Jump to content

RF-3 Questions


Recommended Posts

I just ordered some new Klipsch rf-3's online and I have a few questions about them. What exactly does it mean to bi-wire a speaker? Does that mean running both your A and B speaker outputs to the same speakers? Also, I have a square room. The TV is in the center of a long wall. Should I put the rf-3's along side the TV, in the corner, or angled in the corner? I will tryout all 3 set-ups when they get here tomorrow.

Also, is it true that very little power is required to make these speakers sound good?

I looked around alot for quality front speakers (I am building a system slowly. Rf-3's first.) I choose the Klipsch over Boston vr695, Polk rt800i's, Energy floorstanding, Bose 501's, and Definitive protower 400's. I wanted powered-speakers but price was a consideration( I got my rf-3's for 535.00.) Thanks for your help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


To bi-wire (IMO you really don't hear much difference, psychological) is that you have 4 binding posts on the back of your speakers. You also have a metal plate in the middle (looks like it is gold) To Bi-wire you need special wiring that will fit all 4 bonding posts and then you run that wire into your receiver. Has really nothing to do with your A/B on your receiver.

Postioning of RF3's, I have a huge Armoire and my speakers set right next to by armoire, about 8 inches from both sides. I have a huge room so angling them in actually hurt my performance than having them sit straight ahead. That is something you need to play around with, everyones ears are different.

Congrads on a great speaker purchase, I have had mine since November and I could't be happier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vagabond, I have my rf's bi-wired and am quite pleased with the result. The way it works is the terminals on the back are two pairs (left / right and a little below another pair of left / rights) The top pair when bi-wired go directly to the high frequency portion of the crossover and the bottome pair goes directly to the low frequency portion of the crossover. There are a couple of ways to bi-wire. The method I use is two seperate runs of wire for each speaker. I have them twisted together at the receiver terminals. You can buy special wire, but that can get rather expensive. You can also split the ends of a single wire run. If you decide not to bi-wire, I would at least remove the "gold plates" that are connecting the terminals. You should replace those jumper plates with small pieces of you speaker wire. Klipsch use the plates for cosmetic reasons only.

As far as the power issue goes, the Klipsch speakers are second to none in their price range for efficiency. The 98 dbs sensitivity rating is superb on the rf's. Some of the older Klipsch models are even higher, reaching into the low 100's range. Just to show you the difference, the Polk RT800i's have a respectable sensitivity rating of 90 dbs. Since these are one watt ratings and you essentially have to double the wattage to get a gain of 3.01 dbs, the following would be true:

RF-3 at 1 meter with 32 watts equals 113 dbs

RT800i at 1 meter with 213 watts equals 113 dbs

And lets just say that if your pair of rf's are consuming 32 watts a channel you better be prepared to repaint the room, because the old paint is coming off!!!

Happy listening and enjoy!!!


One of these days, I am going to learn that I should proof read befor I submit a post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vagabond -

I haven't done this personally - only repeating what my dealer said he did and what he discovered regarding those flat gold colored plates.

In his words, "Tom, if you buy these speakers (RF-3's), the first thing you need to do is remove those flat plates off the speaker terminals and either bi-wire or replace them with 14ga speaker wire. When I first heard these speakers, I liked the sound, but wasn't all that impressed. Then I removed the flat plates in order to bi-wire, but I didn't have what I needed so I just used speaker wire instead of putting the plates back on. When I played them with that set-up, it was like listening to a completely different pair of speakers. It was that dramatic. I heard what folks had been raving about."

Tom Adams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That flat gold piece isn't gold. It is brass in the color of gold. Brass isn't all that great of a conductor so, by replacing it with speaker wire (just enough to span the two binding posts) you are creating a better conductor. This means the signal gets where it needs to go more efficiently, thus better sound. If the bi-wire has you worried go to Wal-mart and buy a $5 spool of 14g wire and use that for the hi and whatever you have now for the low. That is what I did. Made a difference IMHO. May be a placebo effect but hey, it sounded better. If it sounds better to you, go buy better cable, if it doesn't you are only out $5. I hear that Home depot has a $65 spool of wire that is really good. (250' of 12 or 14 gauge)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


First, regarding speaker break in. The goal is to excercise the various mechanical components of the speaker (surrounds, spiders) for a period of time, much like breaking in a car engine. You want to "run them" for quite a few hours. Typically, the bass response will become a bit more extended and a bit more dynamic after this period, and the treble may "open up" a bit more. Don't expect night and day differences - just subtle improvements. The best way to do this is to place the speakers face to face a few inches apart, set your amp or receiver into "mono" so the same signal is going to both speakers, wire the speakers "out of phase" with each other*, throw a heavy quilt or blanket over them, and play pink noise or white noise at a fairly high level. If you have a CD with a pink noise track, use that. If not, if you have a receiver or tuner, tune it between stations so you get that "can't find a signal" hiss. If you don't have a tuner, hook the TV's cable into the system and select a blank channel, again looking for hiss. Play this at as loud a volume level as you or your family will allow. (with reason!!! these are rf-3s!! biggrin.gif )

*that is, connect the left speaker with speaker's red post to amp's red post and speakers black post to amp's black post, and connect the right speaker with speaker's red post to amp's black post and speaker's black post to amp's red post.

By placing the speakers nose to nose, and wiring them out of phase, a significant portion of the sound produced by the "left" and "right" speakers will be 180 degrees out of phase, and will acoustically cancel. That is, the speakers will be playing sound at a loud level, but in the space between the speakers the soundwaves will overlap and cancel each other. That way, the speakers will still be playing loudly but you won't hear much. The cancellation will be best in the lower frequencies. The purpose of the quilt is to deaden any high frequency sound that's not cancelling completely. Run them in this way for a few days, if you have that much patience...

By the way, some folks feel that the crossover components (especially capacitors) benefit from this break-in process as well. Can't hurt, in any case... wink.gif

As to using the factory gold strips to jumper the high and low input termnals together, or replace that with speaker wire... here's a chance to find out which camp you fall into. Get a VERY short length of really good wire. (See if your dealer will cut, like, four 4 inch lengths off of some Audioquest or something.) Replace the flat gold strips with the wire. You will either (a) not hear a difference, in which case I'd leave the strips in place and go listen to some tunes, or (B) find that it sounds different. Maybe worse, more likely better ('cause change is almost always better, right? wink.gif ), in which case I welcome you to the 7th circle of audio hell, because from this point forward every single solitary damn thing you do will make your system sound different. eek.gif

Have fun!



Music is art

Audio is engineering

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...