Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Nashville, TN, USA
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Just wanted to share my thoughts on my new Klipsch system. I am an audiophile and had previously used Magnepan speakers in a dedicated theater/music listening room. However, I don't listen to music as much as I used to and plan to move the system to the living room. The size constraints and need for a large external amplifier for the Maggies led me to look for a system I could drive with the internal amps of my Receiver/Processor (Denon 4310). I hadn't purchased speakers in 10 years and was disappointed to find that few local hi-end dealers still existed and none had loaner speakers I could take home and listen to. My options came down to Best Buy and HiFi Buys (Nashville). Upon hearing Klipsch at HiFi Buys, I was sure it was the brand for me. I liked the hyper-realism and clarity of sounds for movies. You can hear all the small details very clearly. The problem was the "chestiness" of voices. Since the Maggies are a boxless design, I am very sensitive to boxy colorations of voices. I found that the only center channel that didn't have excessive boxiness was the top-of-the-line RC-64-II, presumably because it's a sealed design. I also liked that the 64 gave a much wider soundstage than the smaller speakers which were much more localizable. If I was forced to chose a smaller center from the reference line, I would have gone with the RC-52II because the chesty coloration was much less than with the RC-62II. For the mains, I wanted front-ported bookshelves due to size and placement constraints. I chose the RB-61II since the chestiness was much less than with the RB-81II and the 61's had similar bass extension (44 vs 45 Hz for the 81s vs 61s). For surrounds, I went with the RS-42II because I didn't hear a difference between them and the RS-52IIs.
On a whim, I went to Best Buy and listened to the Klipsch Icon KB-15 bookshelves. I was amazed at the price/performance ratio of these ($200 per pair). They sound very close to the RB-61IIs, just a little smaller soundstage and a little more "veiled". However, they are very closely voice matched to the reference line. I am using a pair of the KB-15's for width speakers and have another pair I plan to use for rear fill speakers once I hang them from the ceiling.
I am happy with the new system and recommend anyone considering a new system look at Klipsch.