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Upgrading in Chicagoland - Need Heritage/vintage Klipsch Info/Opinions


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Since your going to be making improvements , I suggest you get some Fortes for now. Then when your construction is completed, you could sell your Fortes (for what you paid for them), then if room

permits- go for the gusto and get the K Horns.........if your so inclined.

This way you have a great speaker for now, the ability to get your money back when you sell,

and time to better research- weather the K Horn is what you want or need. I think once you latch onto a pair of Fortes, you won't want to let loose of them!

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"They do it all huh? Gosh - can anyone fault these things? I've not read of any. They must have some flaws?"

You do read complaints and concerns... but not often in this forum. Try AudioAsylum or the like and you'll get plenty of objectional opinions (deluded as they may be... ;^) ).

I would suggest another option to Bill H's suggestion. While buying the Forte or Chorus may be a stop gap, the price of Khorns and the other Heritage line has been creeping up in the last few years. There was a time not too long ago when a pr of Khorns were selling on the used market for $1000-1500 on average and it wasn't impossible to find a pair in the paper for $500. It has become quite rare to find them selling in that range as the average is just above $2K these days. With new Khorns selling for $7K or more, there's no reason to think that the used market will slow down anytime soon.

If you wait, you could end up paying more than you want to afford.

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You do read complaints and concerns... but not

often in this forum. Try AudioAsylum or the like and you'll get plenty

of objectional opinions (deluded as they may be... ;^) ).

I don't mind hearing complaints from people who have actually heard

Khorns. But I've found the vast majority of complaints are from weenies

who can't bear those oh so terribly harsh horn sounds through their

weenie ears.

Is that a spotlight on top of your Khorn?

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Tiger - Yes, they are very pretty indeed. ;)

Question... Right now I'm comparing the Chorus II's with Cornwall and reading alot of conflicting posts on what people prefer. I'm also reading with the Forte's, bass isn't it's strong suit. I'm also wondering how much of an upgrade it would be from my KG4's.

Either way - I'm wondering if I can get away with something smaller for now (non-khorn level), and get a sub to ensure I get the bass I need? I've zero experience or knowledge about them, only that in the stores I've heard them in - while probably fine for home theatre, ewww for music. Mushy, etc. IS there a sub-woofer that works with music? Proper music bass? Punchy yet goes very deep? Bass that would be 'appropriate'? It's really important to me. If there is such a thing - my options widen I think.

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Actually I'm listening to my Belles now and yes, I do have the sub-woofer on. If you have lived with Khorns as long as I have, you miss it when it is not there.

Do I like it as much? No. Talk about time alignment problems. Sounds like fireworks. The first boom followed quickly by the first reflection. Much more seemless with Heresys.


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If you need good bass in a smaller package than the Khorn, maybe you should look at the Epic series. The C-3 and C-4 offer great bottom end and they image very well. The drawbacks are that you need to be sitting down to really appreciate them and they look least like a Klipsch speaker (which may be a plus for some).


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If you decide to look outside of the Klipsch line up, you'll find plenty of interesting speakers in your price range. The Bastanis Prometheus would qualify. Its an open-baffle design with a sub module built in so it will offer up plenty of bass down to 25Hz or so. It usually sells as a kit but I've seen several of the finished products for sale recently...


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Sorry if this post seems a bit scatter-brained, there's a lot to say

but really it's all just one interconnected single thought...(it really

is, honest)

For starters, you need to figure out what kind of music you listen to

and how loud you listen. I firmly believe each of the different

heritage speakers have their own target genre (not intentional of

course) and therefore you will get very very different opinions about

the same speaker, let alone be able to decipher opinions between

different speakers. Also, it wouldn't hurt to know what kind of

amplification and source material you're running - can we assume the

jazz is on LP? What about the rock?

With certain types of music I think the khorn is one fricken amazing

speaker. But with rock, the bass is tubby and the midrange will pin

your ears back. Does that make it a bad speaker? Well for me it does

because I pretty much only listen to rock [;)] But there are many on

the forum who will swear by it. I can say without a doubt that I would

totally take a cornwall/chorus/forte/KLF-30/CF-4/etc etc over the

cornwall...and yes, I am definetly in the minority opinion.

If you are planning on going the HT route in the future, then I would

highly recommend going with lascalas over the khorn because it will be

easier to achieve perfect timbre matching (aka, you can have a 5.1

systems of lascalas, but it doesn't work with khorns).

As far as subs go, you really should try a "real" subwoofer before you

give up on the idea. (for example, the lascalas sound nasty harsh on

their own, but mated with a properly tuned subwoofer they are most

wonderful sounding).

There's a chorus II versus cornwall AB comparison thread somewhere on

the forum where I tried to describe the differences between each

speaker (speaking of which, I never really "concluded" it...I should

get on that). It may be a bit on the technical side of things, since I

come from a PA and recording background where I associate numbers to

what I hear. For the record, the chorus II uses a tractrix horn and the

cornwall uses an exponential horn. They sound very different.

Anyways here's a quick summary of the chorus versus the cornwall:

Of the two speakers, the cornwall definetly has more bass and sounds

better at lower volumes. The chorus is rather bass shy until you get

the volume cranking...and at very loud volumes the bass is way louder

than the cornwall. But at loud volumes the cornwall gets fatiguing,

whereas the chorus does not (which is almost a bad thing in a way,

because you'll end up just increasing the volume and not realize that

you're going deaf, lol [H]). The MF horn on the cornwall is known for

ringing and it seems that damping the horn dramatically reduces the

fatigue. You'll find a lot of information about rope caulking in the

updates and mods section. The chorus is definetly much smoother in the

midrange and really lets female vocals shine through. The cornwall is a

bit more edgy (in comparison) which is great for rock. Going back to

lower volumes, the cornwall presents a much larger in your face sound

whereas the chorus sounds smaller, but is just as forward.

For jazz you will find many people that just love the cornwall. Though

the chorus is also a good performer, I would have to say that it is a

bit too toppy in the HF's...though it could have been the source

material. I'm not a huge fan of jazz though (probably cuz of me age) so

I probably shouldn't talk too much about the relative jazz performance.


So to sum it up: If you listen loud then go with Chorus II's, but if

you listen at low levels and want more bass, then go with cornwalls.

Btw, choosing either based on aesthetics or the size may actually be a

fully justifiable decision. For 90% of the music I had a real hard time

knowing which was playing (especially when I would try to randomize the

choice). So if the smaller size of the Chorus means it's easier to

integrate, then by all means go for it.

Btw, I have a pair of Chorus II's with me in Champaign, though I will

be going home to aurora for a month (xmas break) - I would be more than

willing to bring them up sometime and have you over for a demo. Or

perhaps we could arrange to all meet up and do a comparison at the same

time against Pete's khorns and cornwalls...we could even make it

official and borrow the "colter comparator" so that we can volume match

and instantly switch between everything [:)] Heck, I've got a pair of

heresy's if you wanted to hear them too.

What other speakers have you listened to? I see you have KG-4s and thus

are already familiar with the klipsch sound. What do you specifically

find lacking that's making you want to upgrade? It sounds to me like

you're looking for more bass and a cleaner top end? Is that all?

One thing to note....if you go with khorns, then I would highly

recommend implementing some time-correction (which involves at least

bi-amping, if not tri-amping). But don't take it from me, Roy Delgado

(Klipsch engineer extrordinare) very highly recommends it as well.

well that's enough for now, I know I'm forgetting some things and

others will disagree but that's what makes things so interesting. Oh

btw, welcome to the forum

Oh I almost forgot, without a doubt the chorus II and cornwall are

better than the CF3 (ABC comparison). I haven't heard the CF4 but I've

read about some people saying it performs very well. The CF series has

a much different sound than the typical klipsch speaker though.

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I'm getting overwhelmed. :)

Dr. Who - I'll address your post paragraph by paragraph...

We've not listened to vinyl in years. And won't be. Assume CD's. We have a Harman Kardon avr-435 receiver. Listening to all types of music (except country), but mostly rock if I had to peg it all up in one category.

Your description of the khorn's bass as being "tubby" is a bad thing if true. That would bother me more than anything. I want to be punched to the point of being knocked over. The last thing I want is bass that's anything resembling boomy, mushy, soft, fuzzy, etc. Very important to me. To 'me' - the bass thing is the hardest to get right. And a first priority I guess.

Home Theatre isn't any big goal. It's 2ndary. I don't want to remotely choose speakers with that in mind. If it will 'also' fly with HT - cool.

I did read your Chorus II to Cornwall comparison & need to re-read it. I have to see if you were comparing the Chorus II to Cornwall or Cornwall II. I still need to figure out the differences between the 2 CW's. I also need to learn the differences in sound between the tractrix & exponential horn. I think my KG4s are expo.

I don't know what the new ones use, but we found them to be a bit harsh? sounding.

As far as volumes - Yes, when we sit down to listen, it's loud! When reading the paper on Sunday morning - not loud. :) I'm curious as to 'how' loud the Chorus II's need to be to sound good. It' would be interesting to hear them.

What I don't like about my speakers? That's rough cuz I've had them forever. I like the depth of the bass, but I want them punchier, cleaner, less boomy. They are currently not placed well & I think I can improve that. The bass sounded MUCH better at my old house then here. I guess I'd like an improvement across the board. More clarity? I think I'm missing some stuff in the middle. Some details. Perhaps most anything would be an improvement. Just gotta nail down the bass.

Misc - Gosh, Before I posted today, I thought the Cornwalls would suit me & knock me on my butt and be a beyond better version than the KG4's I'm so used to. I see they have the same Frequency response (38hz-20). The Chorus II is at 39. I've zero clue what one point does to my ears. Khorns are at 33. wow! But what's with the Forte's at 32? I was shocked when I saw that. That's a nice number - yes? LaScala have a very high number and I can't imagine wanting that. That number covers the depth the bass will go to - right? But then after that, the type/quality/size of the woofer comes into play? Back to reading.

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dtel and I started out with speakers in the Synergy series, which were quite adequate initially. Dtel is "anal" about researching any purchase exceeding $100.00, that includes weedeaters, vacuum cleaners and or speakers. After reading the forum for almost six months, he casually informed me that he wanted to upgrade the speakers we just purchased six months previously. He opted for a single pair of Forte II's, which I believe cost us around $425.00. Dtel had built a subwoofer when we purchased the Synergy speakers. Two weeks ago we purchased our second pair of Forte II's for $350.00 (once again, thanks Colterphoto). I can assure you dtel is just as "anal" about placement and sound as he is about spending $100.00. The Forte II's are not as imposing (as far as space) as some of the other speakers, yet the sound is impeccable for the $$. Dtel's goal is to have six Forte II's for surround, while my ultimate goal is a pair of Khorns, for music.

However, I have heard and read, even on this thread that the Khorns quality depends on the type of music being listened to. The Forte II's are not that demanding, delivering all around performance for the buck.

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So come on - Are the khorns "everything"? Surely there must be something wrong with them.

Yes, they sure are everything. Don't be afraid of their size if you have corners. They will fit snugly in corners and really don't take up much space once in position. They actually will take up less space than the La Scalas, Belles, and maybe even the Cornwalls.

The biggest flaw is that you have to have good corners. Aside from that, the other biggest flaw is that you won't be able to boast to your friends that you own $50k speakers (even though they will sound like you do).

You do want to make sure you've got good (not necessarily expen$ive) electronics upstream though. Do this right and I don't think you have to worry about "tubby" bass or harsh midrange. I think I've achieved that and I do listen to rock among other types. A multi-channel HT receiver will not do.

I highly suggest you take up the offer to listen to the Klipschorns (and Cornwalls?) to hear for yourself. Don't be suprised to find yourself out shopping for Khorns immediately.

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Tubby bass from Khorn? Few would agree.

You should accept Pete's kind offer. You might consider taking your receiver, if that's practical. In any case, you'll be able to audition Khorns and Cornwalls.

When I used four Speakerlab SKhorns (Khorn clones) in a mobile DJ business, people thought there was a live drummer. Using false corners, the bass was tight, never tubby.

I've owned Khorns, Cornwalls, Heresy and La Scalas (no experience with non-Heritage Klipsch). Each has its strengths and limitations. Assuming other things are equal (which they never are), of stock Klipsch Heritage; Heresy is great, La Scala is better, Cornwall is better still and Khorn is best.

I too have heard few sub-woofers that I liked. IMHO, the integration of a direct radiator subwoofer with horn-loaded speakers is extremely problematic. I prefer the tight fast, albeit limited, bass of La Scalas alone to La Scalas with poor augmentation by sub. I do not consider La Scalas to be suitable for most home installations. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cornwall, IMHO, offers the best compromise of size, cost and performance among stock Klipsch.

Again, call Chicago Pete and go listen to Khorns and Cornwalls.

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IMHO, the PERFECT speakers for you are the KSP-400's. Hardly anyone here recommends them, as so few have heard them. Built-in side-firing subs, narrow profile. They pop up on eBay from time to time, most always go for relatively cheap (original list $3500/pair!). Usually under a grand. Killer rock/HT speakers.


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Welcome to the board! Just saw your thread and had to jump in.

If you want to stay heritage and need a svelte form factor, I would go

Fort'e for sure! I have a pair and they are just about the best

rock speaker Klipsch ever built. Bass shy? NO! Deep notes on a pipe

organ will shake your chest and let you really FEEL the music! I have

owned a pair of 1s for nearly 2 years now and I am still impressed with

the sound. PK must have liked them also as he had a pair in his office!

I have moved them to my mains in my HT and they were

replaced with Cornwall 2s in my 2 ch room. MDF is not a problem with

speakers unless you leave them on the back porch in the rain or live

where your house gets drown every other year (which will pretty much

wipe out any speaker!) The Cornwall 2s have a MDF construction with

hard wood veiner. They look FANTASTIC sound AWESOM and are HUGE! They

sound best in my room pulled out from the corners by a foot or so.

The Cornwall has a little more refined mid section than the Forte but

the Forte form factor and slightly lower bass response makes it a real

goer also.

Either speaker will put a grin on your face for sure!

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