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Klipsch THX Ultra 2

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey Everyone,

I was hoping to get some input from anyone who has owned or heard the Klipsch THX Ultra 2 package in a dedicated theater.

I currently have Genelec HT-206B's and their 4b subwoofer and they were fantastic in my last house, but may be slightly undersized in my current room. Normally, the Genelecs are very bright and detailed, but for some reason this does not seem to be the case in my current theater. I don't believe this is a result of room acoustics, but again I believe the speakers are undersized for the large room and the room is very dead (lots of thick carpet, upholstery, couple of sound panels).

Previously, I have never been a huge fan of klipsch because I would have used them for music and movies and they were a little too forward for my taste in music listening. In this home, I now have different rooms for music and movies, so this shouldn't be an issue. I am attracted to the idea that the klipsch speakers would be able to get very loud and also that they can be built into millwork. For what they are, they seem affordable.

  • What has your experience been with these?
  • What did you love?
  • What did you hate?
  • What else would you suggest? I am not interested in spending genelec money again @ 2-3k per speaker, 5k for the sub.

I would probably get a package consisting of the following if I decided to make the change.
  • (3) Klipsch KL-650THX - LCR Speakers
  • (2) Klipsch KL-120SW - Subwoofer
  • (1) Klipsch KA-1000 - Sub Amp
  • (2) Klipsch KS-525THX - Surr Speakers
  • (2) Klipsch KL-7800 - Surr Back Speakers

I have a Marantz pre-amp/ amp package, would either push them with that or get a Parasound Halo Amp, also would consider emotiva.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittonYoder View Post

Hey Everyone,
I was hoping to get some input from anyone who has owned or heard the Klipsch THX Ultra 2 package in a dedicated theater.
I currently have Genelec HT-206B's and their 4b subwoofer and they were fantastic in my last house, but may be slightly undersized in my current room. Normally, the Genelecs are very bright and detailed, but for some reason this does not seem to be the case in my current theater. I don't believe this is a result of room acoustics, but again I believe the speakers are undersized for the large room and the room is very dead (lots of thick carpet, upholstery, couple of sound panels).
Previously, I have never been a huge fan of klipsch because I would have used them for music and movies and they were a little too forward for my taste in music listening. In this home, I now have different rooms for music and movies, so this shouldn't be an issue. I am attracted to the idea that the klipsch speakers would be able to get very loud and also that they can be built into millwork. For what they are, they seem affordable.
  • What has your experience been with these?
  • What did you love?
  • What did you hate?
  • What else would you suggest? I am not interested in spending genelec money again @ 2-3k per speaker, 5k for the sub.
I would probably get a package consisting of the following if I decided to make the change.
  • (3) Klipsch KL-650THX - LCR Speakers
Excellent choice, probably the best Klipsch has to offer. Very efficient (you won't need any more amp to push them, but that's part of why they're THX Ultra 2) but still "forward" in their color. You'd benefit from eq or calibration with Audyssey or the like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittonYoder View Post

[*] (2) Klipsch KL-120SW - Subwoofer
[*] (1) Klipsch KA-1000 - Sub Amp
Terrific combo. Kudos for selecting two subs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittonYoder View Post

[*] (2) Klipsch KS-525THX - Surr Speakers
[*] (2) Klipsch KL-7800 - Surr Back Speakers
All good here, too. As an alternative, you might look at MK Sound, specifically the S-150 MKII for the fronts, and the SS-150 surrounds. What I like about the MK over the Klipsch is their raw character is more musical, less forward, and more natural, especially the new MKII version. You may know the S-150 is extensively used in film production, and MK makes that point that you can own the same speakers the film was mixed on, they have a whole list of films that involved their speakers. I would use the Klipsch, but definitely with correction, and while any system would benefit from room correction, the MK S-150II would start with speakers that I feel are in less need of it, IMHO.
post #3 of 22
Virtually the same system I have with the exception of the 7800 rears. I'm currently using them in a 5.2 configuration.

Interesting you have the Genelecs. Not so long ago I was thinking of upgrading to the S30D active speakers but will probably go the JTR route in the near future.

You're welcome to drop by and take a listen to my setup. I live in Irving.

And yes, the extra sub does make a huge difference.....smile.gif
post #4 of 22
The M&K system is a lateral move. There will be trade offs which the OP will need to decide what he prefers. I liked the Klipsch System better than my M&K S-250's but liked my M&K S-5000's better than the Klipsch. The S-150's will present a more musical sound but will lack that big cinema sound the THX ultra 2's would have. The 5000's combined both! How about go for the Hertiage La Scalas used? I have heard they will combine both but add more dynamics than both! As for subs the KW-120(Duals and amp) was better than the dual M&K MX-5000's I had. The new KK subwoofers are supposed to be even better so I don't know. I still feel ID subs are the way to go, HSU, SVS, JTR, Seaton, CHT, and Rythmik come to mind. There are other ID speaker choices out there as well that offers better bang for buck than the THX ultra 2 but that depends on how much you are spending.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

The M&K system is a lateral move.
One's opinion, of course. I feel the opposite.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

The S-150's will present a more musical sound but will lack that big cinema sound the THX ultra 2's would have.
S-150 (old), S-150 II (current) and all the other variants are THX Ultra 2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

The 5000's combined both!
Yea, too bad they aren't current product.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

There are other ID speaker choices out there as well that offers better bang for buck than the THX ultra 2 but that depends on how much you are spending.
Yes, lots of fine choices. What THX Ultra 2 gets you is a certain set of design criteria appropriate to rooms over 3000 cu ft. They also work fine in smaller rooms. Included in that is efficiency so you get the SPL you need at distance, controlled vertical dispersion, less important if the room is treated, and adequate horizontal dispersion to cover a wide seating area often found around large screens. IMHO, the wide horizontal coverage is often the deal breaker. Way too many otherwise fine speakers can't cover more than a couple of seats in the middle with their high end. At least an Ultra 2 speaker has to hit that to qualify. Unfortunately it costs money to do that, but if covering seats with even high end is important, it's worth the extra. The same holds true for the surrounds.

You might find the new S-150 is even more musical, and sounds a bit "bigger" than the original.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

One's opinion, of course. I feel the opposite.
S-150 (old), S-150 II (current) and all the other variants are THX Ultra 2.

Yea, too bad they aren't current product.
Yes, lots of fine choices. What THX Ultra 2 gets you is a certain set of design criteria appropriate to rooms over 3000 cu ft. They also work fine in smaller rooms. Included in that is efficiency so you get the SPL you need at distance, controlled vertical dispersion, less important if the room is treated, and adequate horizontal dispersion to cover a wide seating area often found around large screens. IMHO, the wide horizontal coverage is often the deal breaker. Way too many otherwise fine speakers can't cover more than a couple of seats in the middle with their high end. At least an Ultra 2 speaker has to hit that to qualify. Unfortunately it costs money to do that, but if covering seats with even high end is important, it's worth the extra. The same holds true for the surrounds.
You might find the new S-150 is even more musical, and sounds a bit "bigger" than the original.

Don't get me wrong, I love M&K, why my name is what it is. I have not heard the new stuff because I found other designs I like better for movies. I still think the S-100b and up from M&K sound more natural and musical than the Klipsch THX ULTRA 2(much more) but the Klipsch put out that big cinema sound. I love THX processing and use it all the time. I use Ada THX components. Another close competitor for the Klipsch THX ultra 2 are Atlantic technology THX speakers. The CHT SHO-10's and subs are very hard to beat for the money. Ken Kreisel has new subs and coming out with a replacement for the 5000 but most likely pricey. Again, I hear great things about the Klipsch Heritage La scalas so a front stage of those would be killer(How much room does he have?) He will be pleased with this Klipsch setup but music will lack a bit. A mixture of the S-150's with the Klipsch subs would be awesome as well.

I used to own all this stuff and just giving my experiences. Right now my room is a full DIY theater and it will be hard to ever go commercial again.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis View Post

Virtually the same system I have with the exception of the 7800 rears. I'm currently using them in a 5.2 configuration.
Interesting you have the Genelecs. Not so long ago I was thinking of upgrading to the S30D active speakers but will probably go the JTR route in the near future.
You're welcome to drop by and take a listen to my setup. I live in Irving.
And yes, the extra sub does make a huge difference.....smile.gif

Wow, I might take you up on your offer. I love the genelecs and I have them installed in a few other rooms as well for whole house audio, but man are they pricey and I would need to move the HT206's to the rears and purchase 208's or 210's to get what I want. Also the sub was $5499 and I really need a second in my room. This would end up being a 12k upgrade. I bought what I have now when I was living in a smaller house and had much more discretionary income than I do now. I have looked at JTR as well. Have you done any sound treatments in your room, just curious that is a up and coming upgrade for my room as well.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

The M&K system is a lateral move. There will be trade offs which the OP will need to decide what he prefers. I liked the Klipsch System better than my M&K S-250's but liked my M&K S-5000's better than the Klipsch. The S-150's will present a more musical sound but will lack that big cinema sound the THX ultra 2's would have. The 5000's combined both! How about go for the Hertiage La Scalas used? I have heard they will combine both but add more dynamics than both! As for subs the KW-120(Duals and amp) was better than the dual M&K MX-5000's I had. The new KK subwoofers are supposed to be even better so I don't know. I still feel ID subs are the way to go, HSU, SVS, JTR, Seaton, CHT, and Rythmik come to mind. There are other ID speaker choices out there as well that offers better bang for buck than the THX ultra 2 but that depends on how much you are spending.

Thank you for your response. I have owned a MK system before. My dad had S-150's when I was growing up and I had a 5.2 system of 750's a few years back. Music won't be a concern for this system. I have a pair of Martin Logan Theos speakers in my game room and a pair of speakers similar to sonus faber's in my family room. I've never heard La Scalas, but have browsed by them in the past. Might be worth looking into. I plan to build these into millwork. I agree with your statement on ID, but I can get klipsch a couple points above cost, so the performance would have to be significantly better than the 120's to justify the money. I guess if I make this change, I hope to sell my Genelecs and throw a little extra money at it.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

IMHO, the wide horizontal coverage is often the deal breaker. Way too many otherwise fine speakers can't cover more than a couple of seats in the middle with their high end. At least an Ultra 2 speaker has to hit that to qualify. Unfortunately it costs money to do that, but if covering seats with even high end is important, it's worth the extra. The same holds true for the surrounds.
.

This is a really good consideration. My room is very wide and not as deep. Ill post some pictures.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
As for MK Sound.... I placed an order directly with M&K when it was M&K to upgrade my system to S-150's from the 750's I had. Well I waited and waited started calling every day and there were all kinds of production issues. They didn't get the product shipment from China, instead the Chinese company sold the finished products online as genuine M&K. The following week M&K shuttered its doors and I lost 7,000. When this happened Ken Kr. recommended that I file against the company's assets. I did and given that I was at the bottom of the list of creditors. I lost my money. So it would be difficult for me to ever purchase MK again.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 






Right now the theater is just setup to work. I haven't really started on the room yet. I have 1000's of hours into the AV in the rest of the house since I moved in a year ago, so don;t laugh at the picture.



Going for something like this when it is complete.

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittonYoder View Post

Thank you for your response. I have owned a MK system before. My dad had S-150's when I was growing up and I had a 5.2 system of 750's a few years back. Music won't be a concern for this system. I have a pair of Martin Logan Theos speakers in my game room and a pair of speakers similar to sonus faber's in my family room. I've never heard La Scalas, but have browsed by them in the past. Might be worth looking into. I plan to build these into millwork. I agree with your statement on ID, but I can get klipsch a couple points above cost, so the performance would have to be significantly better than the 120's to justify the money. I guess if I make this change, I hope to sell my Genelecs and throw a little extra money at it.

I am not sure what cost is for those but the JTR Captivators would be one big upgrade! I will tell you if those subs are near $500(KW-120) it is worth it! Not at retail for $1500. Klipsch says it can produce 122 dBs at 20hz with duals at 1 meter 1/8th space. I believe that is inside? So if you can get duals that is what to expect($1500 total for $500 each plus amp). The CHT VS 18.1 dual package will hit 123 dBs at 1 meter OUTSIDE for the same price but they are much bigger subs. If the Klipsch is outside then you are looking at the same output but if the Klipsch is inside the CHT subs will have much more power.
post #13 of 22
I think MKTheater makes a good point concerning the subs. I would look into the JTR Captivator, or Seaton Submersive subs, and possible Chase Home Theater. You should get more output and extension for your money with the ID brands. I have heard (don't own) the Klipsch KL-650THX speakers and really liked them for home theater and I am not usually a Klipsch fan. That said, if you are building these into millwork, I would also look into Triad in-wall speakers and RBH in-wall speakers.

One other thing to consider would be adding an accostically transparent screen. This would allow much better placement of your front three speakers and open up options for what types of speakers you can buy.

Nice looking room.
post #14 of 22
Horn speakers work the same way THX specs work, depending on the horn or waveguide. Limiting vertical dispersion and great horizontal dispersion. If you can go big I would try to hear the Klipsch La Scala's, JBL 4722N's, or something similar. I am using DIY horn arrays which I love so maybe a line array of some sort would work?
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittonYoder View Post

As for MK Sound.... I placed an order directly with M&K when it was M&K to upgrade my system to S-150's from the 750's I had. Well I waited and waited started calling every day and there were all kinds of production issues. They didn't get the product shipment from China, instead the Chinese company sold the finished products online as genuine M&K. The following week M&K shuttered its doors and I lost 7,000. When this happened Ken Kr. recommended that I file against the company's assets. I did and given that I was at the bottom of the list of creditors. I lost my money. So it would be difficult for me to ever purchase MK again.

I completely understand your feeling on this. Please know that the current company is nothing at all like the old one. It's highly controlled and organized, there is manufacturing in China, but only under very specific and controlled conditions. The current dealer network is clearly defined, and none of the former issues exist. If you place an order with any MK Sound dealer, you will receive the actual MK product from stock at one of two USA warehouses, or from the dealers themselves. It was critical to re-building the company that they solve all the issues you faced, and they have been solved completely. What you purchase today, though similar in form and following the original design actually shares little with the original M&K other than the end result, and they have even improved on that by controlling manufacturing better, and adding slight improvements in the design when introducing the MK II. Nobody in the company was associated with the original M&K. So other than making the product and adding improvements, it's not M&K at all, hence the subtle name change to MK Sound.

I personally appreciate their faithfulness to the original design, though, as an owner of some originals. I think of MK Sound as what M&K would have been if it hadn't run into problems.

Ken's sub is coming soon, he's taking pre-orders and only selling direct. His stiff isn't cheap, the lowest cost sub is aboub $2K, but you guys should all have a gander at his stuff! Wow, you'll be able to walk across your home theater on the room modes!

http://www.kreiselsound.com/
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

I completely understand your feeling on this. Please know that the current company is nothing at all like the old one. It's highly controlled and organized, there is manufacturing in China, but only under very specific and controlled conditions. The current dealer network is clearly defined, and none of the former issues exist. If you place an order with any MK Sound dealer, you will receive the actual MK product from stock at one of two USA warehouses, or from the dealers themselves. It was critical to re-building the company that they solve all the issues you faced, and they have been solved completely. What you purchase today, though similar in form and following the original design actually shares little with the original M&K other than the end result, and they have even improved on that by controlling manufacturing better, and adding slight improvements in the design when introducing the MK II. Nobody in the company was associated with the original M&K. So other than making the product and adding improvements, it's not M&K at all, hence the subtle name change to MK Sound.
I personally appreciate their faithfulness to the original design, though, as an owner of some originals. I think of MK Sound as what M&K would have been if it hadn't run into problems.
Ken's sub is coming soon, he's taking pre-orders and only selling direct. His stiff isn't cheap, the lowest cost sub is aboub $2K, but you guys should all have a gander at his stuff! Wow, you'll be able to walk across your home theater on the room modes!
http://www.kreiselsound.com/

Have you checked out the M&K thread? There is a guy with 8 stacked KK subs and a couple little ones! Very cool looking and I bet that sounds fantastic!

I would recommend Triads but the OP stated he did not want to spend lots of money. Maybe he can find used Triad LCR in room golds for a good price. Since this is pure cinema I think the OP will do quite well with the big guns. If he wants something smaller I recommend the CHT or Seas kits(if he wants to put together anything). The JTR 888 is within his price BUT I would think the La Scala and JBL 4722N are better pure cinema choices for the sole reason they will put out that huge dynamic sound that these huge speakers produce. Until you experience it you will never know.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Horn speakers work the same way THX specs work, depending on the horn or waveguide. Limiting vertical dispersion and great horizontal dispersion. If you can go big I would try to hear the Klipsch La Scala's, JBL 4722N's, or something similar. I am using DIY horn arrays which I love so maybe a line array of some sort would work?

I'm sure you mean the result is the same, not they work the same way.

THX is just a set of specs, they don't dictate how the specs are achieved. My point was, if the speaker hits THX Ultra 2 spec, the vertical is limited, horizontal is maximized. This is almost never true for speakers NOT made to Ultra 2 specs because it usually costs more to make. Using horn shape for vertical control is sometimes cheaper than the multi-driver, complex crossover idea, but horns have their own issues and advantages, as does everything.

The one caution to "going big" would be how close you are to those big speakers. The vertical spacing between drivers determines the minimum listening distance, the acceptable "near field". It's possible to have speakers big enough that you can't sit far enough from them in your room. No need to dig deep into the math here, but the farther apart the drivers, the farther you have to sit from them so that the crossover region integrates well into the total response. The JBL 4722N for example is almost 50" tall, the top woofer is more than 16" from the center of the horn, and the bottom woofer is more than double that, so the driver spacing is large. You can't sit close to these things and expect their best performance in the crossover region, which is at 800Hz, in the critical mid-range. These are cinema speakers, so you need a really big room to get far enough away from them. The La Scalas would have less of an issue being physically shorter and with the radiation center of both drivers closer. You're still not sitting close, though.

The MK Sound S-150 has a completely different driver layout, and is designed for much closer listening position, specifically like what you'd find in a home theater, editing suite, or modest sound control room.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

I'm sure you mean the result is the same, not they work the same way.
THX is just a set of specs, they don't dictate how the specs are achieved. My point was, if the speaker hits THX Ultra 2 spec, the vertical is limited, horizontal is maximized. This is almost never true for speakers NOT made to Ultra 2 specs because it usually costs more to make. Using horn shape for vertical control is sometimes cheaper than the multi-driver, complex crossover idea, but horns have their own issues and advantages, as does everything.
The one caution to "going big" would be how close you are to those big speakers. The vertical spacing between drivers determines the minimum listening distance, the acceptable "near field". It's possible to have speakers big enough that you can't sit far enough from them in your room. No need to dig deep into the math here, but the farther apart the drivers, the farther you have to sit from them so that the crossover region integrates well into the total response. The JBL 4722N for example is almost 50" tall, the top woofer is more than 16" from the center of the horn, and the bottom woofer is more than double that, so the driver spacing is large. You can't sit close to these things and expect their best performance in the crossover region, which is at 800Hz, in the critical mid-range. These are cinema speakers, so you need a really big room to get far enough away from them. The La Scalas would have less of an issue being physically shorter and with the radiation center of both drivers closer. You're still not sitting close, though.
The MK Sound S-150 has a completely different driver layout, and is designed for much closer listening position, specifically like what you'd find in a home theater, editing suite, or modest sound control room.

Funny, that was my first question to JBL pro when I was looking into them. The minimum safe distance was said to be 11 feet(I sit 13 feet away). Their 3731 screenarray was made for post production of movies so people sit closer.

I agree horns have their limits too, as all speakers do and this is is where we all differ.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I am not sure what cost is for those but the JTR Captivators would be one big upgrade! I will tell you if those subs are near $500(KW-120) it is worth it! Not at retail for $1500. Klipsch says it can produce 122 dBs at 20hz with duals at 1 meter 1/8th space. I believe that is inside? So if you can get duals that is what to expect($1500 total for $500 each plus amp). The CHT VS 18.1 dual package will hit 123 dBs at 1 meter OUTSIDE for the same price but they are much bigger subs. If the Klipsch is outside then you are looking at the same output but if the Klipsch is inside the CHT subs will have much more power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Have you checked out the M&K thread? There is a guy with 8 stacked KK subs and a couple little ones! Very cool looking and I bet that sounds fantastic!
I would recommend Triads but the OP stated he did not want to spend lots of money. Maybe he can find used Triad LCR in room golds for a good price. Since this is pure cinema I think the OP will do quite well with the big guns. If he wants something smaller I recommend the CHT or Seas kits(if he wants to put together anything). The JTR 888 is within his price BUT I would think the La Scala and JBL 4722N are better pure cinema choices for the sole reason they will put out that huge dynamic sound that these huge speakers produce. Until you experience it you will never know.

I have thought about Triads because of the scan speak drivers in the Gold LCRs. I had a pair of Sonus Faber bookshelf speakers on loan and fell in love. I decided I wouldn't consider paying 15k for bookshelf speakers and I set out to build my own. I was was incredibly time consuming specifically because of the finish and unique shape of the cabinets. I got a hold of the crossover schematics, changed them a bit because I was building a floor standing version. In the end I put them head to head against the fabers and they sounded much better. So I am in love every time I see a speaker with scan speak drivers. Tossed around the idea of building a basic LCR MTM version, would probably end up costing 50% more than what I would get the klipsch at. You weren't far off on your KW-120 estimate.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
The Genelec sub is not horrible and may be something I can keep, its the muted high frequencies that bother me. I don't normally like bright speakers, so this is a new problem for me.
post #21 of 22

Happy Sunday y'all! What is a fair price for a Klipsch THX Ultra2 5.2 Speaker System, new in box, from a private seller?

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melquiades View Post

Happy Sunday y'all! What is a fair price for a Klipsch THX Ultra2 5.2 Speaker System, new in box, from a private seller?

Sent you a PM.
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