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Thread: klipsch

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    USA
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    36

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    Well. . .

    I've owned two pairs of Fortes along with a pair of La Scalas. I know what you mean about that "big" presentation. If I was building a big HT, Klipsch might be a consideration.

    In my average sized room, though, my Ascends (170's/200's) are plenty dynamic. Also, while the Klipsch opened up at higher volume; the Ascends are more enjoyable at lower volumes.

    I have to hand it to those older Klipsch . . . they had (in my opinion) are very sweet top end. That phenolic tweeter was just dead on . . . again, IMO. With every newer speaker I've owned (Mirage, Mission, Monitor Audio), I've had to attenuate the treble a bit. When we used to audition speakers (late 80's) all tone controls were set to "defeat." Honestly, there's no way I can run my Ascends like that. No worries, I plan to keep my Ascends. It just seems most new stuff is voiced a little hot.

    Anywho, I haven't heard the any of the newer Klipsch stuff, except the Synergy at BB. I definitely do NOT like these! But it wouldn't surprise me if you like the Reference series. My recommendation would be to give a good listen with plenty of your favorite music. Listen closely for those subtlies. Listen at both low and high volume. Then make your choice . . . as long as it's Ascend![] Good luck, and have fun.

    Cliff


  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    37

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    We haven't decided whether to include "subwoofers" in this shootout. While not hard to disconnect and reconnect, these beasts are hard to set-up correctly when put in different rooms. It would have been easy in my HT set-up as I've got MCACC calibration capabilities which would level the playing field somewhat for the different rooms. Unfortunately, where the "mini-shootout" will happen the Denon 5803 will be doing the "driving", which doesn't have any sort of autocalibration scheme. We'll just be using a tape measure, a rat shack SPL meter and a copy of Avia for calibration.

    As I mentioned before, my friend's Klipsch Reference 12" sub sounded "floppy" to me in his room when compared to the HSU VTF-3 in my room. Even he agreed with me on that count....but, that's in different rooms with different calibration techniqes.

    We'll see, though. Maybe we'll do a mini sub shootout, too if we can figure out how to get his sub set-up better.

    Sony WE610 60" LCD RPTV
    Pioneer Elite 59TXi AVR
    Pioneer Elite 59AVi Universal DVD player
    CBM 170 Front L/R
    CBM 340c Center
    HTM 200s Rear L/R and rear surround (6.1)
    HSU VTF-3
    Monster THX certified interconnects
    DIY speaker cable (that's better than anyhing I can purchase elsewhere)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    37

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    Well...the "mini unofficial shootout" occured last night (till about 2 a.m.). It was quite an odysee. First take will be how they sound in my system. 2nd will be the comparison with Klipsch and a "surprise" 3rd entry.

    I took delivery of my 340s yesterday. It was a simple "swap out" of the 170 L/R and putting the 340s in their place. I ran MCACC of my Elite and was up and running in 10 minutes. Fronts were set to "large", rears to small, 80Hz crossover. First, let me say that the 340s do give off a "big sound". Soundstage is wider, deeper and as articulate as the 170s are, the 340s are even better. First thing I plugged in was the SACD version of "Avalon" by Roxy Music. Mercy! The recording is very well done to begin with, but the sonics by using 3 front 340s really opened up the front soundstage. I've never heard Bryan Ferry's vocals with as much of a "real" quality on any system. The multi-channel effects of this SACD have to be heard to be believed. I consider this more of a "delicate" SACD than some of the in your face types of recordings. All of that "delicateness" was reproduced to the point where I could seperately pick out each individual instrument without being directed towards which speaker was playing. No boxiness at all as Ferry's voice and the instruments just "projected" out into my room. I hadn't realized that the 170s sounded somewhat "boxy" until I heard what the 340s could do.

    Next up was "Moulin Rouge" (don't tell anyone I own this). This DVD was mastered "hot". Lots of sound coming from everywhere. Qued up the "Can-Can" chapter. This scene has lots going on all over the place. Again, I never realized that the 170s had a somewhat "boxy" sound until I heard what the 340s could do. Best way to describe what I heard in this scene was that with all that is going on, I found myself hearing subtle "nuances" I never knew were there....like feet hitting the floor during dancing scenes, women's dresses "swoosh" as they were dancing. Amazing. Sound was coming from the walls beside, in front of, above and below where the 340s were situated.

    In general, I would say that the 340s give a much more open sound and reach further into the mid-bass region. This is much appreciated. While the 170s integrate well with the HSU VTF-3, the 340s do it even better....giving a much more cohesive transition. I'd venture to say that the 340s sound as if they were reaching down to 20 Hz. I know that's not possible, though. The 340s can play "delicate" and still provide holographic, large and dynamic when the source material calls for it. A nice combination.

    As luck would have it, my "Klipsch" friend called during my listneing session (part two coming).

    Sony WE610 60" LCD RPTV
    Pioneer Elite 59TXi AVR
    Pioneer Elite 59AVi Universal DVD player
    CBM 170 Front L/R
    CBM 340c Center
    HTM 200s Rear L/R and rear surround (6.1)
    HSU VTF-3
    Monster THX certified interconnects
    DIY speaker cable (that's better than anyhing I can purchase elsewhere)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Part Deux....

    My Klipsch friend (Mike) called right in the middle of my listening session. He wanted to come over and show me the new Chevy Tahoe he just bought...."come on over, my 340s are set-up". He arrived and he listened for about 30 minutes. He said we should go ahead and do the "shootout". I was reluctant as I just wanted to stay home and listen. He was persistent and I gave in. We decided to haul the HSU VTF-3 as part of the shootout.

    On the way to his house, he had to stop at Costco to pick-up some "car care" stuff to detail his new ride. Passing their A/V displays, I stopped at the Acoustech speaker display. I motioned to him to take a look. We peeled off the speaker covers and to his amazement, they looked too similar to his Klipsch RF speakers. After a little discussion and his curiosity getting the better of him, he decided to purchase the Acoustech 5.1 system for $699 with the understanding he'd return them after the shootout.

    So now, we have my speakers and the Acoustech boxes in the back of his Tahoe (these trucks are "big").

    His surrounds are turned off as we only want to hear the L/R/C + sub. We first listen to his system using the Moulin Rouge DVD (he doesn't have hi rez/multi-channel capabilities for music). The same "in your face" sound eminates that I remembered upon first hearing his system. His Klipsch are so efficient, he can drive them to SPLs that almost made us forget we don't have the surrounds in the mix. The sound is "forward" and effortless. I can pick out which sound is coming from which speaker. Aside from the elevated dynamics his system produced over mine, the directional nature of his system is what stood out to me. I could hear none of the "subtle" sounds I heard in my system. The "holographic" nature of what I heard in my system wasn't there. The Klipsch's aren't capable of being "delicate" when they need to be, either. That said, the dynamics and the effortless sound these speakers put out were a leap ahead of my Ascends.

    Next, we hook-up the 3-340s to the front of his HT in a makeshift manner (he doesn't have stands since he uses Klipsch RF 35 towers as his fronts). We "perch" the 340s on cardboard boxes to the outside of his RF 35s and pull his RC35 center from the top of his TV and replace it with the 340c. We can't do A/B switching, so we just connect/disconect the speakers as needed. The VTF3 was swapped with his RW12. A quick "rat shack" SPL adjustment is done and we're off to the races.

    Same scene and we match SPL as best as we can. All the subtleness returns and the cohsive integration with the HSU VTF-3 strike me again. The "floppy" mid-bass and low bass becomes much more apparent with the Klipsch set-up. The 340s are much more controlled in the lower regions. The "out in the room" nature of the 340s imaging is prevelant. They handle the subtleties of the source material with much more finesse than the Klipsch.

    For grins, we slap in the Avalon CD again, in 2 channel mode. Even in 2-channel, the soundstage is much better with the 340s than with the Klipsch. With the Klipsch, the soundstage collapsed to 2 individual speakers. With the 340s, the soundstage was much wider...both horizontally and vertically. The Klipsch almost sounded like there was a "hole" somewhere in the midrange to mid-bass region when compared to the 340s.

    Is there a winner here? Well, I'm pleased with my set-up as I put accuracy, delicacy and soundstage above the "forward" nature of the Klipsch. The integration of the HSU to the 340s was hands down the winner over the RW12 combined with the RF 35 towers.

    Then there's price. Mike's total Klipsch system cost around $2,500 (discounted).

    If I had a lower level AVR or amp, and/or I prefered that "in your face" sound, I would probably go with the Klipsch for no other reason than their tremendous efficiency. The Ascends just don't play in the same league when it comes to sheer SPLs. If I had a quality AVR or amp, then the Ascends will embarass the Klipsch for soundstage, imaging, subtleties and accurate reproduction. The HSU VTF-3 definitely "trumps" the Klipsch RW12, no matter what the measurement.

    In short, my electronics, with my system, to my ears is preferable to Mike's electronics with his Klipsch.

    They both have their place. If all I played was bombastic DVDs or music, then the Klipsch will make a strong showing. If you prefer hearing details in music or movies and are looking for a palpable and cohesive soundstage, then the Ascends are the ticket. If you want "big" sound, go for the Klipsch. While the 340s can play big, they can't do "big" like Klipsch does.

    Sony WE610 60" LCD RPTV
    Pioneer Elite 59TXi AVR
    Pioneer Elite 59AVi Universal DVD player
    CBM 340 Front L/R
    CBM 340c Center
    HTM 200s Rear L/R and rear surround (6.1)
    HSU VTF-3
    Monster THX certified interconnects
    DIY speaker cable (that's better than anyhing I can purchase elsewhere)

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, California
    Posts
    6,260

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    Great! Get some more playing time on them and report on "part two".

    -curtis

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    37

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    Curtis...when I get the chance, I'll post the 3rd part later today....the Acoustech, Klipsch, Ascned showdown.

    Sony WE610 60" LCD RPTV
    Pioneer Elite 59TXi AVR
    Pioneer Elite 59AVi Universal DVD player
    CBM 340 Front L/R
    CBM 340c Center
    HTM 200s Rear L/R and rear surround (6.1)
    HSU VTF-3
    Monster THX certified interconnects
    DIY speaker cable (that's better than anyhing I can purchase elsewhere)

  7. #17
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    May 2004
    Posts
    37

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    Part Tres....

    OK, by now it's midnight, I'm satisfied and I'm ready to go home. Mike, since he drove, said he woulnd't take me home until we finish the shootout. SIGH!!!!!!! Good thing I'm on vacation!

    For those who aren't familiar with these, they are sold exclusively at Costco and are made by a company called B.I.C., which used to be a Brittish audio company. I remember them from long ago. They go away and resurface from time-to-time. I don't know what their affiliation is today in the audio world. All I know is, in the past, I was never very impressed with any speakers they had produced.

    We pull the Acoustech's out of their boxes. The tops and bottoms are finished in a very nice, very high gloss black. The sides look like they are painted with a flat black paint of some sort, and to my eyes, look rather dull. While not exactly the same size as Mike's Klipsch reference series, they are mighty close. Upon further inspection, with the grills off, the conponents look very similar to the Klipsch. They utilize some sort of composite material for the woofers and the same "horn load" design for the tweeters. I have no idea what their crossover type or quality is. Since we already know the differences in sonics between my Ascends compared to the Klipsch refernce series, my speakers are carefully packed up and the Acoustecs are put in their place, including the Acoustec sub.

    As mentioned, the entire 5.1 (w/ sub) Acoutec system cost $699 at Costco, so I thought the Klipsch would "blow them away". The unusual part about the Acoustec, is their literature says they use the same size speaker for all duties...a 6 1/2" dual woofer in the towers and surrounds, as well as a 6 1/2" horn tweeter (very strange). In the surrounds, two of the 6.5" drivers are angled. The horn is angled even more, but is still listed as a 6.5" horn. The surrounds don't have the cabinet volume that the towers do, but they still have the same size and # of drivers. One thoughtful feature of the surrounds, there is a keyhole in the back for horizontal wall/pole mounting. This made it much easier to swap out the surrounds. The sub uses a 12" driver with a 150w amp in a vented enclosure. They are also lighter than the Klipsch, across the board.

    We fire them up. That forward "klipsch sound" is all there, but I wasn't prepared for what I heard. The hole in the midrange that I noticed with the Klipsch was now gone. The sub integrated better than the Klipsch was able to muster, too. The Acoustecs were smoother sounding, yet they still had the directional quality of the Klipsch's.

    Mike and I were both pretty startled by what we were hearing. In general, the Acoustecs sounded better and more cohesive than his Klipsch set-up. All the dynamics were there. All the effortless sound was there. But, the midrange was much fuller and the bass was more controlled (and sounded more natural) than the Klipsch.

    The "short and sweet" of it is, the $699 Acoustec sounded better than the $2,500 Klipsch. The sonic holes were filled-in, the bass was better (not lower, though) integrated and all the dynamics and effortless sound of the Klipsch were all there in these Acoustecs.

    Taking price out of the equation, I'd pick my Ascend system, hands down over the other two. I've got much better imaging, soundstaging, much better bass (and bass integration) and more finesse in my system.

    Putting price into the mix, I don't know. $699 for the kind of sound I heard floored me. Obviously, their efficiency mathced that of the Klipsch, so they can reach mind numbing dynamics and SPL with little in the way of power. If I'm looking at a $1,000 budget to set up a a surround sound system, I don't think you could do any better than going to Costco and buying one of their $250 surround sound AVRs, match it to the Acoustics 5.1 system and throw in a $100 DVD player, and I'd bet you would have a surround sound system that would surpass what twice the money would buy elsewhere.

    Since I've got a 2nd room (with a much smaller monitor) that I'd like to add surround to, I just may do exactly that.

    Sony WE610 60" LCD RPTV
    Pioneer Elite 59TXi AVR
    Pioneer Elite 59AVi Universal DVD player
    CBM 340 Front L/R
    CBM 340c Center
    HTM 200s Rear L/R and rear surround (6.1)
    HSU VTF-3
    Monster THX certified interconnects
    DIY speaker cable (that's better than anyhing I can purchase elsewhere)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Phila.
    Posts
    228

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    Nice writeup, glad your happy with the recent additions. Will you be moving the 170's to the side surrounds?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    37

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    I would like to move the 170s to surround duty, but I have to find a better way to mount them to the walls. As we all know, they 170s are heavy. The mounts I currently have are for the HTM 200s. I don't know that my walls would "hold" the 170s.

    Sony WE610 60" LCD RPTV
    Pioneer Elite 59TXi AVR
    Pioneer Elite 59AVi Universal DVD player
    CBM 340 Front L/R
    CBM 340c Center
    HTM 200s Rear L/R and rear surround (6.1)
    HSU VTF-3
    Monster THX certified interconnects
    DIY speaker cable (that's better than anyhing I can purchase elsewhere)

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    36

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    Very cool stuff graphicguy. Overall I would have to agree 100% about the differences your hearing between the Klipsch/Acoustec and the Ascends.

    I definitely prefer the sound of my Ascends . . . but would consider the Acoustecs for an HT only system. $699 . . . that's interesting . . .

    OK, one more thing. The talk on these 340s must stop. I'm on the verge of doing something really stupid (my fiance will think so). The upgrade bug . . . arghh . . . i t s go t me!

    []

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