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I've never owned Klipsch, but plan on getting the Reference Premiere lineup, but just wanted to test out a horn in my basement for the 15 day trial. I got the R-15M bookshelf and the R-25C center channel. I haven't done any Audyssey calibration, but I kept my Pioneer BS 22 on one channel and the bookshelf on the other for some quick stereo listening. The first thing that popped out was how much more dynamic and lively the Klipsch is. It makes my Pioneer sound sooo subdued and dull. Without any calibration and the 10 minutes I listened, the R-15M sound pretty good to my ears. Voices sound more forward, instruments much more lively. But, I read these aren't actually "reference", but a knock off or something? Is this true? Is this the lowest model Klipch has then?
 

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Neither are "reference" in terms of being some sort of paradigm of audiophile perfection and accuracy against which other speakers can be measured. It's usually just a designation made by that particular speaker's owner, lol. One man's "reference" speaker can be another man's "entry level" speaker he'd give to a teenage niece or nephew for their birthday.

"Reference" in the name is simply a marketing device, in this case.

No real "reference" speaker would actually be labeled as such by the manufacturer.

In this case Klipsch is just employing the usual sales/marketing hocus-pocus to sucker in the newbies and low-information consumers.
 

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Neither are "reference" in terms of being some sort of paradigm of audiophile perfection and accuracy against which other speakers can be measured. It's usually just a designation made by that particular speaker's owner, lol. One man's "reference" speaker can be another man's "entry level" speaker he'd give to a teenage niece or nephew for their birthday.

"Reference" in the name is simply a marketing device, in this case.

No real "reference" speaker would actually be labeled as such by the manufacturer.

In this case Klipsch is just employing the usual sales/marketing hocus-pocus to sucker in the newbies and low-information consumers.
Oh I know neither are "reference". I guess I should have just asked whether this speaker was in their reference II series, which it looks like it is. That's what I was mostly wondering.
 

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That's just what they call them, they are the bottom-of-the-barrel entry-level bookshelf speakers in the Klipsch line (think Ford Pinto). I'm not surprised that they sound "more dynamic and lively" than the AJ Pio's, since they have a horn-loaded tweeter, they have much higher efficiency, and the BS22s are commonly described as "dark" sounding. The "R" line have been described as fatiguing after listening for longer periods due to the "tweeter harshness" due to the inexpensive horn tweeter. From what many have said, they can really end up hurting your ears and take away from your listening enjoyment.

The "RP" or "Reference Premier" line are their second-level series of speakers (think Acura compared to Toyota) and they have, according to many reviews, vastly improved upon the harshness of their tweeters. They have had generally good reviews on this board.

The "Palladium" series are the Rolls Royce of their consumer lines, and are priced accordingly. They also have their "Heritage" lines that are continuations of their speakers originally designed in the 1950's.
 

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I guess I should have just asked whether this speaker was in their reference II series, which it looks like it is.
No, they are not. The RP-line seems (to me) to be the new "Reference II" line.
 

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That's just what they call them, they are the bottom-of-the-barrel entry-level bookshelf speakers in the Klipsch line (think Ford Pinto). I'm not surprised that they sound "more dynamic and lively" than the AJ Pio's, since they have a horn-loaded tweeter, they have much higher efficiency, and the BS22s are commonly described as "dark" sounding. The "R" line have been described as fatiguing after listening for longer periods due to the "tweeter harshness" due to the inexpensive horn tweeter. From what many have said, they can really end up hurting your ears and take away from your listening enjoyment.

The "RP" or "Reference Premier" line are their second-level series of speakers (think Acura compared to Toyota) and they have, according to many reviews, vastly improved upon the harshness of their tweeters. They have had generally good reviews on this board.

The "Palladium" series are the Rolls Royce of their consumer lines, and are priced accordingly. They also have their "Heritage" lines that are continuations of their speakers originally designed in the 1950's.
Thanks for that. So the "R" series is their cheapest, that's what I thought at first. So if these are primarily for home theater, not music, would the listening fatigue be less of a concern? I do plan on getting the RP at some point, I just wanted to test out a horn tweeter to see if it's something I could withstand since that's the only line Best Buy carries. So do most people end up trading this "R" series out due to fatigue? Do most not enjoy them?
 

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I've never owned Klipsch, but plan on getting the Reference Premiere lineup, but just wanted to test out a horn in my basement for the 15 day trial. I got the R-15M bookshelf and the R-25C center channel. I haven't done any Audyssey calibration, but I kept my Pioneer BS 22 on one channel and the bookshelf on the other for some quick stereo listening. The first thing that popped out was how much more dynamic and lively the Klipsch is. It makes my Pioneer sound sooo subdued and dull. Without any calibration and the 10 minutes I listened, the R-15M sound pretty good to my ears. Voices sound more forward, instruments much more lively. But, I read these aren't actually "reference", but a knock off or something? Is this true? Is this the lowest model Klipch has then?
If you like what you heard in your own room that's a good start. I also gather you have a budget so definitely stay within that because it's real easy to spend your money on "higher quality" stuff but at what point do you have diminishing returns? I suggest when you realize you spent more money than you wanted too and aren't happy with doing so...

In a nutshell. given you are looking at bookshelf speakers up front you really want to consider getting a decent sub to take up the lower end slack...If later on you choose to purchase towers up front you can move those to surround duty. That said, I haven't heard the speakers you are looking at but have several Klipsch HTs that I enjoy immensely and feel they are a good bang-for-your-buck at various price points.

Good luck!
 

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If you want the advantages of the horn technology without the risk of treble harshness, take a close look at the Hsu HB-1 speakers, especially Andrew Robinson's review of them.

Wish Hsu would start offering free return shipping too...
 

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If you want the advantages of the horn technology without the risk of treble harshness, take a close look at the Hsu HB-1 speakers, especially Andrew Robinson's review of them.

Wish Hsu would start offering free return shipping too...
Hm, great....another speaker to consider, lol. Thanks though Zorba. The industry just doesn't make this easy. Those look nice too. Any major differences between the HSU and Klipsch reference premiere? Looks like the HSU is cheaper by around $100 for bookshelves and the center each.
 

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If you like those I would suggest returning them and giving the RP-160M a try, if you can of course. The RPs are much better for not being much more expensive. And much better looking as well. I would recommend buying them from Sound Distributors but call or email them and you can get a much better price they don't advertise. I've never been a huge fan of the Klipsch lines that Best Buy sells. But after a lot of research and reading I decided to try the Reference Premiere line when redoing my home theater set up thinking if I don't like them I'll just reurn them. I ended up keeping them and ordering the towers and center as well after a few weeks lol. For someone who's never owned speakers with horn loaded tweeters I was worried about the fatigue you always hear about with klipsch but I've never experienced that with the RP speakers. IMO they are great speakers for the price
 

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The r15m are from the Klipsch reference line. This line however is not the same as the older generation reference ii line. The reference line are what the synergy and icon line were ie reference=synergy/icon.
The reference premiere are the replacement line for the old reference ii line ie reference premiere=reference ii.
To confuse tou even more the top dogs of the old reference ii series are still around-rf7ii. These trump the best that the reference premiere have to offer.
The reference line has aluminum tweeters, plastic 90×90°horn and IMG woofers. The reference premiere line has titanium tweeters, plastic/rubber 90×90° horn and cerametallic woofers.
The old reference ii line has titanium tweeters, plastic 90×60° horn and cerametallic woofers. The rf7ii use large pro titanium compression drivers and a larger horn.
 

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If you want the advantages of the horn technology without the risk of treble harshness, take a close look at the Hsu HB-1 speakers, especially Andrew Robinson's review of them.

Wish Hsu would start offering free return shipping too...
Please explain why the HSU would be better with regards to harshness? Doesn't the HSU use an aluminum dome tweeter that is horn loaded? If so, then it is using the same type of tweeter as the Klipsch speaker.
 

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Please explain why the HSU would be better with regards to harshness? Doesn't the HSU use an aluminum dome tweeter that is horn loaded? If so, then it is using the same type of tweeter as the Klipsch speaker.
I've yet to read ONE person complaining about the Hsu being "bright." The Hsu speakers are described as being slightly "warm" or generally "neutral."

I've read countless people complaining about Klipsch being bright---the entry level ones not the top shelf or heritage models.

About 50/50 ratio of people who love vs hate the Klipsch sound for that reason.

Strictly anecdotal, unscientific and non-technical, but overwhelming anecdotal evidence is far more convincing to me than technical or semantic hair-splitting.
 

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Hm, great....another speaker to consider, lol. Thanks though Zorba. The industry just doesn't make this easy. Those look nice too. Any major differences between the HSU and Klipsch reference premiere? Looks like the HSU is cheaper by around $100 for bookshelves and the center each.
The Klipsch RP line has been reported by a number of posters as being remarkable in its lack of the treble issues of previous entry/mid-level Klipsch speakers. Albeit many of those posters happen to be longtime Klipsch fans. :)

But a side-by-side comparison of the RP160 and the HB-1 would be very interesting.
 

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I'm a little vague on the actually question. The Klipsch R-15M are from the Reference Series of speakers. But being called Reference and being Reference are not the same thing.

These are good speakers for the modest
$250/pr that they cost. Klipsch have a characteristic sound, which is as you describe it. Some people don't like the sound of horns, though myself, when done right, I think they sound very good.

But this is not a speaker I would use in an acoustically bright room. I suspect, taste aside, those who complain about treble harshness are using the speakers in an overly bright room. A bright speaker with a bright amp in a bright room, and be a bit too much bright for anyone.

There are two lines or series above the Reference series, and they are the Reference Premiere and the Palladium. The Reference Premiere are $420/pr retail, then the closest Palladium are about $1000 EACH.

So, the Klipsch could be considered reference quality on the consumer scale, but they are low end relative to Audiophile speakers running between $5000/pr and about $200,000/pr. All things are relative.

The Heritage series, which are the speakers that Klipsch built its reputation on are on the very expensive side, and these could be considered Reference Quality -

Klipsch Horn - $12,000/pr to $16,000/pr

Cornwall III - $2200 EACH

Heresy III - $1000 EACH

La Scala II - $4000 EACH


Really the best you can do is find something you like at a price you can afford, and based on your statements, you seem to have done that.

Also note that the Klipsch are much louder speakers than the Pioneer. To best compare them they should be level matched.

The Klipsch R-15 have a rated output of 94dB. The Pioneer SP-BS22 have a rated output of 85dB, making the Klipsch nearly twice as loud. Your ear is always going to prefer the louder speaker. Though from what you said, you do prefer the sound, and not just the volume.

Klipsch
are what they are, and if you like what you hear, and can afford them, then that is all you really need to know.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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since they have a horn-loaded tweeter, they have much higher efficiency
That's actually incorrect for two reasons. Firstly, though the CD in one of my speakers is 108dB/W, the thing that determines the speakers efficiency is the lowest efficiency component, so the HE CD will need to be attenuated down to match that. Secondly, since the passing of PWK in 2002, Klipsch have lied about the efficiency of their smaller units and have been caught out a few times in independent tests. Usually it's about 5-6dB. With a reasonably low f3 and a small enclosure there is no way that unit is 94dB.
 
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