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November 1999
Enjoy the
Klipsch Reference Speakers RP-3, RC-3 and RS-3
Review By Dwayne Carter


Klipsch RP-3  This is going to be a relatively short and sweet review. The Klipsch Reference  are some of the best speakers I have heard, in a long time (in their price range). If you have the money... and even if you don't. BUY THEM!

There. I'm done.

What? Oh, O.K... I'll explain.

A month ago my balcony was filled with boxes from Klipsch. After a long day at work there is nothing better than to come home and hear "You've got a bunch of boxes on the balcony!" from the spousal unit. Try it sometime. It will make your week, I promise (next stadium-sized big horn system goes to Dwayne --ed).

After wrestling the speakers from their boxes I lugged them down to the Home Theatre. I decided the only way to really test this system was to totally remove my Martin Logan surround system and install the Klipsch in their place. A good two hours later came the calibration and toeing-in the speakers.

Klipsch RP-3 Amplifier

My all too familiar Pat Benatar song ripped through the RP-3 as I scrambled for the remote. I needed to decrease the treble immediately. Horns tend to be a little on the bright side so I wasn't too surprised by this. After the treble decrease we were set to go. Tossed in the Fifth Element (you all know which scene) and was immediately impressed by the Bass!
Reluctantly disconnected my Velodyne F-1500R subwoofer so as to test the built-in 300w (into 4ohm) subwoofers that comes with the RP-3's. I was reluctantly impressed. 
In addition to being a Wine, Music, and you-name-it snob, I'm also a bass snob. Love the nice, clean, computer controlled bass my Velodyne provides. I have heard few subwoofers that can better it (in it's $1200 price range). After connecting the line-level outputs from the pre-amp to the RP-3 towers I was expecting a month of muddled Bass. I was wrong.

These babies have BASS!! Put it through my worst bass test which is Laurie Anderson Mister Heartbreak (Wea/Warner Brothers B000002L5R) . Go to track 3, "Gravity's Angel". Crank it up! If your subwoofer can handle this tune you have a good sub. The RP-3's handled all but the lowest frequencies.
If you have never heard this tune on another sub you would not know you were missing anything.

Klipsch RS-3

In 2-channel stereo or surround sound mode the Klipsch Reference RP-3, RC-3 and RS-3's delivered clear mids, highs, and solid bass. The sound was flat and like the fit and finish, solid. Oh the finish? They are knuckle bruising, solid black finished. Built like a brick wall speakers. They also sport the very cool gold woofers!! I have only seen that on the B & W speakers until now. Makes 'em look like golden bullets. Very cool. 

Klipsch RC-3

 Sound? They are very neutral in sound and delivery. No matter what the source you get flat. The RC-3 Center channel delivered clean, clear dialogue and did a good job on the music selections in Party Mode (Surround sound music mode). The RS-3 surrounds did a fantastic job of creating the "you are there" effect during the AC-3 workout we gave them. The sound traveled cleanly from center, front, surround and back. There is something to be said for Timbre matched speakers from the same manufacturer. You do run a better chance of having a well-balanced surround sound system, I think.

I promised to keep this short, we will skip to the summary. The Klipsch Reference Series speakers are a terrific buy. At about $2400 suggested retail for the complete set you would be hard pressed to find a better sounding surround sound system for this price in my opinion.

Would I buy a set? Absolutely (he bought the review samples. 'nuff said --ed).

During the end of my review period the wife asked "When are you going to put the Martin Logans back up?" Hmm... interesting. I was not in a great rush to do so. Do not get me wrong. I still think the ML's rock. I do like them better than the Klipsch (they also cost twice as much) but I do think the Klipsch Reference RP-3, RC-3 and RS-3 deserve a place in my house.

Hmm... well... we ARE trying to buy a larger house. And I still don't have a surround sound system for the family room, yet... Hmmmm...

Do you think she will notice the five big boxes hidden in the garage? (dude, use the attic. They never go in there! --ed).


Tonality 96
Sub-bass (10 Hz - 60 Hz) 91
Mid-bass (60 Hz - 200 Hz) 88
Midrange (200 Hz - 3,000 Hz) 92
High-frequencies (3,000 Hz on up) 94
Attack 96
Decay 83
Inner Resolution 90
Soundscape width front 91
Soundscape width rear 91
Soundscape depth behind speakers 89
Soundscape extension into the room 94
Imaging 92
Fit and Finish 95
Self Noise 88
Value for the Money 96


Sensitivity: 95dB @ 1 watt/1 meter

Bandwidth: 27Hz-20kHz±3dB

Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms

Crossover Frequency: 2750Hz and 90Hz

Power Handling: 110 watts maximum continuous (300 watts peak)

Enclosure Type: Sealed

Enclosure Type Subwoofer: Sealed

Drive Components: Three-way system using one 1"
(2.54cm) K-105-K titanium dome,
magnetically shielded
compression driver with a 90°x
60° Tractrix Horn, one 6.5"
(16..51cm) K-1081-S aluminum
cone, magnetically shielded
mid-bass and one 10" (25.4cm)
K-1082-K subwoofer

Net Weight: 62 lbs. (28.2kg)



Sensitivity: 97dB @ 1 watt/1 meter

Bandwidth: 60-20kHz±3dB

Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms

Crossover Frequency: 1950Hz

Power Handling: 150 watts maximum continuous (400 watts peak)

Enclosure Type: Sealed

Enclosure Type Subwoofer: 

Drive Components: Two-way system using one 1" (2.54cm)
K-105-KV titanium dome, magnetically
shielded compression driver with a 90°x
60° Tractrix Horn and two 6.5" (16.5cm)
K-1085-SV aluminum cone, magnetically
shielded woofers

Net Weight: 29 lbs. (13.2kg)



Sensitivity: 95dB @ 1 watt/1 meter (equivalent sound energy)

Bandwidth: 49Hz-20kHz±3dB

Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms

Crossover Frequency: 2100Hz

Power Handling: 110 watts maximum continuous (400 watts peak)

Enclosure Type: Sealed

Enclosure Type Subwoofer: 

Drive Components: Two-way system using two 1" (2.54cm) K-106-K titanium
dome, compression drivers with 90°x 60° Tractrix Horns
and one 6.5" (16.5cm) K-1086-S aluminum cone woofer

Net Weight: 12 lbs. (5.5kg)


8900 Keystone Crossing #1220
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Phone: (317) 581-3185
Fax: (317) 574-3870


















Gryphon Audio



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