Here's a quick review on my Klipsch upgrades...
I started out with a full Reference II 5.1.4 Atmos setup... RF-82's for mains, RB-51's for surrounds, RC-52 center, and RS-42's mounted to the ceiling. I also had the SW-112 for a sub (black cone).
Here's the order in which I've upgraded...
One sub just isn't enough.
So when the RP series came out, I couldn't resist getting the Klipsch R-115SW with the copper cone to put at the front. I used this opportunity to find a good location for the old sub near the back of the room to balance out the nasty node I had at 40Hz and the null at 60Hz. I found a great location (basically opposite side at back) that really balanced out the bass. Although much to my wife's displeasure, knickknacks in adjacent rooms were falling off of shelves.
I regret buying the RC52II. It was always a bit underwhelming to me. When the RP series came out, I was immediately attracted to the RP-450C. As everyone knows if you want a good center channel in the Ref II line, you need to go to the 62 or 64 neither of which fit my A/V stand. The RP-450C is the perfect size with some added punch... so that was my next upgrade. It was a good upgrade... a bit more efficient, better low end, and otherwise very transparent save for a nasty hole in the frequency response at 1.5KHz that required EQ (you can see what I'm talking about in this review
With Atmos, it seems like my surrounds were getting more of a workout than ever before so that was the target of my next upgrade. But instead of upgrade them directly, I thought to round out my front stage, I might as well replace my RF-82II mains with the RP-280F towers, allowing me to move the 82s to surround duty and sell the RB-51s (or maybe use them later in a 7.2.4 setup). Moving from small bookshelves to large towers for surrounds is not something everyone can do, and even in my place it looks a bit ridiculous but I don't care, it sounds awesome. Watching some of my fav movies over again, I'm hearing things in the surrounds that I've never heard before.
As mentioned, I've moved the 82s to surround duty and picked up a pair of RP-280F towers. I'll be honest and say this particular upgrade was not much of a difference. I did not listen to them in any kind of A/B testing, and if I had, maybe I would notice something, but to my ears, if there's any sonic difference between the RF-82IIs and the RP-280Fs it's pretty subtle. However, in my room, they have a flatter frequency response out of the box than the 82s meaning it was easier to EQ them flat. Now, IMHO, they do look a lot better. The plastic front on the 82IIs were never all that appealing to me. The black finish on the RPs look nicer with the orange cones. And most importantly, I can sleep better at night knowing my front stage is all from the same line.
As mentioned in a previous post, I found adjusting the toe-angle of these mains to make a noticeable difference. I had originally set them up so they crossed about where my head sits... this was not ideal. I noticed better, richer sound if I leaned forward or got up off the sofa. Adjusting the toe angle so they converge just behind MLP seems to provide an ideal stereo sound stage when listening to music (and the same goes for movies).
I have no intention of touching the RS-42IIs attached to the ceiling beams and pointing down for overhead Atmos duty. IMHO, they make perfect on ceiling speakers as they offer very wide dispersion for overhead ambient effects while due to their bipole design, also allow localization of objects overhead. They also look decent with the grills on due to their semi-circular design and they offer plenty of sound for their size. In-ceiling would probably be ideal, but if you have to mount to the ceiling, these are a great solution.
Because of the fairly radical swings in impedance that Klipsch speakers tend to have (some down to 3-ohms), I also took this opportunity to add some mono-block amps to drive the 5 base layer speakers. This takes a huge load off the AVR which is now just driving the overheads. I'm using Dayton Audio APA150s in bridged mono mode, one for each channel (L, C, R, SL, SR).
I'm not a huge fan of the liberties Klipsch takes with their exaggerated specs, but they do make a great speaker system that delivers great sound, good value, and nice aesthetics.
Here's some Klipsch Porn...
, on Flickr
, on Flickr
Happy to try and answer any questions.