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RF-7's & Amplification


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I've been looking to buy a new 2 channel system for quite some time and am being influenced by the system by brother had back in the 60's (Klipschorns & McInstosh tubes). I don't remember a lot about it but what sticks in my kind is that it sounded absolutely incredible and was like listening to a live performance.

I've gone ahead a bought a pair of RF-7's and am now shopping for an amp. Unfortunately there isn't anyplace around here that I can audition an RF-7/Mcintosh combination so I thought I'd check out the forum to see what suggestions others might be willing to offer. I've been leaning toward the Mac integrated MC-2275 but among the questions in my mind are :

a) Is this too much or too little amp for the speakers?

B) How is it going to sound?

c) Should I really be looking for SS as opposed to tubes?

d) Are there other amps out there that would be better suited and a better match-up?

As far as my musical tastes go, I kind of like the gamut with more emphasis on world music (reggae, African, Latin, etc.), rock (Springstein, Bob Segar, Bonnie Raitt, Annie Lenox, etc.) and a smattering of 70's style country (Ray Price, Johnny Bush, etc.) and I do tend to listen to it loud at times.

Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.



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Its been recommended that your amp have a solid 200watts RMS power and be able to handle the 2.8ohm low impedence point when powering RF-7s. I don't think its really possible to find too much amp for RF-7s. 1000 watts maximum input!

Then again, I'm currently using my HK 730 from the 1970s (SS) which is rated at 40 watts/channel and its suiting me perfectly!

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I'm running McIntosh 400wpc with my Klipsch RF-7's and the sound is incredible. Lots of chaps have told me that their Rotel RB-1080 and RB-1090 Amps sound as good as my setup, so I think Rotel is another way to go too, as long as you make sure it get a min. 200wpc as the RF-7's require that to get the incredible sound. You'll love the RF-7's, great speakers.

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400 watt Mac sure sounds sweet (pun intended). Now I'm really curious about the Rotels. Never knew much about them until I looked at their website today. Very impressive. Any idea what kind of peak output the RB-1080 has for its 200 WPC? The RB-1090 puts out 380 WPC, with 1,000 watt peaks. Geez, on the 102 dB RF-7's, that translates into an ear-splitting 132 dB!!

I really need to get a portable SPL meter to see for myself just how loud is "loud". Even at 10 W continuous with my 100 W receiver, that's still over 110 dB on the RF7's. I definitely want to get some higher quality amplification at some point though to really unleash those RF7's.


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  • 9 months later...

We just had a baby, and as much as I like my measly 25 watts/channel Quicksilver monos.....they spit out a lot of heat with KT-88s, the transformers cause distortion to be picked up by my Grado Sonata, and I can forsee my son getting the EH logo burned into his skin someday.

I have a Sunfire Classic Pre and was looking at the 300 2-channel amp that is no longer in production. 600 watts rms per channel at 4ohms, and for those who like to bi-wire it has seperate terminals for high/low.

So no worries with the 7s and this much juice at 4ohms......

wondering what I am missing with 25watts....



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After receiving replies in this forum as well as from a couple of others I went ahead and bought an MC275, C2200 and MVP861 to run with my RF-7's and in my opinion it sounds great and actually has more power than what I expected and more than what I needed. All in all, I'm quite happy with the combination.


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So,to understand it won't work good with my Wright Sound WPA-3.5 amps ??? Just thinking to upgrade from Cornwall II.Any inputs regarding this match,please?

Upgrading??? from Cornwall II? Yikes - the cornwalls walk all over the RF-7's in my opinion [:o]

I would be hesitant using tubes with RF-7's because they are rarely designed to handle such crazy impedance responses. Low dips, huge peaks - they're a hard speaker to drive. That's not to say no tube amp can work with them, but most of them won't.

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I was hesitant too in buying the 75W equipment due to the vastly conflicting postings on this forum as well as others but then I corresponded with Klipsch as well as Frank Gow (Gordon Gow's son) and went ahead and bought it based on their input. The following is the text of the email from Klipsch :


Hi Jack,

The RF-7 should be fine with that amp. The RF-7 "likes" a 200 watt amp, but only if it is a Solid State amp, tubes don;t have the same characteristics as SS amps.

You shouldn't have a problem with clipping, when a tube amp distorts at high output levels, basically it just sounds different. It won't harm the speaker.

When an SS amp distorts, it could damage the tweeter.

I would suggest experimenting with the different ohm taps on the amp.

Some suggest a difference in sound, when setting to lower ohms with tube amps.

Try them all, 8, 4 and 2 if you would like, but the speakers should be fine set to 8 or 4 ohms

I have listened to the RF-7's powered by a tube amp from one of our Italian distributors and they sounded great. I do not have any specs on the tube amp we had, I would suggest it was less than 20 watts per channel.

My Klipschorns are tube powered, 25 watt per channel Ultra Linear push pull configuration. I have not been able to suggest any difference in sound using the 4 ohm setting compared to the 8 ohm setting.

The following is a link to an integrated amp Klipsch has in one our rooms. We have driven various speakers with it.

At CES we drove our La Scala II's with it and was able to drive very high levels with it. Maybe I should say LOUD!!

It was set to 22 watts output.

Read the partial review about that amp, which was done by Stereophile magazine. I am not suggesting to buy this piece, please don't misunderstand my suggestion for the link. It just suggests what we have used recently and were very happy with the lower wattage output.

Bottom line, you should be fine and personally I would suggest they would sound very nice with that Mac amp.

Steve Phillips
Home / Professional Audio Tech Support
Klipsch Audio Technologies


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