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Klipsch and the Zen SE84 (Read 718 times)
metropolis7
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Klipsch and the Zen SE84
08/01/20 at 20:43:46
 

After a lot of trial and error mating speakers to my Zen amp, I am considering entering the world of Klipsch. Looking for something with serious dynamics and liveliness. I do not need to shake the walls, but just want more overall slam.
There are so many Klipsch models and so many iterations of those models thoughout the years (I have no qualms about going used). I do not know where to begin. I have a modestly sized room, so, for instance, Klipschhorns are out of the question. Can anyone lead me in the right direction?
I mostly listen to classic rock and jazz. I have a REL sub to potentially add to the mix.
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beowulf
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #1 - 08/01/20 at 21:50:54
 
What speakers have you tried already? What is your budget (max you're willing to spend) for your new speakers?
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lobo
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #2 - 08/01/20 at 21:52:40
 
I have klipsch RP280 paired with a SE84UFO, makes a nice combo.
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metropolis7
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #3 - 08/01/20 at 22:13:32
 

My budget is around 2K, but if a sub 1K speaker does the trick, that is great too.

I have tried a self-built Decware ZOB, Parkers, and Omega 3i. The Parkers got my closest, but my Zen would clip consistently at my preferred volume.



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Showme
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #4 - 08/01/20 at 22:22:17
 
I’m running Klipsch Forte II’s driven by a SE84UFO25 and I think they sound terrific. A CL deal and they look an sound super to me. They just reissued the speaker as Forte III. If you can locate a used pair of II’s they’ll be a 3rd the price of new.
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metropolis7
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #5 - 08/01/20 at 22:31:05
 

Thank you for that. A quick CL search shows a pair of Forte II for $1,400.
What should dictate the decision to choose the Forte over the other "heritage" models like the Cornwall, LaScala, or Heresy? Room size? Or are there qualitative differences between them?
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Showme
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #6 - 08/01/20 at 22:51:48
 
Not an expert but room size/speaker size for one thing. Check the Klipsch forum for expert opinions. I don’t know where you live but $1,400 would be high for Forte II’s most places. Maybe they have upgrades like Crites crossovers or something.
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lazb
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #7 - 08/01/20 at 22:57:40
 
metropolis7, If you save a search on HIFISHARK.com you will get listings from the world markets. There are several Forte IIs there now.
https://www.hifishark.com/search?q=klipsch+forte+II
save the search and get daily updates!
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Joey
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #8 - 08/02/20 at 02:09:49
 
Be aware of the location as shipping can be a dealbreaker on these mammoth beasts. I have Herseys, forte ll, and use a zen with my Cornwalls.

In a large room, the Cornwalls definitely reign superior but the fortes are nothing the sneeze at.
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JohnWatson
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #9 - 08/02/20 at 10:04:38
 
I think the Heritage line is the way to go.  The Fortes will probably sound better than the Heresys but I find the Heresys are very musical and the III's are an improvement over the older models.  The IVs are supposed to be an improvement over the IIIs.  You should really check out some of the reviews of them, they might surprise you and the Klipsch forum is also great for information where you will find a lot of flag waving for the Heritage line on that site.  Just don't do what I did years ago....don't pay attention to some of the older reviews you may find that trash the Heritage line, they can put undeserved doubt in your mind and prevent you from purchasing a great sounding pair of speakers.  Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
PS, if you decide to go with earlier models you will definitely want to upgrade your crossovers with Crites, it can make all the difference.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #10 - 08/02/20 at 13:22:41
 
It always bothers me that the local Chipolte (1760 N University Dr., Plantation, Fl.) has Heresys mounted up top inside a plywood cabinet but they are upside down! What idiot did that?

Klipsch Heritage line was conceived of during the tube era. So they mate well with tube gear.  I had a pair of RB5II bookshelves. They were great overall but due to my room it did not work out. When I raised the volume enough to generate some bass the horns fatigued my ears. That woukd not have happened if I had Fortés.

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ArtMan
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #11 - 08/02/20 at 14:20:53
 
There have been discussions about this speaker on other threads but these speakers are one of the great values out there and would give you want you want for under $1k.

http://www.caintuckaudio.com/Lii_15.html
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #12 - 08/02/20 at 14:40:12
 
What are the dimensions of Randy’s ‘15’s?
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HockessinKid
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #13 - 08/02/20 at 16:58:00
 
The Caintuck Audio L15's are 22.5" tall and 17.5" at the widest center point. The hardwood version is 1/2 or 3/4" thick and are barrel shaped.

Randy configured hard foam inserts which completely protect the speaker pair for shipping. The boxed pair isn't super heavy and extensively marked with "fragile stickers. Mine arrived via UPS without any issue.

HK
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Geno
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #14 - 08/02/20 at 17:25:29
 
I owned a pair of Forte’s for over 30 years. They were fine speakers. My entry into the internet/audio world helped me discover that I could replace the crossovers and drivers, which I did thru Bob Crites. This made the Fortes like new again with amazing results.

About this time, I discovered Decware, and got my first tube amp to pair with the Klipsch. A great combo.

But soon after, I was curious about the Caintuck open baffles offered on the Decware website. They were so affordable that I decided to try them out. That was the best audio decision I’ve ever made. Eventually, thru Steve’s experimentation, Lii Audio came into the picture.

All of this to say that I loved my Klipsch, but when I moved on to Decware/Caintuck/Lii Audio, it brought me to another level of audio quality and enjoyment.

For the money, go for the Decware/Caintuck combo, and you’ll never have to look back.
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metropolis7
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #15 - 08/02/20 at 17:49:55
 

Geno, thanks for the feedback.
Are the Caintuck Lii 15's fussy about placement like other OB designs?
Would you say a Caintuck/Lii 15 could pressurize a room about as well as, say, a Forte? Maybe not quite capable of the same SPL, but at least approaching the level of a Zen/Forte combo?
What I am really after is slam, dynamics, liveliness and frankly, volume. I could sacrifice a bit of soundstaging or detail for those things.
My frustrating experience with the FRX2/ZOB has me leary of OBs, but that might be an apples-to-oranges comparison with the Caintuck Liis.
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Geno
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #16 - 08/02/20 at 18:24:51
 
Just move open baffles away from the front wall and toe them in by ear. Open baffles are much more forgiving with room placement than a box speaker.

The fact that the Lii’s are crossoverless and 97dB efficient will allow them to play at the level you desire. And much more lively than a box. I think “natural” is the best description of the sound.  

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Showme
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #17 - 08/02/20 at 18:28:19
 
Geno, good to read your comments on the Crite’s crossovers. I’ve been considering them ever since I got my Forte’s but they sound so good the way they are I just haven’t done it. I’ve owned a pair of Caintuck Betsy’s with the Burro speakers but not the F15. I’m sure I would like that. Actually Steve’s midsized baffle with the F15 I’m sure I would enjoy
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ArtMan
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #18 - 08/02/20 at 18:45:02
 
What I am really after is slam, dynamics, liveliness and frankly, volume. I could sacrifice a bit of soundstaging or detail for those things.

These speakers excel in slam, dynamics, and liveliness, especially with the Zen amp. They are close to 100 db efficient in an open baffle configuration and can play really loud with a 2 watt Zen amp. This is a very quick and articulate bass and you may not miss the bottom 1/3 rd octave that it doesn't produce. These speakers can be played at lower volumes without losing resolution and can also cleanly play loud. The loudest I've ever played my speakers was at 94 db and it was much too loud for me. It is not a bloated or boomy loud but a very clean loud.

They are also really easy to set up. To get the absolute best sound and sound stage:

1. The speakers should be a minimum of 3 feet from the back wall.
2. Toe in my ear. It doesn't take long to get a large sound stage.
3. In conjunction with toe-in, raise the front of the speakers approximately 1 and 1/2 inches. This really expands the depth of the sound stage and provides a greater density of musical information.

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Rivieraranch
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #19 - 08/02/20 at 18:49:56
 
You must be a contortionist.
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ArtMan
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #20 - 08/02/20 at 20:18:41
 
I forgot one thing in my last post. You can physically feel the bass coming from these speakers. It can be a quite addictive experience. Add subwoofers only if you feel the need. It is the quickness of the bass that makes the slam from these speakers sound so alive.

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metropolis7
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #21 - 08/02/20 at 22:09:58
 
ArtMan, that tells me a lot. The 15 inch driver must have enough excursion to give that effect. That's a good sign.
I have an REL 528 sub that is currently out of commission, it could potentially augment the Caintuck Liis, but who knows if the REL is fast enough to integrate well.
I would much rather support a small business like Randy.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #22 - 08/02/20 at 22:56:31
 
Randy is a super guy. His prices are so low that it seems more of a hobby for him.
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gsanger
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #23 - 08/03/20 at 03:11:13
 
Hey Rivieraranch, this link might help clear up why the Heresy’s are upside down at Chipotle for ya’.  Turns out, they’re not idiots after all  ;)

https://www.klipsch.com/blog/klipsch-install-stories-chipotle-adds-heresy-iii
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gsanger
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #24 - 08/03/20 at 15:06:39
 
Sorry to get a little off topic, but do y'all mind sharing what you mean by "slam"?  It's one of those terms I see get thrown around a lot, but I feel means different things to different people.  I know for me, it's a "I know it when I hear it" kind of thing, which is not exactly helpful to anyone else!

Otherwise, I'm following this thread with great interest, as I'm also on the hunt for speakers with a lot of dynamics and liveliness, and think Klipsch heritage speakers might work for me.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #25 - 08/03/20 at 15:51:34
 
That is fascinating. So the bass bounces off of the ceiling. I get that. It is a shame that nobody would know that those speakers are Klipsch up there.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #26 - 08/03/20 at 17:29:19
 

Teaching opportunity:  

Quote:
The 15 inch driver must have enough excursion to give that effect


Actually, the less excursion the driver has, the more the effect.  Just the opposite.

The only thing excursion does is create low bass in small boxes.  The best bass is always from large cabinets / baffles / horns using drivers with cones so stiff they feel like they don't move at all.

It is the essence of linearity while excursion is the the opposite of linearity.

For those who  identify with the statement "the more air you move the more bass you make" it is really about how you move the air, not how much air you move.

Steve
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Archie
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #27 - 08/03/20 at 17:35:47
 
Thanks for the primer Steve.  I was wondering if I was hallucinating the bass from my F15s in the big baffles.   Wink
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4krow
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Re: Klipsch and the Zen SE84
Reply #28 - 08/03/20 at 18:02:40
 
 Well, I just have to chime in here. The first time that I experienced outstanding and nearly unbelievable bass was with a set of corner horns that I built in high school. Using 15" drivers, the cones barely moved, yet there is to this day no comparison of the depth and accuracy of the bass that I heard. In fact, it has crossed my mind recently to build one corner horn sub. Now if only I can fool the wife into believing that it will be a corner china cabinet.
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