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Looking for an amplifier for Klipsch Heresy IV

Kfentin

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May 10, 2020
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Hi I am new here, but I am reading the forum for a while.
I am not audiofile, so I am not that interested in getting too deep into technical side of audio, but I like music, play electric guitar and homercording is my hobby since a decade. So I am just looking for a good sound, but not a reference type of listening (go my monitors for that). Rather fun, vivid, not technical or analytical.
I am about to buy Klipsch Heresy IV speakers which I liked. They a very dynamic and life. I demoed them at a retailer with a valve amp. I am looking for and amp + streamer or combined - integrated amp with network possiblibility (Tidal) for max. 1.5k $. I do not want a valve amp, just need something which is convenient to operate (via app or a radio remote control) since the equipment is hidden. I am struglng to find anything like that. I am being told that this is a heresy to connect Heresys to Yamaha RN803D :) (which from a functionality point of view ticks all the boxes). Can you guys recommend something? One thing to add, as most Klipsches they are pretty btight. The amp should be rather on warm and soft side.
Thanks!
P
ps
appologies for any language errors - English is not my native language
 

daytona600

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2012
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Klipsch need very careful matching & then they will sound superb very good reason they have been in production for 70years
valves ( tubes ) ideal or high quality solid state like Croft , Sugden , LFD steer well clear of Class D or G

 
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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
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I use Heresy 3's in my system and listened to forte 3 when testing. Both sounded fab with low powered amps something like 10-20watts class A's, and/or tube-based amps (weather you like it not its what gets the best of the Klipsch Heritage line).

I don't know where you are in the world but here in the Uk NEW, i would suggest Sugden or first watt. I've added convieent streaming through the use of a Chromecast audio connected to a DAC and wasn't expensive at all (well doesn't have to be) and is controlled from the phone or tablet. But i mostly listen through my ccomputer and turntable There's nothing any more inconvenient about it and in my eyes better than an all in one solutuion but that's my opinion and a different topic.

That Yamaha will be a no go in my experience, newer solid-state amps just don't have the body that these are looking for they will sound hollow and cold which you state you don't want.

And I don't know why you think you cant achieve reference type quality sound through them as you certainly can and I would hope so for 4K but they do lean into the music more than other brands, that's for sure. But they certainly pick up details and i find different details to what your expecting.

And I'm sorry, they're not bright BUT they are very detailed and fast and they don't suffer bad recordings. If they're bright they were either set up wrong and/or toe angle needed to be addressed being horn-based the sound is somewhat directional. And tube-based amps are not always warm sounding, thats a bit of a myth

But in regards to suggesting something that's all in one for them that's a difficult one and I don't know if I could. Nothing will do them justice. They are more capable than I think you're giving them credit for.
If i had your budget id go vintage and look at Marantz, pioneer, Sansui or similar from around the 70-80s and then add a streamer like the blue node 2i (which could be hidden away), should come in well under budget. Look up Andrew Robinson on youtube he uses the Klipsch heritage 4s with a vintage pioneer and loves it and hasn't long done a video on the 2. Looks lovely. Hope that's helped a little though I don't think it whats you wanted to hear.
 
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chris661

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Oct 30, 2019
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steer well clear of Class D or G
This is a common mindset, but IMO misplaced. Class D or G (or H) are both capable of sounding very very good. What matters is how well implemented they are.
£10 amplifiers from China, with too-small output inductors, feedback taken pre-filter, and HF mash everywhere? Probably not gonna sound great. However, spend some money on something decent and the results are excellent.

I had a real HiFi Moment the other day, when I took some PA speakers and used a class D amplifier (Powersoft T604) and a load of FIR-based DSP to make the frequency and phase response linear from 100Hz upwards. I don't think there are many speakers in the world that measure that well.
Anyway, the clarity and detail was truly exceptional, and all this with a class D amplifier! Oh, the horror!

Chris
 
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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
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This is a common mindset, but IMO misplaced. Class D or G (or H) are both capable of sounding very very good. What matters is how well implemented they are.
£10 amplifiers from China, with too-small output inductors, feedback taken pre-filter, and HF mash everywhere? Probably not gonna sound great. However, spend some money on something decent and the results are excellent.

I had a real HiFi Moment the other day, when I took some PA speakers and used a class D amplifier (Powersoft T604) and a load of FIR-based DSP to make the frequency and phase response linear from 100Hz upwards. I don't think there are many speakers in the world that measure that well.
Anyway, the clarity and detail was truly exceptional, and all this with a class D amplifier! Oh, the horror!

Chris
I get what you're saying but in my experience, the Klipsch line up just doesn't like it and its very apparent, and i have no aversion to too class D or whatever, Class A design just works very well with the heritage line. Though Z reviews got some good results from a pair of crown amps and seem to like it a lot. So what do i know? But then he used a DSP to bring them inline to what he wanted to hear. So? swings roundabouts.

But as David said Speakers and amps should really be bought to together or with the intention of buying them both amp/speaker at a later date separately.

In the Op's case, as i say to most people cut the budget in half for the speakers and put more into the amp/streamer especially as he/she wants it to do so much streaming wise. It seems to be his most important part of his/her puzzle.
 
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Kfentin

Active member
May 10, 2020
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ALWAYS audition a loudspeaker you are going to buy WITH the likely amplifier you’re looking at. The amplifier and speaker pairing is very important - get it wrong and it doesn’t matter how much the components were, none will reflect their price point.
I know, it is not that easy. The sellers around who have them (one is 100 km drive away) have limitted brands of amps, so i will listen what I can there but probably I will bring the Heresys home and borrow the recommended ones from the shops who offer this.
Something which was recommended to me till now is Vincent SV 500 (or better 237 which a bit out of the budget) and Musical Fidelity M3SI. Both as warmer sounding amps. Vicent is actually a hybrid with valves in the preamp.

Of course erverone receomends valve amps but I am concerned with heat generated. The amp will be placed in a cabinet which has 5 cm slot ventilation from the front to the back, but knowing I could fry eggs on the aluminium cover of my 18W, A class guitar valve amp, I think this could not work. I think solid state is safer with that regard.

On vintage, I am not sure. Actually I still own nearly 30 years old Sony F519R maybe I will test it first :)

Thanks for your comments and sugestions, if you have any opinion on the above mentioned amps or have any other ideas it will be very welcomed!
I live in Poland so all brands available within EU will work for me.
 

SpursGator

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
49
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Those are some pretty serious speakers. Klipsch, especially since they were acquired by Audiovox, is not the same company it once was, but the Klipschorns (and the Heresy, which originally was developed as a center channel for the 'horns) are as good as they ever were (which is to say, they are amazing).

The thing to understand about pairing these with an amp is that they are much more like PA drivers - horn-loaded mid and high, with a big, ultralight, corrugated cone. You could run these things off of 1 watt - they are that efficient.

So first of all, forget power. You don't need it. Maybe 10 wpc to get the bass cones well-gripped. Wattage means nothing (this time). Also, ignore the people telling you that you could use a class D amp with these. That is just ridiculous - not because you couldn't build a good class D amp, but because it's a total mismatch. You don't hire a 747 when you need to land on a helipad. EVEN IF YOU RELIGIOUSLY LOVE 747s.

The truth (everyone experienced is thinking the same thing about your question, OP): If you are not an audiophile, these speakers are complete overkill. And if you love these speakers, not only are you probably already an in-the-closet audiophile, but you also are going to need a lot more than your budget to get the most out of them. You could get the amp for that, but anything with a quality streamer already included that only costs $1,500 is not getting your money's worth from the speakers.

You should look at used equipment - a $3000 amp can be had for $1000-1800. Trying to match these speakers without a listen will be challenging. I would strongly suggest a nice valve amp - even a SET amp could drive these speakers but you probably need a push-pull - or high quality pure class A. There are lots of ways to stream - but you need to get the amp right or you are wasting your money on the Heresies. Daytona mentioned Sugden - that's a great recommendation if you can find one you can afford.

If it's gotta be Class AB, go for something warm: Parasound, McIntosh, Musical Fidelity, etc. or maybe a hybrid (Pathos might be nice). There is used McIntosh equipment all over Europe - I bought an amazing power amp for under a grand in France, from eBay. Wonderful amp, warm sound, and still running at my former neighbor's house. If you find a nice power amp, you can easily find a DAC with a volume control for under $500, and you are functional, if missing a smooth streamer. But first choice is low-power, high end Class A.
 

Kfentin

Active member
May 10, 2020
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thanks for your hints. Interesting thing is that some of the testers say that it is easy to drive them with low current since they are very efficient, but some of them write that it is recommended to have higher wattage to get a good sound. I might start to test and look around buying something used. one of the shops has ex demo Unison Research Triode 25 amp for sale with reasonable money (less than 2k USD), I will test them with it for start.
Parasound, McIntosch and Musical fidelity you have mentioned are solid state amps from their offer?
 

SpursGator

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Jan 12, 2012
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There are thousands of systems in the US that are based on Klipsch Legacy + McIntosh - the British equivalent would probably be Naim + ProAc or something like that. They like each other. I have personally heard a solid state Mac amp with the full Klipschhorns - this guy had a nice little living room, for an apartment, but he played a large orchestral recording and the soundstage was just monstrous. Some guy was pounding on a tympani and he sounded like he was literally 300 feet away.

I LOVE the idea of the Unison with these speakers. Also look at Class A amps (like Sugden, some Musical Fidelity, twin Schitt Aegirs) or nice warm class AB (like Mac, Parasound, maybe Bryson).

My prediction: when you hear the Unison, that will be the end of this. Your jaw will be on the floor - it's going to sound amazing - and if not, run away - valve amps aren't for everyone. Do let us know!
 
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Kfentin

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May 10, 2020
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Hi! a small update. I got Heresys home yesterday and have played music for couple of hours already. They sound great. Very clear sounds throughout the whole spectrum, but I think the mids are exceptionally good, super dynamic. The acoustic and analog instruments sound amazing and very realistic (well recorded drums... wow, you can a hear the reverb of the recording room and membranes vibrating after the hit). Electronic sounds are very engaging too. It is a real pleasure to listen to well produced and mixed tracks - even my kids and wife are sitting on the sofa with me and are impressed :) Maybe I am so impressed because I did not have speakers of this class in my apartment before. Listening in the demo rooms is not the same.


coming back to an amp, I have demoed them with the stuff which was recommended by the seller and what was on the shleves that day in the shop :) 1. Unison Research Simply Italy (valve amp). 2. Marantz PM7000n, 3. Primare i15 Prisma (class D). ...surprisingly Primare sounded to me best with Klipsches there. Unison OK, marantz, a bit dull. Maybe the demo room was "overtreated" acoustically and the warmer amplifiers sounded a bit too soft there? I am not sure, I will take few of them to try in my home set-up to choose. At the moment I am still using my nearly 30 years old Sony amp and it sounds very good :) I am curious how the modern stuff will compare to it.

speakers are beautiful, although the lacquer seems to be a bit soft. You can scratch is with a nail. I am a bit worried how they will look like in a few years.
few pics:

IMG_3272 2.jpg


IMG_3275 2.jpg

IMG_3268 3.jpg
 
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SpursGator

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Jan 12, 2012
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Wow! As old school as they get. A 99 dB sensitivity - take that, literally anyone!

Take your time with the amp search. You will basically never use more than about a watt so you really have green fields to choose your perfect mate for these beauties - and if you find the right one, there is almost no limit to how good they can sound. Look at the horn on that midrange dome...just insane.

Don't be surprised if something sounds good just because it's class D - it wouldn't be my first inclination with these speakers but you never really know until you try it. I assure you that the engineers that work at Primare are smart guys too - it isn't like they throw together chip amps!

I would still keep in mind that the advantage you have is that these speakers are so easy to drive. There are amps out there that sound great, but don't have much power. Unlike most of us, these amps are in play for you. Since it sounds good already, you can be patient and search far and wide. Like: http://www.sacthailand.com/AmpNewGlowMasterKT88.html
 
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millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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Very nice indeed! searching for the right amp can take some time, and as Spurs has rightly pointed out don't discount other designs of amps. Maybe the newer versions are a little more tolerant of the different versions. My version 3's certainly like class A and lower power in general. Just look for something with a full-fat sound.
Maybe Prima luna might be a good shout.

Mine use all of 3 watts when really cranking it. So 20-30watts you'll have plenty of headroom, makes buying amps cheap, though it does need to be good power as they'll reveal any shortcomings. Such as transformer hum.

The finish is delicate as its naked stained wood, they haven't put a lacker on it just sanded to an inch of its life. Just be mindful when handling them and/or hoovering/cleaning near them

Also, be careful when dusting them, you need a smooth Glass type microfibre cloth, the thicker kind grabs at the grain and can lift it, as I found out, it lifted a tiny piece out! luckily in a place, you can't see

But being real wood, and within reason, they can be retreated and repaired pretty easily.
 

slavo86

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2014
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i've heard klipsch speakers with a sugden a21. not sure which model, but they were larger than the heresey and it sounded great. lovely speakers by the way.
 
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Kfentin

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May 10, 2020
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I'd say, they sound very good even not partnered :) (like my old Sony)
but I can understand they are not for everyone. I think they are not reference speakers, but this is not I am looking for. I think they have a bit boosted mids and rolled off bass (very tight on the other hand). So the frequency line would not be flat (Iguess), but instruments sound very realistic. I am listening now for last few days through all my music collection since it is so much fun. I can hear nuances I have not heard before and some well made recordings sounds super real. in my life I spent many hours playing electric guitar with a real drummer and a bass player in a rehearsal room (loud :) ) and i know how they sound (not through PA on a stadium :) ). These speakers gives that feeling. Jack White's recordings, Hendrix, - very good. I do not want write a silly stuff but drums and guitars sound very alive if a track is properly mixed. If someone is a bit into V shape EQ - Heresys are probably not for him/her , but maybe it is still worth to try how good mids sound.
 
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Kfentin

Active member
May 10, 2020
11
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Hi,

a small update on my searches for an amp. I have tested head-to-head four of them home.
This was: Vincent 237MK ( hybrid monster 2x150W), Naim Atom (solid state, one of recommended amps here, 2x40W), Unison Research Simply Italy (full valve 2x12W) and my nearly 30 years old Sony f519R (solid state, I guess 2x130W).

They actually all sound good including my old Sony and I cannot say anything but good things about those amplifiers. I think this is also because heresy IV are such a good speakers. I guess anything you hook it up to will sound reasonably :) I had them all only for 3 days home, so this was not a proper testing, but still the choice was not that hard to make. I picked Unison Research Simply Italy.

Returning Naim Atom I was offered to check home a Chinese high end amp Line Magnetic LM 34ia. This is a tube, 2x40W, point to point amplifier. I must say it looks impressive and sounds very good, but... again I preferred the sound of Unison more. Maybe for electronic music it had a bit more live, but in reproducing voices and real instruments Unison is a master in comparison.


OK few words on the sound and some explanation. I would say that all the three solid state amplifiers sound pretty similar. The Vincent's power amp makes it sound as a solid state, and actually it was a bit brighter and sounds were less glued than in case of all the others. I had a hard time to pick my preferred sound, until... I started the Unison amp. Not in every song, but in some really a magic is happening comparing to the all the rest. I guess the sound is not neutral, it is sweet comparing to a bit dry sounding SSes, high frequencies are slightly rolled off - it is not a reference sound, but still (at least for me) it sounded great. Guitars, voices, drums sounded very realistic and natural. And in some cases I got a feeling that the stereo separation is better. In some recordings there was an impression of a surround sound when the rest of amps was a bit more 2D. Unison has this third dimension. Although the stage seems to be lower than in SSes (I guess because of highs roll off). There is a bit less detail /resolution, highs are not that crisp but overall felling is that the music sounds right, as it should be.
Funny, I liked more the mode with the feedback control set on lower dB value, while reviewers tend to like the higher one.

So being fully aware that the amp is not neutral and lowers the stage ... I picked it
it just sounds good with Heresys. This is just my taste, maybe someone else would have another opinion (although my wife and my brother sheared my view).
 

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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
338
128
11,070
Hi,

a small update on my searches for an amp. I have tested head-to-head four of them home.
This was: Vincent 237MK ( hybrid monster 2x150W), Naim Atom (solid state, one of recommended amps here, 2x40W), Unison Research Simply Italy (full valve 2x12W) and my nearly 30 years old Sony f519R (solid state, I guess 2x130W).

They actually all sound good including my old Sony and I cannot say anything but good things about those amplifiers. I think this is also because heresy IV are such a good speakers. I guess anything you hook it up to will sound reasonably :) I had them all only for 3 days home, so this was not a proper testing, but still the choice was not that hard to make. I picked Unison Research Simply Italy.

Returning Naim Atom I was offered to check home a Chinese high end amp Line Magnetic LM 34ia. This is a tube, 2x40W, point to point amplifier. I must say it looks impressive and sounds very good, but... again I preferred the sound of Unison more. Maybe for electronic music it had a bit more live, but in reproducing voices and real instruments Unison is a master in comparison.


OK few words on the sound and some explanation. I would say that all the three solid state amplifiers sound pretty similar. The Vincent's power amp makes it sound as a solid state, and actually it was a bit brighter and sounds were less glued than in case of all the others. I had a hard time to pick my preferred sound, until... I started the Unison amp. Not in every song, but in some really a magic is happening comparing to the all the rest. I guess the sound is not neutral, it is sweet comparing to a bit dry sounding SSes, high frequencies are slightly rolled off - it is not a reference sound, but still (at least for me) it sounded great. Guitars, voices, drums sounded very realistic and natural. And in some cases I got a feeling that the stereo separation is better. In some recordings there was an impression of a surround sound when the rest of amps was a bit more 2D. Unison has this third dimension. Although the stage seems to be lower than in SSes (I guess because of highs roll off). There is a bit less detail /resolution, highs are not that crisp but overall felling is that the music sounds right, as it should be.
Funny, I liked more the mode with the feedback control set on lower dB value, while reviewers tend to like the higher one.

So being fully aware that the amp is not neutral and lowers the stage ... I picked it
it just sounds good with Heresys. This is just my taste, maybe someone else would have another opinion (although my wife and my brother sheared my view).
Sounds like a mate made in heaven, hope it see you many a years service!
 
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Kfentin

Active member
May 10, 2020
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Thanks!

I am looking for a streamer/DAC now :)
Tomorrow few of them is comming for testing - Audiolab 6000N, Cambridge Audio CXN V2, Porject Stream Boxy S2 Ultra + Topping D70 DAC and Node 2i. I will let you know on the results :) I wonder if I hear any difference vs. the borrowed Yamaha WX10 ?
 
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SpursGator

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
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Thanks!

I am looking for a streamer/DAC now :)
Tomorrow few of them is comming for testing - Audiolab 6000N, Cambridge Audio CXN V2, Porject Stream Boxy S2 Ultra + Topping D70 DAC and Node 2i. I will let you know on the results :) I wonder if I hear any difference vs. the borrowed Yamaha WX10 ?
I've been looking at these: https://www.minidsp.com/products/streaming-hd-series/shd-series

Not only do you get a very good (and software-expandable and brand-agnostic) streamer, but you get a huge suite of room correction tools. Not a bad thing when trying to tune Klipches in the corners? I would probably buy the digital one since I already have a DAC, but you'll want one with a built-in D/A conversion. I have not listened to one of these integrated products but I have used MiniDSP's processor boards in other projects. They are quite good and I'm thinking of getting one. I currently stream with the discontinued Google Play puck into my DAC, which is...lacking.
 

Kfentin

Active member
May 10, 2020
11
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Thanks, looks interesting. I have not seen the post at that time and purchased CA CXN V2.
The decision was not an easy one. I have spent almost whole weekend (with my family being away) doing that.
To summarize, CA had a bit more air than Audiolab and Node, although the app is the worst out those four units.
Project Stream Box with Topping DAC was objectively sounding the best, CA having fuller spectrum in higher frequencies still had this very last top a bit rolled off. On the other hand I had a feeling that Project with Topping sounded in very few cases a bit boxy in my view in my system (especially with vocals), but the turning-on time (66 seconds) with no real stand-by mode was the "no go" argument, it is a pity.
This is just my choice - for my speakers, my amplifier, my room and my sound preferences. They all are very good in their price and no wonder that all them won some awards and have good reviews. Might work very well for other's systems.

0119b4c9e6d8a6dc5aa44c36859b0f0da581818837.jpg
 

Kfentin

Active member
May 10, 2020
11
9
25
Yes, I am. I heard it with four other amplifiers and it was the best sound. I do not have subs but maybe will take one or two home just to check whether it really makes a difference. I am not a sub music lover though and for most of "regular" tracks bass sounds good for me.
 
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