Klipsch "The Fives" honest thoughts

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Brandon Hartwick

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Howdy everyone

So for the last 6 months or so I've been pondering upgrading my PC sound setup. I've been running a pair of KEF Q15s that I bought almost 10 years ago and they sound fine, but not amazing, I've tried a few amps and currently have them running on a small Decware tube amp I built from a kit but am still left wanting more.

The other day I was browsing Canuck Audio Mart and saw a pair of Klipsch "The Fives" up for grabs that were open box & brand new from a dealer in Quebec. These cost $1500 CAD new and I bought them for $950, so definitely a deal and a half. I did a bunch of research and watched some reviews on YouTube and they seemed to check all the boxes so I pulled the trigger.

The speakers arrived this afternoon at work so I immediately set them up on a workbench in our shop and played them throughout the afternoon. Out of the box they're a very pretty speaker, extremely well built and the walnut veneer looks awesome. Immediately I noticed they sounded EXTREMELY bass heavy and thick, I had read a bit about this and knew there was new firmware available that included much more bass control options. After screwing around for about 1/2 hour and having to download 2 seperate app's I managed to get the EQ stuff working and I was to dial the bass back a whole bunch. They still didn't sound nearly as clear as I was expecting for the very high price tag, even my coworker walked out back and immediately says "they sound muddy". We talked about the speakers for a few minutes and he was pretty shocked when I told him how much I paid, you need to remember that $200 Edifiers exist on Amazon and they're fantastic for the price. I decided to just hold judgment until I got them home and on my desk since my 75' X 75' shop isn't a great space for sound.

I got them all setup on my desk using digital USB audio straight out of the computer and placed them directly beside my KEFs that run off a seperate USB output to a $40 SMSL DAC so I could directly A/B them. They still suffered from sounding stuffy and chesty especially on the upper midrange no matter how many settings I played with. The app includes a whole bunch of awful sounding presets and when you want to make a "custom" profile they only give you a 3 band EQ, low/mid/high and that's it. That brings me back to.my frustrations with being forced to use a clunky app with minimal features, if all you're doing at the end of the day is adjusting a 3 band tone control why not just add that right onto the back of the speaker?!

I'm putting these up for sale this evening as I'm beyond disappointed. My search for a reasonably priced powered speaker for my desk continues...
 

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Have you checked that the tweeters are functioning? Have someone cover the horns with a pillow or something while you listen with your eyes closed(!).

Could be someone blew the crap outta the tweeters and flipped them...
 
Have you checked that the tweeters are functioning? Have someone cover the horns with a pillow or something while you listen with your eyes closed(!).

Could be someone blew the crap outta the tweeters and flipped them...
Nah unfortunately everything was working as it should. Just terrible speaker voicing, they don't sound any different than your average $250 bookshelf speakers.
 
Nah unfortunately everything was working as it should. Just terrible speaker voicing, they don't sound any different than your average $250 bookshelf speakers.
That's too bad. While I've had active near-field monitors before, current incarnations are not exciting me (KEF LS50's & 60's amongst them, and I'm a bit of a Kef fan-boy (in addition to being an ML lover!).

For the prices some of these new (fandangled) wireless, streaming speakers are demading, I'll never get a pair. I've had Kef speakers that were way over 30... oops, 50 years old, and they worked just fine. I've got/had power amps that are over 2o yrs old (tho' both my Bryston 4B's (NRB & ST have died in the past year). I don't expect my routers, switches, bluetooth boxes, etc. to last more than 5 years.

So, when it's all built into the speakers....
 
That's too bad. While I've had active near-field monitors before, current incarnations are not exciting me (KEF LS50's & 60's amongst them, and I'm a bit of a Kef fan-boy (in addition to being an ML lover!).

For the prices some of these new (fandangled) wireless, streaming speakers are demading, I'll never get a pair. I've had Kef speakers that were way over 30... oops, 50 years old, and they worked just fine. I've got/had power amps that are over 2o yrs old (tho' both my Bryston 4B's (NRB & ST have died in the past year). I don't expect my routers, switches, bluetooth boxes, etc. to last more than 5 years.

So, when it's all built into the speakers....
Yeah I totally agree with you, so much of this newer technology feels completely disposable. I went with powered speakers to save desk space and have a clean sounding all in one solution.

With modern Class D amplifiers, active crossovers and DSP they should be able to make these things sound amazing. But it seems they are going for a specific "sound" and I'm just not a fan. They also don't provide anywhere near enough flexibility to justify needing an entire phone application to tune the sound. I also had to update the firmware via a USB stick to get any adjustments at all in the app.

I have a set of Wharfedale Evo 4.2s in my bedroom and they're fantastic, maybe a set of the smaller 4.1s would work on a desktop if I can make the desk a bit deeper. The Wharfedales are a very deep speaker.
 
That's too bad. While I've had active near-field monitors before, current incarnations are not exciting me (KEF LS50's & 60's amongst them, and I'm a bit of a Kef fan-boy (in addition to being an ML lover!).

For the prices some of these new (fandangled) wireless, streaming speakers are demading, I'll never get a pair. I've had Kef speakers that were way over 30... oops, 50 years old, and they worked just fine. I've got/had power amps that are over 2o yrs old (tho' both my Bryston 4B's (NRB & ST have died in the past year). I don't expect my routers, switches, bluetooth boxes, etc. to last more than 5 years.

So, when it's all built into the speakers....
I agree 100%. For my pc audio system I use a modest yamaha receiver and a 5.1 setup using Definitive speakers. The speakers are small desktop speakers and sound very good. The sub is great. I have the receiver on a shelf next to the desk so it's not on the desk.
 
I agree 100%. For my pc audio system I use a modest yamaha receiver and a 5.1 setup using Definitive speakers. The speakers are small desktop speakers and sound very good. The sub is great. I have the receiver on a shelf next to the desk so it's not on the desk.
I have the Klipsch speakers for sale on Audio Mart right now. If they sell I'm going to my local PA shop to audition some studio monitors, last time I was there they had a big selection.
 
I have the Klipsch speakers for sale on Audio Mart right now. If they sell I'm going to my local PA shop to audition some studio monitors, last time I was there they had a big selection.
Excellent, to listen to the speakers first. See if you have room to set up a receiver somewhere. I just run a longer than normal fiber optic cable from my pc sound card to the receiver. The sound I get on the 5.1 system is pretty ridiculously good for how much I spent on it. The Yamaha receiver was only about $650 new, but it's probably a bit higher now. It has DSP that works well. The Definitive speakers are great too, and pretty small. The sub takes care of all of the bass. I sometimes use it for music listening on Tidal. The Sound Blaster card I use is able to play high resolution files.
 
I have bought Gold 8, a Tannoy studio monitor. I have heard music being played through 8’s but only through the internet since loudspeakers have yet to reach me.

Judging from the specs, features and company history they seem perfect. The most constructively critical review I came across has pointed out a negative in the area that matters most. That is loudspeaker sonics. According to the reviewer Tannoy has substantial emphasis in lower treble. And early roll off of high frequencies that is after 10 kHz. Makes the treble sound harsh.

After I listen to them I will know whether I am going to be happy with them. They were not desired for critical or analytical listening anyway. And may or may not be kept in my music room.

The reason I bought them is that they offer tremendous value and I just hope the treble issue is not a complete deal breaker.

In comparison, Focal, Neumann and Genelec perhaps free of minor sonic fault. However roughly speaking retail for twice the Tannoy Gold 8 price.
 
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