A non-audiophile auditioning the RP-8000F
I live in India. We've had a few Bose systems now and then, and we went to audition the new RP-8000Fs. No.., we went to listen to the 6000s. My wife and kid went along. We've never listened to Klipsch before. Last week, we had auditioned the Focals (from France) and a couple of other brands.
So we walked inside and asked to listen to the 6000s and 8000s. We didn't care much about the HT setup, as we mostly listen to music -- either jazz or classical. But, we would love to have a subwoofer is what we thought. The guy said that he had the 6000s, but had only the 280f for the demo. In any case, I understood the difference between the 280f and the 8000f was, for the most part, aesthetic (the copper ring and such)-- correct me if I am wrong.
The guy doesn't ask the prelim questions -- 'what's the room size' or 'what do you like to listen to'. I leave him to set it up, and walk around, noticing with some satisfaction that he carried the heritage line as well, I could see the Heresys hooked up in another set up. When I returned, he was ready, and said he was playing the 6000s first. I asked him what was driving the speakers. He pointed to a Marantz stereo processor and, he had this two-channel power amp from a brand called 'Roksan' -- which he said, was from UK, and I am sure I've never heard the name -- which led me to become skeptic about what I was going to hear.
The music starts to play and my god, the look on my wife's face on hearing the first passage of the song said it all. Our mind was blown. My 9 year old daughter fell silent, looked up from the her playing on an iPhone, and had a look of glee on her face. All it took was that fraction of a second. The second when the kind of transparency of the sound stage hit us. There was no indication that the speaker was about to play. It just played. The purity of the sound had won us over. During my research, I came across posts which said, Klipsch was too bright, too jarring, tiresome, fatiguing and the like. I really don't see how. It was like as if we were right in the middle of a performing stage, a concert, if you will. Then he played the 8000s. More width in the stage. More sound. All music. No noise, nothing unclear. My wife silently mouths the word 'amazing'. No point in letting the guy know we loved it, he might not give us a good price. We were beyond caring about the budget at that point, sort of on a high.
Then we asked to plug in the SPL-120 sub to the 8000s. The guy had to move the units into a HT demo room to plug it into a multi-channel AVR -- an old Marantz SR2009 with a Marantz power amp for the front two. I bluetoothed my phone with the AVR, and played the jazz tunes we used to audition the speakers. We were pretty sure the subs might not be needed for the 8000s. So, first, the 8000s without the sub. Then the 15" sub. Wow. But I was sure the price of the sub would be a big bite off the pocket, so we asked him to plug in the SPL-120, the 12". Not much of a difference to the LFE. Now, without any sub. Sucks, the sub with the front port was rounding off the sounds so well, like chaser after shots -- satisfying, making you ready for the next shot and down goes the rabbit hole, or up -- depending on what the music was trying to do. Beautiful.
So, we came back all appreciative of what we had heard, the impact lasting all the drive back -- about 3 hours -- and we decided we were getting the 8000s, with the SPL-120 (no point in the 15", if more base was needed, at a later point in time, we could add another 12") along with a Marantz 6013. All this costs about $4775 in Indian rupee (our purchasing power parity sucks), and some more for the cables. We thought it was damn expensive, but just today morning, we had heard this: (paraphrased) 'we can buy a product, but the experience of enjoying it cannot be bought, it is intangible and thus, priceless'.