KlipschKlipsch is the most successful loudspeaker manufacturer in the world. They are acknowledged experts in horn loudspeakers, having filed the original patent for the ingenious folded horn.
Klipsch speakers are distinctive because of their high efficiencies and use of compression drivers for mid range/high frequencies. Consequently they are capable of playing at concert levels whilst driven by moderate sized amplifiers.
In our experience, Klipsch speakers are heard at their best when driven by valve amplifiers.
We use the Klipsch Jubilee horns as our reference speaker - the first pair in Europe. This was Paul W Klipsch's final design - intended to supercede the Klipschorn. We chose it as our reference because it is so revealing - a change of a few hundredths of a gram in tracking force on a phono cartridge is clearly audible.
There is a widely held prejudice against horns which is historical. If the crossover point isn't chosen with care, the sound waves in the HF horn can break up and sound "shouty" in the midrange. The innovation on the Jubilee is that the LF drivers cross over at a relatively high 500 Hz (by employing two 12" drivers in the LF units) thus avoiding the typical horn speaker problems.
We love the Jubilees because they get closer to the sound of live music than any other speaker we have heard. Bass notes are heard and felt. The HF horns act like a point source, so imaging is superb. Imperfect recordings and set-up are ruthlessly revealed. The boxy mid-range colourations of direct radiating speakers are completely absent.
With an efficiency of 109 dB/W at 1 meter (actively driven) the Jubilees require less than one watt of amplification to play at concert levels. This results in a very low noise floor, impressive dynamic range and enables your amplification to deliver transients with stunning realism.
We can't pretend that the Jubilees are small, however their corner placement does minimise the loss of usable space within a room It would be wrong though to assume that they are only suitable for very large rooms, as we demonstrated at the Heathrow Hi Fi Shows in March and September 2008. They work perfectly well at sensible listening levels in a normal lounge, and with the addition of some acoustic treatment (bass traps and diffusers), at insane listening levels too!
The Jubilee LF cabinets are completely sealed, so they can be placed away from corners (not possible with the classic Klipschorn).
CrossoversIn its primary application in a cinema, the Jubilees would be actively amped. Initially we drove ours actively using the Electrovoice Dx38 DSP. There are many advantages to active amplification - the amplifiers face an easier load and more of the power is converted to sound energy instead of heat in the crossover.
Klipsch have also provided a very good passive crossover design (which we demonstrated at the Heathrow Show 2008). We are able to supply these - from £600 per pair, with higher spec component upgrades available.
Klipsch Heresy III
The Heresy is the entry level model in the Heritage range (so called because it has been in production, albeit with updates, since the 1950s). In series II form it has a very contemporary titanium tweeter. It is a small, floor-standing three way design with a 12” woofer plus horn mid and hf drivers and 99 dB efficiency.
Sonically, it shows its family relationship to the more expensive Jubilee. It is ideally sized for a typical room. With its lively and engaging character it plays with great scale and dynamics when driven by a 300B amplifier. A classic design which is proving to be very popular.