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New vs "old" Klipsch


Rodak
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I'm looking for a pair of speakers for an audio room.  I've never owned a pair of Klipsch, although a roommate I had about 40 years ago had a pair which I was impressed with.  I also heard LaScalas in a few bars back in the day and was also very impressed.

I can't afford a pair of LaScalas, but have been shopping around for a pair of used "classic" speakers, like Bose, Klipsch, Advent, etc.

Found and researched Klipsch KG4s and KG3.5s on Craigslist, but both were sold by the time I decided they were worth a listen.

So now I see that Adorama and Amazon sell the R-610F for $300/pair.  That's roughly what I was looking to spend for a pair of 30-40 year old vintage speakers (that may have needed re-foaming, crossover rebuild, etc.)

Those R-610Fs seem to be a LOT cheaper than most other similar Klipsch's.  Would I likely be as happy with those as with a pair of vintage speakers that may take who-knows-how-long to locate?  I don't have golden ears by any means, but I can appreciate a good pair of speakers vs a mediocre pair.  Other new Klipsch models look to be double the price or more.

FWIW, I'll be driving them with a 1978 Marantz 30-watt-per-side integrated amp, playing mostly 1970s rock and prog rock.

Edited by Rodak
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Having been in a similar situation, I've purchased "modern" low-to-middle of the range Klipsch speakers. I've also purchased speakers from other manufacturers. All were OK, but nothing special. Recently, I purchased a pair of 1988-vintage La Scalas. None of the other speakers even come close to the La Scalas.

 

My advice would be to search out a pair of used Klipsch heritage speakers (e.g., Cornwall, Forte, Heresy, La Scala, etc.). Look at the "Garage Sale" section of this forum, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, US Audiomart, etc. 

 

You'll have to stretch your desired price point, but the results will be well worth the extra expense.

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Klipsch speakers don't need re-foaming, their woofers don't use foam surrounds.  Crossover rebuilds can be a personal preference.

 

Within the past couple years I bought a pair of 1981 Heresys for $350 and a 1980 pair for $400.  I did need to drive a couple hours one way for each pair but it was well worth it.

 

Check eBay, craigslist, Facebook marketplace at least a few times a day.

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Welcome to the Forum. I'm a recent newbie as well.

 

I suggest the Garage Sale section as well (Home>The Klipsch Joint>Garage Sale). I don't think you will find much in the $300 range, but you might. What size of room are you dealing with?

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By all means keep your eyes on all the usual sources for Klipsch (don't forget to search for Klispch, lots of misspelled ads...LOL)

 

Given your budget and preference for the vintage sound,  I would suggest you also consider some other brands that don't have the strong used market pricing Klipsch has; like Bozak, Electrovoice and Wharfedale.

 

You must audition to confirm if they are right for you, but some can sound very good and are generally efficient enough for your Marantz.

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KG series can sound very good, but they probably all need the electrolytic capacitors in the crossovers replaced at this point.  That was maybe the biggest improvement when I did my KG2.5's.  Other capacitors and titanium tweeter diaphragms are season-to-taste.  CF/Epic series is quite nice as well.  'Vintage' original Klipsch are hard to beat as well.
good Luck!

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If you want some good Klipsch speakers, nothing else will really really satisfy you, so if you buy “something else just for now”, your enjoyment of your system will be compromised, plus the money you would have had to put toward what you really want will be gone.

 

Patience is your friend.  Start setting aside some money every month while you’re checking out the various online sites.  As you spot Klipsch speakers for sale, you’ll get a feel for prices in your area.  Don’t forget US Audio Mart.  Back in 2008, I was able to find a pair of 1989 Heresy IIs for only $280 (IIRC) on Canuck Audio Mart, a related site.  Sure, that was unusual, but if I hadn’t been looking, I would have missed that deal.  I upgraded one of those speakers to Heresy III spec, and I used it first as a centre speaker, until I got a Belle Klipsch to fill that spot, and now the H2/H3 is in the rear centre spot for 6.2 duties.

 

Patience and research are the tools that will let you find a pair of speakers that will make you smile every time you listen to them.  If you can set aside only $100 a month, in a year you’ll have $1200, which could be enough to buy you an older pair of La Scalas.  That’s what I paid for my first Klipsch speakers, a pair of 1974 La Scalas, which I’m still enjoying.  I listened to them for months in as-received form, then I did some upgrades, as my budget allowed.  It can be done, as most Forum members would agree.  Remember that Heritage speakers almost never need to be re-surrounded, since they use doped-paper surrounds on their woofers, like musical instrument speakers.

 

Keep in mind that La Scalas, and other Heritage speakers, are big and heavy, so they’re difficult (but not impossible) and expensive to ship.  Also, most audio fans these days are used to smaller speakers.  As a result, the larger Heritage speakers tend to sell locally for less than the seller would like, and some sellers have no idea what they are, or what they’re worth.  That’s the nature of the market.  As well, it means that if you’re willing to take a trip, you can sometimes bring home a great deal.

 

Keep looking, and keep saving, and you’ll have a pair of La Scalas sooner than you’d expect!

 

EDIT:  The Forté II and Forté III speakers have really good sound, and are more compact than La Scalas, if you have limited space available.  Their bass response goes deeper than La Scalas, so they often don’t need a sub, while La Scalas really benefit from a sub in a home listening environment, as opposed to a club sound situation.

 

The Klipsch Chorus speakers are also worth a look and listen.

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I have a pair of R-610F powered by a modified 1965 Fisher 440T (38 WPC) receiver. I'm happy with them for now. To be honest they surprised me for $304 to my door. Here is a video from my iPhone when I first got them. Not the greatest recording but beats a blank.

 

 

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@Rodakwelcome to the forum.

 

Something a lot of us overlooked early on are the Klipsch Professional speakers. They are often a silly bargain compared to the well known Heritage lineup. And they take no prisoners.

 

Another real sleeper to keep your eyes open for are the Tangent 400/500 and better yet the Tangent 4000/5000 speakers. These are essentially taller Heresy 2s that go lower.

 

As mentioned, stay glued to this channel for alerts (other markets)  and garage sale (this forum) posts. And be ready to jump on it.

 

Ask away and you will get the shared experiences of others here to steer you closer to where you will wind up sooner.

 

Another sentiment on here is we only regret the ones we didn’t buy.

 

Oh, and watch that capacitor “pop” when you turn on your 2230, I blew a tweeter in my Cornwalls once...

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Wow, what a great batch of thoughtful and helpful responses!

I'm in NE Georgia, about 45 minutes north of Atlanta.

I'll check out some of the recommended sources and models.  I'm not in a hurry, as the room really isn't ready yet - gotta paint and get some furniture.

I *could* afford a pair of La Scalas, just not sure if I want to spend that much.  Plus, finding a pair locally could take some time, but you never know.  Yeah, shipping could be expensive...and risky.

 

@geezin'Thanks for the Youtube demo - hardly a good way to judge speakers, but it did sound pretty impressive!

@geoff.Yeah, my Marantz (it's a 1060) does crackle a bit when turned on. That's why I like the speaker on/off buttons on the front.  I rebuilt the power supply and replaced the big filter caps in the output section, but it's still slightly noisy on power-on, but dead silent after that.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, geezin' said:

If a pair of LaScala is affordable I'd say go for it. Even if they're not for you no money will be lost they are an investment.

 

That's one of the nice things about older Klipsch speakers they hold their value quite well and even recently have been climbing pretty significantly in value-- as long as you don't overpay you can try some of these models out for awhile and if they don't suite your needs you can resell them and get most if not all of your money back.

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