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Chorus II and Forte II, what's the difference?


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Title says it all; what's the basic SONIC difference between the two? They were both built around the same time period and have nearly identical specs. The chorus uses the K-48 15" woofer (which I know is used in their pro audio speakers as well), but it's rated only to 39Hz instead of the K-25 12" forte woofer that's rated down to 32Hz. The only other real difference I notice is that the chorus has a larger cabinet (about 60%) and it weighs 22 more pounds.

The reason I'm asking is because it doesn't make sense why Klipsch would sell two nearly identical products at the same time. How different from each other do they sound?

While we're at it, what's the SONIC difference between the Chorus II and the Cornwall II? Their specs are even closer and they share the same HF driver.

How would you rate the 3 speakers in a comparison?

Chorus > Cornwall > Forte ???

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I've owned both. My impressions are:

The Forte-II is smaller, a bit less efficient, and does go lower.

The Chorus-II is bigger, is more efficient, is more dynamic.

I have been able to get a more natural sound out of the Chorus-IIs. By natural I mean that I can hear a live string quartet and get a closer approximation with the Chorus-IIs than I could with the Forte-IIs.

There was something so warm and loveable about the Fortes, but I traded it for the open realism of the Chorus. Maybe I shouldn't have done that .. I do miss the Fortes.


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Boy, you're asking for a lot. There are not any commercial sellers with side by side comparisons like what your asking, much less us poor jamokes.

At some point the product line had Chorus II, Forte II, and Quartes (one version). I have the latter two. FII at the office and Q at home. They are pretty much Pappa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear. I'd think it was a matter of price points and size regardless of technical specs (entirely in the bass). That is how many people buy.

They share similar midrange "Tratrix" and similar tweeter. Very good in my experience. The Chorus has a crossover with an extra inductor so the roll off is a bit steeper.

As you notice the Forte II is rated with deeper bass by the numbers. But Chorus II is more sensitive. I don't doubt they sound a bit different. "Better" is more difficult, particularly if you throw in a size issue.

- - -

The Cornwall II has a pure exponential midrange horn similar to the original. I believe the Tractrix (the trademark issue annoys me, it is generic) has technical merit. Some like the exponential.

OTOH, the CW of any vintage is renound for its performance.

My thought is that all the speakers you ask about have superlative qualities. None is inferior.


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My thought is that all the speakers you ask about have superlative qualities. None is inferior.


as much as it may shock him I agree with Gil.

I even like the RB-3 and the other little fellows.

If I ever found a deal on Forte II I would ****** them up to do my own comparrison.

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Leo and Gil are right on. If classical is your "thing", consider the Chorus II over the Forte II. Otherwise, the Forte IIs do it all and with a smaller foot print to boot.

I prefer my Cornwalls for all music.

I will never dispose of my Forte IIs.

I would only sell my Quartets if I found another pair in walnut.

I would like a pair of K-horns.

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Fortes may be the better value:

Recently five Fortes I and IIs, are similar to Chorus models, though they are less-sensitive, and roll off slowly below 200Hz, sold on eBay from a remarkable $158 to a high of $800, for an average of $522

From half dozen pair sales on eBay, in August 2004: Cornwalls I and IIs, sold from $700 to $1,125. An exception was a year ago, when a pair went for $1,800, but generally they sell for about the same for Chorus I and IIs (averaging $844). Klipsch specs show Chorus above Cornwall models, with the same sensitivity, but less of a fall below 50Hz.

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As a current owner of both, I'll add my thoughts. You are correct about the specs, freq response, cabinet size, etc. As Gil mentioned, the Chorus/Forte/Quartet are basically all siblings and I think were made to serve different price points, performance levels, and room sizes. All three have the Tractrix midrange, though slightly different sizes.

IIRC, there was about $200-300 difference between each speaker. When I bought my Forte II, I stretched my budget a bit over the Quartet because I liked the overall bigger sound from the Forte, as well as the better bass. At that time, the Chorus was outside my spending limits, but it sounded damn good.

As I started upgrading my HT (Pro-logic to DD 5.1 to 7.1), folks here on the board recommended I listen to the Chorus again. I did and ended up buying a pair that are now my HT mains, with Fortes as surrounds. While the Fortes dig a bit lower than the Chorus (and it is noticable), the mids and highs on the Chorus are smoother and more detailed. That's what sold me on them for HT; I can suppliment the bass deficiency with a sub, but those upper frequencies are wonderful.

That said, you can't go wrong with any of the three, C/F/Q. As Audio Flynn said, the Chorus can make an incredible R&R speaker and I love wandering downstairs for a little 2-ch time with them. They are not up to K-horn standards, but a damn fine speaker.

Also as Gil mentioned, the Cornwall uses the exponential horn vs. Tractrix. My parents have a set of Forte (exponential) and Forte II (Tractrix) in their HT, and I really can't tell much difference, though it's been a while since I've done a serious A/B comparison. Overall, they match up pretty good together. I did lug my Chorus IIs for a shootout with fellow BBS'er Sprocket and his Cornwalls. We liked both speakers, but I think both prefered our own "babies." That said, the Cornwalls definitely have more power down low that the Chorus, but I think the Chorus has a better upper end. And the Chorus would win in a contest that required a smaller footprint. Those Cornwalls are BIG! But they do sound good. Do a search on the 2-ch archives for a "Chorus II/Cornwall shootout" about 2 years ago. Some good thoughts are there.

So, what would I do? Tough choice. As Boomac said, I won't be selling my Fortes, or my Chorus IIs. In fact, I bought another set of Chorus and one will become my center channel. Cornwalls are great, and if I found a pair at a good price, and had a room to put them in, I'd have no reservations getting a pair. As far as the Quartet, great "little" speaker and I'd love to get a pair someday in oiled oak to have all three of the sibilings in a HT.

Ranking them is hard. I'd put Quartet at the bottom, but only because someone has to finish last. The other three are neck and neck, each has good qualities and small nits to pick. If I had to get only one pair, I guess it would be the Chorus II for the better mids/highs and I'll suffer a bit on the bass side, though an audio system might allow for a sub to be added. If that's the case, Chorus all the way. If space is a problem, Forte II, as it has all the slam of the Cornwall, most of the upper magic of the Chorus, but in a smaller package than either. You can manhandle a Forte no problem. The others realistically need two people. But I cheated and have both for a HT.

So, long winded, but I hope this helps.

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On 1/5/2005 10:00:46 PM Audio Flynn wrote:

It always scares the hell out of me when I am found agreeing with a drummer.


A guy who beats on the drums may be more appropriate than "drummer".

Jhawk92 - If I ever find a nice pair of Quartets in oiled walnut I'll let you know my oiled oaks are available.

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