Sometimes it happens that within the same series of speaker systems, different models turn out to be… too different. And when evaluating them, adjustments have to be made not only for the format – shelf or floor-standing – and power input, but also for marketing positioning. More expensive acoustics should play better! Period.
Fortunately, there are no “poor relatives” among the Klipsch Reference Premier series floor systems. Based on the results of studying all three models in the line, it became obvious that they really differ only in maximum power, size and lower limit frequency. And perhaps the most interesting price-quality ratio is offered by the younger Klipsch RP-5000F II.
The design and equipment of small floor-standing speakers are practically the same as those of older models, with the exception of the size of the midrange/woofer speakers and the corresponding differences in the settings of the crossover filter and bass reflexes. As with all models in the series, the high-frequency range is entrusted to a one-inch titanium dome driver loaded onto a Tractrix horn. The latter opens along a tractrix with angles of 90 x 90 degrees and ensures the tweeter operates up to a frequency of 1,900 Hz, where the baton is picked up by two main speakers with 5.25-inch diffusers made of Ceramettalic composite.
The company has been using this ceramic metal material in its speakers for decades; it is characterized by low mass and high rigidity, which helps in matching the low-frequency and horn sections. The magnetic system of the new generation speakers has been redesigned, adding Faraday rings that absorb EMF and remove heat from the voice coil. The lower limiting frequency of the system is stated at 40 Hz at a level of -3 dB, which is quite good for small floor-standing speakers with a height of 91 cm. Two bass reflex ports on the rear panel allow you to provide the required bass pressure, but it should be noted that each of them is probably tuned to its frequency. The fact is that both low-frequency speakers each work for their own dedicated acoustic volume. However, the manufacturer does not provide details on the FI tuning frequency. The ports also received a proprietary Tractrix profile, which, according to the company, helps to effectively combat air flow turbulence.
The overall sensitivity of the system is 95 dB, which is slightly lower than that of the flagships of the series. But each speaker weighs 17.55 kg, which, considering its small size, is more than worthy. To connect speaker wires, there are three pairs of terminals at the bottom of the rear panel, but only two of them are intended for the Klipsch RP-5000F II itself. The third is reserved for the RP-500SA II’s Dolby Atmos vertical channel speakers, should you decide to use the pair in a home theater system.
The front panel of the speakers can be closed, if necessary, with a lightweight magnetic dust grille. The case is finished with scratch-resistant vinyl film and is available in two colors – black and walnut. The speakers are supported on cast aluminum pedestals, each of the legs of which is equipped with a rubber pad. One can only regret the lack of adjustable spikes, but for most cases the proposed method of mechanical decoupling will be sufficient. It should also be noted that the pedestals provide a slight tilt of the systems away from the listener; this solution allows us to reduce the influence of reflections from the floor on the sound, as well as slightly improve the time and phase matching of the emitters.
The acoustic systems were included in a system consisting of a Parasound HINT 6 integrated amplifier , a Music Hall mmf 7.3 vinyl player with a Goldring 1042 head, and a Magnat MMS 730 network player . Switching was carried out using Wireworld Helicon interconnect and speaker cables with monocrystalline copper conductors.
I must say that compared to the older 8000 models, which also worked in a parallel system, I did not expect to hear anything outstanding. The expectations were something like this: “smaller scale, not so deep bass, in general, a copy in miniature.” However, the kids were able to seriously surprise me. Of course, the use of a much more expensive amplifier also left its mark, but this was exactly the case when the misalliance turned out to be correct.
The main impression from the sound is the crazy speed demonstrated by the Klipsch RP-5000F II. Every track on Rush’s original vinyl album, Moving Pictures, brilliantly mastered in 1975 by a young Bob Ludwig, fired like a machine gun. The signature rich rhythm section of the Canadian group simply pierced the listener right through, not allowing him to catch his breath.
The AC/DC single “Big Gun,” released on a 12-inch 45 in 1993, sounded no less impressive. What can we say about electronic genres, in which the quality and accuracy of the rhythm machine are decisive. To be honest, I did not expect such a performance from quite budget floor-standing speakers. The model is also fine in the middle; the voice of the legendary Yves Montand on the immortal song “A Paris” instantly evoked images of the French capital of the 1950s.
If you’re serious about listening to music, then forget about multi-channel receivers – the Klipsch RP -5000 F II deserves the best amplifier you can afford.