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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a complete newbie when it comes to home theater, so please bear with me.


After months of research, I've finally ordered a new Sony 50" RPLCD TV. I'm looking for recommendations on a 5.1 sound system to go with it.


I want to use my existing Klipschorns as right and left channel front speakers. (Since I don't watch TV and listen to music at the same time, I'll be sharing the Klipschorns with my existing stereo system using a speaker switchbox).


I know I'll need to add a center channel and two rear channel speakers. I'm hoping that I won't need to add a subwoofer since the K'horns alrady have great bass response. Do most 5.1 amps provide full spectrum audio at the right and left outputs, or do they "expect" you to use a seperate sub-woofer for the low end? (I don't want to re-wire the K'horns for bi-amplified operation).


The receiver shouldn't need a lot of power since the K'horns are extremely efficient. I would thing something in the neighborhood of 50 watts per channel or less should be more than sufficient.


Since I already have a good stereo system for listening to music, I'm only planning to use the 5.1 system for the TV audio and watching DVD's. I don't expect super fidelity or window shattering sound levels from the 5.1 system, but I do want it to sound decent.


My budget for this system (amp and three speakers) is probably going to be in the $500 price range.


What do you recommend?


Thanks.
 

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Bob - One of the biggest mistakes people make with Klipschorns is running them with cheap receivers/amplifiers.


The best combination I can think of for you regarding what you are trying to accomplish is to get a small pair of Klipsch speakers for the rear channels, buy a receiver which allows for you to run your K-horns in "large", subwoofer "off" and a phantom center channel.


Look at Harmon Kardon's 335 ... One Call has it for $440. It may do what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub
Bob - One of the biggest mistakes people make with Klipschorns is running them with cheap receivers/amplifiers.


The best combination I can think of for you regarding what you are trying to accomplish is to get a small pair of Klipsch speakers for the rear channels, buy a receiver which allows for you to run your K-horns in "large", subwoofer "off" and a phantom center channel.


Look at Harmon Kardon's 335 ... One Call has it for $440. It may do what you need.
Craig,


I agree that cheap isn't good. I just don't see the need for getting too esoteric for my intended use of the product. (My wife's already not too happy with my spending $3K on a new TV, stand, power conditioner, etc.). :)


This HK unit looks pretty nice (don't really have much use for the AM/FM tuner, but I suppose it's included because many people use this as the main component of their music sound system in addition to TV).


Will it decode all of the current formats of Dolby, etc.?


Just to make sure I understand, you're saying I don't even need a center channel speaker?


Also, can you recommend a specific model number for the rear Klipsch speakers?

I'll probably be mounting them on the rear wall.


Room dimensions are approx. 15 x 24 ft. TV and K'horns will sit against one of the 15 ft. walls. Rear speakers will be on the opposite 15 ft. wall, approx. 5 ft. behind the prime seating position (mine, of course, but I might let the old lady sit there once in while too). :)


Thanks,

Bob
 

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One requirement when running Klipschorns is that the electronics should have a very low noise level. Very high efficiency and lots of noise just don't go together. Other than that, practically any quality amplifier/receiver should do. 50 watts will drive everyone out of the house.


I owned Klipshorns waaaay back in the mid-70's. They were my first "hi-fi" speakers; wished I still had them. For their day, K-Horns were considered to have excellent and deep bass and are still adequate for nearly all music, but for todays bass-heavy soundtracks, they don't quite make it. Eventually you will want to get a subwoofer.


Klipsch once advocated a method of adding a center channel that derived it's input from the left and right speakers (I'd have to really dig to find the setup diagram). No extra amp was needed. This probably was ok for music, but it won't do for movies.


No, you don't need to use a subwoofer if you set your speakers to "large" and subwoofer to off (as Craig said). I've done this for years and was quite happy doing it this way. For ultimate performance, though, it's still better to add a separate subwoofer.


You can probably do without the center channel right now if you'd like to save a bit of money. Concentrate on the surrounds.


DON'T biamplify the K-Horns, if by this you mean to unwire the bass and upper sections and use an electronic crossover.


I can't recommend a receiver to use - I'm a separate kind of guy.


I met Paul Klipsch many years ago when he used to make rounds of Klipsch dealers once in a while. Tall, thin and very dynamic sort of fellow who didn't tolerate whom he considered fools.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRiff
Craig,


I agree that cheap isn't good. I just don't see the need for getting too esoteric for my intended use of the product. (My wife's already not too happy with my spending $3K on a new TV, stand, power conditioner, etc.). :)

I understand about wives - thus the suggestions in your price range


This HK unit looks pretty nice (don't really have much use for the AM/FM tuner, but I suppose it's included because many people use this as the main component of their music sound system in addition to TV).


Will it decode all of the current formats of Dolby, etc.?

In today's world "all" is a tough hurdle. I can say it will handle all the normal Dolby formats.


Just to make sure I understand, you're saying I don't even need a center channel speaker?

Correct - The Klipschorns will do nicely on their own, and getting anything CLOSE to timbre matching to the K-Horns for your center channel will cost a LOT.


Also, can you recommend a specific model number for the rear Klipsch speakers?

I'll probably be mounting them on the rear wall.

Look on eBay and audiogon for anything from Klipsch with "RB" in front of the number. There is a pair of RB-25's going for $269 on eBay.


Room dimensions are approx. 15 x 24 ft. TV and K'horns will sit against one of the 15 ft. walls. Rear speakers will be on the opposite 15 ft. wall, approx. 5 ft. behind the prime seating position (mine, of course, but I might let the old lady sit there once in while too). :)

Call her "honey" - She may let you go to $1000 ... :)


Thanks,

Bob
See answers above ... :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan halvorson
One requirement when running Klipschorns is that the electronics should have a very low noise level. Very high efficiency and lots of noise just don't go together. Other than that, practically any quality amplifier/receiver should do. 50 watts will drive everyone out of the house.


I owned Klipshorns waaaay back in the mid-70's. They were my first "hi-fi" speakers; wished I still had them. For their day, K-Horns were considered to have excellent and deep bass and are still adequate for nearly all music, but for todays bass-heavy soundtracks, they don't quite make it. Eventually you will want to get a subwoofer.


Klipsch once advocated a method of adding a center channel that derived it's input from the left and right speakers (I'd have to really dig to find the setup diagram). No extra amp was needed. This probably was ok for music, but it won't do for movies.


No, you don't need to use a subwoofer if you set your speakers to "large" and subwoofer to off (as Craig said). I've done this for years and was quite happy doing it this way. For ultimate performance, though, it's still better to add a separate subwoofer.


You can probably do without the center channel right now if you'd like to save a bit of money. Concentrate on the surrounds.


DON'T biamplify the K-Horns, if by this you mean to unwire the bass and upper sections and use an electronic crossover.


I can't recommend a receiver to use - I'm a separate kind of guy.


I met Paul Klipsch many years ago when he used to make rounds of Klipsch dealers once in a while. Tall, thin and very dynamic sort of fellow who didn't tolerate whom he considered fools.


Yeah, I'm aware of the importance of signal to noise ratio with the K'horns.


My first seperate power amp after getting them was a Carver "Cube" (200 watts per channel if I remember right). It hissed like hell when there was no signal present and during quiet passages. It drove me nuts and I ended up returning it a few days after I got it. Since then, I've had a 50 watt Crown power amp and I've been very happy with it.


How important is it that the rear speakers be high quality? Does the material present in the rear channels require good fidelity, or are they more for sound effects? Also, do they need to be highly efficient to match the fronts? Again, sorry if these are stupid questions, but my experience with home theater is non-existant.


I was thinking of getting a decent quality amp but going with lower quality rear speakers, at least to start out with. I don't want to spend $500 for a pair of rear speakers if I don't have to, at least to start out with.


I too met Paul during a informal tour of the factory in Hope, AR about 23 years ago. We were vacationing in Mississippi, and I drove all the way out to Hope "on my way back" to Michigan just to go through the factory. My wife thought I was nuts. :D


One of the employees took us through the factory. When the tour ended, I looked down a hallway and there was Paul in his office. I asked the guy that gave us the tour if I could go down and say hello to him. I don't think he was too happy with my request, but he took us in anyway. Paul was very cordial. We talked about music for a couple minutes and he mentioned that he had been to Interlochen, MI, home of a somewhat famous music school. He even posed for a picture with me, which I still carry in my wallet to this day. It was an honor to meet him. :)
 

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The online store Vanns sells some older model (previous generation) Klipsch speakers at good prices. The surround rears don't do too much relative to the fronts and centers.
 

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Glad to see another K'horn user on the forum. I have a 1998 pair in the front with a Belle center and a 1978 pair in the back. As for front/rear matching, I can only comment from my experience. When I first went 5.1 I had an Academy center (wish I had kept it!) and KG 3.2's in the back.


When I put the new K'horns in the front and moved the older ones to the back, there was a dramatic improvement in front to rear pans on 5.1 movies. Then when I re-built the 1978 K'horns with the newer crossovers and new mid squawker, there was again an improvement. So, there is something to matching the "voicing" of speakers all around. Just depends on how much you are willing to put into the rears. A pair of Belles or Lascalas would work out nicely in the rear as well.


As for amplification, I changed from 1998 vintage Denon 8000 series separates to a Denon 5805 receiver back in April and am very pleased. S/N ratio is much better on the 5805 - dead silent. Of course, the 5805 is a pricey receiver.


Good luck on finishing out your system. Watch out on the Klipsch Forum - sometimes there are good buys on used Klipsch.
 
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