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JBL Vs Klipsch...Any experienced ears?


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Hi All,

 

Not sure why I'm asking this as I'm about to double down on my SS Ayre power amp with a "Twenty" upgrade but I've always been keen to explore JBL's (4429's, 4600's or 3900's) but recently I've been reading about the Klipsch heritage range, in particular the Heresy & Cornwall III models.

 

The issue I have here in SA is no-one sells any of these speakers in Adelaide so I can't simply go down the high street & simply listen to them.

 

From what I've read, JBL's would better match my Ayre gear as both the Heresy & Cornwalls are about 100 dB sensitivity & reviews of the Klipsch would suggest SET tubes work best.

 

Anyone heard both sets of speakers & have any impressions?

 

I have heard the La Scala II's (a few years back at the Hi Fi Show & I liked them but as $25K...nope!), @Tony M over here in SA does have an older pair of La Belles which I think sounded pretty nice (Dead Can Dance sounded fantastic) but they did need some attention to their top end (we started to fiddle with the settings which improved things but they were then bested by the 401 Gales so we stopped fiddling).

 

What I'm after is a live, dynamic, warmish, musical, emotional experience over & above detailed "Hi Fi" if that makes sense?

 

Cheers

Matt

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I am in the same boat as you, but I am primarily interested in the Klipsch Forte IIIs, which consistently get good reviews as very enjoyable and involving speakers. although in the end result not as refined as some others in the same price range.  Reviewers noted that Klipsch have done a good job of avoiding any harshness or stridency in the top end.  However the Klipsch stockist in Canberra only has the Heresys, and even then not all the time.

 

The Stereophile review of the Fortes measures them at just over 95dB sensitive, not 99dB as claimed by Klipsch, but that's till pretty sensitive.  If I had a pair I'd probably go for a valve amp, or SS class A amp, of around 50Wpc.

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ive listened to the Cornwall III and i was amazed at t he live sound it provided over any other speaker i have listened to date. these Cornwalls was matched with the Sugden A21SE which imo was match made in heaven.

 

Cornwall IV apparently improved the mid range.

 

Only problem i have with Klipsch is they are extremely over priced in Australia.  approx 2.5 the RRP price of US..

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I have some Heresey I speakers (early 1980's) for what its worth provide some of the adjectives you desire:-

 

What I'm after is a live, dynamic, warmish, musical, emotional experience over & above detailed "Hi Fi" if that makes sense?

 

However, bass is truncated and not altogether satisfying so I would look at the Forte/Cornwall offering.

 

I believe they have dramatically improved in the latest models, but I would never describe the Klipsch sound as 'warmish'

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I had a real good look into the Klipsch Forte III when deciding on my next pair of speakers and as noted above Klipsch have done a bit of homework on the mid and tweeter , gone is the brightness from the past.

 

Spending some time and patience on speaker placement will also yield huge rewards.

 

 

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Thanks for all the comments everyone.

 

It does sound like they have tamed their top end which would be paramount for me as I'm sensitive to any form of shrillness, overly bright top end BUT....to achieve that live sound it's a very fine balance which is what took me down the JBL road to begin with.

 

My comment about warmth was from a Steve Hoffman review but he did pair them with a SET amp so that would help.

 

Speaker placement for me will also be a slight issue as I'm not sure I can have them up against the back wall as my hi-fi rack sticks out in the room at least 1 mtr so it would look really strange to have the speaker behind the rack?

 

IMG_E4736.thumb.JPG.6827dc66e6f35a22da32575356d2d1d1.JPG

 

My TT has now moved to the RHS wall but you can see from this photo how far out the Hi Fi rack & my current speakers are out from the back wall (at least 1 mtr)..As their is a windown behind the curtain, the back wall space is limited.

 

IMG_4820.thumb.JPG.6313319b989c5f298be2672e018c687b.JPG

 

Maybe this removes the Klipsch from the equation if they need to be right up close to the back wall?

 

Any ideas on price for the Heresy & Cornwall III's? If pricing in Aus x2.5 the US, can you import?

 

Cheers all

Matt

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i dont think the Cornwalls need to be at the back wall as when i auditioned them they were well away from the back walls.

 

I am on my next hifi journey and the Cornwalls IV could be the speaker i end up with (few other contenders). if i do decide to purchase them i will be importing them from the US. even with import taxes i am still better off than purchasing them here. i believe the Cornwall IV are 17k AUD.

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19 minutes ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

Cornwall IV's....are these new into the market as I've only ever seen Cornwall III's online?

yes only released a few months ago. Apparently no in Australia so far.

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24 minutes ago, Full Range said:

I use DIY build & modified Klipsch La Scala 

Now that I have them performing at the absolute best I don’t look sideways at any other speaker 

 

They work great with either Tube or SS amps 

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/64191-3-way-eliptrac-horn-klipsch-la-scalas/


 

Wow....didn't read the entire thread as I'm supposed to be working but very interesting. I've tagged @Tony M to your thread as he has a pair of La Belles which could do with some work on their crossovers!

 

In terms of my needs, this is so far out of my comfort zone....

 

10 minutes ago, genkifd said:

yes only released a few months ago. Apparently no in Australia so far.

 

I just found a YouTube video of them....maybe a few 2nd Hand Cornwall III's coming onto the market now?

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Apart from the JBL's and Kilpsch brands, keep a eye out for Altec Lansing speakers from the 70's.

Something with the 604-8G coaxial speaker in it.

 

There used to be a manufacturer in Adelaide during the late 70's called AMS [not 100% sure if it the correct name] that basically made the cabinets to Altecs design and fitted the 604-8G speaker and crossover, I think they were around the AUS$1000 rage back in 78/79.

Since you are in S.A. I think your more likely to run across a pair than I am in Sydney

 

Other Altec designs to keep and eye out for is the Model 19, and the much rarer Laguna 830a.

 

If you really luck out, you might find a pair of UREI 813 studio monitors, they have the Altec 604- coaxial and a 15" woofer.....Alberts Studio in Sydney had them, and there must be a few knocking around Australia....you just have to find them.

https://www.mixonline.com/technology/1977-urei-813-studio-monitors-383665

 

You do see the Altec 604's [Various model changes over the years] sold on Ebay with the crossovers quite frequently, actually I've seen them for sale at this forum.

You'd just need to have a suitable cabinet made, which shouldn't be hard, as the cabinet design was pretty basic.

It could be the right speaker at the right price for you, given your brief regarding sound.

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Thanks Tweaky.....I'll look out for them but I'm not a huge fan of "vintage" speakers as I worry they will cause too much of an issue if/when they break. I know this could happen with any speakers but I'm thinking it would be easier to fix newer speakers, even if 2nd hand but that's just me, maybe I'm being too paranoid?

 

Found these JBL S4700 online from Japan, seem a good price?

 

https://www.hifido.co.jp/sold/19-24482-57963-00.html

 

Cheers

Matt

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1 hour ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

I assume you're talking about these?

 

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/rare-find-altec-lansing-604-8g-coaxial-speakers

 

$13,999 US maybe a little out of my league!

The 604 is the number of the drive unit , there have been a few variations over the years, things like Magnet type used etc.

You can pick up the drive units relatively easily, they are usually sold with the crossovers.

 

Those ones you linked to are around double the price you can get a solid pair with good cabinets.

This is more in line regarding the price range.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Altec-Lansing-604-8G-Model-17-Speakers-620-Cabinets/253394727179?hash=item3aff80b10b:g:x8gAAOSwD39absdo

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21 hours ago, mattjtaylor2809 said:

What I'm after is a live, dynamic, warmish, musical, emotional experience over & above detailed "Hi Fi" if that makes sense?

Why not go up the Jbl tree a bit and try and hear some Jbl 1400 arrays! Phenomenal sounding speakers with everything mentioned above and more! 

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  • 1 month later...
On 23/10/2019 at 10:36 AM, mattjtaylor2809 said:

I just found a YouTube video of them....maybe a few 2nd Hand Cornwall III's coming onto the market now?

Have not seen any yet. maybe soon.

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As a owner of a pair of Cornawll 1's they are lacking in many ways to my VAF and Equinox loudspeakers. But i must say i get a kick out of them all the time, they excite and move me all the time.

As for the reasoning that they are a valve speaker, I'm running my with a Proton D1200 100wpc and everything just gets up and moves.

 

Im a big fan altho i could not justify a price tag on the new Heritage series, and can help but think they would lack that character that im used to, rather than improving upon it.

 

but like yourself I'm in Adelaide and since Grenfell HiFi went down i have never seen another Heritage loudspeaker in a local store. (K-Horns they had there ;)

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It's worth mentioning that while being in SA might make auditioning Klipsch Heritage speakers difficult, you do have an advantage over people in other states in that you can audition Zu Audio speakers (at Hifi Collector), which are apparently in the same ballpark. 

 

Not that I know that for certain - I'm not in SA so I've never heard them! 

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It’s very personal, but having had both brands and also trying Zu, for me, JBL is the way.  I liked some things about the big K horns and the Belle and La Scala, but a bit too coloured and very particular on amp used. They need a lot of crossover work too.

There is also Tannoy to consider.

The modern JBLs using compression drivers have no typical horn colourations and all the benefits.

 

Someone mentioned JBL Array 1400. Also a great speaker but this model is not particularly efficient at 89dB/w so you need some decent drive to crank them. If you can find them used, something to consider would be JBL 4365 or 4367..

 

My 2 cents.

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