La Scalas? Everything I've heard is those are amazing for home theater and I thought that most of those I've seen were vintage heritage speakers. I can't afford a new set of heritage series for a 7.1 system. Not that I would absolutely love to do that, but it's like a high end home theater per speaker price wise. Good to know about what to expect with the Klipschorns since I'm getting the set currently on the garage sale page. I'll just have to use them for a dedicated music room if they don't sound right connected to the home theater! Super excited for those! I've dreamed of getting a pair since hooking up my first Klipsch speakers (Promedias) to my computer 20 years ago!

Edited by archdukeobvious
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Is it the same with La Scalas? Everything I've heard is those are amazing for home theater and I thought that most of those I've seen were vintage heritage speakers. I can't afford a new set of heritage series for a 7.1 system. Not that I would absolutely love to do that, but it's like a high end home theater per speaker price wise. Good to know about what to expect with the Klipschorns since I'm getting the set currently on the garage sale page. I'll just have to use them for a dedicated music room if they don't sound right connected to the home theater! Super excited for those! I've dreamed of getting a pair since hooking up my first Klipsch speakers (Promedias) to my computer 20 years ago!
Yes, vintage La Scalas share the same drivers as belles and Klipschorns. They are absolutely amazing for stereo. If you can afford it, buy a pair and try it for yourself. I just wouldn't get rid of RF-7 II before you are satisfied. RF-7 II speakers are also amazing for stereo, just very different sound.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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On 6/22/2021 at 5:25 AM, Jvitti1970 said:

Wow!!  Tell me more about this 9.2 Heritage system! What speakers, power , ETC?

Look at my signature all the speakers and components used are listed.

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9 hours ago, dtr20 said:

I would not recommend going with vintage heritage speakers for the home theater. Newer heritage would be great, but vintage stuff (60s-80s) would probably not sound good in home theater. When I first got my belles, I thought something was wrong with them when I hooked them into my home theater. When I hooked them up in a real stereo setup, they sounded amazing. This happened with my Klipschorns as well. Wanted to try it for the heck of it and they had no life, until a stereo setup.

You've got to be kidding or your room just sucked acoustically.  My Heritage system would eat a Legend based system alive.  When yours starts distorting mine would keep going without a hint of it.

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You've got to be kidding or your room just sucked acoustically.  My Heritage system would eat a Legend based system alive.  When yours starts distorting mine would keep going without a hint of it.
There wasn't distortion of any kind, the speakers just had no life. They could technically be used for home theater, but it wasn't impressive. I've talked to many people about this as well as posting on this forum about the situation. The consensus was the home theater receivers just can't do these vintage speakers justice.

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On 6/22/2021 at 7:35 PM, dtr20 said:

I would not recommend going with vintage heritage speakers for the home theater. Newer heritage would be great, but vintage stuff (60s-80s) would probably not sound good in home theater. When I first got my belles, I thought something was wrong with them when I hooked them into my home theater. When I hooked them up in a real stereo setup, they sounded amazing. This happened with my Klipschorns as well. Wanted to try it for the heck of it and they had no life, until a stereo setup.

 

Add me to the list who disagree. What IS important when using vintage Heritage in HT is to use the SAME drivers, crossovers, ERA as possible. Don't go trying for an all-LaScala theater where you mix AA and AL/whatever types, mixing K55-V's with K55-Ms and such.......get them all the same, make all of the drivers all the same, refresh the crossovers/test/refresh drivers if necessary, and you'll get the timbre matching AND the dynamics/inner detail/impact you expect from ALL Heritage Klipsch speakers. There's OODLES of info on how to refresh these speakers in here, and don't let ANYONE tell you they aren't worth the trouble/viable.

 

 

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Now to answer the OP's question, one needs to listen to an all-heritage HT to see if it's something they consider "worth it". Hearing IS believing (as Dave Mallette used to say, "if it sounds good, it IS good") and as such is worth the trouble to take/seek out ANY opportunity to hear what that series of speaker is capable of. It's a general rule that if you like one era of these larger beasts you will probably like most any of the eras of properly prepared Heritage that's out there. Ref series has a "presentation" so to speak, as does Heritage, so it pays to hear if possible to tweak your "inner compass" to go in the direction you want to go.

 

Heritage most resemble that which is/has been behind the screens and in the walls of the major movie houses over the years, it's a matter of room and scale as to whether you can make that work.

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To the original poster, I hope you have a chance to try this, but hopefully you can afford the expense of buying the vintage heritage speakers while keeping your RF-7 II speakers.  I believe you might get more detail from the heritage, but the sound wont be spectacular as if they were hooked up to a true 2 channel setup.  I will link 2 different threads below.  The first one is mine when it came to my belles. 

 

The second is another member's issue with his khorns.  When he bought his khorns, they sounded great when they were demoed for him with great bass, when he got them home, the sound was very disappointing.  Everyone told him the issue was his room and not the fact that he was using an AVR.  Once he changed out the AVR, with a 2 channel setup, he was amazed at the great sound coming from his khorns. 

 

I wish the OP the best of luck with his search, but I don't want them to regret getting rid of something that he shouldn't have.  I have a pair of those RF-7 II speakers and I am in love with them.  I really didn't care for the first version of the RF-7 and I sold them fairly quickly after I got them.  The version II speakers are amazing.  Once he has a chance to test everything out, then make a decision to sell something.  My recommendation, use the RF-7 II speaker for home theater and use the La Scalas for a great stereo setup, but hopefully you have the ability to try it out for yourself.  Just don't over commit to anything until you decide for yourself by your own listening preferences.  

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dtr20 said:

To the original poster, I hope you have a chance to try this, but hopefully you can afford the expense of buying the vintage heritage speakers while keeping your RF-7 II speakers.  I believe you might get more detail from the heritage, but the sound wont be spectacular as if they were hooked up to a true 2 channel setup.  I will link 2 different threads below.  The first one is mine when it came to my belles. 

 

The second is another member's issue with his khorns.  When he bought his khorns, they sounded great when they were demoed for him with great bass, when he got them home, the sound was very disappointing.  Everyone told him the issue was his room and not the fact that he was using an AVR.  Once he changed out the AVR, with a 2 channel setup, he was amazed at the great sound coming from his khorns. 

 

 

Well, I've still have all my Klipsch upgrade cascades starting from the beginning (Promedia 5.1 --> Synergy 5.1 --> Reference II 7.1 --> RF7 IIs 7.1.4) so it wouldn't be too much of a difference to keep the RF7 IIs around. I probably do need to start finding new homes for some of those older systems, I'm just not very good finding people who want large speaker systems. 

 

I did just acquire a set of 1976 Khorns and I'm talking with the seller to possibly get his Phase Linear 400 amp as well to drive it. I'm definitely going to have to get something more special to drive these other than a home theater receiver, but am pretty new to this aspect of speaker usage and could use some pointers. 

 

If it comes down to it, I do have places where I can dedicate a room for movies and another for 2 channel listening. 

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9 minutes ago, archdukeobvious said:

I did just acquire a set of 1976 Khorns and I'm talking with the seller to possibly get his Phase Linear 400 amp as well to drive it. I'm definitely going to have to get something more special to drive these other than a home theater receiver, but am pretty new to this aspect of speaker usage and could use some pointers. 

Congrats on your new-to-you khorns!  I don't know much about the Phase Linear amps, but I believe Bob Carver was the designer of them and he designed great sounding amps.  If you don't have any 2-channel gear yet, you can usually pick up something on the used market fairly cheap to start out.  It is not uncommon to find a vintage receiver about $50-200 on craigslist.  It would be a good idea to have someone check it out before you just hook it up to your khorns in case there's something drastically wrong with it, you don't want to damage your khorns.  Obviously it will be a free test, just time consuming, to hook up your AVR to your khorns to see if you like the sound.  Either way, enjoy the hobby!

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I had RF7's for years for my HT until I decided to purchase some used Forte 2's to hear what all the fuss was about. You cannot un-hear the difference that a dedicated mid-range driver makes with the accuracy of the vocals. Once I sat down with an SPL meter and A/B compared those Forte 2's to my RF7's, that was all I needed to prove what I thought my ears were telling me. The RF7's (IMO) exaggerate the vocals and once I compared the two speakers, I decided on the spot to part company with my beloved RF series. I ended up selling the Forte 2's for a new pair of 3's because I preferred the newer finish, but if I had the room to go all heritage for my HT I wouldn't think twice about it, I'd do it.

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