Jump to content

Are we ALL missing something?


Recommended Posts


While the forum was down over the weekend, I had an opportunity to

catch up on a some reading over at the AVSforum, and there was a thread

over there that was titled, "What speakers disappointed you?"

Keep in mind that I heard another Klipsch forum poster's B&W

Nautilus speakers this last Saturday that really were stunning, made me

start to question my purchases and staunch loyalty to the Klipsch brand...

Klipsch is pretty much at the head of the list, downright bashed almost


the initial post (see secodn page of the thread for the start of the

comments), as harsh and bright and disappointing to the

majority of the posters. There are few valiant (and well thought

out) efforts to retort

that are shot down, but generally...they dislike Klipsch - a

lot. Now in fairness, somebody has a paroblem with just

about every speaker made. Comments (paraphrasing) that PWK

sacrificed tonal balance

for efficiency in his speakers, an unfortunate engineering choice - and

the same old "Heresy, Scalas and Belles were made to be center channel

speakers and therefore are so bass shy that they are useless as stand a

lone speakers", and my favorite was one post that said that Klipsch

speakers were the "second most over-priced speakers on the market" - I

can just guess what the first was...

Are we missing something here? Are we, the general collective Klipsch buyers/refurbishers/owners/fanatics just wrong?


I would like to hear some opinions...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 67
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Yes, but...frankly - I have auditioned only a very limited number of

speakers, probably maybe 5 brands, including Klipsch in less than ideal

circumstances - I don't have the time or resources or patience to

purchase, move to my listening room, audition and return large speakers

when I find them "splashy" or "muddy" or "lean" (whatever the hell any

of that means). I use the feedback of other folks on forums just

like this one to gauge general opinion about a product, any

product. I really enjoyed a listening party that the

audiocircle guys had over here, and I heard Art's spectacular

Dunlavys, and some very nice GRResearch speakers and Gallos, but that

happens so rarely that comparisons are difficult.

I like what I have, you bet. I keep buying the stuff it seems, so for

me to tell you that somehow it wasn't quite up to snuff would be to

flush years and thousand of dollars down the drain, agreed? But

as a purist here, I am just trying to evaluate what I am hearing and

what others (more experienced perhaps and better able to convey what

they are hearing) to me, and I find this thread on AVSfourm.

You know what, like a LOT of folks, I have heard BOSE sound pretty

convincing too, in their little Best Buy setup with the speakers over

your shoulders and the center in your face, haven't you? SO, I

question my own tastes and what I am hearing sometimes, so do a lot of

folks here (hence the interminable threads on tweaks and upgrades and

crossovers - of which I am a major reader, ascriber and disciple).

These are just my thoughts out loud...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's no doubt there MUST be speakers that can compete very well with Klipsch, if not surpass them - even in the same price range. You will not find too many people owning Klipsch saying they are not good. That's why the general audio forums are more prone to have members who dis Klipsch than this forum does.

I wouldn't mind hearing some of these hi-end speakers, like B&W, etc. Nonetheless, I won't go looking for them, and if I hear them and like them, I won't ditch my Klipsch.

There just comes a point in life when you get something good enough for a particular need, and then you go on to other needs. You might come back to it and re-evaluate once in a while, but to be compulsive about it can hinder alot of other areas for progress.

For example, although the tweaks and mods can and do, many times, make an improvement, how many people have bought $2k used KHorns, and after all the combined tweaking and modding, found out that the KHorns were the cheapest part of the deal?

Kind of like the story about getting a child into horse-riding. The horse is the cheapest part.

To cite a statistic noted in the book, "The Millionaire Next Door," did you know that extensive polling has shown that the number-one vehicle purchased by millionaires is the Ford F-150? Not Lexus, Mercedes or BMW.

You can decide from there what to make of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not worried about what other speaker fan boys say about Klipsch. My guess is that there are some there who are just blindly paraphrasing what others have said without ever experiencing Klipsch themselves. Then there are some who have had Klipsch that really don't care for them. Perhaps some of them don't like the "poor quality in, poor quality out" aspect of Klipsch. I know I can easily hear recording differences between two CDs. Maybe some want a speaker that helps to hide that.

I dunno... I've never had anyone come over, watch a movie and not be wowed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dunno... I've never had anyone come over, watch a movie and not be wowed.

They don't want to hurt your feelings. [:P] WOW!!!!! (Glad we got those Bose instead.).

Those liars! And all this time I thought they enjoyed it. Come to think of it, they did look rather green by the time they left. I just thought it was the beer. [;)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there are several things at play when Klipsch name comes up a bit negatively in such a thread.

One - no getting around it - some people just have different tastes in speaker types. Some of the most expensive speakers I have auditioned sound lifeless and dull to me. Some people equate being "refined" with better, and that's ok - different strokes. Some people do not prefer the sound of even well-done horns to conventional drivers. Fine by me.

Two - some people have had one or two negative experiences with Klipsch speakers - usually with bad sources, bad preamplification, cheap solid state, etc. - and therefore - every Klipsch speaker must sound that way. I'm the first to admit that most horn-loaded speakers sound like junk with the wrong electronics and its gets worse at higher volumes. Garbage in - garbage out. Horns are somewhat tough to get right (unless you follow some of the advice in here) but well worth it once you do. So some of these people heard harsh horns and the horn proponent probably told them "that sounds great!" They think that is as good as it is going to get - and they listen no further. However, I have known Klipsch haters that have never heard a nice pair set up - with great electronics and good acoustics. They hear my Belles in current form, and their opinion (usually) changes.

Three- some people have very limited experiences with Klipsch speakers - and then only the modern variants. No offense to the Reference line, but the speakers are really just partially a horn speaker - with a horn doing most of the tweeter duties and conventional drivers handling the rest. That's not to say that I dislike Reference (or Synergy) as opposed to Heritage, etc. because I still own Reference speakers and like them very much. My point is that its a different sound (especially with the titanium drivers) as opposed to some of the vintage-design Klipsch. Vendors set up modern-Klipsch speakers with a mass market receiver and bad acoustics - and let them rip. People hear one taste, and they are turned off. This point is related to point two.

Relax, enjoy your Klipsch - and if you are happy - who cares what others think.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only pair of speakers I owned before the Forte II's were a pair of the old Mission 700's (the ones with the 8" woofer). They were really nice for their size and price ($400 in 1980). After the Forte purchase I used them as a second system in the bedroom, then they eventually got boxed up and put in the closet for some years. When I pulled them out the woofer surrounds had disintegrated. I refoamed them and gave them to my father in law as a gift a couple of years ago. While testing them after the refoaming, I realized why I bought them in the first place: they were accurate sounding speakers, very different in timbre from the Forte II's. I remember commenting at the time, "now I remember why I bought these in the first place, " and following that up as I A/B'ed them, "and I also know why I bought these to replace them." Both sets were and have great sound for the money. Personally I have never heard anything that compares to heritage Klipsch for the money. I know there are fantastic speakers out there, but at what cost? Not to mention how much power it takes to drive them. A guy on Audiogon sold his Forte II's and had to spend close to 3 grand on used Sonus Faber Grand Pianos to beat them according to his ears. As Homer Simpson once said: "No matter how good you are at something there is always someone else that is better."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Klipsch for the most part has enjoyed a rather dubious reputation, that is most peopel either love them or hate them. This was true for the Klipschorn and it is still true today. As illuminated earlier, different strokes.... I know folks who dislike Klipsch and have never heard them they simply looked at the spec sheet Klipsch used to publish which was + 5db over a freq range and scoffed at it. Others simply don't like horns. I do.....not my problem. I've heard B&W, Polks in their hey day, Infinity's in their day. JBL's, not too much Altec stuff though, McIntosh and a host of other speaker lines. To me Klipsch simply delivered more of what I looked for. Obviously..... I am here. Are we missing something not IMHO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're not missing much with these other speaker brands. Trust me.

The "good enough for the job" analogy is correct. At a certain point, the instrument or tool becomes sufficient enough for the job that there is not much need to improve or reinvent it. It's really just "tweaks" at this point. If you could improve upon it significantly, the $$$ spent would not justify the improvement in performance. It is that logistics equation in calculus that shows that inflection point where the $$ invested begins to yield diminishing returns. PWK came as close to that "inflection point" as I can imagine.

And like any tool, it must be used properly. Use a hammer to clean the windows, and good results are not obtainable.

I spent years crawling the hallways, exibit halls, and hotel rooms of CES looking for speakers that "grabbed me by the boo-boo" like Klipsch (and old Altec/JBL and Tannoy) did. There were a few really great speakers - at prices that could buy half a home. There have been good efforts at specific qualities, like the electrostats doing great image - but horns/compression drivers are IT for me, and can be obtained on a more modest salary.

Now I don't profess that everyone will like Klipsch speakers. But I will say that many who don't like them are misinformed as to their best uses - it is a matter of "how to use the tool". When used according to package directions and with a little professional guidance, relief is almost guaranteed[:D]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

speakers are alot like hand guns. there are handguns that conceal nicely and handguns that will shoot through an engine block.. there is no such thing as one model does it all. I subscribe to the do one thing and do it well. Fit the speaker to your personal preference and application. IMHO, klipsch sounds better on my vintage high power SS marantz gear than any other brand ive tried. i really like my cornwalls, i just love my lascalas. klipsch gets extra points with me for keeping its operation on american soil. And in my very limited knowledge, it seems they wrote the book on horn loaded speakers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...