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Author Topic: Klipsch heresy old school  (Read 7113 times)

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Offline raymonda

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Klipsch heresy old school
« on: September 26, 2013, 08:09:27 PM »
So, I picked up a pair of these off Craigslist for a good price and they became my next project. They were a 1983 pair, whose cabinets were a bit for wear but not too bad. I sanded them down and stained and varnished them in ebony. that was the best way to hide the vineer chips after the sanding. I left the front trim natural plywood, so as to give it a some contrast. They looked good afterwards.

Electronically I replaced the binding posts, up graded the caps in the crossover; only 3 per speaker, and re-cabled them with some better cable. I've been running them off the Jolida 102b which seems to power them just fine. The overall sound of is a bit bass shy......well maybe more than a little. However, what is there is pleasant. The mid horn gets a bit honky when pushed too hard and the tweeter isn't as refined as the ribbon in my Maggie's......but I didn't expect them to be. In generally they are a nice alternative to my Maggie's. Not that I need an alternative but it is good to have another listening device to check out final mix downs.

Now adding my sub woofer to them makes them a usable speaker for everyday listening......maybe not critical......because they do have a tone to their own but pleasant, regardless.

The kicker here is that I thought I would try running them along with my Maggie's and darn if I really didn't enjoy what they did. They filled in the mids with a nice punch and gave my system a bit more relaxed and non strained dbs. I sort of brought up their volume until I could hear the speakers and then backed them down a notch. So, they are acting like a center channel. They work really well like this.....who would have thought! I would have never thought that combining box speakers with Bi polars would have turned out as well as they did without phase issues but, too my ears, they bring more to the table then they take away.

Anyway, anyone coming across a cheap pair should pick them and have some fun. They are easy to modify and run on spit. Well, maybe a bit more than spit. Tubes seem to work well with them but I also had great success with my wife's 50 watt class d amp used for movie night. The neighbors thought it sounded great as we projected a movie on our garage and had the neighbor kids over for popcorn and a movie.

Be warned though, without a sub these are lean sounding speaker that will not give you full bass impact. The tendency will be to turn them up but that will cause problems with the horns taking on a honking sound......but played with a sub woofer they may give you satisfaction at a really cheap price.

Bottom line is that if you like to tinker you will have enough fun tinkering with them. Afterwards you can use them as av speakers, a second system, give them to your kid or sell them for more than you have in them. Seems like a win....win to me.

Ray
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 10:30:11 AM by raymonda »

Offline raymonda

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 11:54:05 PM »
Late night listening at low volume is great. No sub needed here as it would wake the family.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 10:30:32 AM by raymonda »

Offline kindms

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 10:17:50 AM »
no pics ?

Sounds like a cool project.
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 10:31:12 AM »
I will try to take some later a post them. I wish I were home listening to them.

Offline spyder9

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 06:05:59 PM »
Klipsch fan here.  Congrats on your score Ray!  I had a pair of KG4's for 20 years.  Bought mine for $200, in a bar, at Happy Hour, in 1989.  Long story.  It hurt me to sell them, but I needed the $$$  for the move to FL.  I have SF2's now for my HT system, but they are nothing like the classics.  If I ever go that route again, it will surely be a pair of KLF's.  Dig it!    :djsmilie: 
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 08:15:42 AM by spyder9 »

Offline raymonda

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 08:00:23 PM »
Here are some pics.

Offline macdaddy

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2013, 12:39:20 AM »
Excellent!

Those high efficiency speakers him with a low wattage tube amp. I run mine with a modded jolida amp that is 30wpc. They absolutely sing....
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 12:40:58 AM by macdaddy »
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Offline kindms

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 09:11:13 AM »
Here are some pics.

Sweet. They look nice with the black finish. Thanks for the pics
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 03:25:54 PM »
I am really glad to see that you still have your Maggies!

My buddy in Berkeley has a set of Heresys that belonged to his uncle that are collecting dust in his garage.  I would offer him something for them but then again my VR4-jrs are collecting dust in a storage unit.   :P  What is a decent price to offer for a pair of used Heresys?

My roommate here in the Santa Cruz hills has a pair of Cornwalls that are HUGE.  He has them hooked up to a PC so I know they will never sound like they should...
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2013, 10:30:45 AM »
I am really glad to see that you still have your Maggies!

My buddy in Berkeley has a set of Heresys that belonged to his uncle that are collecting dust in his garage.  I would offer him something for them but then again my VR4-jrs are collecting dust in a storage unit.   :P  What is a decent price to offer for a pair of used Heresys?

My roommate here in the Santa Cruz hills has a pair of Cornwalls that are HUGE.  He has them hooked up to a PC so I know they will never sound like they should...

Depending on the condition anywhere from $100-500. I wouldn't spend 500 on a pair of used ones because there are better options available in the used market but $100-200 a pair is reasonable as long as you don't mind modding them and using a sub with them. I would also not own a pair as my main speakers, again they are highly colored and are missing the bottom octave and a half. Doesn't sound like a good review does it............and I wouldn't still have them if they didn't blend so well with the Maggies.

I bought some stands for them, to get them off the floor......now the sound stage is at the correct height and they image better. I'm thinking of getting the replacement tweeter elements from Bob Crites. They are of titanium construction and are suppose to smooth out the harshness in the treble. That would go a long way in making them more listenable at high volume. However, there is just no getting away from the missing low end. I suppose they would reach down another 10 dbs in my application if I were to place them closer to the walls but in my listening room that is not possible. BTW, I did the last possible mod to these speaker by placing some damping material and stuffing in the box in an attempt to get a bit more low end response. I couldn't measure a difference afterwards.

In the end, these will probably get handed down to my son, when he gets old enough to want his own system.

Maggies have one of the best treble response in the business. There "real" ribbons, are very extended and organic. They never hurt your ears and sound as real as it gets. Also the sound stage that Maggies project is huge, some say too large, and they do have a narrow sweet spot. They also need lots of room to breath, e.g. need to be away from walls and demand a high current amp. They are certainly not a plug and play system but after they are set up correctly they sound beautiful.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 11:09:14 AM by raymonda »

Offline capnhook

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2013, 01:58:04 PM »
Heresy's need to be elevated and angled to disperse the bottom end.....like this:

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Offline raymonda

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 05:21:40 PM »
That is correct. But that does very little for the limited bass available from the Heresy. The angle mostly helps with imaging, otherwise its soundstage is closer to 3rd row balcony. They even benefit from being up off the ground by 8 to 12 inches and place closer to the walls for bass reinforcement. In my room I can not place them close to the wall due to phase issues I would encounter.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 11:10:08 AM by raymonda »

Offline steveneudaly

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 09:48:27 PM »
I've owned a pair of Heresys from 1980 for about 7 years now.  No, they aren't for everyone, but no way I'm parting with them.  They have a charming character that's all their own.  I've been enjoying them for the last couple years with 220 watts per channel of solid state power from a Kenwood M2A.  Yes, I like it loud. 

Congrats on the addition!

Offline Chuck

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 03:00:59 PM »
My first pair of serious speakers were a pair of the original Heresy's. That purchase was based on what I was seeing in the bars in upstate New York at the time. They are loud and rather raw sounding, and I loved them.
There was an advertisement in the paper about 10 years ago. A local guy was looking to buy good quality old stereo speakers. I contacted him and told him I had the Klipsch Heresy's. Well, he offered me $400 sight unseen! When he picked them up, I asked him why he could pay so much for them. He told me he worked for a company that was refurbishing them and selling them in Japan for big bucks. I was just happy to get the $400 for them!
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 03:20:58 PM »
Loud and raw is a good description. Truth to timbre they're not........at least in stock form.

Offline raymonda

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2013, 10:45:55 AM »
So, I replaced the stock Alps RK16 pot with an Alps RK27 in the Jolida 102B and the results were not subtle. Gone is the shrilled and hard upper end, which seems to bring the lower end much more up in balance. I can actually now listen to these speakers and enjoy them at moderate to loud volume, even without a subwoofer. Adding my sub to them made a very nice full range blend. I enjoyed them for a bit of time yesterday, listening to a number of reference recordings and though, for what little I paid for the Heresy's and the Jolida, thought, "this is great sound". I'm mean "really great sound". The imaging is not in the same camp as my Classe'/Maggie system and the tweeters are outclassed by the Maggies ribbon but this is good. Very good, actually.

The reason I replaced the pot was that after two RK16 pots, which seemed to track inconsistently as you turned up the volume......creating a slight collapse of the sound stage to the left, I decided to go with a pot that was constructed a bit better. Well, that paid off in more ways than I would have thought. The change in timbre wrought by the pot change with the Heresy was shocking and wasn't something I planned or was looking for. It totally surprised me and now lends me to correct my overall impression of the Heresy. Sure, they are still limited in the low end but now there is more punch down there making them serviceable as a stand alone pair. I'm sure that if I got them back closer to a wall they would put out a bit more energy down there. The biggest revised impression, though, is in the upper mids and high end, where before, at reasonable listening volume they became too shouty, they are now much more enjoyable. It is like there are new mids and tweeters in place of the old ones. Yes, they still have an up front upper mid and lower treb and have a color to them that deviates from absolute neutral but they are not in the badly colored camp, which they were prior to the pot change.

I'm going to be listening to these over the next week or so and will get an even better understanding of their sonic signature but as for now, I need to modify my impression. Now, I like them, where before I couldn't understand why anyone would want them outside of playing them under 75dbs. Yesterday I was kicking 105dbs through them, with a sub, and I was as relaxed and engaged in the music as I am with my bigger system. Prior to the pot change I would not have been able to listen to them at this volume at all and actually couldn't stand them beyond 75-80dbs.

Why did a simple pot change make such a big difference? Got me! This was an identical change with the exception of the attention to construction. This may explain why after the 102b Jolida went from the RK16 to the RK27. Anyone who has the older 102b with the R16 would be well served to swap out the pot. BTW, the RK27 is not a drop in replacement and some mods need to be done to make it fit. The back plasitc cover of the RK27 has to be removed so that it will fit between the board and the faceplate, as well as the nub used to keep the pot stationary has to be filed down, since it does not fit in the pre drilled hole made for the RK16. Finally, the board sockets  are not spaced the same for the dual volume. This is not a big issues though. Simply insert the back three in the socket. The front three will line up with the front of the board and by folding them over they will over lap the other three sockets, which you can then solder. Works perfectly! Initially I though I would have to run some wire but was nicely surprised by this alternative!!!!

So, lesson learned. The Jolida sounded good with other speakers using the RK16 but not with the Heresy. The Heresy has a reputation for being able to run on low watts and tubes, therefore I thought it should have been well served with the Jolida. When it wasn't I blamed the Heresy. I should have known better. A while back I used the Hersey for movie night with a class D amp and thought it sounded good but waived that off since it was not music. I should have tried it with music using the class D amp. Well, maybe not because if I did I would have never know that by replacing the pot in the Jolida would have made an enjoyable combination. So, this twisted path ends with a win/win for me. On a final thought, I'm going to have to find some time to run that class D amp in combination with the Heresy for music and get some idea on how that combination works in comparison with the Jolida.

I'll report back later. Sorry for the long ramble!
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 11:16:10 AM by raymonda »

Offline Chuck

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Re: Klipsch heresy old school
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2013, 10:52:50 AM »
I always enjoy hearing stories about people modifying their gear to make it better server their purpose. Good work raymonda!
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Microphones: AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, Sennheiser MKE 2 elements, CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and mod-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), Audix M1290-o, Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, Naiant MSH-1O, Naiant AKG Active cables, Church CA-11 (cardioid), (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
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