One of the best-selling speakers in the history of Klipsch is the Forte. Now, the company is bringing back this hard-hitting 3-way design as the Forte III. The new Forte II is genuine old-school Klipsch and part of the Heritage Series; it’s handcrafted in Hope, Arkansas using hand-matched real wood veneer panels.
The Forte III comes in four standard wood finishes: American walnut, natural cherry, black ash, and distressed oak at an MSRP of $1800 per speaker. Additionally, Klipsch will offer a limited production run of 70 pairs of Forte IIIs in two unique finishes. California Black Walnut featuring a lambswool grill cloth will run $2300 each, and Matte Black with a silver luster grille cloth will cost $2000 per speaker.
Klipsch Forte III in limited-edition California Walnut finish.
The updates for the Forte III include the use of a titanium compression driver in the horn-loaded tweeter, and a tractrix horn for the midrange. A forward firing 12-inch woofer teams up with a rear mounted 15-inch passive radiator to deliver powerful and impactful bass.
Klipsch has not produced the Forte since 1996. But now, two decades later, it’s back. I had the good fortune to hear a pair of Forte IIIs reproducing live jazz recordings at CES 2017, and I can vouch for their effortless delivery of concert-level recordings. Despite possessing the power and looks of professional PA speakers, the Forte IIIs are unquestionably refined and can perform all the tricks you expect from high-end Hi-Fi speakers.
The Forte III is not just a blast from the past. Klipsch designs are based on sound science, but even though the original speaker design was good, advances in materials and computer modeling allow this reiteration of the classic to be even better. Plus, thanks to its high sensitivity, this speaker design will play loud, even with modest amplification.
Klipsch lists a frequency response of 38 Hz to 20,000 Hz (+/-3 dB) with power handling spec’d at 100 watts RMS (400 W peak) with 8 ohms impedance, meaning you can drive these with a midrange AVR, or a tube amp, and get concert levels out of ’em. The speakers themselves are substantial—they weigh 72 pounds, and measure 16.5″ W x 36″ H x 13″ D. Klipsch offers a 5-year warranty on these Heritage Series speakers, which are available now.
At CES 2017 Klipsch promised me a pair of Forte IIIs to review. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it comes true, these are my kind of speakers.