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SB-3 or RB-5?


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OK, SB-3 and RB-5. Same size drivers, twice the cash. Is it really worth it to spend twice the money for the Reference, or are the Synergys pretty good? I will obviously listen to them, but I want to get an idea of what you think first. For me, saving $400 is six months closer to separates. I will not be able to have floor standers for a few years and the speakers will go on top of my computer desk, should I spend $800 on speakers that will sit on my desk, or go with the SB-3s and save some money? I will probably get some big Klipsch in a few years.OK, SB-3 and RB-5. Same size? Thanks!


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Hi Kenneth,

The Rb5s are a lot different than the Sb3s. Better compression drivers, better crossovers, better woofers, stiffer cabinet, real wood veneer. The Rb5s are a much more serious loudspeaker. Save up and spring for the good stuff it's cheaper than buying them twice and they sound better. The Rb5s are real keepers. You may upgrade your speakers later but you will spend lots of money and you will probably keep the Rb5s for your second system with tubes or LPs or what ever. Good luck.



This message has been edited by Big Bean on 12-26-2001 at 04:40 PM

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always a tough call, depending on things like room, music, budget and plans -

Yet there is no comparison between the Synergy models I have heard in the dealer's rooms and the Reference ones. Of course the Synergy models sound good. And so do the Reference speakers.

All of the music is there with the S models, as it is with the R ones. But the R models seem to be able to provide the sound without effort. While the lower models work at producing the music, the Reference ones seem to be able to handle it all in stride. Bass is a bit better defined, but what I really noticed was that the treble, especially the cymbals seemed better.

On lower cost speakers, the high end often gets mashed together into a hissing or sizzling sound we recognize it as cymbals, but that is not really what they sound like. There is also better separation of the notes with the Reference speakers I have heard.

Twice as good? Hard to say, especially if it means something tangible, like a sub-woofer, which can make a very big difference.

Let me say this though: buy the best speakers you can afford. Speakers are the only bargain in audio, its where you get the most bang for your buck. If you like the Klipsch sound, their Reference series is good enough to build a great system around. You can keep adding many improvements to the RB5s, for example, without growing too fancy for them. Sub-woofers, center and rears, better CD player, pre-amp and amps can all be added, if you like their sound, without changing the main speakers.

Your ears are learning devices attached to three massively parallel and redundant super-computers. Worse case? If your dealer allows it, you take home the Synergy series; you may want to upgrade them before the end of the month.


Colin's Music System Cornwall 1s & Klipsch subs; lights out & tubes glowing!

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I haven't compared the SB-3 with the RB-5 but I have with the RB-3. The RB-3 had a much better sound than the SB-3 so I will say that the RB-5 would be that much better. BTW, my friend ended up purchasing Paradigm Studio 20's (he never listened to the RB-5's). I think the reference series is your better bet.

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Is the fact the speakers (RB-5II) are going to be on my desk going to cause any enormous problems, except for the vibrations? I know they deserve expensive stands with a $2,000 leather Lay-Z-Boy in front of them, but I still have some time before thats a reality. I guess I should just buy the damn things and start listening.

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Hopefully your desk has a pretty good mass to it.

Putting "blue tack" or any other non permanant wall mount compound; or perhaps vibrapods on your desk to dampen the interface to the desk would be a good idea.

12 or 14 gauge speaker wire at rADIO sHACK WILL NOT SET YOU BACK TOO MUCH EITHER.

Good Rockin'

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Before my purchase of the Rf-3'f I too have a pair of ksb 3.1 (sb-3). They sounded great. I used 18" stands and loved them. Go and listen to both of them and more than likely you will buy the sb-3. I think the only noticable difference inbetween the 2 are the highs in the rb-5 are much brighter. The bass does not have a noticable difference. Plus you can get the sb-3 or a pair of ksb-3.1 for way less...


Home Theater:

Yamaha RX-V1000

Klipsch RF-3's


Klipsch Subwoofer KSW-12


DVD Player SONY S-360

CD Changer CDC 509 5 Disc Yamaha comming soon.

monster cable interconnects/12 gauge speaker wire

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I cannot possibly imagine anyone buying SB3's over the RB5's.

The SB3's sound about what one would expect at that price point.

RB5's sound like speakers costing $2K or more.

Enjoy the great sound of the RB5's now and get your separates later!



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