Klipsch RF-7 Main / Stereo Speakers Reviews

Klipsch RF-7 Main / Stereo Speakers

5 ratings (4 Epinions reviews)
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$3,198.00
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If you can find them, don't let them get away!

Apr 19, 2011 (Updated Apr 20, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Flatness:
  • Imaging:
  • Overall Sound:

Pros:Clean clear sound; huge volume and presence, excellent build quality.

Cons:Cheap grills, massive size, low end frequency response. Pricey - but worth it!

The Bottom Line: If you can find a pair, give them a listen - you will want to take them home!


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Introduction:
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First off - let me say that I have some experience with Klipsch speakers, and I have written some reviews here on Epinions. The links below will take you to my reviews of my connected gear, so you have a more complete picture of the environment in which these speakers are deployed.

Equipment:
Sony DVP-NS55P DVD Player:
Sony DVP-NS55P DVD Player

Pioneer VSX-1015tx
Pioneer VSX-1015tx

Klipsch RF-25:
Klipsch RF-25

Klipsch Heresy-II:
Klipsch Heresy-II

Over the last few years I have had a hunger for even MORE high fidelity audio. I was searching for a pair of Klipsch La Scalas (considered by many to be the holy grail of audiophile speakers) but coming up short.

After several months with not so much as an audition, I came across an ad on CraigsList for a pair of the original Klipsch RF7s.

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Homework:
====================

I did some research on the Klipsch website.
http://www.klipsch.com/na-en/products/rf-7-specifications/
The specs were very intriguing.

And read reviews on audiophile webstes.
The reviews were overwhelimingly positive.

I called the guy on Craigslist, set an appointment, grabbed some CDs, and showed up for an audition.

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Disappointment:
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Hooked up to the seller's Yamaha 120 WPC receiver via high-end solid-core speaker cables, the RF7s really... disappointed. The volume, clarity, and presence left much to be desired, and nearly everything I played through the speakers sounded thin and tinny. Yuck.

Thanking the young man for his time, I passed, and went home disappointed.

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Persistence:
====================

I week or so later I visited a local Audiophile shop, and mentioned my experience to the salesman. Upon hearing of the RF7s, he perked up, and immediately informed me that if all the drivers were playing clear then the speakers were well worth what the young man was asking for them. When I mentioned the Yamaha receiver, the salesman nodding knowingly, then informed me that the Yamaha is a good product, but often does not sound good when pushing Klipsch speakers. When I told him I have a Pioneer receiver, he told me that Pioneer and Klipsch work together much better than do the Yamaha and Klipsch.

I went back, gave the RF7s a second audition, made an offer that was accepted, and took the 180-pounds of speakers (90 pounds each) home to play.

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Gratification:
====================

Hooked up to my Pioneer receiver using 14-gauge stranded cable, the RF7s came to life. So loud, so clear, so detailed; these massive speakers fill the house with clean abundant sound.

Rated at 102 db per watt, the RF7s are highly efficient speakers, requiring minimal power to produce abundant sound. This one pair of speakers outputs the volume of my pair of RF25s and pair of Heresy-IIs - combined!

Now for the paradox - the RF7s sound great with my 120 WPC receiver driving them. Yet they are rated at 250 watts continuous and 1000 watts peak. So - with only the Pioneer driving them - I was barely scratching the surface of what these bad boys can do.

==========================
Scotty, we need MORE POWER!
==========================

Being the curious and sometimes adventurous type, I began researching and reading lots of reviews on amplifiers. After some extensive reading, I returned to the audiophile store to inquire about amplification. The biggest wattage amp they had in stock was 150 WPC. My favorite salesman made a recommendation of a Rotel RB1582 pushing a solid 200 WPC. After careful consideration and a promise of 30 days return no questions asked, I handed the man my credit card and waited somewhat impatiently for the two weeks to pass before the 40 pound 2-channel amplifier arrived.

I hooked up the amplifier, cranked up some tunes, and was instantly impressed. Two hundred watts per channel makes the RF7s sing! The added power really boosts the presence, and fills in the midrange quite nicely.

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Listening Impressions:
====================

Being the flagships of the original Klipsch Reference line, these RF7s are a very high quality product. These behemoths are made in Arkansas, and exhibit a very high build quality. Fit and finish is excellent, and the real wood cabinets fit together flawlessly.

Sound reproduction from the RF7s is clean, clear, and accurate. The detail is such that even during extremely busy segments from full-orchestra classical pieces, the listener can easily depict individual instruments and passages through-out.

These speakers are also very revealing; the quality of the source material, component gear, and interconnects influence dramatically the quality of the sound reproduced by the RF7s.

The Klipsch RF7s are somewhat picky about placement; it does take a little bit of tweaking to get them placed to optimize spatial alignment, Mine are currently sitting along a wall, spaced @ 11' apart, slightly toed in toward the center of the 20'x15' room. In this configuration, the "sweet spot" fills a large portion of the center of the room.

Connected to the Rotel amplifier, these speakers are very warm, full, and rich sounding. Bass is crisp and tight thanks to the two 10" woofers and the Rotel's 1000-damping factor, midrange is full bodied and embracing, and highs are sparkling clean and clear as a bell, only better - and - even though these speakers each utilize a 1.75" tatrix horn - the highs are never too bright.

These speakers sound great across many varieties of music, and at all volume levels. When driven by my Pioneer receiver these speakers sounded great and produced very high volume; driven by the Rotel amplifier, these speakers happily take it to the next level, providing extremely high output that remains crisp and clean, and can easily disturb the neighbors across the street without breaking stride or missing a beat. Curiously enough, the Rotel amplifier can drive these bad boys at extreme levels for extended periods of time, and the amplifier never even gets warm to the touch - it is simply amazing.

 I have had many friends and family come visit to audition my system, and everyone has agreed unanimously that they cannot believe how loud and clear the RF7s play. And it is amazing that, even at high volume levels, it is possible to carry on a conversation in the same room standing only 10 feet from the speakers.

Another very positive trait of these speakers is that listeners can enjoy loud and clear music for extended periods of time and experience no ear fatigue or bothersome ringing of the ears.

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There must be a negative:
====================

Actually I can think of a few negatives:

1) These speakers are tall and deep, and weigh in at @ 90 pounds each.
2) The grills are of the "stand-off" variety; the stand-offs are cheap plastic and are easily broken.
3) Frequency response is a bit narrow: 32Hz-20kHz ( -)3dB. The RF7s are fine in the mid and high range, and work fine for music; but are a little short in the low-end area for home theater. I augmented mine with the addition of a Klipsch RW10d 260-watt powered sub-woofer.

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Conclusion:
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These speakers are awesome in most every way. The sound quality is quite literally top of the line. If you can find a pair, give them a listen - you will not be disappointed.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 900

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