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Is There Any Consenus On Original Forte Mods ?


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My Room prohibited my Klipschorns from working out, so I am listening to original Forte's.

I like them a lot, but would like to improve them.

I need a crossover schematic, and advice to rope caulk em, or not ?

I would appreciate any other advice on them ?

I think the crossovers are pretty good, but perhaps would benefit from better parts ?

A very impressive speaker, I must say!

Just a bit bright, but not hard and screechy, and images very well.

Its punchy, and has pretty deep bass too.

Very, very impressive, I must say.

Hopefully, i will find someone to trade in some Cornwall 2's for my Klipschorns that are posted for sale, so I dont want to go to aftermarket crossovers, until i figure out what Klipsch is going to stay.

I really dont want to like these little speakers as much as I do, they are so small.

They look lost in my room!

But, they are winning me over with their big sound.

I just like them.

I am currently using an Onkyo Digital amp on them, and I still have the little TEAC digital amp to try too.

I bet with some tubes, they would really sing ?

If I can find the remote, I can hook up my tube pre amp, and my Moscode 600, and a Lite Dac 72 tube dac.

Perhaps the big Moscode 600 will be overkill ?

DJK was right about these, they are truly an excellent speaker!

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sounds like you really like them...

so what about their sound are you trying to change? The only "negative" comment I could catch is that they sound "a bit bright". Are you only looking to get rid of this brightness, or is there anything else you might want to fix? Really, if you don't find it too distracting then by all means just sit back and enjoy the music. The cornwalls will project an even bigger sound (which sounds like something you enjoy), but they are very much bigger (though that also sounds like a good thing for you).

You've got some pretty nice front end electronics so I would recommend investing into the acoustics of your room before you start modding the speakers. I bet it would even fix that brightness problem.

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dont get me wrong, I love them.

But I guess something compells me to change caps, re solder, better inductors, etc ?

Plus, some swear by rope caulk.

It didnt work on the Plastic Tractrix CF 4 horns, but are these metal horns in these original Forte's ?

If so, perhaps the caulk will work ?

I could live with these as is, but always looking for improvements/

I havent got my front end going on these, just using an Onkyo digital amp.

I need to get the tubes on em!

Yes, they are just a bit bright, but not bright and hard.

Big difference.

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The networks for the Chorus, Chorus II, Forte, Forte II, Quartet, Heresy II, Cornwall II, KLF-20 and KLF-30 were built using polyester (Mylar) capacitors. There are very nice results waiting for you if you simply replace the Mylars with good quality metallized polypropylenes. The Auricap, Kimber, or Sonicap work well for this. Leave the inductors alone. All of these speakers already have air cores on the tweeter. Further mods will necessitate the use Chris 'Popbumper' Munson's K-Stack.

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I would stay away from "weird, obscure caps", especially those with PCB's in them. Old capacitors should be thrown away, not put into speakers that you're trying to get the best out of. To do a pair of Fortes, you will need (4) 1.5uF, (2) 1.0uF, and (2) 40 ohm Mills resistors. The Kimbers are nice because the leads drop right through the existing holes in the boards without too much fuss.

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I have a pair of Forte IIs which I've done a full complete update.

1) Mortite on the horns

2) Replaced damping materials inside (better quality)

3) Replaced with better internal wiring

4) Replaced stock riser base with more conventional speaker stand (looks nicer this way IMO)

5) Cap swap with a Mundorf on the mid, and Auricaps on the highs in xover

6) Replaced the resistor in the bass xover with a better qualtiy Mills

7) Isolated the xover board from vibration using insulation material

8) Replaced phenolic tweeter diaphrams with newer Titanium ones sold by Bob Crites

Maybe you can say I threw some money away, but I was lucky to pick up

my Fortes cheap. WIth all of this, I still spent less than $120 which

in the big scheme of things, is still not much.

Based on Dean's suggestions, I did not replace the cap in the bass

xover (110uf value - would have been very expensive), nor did I swap

the 2 inductors.

I would say the most cost-effective change was exactly what Dean has

suggested ... swapping the caps in the mid/highs (3 in total). I first

used an Auricap in the mids, and then went to a Mundorf Supremes (which

was actually worthwhile IMO ... I should have done this from the

start). Soom pooh, pooh these exotic caps, but it did sound nicer to

me. It would have been too much green $ to go with Mondorfs in the

highs. The size of the caps is also a consideration in fitting them on the small xover board.

I have raised hardwood floors in my listening room, and the speakers

with the stock risers did not couple nicely to the floor, resulting in

a bit of muddy bass. I replaced them with 5" speaker stands, and that

made a nice difference in the bass. Some people fill the stock bases

with sand, that may work too.

In retrospect, the other stuff, I would not bother with ... espescially

caulking the horn. They Forte II has a plastic horn. I don't know about

the original Forte I horn.

The original Forte xover schmatic was posted at one time on the

board. Perhaps try a search. Or send them to Dean, he knows what he's


These are very nice sounding speakers, and certainly worth the try.

Surprise your friends!! So many "audiophiles" have an anti-Klipsch bias

its scary. Screw them. They don't know what they are missing. I never

found them bright from the get-go. I use a McIntosh amp though ... I

think that is the difference. McIntosh amps are a little bit dark (in a

nice way). The cap changes mde things sound "smoother" and fuller,

particularly in the mids and highs which had less of an "edge" vs. the

stock caps. Perhaps that is the "brightness" some people talke about.

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I have had great success, especially with Tube amps, replacing caps with old pcb style caps!

remember, i am a Ham!

I have access to old, wonderful parts cheap!

I have a network of old, retired Ham's who have little better to do than sift through tons of Electronic "surplus" for a younger, fellow Ham who "needs" something!

I get NOS tubes at prices that will shock the unprepared.

To a Ham, a tube is a tube.

I have bought pinched waist Nos tubes for 3 bucks each!

Because, when a Ham sells to a fellow Ham, he knows that a tube is a tube.

The minute a Ham finds out that you are an Audiofool, the price goes way up, LOL

I guess I like to be different Dean ?

I get off on listening to Forte's with caps no one else has, LOL

I think thats the fun of this hobby.

BTW, I REALLY, REALLY like the Forte;s!

DJK reccommended them, and the Cornwall 2's.

He has become my "guru" !

I am in total awe of Dennis!

He has an amazing knowledge of Horns, etc.

And, it seems like he and I hear alike too ?

I am forever grateful for him turning me on to the original Forte's.

I like them Much, Much better then the Klipschorns.

Not even close, in my book.

They are free of that woody sound, and they also just plain sound better to me.

They are awesome on female voice, awesome.

Jewell's voice has inflections in it I have never heard before.

I just LOVE them.

If I could ever meet DJK, i would shake his hand profusely.

He has brought Music back into my home.

The forte;s, in my room, image like no tomorrow too.

The bass is wonderful, pressurizing even my kinda big room.

I do plan on a subwoofer though, but of course this is dependant on me possibly getting DJK's other reccommendation, the Cornwall 2's

I need to pick his brain some more on the advantages, and disadvantages, of a Corn 2 over a Forte.

I may just stay with the Old Forte;s ??

No disrespect to you, Al, Wil, or anyone intended, but DJK is the "boss" right now in my mind.

And that aint butt kissing either.

He, and I "got into" it on another board once.

He suggested that I listen to people that know more then me when I got "full of myself" as I sometimes do!

He was just trying to share his considerable knowledge with me.

Sometimes, my ego can get so big it needs it's own Zip Code, LOL

I wont repeat the same mistake.

So, DJK, if you are reading this, thank you man for bringing music back into my home.

The Forte is by FAR the best speaker by Klipsch I have ever heard.

And, that Includes the CF 4 too!

I have owned Klipschorns, La Scala's, Belle's, CF 4, and CF 3's.

I have heard nothing in the Klipsch lineup that can even approach the performance of these Forte's.

As a matter of fact, nothing in recent memory can touch them either.

Not the 801's, Infinity Preludes, Infinity IL 40's, Eminent Technology LFT 8A's, Magnepan MG3A's, or anything else that has been in my room in the past 2 years can touch these things!

To say I am thrilled is putting it mildly.

The only speaker that comes close is my Huge Von Schweikert Vortex Screens, and in a different way.

The Forte;s sound more "Electrostatic" like, way more detailed, and alive.

Both speaker image well.

The Von Schweikerts have a more "vandersteen" like sound, more laid back and "audiofool" like.

I enjoy them too, in a different way.

They cost 4 grand!

The Forte's have won me over, and I am sure that once I find the best amp/pre combo, and do some minor mods, that any audiofool who comes over my house will freak.

They sound THAT good over here.

Of shoot, football in half an hour.

Lets see how Forte;s sound on broken bones, LOL!

Thanks for the parts list Dean !


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I owned Cornwall's and now Forte IIs.

Do a search. Which is better has previously been a huge debate here.

Luckily no WMDs used as yet to settle the score.

My 2cents. Cornwalls mate better to a larger size room, where they will

sound bigger and punchier. In a smaller room, my vote goes to the

Forte (which is why I used them now instead). The Forte definetly

sounds less "aggresive" for good or bad, mostly I think due to the

Tractrix horn. Both need to be mated to the right amp. A Cornwall mated

to a cheap SS amp, will be painful and harsh sounding. If you've got

the room, certainly aim for the Cornwall, if you've got a smaller room,

the Forte would be a better match.

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Thanks for the reply Number 9, Number 9, Number 9

Paul IS Dead, LOL

Yes, the Forte's are an amazing speaker, and god help any Audiofool unfortunate to listen to them, then go back home, LOL

My 2 friends have Vandersteen 5A's, and one has VMPS RM 40's.

Wait till they hear these!

I have heard all 3 of their systems, and I dont feel slighted, in the least!

The little Klipsch Forte;s EAT their lunch.

make no mistake, the Forte is every bit a true audiophile speaker.

Whatever Klipsch engineer designed them, they need to keep, or find and re hire!

They are, by far, the best Klipsch speaker I have ever heard, and that include Klipschorns, La Scala's, belle's, and CF 4 and CF 3.

As a matter of fact, they are among the best speakers i have ever heard, period!

DJK, who turned me on to them, also suggested Cornwall 2's.

I just cant imagine a better sound, but if he says so, I will get them.

I have plenty of room, and the Little Forte's seem lost in this large room!

Tell me more on these Mundorf caps ?

Where did you get them ?

Did they mellow the sound, just a tad ?

I dont want to go brighter, just perhaps a bit cleaner, w/o losing detail ?

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Djk, who has a good grip on Klipsch sound, being a former dealer, recommends the original Forte and the Cornwall 2's.

So, if i were going to make a move, and some Corn 2's came up for trade for my Klipschorns, I would first query DJK for the advantages/disadvantages of a Corn 2 over the original Forte.

Honestly, I wouldnt make a Klipsch move w/o getting DJK's considerable knowledge first.

Obviously, he hears like I do, and thats VERY important to me.

Not everyone hears alike, I found that out the hard way!

For instance, i think LaScala's and Belle's are among the worst speakers i have ever heard, but some love them ??

Some people hate CF 4's, but not me.

But, I would take a Forte over any CF 4 I have ever owned, and I have owned a 3 versions.

Sorry Roy Delgado, I hate to "abandon" you, but the Forte's are a better speaker, in my opinion.

To be "successful" in Audio, I have found that you ned to run with people that hear as you do.

I had a guy reccommend a really bright, super detailed cap.

I hated it, but he listened for detail.

I listen for musical timbre, big difference.

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If you've got the room, then for sure the Cornwalls will give you the

"Klipsch" sound you like. They load a large room better than the

Fortes. I moved a few years ago to a home with a smaller listening

room, and that is the only reason I switched to Fortes.

Paul Klipsch supposedly had a hand in designing the Forte II. He also

supposedly had a pair in his office. That says something don't it?

The Mundorfs can be had from various online mail-order places. I picked

mine up from audiyo.com ... reasonably prices, quick ship and great


I like Jazz, and espescially like listening to vocalists. The Mundorfs

actually improve the details. You hear better delineation. But you lose

the raspiness and dryness in the mids too, which is a veru good thing.

Much smoother. Ella's voices slices the air now like "butta".

If you eventually go with the Cornie's, Dean here does a special xover

mod based on an all new design by ALK. The xovers in the Cornies were

not all that great and are one of their biggest weakpoints. The ALK

crossover smooths out the frequency response and impedance curve. This

is more than just a parts swap. Talk to Dean.

You may also hold off to hear the "new" Cornwall III or Scala II due to

be out in the next couple of months. These may tickle your fancy.

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So, what you're saying is that you like your Forte's...[^o)]

I really enjoy mine also. They are the first "real speakers" I ever owned. You will probably have to pry my fingers off of them when they drop me in my grave.

My only complaint is that they were'nt created Bi-wireable. I would like to give that a try some time.

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I think Gary Gillum was the driving force behind the Forte, he was the 'G' in the KG series, his name is also on the patent for the MCM1900.

The Cornwall II doesn't go as deep as the Forte, it does sound very similar in character as it shares the same mid driver and uses the same horn and diaphragm for the tweeter (the magnet is smaller on the Forte). If you're thinking of a small amp, the Cornwall II is about 5dB more efficient.

PWK was a class act. When asked his opinion of Bose, he managed to say something positive about the company, but at the same time was able to convey that he didn't think much of their product, without actually saying so.

After Gillum left Klipsch, and Klipsch abandoned the Forte, Gillum came out with his own Forte type speaker as a sealed box design (the low end cut-off moved up about a half octave).

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When I bought my speakers in 1989 I auditioned the Forte's and signed up. None were in stock, at least in the OO finish I wanted so I waited. The ones that showed up were Forte II's, probably one of the first pairs relatively speaking. Such is fate. I have not been disappointed with the II's by any means, but every now and then I wonder what else would be different.......(cue in twilight zone music).


"The poodle bites, the poodle chews it..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a very early build of Forte I speakers, the crossover is

hardwired to the back of the round cup. I am currently driving

them with my Dynaco 70 tube amp (35 WPC). I plan on doing

capacitor upgrades to them as well as wiring them up for bi-amp

capability. I also plan on mounting the crossover components on a

3"x5" piece of wood to spread out the components more. I would

highly recommend driving the Forte's with a tube amp - mine sound

better then my neighbors B&O Pentas which are driven with a

built-in 150 watt amp.

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