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Muddywaterstones's picture
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Klipsch Heresy III

On the prowl for new speakers, a project which may take a couple of months unless an outright bargain falls in my lap. My dealer recommended these. I had my own preconceptions: shouty treble and mids added to limited bass despite the 12" woofer. He had them hooked up to a Sugden A21 signature amp and played some jazz I didn't know.

My preconceptions were completely shattered. The mids and treble were quite on point, showing a richness i miss in my own Monitor Audio speakers. But what was more surprising was the bass. I have read multiple sources proclaiming a deficiency here but it had a real thump and presence.

However, it excited some serious bass nodes in the room, giving a flubby effect to the sound. I have heard bigger speakers go a lot louder and much cleaner in this room (which is relatively untreated and imperfect). Whether this was the speaker showing inherent flaws, the amp failing to control the speaker or the room being less than perfect for the speaker, I can't say.

I'll be looking to go back and re-test it alongside a couple of other speakers with my own amp and music in a few weeks. On that quick listen there was something in the tone and dynamics that I really liked. Was this the amp or the speaker?

I actually really liked the aesthetics too, which has thrown a curveball into my thinking. So, anyone got any insight into these squat little beasts, their strengths and weaknesses, their partnering requirements, odd kinky manoeuvres which need to be performed in private to position them right? 

 

 

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Bin and horn

I have some experience of these and other speakers of this type though sadly I have never owned a pair of 'big' Klipsch.

Essentially a Klipschorn designed down to a more workable size, with two major compromises, firstly the use of a 12 inch rather than a 15 inch bass driver and secondly using a much smaller sealed enclosure for the bass rather than a folded horn. Klipsch speakers are all about sensitivity and given that the compession driven mids and highs are very sensitive indeed, the design is all about the bass driver.

Several tricks are used to keep this as high as possible, treating the Heresey III as an 8 ohm system keeps the rated sensitivity up as indeed does the relatively low mass bass cone. This has the adverse effect of lifting the bass resonance which restricts bass extension quite severely, the use of wall or corner placement for which the speaker is designed does help, in most situations giving in room bass flat to around 50-55hz.

Clearly this is not that deep for a relatively big cone, whether it is 'lacking' or not rather depends on your views, what is not lacking, on the later models anyway, is mid bass punch and this really should not be an issue in most rooms. Like most speakers of this type, the upside is all about presence and a live 'feel', downside is a lack of precision and other 'hi-fi' attributes such as soundstaging.

That said, these speakers are unique at their current price point, the only remotely comparable speaker I can think of being the JBL LSR708i passive studio monitors at about £2k pair, though these have only 8 inch bass drivers and about a 6-8dB lower sensitivity. They are also best employed using digitally controlled and corrected Crown amplifiers which limit their application somewhat.

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Thanks for the detailed reply

Thanks for the detailed reply. The bass has me flummoxed. For its supposedly limited range it really has some slam. I wonder how easily controlled it is or if it's always rather loose and boomy?

Inferring from the above, possibly incorrectly, the bass shouldn't have sounded that way but been tighter and punchier.

I did drop in on the spur of the moment as i was passing the shop. The amp may not have warmed up or anything. I don't know the traits of the Sugden either.

Yet, there was some magic that immersed me in the music (stuff I didn't even really like) and has left me intrigued. Normally such a first impression would have me crossing it off the list but I've a sneaky suspicion there is more lurking under the hood. Further chin stroking and testing required.

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Klipsch Heresy bass is not

Klipsch Heresy bass is not loose and boomy. It was the room, possibly combined with the speaker positioning and the poistion of your ears that caused the loose and boomy bass.

This is something that you can verify when you listen to other speakers in the same location in the same room.

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There's good advice on the
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Thanks

Cheers for the link. The Heresy doesn't seem to come out all that well overall, though most of the opinions pre-date the current Mark III which was supposed to be quite an improvement on the II and I.

Investigations are ongoing......

 

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Muddywaterstones wrote:

Muddywaterstones wrote:
Thanks for the detailed reply. The bass has me flummoxed. For its supposedly limited range it really has some slam. 

Davedotco reckons they go down to about 50Hz when placed appropriately, which is way low enough to feel the slam. The slam you feel from punchy bass is much higher in the frequency range than most people think, so I'm not surprised the speakers were well capable of kicking you in the chest cavity despite their limited overall extension.
Below 50Hz is the kind of sub-bass that rumbles, such as deep organ notes, or the lowest cello strings, or some bass notes in electronic music like dubstep. It's the kind of bass that that crawls across the floor and rattles your gonads, not kicks you in the chest.
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MajorFubar wrote:

MajorFubar wrote:

Muddywaterstones wrote:
Thanks for the detailed reply. The bass has me flummoxed. For its supposedly limited range it really has some slam. 
Davedotco reckons they go down to about 50Hz when placed appropriately, which is way low enough to feel the slam. The slam you feel from punchy bass is much higher in the frequency range than most people think, so I'm not surprised the speakers were well capable of kicking you in the chest cavity despite their limited overall extension. Below 50Hz is the kind of sub-bass that rumbles, such as deep organ notes, or the lowest cello strings, or some bass notes in electronic music like dubstep. It's the kind of bass that that crawls across the floor and rattles your gonads, not kicks you in the chest.

What a brilliant description of deep bass .Good

My description is,  ' like a 40' comtainer falling off a lorry outside your house' . But I prefer yours. Smile

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I asked about Klipsch Heresys

I asked about Klipsch Heresys on an American website as I too am looking for some "short and wide" rather than "Tall and thin: speakers for my media room.  My idea is that short and wides (not unlike my dad's Wharfedales from the 70s) would fit nicely under a wide projector screen.

The overall impression I got from other peoples' opinions (and granted opinions are like bungholes - everyone's got one and most of them stink) was that they are a bit of a "Marmite" speaker, i.e. you either love them or hate them.  Overall, though, the sound was supposed to be very very good.  For home theater (sic) use, the use of one or two big subs was recommended though, as like the Major suggested, bass below 50-something Hertz is a bit weak.  More for the budiling crashing to the ground rumbles in movies, methinks, rather than music though.

FWIW did you hear them sitting on proper Klipsch stands or were they just put on the floor?  They're supposed to sit on little stands that angle the baffles up a little, which (1) points them at head height when you're sat down and (2) might clear up the bass a little.

https://www.klipsch.com/products/heresy-iii-floorstanding-speaker

 

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Electro wrote:

Electro wrote:

What a brilliant description of deep bass .Good

My description is,  ' like a 40' comtainer falling off a lorry outside your house' . But I prefer yours. Smile

My English teacher always said my metaphors and similies were unique. Though I'm not sure she always meant it as a compliment Smile

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What power amp would you pair

What power amp would you pair them with?

I'm loving the look of the Primare A60 (see notes below) as and when funds and the Memsahib allow (which'll probably be right after Lord Lucan leads Jimmy Hoffa riding Shergar down Houston's Main Street, admittedly). 

I'm thinking some of the comments about "flabby" or incontrolled bass might need an amp with a firm grip on the bottom end (ooh-err missus!).

Thoughts anyone?

Notes:

The Heresys are designed to be bi-wired / bi-amped and the A60 at least has two sets of speaker terminals (yes, I know, run two sets of cables to each single output pair on a regular amp....). 

I can't see any mention of how the A60's individual amps are configured though - twin mono? 

Last time I bi-amped a pair of speakers (ProAc Studio 140 Mark 2) I used a pair of Cyrus X-Powers, one per speaker, one side of each twin mono amp driving the HF and the other side the LF.  It worked superbly but it was expensive and I probably wouldn't do it again.  Does the Primare A60 have four internal channels or just a case of two sets of binding posts for each side of the amp - which is a bit daft IMHO.  I might go for a different amp with just one pair of binding posts per channel instead.

 

Sony UBP-X800 UHDBDP, Marantz 7010, 7.2.4 w/ Yamaha NS-IW960 L/C/R, NS-IW660 SR/SL/RR/RL, & 4 NS-IC800s, 2 Polk PSW110 subs. Samsung 6 series 65 in 4K TV. Waiting for 100-120 in 4K HDR wallpaper TVs to be affordable.

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Benedict_Arnold wrote:

Benedict_Arnold wrote:

What power amp would you pair them with?

I'm loving the look of the Primare A60 (see notes below) as and when funds and the Memsahib allow (which'll probably be right after Lord Lucan leads Jimmy Hoffa riding Shergar down Houston's Main Street, admittedly). 

I'm thinking some of the comments about "flabby" or incontrolled bass might need an amp with a firm grip on the bottom end (ooh-err missus!).

Thoughts anyone?

Notes:

The Heresys are designed to be bi-wired / bi-amped and the A60 at least has two sets of speaker terminals (yes, I know, run two sets of cables to each single output pair on a regular amp....). 

I can't see any mention of how the A60's individual amps are configured though - twin mono? 

Last time I bi-amped a pair of speakers (ProAc Studio 140 Mark 2) I used a pair of Cyrus X-Powers, one per speaker, one side of each twin mono amp driving the HF and the other side the LF.  It worked superbly but it was expensive and I probably wouldn't do it again.  Does the Primare A60 have four internal channels or just a case of two sets of binding posts for each side of the amp - which is a bit daft IMHO.  I might go for a different amp with just one pair of binding posts per channel instead.

 

Evening Benedict,

The speakers were on the provided stands, tilted up at the listener. Now, it was an impromptu test and I know the dealer for a good while so we never actually sat down on the sofa in the designated sweet-spot but remained chatting and standing in the middle of the room. No idea if that had an effect. 

The boomy bass comment is what gets me. From all reports I've read these are supposed to be bass light, requiring a sub-woofer, yet the room seemed overwhelmed at times by these little beasts when i have heard bigger speakers play cleanly. I might have to ask for a loan to see how I get on at home.

Was going to use my Heed Obelisk with 'em. It's the Mark II model with a conservatively stated 35 watt output into 8 ohms. It doesn't work exactly like other solid state amps. The end result is very musical. Even my Monitor Audio speakers have a liquid flow to 'em!

I've no idea aboout the Primare.

There are a couple of other speakers I'm eyeing up plus a couple of things on the second hand market. Speaking of Klipsch i came across a thing called a Cornscala for sale about an hour drive from where I live. It's a DIY project, so not strictly Klipsch, made with the bass unit of the Cornwall and the mids and tweeter of the Scala. I'm tempted to get in the car tomorrow and go for a listen though it's quite the behemoth.

 

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Electro wrote:

Electro wrote:

MajorFubar wrote:

Muddywaterstones wrote:
Thanks for the detailed reply. The bass has me flummoxed. For its supposedly limited range it really has some slam. 
Davedotco reckons they go down to about 50Hz when placed appropriately, which is way low enough to feel the slam. The slam you feel from punchy bass is much higher in the frequency range than most people think, so I'm not surprised the speakers were well capable of kicking you in the chest cavity despite their limited overall extension. Below 50Hz is the kind of sub-bass that rumbles, such as deep organ notes, or the lowest cello strings, or some bass notes in electronic music like dubstep. It's the kind of bass that that crawls across the floor and rattles your gonads, not kicks you in the chest.

What a brilliant description of deep bass .Good

My description is,  ' like a 40' comtainer falling off a lorry outside your house' . But I prefer yours. Smile

If this thread offers nothing else then at least it contains this image. Except I find myself listening to some tunes at the moment without any sensation of tickling in the gonad area. Maybe it's age, maybe it's just getting late in the evening but i'm just not feeling it. And the missus is working the night so can't even lend a hand!

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