Klipsch RF-7 III Review: A beautiful and solid speaker
The floor standing Klipsch RF-7 III is a high-end model in premium finishes and is positioned as universal. With a pair of 10 ” bass drivers, it is capable of reproducing both percussive soundtracks and delicate audiophile recordings. At least that’s how it was conceived, but how in reality?
It’s amazing how much Klipsch makes – there’s always plenty to choose from. The catalog contains special lines for home cinema, systems for demanding music lovers, portable and all-weather acoustics … And what is interesting, each model certainly has some zest that sets it apart from the general row. It is these individual traits that facilitate the choice – something, yes, it will definitely hook.
For example, I have always been attracted to classic Klipsch models from the golden age, when audio was treated with special reverence. But it makes no sense to buy 40-50-year-old speakers, their sound is far from what it was originally – suspensions are crumbling, paper is dulling, settings are “floating away”.
In our age of powerful transistor amplifiers, this parameter may not seem so important, but below I will tell you what its beauty is.
But Klipsch is giving new life to iconic models by releasing updated versions from time to time. These revived projects include our current test subjects, the RF-7 III floor standing systems. In their third generation, they have retained the main family features, but are made at a modern level. The main thing that remains from the previous developments is high sensitivity, 100 dB (2.83 V / 1 m). In our age of powerful transistor amplifiers, this parameter may not seem so important, but below I will tell you what its beauty is.
Traditionally for Klipsch, the “7” uses a tweeter horn design. A 1.75 ” (44 mm) titanium compression driver is housed in a rectangular bell with a signature Tractrix profile. Its shape has been optimized using modern design techniques to obtain a linear frequency response, wide beam pattern and low distortion. There are no ready-made formulas for the precise design of horns, therefore, in each specific case, it is necessary to finalize the design experimentally, creating many prototypes.
The square socket is molded entirely from dense rubber, due to which its vibrations and resonances are almost completely eliminated. The tweeter operates in the 1300 to 25 kHz range, i.e. for all its solid dimensions, the RF-7 III is a two-way system.
The manufacturer considers the composite with the brand name Cerametallic to be the best in terms of the combination of low weight and high rigidity.
The bass section is built on a pair of 10-inch drivers with sintered metal cones with external copper plating. The manufacturer considers the composite with the brand name Cerametallic to be the best in terms of the combination of low weight and high rigidity, and the low inertia of the diffusers and their operation in the piston mode always positively affects the sound. So that the woofers do not affect each other, they were separated into different isolated compartments, each with its own bass reflex with a rectangular Tractrix output profile.
Here it reduces the turbulence of the air flow and, accordingly, the accompanying noise and overtones. The declared lower operating limit of “sevens” is 32 Hz (-3 B), which is quite realistic with such a case volume.
By getting rid of the mid-frequency band and eliminating the corresponding link from the crossover filters, the developers have reduced the reactive component of the impedance. At the same time, they still provided for the separate connection of the strips, endowing the systems with four screw terminals.
The Klipsch RF-7 III stands out for its solid construction – 44.1 kg each speaker. The base of the body is a platform into which the spikes are screwed. Despite all the influences of the times, premium models are still made in Klipsch’s own Arkansas factory. Finishing – only in natural veneer: black ash, cherry and American walnut and, as it should be in this price segment, a similar pattern is selected for each pair. Grills made of thin acoustically transparent fabric are attached with magnets.
As a result, we have a colossal dynamic potential without the slightest simplification of the musical spectrum at its edges.
Not so long ago I tested Klipsch Forte III speakers, and noticed that despite the high sensitivity, they need a powerful enough amplifier. Before listening to the RF-7 III, I dug around on the Internet, and on the Klipsch fan forum I found a graph of the impedance of these speakers versus frequency. With an average declared value of 8 ohms at low frequencies, the resistance can drop to almost 2 ohms, which can cause a not very distinct bass. Therefore, it is advisable to select an amplifier for this pair, not necessarily powerful, but with a sufficiently low output impedance. As, for example, the hybrid Magnat RV4, with which we listened to the “seven”.
Above, I promised to explain why acoustics with high sensitivity are good. First of all, the ability to play fully at low volume without “swallowing” nuances. Lightweight diffusers and reinforced magnets allow you to react even to minuscule amplitude drops, and quiet fragments performed by RF-7 III sound absolutely full-fledged – contrasting, with rich timbres. And at the peaks of the volume, the speakers give out such a blow that you are only surprised. As a result, we have a colossal dynamic potential without the slightest simplification of the musical spectrum at its edges. And this benefits all genres – from symphonic classics to progressive metal. Klipsch claims 250 watts of input power, it’s scary to think about the sound pressure at this sensitivity.
The drums – large, medium and small – seem to be absolutely real, and no matter how complex rhythmic pattern they give
The liveliness of this model is also due to slight increases in the frequency response at the edges of the operating range. The effect of delicate loudness is felt, in which the middle does not suffer at all – the information content in the voice range is very high. But in general – a festive, open sound with high timbre resolution.
The bass, for all its depth, does not seem heavy at all. Quite possibly, its speed affects: a pair of 10-inch diffusers simultaneously gives out sharp, with a very natural attack, blows to the ears. The drums – large, medium, and small – seem absolutely real, and no matter how complex the rhythmic pattern they give out, nothing will be blurred or tightened.
The big tweeter is good because it captures a fair amount of the mid-range, which extends smoothly and continuously to supersonic heights. There is no coloration characteristic of some 3-band systems with a frequency of 3 – 3.5 kHz, here, by the nature of the overtones, any instrument in a very dense spectrum can be recognized by ear.
Since 10-inch drivers are also involved in the construction of the soundstage, including sound. and the entire vocal range, the space is large-scale and densely filled. To make the picture absolutely solid, with holographic images, it is better to slightly turn the speakers inward, then all emitters, including tweeters, will be fully matched in dispersion.
In general, the Klipsch RF-7 III is an interesting speaker with a captivating vintage charm and is fully adapted to modern realities.