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Forte 20th Anniversary?


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This is mostly a story of doing things by public transporation.

A long time ago a fellow here was saying he was thinking about selling his FII sometime in the unknown future. I told him to keep me in mind. In a day or so he came back with a solid offer to sell and I took him up on the deal. He said they were oak and I really wanted walnut. But why be a stick in the mud. He had the original boxes.

I don't have a car and the FIIs were up in Milwaukee. I travelled there, with a folding hand cart, via Amtrak the next Saturday. Weather was just so-so.

The seller met me at the station with the FII, in boxes in his car. Very nice fellow and his brother in law was there, perhaps the real owner. He opened the box enough to show me I was not buying a cement block. He had also warned there was some minor damage and I took his word for it. But gosh, those are walnut after all.

Amtrak insisted they go in the baggage car, and that would be $10 extra. A bargain in my view. I had to turn them over to Amtrak at their baggage area. Then I got a cup of coffee at a nearby mall. It was just the beginning of Christmas, very enjoyable.

The Amtrak train just shuttles Chicago to Milwaukee and back. I had no reason to thnk the FIIs were not in the baggage car.

At Union Station in Chicago I waited at the luggage conveyor waiting for the big boxes. Wait a bit. Nope. Wait more. Nothing. I talked to the attendant. They would check. Nope again. I thought they were probably still in Milwaukee and I'd have to wait for the next train trip. Grr. Horrors. Or . . . Lost? Stolen? Maybe put on a train to who knows where?

But then still later the nice lady said they were in the basement and would I please go down five floors to get them.. BTW you saw part of Union Station in the movie, the Untouchables. I didn't realize just how may levels there are underground. Huge. The place is like an iceburg.

There they were. I put the two boxes on the handcart and went up the employees- only elevator and out onto Adams Street at ground level. It was a about five long blocks to the office including the bridge over the Chicago River, and past Sears. The wind was coming up (always worse near Sears) and a few drops of rain appeared. Those boxes were getting bigger, heavier and more top heavy at every step.

Getting them unpacked and set up was no mean feat. I only had a mono table radio and some telephone wire to drive them. Not bad but one has to wonder. It was enough to compel the purchase of electronics, which I had intended to put off for a while.

The next day, Sunday, I bought a Sony minisystem which had 4 ohm shoe box speakers. (No problem driving the FII?) This was an easier box to handle on the CTA bus but I was a little annoyed that I'd almost bitten off more than I could chew the previous day and this was beginning to form a pattern. Would it all be worthwhile?

Yes, I had the factory approved zip cord from home.

The performance out of the combination is very very good. WFMT has excellent classical. The local NPR station WBEZ has much more music even in their talk shows than I'd ever noticed. CD's are grand.

They are big for the office. OTOH, the footprint is smaller than a banker's box. They are not much taller than a desk or other office table. They fit in, sort of. No one has complained. I only crank them on weekends.



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I thought so too when I communicated with him before you did and won out since you were local to him. Congratulations!

Oh man, you were going to ship them to Illinois? I guess they must be a good deal. I'm really excited. Until now the best stereo I've had was a pair of Wharfedale tower speakers, which were good but really lacked the depth and presence of the Fortes, and they moved to Washington DC with my roommate. On the flip side, he has an HK 430 lying around which I hope he will sell me for cheap. I set them up in my living room for an hour or so, which until now has only had a Panasonic home-theater-in-a-box. My roommate came in and asked me where I got the "big ugly speakers." Some things just aren't for everybody.
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Like John said, I have always heard that PWK had a pair of Forte IIs in his office and that he loved the speakers.

I bought my Forte IIs off eBay and drove over to the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Mississippi River to pick them up. They were just as described and I was really thrilled to get them. Yeah, I have Cornwalls in the main system but I will never sell my Forte IIs. The passive radiator makes them a bit inflexible to use in the HT environment but Ive done it and they sound fantastic. Little need for a sub with those babies. Play the music that goes along with the credits for Pirates of the Caribbean and youll see what I mean.

In two channel and combined with my Scott 299 they are sweet as can be. Ive never tried them with the BAT gear but Ill get to that when the lower level is done.

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I think I've shared this story earlier on the forum, but I too, love my Forte's.

Shortly after I got married a friend of mine from my church was leaving for the mission field. He asks if I would like to have some audio gear. He didn't have time to sell it and just wanted to get rid of it.

I said sure.

Understand, that to this point in my life, the best audio gear I had ever owned was a "All in One" Magnavox system with a pair of speakers that had a thin wire that came out of the back and hooked up to the system with an RCA style plug. I had never heard of Klipsch and had never thought of spending the kind of money that quality audio gear would cost.

Anyway, back to the story. Jared, my friend shows up in his pickup with the bed filled with gear. My wife was less than happy...In the bed of the truck were a pair of Klipsch Forte's, a DBX-3 300 wpc power amp, the matching pre, a DBX compressor, 31 band stereo eq, Pioneer 6 disc changer etc, some speaker cables that were at least a quareter inch in diameter each--they look to be about 10 gauge--no name on them, but I still use them to this day.

I didn't even have the slightest clue as to how to hook all of this equipment up.

He assisted me and powered it up, and I was in heaven...

Thus began my love affair with Klipsch. Most of the equipment has been pawned off and upgraded, except for the Forte's. They'll never leave...

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