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We haven’t really talked a lot about Klipsch’s core lineup of products, specifically the reference premier line of speakers. Well, that changes, today. We are reviewing the Klipsch reference premiere RP-8000F floorstanding loudspeakers. Now the 8000 is a two way tower speaker that features a one inch titanium tweeter sitting inside a horn waveguide.
Mid range and bass is handled by the speakers dual eight inch copper Sarah metallic woofers which also helped to give the speaker its trademark look. Now, a rear port plus the speakers driver compliment give it a reported frequency response of 32 hertz to 25 kilohertz; which is almost full range.
Around back you are going to find dual binding posts that means the speaker is bi-amp and bi- wire capable; something that is bound to please some diehard audio files though its given rate is at a sensitivity of 98 db. You don’t have to go crazy with respect to power. Almost four feet tall and nearly 18 inches deep, the RP-8000 is a big speaker and if it sounds too big for you, know that there are smaller options like the 6000, 5000, and 8000 F; though none of those three speakers are going to play quite as low as the 8000 well on its own.
KLIPSCH RP-8000F BEST AMPLIFIER
Now for two channel listening, we paired the 8000f with our Naim Uniti atom, the Yamaha s1200, the musical fidelity m5Si, and a budget stereo receiver from Sony and for home theatre use we added in the 600c matching centre speaker and we powered the whole thing using Sony’s 2100 s AV receiver.
We streamed a lot of music, either through the Unity atom or the Arylic 50 Pro, all of which was done on the Tidal app. And for analogue playback, we relied on our audio technica LP 140 xp turntable but we have fitted an ortofon two M black cartridge to that.
Well the RP-8000F may be a large tower speaker but it’s not unruly, it’s incredibly well built. Ours was finished in Walnut which is a little bit dark for my taste but I do prefer the walnut over the ebony and gloss piano black. However keeping things at 100, I do wish that Klipsch would bring over some of their heritage line of speaker finishes to the RP line. I know that this would probably increase the price of an already rather affordable loudspeaker, but if you’re going to go out of your way and call something a reference premiere series, I do think that the looks need to match the name.
Also I think doing this will help distinguish the RP line from the rest of Klipsch’s loudspeakers. Now because these speakers are rear ported, they do require a fair bit of space in order to breathe. I recommend pulling them out away from your front wall at least 18 inches. I know it can be very difficult to judge distance but ours rested 20 plus inches away from our front wall.
Now, more so than probably any other Klipsch loudspeaker, the 8000s need to be fairly aggressively towed and for two channel listening, I ended up with the speaker’s tweeters pointed directly at my listening position. I’m going to answer a couple of questions about the 8000f that I know you’re bound to have so let’s just get them out of the way really quick.
DO THE RP-8000F PLAY LOUD ? ARE KLIPSCH SPEAKERS TOO BRIGHT ?
First, do the 8000s play loud? Yes, do they play loud without distortion or strain. Absolutely. Do they kick, like a Clydesdale down low? You bet. Do I need an expensive amplifier to get the most out of them? Not really. And are they good for home theatre? You bet your ass they are.
So what makes the 8000s so special for me? It comes down to one key specification and that is sensitivity at 98 Db. It just doesn’t take a tonne of power to get the speaker up and running and at low volumes, music and movies managed to still sound alive. And this is one of the key things that impresses me most; it’s not the speaker’s tonality, bass response or whatever, it’s just the fact that through a Klipsch loudspeaker or through the 8000s themselves, music and movies just hit differently.
ARE KLIPSCH SPEAKERS ANY GOOD ?
I’m not saying that Klipsch makes the finest loudspeakers in the world, but whether or not you have a beer budget or Klipsch horn type money, the speaker has character, and that character is born out of a live sound. So while it may have a substantial physical presence, The RP-8000F does possess a delicate side. Properly set up, it is possible for this nearly four foot tall beast of a loudspeaker to completely disappear orally, and with the right amount of toe and centre imaging, it is next level sound.
The definition and delineation to its soundstage on the whole is fantastic. Now because this is a big speaker, obviously it can play big musical passages very loud and at proper scale, but if you’re not interested in taking things to 11, or you don’t want to piss off your neighbours, Well it’s good to know that the dynamics and everything scales downward as well enabling you to listen at low volumes just as easily.
Breaking it down, their Bass performance is solid. This is not a speaker that just barely hits the threshold of its capability, no it hits its marks with confidence. So the bass is deep but also very quick. Now the bass is one area where I did find that having a beefier amplifier did pay dividends; bass was totally acceptable through the Naim Uniti Atom, but through the Yamaha s1200 or Musical fidelity M5Si, it was notably better.
So, all three amplifiers kind of possess the same amount of detail and nuance in the bass but through the Yamaha and Musical Fidelity, it was definitely deeper and had a far more dynamic snap. So should you pair a subwoofer with these loudspeakers for home theatre use? I say go for it! We did, we paired ours to the Jamo s810 with great results but for two channel music, I’m actually a little bit hesitant to pair these speakers with a subwoofer because you don’t want a subwoofer dragging them down or making them all bloated and weighty.
You want a subwoofer that has the same speed and attack that the KLIPSCH RP-8000F’s have on their own and these types of subwoofers can be harder to come by. And if you do manage to find one, they’re often very expensive. To give you an idea, I’m thinking like at a minimum, SVS’s flagship subwoofers but if I’m being honest, I’m actually talking more about those along the lines of JL audios Fathom or Gotham subs which are hugely expensive costing way more than the 8000s themselves and as a result, I just don’t think a lot of people are going to pair that level or calibre of subwoofer to a speaker such as this.
So for home theatre for movies, you don’t have to be crazy picky about a subwoofer but if you want one that’s as musical as the RP-8000Fs, you have to probably spend a fair amount of money in which case, I would say that they play deep enough on their own and you may be able to get away without needing a sub for two channel listening.
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